Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Want to Stay Injury Free? Stretch After Each Workout

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

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

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

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

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

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


Get Started Today!

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

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

Weight Training Tips for Women -- Achieve Your Weight Loss Goals!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 @ 02:58 PM

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If you’re a female who’s getting started on a Fitness Training routine using weights, there are a few vital tips that you must make sure that you keep in mind as you progress along your program so that you can see the optimal results that you’re looking for.  Incidentally it's imperative for all women to incorporate weight training into their fitness routines! Cardio is not enough for overall fitness.

Far too many women shy away from weight training altogether for a few reasons.  Many have no idea what to do with weights or how to use them, but most women think weight training will build them big bulky muscles that will have them looking more masculine. Sadly, this is a big mistake.

Women do not possess the testosterone levels in their body to develop these big bulky muscles, nor will they be consuming sufficient calories for growth of this nature.  Remember, developing big muscles even as a male takes a great deal of time and effort, so lifting moderately heavy weights in the gym a few times a week is just not going to produce these types of results.

On the contrary, weight training will help to define your body, adding curves in the right places while it enhances your overall muscle tone.  Plus, with stronger muscles you’ll be more capable of performing everyday tasks and you’ll also find that you’re less likely to become injured when participating in other sporting or athletic events.  Plus (and this is a big plus), the more lean muscle mass you have on your frame, the more calories you will burn just at rest, therefore the faster your metabolic rate will go.

So let’s take a look at a few of the weight training tips that you should keep in mind as you formulate your workout plan that will help transform your body.

1) Lift Heavier

The very first thing that you must make sure you’re doing is challenging yourself.  Far too many women go into the gym and think they’re doing good by lifting weights, but they’re only lifting 10 pounds or so for each exercise.

Try to lift heavier.  You might just be surprised at how much you really can lift if you put your mind to it. If you aren’t challenging yourself, you won’t be providing a reason for your body to change and grow stronger than it was before.

2) Focus On Compound Lifts

Moving along, the second thing that you must make sure you’re doing with your weight training routine is focusing on compound lifts.  Compound exercises are going to give you the most ‘bang for your buck’ due to the fact that they’ll work many muscle fibers at once.

The more muscle fibers that you have contracting all at once the greater your calorie burn will be not only during that workout session, but in the time period after it as well.

If you perform a series of three to five compound movements, you can rest assured that you’ll experience a higher metabolism for hours after that workout is completed.

Far too many women focus only on isolation exercises such as bicep curls, tricep extensions, or lateral raises.

While these are great to have in there to help finish off the smaller muscle groups, you cannot overlook the major movements such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, chest press, shoulder press, and bent over rows.

3) Use Superset Training

Another key technique that you might want to consider when doing your workout session is superset training.  This is especially ideal for women who are looking for fat loss as it will really enhance the metabolism and improve the rate of toning that you experience from that session.

With superset training, you’re going to take two different exercises and pair them right back to back from each other.  For example, you might perform a push-up and then follow that immediately by a lunge.  Or, you could perform a bent over row and then move directly into a shoulder press activity.  Those are just a couple of examples.

The idea here is to have your body performing more work in less time, so as to induce a higher stress response. The more stress you place on the body, the higher the post-workout calorie burn is going to be and the faster fat loss will occur.

Superset training is also good for those who are aiming to shorten their workout sessions because you’ll be performing two exercises back to back so quickly, thus reducing the total time you spend at rest during the workout session.

4) Use Good Form At All Times

The next quick tip to remember as you move through your weight lifting workouts is to make sure that you are using good form at all times.  If you ever let your form slip, either because you are too fatigued or you simply are lifting too much weight, then you’re going to put yourself at a high risk of injury.

What’s more is that if you’re using improper form, the chances that you are actually targeting the muscles in the best manner possible will also be much lower, therefore really hindering the progress that you make.

Form is an absolute must so get into the habit of checking your own form on all your exercises at least once per month.

This will go a long way towards ensuring that you see the results that you’re after.

5) Remember To Eat Properly

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Finally, last but not least, make sure that you’re eating well both before and after each weight lifting workout session that you perform.

Far too many women still believe that not eating before or after the session will help them burn fat faster, and this will really hinder their progress.  Your body needs the nourishment at this time in order to fuel the workout and put forth the most energy possible as well as to recover faster after the workout is completed.  If you're not sure about your nutrition, scheduling a session with a -Registered Dietitian is a good option.

So there you have a few quick weight lifting tips that you need to know about in you are a woman. Start spending less time on the cardio machines and more time in the free weight section and you will definitely notice a positive impact on how your body looks as a result of it.

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

Get Started Today!


Sincerely,

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

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

www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness 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

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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

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

What You can Expect from a Medical Weight Loss Program

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 01, 2014 @ 03:41 PM

Lots of fad diets promise results, but what can you really expect from a medical weight loss program?When you’re looking for a way to lose weight, it is important to know what you can expect from your weight loss program when you start it, whatever that program may be.

With many fad diets, you’re given an unrealistic portrayal of what to expect from the program. Before and after shots of men and women who lost as much as 50% of their body weight in incredibly short periods of time (which is a dangerous amount of weight to lose too quickly for the vast majority of people) promise extraordinary results that simply aren’t practical for most. People who go into these diets without knowing just how unrepresentative of the program such results are get frustrated when their own progress lags too far behind these unusual cases, causing them to become demoralized and fall even further behind health and fitness goals.

So, with this in mind, what can you expect from a personalized medical weight loss program? What sets these weight loss programs apart from common fads?

Here are a few things that you can expect from a medical weight loss program that has been personalized for you:

#1: Doctor Supervision and Support

One of the primary things that separates a true medical weight loss program from a fad diet is the supervision of a trained and experienced physician. This specialist monitors the progress of your weight loss program to see if you’re meeting goals safely. With a fad diet, you might not have any support at all, let alone the ability to physically visit a real doctor.

As your weight loss plan progresses, your supervising physician can make alterations to your program to accommodate the changes in your needs that will naturally occur as you lose weight.

#2: Medical Assistance

In a medical weight loss program, your doctor or dietitian can identify nutrients that are lacking in your diet and create a meal plan as appropriate, or prescribe vitamins to make up the shortage if necessary.In a medical weight loss program, you can expect your supervising physician to prescribe dietary supplements and appetite suppressants as necessary to make sure that you can meet weight loss goals safely.

For example, if you’re suffering from an iron deficiency in your diet, your doctor can adjust your meal plan to compensate for this, or if the deficiency is particularly severe, she may prescribe an iron supplement for your diet. If you suffer from frequent pangs of hunger that lead to overeating, an appetite suppressant might be prescribed to alleviate your sensations of hunger so that you can have an easier time staying on your diet.

#3: Safe, Effective Weight Loss Strategies

In a medical weight loss program supervised by an actual doctor, you have a plan for losing weight that takes into account your body’s needs. Unlike a fad diet that uses a “one size fits all” approach, your doctor considers your physical condition when creating your personalized plan.

For example, if you have a heart condition and cannot engage in rigorous activity (lifting heavy weights, engaging in high-intensity sprints, etc.), then many common diet and exercise plans would not be safe for you because of the risk to your heart health. Your doctor can take such conditions into account when creating a personalized plan, making an activity regimen that you can engage in without putting your heart health in unnecessary risk.

Also, many fad diets encourage you to lose weight as quickly as possible. While a desirable goal, losing too much weight too quickly can actually be dangerous. Your doctor can help you set weight loss goals that are aggressive (but safe) so that you don’t cause lasting harm to your own body.

#4: Expert Advice for After You’ve Met Your Weight Loss Goals

The big failure of many fad diets is that once you’re done with your weight loss, there is no plan for afterwards. For many people, a lack of planning and support after the program is finished leads to falling back into old patterns. Worse yet, some people gain more weight than what they lost while on the diet!

By consulting with the experts in medical weight loss programs such as the ones offered by Step Ahead Wellness, you can create plans for maintaining a healthy weight, such as formulating a meal plan you can keep up at home and an exercise routine to keep your body burning excess fat.

With some post-weight loss lifestyle advice, you can keep the pounds off well after the diet is over.

Learn more about how you can benefit from a medical weight loss program that’s supervised by a real Top Doc today!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Weight Loss Center, wellness, 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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POWER WALK/YOGA STRETCH CLASSES IN THE PARK START JUNE 4... call today to reserve your spot!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 09, 2014 @ 02:37 PM

Join us every Wednesday evening this summer for an hour of movement that will restore, rejuvenate, strengthen and energize you... after a long day at work or home with the kids/family.

Email our fitness director Noelle Lusardi at Noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more info or to sign up!

We look forward to walking and stretching with you!

 

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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

Give The Gift of Fitness This Mother's Day!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, May 02, 2014 @ 01:44 PM

 

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This Mother's Day, skip the flowers and give your mom something she really needs—the
gift of good health.

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No, you don't have to buy her a treadmill. There are many other things you can
do to give your mom a boost in terms of her physical (or mental) well-being.
Most moms will truly appreciate that your Mother's Day gift is aimed at keeping
her happy, healthy, and in your life for a long time. In case you are drawing a
blank, Step Ahead came up with a great gift for every mom.

Step Ahead
Gift card towards any program.  

*Offer includes a
body composition analysis on our Tanita scale.

* 30 minute personal
training session.

  *Step by Step guide on how to
reach your health goals

 

E-mail
us to receive an e-gift card sent directly to your e-mail or pick up your
custom gift card in our office!

Phone:
908-470-2235

E-mail:
drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Weight Loss, Sari Greaves, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Noelle Lusardi, Weight Loss Center, lose weight fast, Step Ahead Wellness Center