May 23, 2018

Find Fitness Support on Twitter

Find Fitness Support on Twitter! Follow us via @HealthyWayMag and join us every Monday:

Where: On Twitter at #HealthyWayMag
When: Every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern)
WHY: Gain motivation, find fitness support, pick up workout tips, learn about new workouts…just to name a few!

THANK YOU to our March Fitness Chat Sponsors. Check them out and learn how they can help improve your fitness and healthy living efforts:

Photo Finish Frames. Frame your most treasured race or sporting gear memorabilia with their ready-made framing kids. Each kit is hand-made with high quality materials. Each frame also includes a free diamond engraved brass or silver placard. Find more product information on Twitter @fotofinishframe.

Handana. Handana is an innovative sweatband worn on your hand. They offer a variety of colors and sizes to fit every athlete and every workout outfit! The high performance soft fabric wraps around like a fingerless glove to make wiping easy-you don’t even know it is there until you need it. Follow them on Twitter for details @myhandana.

Jessica Matthews. Fitness expert, college professor, yoga teacher, fitness writer, trainer, group exercise and health coach. Sign up for her free 30 day challenge for healthy living, wellness and fitness ideas. You’ll be inspired to live a happier and healthier life! Find more information by following her on Twitter @fitexpertjess.

Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow…continued

Behold, the third in our series…Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow!

The blog New York Views & Nike Shoes found its voice in the Fall of 2013 with Meaghan Ellis. Meaghan explains how her blog came to be, “when I moved to New York, I found myself taking so many pictures of my new city and telling friends and family about all the cool new workout places I was trying, so I decided to put it all down on paper (or, a computer in this case.)”

Meaghan posts about 5 days each week and describes her blogging approach as a “normal persons approach to running.” Check out one of her favorite posts to date, her half marathon race recap from December. She writes about living active and trying new workouts around the big city, New York City.

So who should check out New York Views & Nike Shoes? Meaghan sums it up, “anybody who is even mildly interested in running will be able to relate to my blog. I am not a fast runner, so you’ll read about the trials and tribulations of a slow, but dedicated distance runner.” So whether you’re a fan of fitness or simply a fan of New York City, you’ll find workout-focused posts, inspiring pictures and healthy living motivation to love on New York Views & Nike Shoes!

Want to receive automatic updates of Meaghan’s blog? Sign up here!

Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow- our series continues…

Health and Fitness Blogs to Follow

Our Friday series continues with this Blog highlight. Another option for a blog to follow that is sure to motivate your fitness journey…

As a lifelong writer it only seemed natural when the idea of Caffeine? Yes, Please! first entered the mind of Jeneen Olive back in 2009. Originally, she thought she would “journal the early days of motherhood” as Jeneen explains. However, she recalls “being a new mom didn’t provide much time to sit down and put my thoughts to digital paper.” Although her original intention behind the focus of her blog has shifted, her love of writing remains. When asked about the motivation behind how her blog subject came into existence, she responds “in 2012 I began running and I found that the miles allowed by creative side to reawaken.”

In her blog, Caffeine? Yes, Please! Jeneen shares personal experiences of running and fitness through logging her thoughts from competing in a 5K to her first marathon. She still considers herself a beginning runner and so she writes to help motivate those first time runners. Additionally, seasoned athletes will relate to her stories of trials and tribulations of logging miles and workouts.

So, if you’re in search of inspiration and a little humor to add to your fitness world, follow her as she posts two to three times each week. Check out one of her favorite posts thus far, entitled “A Trip Around the Sun”.

Stick to your Healthy Lifestyle by Helen Agresti, R.D.

How to stick with your Healthy Lifestyle

 

Focus your attention in 3 major areas:

 

1. Work your body!  Schedule 3-5 days of exercise each week.  If you typically hit a plateau or experience boredom a month or two into the New Year, the next few tips will serve you well.

Instead of a mid-week rest day, add in a stretching or yoga class to your routine.  Keep your fitness momentum going while also allowing sufficient rest and recovery for your muscles. Consider including restorative-type exercise into your routine.

Try something new.  Whether it’s a personal training session or a spin class, surprise your body and metabolism with a completely different type of workout.

Be accountable.  Pair up with a friend or family member.  Studies have shown that we are more apt to stick to our workout routines if we have a set time and place to meet someone.  Having a workout buddy to lift your spirits on those days you don’t feel like exercising is an essential motivator.

2. Prepare ahead for the mid-day slump.  Pack wisely for those times of the day when your healthy eating habits are challenged (typically between 3pm and 5pm.) Have a healthy snack packed for that time of the day when you feel like attacking the nearest vending machine or MacDonald’s drive-thru.  Cheese and crackers, sugar snap peas and hummus, and lightly salted pistachios are healthy mid-day snacks and travel well.

3. Reach for the fabulous 5.  Five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day will keep you looking younger and feeling more energized.  The beauty of theses colorful super foods is that they rotate their deliciousness throughout the 4 seasons.  Take advantage of their power packed nutrients by spreading 5 or more servings among breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Make this nutrition goal for yourself and your family: try one new fruit or vegetable every week by incorporating it into a meal or snack.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary? By Sarah Johnson

If you’ve recently joined a gym or enlisted the guidance of a Fitness Professional, you may be asked to provide a Medical Clearance to Exercise.

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary or Waste of Time?
 

Is medical clearance to exercise really important?
Yes. Safety is top priority. We want you to get in a great workout, and we want to be sure you’re doing it in a safe manner.

How to obtain medical clearance to exercise? Getting medical approval prior to starting an exercise program shouldn’t be difficult.  Your Fitness Professional should hand you a form for your physician to review and sign. Call your doctors office and simply request that your physician review and email/fax/mail in your facility’s clearance form. Once it’s received and discussed with your Fitness Professional, you can usually begin your workout immediately.

What if you don’t have a regular doctor to review the form? Ask your friends for the name of their doctor. Having a doctor who is familiar with your health history is of benefit to everyone. Make an appointment and proceed from there.

WHY is medical clearance important? Exercise should be enjoyable and effective. There are many medical issues that may affect the type, duration or intensity of exercise you should be performing: high blood pressure, heart rate limitations, bone or joint injuries and others. You may not even be aware of your medical conditions until consulting with your doctor. It is very important that your fitness instructor or gym facility knows that you may have some restrictions before beginning an exercise program because:
A) we don’t want you to get hurt or further injured.
B) you may not be able to reach your goals as quickly or effectively without some modifications due to your considerations.

Once medical clearance has been accepted, you’ll be on your journey to better health!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

Group Exercise: Worthwhile? By Sarah Johnson

Should group exercise be part of your fitness plan:

Accountability can be one of the biggest motivators to keeping your exercise routine.  Having someone hold us accountable means another person is expecting us: to show up, to work hard and to not let them down.

You can hold yourself accountable – by making a promise to exercise every weekday morning,or by weighing yourself daily – OR another effective way to stay accountable is to work out with someone else!

Here are just a few ways group fitness classes will hold YOU accountable for your fitness:

Establishes a regular schedule. Group exercise classes and small group training are a great way to establish a regular and safe exercise routine. With an instructor to monitor your form, you can be sure you’re doing each exercise correctly.  Don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure you’re performing the movement correctly – the instructor is there to help!

Adds the fun into your workout. Do you like choreography? Dance-based classes are very popular right now.  Not a lot of time? Time will fly in a High Intensity Interval Training class!

Become a class-regular. Once you’ve found a class you enjoy, try to attend regularly.  Introduce yourself to others in the class and the instructor, make new fitness friends – we love learning our members’ names!  Before long, you’ll find that if you have to miss a class, the class will miss you!

That’s accountability – you now have an exercise program to look forward to that’s safe, effective and fun!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

Does Running Build Life Skills? By Jason Saltmarsh

Being a runner is not always just about logging miles and monitoring our pace. Being a runner builds life skills that translate into our work world, family world and social world. Here are just a few reasons why being a runner builds character and other life-skills:

 

Stress Relief – This one seems obvious. What better way to let go of the stress you absorb throughout the day than a run?

Common Ground – Our family talks about running, shoes, racing schedules, diet, PRs, and other running topics. We all contribute to the conversation and we all are invested in the subject. How many other sports allow for the entire family to participate in the same event and be on the same team?

Shared Challenges – Who doesn’t appreciate the agony of side stitches, blisters, and running hills? When things don’t go so well we seem to know the right words to say, because we’ve been there too.

Shared Joy – Age group awards, personal bests, great runs, new trails, and successful races are shared accomplishments to be enjoyed and celebrated by all.

Environmental Awareness – We take care of the world we occupy. To run on the roads makes one appreciate safe drivers and responsible pet owners. It makes you think about your role in keeping the environment safe and clean for yourself and others.

Healthy Living – When you’re healthy, you’re usually happy. Running helps keep all of us healthier so that we can avoid the pitfalls of poor health.

Goal Setting – Long term goal setting contributes to a focused and positive attitude. Runners have to see the bigger picture and appreciate that hard work produces results.

Discipline – Perseverance takes lots of personal discipline. This carries over into other aspects of life including school and work.

Humility – There is always somebody running faster or further than you. Runners know this and remain some of the most unpretentious people I know.

Self Confidence – When you train hard and you feel good about yourself it shows. Hold your head high and run with your back straight and your eyes forward.

Jason Saltmarsh is an competitive masters runner at distances ranging from 5K to the half marathon. In November 2013, he will race his first 26.2 at the iconic New York City Marathon. Jason’s goal is to share with others the benefits and joys of running, fitness and healthy living. For more information, please visit saltmarshrunning.com

Is Calorie-Counting For You? By Danielle Prestejohn

For a very long time I was convinced the answer to my weight loss would come down to math. If I could just figure out the perfect amount of calories to eat then I could finally lose weight for good. Problem with this was I got a bit carried away and dipped into some dangerously low calorie counts in the process. When I started to learn that my weight or life for that matter, wasn’t all about the number of calories I consumed I started to get a little less strict.

Eventually I gave up calorie counting all together but in the process I came across a minor hiccup; I knew how many calories were in just about everything. Even now I can easily rattle on the calorie contents of dozens of foods. It seems to be something I retained and have never forgotten. As you can imagine this made taking a blind eye to how many calories I was consuming rather difficult. In the process I developed some strategies to help me get away from the structure of my calorie counting diet and they have brought me tons of success in moving away from such a rigid diet.

Eat out. This was one of the scariest things for me but eating out helped me immensely because I learned to give up the control of my food. Someone else was preparing what I was eating and I had no clue how many calories I was consuming. Was it frightening? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Totally.

Cook. During the deepest of my dieting days I would rely on packaged foods that had a definite number of calories. Things like bars, shakes, and frozen dinners were perfect because they had an exact number of calories. No thinking included. When I started cooking this all became a little less obvious. Sure I knew how many calories were in a piece of chicken, but when I added peppers, spinach, and unknown amount of oil, I had no idea how many calories I was getting. This brings me to my next point…

Don’t weigh or measure a thing. For a very long time my food scale was my best friend. When I threw mine away I took away the knowledge of just how much I was eating. Suddenly I was estimating portions and slowly forgetting what exactly 4 ounces of chicken or a tablespoon of peanut butter looked like.

Cook in batches. I started experimenting with things like soups, stews, and chili because I could throw a ton of ingredients in a bowl, mix it up, and take out a portion without knowing exactly how much of anything was in that meal. I was really hesitant about this one but this ended up being one of the secrets to learning how to listen to my hunger cues again.

This article is written by Danielle Prestejohn, M.S. Applied Nutrition. Sign up for Danielle’s free guide to ditching the diets and ditching the misery via http://danielleprestejohn.com/free-updates/ For more information go to http://www.danielleprestejohn.com and http://www.Facebook.com/daniellegracep

Strength Training: How do I start?

Many put off joining a gym because they don’t know where to begin in regards to a strength training program. There are three questions to ask yourself when choosing your exercise program:
 

What is my goal? This determines your priority exercises. There are many types and modes of strength training exercise.

Is there an event/specific task for which I need to prepare? If you are focused on achieving a particular outcome by a specific date, it is in your best interest to seek professional assistance. Upon a fitness evaluation a Professional Fitness Trainer will be able to recommend the appropriate course

What time commitment am I willing to make?  Any time is better than no time.

Upon answering the questions above you will be set to take action. There are three keys to building strength:

Stimulating the muscle, done through intensity and variety. To stay in your anaerobic pathway muscle fatigue must be reached within a 30-90 second time period/per set. This ensures you’ve recruited the muscle fibers and overloaded them sufficiently. For variety, change a component of your program every four to six weeks. This will create a new neurological pathway so your body will have a stimulus to adapt to and continue to become stronger.

Proper weight lifting mechanics. Firstly, every movement should begin with neutral posture: Line your ears up over your shoulders, and line your shoulders up over your hips. Secondly, draw your belly button in tight. Now you are ready to begin the movement.

Controlling the movement. Control the weight throughout your range of motion to reduce risk of injury.

Every strength exercise you perform in the gym should serve a specific purpose. If you’re not sure which to choose, consult a Fitness Professional to assist you.

Creative Exercising by Gen Levrant

Training your body safely, effectively and functionally at home with no need for equipment is a great way of giving it a fat-burning blast and making you feel fantastic. Here are five ways of utilising your best training tool in no time at all, whatever your fitness level. As always, consult your physician before beginning exercise.

 

 

1) Clock lunge pattern
Imagine a clock face and lunge one leg forward to each number. It doesn’t have to be in numerical order, clockwise or anticlockwise ‐ this will warm up the joints and muscles of your lower body in every direction.
Make it harder: turn it into a hop to each number!

2) 3D press ups
Stagger your hands one in front of the other, then swap them over. Change your hands to as wide as you can for a wide press up and then put them together in front of you for a narrow press up. This will tone your pectoral muscles hitting them in every direction.
Make it harder: clap in‐between each rep!

3) Curtsey jumps
Step one foot behind the other in a curtsey and then switch legs to turn it into a continuous hop. This strengthens the hip and glute muscles and provides a cardio workout if you go fast enough!
Make it harder: do a tuck jump between reps!

4) Narrow to wide squats
Starting with your feet together, perform a squat lowering your bottom so it is level with your knees. Return to the start position and step your left foot out to the side as wide as you can. Perform another squat in this position before stepping the left foot back to the start. Squat narrow again and repeat with the right foot.
This engages and tones all the muscles of the thighs and glutes.
Make it harder: jump the feet narrow and wide instead of stepping!

5) Prone knee to chest
Starting in a press up position, pull one knee at a time towards your opposite shoulder. Alternate these with pulling each knee in to the side of the body as far as you can.
Make it harder: do a burpee after pulling in each knee!

Watch a demonstration of each move on Gen’s YouTube Channel HERE!

 

Gen Levrant is an Advanced Personal Trainer and fat-loss specialist operating out of a private functional training studio in Southampton UK. For fitness tips, updates and further info: http://www.fasterpt.com/personal-trainer-southampton/or email Gen via gen@fasterpt.com. Follow her on Twitter @PTGen, and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FasterPersonalTrainingSouthampton