Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

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

Lose Weight With Spring Recipes That Taste Great

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 @ 05:49 PM

Have you ever asked yourself...

How do I lose body fat without losing flavor in my meals?

How can I prepare a meal that my whole family will enjoy that includes heart-healthy fats and good-for-you brain foods?

How can I enjoy a seasonal barbecue without feeling deprived of something sizzling on the grill?

The answer to these questions is simple: A healthy diet starts at home.  All you need is 30 minutes or less and a non-stick pan or grill to make a delicious, healthy recipe that is skinny on the waist but rich in taste. 

CLICK HERE TO START YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS!

We now accept health insurance!

shrimp skinny recipe

Out with the old: Shrimp tempura.

In with the new: Shrimp lettuce tacos

Shrimp tempura consists primarily of shrimp that have been battered and deep fried. This dish typically includes a side order of vegetables. The high fat cooking method drives up the calorie level in this dish to about 320 calories. Here's how to slim down the fat and boost the flavor.

Sweet-Ginger Shrimp Tacos

1/2 pound jumbo shrimp (about 12 shrimp)

1 tablespoon grated ginger

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons peanut oil

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

romaine lettuce leaves

1. Add peanut oil to nonstick skillet over medium heat.

2. Add ginger and cook 1 minute.

3. Saute mushrooms for 3-4 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes until no longer pink.

4. Stir in lime juice, honey, and soy sauce. Divide shrimp mixture and wrap in lettuce tacos.

Makes 4 appetizer servings: 103 calories each: 2 ounces shrimp (3 shrimp) & mushrooms mixture

As an entree, this recipe makes 2 servings: 206 calories each: 4 ounces shrimp (6 shrimp) & mushroom mixture

Tomato-Glazed Shrimp Tacos

1/2 pound jumbo shrimp

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

2 minced garlic cloves

PAM cooking spray

1. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, garlic, red pepper, and basil.

2. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

3. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

3. Spray nonstick skillet with Pam or grill over medium heat. Add shrimp and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, until shrimp is no longer pink. Divide shrimp mixture and wrap in lettuce tacos.

Makes 4 appetizer servings: 97 calories each 2 ounces shrimp (3 shrimp)

As an entree, this recipe makes 2 servings: 194 calories each: 4 ounces shrimp (6 shrimp)

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Deborah Neiman MD,

Sari Greaves, RDN & Noelle Lusardi, CPT

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

Tags: quick weight loss, losing weight tips, losing weight fast, diet to lose weight, best weight loss

Ditch the Gym for Outdoor Exercise this Spring/Summer!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 02:06 PM

Ditch the gym

It’s been a long cold winter which means many of us were stuck inside the gym for months!  Kudos for all who stayed on track with your fitness routines despite the brutal!  However, now that Spring has arrived, it’s time to mix it up and get outdoors.  You don't have to train like an athlete to stay fit this spring/summer. Just try these outdoor activities to burn calories and keep your body toned without hitting the gym.

* All activities are calculated for a 150-pound woman performing the
activity for 30 minutes
.

Beach volleyball

If you're lucky enough to live near a beach or spend time at the beach, this sport is a great way to get your heart rate up, make friends, and tone your legs, shoulders and core. And because it's
harder to move in the sand, you get extra calorie burn.  Can’t get to the beach?  Have no fear… many parks and even some gyms have sand courts that offer similar benefits.
Calories burned: 272

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Gardening

Burn calories while making your yard more beautiful. Constantly bending and squatting to reach plants is great for your glutes, and your garden will be the envy of your neighbors.  But be sure to use your legs and not your back to bend over.  Additionally your arms will get a great workout pulling weeds, digging holes for flowers and using clippers to trim your bushes.
Calories burned: 136 calories

 

Surfing

Simply playing in the surf lets you burn calories even as you cool off. To get a better workout, be sure to paddle hard past the breakers to increase your heart rate.
Calories burned: 102 calories

 

Tennis

Pick up your racket and challenge your friend, neighbor, or spouse to a game of tennis. Running around the court allows you to sneak in an aerobic workout. Plus, hitting the ball is a great arm
toner.  No one to play with?  Find a wall to hit the ball back on forth on.
Calories burned: 272 calories

 

Bicycling (light)

Biking can be a great way to get around as well as to tone your quads and hamstrings.  A light ride burns more calories than walking, and riding up hills will keep your legs jiggle-free.   Many towns have some great biking paths which will keep you safer than riding on the road.
Calories burned: 204 calories

 Peninsula1

Frisbee

Playing Frisbee can be more than just a leisurely activity. A light game can keep you fit, and if you get a team together for a game of ultimate Frisbee, you will burn 272 calories in just 30
minutes.
Calories burned: 102 calories

 

Swimming leisurely

Cool off and enjoy this refreshing low-impact activity. And you don’t have to be an expert in butterfly to torch calories.  Moving through the water even at a slow pace gives you an aerobic
workout that tones your entire body.
Calories burned: 204 calories

 

Sightseeing

Out of town and no gym? See the sights by walking the streets of whichever city or town you’re visiting. When possible, hit the hills to tighten up your hamstrings and glutes.  The -10,000 Steps Program is a great way to gauge your calorie burn as well!
Calories burned: 129 calories (3.5 mph pace)

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Scuba diving

If you’re lucky enough to take a tropical vacation, make time for this exciting and eye-opening exercise. And if scuba diving is not your forte, you can go snorkeling. It lets you burn 170
calories in the same amount of time.
Calories burned: 238 calories

 

Kayaking

A sightseeing tour by kayak is a unique way to explore your surroundings—and a deceptively effective way to work on your six-pack. To propel the boat forward, you need to twist your torso like a wind-up spring in addition to paddling with your arms.  You’ll also use your upper back muscles.  Want to burn even more calories and get your heart pumping in your kayak?  Have a
friendly race with a friend!
Calories burned: 179

 

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP)

Balancing on a board that floats in the water may look difficult, but it's actually pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Paddling tones your biceps and triceps and engages the muscles in your
core and back.
Calories burned: 200

 

Golf

Tee yourself up to burn fat by leaving the golf cart at the clubhouse. A leisurely game turns into more of a cardiovascular and strength workout when you carry your clubs from hole to hole.
Calories burned: 161

Hopefully you’ll take advantage of this wonderful time of year with some of these great activities… stay fit and keep moving! 

Lose weight and gain confidence with a personalized program and the ongoing support of Step Ahead's expert team, including a physician, certified 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: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, summer weight loss, weight loss insurnace coverage, personal training, Weight Loss Center

Lose Weight and Keep It Off with Weight Training

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 01:49 PM

 

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So you've lost the weight, and you're feeling great, but are you ready for the next challenge, keeping it off?  Staying consistent with your exercise routine, especially weight training exercise, might be the key to your continued success. 

A new study shows that consistent exercise can alter the body's response to weight loss and potentially stop unwanted pounds from creeping back on.  The study was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise and offers good news about exercise and body weight.  Most Registered Dietitians will agree that to lose weight, you must reduce calories, whether you exericse or not.  Take in fewer calories than your body burns and you will lose weight.  The general rule of thumb is create a 500 calorie deficit in calories in vs calories out to lose on average 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Unfortunately, as you get smaller your body burns less calories because there is less of you.  So after losing weight, your body burns fewer calories througout the day than it did before, because you have less body mass using energy.  Fitness Training becomes imperitive during this stage of the journey.  Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham decided to closely study the effects of exercise during that pivotal time just after someone reaches their goal weight.

They began by recruiting about 100 overweight, sedentary women, all of whom agreed to undertake a strict diet of only 800 calories a day.  The group was divided into thirds.  One third of the women were asked not to exercise at all.  Another third began a supervised cardio program consisting of about 40 minutes of walking/jogging on a treadmill three times a week.  The final third started supervised weight training three times per week.

Each woman, regardless of the group she was in, stayed on the 800 calorie diet until she lost 25 pounds.  At that point, she continued to follow the exercise instructions and transitioned for a month to a customized, supervised diet designed for maintenance. 

The findings... women in the non-exercise group didn't move much at all throughout their days.  The women who did cardio exercise continued moving throughout their days so the calories they burned outside of exercise was significant.  However the women who weight trained moved the most, movement felt easier for them and their bodies continued burning through calories more efficiently.  Overall, the data suggests exercise, particularly weight training, after weight loss prompts people to move more throughout the day thus burning more calories, and with some discipline about food intake, should stave off weight gain.  It seems clear that weight training has a positive effect on weight management overall.

Lose weight and gain confidence with 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

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How To Stay Motivated To Exercise This Holiday Season

Posted by deborah neiman on Sat, Dec 13, 2014 @ 06:35 AM

Follow these fitness tips that will help keep your exercise motivation running high this holiday season.

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Set Realistic Goals:

Knowing it's a busy time of year, think ahead and revise your schedule if necessary, and then stick to it!  Think quality rather than quantity.  If you can’t squeeze in concentrated exercise,
move as much as possible throughout your day and stay away from the sweet treats to maintain healthy weight loss between Thanksgiving and New Years.  Something to keep in mind, incorporating the -10,000 Steps Program into each day will help ensure that you walk approximately 5 miles per day equalling approximately 500 calories burned through movement! 

Be Creative with your Time:

If you are finding it difficult to keep up with your fitness goals and the parenting demands this holiday season, then work out with your children.  Need to go Christmas shopping? Go to the mall for an hour or so before it opens and walk with your kids (maybe bring the hand-weights too
to increase the intensity). Or, go to a local gym and play basketball or go ice skating or swim at an indoor pool with your kids.  

Stick to a Routine:

As much as possible, try to have a general schedule for your days. You and your family will be much happier if you do. Don't think you need "to do it all." You'll be surprised how much your kids would love to help with the baking, wrapping and decorating. You may have a little extra time here and there if you let them help, and more importantly, you'll be making great memories with them.

Take Care of Yourself:

It is so easy to get stressed with all the shopping, decorating, baking, wrapping, family obligations, parties, but breathe and relax.  As much as possible, strive for 7-8 hours a sleep a night, drink plenty of water and continue to eat well.

It's okay to enjoy holiday parties, just don't indulge in all those sweet treats. Have a taste, then move on to something a bit more healthier.  Don't forget to set time to exercise; you'll feel much better and will be able to maintain your healthy weight loss goals this holiday season.  And if you're just starting an exercise program, it's a good idea to consult with a medical doctor before starting a new exercise program. Exercise reduces stress and cortisol levels, factors that have been shown to increase food intake and fat gain around the midsection. Do activities that you enjoy!

Learn more about how you can make lifestyle resolutions with our personalized program. Click below to start the journey to a healthier, new you with the support of a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.

Optifast 4 Week Membership

 

Sincerely,

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

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

 

 

 

Tags: losing weight tips, doctor supervised weight loss center, health fitness advice

Should I Lose Weight Super Fast This Holiday Season?

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Nov 26, 2014 @ 03:12 PM

If you wish to lose weight super fast this holiday season, you are not alone. At Step Ahead Wellness Center for weight loss, our mantra during the holiday season is to to set realistic goals and be sensible about your eating habits. The key is to give into your cravings in a controlled manner. You can sample something of everything, it's just a matter of how much. We will help keep your weight in check over the next six weeks. Enjoy our special feature of holiday recipes, eating tips and exercises that will  help you stay on track from Thanksgiving through the new year! Learn more about how you can fast-track your New Year's weight loss resolutions with our special personalized weight loss holiday promotion! Click below.

Optifast 4 Week Membership

Holiday Weight Gain Facts: Rumor has it that the average American gains 5 pounds during the holidays, but there isn’t a whole lot of science behind that statement. There is a study that shows we actually gain 1 pound, but the same study also shows we never lose that pound. Fast forward 10 years and see how good that looks and feels. The bottom line is make smart food choices, and keep moving. It's a busy, stressful time, but take care of your biggest investment... your health.

HOLIDAY EXERCISE TIP: Burn Calories While You Shop

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If you absolutely positively must skip a work out or two over the next several weeks then... Shop 'Til You Drop. One and a half hours of shopping and carrying bags will burn over 100 calories for the average 150 pound person. Additionally, spending one hour wrapping gifts can burn a massive 120 calories. If you choose to wrap all of your gifts in one sitting then you will burn more calories than you'd expect, so get organized and set some time aside to wrap them all in one go.

 

 

HOLIDAY RECIPE: Crostini with Creamy Carrot Spread

carrot_spreadDitch the high fat dips in favor of this low calorie creamy dip that is bursting with antioxidants. When it comes to carrots, believe it or not, they're not alway orange. Carrots can be white, yellow, purple or red. Fresh carrots can also be used in this recipe (Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes covered with aluminum foil, and additional 25 minutes uncovered until golden brown and soft) but steaming frozen carrots cuts cooking time in half!

Recipes makes about 2 cups. Serving size: 2 tablespoons = 70 calories.

1 pound frozen sliced carrots

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/2 cup macademia nuts

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dash of salt & pepper (1/4 teaspoon each)

1. Steam carrots according to package directions. Season with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt & pepper.

2. Place carrots in a food processor along with macademia nuts, cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Pulse until combined.

3. With the food processor blade running, slowly drizzle in the orange juice and olive oil. The carrots should be creamy and spreadable. Enjoy on whole grain crackers (such as Suzie's quinoa thin cakes, omly 15 calorie each) as a holiday appetizer.

Cheers! Let's kick off a healthy holiday season together!

Sincerely,

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

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

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Easy Diet Secrets That Work

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 @ 02:46 PM

During the holidays, preparing healthy meals does not have to be a hassle. Look no further than your kitchen pantry. With just a few simple ingredients, you can transform everday dishes into delicious low calorie recipes.

easy diet secrets

Diet Secret #1: Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock

Fact: Every tablespoon of butter or oil you use in a recipe adds around 100 calories. That may not sound like a lot, but just 100 extra calories a day can translate into 10 unwanted pounds over a year.

The Good News: Reduced sodium chicken stock is the perfect stand-in for oil or butter in sautés. It adds flavor to whatever you’re cooking, enough lubrication so that food doesn’t stick, and you’re now getting a fraction of the calories.

Healthy Tipping Point: Start with a quarter-cup of stock per 2 cups of chopped vegetables, which adds only 5 calories of full-bodied flavor. For chicken dishes, work your way up to one cup by gradually stirring in a few tablespoons at a time in a skillet set to medium-high heat. You have now mastered the art of fat-free sautéing! Use reduced sodium stock, which contains at least 25% less sodium than traditional varieties.

Diet Secret #2: Sundried Tomatoes

Fact: There’s no doubt that sandwich spreads are brimming with fat. Mayonnaise, which is an emulsion of oil, eggs, egg yolks, water, vinegar and spices, contains 1440 calories, 160 grams fat, and 24 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat per cup. Granted you may not be eating a whole cup on your turkey sandwich, but at 100 calories per tablespoon, the small dose of vitamins K, E, A, and B12 you ingest come at a high calorie cost. What’s a mayo lover to do? 

 The Good News: With one simple flavor-boosted tweak, you can have your mayonnaise and eat it too. Sundried tomatoes are what I like to call your sandwich’s secret weapon, packed with vitamins A, C and lycopene. Sundried tomatoes also possess a unique taste element called umami, which adds a savory flavor that compliments your sandwich ingredients.

Healthy Tipping Point: Stir together half of a chopped sundried tomato with 2 teaspoons of light mayonnaise for a delicious 45-calorie spread. For a creamier consistency, use an immersion blender to combine the sundried tomatoes and mayonnaise; it takes only 30 seconds! 

Light mayo contains a higher percentage of water than oil in the ingredient list. Choose a canola-or olive oil-based light mayonnaise to lock in heart-healthy fats. Look for short ingredient lists to avoid fillers, like high fructose corn syrup, found in some light varieties. You have now replaced a major culprit of sneaky calories found in high-fat condiments.

Who can deny the heart health benefits of avocado, olive oil, and chickpeas that have earned guacamole and hummus their reputations healthy party dips? If you want to reap the nutritional benefits of these foods without adding inches to your waistline, use them as a sandwich spread instead of as a dip. Just one tablespoon of hummus or guacamole will enhance the flavor of your next sandwich and contribute only 30-40 extra calories. This is the perfect portion-control solution if you are tempted to overindulge on chips and dip.

Diet Secret #3: Ground Flaxseeds and Almonds

Fact: Breaded food has a satisfying crunchy texture when used as a coating on baked foods. A quarter-cup serving of traditional breadcrumbs contains 120 calories but only 1 gram of fiber that Americans desperately need to consume more of on a daily basis. For optimal health, men and women should aim for a minimum of 25 grams of fiber daily, preferably from natural sources such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

The Good News: Instead of breadcrumbs, something, create a crunchy coating of ground flaxseeds and almonds. This mixture works just like breadcrumbs, but you get a nutrient package of fiber, vitamin E and omega-3 fats, all defenders against inflammation. Flaxseeds have a light nutty flavor, which can perk up the flavor of cereals, salads, casseroles, soups, pasta, and baked goods.

Healthy Tippong Point: The swap is simple. Fold in 1 teaspoon of sliced almonds for every 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseeds. This 100-calorie heart-healthy coating adds an irresistible crunchy texture to anything from chicken cutlets to French toast.You can buy pre-ground flaxseed meal in the health section or cereal aisle at your local grocery. This fiber-boosting diet shortcut is as easy as grabbing a fiber-one bar.

Diet Secret #4: Chinese Five Spice  

Fact: Many fat-free marinades are loaded with sugar and sodium. How can you jazz up the flavor of meat, seafood, chicken, or vegetables without falling into the salt and sugar trap?

The Good News: Amp up the flavor of traditional dishes with Chinese five spice powder. This pantry staple is like a spice rack in a bottle. The blend contains cinnamon, star anise, fennel, ground cloves, and black pepper, which adds a delicate balance of sweet and spicy flavors to any meal. Not only are you slashing sodium, sugar, and calories, but you are loading up on antioxidants to reduce inflammation.

Healthy Tipping point: A little goes a long way, so start out with a teaspoon of Chinese five spice for a meal for four people.

Even the most apprehensive cook will feel inspired to use these flavor boosters. It’s an easy first step to peel off extra pounds and pack in essential nutrition. Searching for more doctor weight loss tips?

Optifast 4 Week MembershipStep Ahead Wellness Center is conveniently located at 49 U.S. Highway 202 Far Hills, NJ 07931 Email DrNeiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or call us 908-470-2235

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How to Lose Fat with Interval Training

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 08:46 AM

With interval training, you swap between short periods of intense activity and longer periods of light activity.“How to lose fat?” is a huge question for many women. There are countless different exercise/weight loss programs out there to help women meet their fat/weight loss goals. Yet, for many women, finding the best way to lose fat proves to be difficult.

The two broadest categories of exercise are cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise training and weight (i.e. strength) training. However, there are countless different types of exercise regimens which fall under these broad categories and even different methods of performing some of the most basic exercises.

Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of interval training.

What is Interval Training?

While the specific definition of interval training might differ based on who you ask, the basic idea is relatively simple. In essence, interval training is any exercise regimen where you alternate periods of heavy activity with light activity.

Examples of interval training would include things such as alternating swimming at full speed with leisurely laps in the pool or switching between running and jogging/walking during your morning walk at regular intervals (hence the name interval training).

How Does Interval Training Help Me?

Interval training of various intensity can be healthy for women of most ages.Intense activity helps people to burn calories more quickly, which in turn leads to increased weight loss. Interval training helps exercisers to achieve that higher calorie burn through short periods of intense activity interspersed with warm-up and cool-down periods of activity in between to help maximize the efficiency of the workout.

Properly done, interval training can help to reduce the risk of cramps and muscular injury from suddenly starting or stopping intense activity by easing you into or out of bouts of heavy exercise.

Studies featured in the Journal of Applied Physiology have shown that high-intensity aerobic interval training, “over a longer period of time (4-6 wk) has been reported to increase high-intensity exercise performance, muscle buffering capacity, whole body exercise fat oxidation rates, and aerobic capacity” (Talanian et. al.). To put this in other words, aerobic interval training has been proven to improve your capacity for exercise, muscle health, and your body’s ability to burn fat.

Over time, interval training can help you build endurance to let you work out for longer, and get more positive results from your exercise.

Another noted benefit of interval training is that it can help combat the monotony of an exercise routine by adding variety to your workout. This helps prevent the sense of boredom and increase your engagement with your exercise.

Interval training can, for many people, prove to be the best weight loss exercise regimen possible.

Are There Risks to Interval Training?

With any exercise regimen, there is a risk of bodily injury, especially when said exercise involves strenuous activity. If you rush into a heavy exercise routine before you’re ready, you can end up damaging one or more major muscle groups.

If you are just starting an exercise routine after a prolonged period of no exercise whatsoever, or have a serious health condition such as cardiovascular disease, consult with your physician before beginning any exercise regimen.

To reduce your risk for injury and other health complications when performing interval exercise, consult with a physical trainer and/or your doctor. A trained physical health expert can help you determine your threshold for physical activity and create an exercise regimen based on your health needs.

Also, make sure to wear the appropriate equipment for your chosen exercise routine. For example, wear running shoes that provide full support for your feet when jogging.

To further reduce risk of injury, ease your way into practicing bouts of heavier activity. On your first interval exercise routine, try doing just one or two bouts of heavy activity of roughly 30 seconds to a minute long at most. If that level of activity feels too hard, ease back on the intensity and length of the high-intensity intervals until you have had a chance to build up your endurance. The bottom line is "listen to your body"  -- you want to challenge yourself but not to the point of injury or heat stroke, or over stressing your body.

Exercise is safer when done with a trainer. Unless you are a seasoned exerciser/athlete, it is probably best to avoid performing interval training alone. There are always benefits to training with a partner. The biggest benefits are that partners push each other so there is no quitting and they make each other more accountable (to actually show up for the exercise!). As with all diet/exercise lifestyles, consistency is key.  

If you need help with your own interval training regimen, Step Ahead Wellness is here for you. We have a staff of dedicated professionals who are trained to help you meet your health and fitness goals.

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Source Cited:

Talanian, Jason L. et. al., “Two Weeks of High-Intensity Aerobic Interval Training Increases the Capacity for Fat Oxidation during Exercise in Women.” Journal of Applied Physiology. Vol. 102 no. 1439-1447. April 1, 2007. Web. Accessed 8/13/14. http://jap.physiology.org/content/102/4/1439

Tags: Exercise, Weight Loss, losing weight tips

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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POWER WALK/YOGA STRETCH CLASSES START TOMORROW NIGHT!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Jun 03, 2014 @ 06:08 AM

POWER WALK/YOGA STRETCH CLASSES IN THE PARK START TOMORROW NIGHT!!!

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