Why Women should Lift Weights
Lifting weights makes women bulky, it’s not feminine, it’s not attractive, it’s dangerous, it’s bad for your joints, and once you’ve built some muscle, you can’t stop lifting or it will all turn to fat. These are all stereotypes we’ve heard about women and resistance training. And they couldn’t be further from the truth. Strength training will not only help you reach your fitness goals, but in fact will help you reach them faster than performing cardiovascular exercises alone. Here are four very important reasons why women should lift weights.
1. Osteoporosis Prevention: Strong Bones-Strong Body
As women age, they are at risk of losing both bone density and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis due to the fact that their bodies no longer secrete estrogen. Studies have shown that resistance training increases bone density, and therefore decreases the risk of osteoporosis. So strong muscles equals strong bones.
2. Increase Your Energy Levels and Feeling of Well Being
Resistance training causes an increase in energy expenditure for several hours after you train. This increase in energy expenditure, even after a minimal resistance training session, may favorably affect energy balance and fat oxidation. It also promotes the brains production of chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins reduce your perception of pain and trigger positive feelings in the body. They are the brains “feel-good” chemicals.
3. More Effective Fat Loss
Many people consider weightlifting only a means to build muscle, however, when contrasted head-to-head against cardiovascular exercise, resistance training prevailed in the battle to burn calories. The huge advantage to weight training is your body’s ability to burn fat not just during, but after exercise. After a great strength training session, you consume additional oxygen in the hours and even days, that follow. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. When your body uses more oxygen, it requires more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate. Yes it speeds up your metabolism!!
4. More Muscle Mass, More Calorie Expenditure
Your body uses calories more efficiently as you increase strength and lean muscle mass, Daily muscle contractions contribute to how many calories you burn in a given day. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing; standing burns fewer than walking, and walking burns fewer than strength training. The more muscle contractions you experience during a day, the more calories you’ll burn. If you have more lean muscle mass, you’ll have more muscle contractions, which results in more calories burned. Endurance exercise can help you lose weight, however, that weight comes in the form of both fat and muscle tissue. If you’re losing both fat and muscle, you can lose that shape that every woman strives for as well. Strength training can help create and sustain that shapely healthy physique.
All of us want to feel strong, determined, and confident in everything we do. Resistance training can benefit in all aspects of your life. To learn more about working out, staying in shape, or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
Tips For Keeping Your New Year Resolutions
If you are like most Americans, you too have made some kind of New Year’s Resolution at some time in your life-and then broken it. This is the year to stop that vicious cycle of resolving to make change, and then not following through. Follow these tips for keeping your New Year Resolutions, have a better year, and getting healthy in the process.
1. First Things First-Emphasize WILL Instead of WANT
How you think of a goal and approach it is critical to achieving it. Your mindset has to be that you WILL accomplish what you set out to do. Determination is imperative! A goal is not something you merely WANT or desire, instead it is something you WILL accomplish.
2. Be realistic-Make your Goal Attainable.
The surest way to fall short of your goal and prevent yourself from seeing success is to set an unattainable goal. For instance, resolving to never eat your favorite food or favorite dessert again is setting your-self up to fail.
3. Be Specific
Saying you want to be thin or fit is vague. It is a sure way to sabotage your-self. No one can really tell you what being “thin” of “fit” really means. These are unknown quantities that change depending on what your perception of these things may be. Instead, focus on objective targets, for instance numbers in weight or inches.
4. Outline your Plan-Put it On Paper
Temptation is inevitable. Decide how you will deal with it when it arises. What will you do when you feel that urge to indulge in that piece of chocolate cake or skip that dreaded workout? This could include contacting a personal trainer to keep you on track and provide that support we all need.
5. Talk About It-Don’t Keep It A Secret
Choose your support system and share your goals with family and friends that will encourage you and provide assistance to keep you on track. The best case-scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s Resolution and bring them to the gym with you. Together you will resolve to make changes that will lead to a happy healthier lifestyle.
6. Track Your Progress
Keep track with each small success. Short-term goals that are realistic are easier to keep and with that being said each small accomplishment will keep you motivated. Keep a food and exercise journal to keep you on track and reward yourself for each success and progression made. Not with food of course!!!
To get more tips for keeping your New Year Resolutions, staying in shape, or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
Common Weight Loss Misconceptions
It’s not surprising that with all the conflicting information out there from the internet, television shows, and friends and family that many people have misconceptions about losing weight. It can be very frustrating if you’ve been struggling to shed a few pounds and your plan isn’t yielding any results. Here are some common weight loss misconceptions that I hear on a consistent basis from my personal training clients.
1. If I skip this meal, I’m consuming fewer calories, which will lead to losing a few extra pounds.
When you take your caloric intake down too low, you are actually sending your body into “starvation mode.” Excessively low-calorie diets affect your metabolism. When you eat far less than your body needs, your metabolism slows down to adjust for the lower supply of energy. When your metabolism slows down, your rate of weight loss slows down, also. I actually tell my personal training clients that missing a meal is as bad as cheating on their diet. So stop missing meals with the belief that you’re doing yourself a favor because you’re actually slowing down your metabolism which will lead to weight gain!
2. I will gain weight if I eat too late.
Whether you’re eating in the morning or at midnight, your body turns any extra calories into fat over the course of time. In fact, eating a light snack high in protein will actually prevent your body from entering a catabolic state while sleeping. All things considered, it doesn’t matter how late you eat, it’s what you eat that matters. Foods that are higher in protein have less chance of being converted to fat late at night. So if you get that late night craving, reach for a low-fat string cheese or some egg whites as opposed to that bowl of cereal.
3. Fat Is Bad!!
A well-balanced meal plan includes healthy amounts of fat and complex carbohydrates depending on individual needs and goals. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found predominantly in fish and shellfish, and monounsaturated fat like that in olive oil are essential to the body and will assist in your weight loss process. These healthy fats help the body absorb important nutrients and to feel fuller longer.
4. Carbs are the Enemy!
A successful meal plan includes a variety of foods. No one particular food group must be avoided to achieve your weight loss goals as long as you keep your caloric intake in check. While it’s smart to avoid refined carbohydrates as often as possible, foods like bread, rice, pasta, cereal, and fruit, can all be part of a healthful, balanced diet. Choose complex carbs, such as whole grains and beans, over-processed foods such as white bread whenever possible.
So you think you know your stuff when it comes to losing weight? These pesky myths seem to get the best of many of us. Let’s set the record straight before they sabotage your weight-loss success. For more information on weight loss misconceptions, getting in shape, eating healthy, weight training, health and wellness, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
How to Avoid Those Extra Holiday Pounds
The Holiday Season, that special time of year when extra calories lurk around every corner. Office parties, family gatherings, frosted cookies, chocolate in your stockings, eggnog or your other caloric beverage of choice. All these extras add up and before you know it, you’ll be tipping the scale a few pounds heavier by New Year’s Day. However, you don’t have to fall into this trap. It is possible to partake in the festivities while enjoying all the goodies without putting on a single pound. Follow these steps to make sure you don’t begin the New Year trying to make amends for the holidays.
- Portion Control-Never arrives at a social gathering hungry! Follow your meal plan, avoid skipping meals and have a nutritious snack beforehand. If you do arrive hungry, remember to stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will prevent you from filling your plate and consuming excess calories.
- Pace Yourself-Eating slowly allows your digestive system to work and break down food. Putting your fork down between bites and really taking your time to enjoy your food puts you in control. Listen to your body it will let you know when you have had enough. Remember there’s more to a holiday party than just the food. Enjoy your friends, family, and company.
- Limit Alcohol-Avoid drinking your calories. If you feel the need to drink, sip on water or diet drinks with zero calories. If this still isn’t enough, stick to lower alcohol drinks (e.g. white wines, lighter beers) and completely avoid cocktails, which are often as sweet as soda.
- Be Choosy When It Comes To Sweets-Be very selective when it comes to dessert. Limit your indulgences to smaller portions and only when it is very sensual to you. Check out your options before serving.
- Plan Ahead-Now that you’ve chosen what is worth splurging on, you have also decided what isn’t. Make your number one priority eating vegetables. Fill up on as many as you can, so at least the evening isn’t a net loss health-wise. Second priority, choose lean proteins and enough of it so you feel satisfied enough to avoid the uninspiring desserts that will inevitably appear later.
As you build your holiday hacking skills you are certain to experience many successes and many setbacks. Just keep your goals in mind and with determination you are to achieve and experience that satisfaction! For more tips on preventing holiday weight gain, getting in shape, eating healthy, weight training, health and wellness, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
Who hasn’t fallen victim to a delicious bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or that glazed donut that you gulped down in two bites while trying to follow your diet religiously? We know that an occasional cheat meal will not sabotage your week of healthy eating, however, sometimes that one bite can lead to a complete week if binge eating. With these six tips and some practice, you will have no fear of driving right past the ice cream shop without wanting to make a pit stop!
- Don’t assume all carbs are bad. Keeping complex carbohydrates in your diet will keep you full longer while providing you with the energy you need to get through that next workout. No need to cut out carbs all together. This can be bad for your health and cause a terrible rebound when you add them back into your meal plan. Grains, fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber are great forms of clean carbohydrates to replace sugars.
- Eat Clean: Keeping a clean diet and following a well-balanced meal plan is key when it comes to staying focused. Try refueling by adding in another healthy meal if you are having cravings or feeling depleted. Also, finding a new healthy way to make your favorite dish is a great way to accomplish a cheat meal and not get out of control with your diet or defeat your goals.
- Stay Hydrated: Drinking more water is the best way to keep full and keep cravings at bay. Most of us could add more water to our day than we currently drink. This will also help flush toxins you have previously put into your body and in turn keep those cravings at bay.
- Tea Time Anyone: Unsweetened teas and green teas are another solution that can aid in controlling cravings. Water isn’t the most flavorful beverage, so tea is a great way to add some flavor into your routine. Not to mention the caffeine may give you a little kick and boost your metabolism.
- Eat Healthy Fats To Fight Fat: These fats are crucial to a healthy balanced meal plan. If you are trying to diet without them, you may have more cravings. Your body needs healthy fats and will trigger cravings if you are not getting them. Fish, nuts, oils and avocados are a few great examples.
For more tips on curbing those cravings, getting in shape, eating healthy, weight training, health and wellness, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
6 Foods that Fight Fat & Slim You Down
Are you looking to jumpstart your metabolism and get closer to reaching your weight loss goals? There are certain foods that can help you do just that. With one quick visit to the grocery store, you can be well prepared with everything you need to make positive changes and rev up your weight loss potential.
- Lean Meats: Protein has a high thermogenic effect: You burn about 30% of the calories the food contains during digestion (so a 300-calorie chicken breast requires about 90 calories to break it down).
- Whole-Grain High Fiber Cereal: Cereals such as shredded wheat is a good source of fiber not to mention low in sodium to discourage bloating that can be caused by a high intake of salt.
- Nuts: loaded with healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as well as essential protein and fiber, nuts will help fill you up. Almonds are a good source of riboflavin, copper and phosphorus. You will also get plenty of vitamin E and magnesium when you consume hazelnuts.
- Low-Fat Dairy Products: Skim milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D, these help preserve and build muscle mass—essential for maintaining a robust metabolism.
- Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, and cauliflower are very low in calories and water-packed. The amount of fiber they contain helps to keep you feeling full. Although all vegetables provide nutrients and beneficial substances, cruciferous vegetables should be a part of your well-balanced meal plan because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Consuming these vegetables at the start of a meal is a great way to fill up and leave less room for higher calorie items that you want to limit (including dessert).
- Raspberries: These bright red berries are versatile and loaded with nutrients. One cup is an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin C and manganese. Raspberries are also a good source of Vitamin K and selenium. Raspberries, like other fruits and vegetables, are high in antioxidants and water content, so eating them can help you stay hydrated.
For more information on fat fighting foods, weight training, healthy lifestyle, or if you’ve been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.
How Accurate Are Calorie Counters on Cardio Machines?
The other day one of my personal training clients was completely ecstatic about how many calories she had burned doing cardio. Before you proceed to believe that you really just torched 500 calories on your favorite cardio machine, chances are that number may be right for someone but not necessarily for you. There are many factors that must be considered when reading the number of calories burned on your cardio machine of choice.
An individuals’ caloric expenditure varies based on gender, weight, and fitness level. Most cardio machines allow you to enter only these first three variables. However, the number of calories an individual burns during a given workout also depends on ones fitness level. Your health, aerobic capacity, metabolism, and ratio of muscle vs. fat plays a big role in the actual number of calories burned. Therefore, calorie counters on fitness machines can be as much as 25 to 30 percent over or under your actual burn rate. The numbers returned are an estimated count of how much the average person of your same weight burns at your exercise intensity level.
A determining factor in how many calories an individual burns is based on your body composition. An individual with more lean muscle mass will have a higher metabolic rate than those with more body fat. Most calorie counters on exercise machines do not take this in to consideration when calculating results. Misconstrued data may also be a result of improper use of the cardio machines, improper form, and a reduced intensity level by holding or leaning on the handrails of the equipment.
Think these stats are insignificant as to be non-issues? Keep in mind that even the slightest error can make a big difference if you’re counting calories to lose weight. For instance, eating just an extra 50 calories a day, mistakenly thinking you’ve burned enough during your cardio session, could lead to a five-pound gain in a year.
For more tips on losing weight, burning body fat, eating healthy, weight training, health and wellness, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and have been thinking about hiring a personal trainer, contact us.