4 Ways To Get In Shape For Summer

4 Ways To Get In Shape For Summer

The first days of summer mean the sun is coming out and it is time to reveal those abs, shoulders and arms. For some, it is a good thing and for others, there is room for improvement. Here are 4 effective ways to get in shape, and stay in shape, for the upcoming summer season.

Exercise at least 5 days per week

What do you need to get in the best shape of your life? 60 minutes of vigorous exercise at least 5 days per week. What about the other 2 days? Light activity is best to facilitate recovery and burn calories. If you get bored easily doing the same routine day in and day out, feel free to mix it up. On Monday, go for a long walk. Play tennis on Tuesday. Go for a swim at a local pool, take a long bike ride or hike on the other days. This should be enjoyable, don’t trap yourself into things you do not enjoy!

Make Sure You Are In A Calorie Deficit

People like to ignore this one, likely because it actually requires work. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. If you cut your calories by 500 calories per day, multiply that by 7 days and there is a 3500 calorie deficit! That 3500 calorie deficit would lead to 1 lb. of body fat lost. Combine this with exercise and you are almost guaranteed to win the fat against the fat covering up your midsection. The only variable is length of time it will take as some have more body fat than others.

Consult a Personal Trainer

Personal trainers devote themselves to being a better health and fitness expert everyday. Even in today’s times, you can now work with a trainer strictly online, virtually through platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype and even in person. Everyone needs accountability and trainers provide exactly that.

Lift Weights!

Lifting weights properly strengthens your musculoskeletal system and helps keep your bones strong. A strength training program is key in developing a strong, attractive looking body. Building muscle also helps you burn more calories, which in turn, helps you lose more weight!

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Arthritis and Injuries: Exercise Is Necessary

Arthritis and Injuries: Exercise Is Necessary

For many years, we believed people with arthritis or bone and joint pain should not exercise for fear of exacerbating the problem. However, we have found that those who battle with arthritis and injuries still need exercise. Many older adults experience arthritis from general wear and tear or repetitive movements. Sometimes, arthritis can develop from past joint injuries that never healed properly. Arthritis can be very painful to the point of not wanting to move or perform activities of daily living.

How Does Exercise Help My Injuries or Arthritis?

As the health and wellness industry began to learn more about arthritis, we found that decreasing your activity does not alleviate pain due to arthritis. We found that strengthening your muscles not only helped alleviate pain due to arthritis. It also helps strengthen your bones. Wolff’s Law states “a bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed.” (Wolff’s Law) Simply stated, in healthy people, strengthening your muscles can strengthen your bones.

As a Personal Trainer, I hear many people say they do not exercise because their joints hurt or they have a nagging injury. While it is true that rest is the best treatment in some cases, there comes a time when you need to strengthen those muscles to regain strength. If you rest too long after an injury or from pain due to arthritis, it can lead to atrophy or muscle loss.

What is Atrophy?

Atrophy is not to be taken lightly. If you experience atrophy, it has the potential to lead to other injuries or increase the probability of developing arthritis in other parts of your body. For example, if you experience a knee injury and rest too long on one leg, the muscles of the injured leg will shrink which could cause you to compensate by putting more weight on the other leg. When that happens, more weight is placed on the opposite hip which increases the probability of injury the other leg. Before you know it, you have a bad knee on one leg and a bad hip on the other leg. You only have one body, so take care of it!

What Are My First Steps?

If you are in a similar position with an injury or arthritis, the first thing you should do is talk to your doctor about how you should go about rehabilitating your injury. Most likely they will suggest seeing a Physical Therapist. You should ALWAYS follow the instructions your Therapist suggests for you, they are very good at what they do! Once you are done with your therapy, it is best to continue to exercise with professional supervision with an experienced, qualified Personal Trainer. A good trainer will be able to pick up where your Therapist left off and get you back to normal.

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Lifting Weights Is Necessary For Weight Loss

Lifting Weights Is Necessary For Weight Loss

Is it really true that lifting weights is necessary for weight loss?

When most people think of losing weight, they think that starving themselves and doing excessive amounts of cardio is the answer. While some of this is true, most of it is not. Lifting weights is also a necessary component of a weight loss program. Losing weight is one of the most popular fitness goals in America due to a lack of exercise and improper nutrition which leads to poor health and weight gain. Nutrition is about 75% of the process when it comes to achieving your fitness goal. Whether it is losing weight or gaining weight, people need to spend more time dialing in their nutrition to make sure that they stack on track.

How Much Does Working Out Contribute to Weight Loss?

Working out we’ll say is the other 25%. That doesn’t mean that you should just do a bunch of slow-paced, long duration cardiovascular exercise and assume that will do the trick. It’s important to have a good program in place- preferably from an experienced, certified personal trainer- to make sure that you get the best results possible. People neglect weight training when trying to lose weight for many reasons.

The most popular reason is because the weight room is intimidating. Nobody wants to look like a fool amongst people they perceive as expert; regardless if they are actually experts or not. A popular reason amongst women is for fear of looking “too bulky”. EATING AN EXCESS AMOUNT OF CALORIES MAKES YOU BULKY, NOT WEIGHT LIFTING!!!! It takes many years of hard work to put on the amount of muscle that makes you look “bulky”.Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is and therefore, the easier it is to lose fat.

Will Lifting Weights Slow Down My Weight Loss?

Typically when people start lifting weights for the first time, they can gain a lot of muscle because it is a new stimulus for the body which in turn can seem to “slow down” your weight loss. But here’s the cool thing, even though the scale may not be moving when you first start lifting weight, it’s because you might be building a little muscle and burning a little fat! The measurement that will determine if this is this case is your body fat percentage measurement. Regardless of what the scale says, you always want your body fat percent to go down. Another way to see if you’re losing fat is your circumference measurements.

What Is An Easy Way To Tell If I Am Losing Fat?

Usually if your waist measurement goes down, that’s a very good thing! When people neglect lifting weights, their metabolism might increase a little bit but it’s short-lived and they’re not building muscle so there’s a good chance of losing lean body weight which leads to a decrease in metabolism. At this point, you’re a hamster in a wheel, working hard but going nowhere! In my weight loss programs, I always have my clients work with weights!

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6 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

6 Steps to Achieve Any Fitness Goal

There are a few things that everyone should do to achieve their fitness goals regardless of what they are. Follow these 6 steps to achieve any fitness goal.

1. Eat a healthy balanced diet

While this may seem the most obvious on the surface, this is the one thing most people choose to neglect over everything. What you put into your mouth is about 75% of your fitness program; QUIT NEGLECTING IT!!! If you are looking to gain some muscle mass then you will want to eat more calories than you consume. If you are looking to lose weight then burn more calories than you consume. You also want to make sure that you are eating low-glycemic foods (foods that will not spike your blood sugar). This is a bigger problem than people eating too much fatty foods because a good portion of the time, these foods are labeled “fat-free!”

2. Weight/Resistance Train

To achieve any fitness goal whether weight loss or muscle gain, you should be lifting weight at least 2 times per week but preferably three. People who are looking to gain muscle should eventually work their way up to 4-5 days of resistance training per week. Building muscle will help increase your metabolic rate which will help you burn more fat! Weight training also helps build strength, improve balance, increase core strength and help you look better!

3. Sleep

Our body needs sleep in order to recover from the events of that day. If you do not get at least 7 hours of sleep per night, you won’t properly recover and impairs you physical and mental function the next day. Not getting enough sleep can also lead to an increase in appetite and unwanted weight gain.

4. Drink Water

A very easy way to determine how much water you should be drinking is dividing your body weight by 2 and that number gives you the ounces of water you should be drinking each day. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, you should drink 90 ounces of water daily. Your body is at least 50-60% water so do not deprive your body of half of its makeup!

5. Improve flexibility/mobility

Improving flexibility can be done a couple of different ways, but the way that has been most effective for me is yoga. I do not do as much yoga as I probably should but I have always gotten my best results when I implemented yoga into my fitness program 2-3 times per week. Yoga is also great for improving core strength and stability. Stretching is another good way to keep your muscles flexible and strong. Static stretching should NEVER be done BEFORE you work out! This may actually increase your chance of injury! Opt for dynamic/active warm-ups BEFORE you work out and static stretching AFTER your workout.

6. Cardio

Most people understand the benefits of cardiovascular work and that it should be done 5-6 days per week ideally. The fitness goal I would like to focus on here is the muscle gainers. YOU STILL NEED TO DO CARDIO WHILE BULKING!!! Just because you are trying to gain weight and put on muscle does not mean that you should stop taking care of your heart! Now this does not mean you should be doing 5-6 days of cardio per week. Doing cardio does not translate into “losing gains”, if you eat more calories than you burn then you will still gain weight.

The bonus of doing 2-3 days of cardio per week while bulking is that you can fight off the fat gain to a degree and still put on muscle! The scale may not move as fast as you want it to but A) the scale does not tell much of the story of your progress and B) what good does it do to gain weight there is not any muscle mass accompanying it?

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5 Ways to Annihilate Your Workout

5 Ways to Annihilate Your Workout

We are always looking for ways to progress our workouts to challenge ourselves. Here are 5 ways to annihilate your workout the next time you step into the gym.

Workout with a Partner

Working out with a partner can dramatically impact your fitness program. Having a source of accountability in anything, whether, fitness, job, etc. can help keep you motivated and improve your performance. While having a buddy is great, you still have to make sure that they are the right workout partner for you.

People who have a poor attitude, are negative, have completely different goals or do just the bare minimum are not good workout partners for you. The whole point of having a workout buddy is to help motivate you and push you to that next level. You will want to find someone that has the same or at least similar goals, has a strong sense of accountability for themselves, and obviously someone who has a similar schedule as you. I was fortunate enough to have a workout buddy for a year who was just as nuts as I was because we had the same drive and same goals we were striving to achieve. Since I have been working out solo, it has been difficult to get the same results.

Keep a Journal

Yes, I am secure enough to proudly admit that I have done this myself and it works quite well! Now this isn’t a journal about the love of your life you let get away or the person at the gym you thought was cute. This is a workout journal where you reflect upon your workout and see what you can improve on the next workout.

Say Your Excuses in Your Head with the Voice of Donald Duck

I know, this seems a little weird, but before you judge, try it out. I was pretty skeptical when I first tried it, but it is actually pretty effective. It makes your excuses sound silly and childish and it helps you push through your workout.

End Your Workout with a Burnout

Ending your workout while giving every ounce of energy you have left can really help keep you motivated. I know when I really take it up a notch at the end of my workouts, I always feel great afterwards and it can actually help you boost through a plateau! It helps boost through a plateau because if you can go all out at the end of a tough workout, that means you should have the energy to start out faster or stronger next time!

Decrease Your Rest Time Gradually

This seems rather obvious, but this is also where a lot of people tend to go wrong. Often times people try to decrease rest time too fast (going from 60 seconds rest to 15 seconds rest). While this isn’t necessarily wrong, it can hinder you because the intensity increased too much and your nervous system will be taxed a little longer than normal. Decreasing rest time by even 5-10 seconds every couple of weeks will still yield results, but it will also guard against burning out too quickly.

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