Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Healthy Medical Weight Loss for Better Health and Wellbeing (Clone)

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 01:27 PM

A healthy medical weight loss program should promote both physical health and emotional wellbeing.One of the primary goals behind any diet and exercise program should be improving the health and wellbeing of the person taking part in the program. However, all too many diet and exercise programs take a cookie-cutter approach to helping people meet their weight loss goals.

What do we mean by a “cookie-cutter approach?” The cookie cutter approach is nothing more than a program that fails to take into account the unique needs of each person to participate in the program. Things such as individual metabolic rates, health and lifestyle are not taken into account in these programs.

Part of making sure that your weight loss program gives you the greatest improvements for your health and wellbeing is making sure that your unique needs are met; which is something that requires personalized, attentive care.

One way in which a weight loss plan can help you maximize your weight loss and health improvements is by determining if medically-assisted weight loss is right for you.

Meeting Weight Loss Goals Safely

For some people, diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to meet their weight loss goals. In fact, for some people, the kind of heavy activity an exercise routine usually demands can be unsafe. For example, if a person with osteoporosis were placed on a strength training regimen, that regimen might help to improve bone health in the long run, but the risk of severe injury is so high that simply supplementing calcium intake might prove to be much more reliable and safe in the long run.

A medical weight loss program can identify major medical conditions and dietary deficiencies, then create a personalized wellness plan just for you. By creating a personalized plan that takes your whole health profile into consideration, your results can be vastly improved as opposed to what could be achieved without the help of a doctor.

Such a plan takes into consideration how much activity you’ll need to lose weight, how much activity is safe for you, and your dietary needs to stay in good health while losing weight. To further improve your results, the doctor supervising your medical weight loss program can prescribe vitamin supplements and appetite suppressants to complement your diet and exercise routine.

How Supplements and Appetite Suppressants Help

For countless people, the demands of keeping up with a packed work schedule and the needs of their family doesn’t leave much time for following a generic diet and exercise routine. In fact, lack of time is one of the primary reasons why people so often turn to unhealthy fast food in order to satisfy their hunger.

Because of this, sometimes, you might need a little help to keep eating healthy and meet weight loss goals. This is where the use of doctor-recommended vitamin supplements and appetite suppressants can be a big help.

One of the leading causes of a failed diet is that dieters have a hard time resisting the temptation to go off-diet without help. Appetite suppressants help you fight the urge to snack and eat unhealthy foods by keeping your hunger in check. Used properly, appetite suppressants can help you safely stick to your diet plan.

Sometimes, it is nearly impossible to get ALL of the nutrients you need through a regular diet. This is where vitamin supplements prescribed by a qualified nutritionist can help you.Another one of the major problems with many fad diets is that while they restrict the intake of calories and fat, they can also end up cutting certain needed vitamins and minerals as well. Vitamin supplements prescribed by a qualified nutritionist help you by making sure that your body is receiving all of the vital nutrients it needs to function at peak efficiency, preventing many of the negative side effects associated with extreme dieting.

Only by thoroughly examining your physical condition can a doctor find out your nutritional needs and create a prescription for vitamin supplements that will provide a complete solution for improving your health and wellbeing. With continuous medical monitoring, these prescriptions can be updated as necessary throughout your weight loss program as your needs change.

Promote Your Health and Wellbeing

A successful weight loss program not only helps you shed pounds, it helps you to be more energetic and healthy. People who have successfully lost weight often report feeling more confident in their appearance and positive about their self-image. In short, losing weight not only helps you to be healthier, but it promotes mental well-being as well.

With the continued support of a trained physician and staff who are dedicated to making sure that you meet your weight loss goals, healthy medical weight loss programs such as Step Ahead Wellness’ OPTIFAST program can help you be healthier, more positive, and energetic. Learn if the OPTIFAST medical weight loss program is right for you today:

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Weight Loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Nutrition, OptiFast

Lose Weight and Keep It Off at Step Ahead Wellness Center

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Sep 04, 2015 @ 08:05 PM

Mary lost 35 pounds after 3 months on the Step Ahead Wellness Program. After 4 months, guess what happened? She lost another 6 pounds! After 4 months and 41 pounds lighter, Mary shares her story to inspire others to take a personalized approach to weight loss. In her own words, here's her story...

Photo of Mary before joining Step Ahead Wellness Program

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Photo of Mary 4 months later, after losing 41 pounds on the Step Ahead Wellness Program... and she's still going strong on her weight loss journey! 

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"Are you thinking about losing weight? Yes? That’s great. But are you committed to losing weight? There is a difference. If you are ready to make the commitment, then read on.

At Step Ahead Wellness, you will find an incredible team of professionals ready to assist you throughout the journey. However, it is up to you to take their knowledge and use it effectively. Think of it as similar to someone handing you a million dollars. You could either invest it wisely, or spend it foolishly. Which is better in the long run? Losing weight is not a temporary fix to a problem. You need to be totally invested and ready to plan for your future – your healthy future.

What is unique about Step Ahead? Well, simply stated, it’s the individual approach. You will have one on one consultationwith the doctor, nutritionist and personal trainer. They don’t talk at you, they talk with you. They listen to your situation, your concerns, and your goals. A program is then designed for YOU. A friend of mine and I are both clients at Step Ahead, and we are achieving our weight loss goals in different ways. Sari, Noelle, and Dr. Neiman take the time to craft what is going to work best for you; it is not a one size fits all program.

Sure, there are plenty of weight loss programs out there. However, if you really want to learn how to eat properly, how to exercise appropriately for your age, and have your health and well-being monitored throughout the process, then look no further than Step Ahead Wellness. I can assure you it was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

-Mary M.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalized program and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance. 

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931 
908-470-2235 
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

 

Tags: jumpstart diet, Lose weight and lee it off, health insurance coverage, health insurance, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Doctor, diet to lose weight, best weight loss

Summer Vacations and Your Weight Loss Goals... How To Stay On Track!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 24, 2015 @ 04:51 PM

It’s summer!  Time for family fun, catching lightning bugs, staying up late and vacations!  Vacations are a wonderful way to take time out for yourself and recharge from your hectic
life. But how will you stay on track with your weight loss journey being away?

While it can be overwhelming and scary, if you plan ahead and stay organized it is possible to stay on track with your health and fitness goals while on vacation.  Here are 5 simple tips to maintain your weight loss:

vacation

1) Focus on your goal: Re-evaluate your weight loss goal before you leave.  Place stickie notes with your goal in your wallet, on your phone and in your bathroom mirror to remind you that you are moving in that direction.

2) Stay active: Enjoy evening walks watching the sun go down or early morning walks while the sun is rising, bike rides, swimming or even taking public transportation. There are lots of ways to burn calories and keep your fitness level consistent while enjoying vacation.

3) Pack snacks: Remember, when you’re sitting around at the airport or a long car ride, healthy food may be hard to come by. Plan ahead and pack food that fits your dietary and weight loss plan.  Leave the licorise behind and pack fresh fruit nd nuts instead.  Don’t forget to get
plenty of water and stay hydrated!

4) Reward yourself with a special activity instead of food:Fun and unusualexperiences will give you a dopamine lift that elevates your mood.
Vacation activity rewards can include a shopping spree, a massage, or something
else that makes you feel refreshed and rewarded. Maybe it’s paddleboarding or
kayaking.  Plus, feeling good makes it so
much easier to stick to your weight loss goals.

5) Indulge with some treats, but
don’t over do it:
Vacation is a huge reward in
itself, but exotic flavors and old favorites (like a good ol’ trip to the ice
cream parlor) are part of what makes life sweet. Share treats with your loved
ones, but plan ahead to burn those calories so you can do so guilt free and
stay on track with your weight loss journey! 
A good idea is to walk to/from the ice cream parlor. 

These are just a few of the ways you
can plan ahead and stay active while enjoying vacation. When you get back,
you’ll have lots of energy and you’ll be thankful you’re still on track with
your weight loss goal. And you will reconnect with yourself, your family &
friends in a healthy, positive way.  So
get out there and enjoy the dog days of summer! 

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Get Started Today!

 Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, weight loss covered by insurance, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Summer Fitness Trend... Stand Up Paddleboarding

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 17, 2015 @ 10:58 AM

Health and Fitness Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding

SUP

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is becoming more popular each year. Hawaiians have been using it for years as a means to keep fit when the waves are not adequate for surfing.

By using a paddle board surfers were able to enjoy the water and obtain some exercise simultaneously.

In the last several years millions of people have begun to enjoy paddle boarding, while standing. People now engage in stand-up paddling to enjoy the water, spend time with friends, and to improve their fitness level.

An Intense Workout

SUP can provide you with a very good overall workout. You will make use of balance and strength in order to remain upright and propel yourself in the water.

The level of intensity you will experience will be variable and be dependent on your venue.

If you are paddling in the ocean and there are a lot of waves and an ocean current, your workout will be intense. If you are simply drifting in relatively placid waters, it will not be so hard-core.

Core Benefits

Paddle boarding will provide you with a great core workout as well. Almost every muscle in the body is used at some point.

A large part of SUP is balance. Your leg muscles will be hard at work attempting to maintain your balance.

In addition, paddling utilizes the arms, back, and shoulders to propel the paddleboard in the water. The core back and abdominal muscles are constantly at work to maintain your balance.

Low Impact

An additional benefit that SUP provides is that it is a very low impact exercise. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will do damage to the tendons and ligaments of your joints.

If you lift weights in the gym or you engage in high impact sports, then your likelihood of injury is far higher than with stand-up paddling.

SUP is particularly useful for runners that are experiencing shin splints or knee and hip pain.

With this type of sport it is possible to use up a lot of calories without damaging your joints.

SUP Fitness Benefits

One of the clear benefits of SUP is the very fast and obvious improvement of the fitness level of its practitioners.

It is a very good sport to engage in if you are cross-training since it uses almost all the muscles in the body. SUP is a form of simultaneous aerobic and strength training.

Health Benefits

There are numerous health benefits to paddle surfing and the best part is it will not cause any damage to your body while you enjoy them.

The cardiovascular benefits are truly amazing. You will be able to substantially improve your level of cardio fitness.

Of course this translates into many benefits for your body, including a decreased incidence of heart attack and stroke.

In addition, you are going to consume a lot of calories. This will likely translate into a loss of weight.

Most of us are aware of all of the adverse conditions that are associated with being overweight.

You will reduce your chances of getting diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and joint problems by reducing your weight, and SUP can help you accomplish this.

There is one more great benefit to be aware of… it is very relaxing and a great way to relieve stress. Stress, has countless adverse health consequences and negative effects on the body.

I have personally found that stand-up paddling has always been an excellent stress coping method for me. Once I get out on the water and start paddling, I can literally feel my body and mind relaxing as I get into the paddling rhythm.

Improve Your Balance

Many activities and sports require good balance. SUP will definitely improve your sense of balance as you try to stay upright while paddling.

For instance, what football player could not improve his game with better balance? You may fall a lot when your first start out, but if you keep at it your overall core balance will great improve.

A Surfing Alternative

This sport is a very good alternative for people who have difficulty or fear of surfing.

You may have friends that surf, and you want to join the fun, but you are unable to. With SUP, you can still get out there and catch the waves and enjoy the surf with your friends.

Or you may have some health issues that make it difficult for you to surf. Once again SUP is a great alternative.

Yoga

Recently there are numerous people that are experiencing a new fitness activity to do on their boards. They are practicing yoga while paddle boarding.

Performing yoga while on a paddleboard adds an extra dimension of balance to the activity. This can be a lot of fun as well as very challenging for someone who is already an experienced practitioner of yoga.

In addition the ambiance that is associated with paddle boarding is far more pleasant and relaxing than being in a cramped gym or fitness studio. The sun and water will enhance the experience greatly.

A lot of individuals are undecided about purchasing a stand-up paddleboard, however, once they become aware of all the benefits and joys that it has to offer, they may be prompted to give it a try.

What are you waiting for? Give it a try.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

 Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: health insurance coverage, fat burning classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Step Ahead exercise classes, diet to lose weight, exercise classes, lose weight fast, weight loss success

Mid-Life Fitness & Exercise Keeps Us Healthy

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 10, 2015 @ 04:17 PM

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Many people exercise to look better – to improve body composition and control weight, but the other health benefits of exercise are motivating factors as we approach middle-age – for good reason. According to a recent study, exercise is “good medicine” for keeping common chronic health problems at bay as we age. After all, what good is it to look “hot” in a pair of jeans if you’re not healthy?

The Importance of Midlife Fitness

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers looked at Medicare claims for 18,670 participants, both men and women, over a 26-year period. This group of people had undergone treadmill fitness testing during middle-age, around the age of 50. After adjusting for factors like blood pressure, body mass index, alcohol use and smoking history, they discovered the most fit participants, as measured by their treadmill test, had a lower risk for developing eight medical conditions – heart disease, emphysema, stroke, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, lung cancer and colon cancer over a 26-year period.

That’s a lot of prevention! Although this study doesn’t necessarily show cause and effect, it does suggest that staying fit is a simple and medication-free way to potentially reduce the risk of the most chronic health problems that rob people of their ability to fully enjoy life as they age. According to a 1993 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, an inactive or sedentary lifestyle is a contributing factor in 23% of deaths due to chronic disease. Pretty sobering, huh?

Health Benefits of Exercise: Other Ways Exercise Improves Health

Did you know that half of all women over the age of 50 and a quarter of all men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point during their life? High-impact exercise and resistance training help to build stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The simple act of muscle moving bone, as when lifting a weight, stimulates bone-producing cells called osteoblasts to churn out more bone tissue to reinforce and protect your bones. Combine that with a calcium-rich diet and adequate amounts of vitamin D and you have a head start at preventing bone loss with age.

What about joint health? By the age of 65, about two-thirds of people have osteoarthritis on x-ray, although not everyone has symptoms. Weak quadriceps muscles increase the risk for knee osteoarthritis. The good news? Strengthening your quadriceps muscles through resistance training helps to prevent osteoarthritis of the knee. Plus, it helps with weight control. Being overweight or obese puts greater stress on joints, causing more loss of cartilage – not to mention resistance training helps to preserve lean body mass with age. Why is that important? There’s an epidemic of sarcopenia among older people. Sarcopenia is the serious age-related loss of muscle mass that puts older people at risk for frailty, falls and disability. Strength-training helps to combat this problem.

Exercise Boosts Mental Health Too

Exercise reduces stress and anxiety and may help to prevent depression. It even helps to ward off age-related memory loss and those “senior moments” that become more common after middle-age. One way it does this is by increasing the volume of a portion of the brain called the hippocampus that’s linked with memory and cognitive function. The hippocampus normally shrinks with age, and exercise, primarily aerobic exercise, reduces hippocampal shrinkage. Aerobic exercise boosts the volume of this portion of the brain even in people who begin exercising later in life. Just goes to show, it’s never too late to get the benefits of exercise.

The Bottom Line?

Who doesn’t want to stay healthy as they age? Exercise and a healthy diet are two of your best defenses against age-related diseases – and it’s never too late to start.  Start by walking utilizing the -10,000 Steps Program each and every day.  The more you move the more movement your body will crave.

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

ose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: losing weight tips, health insurance coverage, health insurance, Diet and Nutrition, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, group excercise classes, weight loss insurance coverage, lose weight with a partner, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Hot Weather Exercise Tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

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Summer is here, and many exercisers like to leave the gym behind and spend their exercise time outdoors. For others, when the temperature's high, motivation can be low. Plus, you have the excuse that exerting yourself might be dangerous! Sorry but these are not valid excuses.  You can still walk, jog, or bike without suffering sunstroke. Just take these precautions:

Drink up before you're thirsty. Once you start craving water, you're already 3 percent dehydrated. To avoid that, drink two to three cups a few hours before you work out. Ten minutes before, have another cup — and one cup every 15 to 20 minutes while you're exercising. If you're a swimmer, follow the same plan — just because you're surrounded by water doesn't mean it's keeping you hydrated.

Eat often. Dieters often count on summer heat to kill their appetite — but exercising without enough fuel is dangerous. No one's suggesting a huge plate of pasta. But if you're going to work out, snack throughout the day on lettuce, carrots, grapefruit, and apples — all great hot-weather picks because they're naturally filled with water.

Avoid high-heat hours. Hit the streets before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Another stay-cool tip: Run or walk on dirt paths instead of sun-absorbing pavement.  Or try a water activity such as, paddleboarding, surfing, swimming and snorkeling.

Sport the right gear. To deflect, not absorb, the sun's rays, wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Try cotton or "wicking" fabrics, which move sweat away from your body, or these GHRI-tested sun-safe clothes. And don't forget your head: A hat or visor with a four-inch brim will best protect your face.

Slather on sunscreen every two hours. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Burns aren't just bad for your complexion; they also raise your body temperature.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

 Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, group excercise classes, weight loss insurnace coverage, Physician Weight Loss, health fitness advice, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness Center, weight loss success

Want to Stay Injury Free? Stretch After Each Workout

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 20, 2015 @ 01:27 PM

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How many times do you run out of the gym without stretch, or skip the cool down portion of your favorite group exercise class? Stretching is so often something people skip at the end of a workout because they are either in a rush or too tired to do anything else. Or when they do, they just rush through the stretches and don't get the full benefit. What many don't realize is that stretching is just as important as your actual workout, for many reasons.

We stretch to improve our flexibility.  Flexibility is the range of motion available to our joints and is so important because it improves muscle balance around a joint, thus improving posture, reduces the chance of injury from playing sports or in every day activities, and it increases blood and nutrient supply to muscles and cartilage, thereby reducing muscle soreness after training.  As we age, stretching becomes even more important as our bodies do not recover from workouts and/or injuries as quickly and as easily as it did in our youth.

Never stretch cold muscles... make sure you are warmed up and then focus on stretching each major muscle group in the body.  Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds until the point of tension but not to the point of pain. The perfect time to stretch is immediately following your workout.

Do not stretch however if you have a muscle or ligmanet sprain, after recent fractures, if muscles are injured or torn or when sharp pains are felt in the joints or muscles.  It is vital however that you incorporate stretching into each and every single one of your workouts.  You will stay healthier, feel better and ready for your next workout.  For more intense stretching, try a restorative yoga class.  A restorative yoga class incorporates deep stretching where the poses are held for 1-3 minutes.  This may feel difficult at first, but when you go home you'll feel so relaxed and limber.  For more information about stretching, email our certified -Personal Trainer at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!


Get Started Today!

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, medically supervised weight loss center, physician weight loss program, losing weight fast, fat burning classes, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Step Ahead exercise classes, Step Ahead Wellness Center, biological factors in loosing weight

How to Choose the Right Group Exercise Class...

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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Inevitably there comes a time in everyone's -Fitness Training when they get bored and hit a rut.  Most people are gung-ho in January as part of their New Year's Resolution to lose weight and get healthy.  But now it's May... four months later... and getting to the gym becomes difficult, and the treadmill and free weights seem downright daunting.  This is the perfect time to mix things up by trying some group exercise classes! 
But when it comes to group exercise, how do you choose what is right for you? There are so many options, from spinning to kickboxing to yoga to cross fit, and not everything works for everyone. This is the beauty of group exercise classes however, there is something for everyone.
Here are some tips and tricks that may help you decide what works best for you when it come to choosing a group exercise class.

* Pick a class that interests you.  If you like a good -Aerobic Exercise workout, consider a spin or kickboxing class.  If hard core intervals are your thing, try bootcamp or cross fit.  If your muscles are tight, try hot yoga for an increase in flexibilty as well as core strengthing.  BUT don't ever avoid a class because you don't  think you can physically handle it. 
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* Test your limits. NEVER avoid going to a class because you feel like you won’t be able to do it and you don’t want to embarrass yourself. Everyone starts somewhere and no one was an expert at their first rodeo.  Additionally, it's the physical challenge and pushing your physicality that makes you stronger and fitter so embrace it!

* Sign up ahead of time and get there early. If you sign up and even have to pay ahead of time, you are more likely to attend the class. That gives you extra incentive to be there. And, getting there early gives you a chance to talk to other participants and get an idea of what they think of that class, instructor, etc. They can also give you some tips on what to look for at certain times during the class and most will even share some funny experiences of what their first time was like.

* Contact the instructor ahead of time. Sometimes, you can contact the instructor of the class ahead of time by e-mail or on their Facebook page. Try reaching out to them and letting them know you are interested in their class but want to know what to expect. Many instructors have a “first-class free” policy where you can try it to see if you like it and then go from there.

* Don’t expect to get it all the first time.  It’s OK to maybe fall behind a step or two or to just watch for a few seconds to figure out the move before continuing on with the rest of the class.  It's also OK to take a breather or water break if needed.

* Have fun! Remember to smile and have a good time. Exercise isn’t supposed to make you miserable and the instructor truly wants to see you smile. Yes, you are sweating and might even be out of breath but a quick smile or a random “Whoop!” during class is a totally welcome expression.  The bottomline is keep moving and don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.  You may find a new sport that you absolutely love.
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Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!
Get Started Today!
Sincerely,
Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Noelle Lusardi, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, Weight Loss Center

Are You Exercising Hard Enough?

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 06, 2015 @ 12:22 PM

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It's true that any exercise is better none.  However, some workout plans are better than others in terms of overall effectiveness. While you may think you’re getting a good workout by spending an hour reading a magazine on the stationary bike, the truth is, if you’re leaving the gym with your make-up still perfectly intact, you’re probably not working hard enough.  In fact, if you're able to read a magazine or book while exercising, you probably need to amp it up.  So leave the reading material at home, and focus on increasing the intensity of your workout to see the results you are striving for.

There are several ways to monitor your workout level. So put your routine to the test by utilizing the following...

CHECK YOUR HEART RATE

Whether you’re on a cardio machine or doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT), your heart rate should fluctuate between 75% of your maximum when you’re just starting out, eventually building to 100%. (To roughly determine your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220). An easy way to track this is by using a heart-rate monitor that will let you know, in real time, where your heart is at. Some people mistake sweating to be the only indicator of working out hard enough, when in reality some people may just be more prone to sweating than others. A heart-rate monitor is simply the most effective way to gauge your intensity level. These days they’re easy to come by and definitely worth the investment. But if you don’t have one, go old school and stop to check your pulse halfway through your workout.

THE TALK TEST

A leisurely stroll with a friend is a nice way to pass the time, but not if you expect that activity to help you lose weight. To put it simply, if you can hold a conversation during your workout, you’re just not working hard enough. Short phrases, perhaps, but if you’re able to belt out Taylor Swift while jogging, you need to reassess your workout plan (and maybe your level of shamelessness). 

THE SORE MUSCLE TEST

No pain, no gain. A good way to tell how hard you worked out is to wait 24 hours and see how you feel. When you exercise, you cause microscopic damage to your muscles. The muscles then adapt, repair themselves, and grow stronger. Basically, you should feel moderate soreness or muscle tightness after a workout; if not, you probably didn’t stimulate your muscle enough to get results. (But not so sore that you can’t go about your regular routine.) Give yourself a day in between to rest and rebuild those sore muscle groups while you work another, alternating days so you don’t overwork one particular group.

UP INTENSITY

Once you’ve been on a workout plan for a while and aren’t becoming as sore or tired, it might be time to up the intensity. If you want to gain lean muscle mass and definition, start adding more weight; if you’re using lighter weights to tone up, add some extra repetitions (Instead of 10-15 reps, try 25). If you’re doing cardio, try going a little faster or start incorporating more interval training into the mix. Because your body is constantly adapting, if you do the same thing over and over again, your body won’t be challenged enough to make a change. Be mindful that the more you work out, the more effort you’ll have to expend to keep making progress.

CROSS TRAIN, CROSS TRAIN, CROSS TRAIN

Not only do you need to change the intensity of your workout, but also the variety of what you’re doing. Get creative. Fit people don’t stick to one regimen, they cross train. If you’re doing the same set of squats and bicep curls day in and day out, you’re probably creating imbalances in your body (not to mention it’s just plain boring). Don’t be afraid to mix it up. Force yourself to be uncomfortable. If you’re a runner, try adding some yoga and weight lifting. If you only lift weights, try adding -Aerobic Exercise or Pilates into your routine to balance out your body’s ratio of strength and flexibility. You don’t have to do everything all at once, but start by challenging your body to do something it’s not used to doing.

YOU'RE NOT SEEING PHYSICAL CHANGES

That’s not to say if you don’t see results after a week you should give up. After all, how long did it take for your body to get to where it is now? But if you’ve been consistently working out and eating healthfully for more than a few months and you haven’t noticed even a slight physical change—be it a number on the scale or inches lost depending on your fitness goals—then you might need to reassess your routine. It should be a slow progression if you’re doing it the right way, but a progression nonetheless.

If you're feeling overwhelmed and don't know where to start, consider hiring a certified -Personal Trainerto get your started on the right track.  A small investment will give you the gains you're looking for. 

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

 Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235

www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: medically supervised weight loss center, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, doctor supervised weight loss center, Weight Loss Center, personalized weight loss, Step Ahead Wellness Center

Strength Training Improves Health and Increases Weight Loss

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 @ 03:52 PM

Why Strength Train?

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Research has shown that strengthening exercises are both safe and effective for women and men of all ages, including those who are not in perfect health. In fact, people with health concerns—including heart disease or arthritis—often benefit the most from an exercise program that includes lifting weights a few times each week.  Strength -Fitness Training, particularly in conjunction with regular aerobic exercise, can also have a profound impact on a person's mental and emotional health.

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Benefits of Strength Training

There are numerous benefits to strength training regularly, particularly as you grow older.  It can be very powerful in reducing the signs and symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions, among them:

arthritis

diabetes

osteoporosis

obesity

back pain


depression

Arthritis Relief

Tufts University recently completed a strength-training program with older men and women with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis.  The results of this sixteen-week program showed that strength training decreased pain by 43%, increased muscle strength and general physical
performance, improved the clinical signs and symptoms of the disease, and decreased disability. The effectiveness of strength training to ease the pain of osteoarthritis was just as potent, if not more potent, as medications.  Similar effects of strength training have been seen in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Restoration of Balance and Reduction of Falls

As people age, poor balance and flexibility contribute to falls and broken bones. These fractures can result in significant disability and, in some cases, fatal complications. Strengthening exercises, when done properly and through the full range of motion, increase a person's flexibility
and balance, which decrease the likelihood and severity of falls. One study in New Zealand in women 80 years of age and older showed a 40% reduction in falls with simple strength and balance training.

Strengthening of Bone

Post-menopausal women can lose 1-2% of their bone mass annually. Results from a study conducted at Tufts University, which were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1994, showed that strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk for
fractures among women aged 50-70.

Proper Weight Maintenance

Strength training is crucial to weight control, because individuals who have more muscle mass have a higher metabolic rate. Muscle is active tissue that consumes calories while stored fat uses very little energy.  Strength training can provide up to a 15% increase in metabolic rate, which is
enormously helpful for weight loss and long-term weight control.

Improved Glucose Control

More than 14 million Americans have type II diabetes—a staggering three-hundred percent increase over the past forty years—and the numbers are steadily climbing. In addition to being at greater risk for heart and renal disease, diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness in older
adults. Fortunately, studies now show that lifestyle changes such as strength training have a profound impact on helping older adults manage their diabetes. In a recent study of Hispanic men and women, 16 weeks of strength training produced dramatic improvements in glucose control that are comparable to taking diabetes medication. Additionally, the study volunteers were stronger, gained muscle, lost body fat, had less depression, and felt much more self-confident.

Healthy State of Mind

Strength training provides similar improvements in depression as anti-depressant medications. Currently, it is not known if this is because people feel better when they are stronger or if strength training produces a helpful biochemical change in the brain. It is most likely a
combination of the two. When older adults participate in strength training programs, their self-confidence and self-esteem improve, which has a strong impact on their overall quality of life.

Sleep Improvement

People who exercise regularly enjoy improved sleep quality. They fall asleep more quickly, sleep more deeply, awaken less often, and sleep longer. As with depression, the sleep benefits obtained as a result of strength training are comparable to treatment with medication but without the side effects or the expense.

Healthy Heart Tissue

Strength training is important for cardiac health because heart disease risk is lower when the body is leaner. One study found that cardiac patients gained not only strength and flexibility but also aerobic capacity when they did strength training three times a week as part of their
rehabilitation program. This and other studies have prompted the American Heart Association to recommend strength training as a way to reduce risk of heart disease and as a therapy for patients in cardiac rehabilitation programs.

Research and Background About Strength Training

Scientific research has shown that exercise can slow the physiological aging clock. While aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or swimming, has many excellent health benefits—it maintains the heart and lungs and increases cardiovascular fitness and endurance—it does not make your muscles strong. Strength training does. Studies have shown that lifting weights two or three times a week increases strength by building muscle mass and bone density.

One 12-month study conducted on postmenopausal women at Tufts University demonstrated 1% gains in hip and spine bone density, 75% increases in strength and 13% increases in dynamic balance with just two days per week of progressive strength training. The control group had losses in bone, strength, and balance.  Strength training programs can also have a profound effect on reducing risk for falls, which translates to fewer fractures.

 

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalizedprogram and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified fitness trainer, and certified nutritionist. We now accept health insurance!

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

 Dr. Deborah Neiman MD, Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

49 U.S. Highway 202
 Far Hills, NJ  07931
908-470-2235

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, doctor supervised weight loss center, Physician Weight Center, personal training, muscle conditioning classes, Weight Loss Center