Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Check Out This Killer Indoor Leg Work Out!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Dec 09, 2013 @ 06:50 AM

While the weather outside is frightful, indoor workouts are delightful!  Check out this killer leg workout you can do wherever, whenever!  No equipment is needed.

 

badweatherworkout

 

Let Step Ahead Wellness Center meet all your fitness, healthy weight loss goals... See our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for our latest special weight loss offer.

 

Email our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com for more fit tips.

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STAY FIT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON WITH STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER'S FOUR EASY FITNESS TIPS!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 04, 2013 @ 07:46 PM

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Stay fit this holiday season with Step Ahead Wellness Center’s four easy tips…

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.   

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.

For more holiday fit tips, contact our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or visit us at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  We’d love to hear from you… which health, wellness, weight loss, fitness topics are you most interested in learning more about.

 

 

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Lose Weight With Your Smartphone!

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Nov 07, 2013 @ 12:29 PM

Step Ahead's Nutritionist shares her favorite nutrition and exercise apps of the week.....CalCutter, Meal Makeovers, and Moves! 

1- CalCutter

PLATFORM: Android and Apple
SUMMARY: Developed by the New York Department of Health, CalCutter calculates the estimated calories per serving in personal recipes and serves up healthy cooking tips. Recipe entry is easy, and recipes can be adjusted for different serving sizes. The app includes helpful information on topics like the impact of oil and zero-calories ingredients on recipe nutrient data, but the ingredient database is limited. 
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2-Moves

PLATFORM: Apple and Android
SUMMARY: Moves is a pedometer app that uses activity and place recognition algorithms to track steps taken or walking, running and cycling miles (when the mobile device is on the users person). The app can track calories burned based on users' anthropometric data, and it records weekly and daily summaries. But unless disabled, the app runs continuously, draining device battery life. 
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3- Meal Makeovers

PLATFORM: Apple
SUMMARY: From the kitchen of registered dietitian team the Meal Makeover Moms, Meal Makeovers is a recipe app that features healthier, more nutrient-rich versions of family favorites. With an easy-to-use interface that allows users to share recipes and save favorites, tips to tweak recipes to a family's taste preferences and basic nutrition information for all recipes, this app makes meal planning easier for families on the go. 

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STICK WITH YOUR EXERCISE ROUTINE... Here's How!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Oct 25, 2013 @ 12:17 PM

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Almost everyone has days where they don’t feel like exercising, but when
those days become too frequent and you completely lose your motivation to work
out that it becomes a problem. Research shows that half the people who start an
exercise program quit within six months. Those aren’t very encouraging
statistics, are they?

Most people begin a new exercise program with enthusiasm, but that
enthusiasm dwindles over time. Sound familiar? If you’re having trouble getting
motivated or are having problems sticking with your workouts, one of these
exercise motivation zappers could be the problem.

You’re Creating Too Many Barriers to Working Out

KISS (keep it simple stupid) applies to exercise too. One of the reasons
people lose their motivation to exercise is they make it too hard to get
started. If you have to get dressed, get in your car and drive to a gym, it’s
easy to find a reason not to do it. That’s when home workouts have the
advantage. Keep a DVD handy, push a few buttons and you have an instructor to
show you what to do and keep you motivated. You’ll be more enthusiastic if you
don’t have to jump through hoops to get your workout done.

You’re Bored

If you’re doing the same workout over and over, doing a different workout
can rekindle your enthusiasm. Try a new workout DVD instead of the same, old,
same old.

Exercise CAN make you look better in a pair of shorts or a swimsuit but
that shouldn’t be your primary motivation for doing it. Research shows that
people who exercise for health reasons – to feel better or relieve stress – are
more likely to stick with it. Exercise to feel stronger, have more energy and
to feel more empowered – don’t do it only to lose weight or inches off your
waistline.

You’re Overtraining

If you’re working out an hour or more every day without taking breaks,
you’re probably losing your motivation due to burnout. Take at least one full
day off a week and don’t be afraid to do a light workout when you don’t feel up
to a high-intensity one. Try a yoga workout for a change or work on flexibility
and balance. Make sure you’re sleeping enough and getting adequate nutrition.
It’s hard to stay motivated when you’re cutting back on calories too much or
skimping on sleep.

You’re Expecting Too Much Too Soon

Another reason people lose their motivation to exercise is because they
have unrealistic expectations. They expect to see results quickly and lose
their enthusiasm when they don’t. Again, it’s important to work out for the
right reasons – better health and more energy – not to change the number on a
scale. Nevertheless, keep in mind that it takes time to lose inches and see
more muscle definition. Don’t have unrealistic expectations.

A fitness journal helps you set goals, chart your progress and, yes, it can
keep you motivated too. When you write everything down, you can look back and
see how far you’ve come and it helps to keep you accountable. Don’t just write
down the exercises you do and your weight and measurements, document your goals
so you can look back and see why you started exercising in the first place.
Sometimes you need a reminder to help you stay on course.

 The Bottom Line?

Don’t let these exercise motivation zappers keep you from reaching your
goals. Make sure you HAVE goals, are exercising for the right reasons and
aren’t overdoing it or allowing yourself to become bored. Working out is one of
the best things you can do to stay healthy and to have more energy to enjoy
life to its fullest

For more fit tips contact our fitness trainer, Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com, www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

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5 WORST HALLOWEEN CANDIES - HOW TO INDULGE WITHOUT RUINING YOUR DIET!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 @ 01:08 PM

 

halloween candy surrey bc

A cocker spaniel weighs about 24 pounds. You know what else weighs 24 pounds? The
heft of candy the average American gobbles down each year, a big chunk of that
falling to our waistlines in the days before and after Halloween. Fun size? I
don't think so—unless it's fun being size 16. These stats could very well turn
you as white as a ghost:


  • Three miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups—the kind you find in office candy bowls and trick-or-treat-bags—fill your belly with more sugar than a glazed doughnut.

  • Half a pack of Skittles has more sugar than a scoop of Haagen-Dazs Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. 

  • Nine Twizzlers carry as many calories as a Wendy’s Double Stack Burger.

These are some spooky treats. And Halloween is only the beginning of the eating season: Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. If you want to see your feet come January, start by conquering the sugar fest that’s nearly upon us. Here's your plan for surviving the scariest night of the year for your waistline. 

WORST “FUN SIZE” CANDY BAR

Butterfinger Bar (fun size bar)

100 calories

4 g fat (2 g saturated)

10 g sugars

Again, fun for whom? Your cardiologist? By calling it “fun,” food marketers are cleverly pulling your attention away from the fact that candy bars are flab-inducing logs of concentrated fats and sugars. And Butterfinger is the worst offender—there's no quicker way to swallow 100 calories.

Eat This, Instead!

3 Musketeers (fun size bar)

63 calories

2 g fat (1.5 g saturated)

10 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #1: Toss the candy bowl

Alabama researchers found that people who have snacks within reach when they're watching TV consume more calories per day overall. But instead of simply relocating the bowl to another table, limit the potential for mindless munching by keeping the candy bagged and in the cupboard.



SURVIVAL TIP #2: Consume drinks before treats

Drinking 16 ounces of water before a meal fills the stomach, quells hunger, and helps you lose weight, according to a study presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society. Use this strategy to help tamp your candy cravings. Just don't substitute a sugary beverage for the water or this strategy will backfire: A can of soda has more sugar than two Hershey’s Take 5
bars.

WORST FRUITY CANDY

Brach’s Airheads (3 pieces)

140 calories

1.5 g fat (1 g saturated)

19 g sugars

Here’s the basic formula for an Airhead: Sugar and filler carbohydrates, artificial colors and flavors, and partially hydrogenated oils—a source of trans fat. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like our Eat This Instead, Dum Dums, are nutritional paragons, but they do have two noteworthy advantages over Airheads: They have no heart-wrecking oils, and they're hard candy. That means
they dissolve slowly on your tongue, letting you enjoy the sweetness over time.

Eat This, Instead!

Spangler Dum Dum Pops (3 pops)

77 calories

0 g fat

105 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #3: Work out on Halloween morning

Lifting weights reduces levels of blood sugar by 15 percent for more than 12 hours after you’ve left the gym, according to research from Syracuse University. Why does that matter? Some of the sugar you consume will stay in your blood stream, providing energy to your cells, instead of pitching a tent in your belly. 

SURVIVAL TIP #4: Switch to dark chocolate

It won’t necessarily save you calories, but dark chocolate boasts a bevy of health benefits that milk chocolate can’t claim. Flavonoids in the cocoa help keep your arteries soft, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular disease. And according to new research, a compound called epicatechin might help prevent brain damage from stroke. Keep a bar on hand to nibble on any time you have a craving. Seek out those bars with at least 60% cocoa.


WORST MINIATURE CANDY BARS

Twix Miniatures (3 pieces)

150 calories

8 g fat (6 g saturated)

15 g sugars

Twix has the worst saturated fat profile of any candy in your kid’s trick-or-treat bag. Think about it like this: Each one of these bite-sized candies carries 10 percent of the saturated fat you should consume in an entire day. Switch to Tootsie Rolls and you’ll cut your calories by more than half and trim your total fat intake by a whopping 81 percent.

Eat This Instead!

Tootsie Roll (3 pieces)

70 calories

1.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)

9.5 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #5: Chew gum

Sort through any trick-or-treat bag and you’ll undoubtedly discover a handful of Super or Dubble Bubble—those small pink cubes wrapped in old-fashioned, end-twisted candy papers. Instead of plowing through the chocolates and taffies, throw a big gob of the gum in your mouth. The chewing suppresses cravings, and each piece has only about 15 calories.


SURVIVAL TIP #6: Don’t hand out your favorite candy

If your favorite candy is Milk Duds, and you’re handing out Milk Duds all night, doesn’t it seem likely that you’re going to wind up with a pound of chocolate and caramel in your stomach by night’s end? Of course! And that’s not even factoring in how many Duds you’ll plow through as they sit on the counter in the days leading up to Halloween. Choose something less tempting.


WORST CHEWY CANDY

Brach’s Milk Maid Caramels (4 pieces)

160 calories

4.5 g fat (3.5 g saturated)

16 g sugars

"Milk Maid” sounds a lot like "Milk Made,” doesn't it? Very clever, Brach's! This candy contains a couple milk derivatives (whey and “lipolyzed butter fat”), but it hardly constitutes a dairy product. Plus, 90 percent of the fat is saturated. That’s bad news for your heart. If you enjoy the challenge
of fighting chewy candy out of your teeth, switch over to Now and Later and save more than 100 calories per serving.

Eat This, Instead!

Now and Later (4 pieces)

53 calories

0.5 g fat (0 g saturated)

10 g sugars



SURVIVAL TIP #7: Keep the candy-calorie load to 400

The fewer calories you take in during candy season, the better off you’ll be
heading into turkey season. So if you worry that you risk overindulgence, set a
caloric limit and hold yourself to it. Four hundred is a good number—indulgent
yet not overly destructive. That means you could eat every “Eat This Instead”
on our list, and have 65 calories left for one of your personal favorites.



SURVIVAL TIP #8: Don’t skip dinner

A healthy dinner will take the edge off your candy craving, not to mention
temper the blood-sugar rush that converts your body into a flab factory and
puts you at risk for diabetes. What you want is a meal rich with fiber and lean
protein—think chicken breast with vegetables. 


WORST NOVELTY CANDY

Reese’s Pumpkin

170 calories

10 g fat (3 g saturated)

16 g sugars

This one should send your gimmick radar into the red zone. It’s simply an oversized peanut butter cup shaped like a pumpkin. What price novelty? Nearly two-thirds more calories than a regular Reese’s peanut butter cup! Grab two bite-size Reese's instead—you'll save more than half the calories, fat, and sugar. 

Eat This, Instead!

Reese's Bite Size Peanut Butter Cups (2 pieces)

72 calories

4 g fat (3 g saturated)

6 g sugars

SURVIVAL TIP #9: Take it outside

The worst thing you can do on Halloween night, after most of the trick-or-treaters have cleared off the street, is set your candy bowl by the door where you can grab a handful every day on your way out. Noshing 300 extra candy calories a day will add a pound of flab to your frame in less than two weeks. Instead, set the bowl on the porch before you go to bed. The leftover candy will be gone by morning, guaranteed.

SURVIVAL TIP #10: Remember: Halloween is a one-day event

A study in the journal of Nature Neuroscience found that eating junk food doesn’t just satisfy cravings—it creates them. That’s right; junk food is addictive. Limit your sugar splurging to October 31. If you start a week early, you’re going to have a serious candy habit to break after Halloween. You might find it to be frightfully difficult.

FOR MORE FIT TIPS CONTACT OUR CERTIFIED TRAINER NOELLE LUSARDI AT stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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RELAXING YOGA BENEFITS EVERYONE!!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Oct 18, 2013 @ 11:53 AM

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BENEFITS OF RELAXING YOGA BEFORE HIGH INTENSITY WORKOUTS!

How balanced is your fitness routine? If you do high-intensity workouts,
your body needs time to rest and recover between challenging sessions, yet it’s
important to still stay active. That’s where a relaxing yoga routine comes in.
A yoga workout is a way to stay active on a recovery day and it offers other
benefits as well.

Benefits of Yoga: It Helps to Lengthen Your Muscles

Doing high-intensity workouts causes high volumes of neural discharge. This
can increase the resting tone of your muscles after your workout is finished,
leading to muscle tightness and stiffness. Yoga helps to elongate the muscles
and relieve tightness. When one muscle group is tight it can affect the
performance of other muscles and increase the risk for injury. Yoga also
stretches and lengthens your spine and that helps to improve your posture. If
you sit hunched over at a desk all day, yoga helps reduce the risk of back and
neck pain by stretching and lengthening your spine and adjacent muscles.

Yoga is Good Mood Therapy

All forms of exercise help to relieve stress but, according to one study,
yoga may offer more mood-enhancing benefits than other forms of exercise.
According to a study carried out by Boston University School of Medicine, yoga
increases levels of a neurotransmitter called GABA that helps to ease symptoms
of stress. Higher GABA levels are linked with improvements in mood and a reduction
in anxiety. So convincing were the results that the researchers believe yoga
could help treat certain mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Yoga
has the power to alter neurotransmitters and brain pathways in much the same
way as medications used to treat mood disturbances and its 100% natural. Other
research shows yoga may be helpful for improving sleep quality in people with
chronic insomnia.

Improvements in Flexibility and Balance

The benefits of a yoga workout can transfer over into other parts of your
life. Yoga boosts muscle flexibility and works balance, both of which can
improve functional capabilities. When you’re more flexible, it reduces your
risk of injury by allowing your joints to move through their full range of
motion. Being flexible can help you perform better in certain sports as well.

Balance is another issue that becomes more important as we age. It’s loss
of muscle strength and age-related balance issues that cause older people to
become frail or suffer a fall. Research shows yoga improves balance and
postural stability and even helps stroke victims regain confidence and
functional capacity by improving their sense of balance.

Greater Body Awareness

Yoga teaches you to live in the moment and be more centered and focused. That
can help you be more aware and focused in other aspects of your life. There’s
even evidence that it helps to manage pain, especially back pain and, possibly,
arthritis pain and stiffness. It’s a workout that’s as good for your mind as it
is for your body.

 The Bottom Line?

Adding a relaxing yoga workout to your fitness routine can make it more
balanced and help with recovery from higher intensity exercise, both mentally
and physically. The benefits you get from yoga will transfer over into other
areas of your life by increasing flexibility and balance and giving you greater
functional capacity. It’s also the ultimate stress reliever. See what it can do
for you!

For more great fit tips, contact our fitness director/personal trainer,
Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, summer weight loss, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Nutrition, lose weight, online nutrition, OptiFast, personal training, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, health, Step Ahead, wellness, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes, lose weight fast

6 WEEK YOGA SERIES BEGING OCT. 30 AT STEP AHEAD!

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 @ 06:10 AM

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JOIN OUR *NEW* 6 WEEK CORE YOGA SERIES

       

Build strength in core muscles, arms, legs, and abs

         Open hamstrings, hips, and side bodies.

 When:
Wednesday evenings

Date:
Series runs Oct. 30 - Dec. 18

(no class thanksgiving eve)

Time:
6 -7pm

(we will add a 7-8pm class if needed) 

 

*email noelle@stepeadwellnesscenter.com to sign up, space is limited to 3 participants per
class. Reserve your spot TODAY!!

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WALK YOUR WAY TO GOOD HEALTH!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 @ 12:25 PM

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Walking... It's the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.  Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease

  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels

  • Improve blood lipid profile

  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis

  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer

  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes

Plus you'll burn on average 250-300 calories!  For more fit tips visit our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com or contact our fitness director Noelle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.

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STRENGTH TRAIN TO LOSE WEIGHT

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 09, 2013 @ 12:58 PM

 

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Strength training is important if you’re trying to lose weight. Many people
focus too much on cardio when trying to lose body fat but that approach is
short-sighted. You want to lose body fat, not metabolically-active muscle
tissue. Why is strength training so important? Having a greater proportion of
muscle to fat subtly boosts your metabolic rate. Muscle is definitely your
friend when you’re trying to shed body fat. Ultimately you need a fitness
program that balances cardio with strength training. Here are some tips for
strength training when you’re trying to lose body fat.

Focus on Compound Strength Exercises

Compound strength exercises are ones that target more than one muscle group
at a time. They include such exercises as squats, pull-ups, bent-over rows,
bench press and deadlifts. The more muscle groups you use during a strength
training exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. Plus, using more muscle
groups has a greater metabolic effect. That means there’s greater activation of
fat-burning hormones like growth hormone, testosterone and catecholamines.

Isolation exercises that work only one muscle group are still important for
shaping muscles and building symmetry but they burn fewer calories and have
less of a metabolic effect relative to compound exercise. If your goal is
weight loss, focus on strength exercises that use more than one muscle group at
a time. Make your strength moves compound and dynamic. When doing lunges,
combine them with bicep curls. With squats, do an overhead press. Use as many muscle
groups as possible. This will burn more fat.

Work Large Muscle Groups

You burn more calories when you target the larger muscle groups in your
lower body rather than your arms and shoulders. A compound movement like the
squat targets large lower body muscle groups and burns significantly more
calories than upper body isolation exercises like biceps curls or triceps
kickbacks. Don’t neglect your upper body but focus more on compound, lower body
exercises to increase the calorie burn and activate fat-burning hormones.

 Lift Heavy

Some people who are intent on losing weight are afraid to lift heavy
because they think it will make them bigger. It’s hard for females to build
enough muscle mass to look bulky. Lifting heavy, especially using your lower
body, turns on fat-burning hormones and revs up your metabolism. On the other
hand, lifting light weights will have little impact on your metabolism or the
shape of your muscles. The most it will do is build muscle endurance. You can
suck up a lot of time lifting light weights and get very little return. Go for
the challenging weights and stop worrying about getting bulky.

Make a Portion of Your Cardio High Intensity

Just as lifting heavy weight and targeting multiple muscle groups helps you
burn more fat so will high-intensity cardio. Short periods of high-intensity
cardio forces your body to work harder during and after a workout. After your
workout is over, there’s an after-burn effect that makes your body burn more
energy for hours afterwards. You don’t get that when you do cardio at a
comfortable pace. Losing fat is all about breaking out of your comfort zone.
Think high-intensity interval training when you’re trying to lose body fat.
You’ll accomplish more in less time.

Circuit Training

One or two days a week, do circuit strength training. With circuit training
you do strength training sets with little or no rest between exercises. Moving
quickly from exercise to exercise without rest burns more calories and
maximizes the amount of volume you can do during a single training session.
That means it’s a timesaver too. It’s the ultimate in cross-training since
you’re building strength while keeping your heart rate up since you’re not
stopping to rest. Research shows circuit training causes greater release of
growth hormone. That helps mobilize fat. Plus, circuit training has
cardiovascular conditioning benefits as well.

 The Bottom Line?

Strength training should be a part of your fitness program even if your
primary goal is to lose body fat. Make sure you’re not putting strength
training on the back burner to focus on cardio.

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

 

References:

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (2011) Sept. 25(4).
2519-2527.

IDEA Fitness. “New Insights into Circuit Training”

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DRINK UP TODAY!!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Sep 06, 2013 @ 01:36 PM

Replace your favorite soft drink with water to help reach your weight loss goals!!

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