Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

Hot Weather Exercise Tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 02:50 PM

describe the image

Summer is here, and many exercisers like to leave the gym behind and spend their exercise time outdoors. For others, when the temperature's high, motivation can be low. Plus, you have the excuse that exerting yourself might be dangerous! Sorry but these are not valid excuses.  You can still walk, jog, or bike without suffering sunstroke. Just take these precautions:

Drink up before you're thirsty. Once you start craving water, you're already 3 percent dehydrated. To avoid that, drink two to three cups a few hours before you work out. Ten minutes before, have another cup — and one cup every 15 to 20 minutes while you're exercising. If you're a swimmer, follow the same plan — just because you're surrounded by water doesn't mean it's keeping you hydrated.

Eat often. Dieters often count on summer heat to kill their appetite — but exercising without enough fuel is dangerous. No one's suggesting a huge plate of pasta. But if you're going to work out, snack throughout the day on lettuce, carrots, grapefruit, and apples — all great hot-weather picks because they're naturally filled with water.

Avoid high-heat hours. Hit the streets before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Another stay-cool tip: Run or walk on dirt paths instead of sun-absorbing pavement.  Or try a water activity such as, paddleboarding, surfing, swimming and snorkeling.

Sport the right gear. To deflect, not absorb, the sun's rays, wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Try cotton or "wicking" fabrics, which move sweat away from your body, or these GHRI-tested sun-safe clothes. And don't forget your head: A hat or visor with a four-inch brim will best protect your face.

Slather on sunscreen every two hours. SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Burns aren't just bad for your complexion; they also raise your body temperature.

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

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

Tags: Doctor Supervised Weight Loss, group excercise classes, weight loss insurnace coverage, Physician Weight Loss, health fitness advice, Weight Loss Center, Step Ahead Wellness Center, weight loss success

Lose Weight and Keep It Off with Weight Training

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 01:49 PM


describe the image

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!

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

How To Stay Motivated To Exercise This Holiday Season

Posted by deborah neiman on Sat, Dec 13, 2014 @ 06:35 AM

Follow these fitness tips that will help keep your exercise motivation running high this holiday season.

 describe the image

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.  Something to keep in mind, incorporating the -10,000 Steps Program into each day will help ensure that you walk approximately 5 miles per day equalling approximately 500 calories burned through movement! 

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.  And if you're just starting an exercise program, it's a good idea to consult with a medical doctor before starting a new exercise program. Exercise reduces stress and cortisol levels, factors that have been shown to increase food intake and fat gain around the midsection. Do activities that you enjoy!

Learn more about how you can make lifestyle resolutions with our personalized program. Click below to start the journey to a healthier, new you with the support of a medical doctor, registered dietitian, and certified personal trainer.

Optifast 4 Week Membership



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

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




Tags: losing weight tips, doctor supervised weight loss center, health fitness advice

Personal Training Costs vs. Benefits of Health Fitness Investment

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 @ 01:45 PM

Sometimes, all you need to meet your health fitness goals is a little help from an experienced expert.When it comes to losing weight, many people wonder about the costs of finding a personal trainer, and whether or not the expense is worth it. For many people, their view of the worth of personal training is colored by past experiences with non- or underqualified personal trainers who were attached to a commercial weight loss plan.

However, the investment of joining a doctor supervised medical weight loss program that offers the services of a cadre of professionals can be well worth it.


To answer this question, we’ve assembled a list featuring a few benefits of investing in your health.

Benefit #1: Improved Health

Naturally, when you work with professional dietitians, doctors, and certified personal fitness trainers, you will find that you’ll be healthier.

How so? When working with certified professionals, you’re getting real, applicable, personalized advice from experts who understand your needs. These experts base their recommendations for you on an assessment of your actual health. In contrast, a commercial weight loss plan might ask someone with osteoporosis to try to practically starve themselves of foods with the vitamins that they need to maintain bone health.

Certified experts can make sure that you’re getting the right amount of nutrition and activity that you need to build lean muscle mass while you shed pounds. Over time, your overall health should improve, providing you with more energy and drive.

Benefit #2: Improved Safety of Weight Loss

When a certified personal fitness trainer creates an exercise regimen for you, that regimen will be based on what is both feasible and beneficial to you for improving your health. Extreme diets and un-certified trainers who provide plans formulated for the masses simply cannot make all of the right concessions to your pre-existing conditions.

Remember the previous example about a weight loss patient with osteoporosis? A generic, mailed-in weight loss plan might call for exercise and activity levels that simply aren’t safe when bone health has been compromised. On the other hand, an underqualified fitness trainer might go the opposite direction, encouraging a level of activity that’s actually too light for maintaining bone health. A certified personal fitness trainer, with the help of a dietitian and a doctor, on the other hand, can identify your specific health risks and come up with a safe, but still effective, weight loss program that minimizes the risk for injuries and medical complications.

Benefit #3: Support for When You Need it

With a little help, you can make weight loss happen more easily!Sometimes, just having a helping hand from time to time can mean the difference between sticking to your weight loss plan successfully and failing to meet goals. When you invest in a health fitness program that has the support of a dedicated team that includes a certified personal fitness trainer, dietitian, and a doctor, you’ll have help available for when you need it.

With a team of trained professionals who have experience in helping people meet their health and fitness goals, you can get the extra support you may need in order to lose weight and keep it off.

Benefit #4: Long-Term Health Planning

What do you do once your diet and exercise plan is “finished” and you’ve met your goals? For all too many people, the end of a diet marks a period of rapid weight gain because there was no plan created for after goals were met.

However, with the support of a team of weight loss and fitness professionals, you can easily establish a plan for after you meet your weight loss and fitness goals so that you can keep the weight off and continue to enjoy the benefits of being healthy.

Invest in Your Health with Step Ahead Wellness

When you invest in your health by joining a health fitness program that boasts the support of dedicated and experienced professionals, you get not only a great, personalized plan for losing weight, you get a happier, healthier you as well.

Find out if a personalized weight loss program is right for you using the link below!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Personal Trainers, Doctor, health fitness advice, Step Ahead Wellness Center

How to Maxmize Your Health Fitness Programs

Posted by deborah neiman on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 10:17 AM

Many weight loss regimens involve exercise and personal trainers.Year after year, thousands of women join the latest diet and exercise programs with the hopes of being able to shed excess weight so that they can feel more energetic and confident about their bodies. Every year, countless women are disappointed by the results of their diet and exercise plans.

What went wrong for these women? And, more importantly, how can you avoid disappointment at the end of your own health fitness program?

There are actually a few things that you can do to maximize the results of your health fitness program, including:

Set Reasonable Goals

Before beginning any weight loss or fitness regimen, it is important to know what your goals are and to have a reasonable expectation of reaching said goals.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, establish how much weight you want to lose and how quickly you would need to lose it under your selected program. Odds are, if your weight loss goal would have you trying to lose more than 1-2 pounds per week, then you might need to reassess your goals.

Why? Because extreme weight loss (loss in excess of 3-4 pounds a week) can be unhealthy, and could lead to severe health problems. Also, such extreme goals are very difficult to meet, and create an unreasonable performance expectation. Failure to meet an extreme goal can be discouraging, which in turn leads to less engagement with your fitness or health plan.

Study ALL of the Features of Your Health/Fitness Plan before Starting it

When looking at a fitness or health regimen, take the time to read all of the program’s features, including:

  • Length of the program.
  • Dates/times of meetings.
  • Location where meetings occur.
  • Location of program’s headquarters/office.
  • Any special medical notices.
  • Dietary restrictions.
  • Names of registered physicians involved with the program, if any.
  • Any medications that the program uses.
  • Support networks tied into the program.

Two of the biggest reasons that a health or fitness program fails are:

  1. The people taking part in it aren’t able to reconcile their lifestyle to the program;
  2. They are not given the support they need to keep up with the program on a day to day basis.

By carefully examining fitness programs before signing on for them, you can find a program that provides everything you need to succeed, which increases your chances of being satisfied with the results of your program.

Get Your Checkups, While Still on the Program

One of the best things you can do to protect your well-being while on a health or fitness program is to schedule several physicals with your doctor to check your condition throughout the program. This way, if the fitness program is causing health complications for you, your doctor can spot the problem straight away and help prevent serious complications.

At the very least, getting regular checkups can help to reinforce the effectiveness of your health program and keep you motivated to stay on track.

Have a Plan for after the Program

For those who successfully complete their health/fitness programs and meet their weight loss or other goals, the end of the program is only the beginning. All too often, weight that was lost while on the program comes back, with some people actually gaining more weight than before.

For this reason, it is important to prepare for the end of the program by establishing your own post-program exercise and meal plan. If your program has a lifestyle coach, consulting with him or her can be incredibly helpful in adjusting your lifestyle to prevent weight gain after the program ends.

Get a Step Ahead when it comes to Your Wellness

To get started right, check out our own OPTIFAST program, which features numerous benefits to help you get into shape and stay that way. For more tips about how to make the most of the OPTIFAST program, download the tip sheet below!

Download the Optifast Tip Sheet

Tags: Weight Loss, OptiFast, weight loss goals, health fitness advice

Weight Training Programs vs. Cardio Training Programs

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jul 25, 2014 @ 12:27 PM

In any weight loss regimen, staying active is an important part of losing weight and keeping it off. Exercise, of any kind, is an established, reliable method for improving overall health and even elevating your mood.

However, there has been quite a lot of debate in recent years about which exercises are best for people who are looking to lose weight: cardio or weight training. Both of these classes of exercise possess solid health benefits for women, but which one is right for you?

Benefits of Weight Training

Weight training is great for building lean mass and confidence.When most people think of weight training (also called strength training), they envision the big, muscular bodybuilders lifting huge barbell weights. However, there is more to weight training than just adding muscle mass (although that is a major portion of weight training).

Benefits of weight training include:

  • The ability to focus on a specific group of muscles.
  • Improved muscle tone.
  • Increased strength and feelings of confidence.
  • Increased muscle endurance.
  • Free weight training, in particular, is good for rehabilitation after an injury.

For women who are trying to get into better shape, weight training is an excellent option. It allows women to tone specific muscle groups that may not be responding to aerobic exercise. Also, weight training allows for the person doing the exercise to either do a lot of repetitions with light weights, or a few reps with heavier weights.

While weight training does produce more muscle mass than aerobic exercises, women will not build mass as quickly as men. This is because men have an abundance of the hormone testosterone, which works to repair and strengthen muscles after a hard workout. Women still have some of this male hormone, but not nearly as much as men in most cases.

Cons of Weight Training

While weight training is a great option for improving strength and toning muscles, there are a few cons attached to this kind of exercise, including:

  • Increased risk of injury (particularly with free weights), which demands the use of a spotter or other supporter/supervisor for safety.
  • Need for specialized equipment for many standard resistance exercises (weight machines, free weights, barbells).
  • Some exercises more complicated than aerobic exercise, making their safe practice more difficult.
  • In many cases, weight loss from strength training is more modest for women than aerobic exercise. It is important to note, however, that the addition of lean muscle is a factor in this, as lean muscle mass weighs more than fat.

The biggest risk is that when using weights, it is possible to drop them and cause yourself serious injury. Even a light, 5-pound weight can do serious damage to an unprotected foot if dropped from chest height.

With any exercise regimen, exercise caution and if you are at risk for injury, heart attack or stroke, consult with your physician before trying to lift heavy weights.

Cardio Training Benefits

Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, is great for the health of your heart and lungs.Millions of women engage in aerobic exercise to help themselves shed excess weight and improve health. For many women, cardio training (sometimes referred to as aerobic) exercises such as jogging, swimming, or riding an exercise bike provides cardiovascular benefits that improve heart health and lung function.

Other benefits of aerobic activity that women have noted include:

  • Lessened muscle and joint pain. One of the best treatments for arthritis is to remain active and in motion, which is something that cardio training helps to ensure. On top of that, aerobic exercise stimulates the capillaries, improving blood flow and speeding the removal of lactic acid from muscles.
  • Increased stamina. With improved heart and lung function comes improved oxygen generation for the body. With increased oxygen and other nutrients carried in the bloodstream, your muscles can operate more efficiently for longer.
  • Weight loss. Cardio training burns more calories than strength training during exercise.
  • Elevated mood. After any workout, endorphins are released into the bloodstream, naturally promoting feelings of wellness.

These are just a few of the benefits of cardio training. Certain research from as early as 1986 has even linked cardio exercise to longer lifespans!

On top of this, many basic cardio regimens don’t require much in the way of special gear other than running shoes for jogging, a bicycle or exercise bike, and access to a pool or beach for swimming.

Cons of Aerobic Exercise

The specific cons of aerobic exercise will vary depending on your specific routine. For example, if you go jogging, finding a good, safe route to jog along may be more difficult for some. Swimming might not be an option if you don’t have access to a large body of water to swim in.

Aerobic exercise, despite generally being good for joint health, can result in stress fractures for some. This is most common in jogging, especially if the person in question is wearing shoes not designed for the task.

Pain in the foot or legs is not uncommon after a few weeks or months of aerobic exercise, and may be an indication of a severe problem or injury. Many of these injuries can be prevented, however, by wearing the appropriate footwear and performing stretches before and after exercise to prepare the muscles for the upcoming activity.

Which One is Right for You?

This is a difficult question to answer. In reality, whether you follow a weight training or a cardio training routine should be based on your personal fitness goals.

Odds are, if you’re looking to shed the pounds, cardio training is your best bet. However, if you’re looking to build confidence, strength, and muscle tone, weight training may be right up your alley.

Of course, you can do both types of exercises, and gain the benefits of both. Whatever your fitness goals are, be sure to consult with a physician before beginning any kind of regimen that involves rigorous activity.

Learn if an exercise regimen is right for you, today!

Do You Need a Personalized Weight Loss Program?

Tags: Exercise, Weight Loss, health fitness advice

get health fitness advice from experts

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, May 28, 2014 @ 12:29 PM

Step Ahead Wellness Center invites you to take a coffee break. Sip on a skinny beverage, and get FREE health and fitness advice from our expert nutritionist and contributor to the Dr. Oz show, Sari Greaves R.D.N. Take our diet personality quiz and chat about current diet trends.
describe the image
Friday, May 30th, New time: 12:00-12:30 pm
Starbucks coffee shop: 428 428 US Highway 202/206, Bedminster Township, NJ 07921
Reserve your spot by emailing 
or call 908.470.2235

Tags: HEALTHY DIET SHORTCUTS, physician weight loss program, losing weight fast, medical weight loss solutions, healthy eating, physician weight l9oss, ask the weight loss dr, Healthy Recipes, health fitness advice