Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Exercise Can Help Combat Sleepless Nights!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jul 01, 2015 @ 02:28 PM

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For many of us, especially women, getting a good night's sleep is a luxury. From careers, to kids, to social and family events, life comes first, sleep comes last. Throw biology into the mix -- like a woman's menstrual cycle -- and insomnia becomes even more common. Sleep problems can make it even harder to get the recommended 7.5 to 8 hours of shut-eye necessary to perform your best.  Do lifestyle changes such as -10,000 Steps Program for exercise help combat insomnia?

Exercise, especially -Aerobic Exercise, has long been assumed to improve sleep.  Scientists at Northwestern University say sleep problems affect millions of adults, who could likely improve their quality of sleep, vitality, and mood with regular aerobic exercise.  The researchers say the study is the first to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on insomnia in middle-aged and older adults. About 50% of people middle-aged and older complain of symptoms of chronic insomnia.

Investigators studied 23 sedentary adults, mostly women aged 55 years and older, who had a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep and also reported impaired daytime functioning. 

The participants were randomly placed in one of two groups.

One group exercised for two 20-minute sessions four times a week and the other did a 30-40 minute workout four times a week. This went on in both groups for 16 weeks, with participants exercising to 75% of their maximum heart rate on at least two activities, such as riding a stationary bicycle or walking on a treadmill.

In a control group, participants didn’t exert themselves physically but only mentally, taking part in recreational or educational activities, such as attending a cooking class or listening to a museum lecture. This group met for about 45 minutes, three to five times a weeks, also for 16 weeks.

Researchers say the participants who exercised reported that their sleep quality improved, raising their diagnosis from poor to good sleeper. They also reported fewer depressive symptoms, more vitality, and less sleepiness in the daytime.  This is just one more reason to live a healthy life with good eating and regular exercise as the staple.

If you are interested in improving your quality of life, join us today! Lose weight, gain confidence and be healthy 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


Get Started Today!

Tags: physician weight loss program, health insurance coverage, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness Center, 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 Glowing, Beautiful, Youthful Skin? Try Exercise!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Mar 11, 2015 @ 01:31 PM

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It's a known fact that exercise does the body good, but what about the skin?  Skin is an organ so it makes sense that exercise will help keep it healthy, youthful and glowing.  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?

Does Exercise Have Skin Anti-aging Benefits?

Looking for the magic anti-wrinkle cream or pill?  Save your money and try exercising instead.  Exercise can be beneficial to your skin 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 offset free radical damage. Be aware however that 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.  Always protect yourself with SPF 35 or higher.

 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?  No one!

Skin Conditions That May Be Aggravated By Exercise

For some people, 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.

Bottom Line

Exercise may have benefits for your skin that can help you attain that beautiful, youthful flow we're all looking for – but also be aware of the pitfalls... always use sunscreen when exercising outdoors and if you do have one of the skin conditions listed above, be aware of your exercise environment.  If you take the proper steps to care for your skin, it will radiate for you!

If you'd like to get healthy, exercise and have glowing skin consider a personalized program and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified trainer, and certified nutritionist.

 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

 

 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”

Tags: Personal Trainers, group excercise classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, personal training, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes

Why Strong Is The New Skinny....

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 02, 2014 @ 04:26 PM

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No doubt you’ve heard the slogan, “strong is the new skinny.” For
years women have focused on losing weight, sometimes using unhealthy techniques
like extreme calorie restriction, excessive aerobic exercise and weight loss
supplements. The tide seems to be turning as more women discover the power
weight training has to transform their body – and their mind. Rather than
depriving themselves, they’re fueling their bodies with whole foods that build
strong, defined muscles. Why is this a good thing? Here are five reasons why
strong is better than skinny.

Strong is about Functional Strength

Strength isn’t just about building defined biceps and thighs,
it’s about developing the strength you need to do everyday things like moving
furniture, carrying heavy loads and shoveling snow safely and more efficiently.
This makes everything you do easier. How do you achieve this? With an
integrated approach to strength-training – compound exercises that work
multiple muscle groups simultaneously, bodyweight exercises and exercises that
mimic movements you do in your everyday life. It also involves strengthening
your core, the part of your where most of your power originates.

“Strong” enhances your life and makes you more functionally fit
and capable. “Skinny,” if it comes from calorie restriction, under-nutrition
and too much aerobic exercise, makes you weaker and less able to do your daily
activities without feeling fatigued. Of course, there are people who are
naturally thin but even naturally thin people can benefit from strength
training.

Skinny Doesn’t Mean
Firm

You’ve probably familiar with the term “skinny-fat.” It’s used
to describe people of normal or low body weight with a high ratio of fat to
muscle. If you fall into this category, you’re still at higher risk for type 2
diabetes despite not being overweight. Here’s where it gets interesting. A
study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found people
with type 2 diabetes that are under or at their ideal body weight have a
greater risk of dying from diabetes.

In contrast, research shows resistance training not only builds
strength – it increases insulin sensitivity and improves blood sugar control.
One study showed men that weight trained at least 150 minutes per week lowered
their risk for type 2 diabetes by between 35% and 50%. Skinny won’t necessarily
improve your blood sugar but strength training will.

Skinny is No Guarantee of Health

A study recently showed people who are underweight are at as
high risk of dying as people who are obese. This conclusion was based on a
meta-analysis of 51 different studies. People with a BMI of under 18.5 were at
1.8 times greater risk of dying relative to people of normal weight. This
finding held up even after the researchers controlled for factors like smoking
and chronic disease. Using extreme calorie restriction and excessive aerobic
exercise to get skinny carries risks too. Women who fall into this category may
experience a drop in estrogen that leads to osteoporosis and infertility. The
scale can be deceptive. It’s not a measure of health.

Strong Helps You Age Better

As you age, if you don’t strength train, skinny turns to frail.
You begin losing muscle mass by the age of 30 and the loss greatly accelerates
after 50. From then on you continue to lose strength and muscle mass. Along
with loss of strength and muscle mass, you lose functional strength. This means
you can’t do the things you once could do with ease. Muscle isn’t the only
thing you lose. You lose bone density too. Your risk for falls and fractures
goes up – including the most serious type of fracture – hip fractures.

“Strong” that comes through strength training slows down muscle
loss and helps preserve bone density. Even if you’re still in your 20s,
strength training helps you maximize your bone density so you’re better
protected against osteoporosis later.

Self-Esteem

Resistance training builds self-esteem. When you’re strong you
feel more comfortable with your body and have a more positive self-image. This
transfers over to all aspects of your life. You’re more confident at work and
in relationships. Strength-training and the confidence that comes from it
improves all aspects of your life.

One study carried out at McMaster University found twelve weeks
of strength training significantly improved how participants (men and women)
viewed their bodies. Along with gains in strength and lean body mass came
improvements in self-esteem and body image. In this study, women felt the most
satisfaction from knowing they could lift heavier and do more reps as a result
of their training. “Strong” changes how you look – and how you think.

The Bottom Line?

Strong has lots of benefits that skinny doesn’t – even if you’re
naturally thin. Age brings changes that make “skinny” hard to maintain. Even if
you manage to maintain it, body fat increases and muscle mass declines with
age. This leads to a more extreme form of skinny-fat – sarcopenia. Sarcopenia,
or the age-related loss of muscle mass, is one of the most serious problems
older people face because it increases the risk for mortality. “Strong” can
help you avoid it.

 

References:

Science Daily. “Underweight people at as high risk of dying as
obese people, new study finds”

JAMA. 2012 Aug 8;308(6):581-90.

Diabetes Care August 2006 vol. 29 no. 8 1933-1941.

“Psychological aspects of resistance training” Michael H. Stone,
Meg Stone, and William A. Sands

Body Image, December 2005: vol 2: pp 363-372.

 

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Diet and Nutrition, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, muscle conditioning classes, diet to lose weight, exercise classes, Step Ahead Wellness Center

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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Don't Ignore These 4 Important Muscle Groups!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Mar 25, 2014 @ 06:51 AM

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Start Paying Attention To These 4 Important Muscle Groups!

 

You probably have muscle groups you love to work. It might be your
shoulders, biceps or glutes – but more importantly what muscles are you giving
the “cold shoulder?” If you enjoy working certain muscle groups, you may be
spending more time on training those muscles than you are your least favorite
muscles to work.

Why is this a problem? By focusing more on your favorite muscles, you
creating strength imbalances. Strength imbalances are a problem because they
increase your risk for injury. Strength imbalances also create asymmetry. A
symmetrical, balanced body in terms of strength and development is better from
a structural standpoint and is more aesthetically pleasing as well. Muscles
work together in an integrated manner to help you move. If one muscle is weaker
it throws movements slightly off balance and increases the risk of injury

What muscles are you not working often enough? In terms of muscle balance,
some muscles are more likely to get the “cold shaft” than others. Here are some
of the most commonly neglected muscles.

Calves

Chances are you invest more of time working your quadriceps and hamstrings
than you do your calf muscles. Your calf is made up of two muscles
gastrocnemius and the soleus. Strong calf muscles are important if you do
sports that require explosive power like jumping. Always stretch your calf
muscles after every workout to maintain flexibility, especially if you run or
do plyometric exercises that involve jumping.

Fortunately, it’s easy to work your calf muscles by doing standing or
seated calf raises. The results you’ll get from working your calf muscles will
vary. Some people develop calf muscles more easily than others based on
genetics. Even if you don’t develop noticeably defined calves, you can still
strengthen them for greater muscle balance and symmetry. Why should your quads
and hamstrings get all the attention? Add some calf raises, with or without
weights, to your lower body routine.

Obliques

The obliques are another group of neglected muscles for some people. The
oblique muscles, made up of the internal and external obliques, are muscles on
each side of your rectus abdominis. Why do you need to work them? They give
your lower back support and help to improve your posture. Plus, your obliques
come into play as stabilizers when you do other types of lifting movements.

Two of the best exercises for working your obliques are oblique crunches on
a mat or a stability ball and side planks. Don’t let your obliques be an
afterthought. Side bridges and Russian twists also target your oblique muscles.
For overall core balance, don’t make your obliques an after thought.muscle
groups:

 

Lower Back Muscles

When you work your abdominal muscles and obliques, save some focused
attention for your back. By zeroing in on your abdominal muscles without
training your lower back muscles, you create a core imbalance that increases
your risk for injury and back pain. After all, back muscles are part of your
core. When you focus on abdominal exercises without balancing things out with
lower back exercises, your core becomes “off-balance,” being stronger on one
side than the other. Your goal should be core symmetry. Plus, strong back
muscles provide the support you need to train other muscles harder by
supporting your spine. When your spinal stabilizers are weak it affects your
posture. This places added stress on your vertebrae. Not to mention strong back
muscles reduce your risk for back pain.

How can you give your lower back muscles more love? Balance abdominal
exercises with “supermans.” To do this, lie on your stomach and lift your
shoulders off the floor as high as you can. Hold for a few seconds before
releasing. Repeat until you can’t do anymore. Deadlifts are another good
exercise for strengthening your lower back muscles.

Forearms

Forearms you say? Why do I need to work them? Strong forearms reduce
fatigue when you train your biceps and when you do presses. They also improve
your grip strength – perfect if you play racquet sports or if you do pulling
exercises. Having weak forearms can limit the amount of weight you can lift
when working other body parts. Don’t let your forearms limit your development
in other areas.

Among the best exercises for strengthening your forearms are wrist flexion
and extension exercises using weights. When you do biceps curls, add a set of
reverse barbell curls to strengthen the extensor muscles in your forearms.
There’s no need to spend a large amount of time working your forearms, but
don’t ignore them either. They help you maximize the rest of your resistance
training.

The Importance of Total Body Workouts

One way to make sure no muscle gets left behind is to focus more on total
body workouts and compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups. You’ll
also burn more calories doing a greater percentage of compound exercise as
opposed to exercises that isolate a single muscle group. Still, if you already
have muscle imbalances because you’ve ignored certain muscles, you’ll need to
do isolated exercises that target those muscles to create muscle balance.

 

The Bottom Line

Everyone has favorite body parts that they love to work more than others.
Enjoy training those parts but don’t neglect ones you don’t like to work and
those you deem less important. It’s also about balance and symmetry. Your body
is only as strong and powerful as its weakest link. Make sure your training is
balanced.

For more information on exercise please contact our fitness
director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  And visit our website www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest weight loss programs and weight loss specials.

 

References:

ACE Fitness. “Muscular Imbalances Increase Your Clients’ Risk for Injury”

 

 

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, group excercise classes, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast

Quick Fit Tip from Step Ahead's Fitness Director

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 12:08 PM

 

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Jump rope for 5 to 10 minutes for some mid-day calorie burning!

 

The average 150-pound person will burn approximately 90 calories during 10 minutes of jumping rope!

 

For more weight loss tips contact our fitness director Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  And check out our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for our the latest information on our weight loss programs and weight loss specials.

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, jumpstart diet, losing weight fast, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, group excercise classes, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, diet to lose weight, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast

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”

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Diet and Nutrition, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, group excercise classes, Physician Weight Loss, Physician Weight Center, lose weight in 2014, exercise classes, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

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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