Fitness & Wellness

Should You Be Snacking

Should You Be Snacking

Weight loss shouldn’t mean being deprived. It should never involve walking around hungry all the time. You need to include snacking if you have those problems. That doesn’t mean you grab a quick snack from the vending machine, but instead, have healthy snacks available. A healthy snack will fill that void, make you feel less deprived and won’t leave you ravenous at the next meal.

If you’ve failed at shedding weight, snacking may be the key.

Keeping your energy level up when you start a program of healthy eating is important. You don’t want to slow your metabolism or have dips and peaks in your blood sugar levels that play havoc with both your body and your emotions. Planned snacks that are high in nutrition and lower in calories are specifically what you need. When you plan a snack that’s healthy and not a sugary treat, you’ll keep your blood sugar stable and avoid those issues.

You’re a unique individual, so snacking may not be for you.

If you don’t normally snack and aren’t ready to eat everything in sight before the next meal, you may not benefit from snacking. Why add another meal time when you don’t need it? However, if you sometimes gobble up those cookies a coworker brought to the office or a candy bar at the gas stations when you stop on the way home, plan healthy snacks as part of your program of healthy eating. Healthy snacks will help you lose weight by keeping you feeling satisfied. Plan healthy snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories. They should be easy to transport if you’re on the go.

Choose snacks you like but are lower in calories.

Go for nutrition when you’re choosing a snack. Snacks should add to your daily nutrition and fill in some of the gaps. A snack that has protein or healthy fat will keep you feeling fuller longer. Fruit, containing natural sugar will satisfy that hunger immediately. Choose ones that combine both. For instance, an apple with nut butter is one example. A handful of nuts with a few grapes is another option. You’ll feel full immediately and that feeling will last until your next meal, where you’ll eat less.

  • One extra tip that will fill you up without filling you out is to drink an 8-ounce glass of cold water a half hour before your next meal. Not only will it fill you up, if it’s cold, it will burn calories warming your body.
  • Don’t let your stomach decide the size of the snack, especially when you’re first starting a program of healthy eating. Create one serving size snack bags or containers if you’re unsure of portion control.
  • Avoid any processed sugar for a while, especially in snacks. Use fruit to provide the sweetness. At first you’ll crave sugar, it’s addictive. The longer you avoid it, the sweeter that fruit will taste.
  • If your last meal was more than a couple of hours before you workout—a fasted workout—eat a something within two hours afterward that contains protein and carbs. A snack could be an ideal solution if your next meal is more than two hours away.

Benefits Of Green Tea

Benefits Of Green Tea

If you’ve been to our gym in Bloomfield, NJ, you know how we emphasize healthy eating. Well, healthy drinking is also part of that program. Of course, I’m talking about the non-alcoholic type of drinking. Drinking plenty of water is important and cutting out sweet drinks like soda or even fruit drinks helps boost your overall health and hydration. There are other low or no calorie drinks that help. A cup of black coffee consumed before working out can make you more productive. There are also many benefits of green tea that should make you add it to your list of healthy drinks.

Want to burn fat and boost your metabolism?

Just like coffee, the caffeine in green tea can boost your performance in the gym, but without the side effects of the jitters. Green tea also increases your metabolism. That’s why it’s often in many weight loss products. In several trials, green tea increased the body’s energy expenditure by as much as 4 percent. It also was shown to increase the oxidation of fat by as much as 17 percent. The results vary from individual to individual.

It’s the compounds in green tea that make weight loss easier.

You already know that tea contains caffeine, even though it’s not as much as coffee, which helps boost metabolism. It also contains antioxidants called catechins. One of those is epigallocatechin gallate—EGCG, a catechin that boosts metabolism. Green tea can also improve the effects of hormones that break down fat cells so the body can use them for energy. One of the hormones is norepinephrine. It does that by providing EGCG that slows the production of the enzyme that breaks down the norepinephrine. Combining the caffeine with the EGCG boosts both of their benefits.

Green tea has a host of other healthy benefits.

You’ll protect your brain when you drink green tea. Some studies show that its antioxidant affect can not only help protect the brain but also improve short term brain function. It can help protect the dopamine producing neurons in the brain and lower the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The increased antioxidants in the blood can protect the heart. Green tea also may be effective in preventing insulin resistance, which lowers the risk of diabetes.

  • To be the healthiest, you need to drink green tea without sweeteners. Squeezing a bit of lemon in it not only adds flavor, it adds nutrients.
  • Studies show that people who drink more green tea, five or more cups a day, lived longer.
  • While the results of studies vary as to whether green tea can aid in weight loss, drinking a no calorie drink will certainly be a significant improvement over a sugary carbonated drink and save calories.
  • Green tea catechins help lower the risk of the flu and your risk of infection. It can also help inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and help lower the risk of bad breath.

What Are HIIT Workouts

What Are HIIT Workouts

If you want to get the maximum results in a shorter workout, consider using HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It’s a technique where you workout at top speed for a short period followed by a period of recovery where you continue at a moderate speed. There are various ways to do it and various types of HIIT workouts. The type of exercise used often varies. In fact, you can even use the HIIT technique with running. First, you run for a minute or two at top speed and then jog or even walk fast for about twice as long.

HIIT is a form of interval training.

While HIIT alternates between shorter high bursts of energy and moderate intensity activity to exhaustion, interval training doesn’t have that high of intensity in the bursts. It often uses moderate intensity and the rest period is lower intensity. When doing interval training, various types of exercises are often used and the person rests for a short period between the exercises. HIIT can be done with just one type of exercise, such as running or rowing.

You’ll boost your metabolism when you use the HIIT technique.

When you finish your HIIT workout, you’ll continue to burn calories long after you stop working out. It produces EPOC—Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption. That means it continues to burn calories in order to get the body back to normalcy. You’ll get more benefits even after you’ve left the gym, which is one reason this type of training is so effective.

You don’t have to have any equipment for HIIT.

Of course, if you have equipment, all the better, but you don’t need it to do HIIT training. As noted previously, you can use it with running, but you can also use body weight exercises, too. It helps build muscles faster, while boosting fat loss. It’s also more convenient, since the workouts are shorter. In just 30 minutes of an HIIT workout, you can get the same results as you do with 45 to an hour of other types of exercise.

  • HIIT is super heart healthy. It pushes the body into the anaerobic zone. One study showed that it only took eight weeks to improve endurance to twice it was previously.
  • Unlike traditional cardio that burns lean muscle tissue and fat, HIIT training tends to burn mostly fat while building muscle tissue.
  • HIIT not only boost muscle tissue, burns fat and increases EPOC, it also stimulates the body to produce HGH. HGH—human growth hormone—increases the calories the body burns, but the production reduces as you age. HIIT turns back the clock.
  • You’ll never be bored with HIIT training. It’s tough and your top speed may change, but then so does the workout. You’ll always be working toward your maximum with HIIT.

Keeping Fit On The Go

Keeping Fit On The Go

I have clients here in Bloomfield, New Jersey, that may not travel across the country, but they certainly put on miles and stay super busy. They find it difficult keeping fit on the go. One of the first things they do each month is to schedule in their workout, whether they work with me or work alone. That makes it easier for them to stick with a schedule. Unless there’s a huge emergency on the job, they stick to their schedule. Making fitness a priority is one of the most important factors to staying fit.

Carve out time to prepare meals ahead.

If you’re week is simply loaded, you can lighten the load. It doesn’t take a lot to eat healthy, but it does take planning. Taking the time to plan meals one day, shop the next and do meal prep on the weekend can make your week go smoother and ensure that you won’t be stopping at a quickie burger for the family meal. It’s even more important if you’re living alone, when you’re more apt to stop for fast food or eat quick, yet less nutritious meals. Having healthy lunches and dinners ready to warm or take to work takes a little time on the weekend, but saves plenty when you’re busiest, during the week.

Make your office your workout station.

Your office can be a lot of things. If you’re a truck driver, your office is your truck. I’ve seen an amazing workout for truck drivers to do at rest stops. Clients in any sedentary job can benefit from exercise. For those that actually sit in a cubicle or office, there’s a lot of ways to workout. You can use body weight exercises. Simple lunges and squats can produce results. So can exercise or resistance bands. Both take up no space or little space, allowing you to do them when you have a few minutes. Ask your trainer to help you with short workouts you can do anywhere.

Workout earlier in the morning before your day starts.

Whether you go to the gym regularly or workout in your home, finding the best time to workout can be a great benefit. Many clients find that starting their day with a workout is the easiest way to fit it into their day. Getting up an hour earlier may be necessary, but it’s for your health and worth it. Don’t try to workout before bed, it stimulates you and makes it harder to sleep.

  • If you travel frequent, ask your personal trainer to create a bodyweight workout you can do in a hotel room. Some hotels also have a workout room. Call ahead to find out.
  • Combine your workout with household tasks. Put your whole body into it. Scrubbing walls, running as you pick up items and even vigorous vacuuming can improve your overall muscle. It’s not the total answer, but can be part of the program.
  • If your schedule involves longer periods of sitting, make sure you take a break to move vigorously every fifty minutes. Studies show that sedentary periods longer than fifty minutes can actually wipe out some of the benefits of working out at the gym regularly.
  • Do simple things to increase your activity. Take the steps. Walk faster and take bigger strides. Carry your groceries, adding an extra bag or two to make the load heavier. The body was made to be used. We rust out, not wear out.

Small Steps That Lead To Better Health

Small Steps That Lead To Better Health

You don’t have to do everything at once. Some people thrive by making big changes, starting a full blown workout program and healthy eating plan all at once. Other people are intimidated by making so many changes at once. They do better taking small steps that lead to better health. There are plenty of programs ready for anyone who wants the challenge of changing both eating habits and adding regular exercise, this article is for those who want to take the journey slower.

Start with healthy eating.

You can begin by throwing out all junk food. Junk food includes highly processed or sugary foods, like beef jerky, donuts, cookies, candy and even fruit drinks fall into that category. As a starting point, cut out soda or fruit drinks first and substitute water. Make it a habit then move on to cutting out other food, like chips or snack food and replace those with fresh fruit or vegetables. Increase the amount of non-starchy vegetables at a meal, make them green, red or orange and decrease the amount of starchy ones, such as potatoes or corn.

Move more and build your endurance.

Small changes can make a huge difference. If you take an elevator to your office every day, take the stairs instead. Of course, if you’re working on the tenth floor, it might be too much at once, so just take the elevator up a few flights and the stairway the rest of the way. Build up until you take it all the way. Walk to lunch rather than take a car. If you’re on a computer all day, take a break every fifty minutes. Do whatever it takes to move more. Walking faster and taking longer strides also boosts your endurance.

If you’re efforts to move more still aren’t enough to get you prepared for a full program, try three ten minute workouts each day.

There’s the notorious seven minute workout and the four minute nitric oxide rush. Both of these are done throughout the day. However, you can also work with a trainer who will create three short workouts for you to do three times a day which add up to a full thirty minute workout. You might find that working with the trainer is so easy that you’ll be ready for full program. Trainers don’t try to push you to do anything your body isn’t ready to do. Instead, he or she will create a program designed specifically for your fitness level and needs.

  • Get more sleep at night. Sleep is often underrated and in some circles, looked upon with disdain. It doesn’t make you a better person to get less sleep, but it does make you less effective, more prone to put on weight and at a higher risk for heart disease.
  • Drink more water. Some of the physical problems faced by people come from dehydration. You can prevent kidney stones and even signs of dementia by ensuring you have 8-eight ounce glasses of water every day.
  • Stay happy. A good mood is actually healthier. Smile more and change your attitude toward eating healthy and regular exercise to one that helps you look forward to both.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors. Getting out in nature has remarkable curative properties. Some people believe that walking on the ground barefooted provides extra health benefits.

A Workout Partner Can Boost Your Success

A Workout Partner Can Boost Your Success

One reason people in Bloomfield, NJ sign up for personal training, is that they get the benefits of a workout partner that’s knowledgeable. That helps two ways. First, I do have the knowledge and ability to help people get into shape based on their needs, present level of fitness and goals, but it’s more than just that. I’m like a workout partner. Like having a workout buddy in the gym, people are more likely to show. In fact, studies show that it boosts success even if someone just calls to see if you made it to the gym.

Some types of training definitely require a partner.

Some people choose to workout in the training every week with the same people. It becomes a social event and a great workout to help build skills and strength. There are many scenarios where a partner is necessary in the gym. For instance, weight lifting is safer when you have a spotter. Workout partners can also help you with form that can make the difference between a safe and effective workout and one where the potential for injury increases.

Workout partners won’t let you off the hook if you’re not giving it your all.

Even though you may not have a judgmental exercise buddy, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t aware that they’re watching how hard you’re working. You’ll be more likely to work harder when you’re working out with a friend. Sometimes, that can even come from a little friendly competition between the two of you. Your workout buddy can keep you going longer, too. In fact, you probably do the same for your partner.

It’s more fun to learn new things and there’s more opportunity with a workout buddy.

Kickboxing is the perfect example of how partners can help boost your confidence and share techniques. Every person has a different fashion of learning and focuses on different things. Your kickboxing workout partner may find a technique you don’t know and help you develop the skill. The same is true that you may offer information the partner didn’t know.

  • A workout partner can provide support and encouragement. Every day is not necessarily a triumph and for those days it’s good to have a bit of support.
  • Joggers or runners would do well to find a workout partner who jogged with them, particularly it takes place after dark. There’s safety in numbers and if there’s an injury, always someone ready to call for help.
  • It’s not just exercise that benefits from a workout buddy. Healthier eating habits can be improved too. When you have someone to share ideas with, you’ll find there’s a lot more healthy foods and dishes available.
  • A workout buddy can add some fun to the mix. There’s no reason that working out can’t be fun and the social aspects of a workout partner can make it that way.

Why You Should Get And Stay Fit After Forty

Why You Should Get And Stay Fit After Forty

It’s harder to get and stay fit after forty, but we have plenty of success stories here in Bloomfield, NJ. It actually may be tougher for those people to start, since many feel it’s just too late for them to start any attempt. Nothing could be further from the truth. No matter what your age, you’ll see improvement when you start a workout program. It won’t be overnight, but it will happen. The sooner you start, the better off you are, since your body starts losing muscle mass at about age 30.

Just put one foot in front of the other.

I love this time of year. There’s the holiday spirit in the air, lovely lights and great holiday programs. One of those Christmas programs was playing in the background as I put up decorations. It was Santa Clause Is Coming to Town and had one of the most remarkable songs called, “Put One Foot in Front of the Other.” I loved it because it’s the spirit of getting back into shape. You have to start somewhere, so just do it. It addresses the biggest problem most people have, getting started. Helping you get started is one place a personal trainer is extremely important.

Don’t try to do it all at once.

There was an inspiration story about a man, who now runs marathons, who was doomed to die because he was morbidly overweight just a few years before. He didn’t give up. He started by first walking a few steps, each day adding more. As he became fitter and he ate healthier, his weight began to drop, making his walking easier. Eventually, he shed a massive amount of weight and began to train for a marathon, dodging the death sentence in the meantime. It took several years. Don’t expect to be fit overnight. Consistency and a healthy diet is the key.

It takes all types of fitness training and a healthier diet to get you into your best shape.

You might start with walking a few extra blocks, but eventually, to be in your best shape, you need other types of training. You need strength training to build muscle tissue that helps prevent injuries and allows you to maintain normal life. Flexibility training improves range of motion, also preventing injuries. Endurance training allows you to have more energy and stay active. When you incorporate all these types of training, plus training for balance, you’ll help reduce the risk of serious conditions, like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

  • Strength training helps stimulates growth-promoting hormones to repair muscle tissue. Strength training slows muscle loss and can reverse the process. It also helps reduce the potential for osteoporosis and can even reduce bone loss.
  • If you want to get the maximum benefits, consider HIIT—High-intensity interval training. It gets results faster.
  • You can’t out-exercise an unhealthy diet. Ensuring you have adequate protein, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D helps shed unwanted pounds and build new muscle tissue. Cutting out sugar, highly processed food and switching to whole food is a huge start.
  • If you want to boost your metabolism, exercise. It builds muscle tissue and muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does. The more you have, the higher your metabolism.

The Benefits Of Functional Fitness

The Benefits Of Functional Fitness

You may not know exactly what functional fitness is, but you probably know when one wrong movement threw you out of commission for weeks. You may have pulled a muscle when lifting a lightweight box or a small child and had a searing pain strike you with a vengeance. Functional fitness can help avoid that. It improves balance and coordination with muscle groups, while building strength. When you’re functionally fit, you have a good range of motion, which aids in preventing muscle and joint injuries, too.

Everyday tasks can be the culprits that put you out of commission.

Strength-building exercises not only helps build muscles and keeps bones strong, it’s also necessary for simple tasks like carrying grocery bags. Functional fitness not only builds strength, it also improves synergy, training the muscles, tendons and joints to work together in a smooth operation. It boosts core strength and stability while working both the upper and lower body.

Working on functional fitness incorporates all types of fitness activities.

In everyday life, if you’re not strong enough to lift a box, you’re not fit. Maybe you’re strong enough, but you don’t have the endurance to carry it very far or the flexibility to even bend and pick it up. Working out to boost your functional fitness improves all types of fitness into one program. Functional training incorporates the use of several muscles and joints at once. Consider all the muscles you use when sweeping the floor or changing bedding and the skills required to do it quickly. Those simple tasks become pretty amazing when you break it down to movements. Functional fitness can prepare you for every phase of everyday activities.

Core training and even circuit training can be functional fitness training.

Core training makes you work several different groups of muscles at once. In fact, it’s amazing for back problems and can help prevent needless back pain. Circuit training has you rapidly moving from one movement to another, also working many groups of muscles in unison. You may already be doing functional fitness training, but don’t realize it. No matter what your age, it’s important. It can help older people lead a more independent life and help prevent injuries in younger ones.

  • Try various types of workouts to build functional fitness. Kettlebells, weights and exercise balls all provide it. Any type of exercise that works several joints and muscle groups at once rather than focusing on a small area, like biceps, builds functional fitness.
  • Older adults and those out of shape or with physical limitations can improve their quality of life with functional fitness training. Always check with your health care provider first before starting a workout program and always let your trainer know your limitations right away.
  • Functional fitness builds core strength that’s necessary to support the entire body. It helps keep you balanced and prevents falls.
  • Imagine running carrying a heavy weight and trying to stealth-fully get into and out of an area. You’ll know why Navy SEALS and Army Ranges use functional fitness training if you can envision that. It’s the key to outmaneuvering enemies.

Staying Fit As You Get Older

Staying Fit As You Get Older

It’s never too late to start working out and living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re fit now, staying fit as you get older can be harder and even more difficult is getting into shape. It’s not impossible to do either one, but it does take consistent effort. Whether you make it a practice to take 10,000 steps a day, work out in the gym regularly or participate in activities that require physical exertion—which does not include pushing the remote button—keeping active helps your heart stay healthier and boosts your brain power in the process.

Don’t forget strength training.

Strength training not only helps you stay strong and thin, by helping you lose weight. It helps improve balance and keeps osteoporosis at bay. Osteoporosis responds well to weight bearing exercise. In fact, one study showed that it actually works better than some medications for it. It can slow the progress of bone loss and even help build bones stronger. Improving balance is just as important as building bones. One fall can change a self-sufficient individual to someone that can’t live on their own.

A healthy diet is extremely important for staying fit.

No matter what your age, you need the right nutrition to build a stronger body. As you age, absorbing those nutrients can become less efficient, which makes it even more important to eat healthy. Not only do foods high in antioxidants help protect every cell in the body from free radical damage, eating healthy can boost your brain power and improve your overall health. To keep your brain younger, consider healthy fats, from sources like olive oil, avocado, salmon and nuts or seeds. Eating more whole foods in the form of fruits and vegetables boosts the nutrition available to your body.

Stay hydrated.

You may not feel as thirsty as you once did, but drinking plenty of fluids is even more important as you age. Next to oxygen, water is the most important thing to keep people alive. The older you get, the less your body warns you about getting thirsty with signals like thirst. That’s why many health professionals suggest people over 50 drink water even if they’re not thirsty. Dehydration can lead to severe results such as fever, dry skin, confusion and dizziness. Some mental conditions in older people are often the results of dehydration.

  • Laugh and smile more. That’s right! It’s really healthy for you. Studies show that people who smile more often live longer. Even if you’re sitting alone, let out a big belly laugh and you’ll notice you feel better.
  • Get a pet. While you might not think that a pet could help your fitness, it does. Pets require care and that gets you moving, especially if you have to walk a dog. They also provide love and affection. Studies show that people with pets have lower blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels.
  • Walking faster can help you stay fitter, particularly if you’re taking longer strides. One study shows that people who walk faster, live longer. Another shows that those with longer strides, also live longer.
  • Get social. Staying connected with others helps improve your life and increase your longevity. To get a bigger bang out of it, join a group that works out or one that participates in activities that provide more exercise.

How To Exercise As It Gets Colder

How To Exercise As It Gets Colder

The weather in Bloomfield, New Jersey during the winter months often aren’t conducive to exercising outside. There are alternatives, such as taking your workout indoors. For those who still want to run or jog outside, you have to learn how to exercise as it gets colder. Depending on the temperature, dressing for the workout is top priority. There’s a huge difference in how you dress if the weather is barely over freezing and far below the freezing point. There’s also a difference in how your body handles the cold weather.

Your body has to deal with more than just the workout in cold weather.

Cold weather causes the arteries to constrict, which reduces the blood flow to the heart. If you have heart problems, bring your workout indoors. For all others, it can be tougher to get a good workout, but also produces better results when it comes to weight loss. If you have problems with asthma or breathing, don’t forget to cover your face with a scarf or ski mask. Bronchioconstriction can occur from the colder temperature and dryer air. The scarf or mask will help moisten the air by trapping the moisture when you exhale. Breathing in through the nose is also important.

Layer your clothing to stay the warmest.

Not only do the layers provide more insulation than one much heavier article of clothing, you can also adjust the layers as the exercise makes you warmer. Sweating in cold weather only adds to the potential of chilling. Don’t forget the extremities with warm socks and gloves. Many people recommend the first layer should be of material like thinsulate or other ones made specifically for the cold. Don’t forget a hat. You lose lots of body heat through the top of your head. In fact, it’s more than any other part of the body.

Check more than just the temperature before going out for a run or jog.

The wind-chill is particularly important in the winter. It causes cold weather to feel even colder. If you’ve ever run or walked in cold windy weather and had to turn your back on the wind, you know the difference in how cold it is running or walking into the wind compared to having the wind at your back.

  • Don’t forget to do a warm up before starting. You can start inside with dynamic stretches. Take a few extra minutes of warm up time to ensure you have full range of motion. Cold weather brings on stiffness. One way to warm up your lower body is climbing several flights of steps.
  • Stay hydrated. You may not feel like you’re thirsty as you might in the summer, but working out can make you lose fluid in the form of sweat and the air is dryer. If cold water sounds a bit too chilly for you, try some warm tea or even warm water with a bit of lime in it.
  • Watch out for frostbite. Even though it tends to occur mostly when the temperature is below 5 degrees, wind-chill makes all the difference. Check the windchill before venturing out. At a negative 18 degrees, frostbite occurs within thirty minutes. When they say it feels like -10, it means it affects your body like a -10 degree temperature.
  • Create an indoor workout or go to the gym on those days that are either too cold, windy or wet for a healthy workout outside.