Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

WINTER SPORTS = CALORIES BURNED PER HOUR

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 11, 2013 @ 06:39 AM
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Take advantage of the winter weather! Get outside and enjoy some snow activities to burn calories and strengthen your muscles.  See chart below for winter sports calorie burn for one hour of the following activities!  And then get outside and enjoy the activities.
 
For more fit tips contact our fitness director, certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  For our latest weight loss offers, go to www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
 
 

Winter Sport

120-lb woman

150-lb woman

Skiing

273

340

Snowboarding

273

340

Snowshoeing

382

476

Cross-Country Skiing

436

476

Ice Skating

327

408

Ice Hockey

436

544

Winter Hiking

327

408

Shoveling Snow

273

340

Sledding

327

408

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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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Recipe Corner: Watermelon & Feta Salad

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 01, 2013 @ 06:07 PM

feta saladIf you are craving something refreshing, look no further! I created this recipe as an ideal warm weather menu item that takes minutes to prepare- perfect for summer barbecues or an everyday meal. The sensational combination of sweet, creamy, and crunchy will satsify your taste buds any time of day. Serve this salad as a side dish or enjoy two servings with 4-ounces of grilled protein as a main entree. The balsamic glaze and oil are used in tiny amonts as an "accent" flavor to compliment the fruit and greens.                                              

- Sari Greaves, RDN Nutrition Director, sari@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Makes: 4 servings, 84 calories per serving

1 5-ounce package pre-washed baby arugula

4 cups watermelon (diced or balls)

1 4-ounce container Fat-Free crumbled feta cheese (such as Alouette brand)

1 tablespoon balsamic glaze

1 teaspoon of grapeseed oil

Black pepper

1. Mix grapeseed oil with arugula and arrange over large platter.

2. Top with watermelon and sprinkle with feta.

3. Drizzle with balsamic glaze. Season with freshly ground black pepper.

Fun Facts about Grapeseed oil: Made from the same grapes used for wine making, grapeseed oil is extracted from the tiny inner seeds. Commonly imported from countries like France and Switzerland, this light and fresh oil is becoming more widely available in the United States. Its clean and mild flavor makes it a better choice in dishes where you don’t want the flavor of the oil to compete with the other ingredients. Grapeseed also has an extremely high smoke point, making it ideal for high cooking temps in cooking techniques like stir frying, sautéing, baking and frying. It delivers mostly heart-healthy polunsaturated fats and is a plentiful source of the antioxidant, vitamin E. Bottom line: Grapeseed oil gives everyday dishes new complexity and verve!

Hungry for more? Call Step Ahead Wellness Center at 908.470.2235 to learn about our medically supervised weight loss programs, exercise classes, nutrition counseling and more!

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Recipe Corner: Sweet & Sour Tilapia

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 24, 2013 @ 02:20 PM

 Sesame Crusted TilapiaSWEET & SOUR SESAME TILAPIA

Lighten up this Spring with easy seafood dishes! This star seafood recipe features a an easy marinade to keep your fish moist and delicious. Almost any white fish such as flounder, black sea bass, branzino, flounder, or rainbow trout, can be used for this recipe. This 15-minute recipe calls for eight simple ingredients, many of them you may already have in your kitchen pantry! - Sari Greaves, RDN Nutrition Director www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

Makes 4 servings; 310 calories, 31 g protein per serving.

Ingredients:

1 cup apple juice

2 Tbs. reduced sodium soy sauce

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. sesame oil

4 Tbs. sesame seeds

4 small tilapia filets

2 Tbs.canola oil

1. In a small pot, boil the apple juice until reduced by half. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and cornstarch, then stir in the apple juice. Simmer until thickened, about 1 minutes. Whisk in the sesame oil.

2. Gently press 1 Tbs. of sesame seeds onto one side of each filet. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Saute the fish (the tilapia will sizzle in the pan), seed-side down, until the seeds are golden, about 2 minutes.

3. Flip the tilapia over and saute additional 1-3 minutes, until fish flakes easily. Pour the sauce over the fish.

Check out www.seafoodwatch.org  for a list of seafood that are sustainably caught or raised. You can download a free pocket guide for best seafood choices in your geographic area!  Recipe adapted from Nutrition Action Healthletter, May 2013

HUNGRY FOR MORE? CALL STEP AHEAD WELLNESS CENTER AT 908.470.2235 TO LEARN ABOUT OUR WEIGHT LOSS SPECIALS, NUTRITION COUNSELING, EXERCISE CLASSES AND MORE!

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Have you started your new year's fitness resolution yet? Here are some great tips for all the beginners out there!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jan 09, 2013 @ 10:52 AM

 

describe the imageTips for Beginners

Whether you've been working out for two weeks or two decades, you're probably making mistakes that prevent you from getting optimal results. Here are some exercise dos and don'ts from top fitness pros.

If You're Just Starting Out

Do...

Work out every day. That's right, seven straight. "It's important for beginners to form an exercise habit. Doing something daily, even if it's small, helps with consistency," says Liz Neporent, a New York City-based trainer and coauthor of The Fat-Free Truth. For the best results, don't overwhelm yourself. Neporent recommends aiming for 30 minutes of cardio every day and strength training twice a week for two to three months, or until you feel that exercise has become an ingrained part of your daily routine.

Stay loose. Whether it comes from a lack of confidence or a determination to lose weight f-a-s-t, beginners are particularly prone to tensing up when working out. "If you're white-knuckle-gripping the bars on the bike and clenching your teeth, you're wasting a lot of energy," says Tina Vindum, founder of Outdoor Action Fitness in Marin County, California. "Relax the muscles you're not working, and focus on the ones you are. You'll have more energy and get better results."

Don't...

Get stuck on the treadmill. New exercisers often do the same routine for the same duration and at the same intensity every time they work out. "So you'll stay on the treadmill until you either die of boredom or get hurt," says Charleene O'Connor, an exercise physiologist at Clay fitness club in New York City. This bad habit gets reinforced because, as your workouts get easier, you're fooled into thinking you've become uberfit. In reality, your muscles have just grown accustomed to the challenge. Be sure to mix up your routine by varying your time and intensity and by cross-training on the bike or elliptical machine, or by going for a jog outside.

Be a slouch. Whether you're leafing through the latest gossip rag on the elliptical or curling dumbbells on a bench, straighten up. "Posture affects your mood as well as your performance," says Vindum. Slumping causes you to check out of your workout both mentally and physically. The less you focus during your sweat session, the less you'll receive in the way of benefits. Slouching also keeps you from breathing deeply, which is necessary for delivering the oxygen your muscles need to work at full capacity.

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

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FITNESS AROUND THE WORLD

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Aug 09, 2012 @ 07:01 AM

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 Which Countries Are The Most Active?

There’s an epidemic of inactivity affecting the health of people around the world. According to the medical journal Lancet, low levels of physical activity are the fourth leading cause of death worldwide. Westernized countries that have easy access to cars and technology that allows them to move around less have been criticized for not getting enough exercise – but how does the rest of the world fare? Which countries move around and exercise the most and the least?

Physical Activity around the World

Lancet did a study comparing levels of physical activity in different parts of the world. The results may surprise you. People from around the world were questioned about their activity level at work, home and during their free time. Factors such as what type of transportation they used were taken into account. Worldwide just over 30% of people were classified as physically inactive according to this study, but the number of people who met the criteria for being inactive varied quite a bit from country to country.

Despite the belief that people in westernized countries like the United States are the “laziest,” it doesn’t hold true across the board. The most sedentary country in the world is Malta, a group of islands in the Mediterranean Sea between Europe and North Africa. Here almost 72% of adults are physically inactive. Other countries in the top five were Swaziland, Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Serbia where the number of inactive people ranged from 68 to 69%.

In general, countries in the Middle East ranked high on the inactivity scale, and residents of the U.K. didn’t fare much better with almost 64% being classified as inactive, making it one of the least active countries in Europe. France and Greece were some of the most active countries in Europe with only 33% and 16% respectably of their citizens inactive. France and Greece also eat relatively healthy diets. The combination of activity and a Mediterranean diet may explain their relatively good longevity.

Where were activity levels the highest? African countries and Southeast Asia fared the best. Only around 17% of residents of Southeast Asian countries were inactive. The big surprise? Japan, a country believed to be one of the healthiest, had an inactivity rate of 60% – significantly greater than the United States and most European countries. Countries with a high rate of physical activity were Mongolia and Benin where only 9% of the citizens don’t get enough exercise. The most active country in the world? That distinction goes to Mozambique where only 7% of residents are inactive.

Other Results of This Study

This study also showed that worldwide men are more active than women, and countries with a higher income level, in general, are less likely to be active than poorer countries.

Why Lack of Physical Activity is So Important

Smoking is often deemed the most important lifestyle risk factor for early mortality, but lack of physical activity is no less important. Research suggests that smoking causes about 5 million deaths yearly around the world, while lack of physical activity is blamed for 5.3 million yearly deaths worldwide. Smoking and lack of exercise are the greatest risk factors contributing to early death. That should certainly be enough to inspire you lace up your exercise shoes and get moving. Every step counts when it comes to lowering your risk for health problems.

*For more fitness information please contact our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com** 

Tags: Personal Weight Loss, Exercise, Weight Loss, diet, jumpstart diet, meal plans, Diet and Nutrition, healthy eating, fat burning classes, Dr. Neiman, Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, Personal Trainers, Fitness, Noelle Lusardi, group excercise classes, toning classes, Step Ahead exercise classes, Bridal Boot Camp, Healthy Meals, Physician Weight Loss, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition, Heart Disease, Prevention Heart Disease, lose weight, bootcamp classes, Physician Weight Center, OptiFast, personal training, kickboxing, toning, toning walk, muscle conditioning classes, Yoga classes, walking Bridal Boot Camp, walking Bridal Boot Camp Loeys Dietz Syndrome, Step Ahead, exercise classes, group exercise, kickboxing classes

How Much Exercise Do You Need to Improve Cholesterol???

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

 

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HDL-cholesterol is the “good” kind of cholesterol that lowers the risk of heart disease. One way to raise levels of this good form of blood fat is through exercise - but how much do you need to make a difference? Find out what type of exercise is best and how long and how hard you have to work to boost your HDL level

There are several types of fats or lipids in your blood. The one most people are concerned about is their LDL-cholesterol, the kind that sticks to arteries and increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks. But no less important when it comes to heart health is HDL-cholesterol, the “good” form of cholesterol that like a knight in shining armor removes fatty deposits from your arteries and takes them back to the liver where they can be broken down. That’s why a high level of HDL protects against heart disease. One of the best ways to raise your HDL level is through exercise but taking a low-intensity walk in the park won’t have a major impact on your good cholesterol. How much exercise do you need to give your HDL level a boost?

Exercise and HDL: How Much Exercise Do You Need to Get the Benefits?

Both intensity and duration of exercise have an impact on HDL levels. In men, research shows that exercising at a moderate intensity, about 75% of maximum heart rate, raises HDL levels, while exercising at lower intensities has minimal benefit. Women also get a bump up in HDL when they do regular, moderate-intensity exercise, and exercising at higher intensities doesn’t seem to have any additional benefit, although it’s good from a cardiovascular standpoint.

Duration of exercise is also a factor. In male runners, 7 to 10 hours of running at a moderate intensity seems to be the minimum required to see a significant change in HDL levels. For people who don’t run, a caloric expenditure of 1,000 calories or more a week through moderate-intensity exercise is sufficient to have an impact. Women seem to need even larger volumes of moderate-intensity exercise to see an increase in HDL, but the most active women have higher average HDL levels than ones who are less active.

What Does This Mean?

Aerobic exercise at a moderate intensity or greater five days a week for 30 minutes or more should be enough to raise your HDL level, but it can take a year or more of regular aerobic exercise to see maximal benefits. Working out at a higher intensity may be more beneficial from the standpoint of your heart, but it won’t necessarily raise your HDL any more than moderate-intensity aerobic workouts will.

Other Ways to Raise Your HDL Level

Exercise isn’t the only way to give your HDL a heart-healthy boost. Here are some other tips for increasing your good cholesterol level:

Choose healthier fats. Monounsaturated fats in nuts and olive oil and polyunsaturated fats in fatty fish have a positive impact on HDL cholesterol levels when they replace saturated fats in your diet. Avoid trans-fat. Trans-fat is unhealthy for your heart and your blood vessels.

Enjoy wine in moderation. Drinking one or two glasses of wine a day can positively impact HDL, but don’t overdo it. Women at high risk for breast cancer should probably avoid alcohol since research shows it may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Eat more fiber. Preliminary research suggests that adding more fiber to your diet increases HDL and lowers levels of LDL-cholesterol.

Control your weight. People who are overweight or obese have lower HDL levels on average and higher LDL-cholesterol levels than people of normal weight.

The Bottom Line?

Regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise not only improves your aerobic capacity, it also raises HDL and lowers your risk of heart disease. Now there’s another reason to put your exercise shoes on.

For more “fit” tips contact our fitness director, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com!

References:

Medscape.com website. ” Raising HDL in Clinical Practice: Clinical Strategies to Elevate HDL”.
University of New Mexico. ” A Review of the Impact of Exercise on Cholesterol Levels”
Mayo Clinic. “High Cholesterol”

 

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Step Ahead's Dietitian, Sari Greaves on the Dr. Oz show again!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Apr 11, 2012 @ 02:32 PM


Sari on the Dr. Oz show again! Go Sari!

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Tips For Setting Your New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Jan 03, 2012 @ 01:20 PM

Tips For Setting Your New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions

December 27, 2011 by Weight loss Help and Tips Staff  

One more year is coming to a close, the pads come out and the resolutions begin. January is actually the busiest time in the fitness and gym industry. February and March are probably the quietest with most people having given up on the weight loss and fitness effort…well until the bikini time comes around again. Setting New Year’s weight loss resolutions is no different than setting other goals. Your goals need to S.M.A.R.T, in other words: Simple-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timely, but most importantly you need to have the desire and willpower to work hard towards your targets. In this article we share 7 tips for setting your New Year’s resolutions in such a way so they are achievable and realistic.

Weight Loss Tips for 2012

1. SET LIFE GOALS

Instead of making a resolution list of the things you want to do make a list of the things you want to have and/or achieve in your life. For example a resolution list of the things you want to do could look like this:

Resolution List 2012

1. Lose weight

2. Join the gym

3. Change my job

Instead think ‘what do I want to have in my life’? For example:

Life Resolution List 2012

1. Look good and feel healthier

2. Be happier in my job

3. Be less stressed

Then think how you can achieve each one of them. Weight loss and exercise can then be a process of achieving to look good and feel healthier but is not the end to all means. In addition, there are other ways to achieve your goal such as eat healthier, or cut down on takeaways and sweets.

If you just concentrate on losing weight you will join the gym and get the next diet regime in the hype of the times. Then you will soon lose sight of why you are torturing and depriving yourself from food. No surprise most gym memberships are sold in January to never be used again by February with maybe small exceptions when preparing for the bikini season.

2. COMPARE YOUR LIST WITH LAST YEARS

What did your resolution list look like last year? Do you automatically list the obvious things which are expected to be in your list? For example I used to be a smoker and for about 10 years in the top of my list was I will cut smoking. Smoking was bad for me and I knew I had to give up so every year I expected myself to try and stop smoking and then feel depressed as I had failed myself.

In addition think why you didn’t follow your last year’s resolutions. Did something affect you? Did something change? Finding the reasons why you didn’t do what you wanted last year it may be a way to help you avoid the same mistakes or help you plan for this year.

3. BE REALISTIC

Christmas and New Year can be emotionally charged times. The end of an era and the beginning of a new one it can make us make decisions based on emotions and not reality.  Don’t forget to also ask yourself if you are realistic in what you want. My resolution could well be finding a gold bucket at the end of a rainbow but no matter what I do it may not quite reach fruition.

4. GET OFF THE DIET WAGON.

Another problem with concentrating with dieting is that you are likely to grab the next diet regime, book etc that looks good. Does it work? You may lose some weight in a few weeks but you will have to stop dieting at some point and then what? Have a break until the next diet or is it that you never stopped.

The weight loss industry is a very lucrative business and it does bank on the fact that you are looking for quick solution. I will go back to my first point which says make life goals and not a dieting commitment. Therefore, weight loss would be part of the life changes you want. Undoubtedly not everybody can do it by themselves, however try to pick that weight loss solution which will help you to learn about healthy eating, give you tips for your everyday life and support in what you are trying to achieve.      

5. GET SUPPORT

Studies have actually shown that people who have support tend to lose more weight and adhere to diet regimes. Support which comes from your immediate family environment is always the best. However, if for any reason you can’t make that work support could come from friends, weight loss buddies, and even weight loss clubs and online weight loss services.

There are plenty of choices out there so you can find the one that works for you.

6. MOVE EVERYDAY

Physical activity and exercise is a bonus for your health and weight management. Make a pledge to move every day. You don’t have to necessarily pay big monthly subscriptions to a gym. Make a pledge to move a little bit every day.

Go for a walk, or run in the park, go shopping and walk around the shops, have a spring clean, play a game with the kids, have a swim and so on. All you need is commitment and imagination.

7. START LIVING

Once you set your life goals and resolutions all you have to do is start living. This is my new year’s mojo. Stop dieting and start living. I am sure I’m not the only one who says that but I am loving it.

http://www.weightlosshelpandtips.net/2011/12/7-tips-for-setting-your-new-year-weight-loss-resolutions/

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Noëlle shares tips on staying energized thru all your work outs!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 09, 2011 @ 12:24 PM

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Some days working out feels easier than others. There are times where you feel like you could go for hours, and other times where you feel like stopping 30 minutes into a workout because you’re wiped out. Sometimes there are physiological reasons why you’re experiencing fatigue. In other cases, “fatigue” can be psychological. It may be your brain’s way of telling you you’re overtraining or your workout has become “stale” and needs some shaking up. What causes early fatigue with exercise, and what can you do about it?

Dehydration

Exercise performance becomes impaired when you reach a dehydration level of 2% or more. According to research, dehydration causes premature fatigue by its effect on muscle metabolism, temperature regulation and by the additional burden it puts on your heart. It also reduces the motivation to exercise, possibly as a protective mechanism to ensure that you don’t lose more water. To avoid this problem, drink between 5 and 10-ounces of fluid every 15 minutes during a workout. If you’ll be working out for more than an hour, an electrolyte-rich sports drink is a better choice to replace lost sodium and electrolytes.

Glycogen Depletion

For moderate to high intensity exercise, muscles depend on carbohydrates and fat as their primary fuel source. The more vigorously your work out, the more important carbohydrates are. If you exercise in a fasted state at a moderate intensity or greater for a long period of time, your muscles can become prematurely fatigued as carbohydrate stores in the form of glycogen are depleted. At this point, the liver steps up to the plate to form glucose from amino acids, a process called gluconeogenesis, but during long exercise sessions, the liver may not be able to produce enough glucose to meet the needs of the hardworking muscles. This can lead to a drop in blood glucose level and premature exercise fatigue. That’s why exercising in a fasted state makes a workout seem harder.

If you work out in the morning at a moderate intensity or greater, eat a snack containing around 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight an hour or so before lacing up your exercise shoes. If you plan on working out for longer than 90 minutes, take along an energy bar or sports drink containing carbohydrates to refuel. It’ll help you train better and reduce the fatigue that comes from glycogen depletion.

Other Reasons for Premature Exercise Fatigue

If you notice a drop off in performance and are feeling more fatigued when you work out, check an iron level. Low iron levels can lead to iron-deficiency anemia that can cause reduced exercise tolerance and fatigue. Iron deficiency is a relatively common problem among young female athletes, especially those that restrict calories. Other medical problems such as diabetes, an underactive thyroid and some medications can cause early exercise fatigue.

Fatigue and decreased performance can also be a sign that you’re overtraining. When you’re overtraining, a workout that would typically feel easy becomes a challenge. Overtraining not only causes fatigue, it reduces immunity to infection, so you’re more likely to catch a cold or flu virus. How do you know if you’re overdoing it? Check your heart rate first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. If you heart rate is elevated by 5 or more beats per minute above its usual range, you may be overtraining. The solution? Rest for a few days, and then return to training at half your usual volume and intensity for a week or so. Also, make sure you’re getting 7 or more hours of sleep a night and practicing good nutrition.

Sometimes exercise fatigue isn’t physiological but a sign of boredom with your current exercise routine. If you’re doing everything else right and you’re not overtraining, try doing a different routine, and see if it reinvigorates you. For example, try doing one of my  exercise DVD s  that you haven’t tried in along time for a change. If you usually strength train using machines at the gym, do a bodyweight circuit workout instead. When your workout becomes stale, you’ll feel less motivated and your workout will feel harder.

The Bottom Line?

Keep these factors in mind if you’re not performing as well as you should and you’re feeling fatigued during a workout. Sometimes something as simple as drinking more water and eating more carbs before you start can make all the difference.

For more information and/or fitness tips, please contact our fitness director/personal trainer, Noëlle Lusardi at noelle@stepaheadnj.com.

 

 

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