Step Ahead Wellness Center Blog

TRX Workouts at STEP AHEAD!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Feb 26, 2014 @ 12:31 PM

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STEP AHEAD OFFERS TRX WORK OUTS!  Call today to schedule yours!

 

What is TRX?

 

WORKOUT USING THE TRX SUSPENSION TRAINER

The TRX Suspension Trainer is the original, best-in-class workout system that leverages
gravity and your bodyweight to perform hundreds of exercises. You're in control of how much you want to challenge yourself on each exercise - because you can simply adjust your body position to add or decrease resistance.

The TRX Suspension Trainer:

  • Delivers a fast, effective total-body workout
  • Helps build a rock-solid core
  • Increases muscular endurance
  • Benefits people of all fitness levels (pro athletes to seniors)
  • Can be set-up anywhere (gym, home, hotel or outside)

By utilizing your own bodyweight, the TRX Suspension Trainer provides greater performance
and functionality than large exercise machines costing thousands of dollars.



USED BY TRAINERS, ATHLETES AND THE U.S.MILITARY

Thousands of people at all fitness levels now train on the TRX: From everyday people who
just want to feel and look their best to some of the world's most elite athletes. The TRX is used routinely by all four branches of the military, and can be found in the locker rooms of most famous sports teams.

For more information about our TRX workouts contact our fitness director/certified
personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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Don't Let Lack of Sleep Derail Your Fitness/Weight Loss Goals!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Feb 25, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

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Can’t stop snacking? Make sure you’re not skimping on sleep. Research
already shows a link between not spending enough hours in dreamland and weight
gain, but exactly how sleep contributes to weight gain and overeating isn’t
clear. According to some research, the answer lies with the way sleep affects
two appetite hormones that turn on and off the desire to eat.

The Dueling Duo: Leptin and Ghrelin

Leptin and ghrelin are hormones that control appetite control. Leptin is
produced by fat cells and sends a signal to the brain that curbs the desire to
keep eating. It essentially puts a brake on your appetite. Some obese people
don’t respond as readily to the satiety signals leptin sends because their body
is resistant to it, a condition known as leptin resistance.

Ghrelin is produced by cells lining the stomach and pancreas. It’s the
hormone that causes your to stomach to growl and sends you rushing to the
kitchen for a snack. Ghrelin is a hormone you don’t want working overtime if
you’re trying to control your weight.

Together, leptin and ghrelin working quietly behind the scenes in
conjunction with other hormone players to control your desire to eat. They’re a
powerful duo when it comes to appetite control.

How Sleep Affects Appetite

In a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers measured
the effects of inadequate sleep on appetite hormones in 12 healthy young men of
normal weight. They did this by restricting the amount the men slept for 2
night consecutive nights. On those nights, they were only allowed to sleep for
4 hours.

When researchers measured levels of appetite hormones in these
sleep-deprived young men, they found that their leptin levels had dropped by
18% and their ghrelin levels rose by 28%. Not surprisingly, their appetite also
increased, and they experienced more cravings for high-carb, energy dense foods.

Even though this study was small, other research also suggests that lack of
sleep boosts appetite and cravings for carbs. Some experts believe it’s an
underappreciated contributor to obesity.

Another Way Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain

If you deprive yourself of sleep, levels of the stress hormone cortisol rise. Cortisol is a hormone that breaks down muscle tissue, reduces resistance to infection and boosts belly fat, especially the most dangerous kind, visceral fat. Cortisol is another hormone that can trigger cravings for carbs and send you running to the vending machine for a high-calorie snack.

As you can see, a variety of hormonal players work overtime when you don’t
get enough shut-eye. That’s why sleep should be a priority in the same way
exercise is. If you’re working out regularly and aren’t shedding body fat, keep
a sleep diary for two weeks and see if you’re getting enough sleep. If not,
it’s time to re-prioritize.

To keep your appetite hormones in line, between seven and eight hours of
sleep a night appears to be optimal. Less than that and you’ll have a harder
time reigning in your appetite and may find it more difficult to resist
high-carb treats like doughnuts that usually get passed around the office.

The Bottom Line?

Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep for controlling your weight.
Lack of it can upset the delicate balance between your appetite hormones and
undermine your efforts to control your weight. Next time you’re tempted to
watch a late show on television, head to bed instead. You’ll feel better the
next day, and you may eat less.

For more healthy fitness tips contact our fitness director/certified
personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, directly at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  And be sure to visit our website at www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest weight loss program special and lose weight fast tips!

 

References:

Medscape CME. “Getting Sufficient Sleep May Help Reduce Weight Gain”

 

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WHAT IS A HEALTHY WEIGHT ANYWAY?

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 @ 06:09 AM

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WHAT IS A HEALTHY WEIGHT ANYWAY?

You’ve seen charts that list a range for ideal body weight based on a
person’s sex and height. Some weight charts also add another variable – body
frame. People with smaller frames should theoretically have a lower ideal body
weight than someone with a larger frame.

A Quick Way of Calculating Ideal Body Weight

Health professionals sometimes use a formula to estimate an individual’s
ideal body weight based on their height. Based on this formula, women who are
five feet tall have a theoretical ideal body weight of 100 pounds. You would
then multiply each additional inch in height above 5 feet by five to get a
person’s approximate ideal body weight. For example, a woman 5 foot 4 inches
would have an ideal body weight of 120 pounds. (100 + 4 x 5). For men five feet
tall, 106 pounds is theoretical ideal body weight. For men over 5 feet, each
additional inch is multiplied by six to get ideal body weight. So, a man that’s
5 foot 10 inches would have an ideal body weight of around 166. (106 + 10 x 6).

BMI: Another Approach to Gauging Ideal Weight

Another way health professionals gauge a person’s weight is by calculating
their BMI or body mass index. There are BMI calculators online, like in our
Workout Manager, where you can plug in your numbers and get your BMI and look
at a BMI chart to see if you’re in a healthy range. BMI uses a formula based on
height and weight.

Both body weight and BMI are quick ways to assess someone’s weight but both
have limitations. They only take into account height and weight. There are a
growing number of people, especially those who don’t exercise, who are
“skinny-fat.” These people fall into the ideal range or under ideal on the BMI
and weight charts, but if you measured their body fat percentage it would be
high. That’s where BMI and body weight as measurements of ideal weight are
limited. They tell you nothing about body composition or how much of that
weight is muscle and how much fat.

The reality is an athlete with a very low body fat percentage and lots of
lean muscle tissue can fall into the overweight category based on body weight
or BMI. At the same time, someone with a high body fat percentage and little
muscle can still be in the “ideal” range. You can’t necessarily assume you’re
healthy from a weight standpoint just because you’re in the ideal range on
weight and BMI charts. A 5 foot 4 inch woman that weighs 120 pounds and has 35%
body fat is less healthy than a woman of the same height that weighs 132 pounds
and has 18% body fat.

 Body Composition Matters When it Comes to Health

A better indicator of health and fitness is body fat percentage. The most
accurate ways to measure body fat is a DXA scan (similar to an x-ray and
involves radiation) or air displacement plethysmography where you get into a
chamber that’s sealed off. Body fat percentage can be calculated based on how
much air you displace inside the chamber.

Another technique called near-infrared interactance delivers an infra-red
beam of light into a muscle and measures how much is absorbed by the fat
tissue. These are all accurate methods for measure body fat percentage but you
can’t do them at home.

What about body fat scales? Body fat scales for home use aren’t necessarily
all that accurate. They work by sending a weak electrical impulse through body
and measuring how quickly the impulse returns. The impulse moves more quickly
through lean tissue as opposed to fat. The reading is affected by factors like
how hydrated you are and when you last ate. Despite their lack of absolute
accuracy, body fat scales are helpful for following changes in body fat percentage.

Calipers that measure skin fold thickness are a low-tech way to estimate
body fat percentage. They’re reasonably accurate if you do the measurements
correctly and measure under the same conditions each time.

Another Measurement of Health and Fitness

When’s the last time you measured your waistline? An old-fashioned tape
measure can tell you a lot. Most importantly it can tell you your waist-to-hip
ratio or WHR. WHR is one indicator of cardiovascular risk and general health as
well. People who have a high waist-to-hip ratio have more visceral fat, deep
waist and belly fat that’s pro-inflammatory.

To measure your WHR, measure your waist at its narrowest point. If you have
a waist that bulges outwards, measure an inch above your navel. Get your hip measurement
by measuring at the widest part of your buttocks. Divide your waist measurement
by your hip measurement to get your ratio.

How did you score? If you’re female, your waist-to-hip ratio should be less
than 0.9. Males should have a WHR of less than 0.8 to place them in the lowest
cardiovascular risk category.

 

The Bottom Line?

Most people use the scale as an indicator of how fit and healthy, but
they’re not getting the full story. If possible, know and follow your body fat
percentage. Be sure your waist-to-hip ratio falls into a healthy range too.
These tell you more than your body weight or BMI.

For more healthy fitness tips and quick weight loss tips, contact our
fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi, at noelle@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.
And visit our website www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
for our latest weight loss specials and programs, and get great weight loss
coupons!

 

References:

Medical News Today. “What is a Healthy Weight?”

Southwestern Medical Center. “Waist-to-hip ratio may better predict
cardiovascular risk than body mass index”

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Active Valentine Date Ideas!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 @ 01:43 PM

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Valentine's Day can certainly be sweet for romance – and most definitely your sweet tooth – but how about celebrating in a way that's both sexy and healthy this year?  Take advantage of the beautiful winter weather and celebrate outdoors!

Grab your ice skates

Keep the sparks flying by making it a movie moment! Hey, we're in the dead of winter, so whether you're venturing to an indoor or outdoor skating rink, clock in a few twirls with your loved one for a fun bonding experience that will bring out your inner kid. Sure, you never need an excuse to touch each other, but what could be more vulnerably sweet than holding hands and
helping each other stay on your feet?

Warm up with winter hiking

Winter hiking truly brings out the inner thrill-seeker, so it's a great way to explore your partner's stamina and adventurous side! Take a hike in the snow, go snowshoeing or go cross country skiing.

Then you can warm up together indoors with some hot chocolate!

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

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Sari's Delicious Demo of The Week!

Posted by deborah neiman on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 02:44 PM
Sari's Delicious Demo of The Week!

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Stay Pain and Injury Free with These Snow Shoveling Tips!

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Jan 03, 2014 @ 07:01 AM

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With between 6-10 inches of snow, many of us will be outside shoveling today.  To avoid pain and injury, follow these tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:


  • Dress appropriately by wearing slip-resistant shoes and light,
    layered, water-repellent clothing that provides both ventilation and
    insulation.

  • Warm up with some light stretch exercises.

  • Push snow. And if you have to lift snow, use the stronger leg
    muscles for support, not the back.

  • Do not throw the snow over your shoulder or to the side because
    the twisting motion may stress your back.

  • Shovel early and often. The amount of snow that has to be
    removed is less and keeps it from freezing or partially melting and becoming
    harder to remove.

  • Use a proper snow shovel with a pole that is longer, adjustable,
    and curved to decrease the amount of bending needed to lower your risk of
    muscle injury. More user-friendly shovels are typically made of lighter
    materials such as plastic or lightweight aluminum. 

  • Pace yourself and take frequent breaks. Don’t shovel more than
    30 to 60 minutes, just like you would during a regular exercise session.

Step Ahead Wellness Center’s fitness director/certified personal trainer, Noelle Lusardi,  recommends drinking plenty of water before, during and after any winter activity.  “It’s
very important to stay hydrated in cold weather because even though it’s cold out, the body still loses water during exercise.”  Lusardi also recommends taking 5 to 10 minutes to stretch your muscles upon completing any winter sport or activity (including shoveling).  And be sure to
slather on some sunscreen if the sun is out..  always protect the skin as well! 

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Post Holiday Gain? Here Are Ways to Recover...

Posted by deborah neiman on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 @ 12:27 PM

 

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How to get back to your healthy habits after the holidays. Painlessly.

Article By: Erinn Bucklan

"By adding just 500 calories per day, or three homemade sugar cookies and a glass of low-fat
milk, you could gain two pounds in two weeks over the holidays," says Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, a board certified specialist in sports dietetics.

Now the merriment has ended, here's how to get back on track to healthier habits in the New Year.

Up your fruit and vegetable intake

Ideally, you should consume at least five fruit and vegetable servings per day now. These vitamin-rich foods boost your fiber and antioxidant intake and help you feel full. A tip: Replace that midafternoon 16-oz. cola (200 calories) with an orange (65 calories) as a nutritious snack.

Pre-arrange exercise time

You'll stick to a regimen if you schedule exercise ahead, says Brad Cardinal, Ph.D., associate professor of sport and exercise psychology at Oregon State University. Try to get in 30 minutes almost every day. Wear a low-cost pedometer (it counts footsteps) or sign up for a charity walk/run to stick to a plan.

Resist depriving yourself

Focus on what you're going to eat rather than what you're not. "It sounds indulgent," says Colleen Thompson, R.D., a nutritionist at the University of Connecticut. "But concentrate on ways to feed
yourself now. It helps you to stick to healthy eating habits." For example, don't skip a nutritious, fiber-rich breakfast, like oatmeal or a half of a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter. It can help prevent overeating later.

 

For more tips, or for more information about Step Ahead Wellness Center’s weight loss
programs, visit us at www.stepaheadwellnescenter.com or call 908-470-2235.  Let us help you
get back on track and reach your weight loss goals in 2014!

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CARB BLOCKING SUPPLEMENT Now Available at Step Ahead Wellness Center!

Posted by deborah neiman on Wed, Dec 18, 2013 @ 01:23 PM

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If you've been battling carb cravings, Step Ahead Wellness Center can help!  We are thrilled to announce a new carb blocking supplement called CARB CHECK designed to stop cravings for empty carbs that sidetrack your healthy eating goals.

Empty carbs can sabbatoge your healthy weight loss plans and keep you off track.  This new supplement can help you block your cravings for empty carbs thus allowing to stick with your healthy eating plan optimizing nutrition, keeping your sugar levels steady and allowing you to feel energized all day long.  Additionally

Carb Check contains a northern white bean that inhibits the breakdown of starch in the intestinal track, thus alleviating cravings for empty carbs. By blocking these empty carbs, you're energy/sugar levels remain steady throughout the day thus making it much easier to stick with your healthy eating plan, and your execise regime!

In addition to Carb Check, Step Ahead Wellness Center offers many other healthy doctor supervised weight loss plans including OptiFast, on site one on one personal training and small group exercise sessions also on site.

 Let us help you stay on your healthy weight loss track this holiday season and beyond!  Call today to learn more about Carb Check, and all of our weight loss programs:  Call 908-470-2235 or email drneiman@stepaheadwellnesscenter.com
www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com

 

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Step Ahead's Health Tip for Today... Drink Water!

Posted by deborah neiman on Tue, Dec 17, 2013 @ 06:47 AM

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For more information on Step Ahead Wellness Center's healthy weight loss program and/or personal training/fitness programs, visit www.stepaheadwellnesscenter.com.  Be sure to click on our special Holiday Giveaway! 

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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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