Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

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

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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

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EXERCISE OUTDOORS THIS SUMMER... WITH STEP AHEAD!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 @ 06:53 AM

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Our fitness director/certified fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi, has created a 12 week summer program to get you outside!  Join our Power Walk/Yoga Stretch In The Park classes every Wednesday night from 7 to 8pm, now through August 27th.  Email Noelle directly at Noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more information.

 

Enjoy the benefits of outdoor exercise as discussed in the New York Times article below.

 

From The New York Time: The
Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS

February 21,
2013 12:01 am

While the
allure of the gym — climate-controlled, convenient and predictable — is
obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to
exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent
bicycle or a track.

You stride
differently when running outdoors, for one thing. Generally, studies find,
people flex their ankles more when they run outside. They also, at least
occasionally, run downhill, a movement that isn’t easily done on a treadmill
and that stresses muscles differently than running on flat or uphill terrain.
Outdoor exercise tends, too, to be more strenuous than the indoor version. In
studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of
running outside, treadmill
runners expended less energy
to cover the same distance as those striding
across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind
resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle.

The same dynamic has been shown
to apply to cycling
, where wind drag can result in much greater energy
demands during 25 miles of outdoor cycling than the same distance on a
stationary bike. That means if you have limited time and want to burn as many
calories as possible, you should hit the road instead of the gym.

But
there seem to be other, more ineffable advantages to getting outside to work
out. In a number of
recent studies,
volunteers have been asked to go for two walks for the same
time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, the
other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported
enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests,
scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and
self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked
outside.

Of course,
those studies were small-scale, short-term — only two walks — and squishy in
their scientific parameters, relying heavily on subjective responses. But a study last year of older
adults
found, objectively, that those who exercised outside exercised
longer and more often than those working out indoors. Specifically, the
researchers asked men and women 66 or older about their exercise habits and
then fitted them all with electronic gadgets that measured their activity
levels for a week. The gadgets and the survey showed that the volunteers who
exercised outside, usually by walking, were significantly more physically
active than those who exercised indoors, completing, on average, about 30
minutes more exercise each week than those who walked or otheStudies haven’t
yet established why, physiologically, exercising outside might improve
dispositions or inspire greater commitment to an exercise program. A few small studies have found
that people have lower blood levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress,
after exerting themselves outside as compared with inside. There’s speculation,
too, that exposure to direct sunlight, known to affect mood, plays a role.

But the
take-away seems to be that moving their routines outside could help reluctant
or inconsistent exercisers. “If outdoor activity encourages more activity, then
it is a good thing,” says Jacqueline Kerr, a professor at the University of
California, San Diego, who led the study of older adults. After all, “despite
the fitness industry boom,” she continues, “we are not seeing changes in
national physical activity levels, so gyms are not the answer.”

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Schedule Your FREE TRX Training Session Today!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 04, 2014 @ 06:17 AM

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Step Ahead's fitness director/certified fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi, is offering FREE 30-minute training sessions next week only!  Call today to schedule your session 908-470-2235, timeslots are filling up quickly.

TRX training will blast calories and challenge your muscles and cardio endurance like never before in as little as 30 minutes.  If you're looking to jumpstart your weight loss goals and get fit before summer, train with us and TRX!

Pictured is our awesome client Julie demonstrating a TRX row during her training last night! For TRX questions or for more info email Noelle directly at Noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  For more information on our weight loss programs and specials visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Step Ahead Brings Fitness Classes to Local Companies!

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Apr 03, 2014 @ 12:16 PM

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Our fantastic Yoga Instructor, Alyssia Saporito, takes employees at Peapack Gladstone Bank through another week of great classes!

Interested in bringing fitness classes to your company?

Call today for details -- 908-470-2235, or email our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at Noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

Let us bring fitness to you!

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Want Glowing Beautiful Skin?? Try Exercising!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Jan 07, 2014 @ 06:05 AM

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Exercise does good things for almost every part of your body – but what about your skin? Does exercise have benefits for your skin too? Discover the possible benefits working out has for your skin and how to maximize them.

The list of health benefits with regular exercise is endless.  It can decrease the risk of chronic health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, some types of cancer and even mental conditions like depression.  Plus, it’s a great stress reliever. These are all good things – but what about your skin? Does exercise have benefits for the part of your body that’s the first to show your age?

Can Exercise Lower Your Risk for Skin Cancer?

According to a study published on Science Daily, daily caffeine and exercise could help keep skin cancer at bay. In one study, mice at high risk for skin cancer that got a daily dose of caffeine and ran on a treadmill experienced 62% fewer malignant skin tumors compared to those that didn’t
exercise and got no caffeine. Both caffeine and exercise alone reduced the incidence of skin cancer but the combination was best. Although this study was carried out in mice, researchers believe the results will ultimately hold true in humans as well.

Why would exercise be of benefit? Researchers believe caffeine and exercise help to reduce inflammation, and inflammation plays a role in skin cancer. On caveat. Indoor exercise is better for the health of your skin unless you consistently wear a high SPF sunscreen. Exposure to sunlight is the number one risk factor for skin cancer. Keep your skin protected whether you’re exercising or not.

Does Exercise Have Skin Anti-aging Benefits?

Some sources say that intense exercise ages your skin – all the bouncing around causes premature skin sagging. There’s no evidence this is true. In fact, exercise may be beneficial because it helps keep inflammation in check.  Although you generate free radicals during exercise, your body becomes better at dealing with them so they’re less damaging. One reason exercise lowers the risk of chronic diseases comes from its ability to reduce inflammation and make your body more efficient at dealing with free radicals and oxidative stress.  Free radicals also damage collagen and elastin tissue that keeps your skin firm and youthful. Regular exercise may actually slow the skin aging process by helping your skin deal offset free radical damage. Again, if you exercise outdoors and don’t wear a sunscreen consistently, you’ll accelerate the skin aging process by exposing your skin to damaging ultraviolet light.

 Exercise and Skin: Does Exercise Help or Hinder if You Have Acne?

Some people who have acne are afraid to work up a sweat. They’re convinced that sweating makes their acne worse. A study published in Pediatric Dermatology found no increase in acne outbreaks among exercisers who sweated during their workout. Another study carried out by Stanford University School of Medicine also found no link between exercise-induced sweating and acne. It also showed no link between the amount of sweating during exercise, time spent
sweating or the interval between exercise and showering and acne outbreaks.  Some people believe that sweating during exercise helps to open up clogged pores and release pore-clogging materials that trigger acne.

Here’s something to keep in mind. If you have acne on your body, avoid tight-fitting clothing when you work out. There’s a type of acne called acne mechanica that’s triggered by wearing tight clothing that doesn’t allow your skin to breathe. If possible, wear moisture-wicking fabrics. Stress is an acne trigger for some people and a vigorous workout helps to keep stress in check.

Exercise Brightens Your Skin

Ever notice the glow your skin has after a workout? Exercise increases heart rate and blood flow, delivering more nutrients to the outer layer of your skin as well as the deeper layer called the dermis. It’s the increased blood flow and oxygen that gives your skin that post-exercise glow. Who needs blush after a workout?

Some Skin Conditions May Be Aggravated By Exercise

Exercise can aggravate certain skin conditions including rosacea, psoriasis and eczema. If you have rosacesa, exercise in a cool environment. Heat can worsen the redness and skin flushing that people with rosacesa experience. If you have eczema or psoriasis, wear lose clothing so sweat doesn’t build up. Sweat can aggravate both conditions. Be sure to moisturize before and after exercise.

 Why Do Some Runners and Athletes Look Older?

You may have noticed that some athletes and runners look older than their age. This is more common in long-distance runners who have a very low body fat percentage. When you lose body fat, you also lose the subcutaneous fat that gives your face a more youthful appearance. If you lose a lot of weight for any reason, you may notice that your face looks less youthful due to loss of body fat. This is most apparent in people over the age of 40. Runners and other athletes that participate in outdoor sports also get more exposure to sunlight and age prematurely due to that. To protect your skin from damage, wear a sunscreen with an SPF of 40 or greater that blocks UVA and UVB rays every day.  It’s the best way to protect your skin against premature aging.

The Bottom Line?

Exercise may have benefits for your skin – but be aware of the pitfalls. It can aggravate some skin conditions and can lead to premature aging if you exercise outdoors without a sunscreen. Take steps to protect your skin.

For more fit tips, or any information regarding fitness, good health, contact Step Ahead Wellness Center’s fitness director/certified fitness trainer/health coach, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com. Visit our website, www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest healthy weight loss programs and special offers!

 

 References:

Science Daily. “Caffeine and Exercise May Be Protective Against Skin Cancer
Caused by Sun Exposure, Study Suggests”

Pediatr Dermatol. 2008 Jan-Feb;25(1):126-8.

Medscape Medical News. “Exercise Does Not Appear to Increase Risk of Acne”

WebMD. “Skin Benefits From Exercise: Tone Skin, Collagen and More”

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Enjoy this Snowstorm with Calorie Burning Winter Sports... see the breakdown below..

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 03, 2014 @ 06:41 AM

 

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Don’t let this snowstorm sideline you from exercising!  Stick with your weight loss goals by going outdoors today!  Take advantage of this beautiful winter weather with these calorie burning activities that can be done alone, or with your family and children.  For more fitness tips, contact Step Ahead Wellness Center's certified personal trainer and fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com to take advantage of our latest healthy weight loss specials!

 

 

Winter Sport

120-lb
  woman

150-lb
  woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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Post Holiday Gain? Here Are Ways to Recover...

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

 

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How to get back to your healthy habits after the holidays. Painlessly.

Article By: Erinn Bucklan

"By adding just 500 calories per day, or three homemade sugar cookies and a glass of low-fat
milk, you could gain two pounds in two weeks over the holidays," says Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

Now the merriment has ended, here's how to get back on track to healthier habits in the New Year.

Up your fruit and vegetable intake

Ideally, you should consume at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day now. These vitamin-rich foods boost your fiber and antioxidant intake and help you feel full. A tip: Replace that midafternoon 16-oz. cola (200 calories) with an orange (65 calories) as a nutritious snack.

Pre-arrange exercise time

You'll stick to a regimen if you schedule exercise ahead, says Brad Cardinal, Ph.D., associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at Oregon State University. Try to get in 30 minutes almost every day. Wear a low-cost pedometer (it counts footsteps) or sign up for a charity walk/run to stick to a plan.

Resist depriving yourself

Focus on what you're going to eat rather than what you're not. "It sounds indulgent," says Colleen Thompson, R.D., a nutritionist at the University of Connecticut. "But concentrate on ways to feed
yourself now. It helps you to stick to healthy eating habits." For example, don't skip a nutritious, fiber-rich breakfast, like oatmeal or a half of a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter. It can help prevent overeating later.

 

For more tips, or for more information about Step Ahead Wellness Center’s weight loss
programs, visit us at www.stepaheadwellnescenter.com or call 908-470-2235.  Let us help you
get back on track and reach your weight loss goals in 2014!

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DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON... Check out our low-cal cocktail tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 01:17 PM

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Low-Calorie Holiday Cocktails

With so many holiday parties and festivies, alcohol consumption increases this time of year.  But have no fear, Step Ahead Wellness Center is here with tips on how to curb holiday cocktail calories.  Holiday cocktails don’t have to be a diet downer.  With a little planning this season, you can avoid alcohol diet disaster, and there are some drinks that are relatively low in calories.

Know the Culprits:

  • Mixers, syrups and sodas can turn an innocent
    cocktail into a dessert.
  • Higher proof alcohols contain more
    calories.  For example, 100-proof Vodka =
    82 calories/1 oz
  • Super-sized drinks.  Magaritas with double shots and extra mixers could add up to 1,000 calories or more in 1 mug.  A TGIFriday’s frozen mudslide contains 1,100 calories!  Most glasses of wine contain 120-150 calories, but that can double depending on the size of the glass and how full it is.  One bottle of wine serves 5, 5-ounce servings = 600 calories).
  • Beer can range from 64-198 calories per 12 ounces.  Dark beer contains more calories than pale beer.

Cut Some Alcohol Calories:

  • Alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Choose wine, light beer or simple cocktails made with low-calorie mixers.  Just as you might order a salad with dressing on the side, don’t be shy about asking for your cocktail your way.
  • Skip the mix altogether.  Try ordering your favorite liquor on the rocks.  Infused vodkas are popular because they are not flavored but infused.
  • Dilute your drink with club soda or sparking water.

Lastly and more importantly, be sure to appoint a designated driver to get your to/from holidays parties safely.

For more healthy holiday weight loss tips, contact Step Ahead Wellness Center at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or call 908-470-2235.  Let us help you reach your weight loss goals in 2014 with our healthy weight loss programs.  One on one personal training and small group exercise classes are also available on site with our certified personal fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi.

Have a safe and holiday season!

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CARB BLOCKING SUPPLEMENT Now Available at Step Ahead Wellness Center!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

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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 designed to stop cravings for empty carbs that sidetrack your healthy eating goals.

Empty carbs can sabbatoge your healthy weight loss plans and keep you off track.  This new supplement can help you block your cravings for empty carbs thus allowing to stick with your healthy eating plan optimizing nutrition, keeping your sugar levels steady and allowing you to feel energized all day long.  Additionally

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 execise regime!

In addition to Carb Check, Step Ahead Wellness Center offers many other healthy doctor supervised weight loss plans including OptiFast, on site one on one personal training and small group exercise sessions also on site.

 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.com
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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