Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Step Ahead's Health Tip for Today... Drink Water!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 06:47 AM

describe the image

For more information on Step Ahead Wellness Center's healthy weight loss program and/or personal training/fitness programs, visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Be sure to click on our special Holiday Giveaway! 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, jumpstart diet, Sari Greaves, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, healthy holiday snack, low calorie snacks, holiday entertaining, how to lose weight with diabetes, diabetes recipes for the holidays, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, high protein, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, muscle conditioning classes, Desserts under 200 Calories, motivation, holiday weight loss, diabetes articles, diabetes and weight loss, holiday weight gain, healthy holiday recipes, low calorie vegetables, healthy entertaining, exercise classes, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast, healthy cocktails, apps

Step Ahead Wellness Center Brings You CARB CHECK... Carb Blocking Supplement

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 03:11 PM
images (6)
If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK.
 
Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your exercise regime!
 
Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.comwww.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, HubSpot Tips, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, thanksgiving diet, fitbit, fatty foods, trans fat, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, high protein, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Healthy, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Desserts under 200 Calories, health, Weight Loss Center, holiday weight loss, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, low carb, healthy entertaining, exercise classes, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center, healthy cocktails, smartphone apps, apps

Tips to Avoid Tempting Halloween Sweets

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Oct 28, 2013 @ 02:54 PM

Tips to Avoid Tempting Halloween Sweets

Keep your weight loss on track during the Halloween season with our simple strategies to enjoy the holiday without sacrificing your diet.

By Cynthia Pearson Reviewed by Melina Jampolis, M.D., 2009

Halloween brings many sweet temptations, each luring you away from heart-healthy eating. Our tips will help you navigate the ghoulish season with confidence -- from treat shopping to dealing with candy leftovers.

Rule No. 1: The basics of healthy eating don't go away during a holiday.

"Eat well," says Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D. "Three nutritious meals with no more than four hours between them will keep you sated." Satisfied, with your blood sugar in check, the sight and smells of Halloween temptations -- be they waving from the grocery aisle, your candy-stocked cupboard, or a friend's party -- are less intense.

Most of us do better with healthy snacks between meals, so be sure to include them in your eating plan, Larsen says. Planning (not grabbing) is the key to keeping your overall daily intake of calories, fat, sodium, and cholesterol on track

Another tip: Stay hydrated, because thirst often masquerades as hunger. You may be tempted to eat a Halloween treat when you're really just thirsty.

HalloweenSlide1.jpg.rendition.largest resized 600

    • Buy Candy Late

       

      Having tempting candy around can be a big diet challenge. "There's no logical reason to purchase candy in advance of trick-or-treat night," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D.

      Resist the urge to buy a bag of Skittles a month before the big night. By only storing the goodies for 24 hours, you can save yourself a lot of temptation. Also, you can usually find big discounts on candy sold that late.

       

    • Buy Candy You Don't Like

       

      Keep cravings at bay by purchasing treats that won't interest you. "Select trick-or-treat candy that you don't personally enjoy," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D. "Then you won't be tempted to eat it."

      Not a coconut fan? Buy coconut-filled chocolate candy for your trick-or-treaters. Or maybe nut-filled treats don't tempt you -- Snickers or peanut M&Ms may be a good solution for your candy dish.

       

    • Store Halloween Treats Out of Sight

       

      Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D., notes that we're much more likely to dip into food, regardless of whether we're hungry, when it's within view and in 2 yards' reach. So, store treats in drawers, behind doors, on high shelves, or in out-of-the-way pantries.

      Better yet, resist the temptation to open the bag. Once it's open, it's too easy to slip in for a quick bite.

       

      Eat Just the Best Parts of the Treat

       

      Baking Halloween treats at home can be its own temptation. Here's a trick: Don't eat the whole treat, just go for your favorite part. For example, if you love the tops of cupcakes best, eat just them; there's no rule saying you must also eat the base of the cupcake. It's not a free ride -- you're still consuming calories and fat -- but you're slimming down your totals with the smaller portion.

      Also, get rid of additional servings of Halloween candies. It's not budget-conscious, but it is belly-conscious. For example, if you love mellowcrème pumpkins but can't find them in a single-serving pack, set aside your allotted amount, then sit and nibble at each one, slowly, attentively. Then toss what remains

      This may seem wasteful, but in lieu of eating the whole bag during a sweet craving, give yourself permission to let the rest go. Or have a back-up plan like a friend at work who also enjoys the treats and will take the extras off your hands.

       

      Enjoy Parties for the Atmosphere, Not the Food

       

      Attend Halloween parties for the fun and friends, not the food. Note: Parties are full of fun distractions, including fun decor, making it a challenge to fully enjoy food and drink. Why waste allotted indulgences then?

      Joanne Larsen, M.S., R.D., L.D., suggests these Halloween party tips:

      - Have a healthy snack before you go so you arrive sated.
      - Plan ahead what you'll allow for food and drink, then stick to your plan.
      - Choose a small plate, allow yourself one trip to the spread, and sit and savor your food.
      - Position yourself away from food during the Halloween party.

      • Make Your Own Halloween Treats

         

        Halloween party is going to be full of tempting treats. Bring your own dish that you know you can healthfully enjoy.

        Be sure to bake shortly before the party rather than in advance so the dish won't tempt you for days. Divvy up any leftovers right at the party -- don't plan to take any home with you.

         

        Handle Halloween Temptation at the Workplace

         

        In a meeting where treats are served? You're a captive candy audience. "It's really, really difficult to pass up treats when someone brings them to the morning staff meeting and plops them on the table," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D. "If you just can't resist, sample one small goodie or even just a bite-sized piece. Once everyone's had their turn at the offering, say, 'These look so good!' and move them to a side table where anyone wanting more will have to be deliberate about it or wait until the meeting's dismissed."

        This may seem a gutsy move, but most likely others will be grateful.

        If your workplace is a Halloween-treat offender (either before the season when coworkers are shopping or afterward when they dump their extra treats on the office), then hold off people by stocking the communal treat dish yourself. Hemminger suggests stocking the dish with treats you don't like so you won't even be tempted or fill it with healthier choices, such as plain nuts or small portions of these Heart-Healthy-approved candies.

        Another strategy is to reroute your normal walking path if you pass baskets of tempting candy. If you don't see it and aren't reminded of the treats, it's a lot easier to say no.

         

        Pack Sugar-Free Chewing Gum

         

        One simple, cheap strategy that works wherever temptation strikes -- at home, the workplace, or while shopping -- is to keep a stash of sugar-free gum on hand.

        "Faced with a temptation -- say, a sweet-smelling candy aisle or a pan of goodies awaiting departure to a party -- you can pop a piece of gum, deflecting temptation with bit of sweet chewing," says Jane Hemminger, R.D., L.D.

       

http://www.bhg.com/recipes/healthy/eating/tips-to-avoid-tempting-halloween-sweets/#page=11

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, diet, HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, summer weight loss, high protein, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Fitness, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, lose weight, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, Yoga classes, Desserts under 200 Calories, health, healthy labor day recipes, summer recipes, healthy entertaining, exercise classes, lose weight fast

STRENGTH TRAIN TO LOSE WEIGHT

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

 

describe the image

Strength training is important if you’re trying to lose weight. Many people
focus too much on cardio when trying to lose body fat but that approach is
short-sighted. You want to lose body fat, not metabolically-active muscle
tissue. Why is strength training so important? Having a greater proportion of
muscle to fat subtly boosts your metabolic rate. Muscle is definitely your
friend when you’re trying to shed body fat. Ultimately you need a fitness
program that balances cardio with strength training. Here are some tips for
strength training when you’re trying to lose body fat.

Focus on Compound Strength Exercises

Compound strength exercises are ones that target more than one muscle group
at a time. They include such exercises as squats, pull-ups, bent-over rows,
bench press and deadlifts. The more muscle groups you use during a strength
training exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. Plus, using more muscle
groups has a greater metabolic effect. That means there’s greater activation of
fat-burning hormones like growth hormone, testosterone and catecholamines.

Isolation exercises that work only one muscle group are still important for
shaping muscles and building symmetry but they burn fewer calories and have
less of a metabolic effect relative to compound exercise. If your goal is
weight loss, focus on strength exercises that use more than one muscle group at
a time. Make your strength moves compound and dynamic. When doing lunges,
combine them with bicep curls. With squats, do an overhead press. Use as many muscle
groups as possible. This will burn more fat.

Work Large Muscle Groups

You burn more calories when you target the larger muscle groups in your
lower body rather than your arms and shoulders. A compound movement like the
squat targets large lower body muscle groups and burns significantly more
calories than upper body isolation exercises like biceps curls or triceps
kickbacks. Don’t neglect your upper body but focus more on compound, lower body
exercises to increase the calorie burn and activate fat-burning hormones.

 Lift Heavy

Some people who are intent on losing weight are afraid to lift heavy
because they think it will make them bigger. It’s hard for females to build
enough muscle mass to look bulky. Lifting heavy, especially using your lower
body, turns on fat-burning hormones and revs up your metabolism. On the other
hand, lifting light weights will have little impact on your metabolism or the
shape of your muscles. The most it will do is build muscle endurance. You can
suck up a lot of time lifting light weights and get very little return. Go for
the challenging weights and stop worrying about getting bulky.

Make a Portion of Your Cardio High Intensity

Just as lifting heavy weight and targeting multiple muscle groups helps you
burn more fat so will high-intensity cardio. Short periods of high-intensity
cardio forces your body to work harder during and after a workout. After your
workout is over, there’s an after-burn effect that makes your body burn more
energy for hours afterwards. You don’t get that when you do cardio at a
comfortable pace. Losing fat is all about breaking out of your comfort zone.
Think high-intensity interval training when you’re trying to lose body fat.
You’ll accomplish more in less time.

Circuit Training

One or two days a week, do circuit strength training. With circuit training
you do strength training sets with little or no rest between exercises. Moving
quickly from exercise to exercise without rest burns more calories and
maximizes the amount of volume you can do during a single training session.
That means it’s a timesaver too. It’s the ultimate in cross-training since
you’re building strength while keeping your heart rate up since you’re not
stopping to rest. Research shows circuit training causes greater release of
growth hormone. That helps mobilize fat. Plus, circuit training has
cardiovascular conditioning benefits as well.

 The Bottom Line?

Strength training should be a part of your fitness program even if your
primary goal is to lose body fat. Make sure you’re not putting strength
training on the back burner to focus on cardio.

For more fit tips, contact our fitness director/certified trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

References:

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (2011) Sept. 25(4).
2519-2527.

IDEA Fitness. “New Insights into Circuit Training”

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, fitbit, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, health, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, wellness, healthy entertaining, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

DOES ENDURANCE EXERCISE INCREASE YOUR RESTING METABOLIC RATE??

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

 

 

describe the imageDOES ENDURANCE EXERCISE INCREASE YOUR RESTING METABOLIC RATE?

Endurance exercise burns a significant number of calories while you’re doing it. In fact a 150 pound person who runs at a five mile-per-hour pace burns more than 550 calories in a single hour. During endurance exercise, a variety of hormones work together to mobilize fat stores and increase oxidation of fatty acids so you can use them for fuel. During moderate-intensity endurance exercise, fat is a major source of fuel for exercise sessions longer than 20 minutes – but what happens when you stop and recover?

When you exercise at a moderate-intensity, you don’t get the “after-burn” effect you get with high-intensity exercise where you burn calories at a higher rate for hours after you finish. You may burn calories at a faster rate for, at most, an hour after moderate-intensity endurance exercise. What about longer term? Is there any evidence that regular endurance exercise increases your resting metabolic rate and gives you a metabolic advantage?

Metabolism Overview

As you may know, your resting metabolic rate is the number of calories your body burns each day just to maintain normal bodily functions. When you’re “off duty,” your body still works overtime. Even as you sleep, your body is never truly really at rest since cells in your body, especially your brain, require a constant energy supply. Your resting metabolic rate makes up between 60 and 80% of the calories you burn each day, just to maintain homeostasis.

The other two components that make up your metabolic rate is the thermal effect of food, the calories your body uses to break down and absorb the foods you eat, and the calories you burn during exercise. The thermal effect of food accounts for 5 to 10% of the calories burned each day and exercise between 20 and 30% of your total daily energy expenditure.

What impact does endurance exercise have on this? Does it raise your resting metabolic rate when you do it long term?

The Effect of Endurance Exercise on Metabolic Rate

As mentioned, high-intensity exercise increases your metabolic rate after a workout because your body has to expend more energy during recovery. This effect is minimal after moderate-intensity exercise where you recovery more quickly. What about longer term?

Most research shows that regular endurance training doesn’t increase resting metabolic rate or total energy expenditure even when you train over a long period of time. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that young, healthy women who took part in a six month endurance training program had greater aerobic capacity at the end of the study but had no change in their total daily energy expenditure as a result of training. Not only did training not increase their resting metabolic rate, they didn’t burn more total calories for the day.

How can you explain this? Based on some research, people who do endurance exercise compensate for the calories they burn by moving around less when they aren’t actively exercising.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition came to a similar conclusion. Seventy-four men and women took part in a 5 month endurance training program. By the end of their training, their aerobic capacity had improved as much as 18%. They also experienced some fat loss, but their resting metabolic rate remained

unchanged when measured 24 and 72 hours after training.

In still another study, adults who endurance trained for a year showed no change in their resting metabolic rate, although they did lose body fat and increased the maximum amount of fat they oxidized during exercise. This means they were better able to use fat as an energy source during exercise due to training, although there were no changes in fat oxidation at rest.

What about Resistance Training?

Based on one study, resistance training combined with green tea was effective for boosting resting metabolic rate. Participants in this study showed an increase in resting metabolic rate, decreased waist measurement, a decline in body fat and an increase in lean body mass. Another study showed that resistance training increased resting metabolic rate in older adults. This makes sense since resistance training increases lean body mass so you burn more calories at rest.

The Bottom Line?

Most research shows endurance exercise doesn’t increase resting metabolic rate longer term. If you do high-intensity exercise, you’ll benefit from the after-burn effect but even high-intensity exercise doesn’t increase your metabolic rate once you’ve recovered from a workout. If you do long periods of endurance exercise without adequate calories, it may actually reduce your resting metabolic rate as your body adapts to a calorie deficit. Long endurance training sessions can also increase cortisol levels, making it more difficult to control your weight.

On the other hand, resistance training may modestly boost your resting metabolic rate when you use enough resistance to build muscle. If you want to burn more calories even at rest, resistance training using weight that’s challenging enough to damage muscle fibers and stimulate growth is the best option. Endurance training may improve the health of your heart but it doesn’t boost your metabolism at rest.

For more fit tips contact our fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

Passover Delights: Passover "Bagels"

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 03:21 PM

passover bagelsPassover "Bagels" (makes 12 small rolls or 10 medium rolls)

5 eggs, separated—beat whites, and then add in yolks.

1/3 cup oil

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups boiled water

2 cups whole wheat matzo meal

¼ cup raisins (optional)

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with PAM.

2. Combine water, oil, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, and let cool.

3. Add matzo meal to the water & oil blend. Mix well.

4. Add eggs into mixture. Add raisins if desired.

5. Wet fingertips and shape batter into the shape of a roll. Using your thumb tip or back of teaspoon, make a small indent in the center of each roll (to slightly flatten it).

6. Bake rolls for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check on rolls after 45 minutes to make sure they don’t burn. Rolls will start to brown on top when they are done. Let cool.

Hint: When shaping the batter into rolls, a small roll should fit in the palm of your hand. A medium roll should be slightly larger.

Calories per roll: 10 medium rolls: 180 calories (with raisins: 196 calories)                        12 small rolls: 150 calories (with raisins: 160 calories)

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, jumpstart diet, passover recipes, healthy eating, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, online nutrition, Charity Walk, OptiFast, low carb, sharecare

Resistance Training Improves Metabolic Health!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 27, 2013 @ 11:51 AM

describe the image

Resistance training has numerous health benefits. It increases lean body mass and builds bone density. Men and women both lose muscle as they age. This puts older people at risk for balance problems and falls and decreases their ability to do the things they enjoy. Plus, the decline in muscle mass that occurs with age is a major risk factor for disability. Resistance training isn’t just important for maintaining bone and muscle mass, it has other benefits that are less apparent. It has the power to positively impact hormones that play a role in metabolic health.

Resistance Training and Metabolic Health

With an epidemic of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome sweeping the country, anything you can do to improve your metabolic health and reduce insulin resistance is a smart move for your health.

Insulin resistance is a condition where your cells become “numb” to the effects of insulin. As a result, your pancreas has to pump out more and more of this anabolic, fat-storing hormone to get glucose into cells. Why is this bad? It increases your risk for serious health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. Insulin resistance is also linked with deep belly fat called visceral fat, the worst kind for your health.

Does Resistance Training Improve Insulin Sensitivity?

A recent study published in Diabetes Care and discussed on Medscape showed that resistance training reduced insulin resistance, making cells more sensitive to insulin, and improved metabolic health in older adults with type 2 diabetes even without dieting or weight loss.

Unfortunately, most doctors recommend aerobic exercise for people with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance when resistance training offers unique benefits you can’t get from aerobic training alone, namely an increase in lean body mass. Resistance training has a positive impact on insulin sensitivity, helping to restore the ability of your cells to respond to insulin so your pancreas doesn’t have to keep pumping out more of it.

Resistance Training and Aerobic Exercise Both Have an Impact on Insulin Sensitivity

Aerobic exercise also improves insulin sensitivity, as long as it’s of a certain intensity. Taking a leisurely walk through the park won’t have the same impact as a high-intensity interval workout. As researchers in this new study point out, resistance training and aerobic exercise have a synergistic effect. Doing both will do the most to improve insulin resistance and maximize metabolic health.

Before assuming you have to jog on a treadmill for an hour for aerobic benefits, consider this. You can get them doing circuit workouts, especially ones that focus on the large muscles in the lower body, combining that with a few high-intensity interval aerobic workouts. Using more resistance rather than lifting lighter weights endurance-style also works in your favor from a metabolic standpoint.

Resistance Training Offers Benefits Even When Weight Loss Fails

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension further shows the importance of resistance training for metabolic health. This study found that even when individuals lose weight and regain a portion of it, regaining weight didn’t negatively impact their insulin sensitivity as long as they did regular resistance training. The benefits of resistance training for metabolic health seem to be independent of body weight. Even if you don’t lose a pound, you can improve your metabolic health by lifting or using resistance bands.

How to Get the Benefits

How can you improve your own metabolic health? Do resistance training, of course, along with cardio. Lifting heavier weights offers greater benefits than using lighter ones that aren’t challenging enough to build lean body mass. Emphasizing large muscle groups and doing compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups will also improve the metabolic benefits of your workout.

Here’s one approach. Alternate resistance training using heavy weights with circuit workouts using lighter weights for added metabolic benefits. Throw in a few sessions of high-intensity aerobic interval training to get the additional benefits that aerobic exercise offers. Keep challenging your body in new ways to keep your training fun and effective. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to lift heavy. That’s how a better body is built and how you maximize the health benefits.

For more fitness tips contact our fitness director/certified trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, jumpstart diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, walking Bridal Boot Camp, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, low carb, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast, sharecare

Easy Exercise Tips

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Mar 08, 2013 @ 03:31 PM

describe the image

Of all the different ways to improve your physical and mental health, exercise is one of the easiest and safest methods. It is also one of the most effective. Even a little regular exercise can help ease depression, boost energy and mood, and relieve stress. But you don't have to be a fitness fanatic to reap the benefits. No matter your age, health limitations, or fitness levels, there are enjoyable ways to use physical activity to feel better every day.

Exercise is not just about aerobic capacity and muscle size. Sure, exercise improves your health and your physique, but it has even greater benefits for your energy, mood, and brainpower. A study in the ACSM Journal of Health & Fitness asked long-term exercisers (those who had been regularly exercising for an average of 13 years) what motivated them to continue exercising. Rather than being motivated by building muscle or flattening their stomachs, for example, most exercisers cited the feelings of well-being they derived from exercise, along with increased pep and energy, and how exercise helped them sleep better and made them more relaxed.

The important thing to remember is that these benefits can be achieved without spending hours pumping weights in a gym or pounding on a treadmill. Regular mild to moderate exercise can improve your life by:

  • Easing stress and anxiety. A twenty-minute bike ride won’t sweep away life’s troubles, but exercising regularly helps you take charge of anxiety and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise releases hormones that relieve stress and promote a sense of well-being.
  • Lifting your mood. Exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise also releases endorphins, powerful chemicals in your brain that energizes your spirits and makes you feel good.
  • Sharpening brainpower. The same endorphins that make you feel better also help you concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks at hand. Exercise also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline.
  • Improving self-esteem. Regular activity is an investment in your mind, body, and soul. When it becomes habit, it can foster your sense of self-worth and make you feel strong and powerful.

Boosting energy.  Increasing your heart rate several times a week will give you more get-up-and-go. Start off with just a few minutes of exercise a day, and increase your workout as you feel more energized.

For more fit tips contact our fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Step Ahead, low carb, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

Low Impact does NOT mean Low Intensity

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 06, 2013 @ 03:20 PM

describe the image

 

With so much emphasis on high-impact workouts these days where you’re leaping off the ground, doing jumping jacks and plyometrics, some people think that’s the only way to work out. High-impact exercise does have benefits you won’t get from low-impact workouts. For one, high-impact exercise is best for building bone and preserving bone mass. On the other hand, you can get a good cardiovascular workout without jumping and pounding your feet against a hard surface. In some situations, a low-impact workout may be just what the doctor ordered – and a good change of pace too.

What is Low-Impact Exercise?

Low-impact exercise is exercise where one foot stays on the ground. It doesn’t involve running, jumping or plyometrics where both feet leave the ground at the same time. Many high-impact workouts can be modified so that they’re low impact, so that one foot always stays on the ground. You an even modify traditionally high-impact movements like jumping jacks so that one foot stays on the floor.

Some people confuse “impact” with “intensity.” Low-impact workouts don’t have to be low on the intensity scale. For example a step workout can be intense even when you’re not taking both feet off the floor. During a step workout, you’re constantly moving up and down off the platform and using large muscles in your lower body. This burns calories and boosts your heart rate without jumping around.

Spin and cycle workouts are another example of exercise you can take to a high level of intensity without pounding your feet against a hard surface. In fact these cycle workouts are not only low impact, they’re zero impact! The key is to do intervals at a higher resistance and pedal as fast as you can for short periods at different tempos and resistance. You can burn a significant number of calories doing a low-impact workout at a high intensity.

Why Would You Want to Do a Low-Impact Workout?

High-impact workouts place significant amounts of force on your feet and that force is transmitted to your joints. If you have osteoarthritis, exercise that pounds your joints can speed up the breakdown of cartilage and make the problem worse. But that doesn’t mean you should sit on the sidelines. Research shows that low-impact exercise helps to prevent osteoarthritis and is a good prescription for anyone who suffers from this common joint disease.

If you have an overuse injury, high-impact exercise may not be a safe option, but a spinning workout on an exercise bike may be an acceptable alternative, depending on the type of injury you have. If so, it’s a way to maintain your fitness level until you’ve recovered. Doing an occasional low-impact workout can also help you avoid overuse injuries by taking some of the pressure off your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints.

Other situations where a low-impact workout works is when you took a break from exercise due to illness or surgery or immediately after a pregnancy when you’re de-conditioned. It’s a way to “get back into it” without risking an injury. It’s also a good way to start if you’re new to exercising.

Finally, a low-impact workout is a good change of pace when you’re a burned out from too many plyometric and boot camp sessions. It’ll break up the monotony of doing the same old routine and work your body in a different way. That has its advantages. Changing your routine is also a good way to break through a plateau and begin seeing results again.

How to Make It Effective

If you’re doing a low-impact routine because you’re “burned out,” you may not want to work out at a high-intensity level. On the other hand, if you’re using it to get a challenging cardiovascular workout, you’ll need to up the resistance if you’re doing a spin workout or increase the speed.

If you’re doing a step workout, you can raise the step height or use dumbbells to increase the calorie burn for some exercises or exaggerate the movements by lifting your legs higher.

The Bottom Line?

Don’t confuse low-impact with low-intensity. You can still get a good workout keeping one foot on the floor, and it’s a good way to work out when you don’t want to place extra stress on your joints or aggravate an injury. Even if you don’t have an injury or joint problems, an occasional low-impact workout is a nice change of pace and can help you avoid overuse injuries.

For more fit tips contact our fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, lose weight, bootcamp classes, online nutrition, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Step Ahead, low calorie vegetables, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

Noelle's New Year's Resolution Exercise Tips -- How To Stick To It!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 02, 2013 @ 11:21 AM

womanexerciseball

 

New Years Resolution Exercise Tips

 

Many people need extra motivation to stick to an effective exercise program. Try these tips.

 

  • Ask someone to be your exercise buddy – many people agree that having someone to exercise with helps keep them going.
  • Listen to recorded books or music while you do endurance activities.
  • Set a goal and reward yourself when you reach it. For example, treat yourself to a massage or a manicure when you’ve reached an exercise milestone, like walking a certain distance.
  • Give yourself physical activity homework assignments for the next day or the next week.
  • Think of your exercise sessions as appointments and mark them on your calendar.
  • Keep a record of what you do and the progress you make.
  • Understand that although there will be times when you don’t show rapid progress, you are still benefiting from your activities.
  • Plan ahead for travel, bad weather, and houseguests. For example, an exercise video enables you to exercise indoors when the weather is bad.

 

For more exercise tips and/or to schedule a personal training consulation, contact our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or call 908-470-2235 TODAY!

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, jumpstart diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Dr.Oz, Cooking Classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Delicious Desserts, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, bootcamp classes, Physician Weight Center, Charity Walk, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Desserts under 200 Calories, Step Ahead, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes