Tag: exercise

CrossFit 101

by in Fitness, February 19, 2013

There hasn’t been a fitness craze this widespread in decades! Are intense competition-driven workouts what you need to get motivated to exercise? Here’s what you should to know about CrossFit.

Defining CrossFit
The CrossFit brand was established a little more than 10 years ago but has really gained momentum and nationwide popularity over the past few years. While most CrossFit gyms are independently owned and operated, the type of exercise and overall environment is consistent across locations. CrossFit workouts typically include some combination of strength and endurance training, along with plyometrics, power-lifting and even gymnastics (the creator is a former gymnast).

Some locations may specialize in the specific needs of a local group of fitness buffs like boxing or rowing for example. CrossFit branches often follow a Workout of the Day, or WOD that is followed by all members.

Workouts are intense and beginners should be cautioned to take things slow to prevent injury.

CrossFit has stirred up some controversy in recent years. Rumors have swirled of violent trainers pressuring participants to compete against others or exercise beyond their capabilities. Some orthopedic experts and physical therapists complain that the intense nature of the training can subject members to some pretty serious injuries, especially if they have preexisting orthopedic issues.

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How to Deal with Post-Workout Hunger

by in Fitness, August 12, 2012

Does an exercise session leave you famished or does the thought of food post workout make you ill? There’s a right and wrong way to eat after exercise; find out the balance to get the most out of your fitness routine.

Feel the Burn
Some people question whether or not it’s worth it to exercise since burning lots of calories can make you hungrier. It IS worth it and there are tricks you can adopt to beat this vicious cycle. Choosing the right foods after a workout can make a huge difference.

Research says hunger pangs may hit women harder than men; hormones are to thank for that. For this reason gals need to pay extra attention to how they eat before and after exercise.

On the flip side, other studies have found that exercise lowers levels of a hunger-spiking hormone called ghrelin. The only caveat here is that the exercise needs to be intense, not a leisurely a stroll on the treadmill.

Frequency of exercise also plays an important role. Hitting the gym (or however you like to sweat) regularly trains your body to burn calories more efficiently and of course lowers your risk of an onslaught of ailments including diabetes and heart disease. The bottom line is exercise: is good; here’s how to fuel it properly.

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Burning Off High-Calorie Foods: Fair Foods

by in Dining Out, Fitness, July 20, 2012

fair food
Is your family hitting the local fair circuit this summer? Carnival concessions are famously fattening. We’re not saying to boycott fair foods all together but since these treats don’t come with a food label, we’ll fill you in on just how many calories you’re gobbling down, and what it would take to burn them off. As always, moderation is key!

Crunching the Numbers
Everyone burns calories a little differently, the values below are averages based on a 155-pound person.

1 Corn Dog  = 375 calories = 1 hour, 30 minutes walking the boardwalk

Funnel Cake = 760 calories = 1 hour, 20 minutes of singles tennis

Fried Twinkie = 420 calories = 1 hour water skiing

Cotton Candy =175 calories = 30 minutes whitewater kayaking

Candy Apple = 375 calories = 40 minutes running (8 mph)

Chili Fries = 700 calories = 3.5 hours playing frisbee

Nachos With Cheese Sauce = 850 calories = 1 hour, 15 minutes of vigorous swimming

Turkey leg = 1140 calories = 1 hour of beach volleyball

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Burning Off High Calorie Foods: Summer Picnics

by in Fitness, May 26, 2012
strawberry shortcake
Before you reach for a second helping of strawberry shortcake, consider that you'd have to play tennis for 45 minutes to work it off.

Gearing up for grilling season? Don’t let too many high-cal favorites keep you from staying trim this summer. Here’s what you should keep in mind at your next picnic.

Crunching the numbers
Everyone burns calories a little differently, the values below are averages based on a 155-pound person.

1 foot long hot dog = 500 calories = 1 hour of swimming freestyle
1 cheeseburger = 400 calories = 75 minutes of kayaking
5-ounces BBQ ribs = 465 calories = 2 hours 15 minutes of body surfing

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Heart-Rate Monitors 101

by in Fitness, May 15, 2012
heart rate monitors
Do you use a heart-rate monitor?

Looking for a way to make the most of your workouts? Try a heart-rate monitor on for size.

What is a Heart-Rate Monitor?
As advertised, these gadgets measure your heart rate (a.k.a take your pulse) by sensing and displaying how many times your heart beats each minute. While heart rates will vary from person to person, a healthy adult typically averages anywhere from 60 to 100 beats per minute while at rest. As physical activity increases, so will the beats.

While there are some decent mobile apps out there for pedometers, it’s a very different scene for heart-rate monitors – apps just won’t cut it (at least not yet).

The most common heart-rate monitor styles are worn on the wrist, but some come with chest straps for continuous monitoring of heart activity. Chest strap models are slightly more cumbersome but are also more accurate (and more expensive).  For the wrist-only models, you usually have to stop activity to get an accurate reading. There’s also a huge variety of options – units range in price from $30.00 to more than $500.00! I’m a big fan of anything made by Timex and Polar has a nice variety of budget-friendly models.

Extra features you may find include timers, GPS devices, footware accessories that measure distance traveled and the ability to store data and download it to your computer to track progress.

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Pedometers 101

by in Fitness, April 21, 2012

Counting individual steps may seem like a silly way to get some exercise but every little bit helps. Using a pedometer can be a fabulous motivational tool to get you to move more; use our tips and get stepping!

What is a Pedometer?
A pedometer is a pocket-sized device that senses movement and registers each step you take. Some units require a belt loop attachment while others can be carried in your pocket or worn around your neck. Some models may also have settings to estimate calories burned while walking, but these are often inaccurate unless there is an option to adjust for additional details like weight, age and gender.

Pedometers range in price from $6.00 to more than $30.00 – the higher pricing is typically associated with extra features like distance tracking and calorie counting.  Smartphone lovers will be pleased to know that there are quite a few pedometer apps – many of which are free or less than $3.00. Using the GPS already loaded in a Smartphone, many offer accurate distance tracking for less than a hand-held pedometer. Arawella Pedometer and Pedometer Pro GPS as well as Palm Shadow Footsteps Pedometer all carry high ratings.

Many fitness-centric wrist watches also come with built-in pedometers and heart rate monitors (more about heart rate monitors in an upcoming post).

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Burning Off High Calorie Foods: Thanksgiving Edition

by in Thanksgiving, November 15, 2011

women running
It probably comes as no surprise that a Thanksgiving meal can pack in tons of extra calories. What’s really eye-opening is how much exercise you need to burn those calories. Don’t get us wrong, Thanksgiving dinner is a meal to be savored; just keep some of these numbers in mind before you pile those goodies too high in your plate.

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How Much Exercise Do You Need?

by in Healthy Tips, September 25, 2011
women walking
How much exercise do you need, and what kind is best?

Do you spend countless hours at the gym each day or is the thought of a 20-minute workout too much for you to handle? Tackling a regular exercise routine can be daunting and might cause you to give up on working out all together. Use these tips to make the most of your exercise time.

How Much?

According to the American College of Sports Medicine and the CDC, you should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity per week. You can break up this time in a variety of ways. Feel the burn for 30 minutes, 5 days a week or try a split of 30 and 60-minute workouts over the course of 3 days. Even if 150 minutes is more than you’re ready for, every little bit helps. The American Heart Association reports that every hour of walking may increase your life expectancy by two hours.
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5 Ways To Move More at Work

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Food News, June 24, 2011
Make Time to Stretch at the Office
Take a break to stretch and walk around once an hour while at work.

It’s not news that we’re having an obesity epidemic. Contributing factors include extra-large portions, too many processed foods and…our jobs? New research published in the journal PLOS One (Public Library of Science) shows that a drop in physical activity in the workplace also plays a role in our growing waistlines. Research also indicates that desk potatoes are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack! Here are 5 ways to make sure you move throughout your work day.
5 ways to stay active at the office »

Top 5 Worst Exercise Habits

by in Diets & Weight Loss, Healthy Tips, June 8, 2011

I work with clients to establish safe and smart diet and exercise regimens. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of incorrect information out there! Here are the top 5 exercise faux pas I commonly come across.

5 exercise habits to avoid »