Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Strength Training Improves Health and Increases Weight Loss

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

Why Strength Train?

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

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Benefits of Strength Training

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

arthritis

diabetes

osteoporosis

obesity

back pain


depression

Arthritis Relief

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

Restoration of Balance and Reduction of Falls

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

Strengthening of Bone

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

Proper Weight Maintenance

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

Improved Glucose Control

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

Healthy State of Mind

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

Sleep Improvement

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

Healthy Heart Tissue

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

Research and Background About Strength Training

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

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

 

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

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

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

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

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

Exercise to Beat Depression

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 @ 12:10 PM

We all know the benefits of exercise for weight loss and physical health, but did you know exercise is also beneficial for mental health?  Exercise not only battles the bulge, it also battles the blues. Exercise “addicts” will agree that they feel mentally/emotionally stronger, happier and have a clear head upon completing a workout.  Scientific studies back this up by showing that people who Exercise regularly benefit with a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression.
happy woman after run

What Are the Psychological Benefits of Exercise With Depression?
Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine. For example, the feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." That feeling, known as a "runner's high," can be accompanied by a positive and energizing outlook on life.  You don’t have to run to experience this “runner’s high.”  Just completing a challenging workout will give you the same feeling of euphoria.  Not to get too scientifc, but endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same
ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation
of these receptors by the body's endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.


Regular exercise has been proven to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Improve slepp

Exercise also has these added health benefits:

  • Strenthens your heart
  • Increases energy level
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves muscle tone and strength
  • Strengthens and builds bones
  • Reduces body fat
  • Makes you look fit and healthy


Is Exercise a Treatment for Clinical Depression?
Research has shown that exercise is an effective but often underused treatment for mild to moderate depression.  Many professional trainers encourage clients to stick with their exercise routine to help fight feelings of sadness, anxiety and depression.

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Are there Types of Exercises That Are Better for Depression?

It appears that any form of exercise can help depression.  Some examples of moderate exercise include biking, dancing, gardening, golf (walking instead of using a cart), jogging, walking, low-impact aerobics and yoga.  Doing housework such as vacuuming, mopping floors and washing your car are also great ways to get your exercise in while getting chores done at the same time.
Because strong social support is important for those with depression, joining a group exercise class may be beneficial. Or you can exercise with a close friend or your partner. In doing so, you will benefit from the physical activity and emotional comfort, knowing that others are supportive of you.  Hiring a personal trainer is another great way to get the emotional and social support you need to look and feel great on the inside and out!

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

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

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


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

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, physician weight loss program, Noelle Lusardi, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, personal training, Weight Loss Center, weight loss covered by insurance, Step Ahead Wellness Center, biological factors in loosing weight

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

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

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

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, losing weight tips, medical weight loss solutions, health insurance coverage, Personal Trainers, doctor supervised weight loss center, personal training, muscle conditioning classes, health fitness advice, Weight Loss Center, personalized weight loss, lose weight fast

BEAT THE WINTER "BLAHS" WITH SHORT-TERM WEIGHT LOSS GOALS!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Feb 02, 2015 @ 07:49 AM

Need to lose a few pounds before Spring but the long, cold winter days are leaving feeling unmotivated and “blah”?  There is a way out!  Get yourself on track to a happier, healthier you this winter by setting short-term goals for yourself. 

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Be realistic, your ultimate goal is making lifestyle changes, not just temporary adjustments.
Giving yourself plenty of time to accomplish your goals will allow you to adjust to one change before diving into another, therefore breaking up one big challenge into several smaller ones. This makes it easier for you to commit to your new lifestyle without feeling overwhelmed.

Your first goal may be to exercise regularly and drink more water.  Keeping up the motivation
to exercise on a cold winter day instead of curling up under a warm blanket on the sofa can be difficult.  However, in addition to losing pounds, regular exercise will help you lose the winter blues as well.  Exercise is proven to improve mood, mental clarity and emotional well-being. 
So don’t let the weather slow you down… get out from under that blanket, and keep moving!  Participating in the 10,000 Steps Program is an example of ensuring you get enough exercise each and every day.

A second short-term goal example is eating cleaner.  Cut out some refined sugar and eat more fresh fruits, vegetable and whole grains.  Eating clean will give you the energy you'll need to stay in motion and beat the winter blues.  Unsure about how to prepare fruits/vegetables during the winter months when they are not as fresh and plentiful, consider scheduling a consultation with a Registered Dietitian.  He/she can give you some great tips/recipes that will both warm you up and trim you down this winter.

Keeping a food and exercise journal is another great short-term weight loss goal.  Whether it’s a video journal, online journal, or a spiral notebook, keep track of your goals and your time frames. This will help you stay organized and will remind you of your focus. The journal will also allow you to look back at previous mini-goals so that you can see the progress you have made.  And you can write down future goals to stay motivated and excited to tackle your next challenge/goal.

The best part of setting short-term goals...REWARDS.  Besides being proud of yourself for setting and accomplishing your goals, you should also treat yourself every single time you successfully accomplish your goal!  You earned it!!!  Your reward should not be food-related, but instead something that will make you feel pampered. If you reached your goal of toning your arms, buy yourself a sleeveless top.  If you drank 8 glasses of water each day, go get a manicure.  You get the idea!  Your rewards should be tailored to fit your needs. They should be something that will drive you to work harder and then make you feel as though it was worth all of the work. Great rewards will motivate you to stick to your diet and exercise goals, and they will make the road to your overall success even sweeter.

As you accomplish goal after goal, the only thing you’ll “gain” is a healthier, better, stronger and more successful YOU!  You  have nothing to lose but old habits and extra pounds!  If you want to try working with short term goals this winter and can procrastinate until Feb 16th, consider our 10 POUND TAKE DOWN WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE.  Give us just one month and we’ll melt up to 10 pounds off of  your body and put you on the fast track to lean, healthy and magnificent…
quickly, safely and naturally with no gimmicks!  You’ll receive a customized diet plan and weekly personal training sessions as well as all support from our certified staff.  Click the link below to sign up!

10 pound take down challenge

Don’t want to wait until Feb 16th, we can offer you a customized program anytime so you can get started Today!  Learn about Step Ahead Wellness Center's personalized weight loss plans created by a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.

  

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: jumpstart diet, beat winter blues, medically supervised weight loss center, Physician Weight Loss, personal training, lose weight fast

Is Your Desk Job Making You Unhealthy?

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 21, 2015 @ 12:27 PM

If you have a desk job or sedentary lifestyle outside of the gym, you may be jeopardizing not only your weight loss/fitness goals, but also your health.  For many people, sitting at a desk all day or collapsing on the couch at the end of a long day, are the norm.  However these habits could be putting not only your waistband but your health at risk.  People who are too sedentary, even if they do exercise frequently, are more likely to develop heart disease, cancer and diabetes, a new report says. Sedentary time and exercise time are two distinct factors when it comes to health.  Just because one does their 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day doesn’t ensure their good
health and fitness.  In short, we need to move more and sit less throughout the day regardless of your Fitness Training.

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Researchers recently analyzed 47 studies that tracked groups of people as they reported roughly how much time they spent sitting around and not expending much energy, as well as how often they exercised.  The findings… People who were the most sedentary were more likely to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, breast, colon, ovarian and other cancers, and cardiovascular disease than people who spent less time sitting.  Regardless of physical activity level, prolonged sedentary time was independently associated with bad health outcomes.

It’s important to stay in motion.  There are some very simple things we do to increase movement, burn calories and stay healthy.  Every half hour get up for 2-3 minutes.  This will equal nearly less than an hour of sitting each day!  Additionally standing burns twice as many calories as sitting.  You can stand during commercial breaks while watching TV, during conversations with
co-workers or during the last 15 minutes of your child’s sporting events.  These strategies do not replace daily exercise but they will help decrease sitting.

“The body was made to move and it craves physical activity,” said Noelle Lusardi, certified fitness trainer at Step Ahead Wellness Center, Far Hills, NJ.  “This is one craving I encourage everyone to give in to!”  Wearing a pedometer and participating in the 10,000 Steps Program per day is a great way to calculate your movement and to keep you “on your toes” instead of in your chair.  Move your body = be healthy/fit.

Interested in a more sophisticated activity tracker?  We at Step Ahead recommend any of the Fit Bit models!

 FREE FitBit for Fitness

 

Sincerely,

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

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

Tags: living with diabetes, Fitness, personal training, Lifestyle tips

4 Tips for Choosing a Certified Personal Trainer

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Aug 26, 2014 @ 01:56 PM

Finding the right personal trainer means taking a good long look at a lot of different things.When it comes to keeping up with your exercise and diet programs and meeting your weight loss goals, few things are as important as having the support of others. Having a personal trainer can give you the support you need to make it through your health fitness program without missing a proverbial beat. The challenge, however, is finding the right personal trainer to help you.

Not every personal trainer will have the right qualifications, training, and experience to help you meet your personal goals. So, how do you find the right personal trainer?

There are actually a number of things to consider when choosing a personal trainer. To help you find the right one, we here at Step Ahead Wellness have compiled a short list of tips for choosing a personal trainer here4:

Tip #1: Check the Trainer’s Certifications

When looking at a trainer’s résumé, see what certifications they have. For example, does the trainer have an ACSM personal training certification from the American College of Sports Medicine? Furthermore, what certifications does that trainer have? On the ACSM’s certification page, they list several different types of certifications for health fitness, clinical, and other specialties. Examples of their health fitness certifications (the category aimed at personal training) include the ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and the ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS).

A personal trainer with either of these certifications is knowledgeable when it comes to creating personalized exercise regimens to help others meet fitness and weight loss goals. The primary difference between the two is that the HFS certification indicates that the trainer is rated to develop exercise programs for people who have medically controlled conditions.

If a personal trainer cannot list any certifications, it may be time to look for another trainer.

Tip #2: Ask Past Clients about Their Experience

Talk to others who have used a personal trainer's services in the past. You can get a lot of great information about them this way.Sometimes, the details on a résumé can only tell you so much about a personal trainer, even one with all of the right certifications and experience. A big part of a successful personal training experience is being able to get along with your personal trainer. To learn if a given trainer is the right person to help you, look at what some of their past clients say about them.

Reviews of personal trainers can often be found on online business review sites (such as Yelp!) or on specialized trainer search sites. When reading reviews, look at both the positive and the negative ones. When a review is positive, see what it is that that person liked about his or her experience. When a review is negative, try to find out why that person was dissatisfied with the trainer.

For example, was the trainer insistent that clients make a specific lifestyle change? An important part of meeting weight loss goals is to break some of the bad habits that hold you back from being healthier. However, not all clients may have appreciated being told to change their lifestyle. As a result, the clients who were willing to make the necessary changes ended up being much more satisfied with their experience than the clients who didn’t want to make such changes.

Knowing what caused others to be either very happy or unhappy with a personal trainer can tell you a lot about whether or not that trainer will be right for you.

Tip #3: Find out What Kind of Training You Want to do

Different personal trainers will have different specialties when it comes to making exercise plans. Before you start looking at trainers, consider your goals and preferences.

For example, is your goal simply to get your BMI into a healthy range, or are you trying to get into athletic shape? Your ultimate goal will affect the types of training you’ll be doing, as well as the intensity of your training.

Also, consider whether you want to do private personal training, or if you want to be a part of a group. Some trainers specialize in one-on-one training sessions, while others are trained to manage whole groups of people who are exercising at a time.

Knowing your goals before trying to find a trainer can help you focus your efforts and better screen trainers who may not have the certifications/specializations that are needed to create the best results.

Tip #4: Consider the Gym/Fitness Facilities the Trainer Uses, if Applicable

If a trainer is a part of a gym or other fitness facility, see if the costs of using said facility are included in the trainer’s fees. When you go to that trainer’s gym, do you have to provide your own equipment, pay for rentals, or are equipment costs included? Do you need a separate membership to the gym on top of the trainer’s fees? These items can all add your personal training costs unexpectedly.

Beyond the facility and its costs, also check to see what services the trainer can provide, such as nutrition planning or lifestyle coaching. There are fitness programs out there, such as Step Ahead’s own OPTIFAST program, where trainers, lifestyle coaches, and other support personnel are all included in your personal training costs.

With some time and effort, you can find the perfect personal trainer with the right program to help you meet your health fitness goals. Learn more about Step Ahead Wellness’ health fitness programs today!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, personal training

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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Tags: losing weight tips, summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, doctor supervised weight loss center, personal training, diet to lose weight, lose weight in 2014, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center

ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL! Quality Counts!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 14, 2014 @ 03:31 PM

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ALL CALORIES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL!

One of the most dangerous lies of mainstream weight-loss advice
is the notion that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, and if the number of
calories you consume is fewer than the number you burn, you will lose weight.

Many struggle with their weight, even as they follow this
advice. They count calories and exercise, yet the numbers on the scale never
budge. Or even worse: the numbers grow higher.

The laws of physics correctly say that if you burn more calories
than you consume you will eventually lose weight. This is a scientific fact,
but hidden in this fact is your metabolic rate is not a static number and the
food you eat as well as other factors can cause your metabolism to fluctuate
throughout the day and over longer periods of time.

These and other factors make accurately determining your
calories burned very difficult.

When combined with overly optimistic and often incorrect
calories consumed as well as thyroid and hormone issues, it easy to see why so
many people calculate calories needed to lose weight wrongly.

 Fat Storage is a Complex Metabolic Process

The idea that you will successfully lose weight if you eat less
and exercise more is continually disproved, but is still often repeated as
truth.

Fat storage–how much is stored, where it is stored, and how much
is used as fuel for the body–is determined by the actions of a variety of
enzymes and hormones. How your body processes the nutrients that become fat is
based on genetics and the foods you choose.

You can see evidence of this fact in the people around you: A
pregnant woman’s hips and thighs increase in size, even if she’s usually slender.
One person is thin and struggles to gain weight, while another person is
overweight in spite of hours in the gym and skipped meals.

The foods you eat, especially those that elevate blood sugar
levels, have a tremendous impact on how much fat is burned and how much is
stored. This is why low-carb diets are so effective. These diets eliminate the
foods that spike your blood sugar and promote the release of fat-storing
insulin.

The Source of Calories Matters

Does it make a difference if you take in 100 calories from a
cupcake or the same amount of calories from chicken breast? Research shows that
the answer is a resounding “yes”.

All carbohydrates convert to glucose (sugar), but some are more
easily digested. This means that, compared to other carbohydrates, they elevate
blood sugar levels higher and for longer periods of time.

Foods like wheat and other grains, sugar, starches, and
dehydrated fruits are the easiest to digest and boost your blood sugar levels
sky-high. Insulin comes in to bring down those levels by storing the sugars as
fatty acids in your fat cells.

Fructose, the sugar contained in table sugar, high fructose corn
syrup, and agave nectar, travels straight to the fat cells. It is much better
at adding to body fat than either glucose or starchy foods.

In spite of its repetition by nutritionists and doctors
everywhere, a low-calorie diet and physical activity do not guarantee weight
loss. All calories are not created equal. Certain foods, like wheat and
starches, stimulate insulin production that leads to fat storage. Sugars not
only stimulate insulin, but also go straight into your fat cells. Remove these
foods from your diet and replace them with high-quality nutrients found in
animal proteins, vegetables, and fruits for the most effective way to lose
excess pounds. To get started, the next time you go grocery shopping purchase
as many whole foods as possible and start reducing your purchase of processed
foods.

 

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

 

 

Resources:

Taubes, Gary. Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the
Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease. New York: Knopf,
2007. Print.

Corbett Dooren, Jennifer. “Not All Calories Equal, Study Shows.”
WSJ Health and Wellness. Wall Street Journal, 26 June 2012. Web. 3 July 2012.

Hallfrisch, J. “Metabolic Effects of Dietary Fructose.” The
FASEB Journal 4.9 (1990): 2652-660. Print.

 

 

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