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

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

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

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.
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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!


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

49 U.S. Highway 202
 Far Hills, NJ  07931


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

Obesity: The Beast Within

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 12:03 PM

In a recent article in the Lancet, Feb., 2015 edition, leaders in obesity research and treatment ; Doctors Ochner, Tsai, Kushner and Thomas Wadden, reported that treating obesity is unlikely to be successful with diet and lifestyle modifications alone. The have found that there are many BIOLOGICAL factors that contribute to the failure of many obese patients to succeed with the long held protocol of lower calories and more exercise.

The authors have found that there are biological factors that are tend to make obesity a more challenging problem to treat and successfully overcome. First, there is the fact that with obesity comes an increase in adipose cells(fat cells) and there is a perpetual pull for the body, no matter how much weight may be lost, to return to a “stamped in” weight. There is a pull for the body to refill the adipose cells and it is drawn to the highest weight that it ever attained, and even sometimes a higher weight then previous seen.

Also, there are factors in the CNS, or dopamine pathways, that lead to a heightened sense of deprivation and lack of satisfaction. The obese individual is constantly reminded that they are in a “reward deprivation” state and are more prone to over consume foods to reward themselves.

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These are two of the most basic biologic forces that occur in the obese patient and it is necessary to realize that these are hormonal factors that need to be treated and followed with the patient. None of these changes can be CURED but they can be more adequately treated with adjuncts to diet and lifestyle changes. Some of the necessary additions to the typical recommendations are :

  1. The use of appetite suppressants – these may help short term but in the obese individual, they may need to be used over time for maintenance as well. The can help stop some of the cravings and some of the impulses that are driving patients to eat to feel satisfied.

  2. Surgery: Many times this can be a successful addition to changes in diet and lifestyle. Some of the new procedures – such as gastric banding and sleeve, are safer and have been found to be quite successful

  3. Vagal Nerve Blockade: This is used to help with maintaining lower intake as well as blocking some of the impulses to seek food for rewards


What is GROUND BREAKING about this article is that these well renowned medical professionals are educating the public in regards to treating weight loss and to increase awareness that obesity needs to be treated as a disease with true biological and hormonal changes that need to be addressed throughout one’s life.


To read the full article click here:


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