Stretch! It's good for you!
Before you go to work, make sure you stretch! Always stretch warm muscles gently.
Never force or hold a stretched muscle to the point of pain or discomfort. Tight hip flexor muscles are often the cause of tightness in the back and hamstrings.
If training leaves you especially hungry, reach for almonds!
Studies show that the monounsaturated fat, protein, and fiber in almonds help you feel fuller longer since they take longer to digest than food packed with carbohydrates.
The weather is still good for your outside walks and runs, but soon you’ll want to hit the new JCC Total Fitness treads. When you do, here’s some advice to make your work-out as efficient as possible:
- Let go: Holding on to the tread handrails can cause excessive rotation in the lower body.
- Look straight ahead: The tendency is to look down at the tread display, or sideways at a TV.
- Keep your toes under your nose: Don’t over-stride!
- Watch your stance: As your feet strike the tread, the inside edge of each shoe should approach the centerline of your body but not cross.
- Swing arms front to back: Keep your hands in line with your lower rib-cage…don’t swing them across your body.
Check your bags, not your goals.
Traveling these days will definitely get your heart rate up, but not in a good way.
Take your gym clothes on your next trip and take advantage of hotel gyms and swimming pools. The equipment might not be state of the art, but there's never a shortage of towels.
Hotel with no gym? Try push-ups and lunges in your room. Leave the magazine on the coffee table.
Feel the burn!
As hard as it may be to believe, that achy feeling the day after a workout is actually a great sign. It means that your muscles are activated and responding to your activity.
So, don't mistake a little soreness as a cue to stop. Instead, use it as proof that your body is already changing.
Adapt your routine to your schedule.
If you're crunched for time, then crunch your routine. Simply decrease the frequency or duration to accommodate your schedule. You'll feel better knowing you did something rather than nothing.
Exercise before you eat.
Instead of heading to the kitchen when you get home from work, set aside a half hour to an hour to get your workout in. Not only will it help you let off steam from your job, but you'll be less likely to overdo it with extra helpings and desserts at dinnertime.
Dress for Success
Before you start any kind of exercise routine, make sure that your body is well supported. This means comfortable shoes, breathable fabrics, and appropriate clothing. The less you have to fuss with during your workout (i.e. tugging at your shorts, pushing hair out of your eyes), the more you can focus on achieving better results.
Take a Break
According to The Journal of Applied Physiology, you can burn more fat by taking short breaks in the middle of a work-out, than by continuously exercising.
Researchers found that subjects who took a break during a pedaling exercise (pedaling for 30 minutes, break for 20 minutes and then pedaling again for 30 minutes) had more fatty acids (compounds released when stored fats are used), than those who pedaled for 60 straight minutes.
They believe that the body redirects excess energy to burn fat.
Motivation and Training Logs
You may like the way you feel while you work-out and after you’re done, but if you just can’t seem to get out the door to your work-out, keeping a log might be the answer for you.
A training log can help you figure out what to change and what to keep the same. You may find out that you are trying to squeeze in a work-out at your busiest time of the day and rush through it, or that exercising after lunch makes you sluggish. Sometimes just a small tweak will help you out the door and to the gym, and with all the exercise options in JCC Total Fitness there’s always a way to figure out a new way to exercise.
Fish for Thought
Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that polyunsaturated fats found in fish (especially cold-water fish such as Bluefin, tuna and mackerel) can increase bone density and stave off osteoporosis.
The Power of Zzz's
Getting less than 8 hours of sleep can greatly affect your immune system…in a bad way.
Researchers at UCLA studied blood samples from 30 individuals before and after sleep deprivation, and found that losing just a few hours of sleep is enough to increase inflammation, causing an overreaction of the immune system that has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
Hop to it.
Boxers aren't born lean and mean. It takes dedication and a little help from an 8-foot piece of rope.
Jumping rope provides such a great full body workout that an average sized woman (5'4", 140 lbs.) can burn more than 100 calories in just 10 minutes.
Something is ALWAYS better than nothing. Missed your workout? Get in at least 10 minutes.
Turn up your favorite tunes and dance around!
Recreate something from your favorite exercise class, climb the stairs or take a quick trip around the block.
Squat your way to a better you!
The squat is one of the best lower-body exercises to hit your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Try using a stability ball the next time you're at the gym for an extra burn.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and put the stability ball between your lower back and the wall. Bend your knees 90 degrees--making sure your knees don't go past your toes. Put your hands on your hips or hold hand weights if you really want to work.
What's missing in "dressed-up" juices?
Some fruit juices are now fortified with fiber (it's added in the form of a thickening agent called maltodextrin).
But, you're still missing out on all of the beneficial compounds whole fruits provide.
If it's fiber you're seeking, why opt for processed and bottled when you can enjoy fresh and whole?
Feel the Burn
As hard as it may be to believe, that achy feeling after a workout is actually a great sign.
It means that your muscles are activated and responding to your activity.
So, don't mistake a little soreness as a cue to stop.
Instead, use it as proof that your body is already changing.
Every minute counts.
Don't eliminate your exercise for the day just because you have a full schedule.
If you're crunched for time, then crunch your routine.
Simply decrease the frequency or duration to accommodate your workout.
You'll feel better knowing you did something rather than nothing.
Hate doing abs?
Break up the monotony by putting a set of abs in between each set of your weight-training routine.
Since you never have a chance to sit still and cool off, you’ll keep your heart rate up and burn more calories and body fat!
Give me Ten!
Ten minutes are better than ZERO. Can’t stand the idea of working out? We all have those low energy days.
When you’re feeling ho-hum, head to the gym or workout anyway and promise yourself you can quit after 10 minutes!!
(…bet you’ll stay longer and be glad you did!)
If you Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em
Exercising with someone who’s a little stronger or faster can motivate you to work three times longer or harder than when going it alone, according to a new study from Kansas State University.
People who get moving with a partner usually put in more effort because they don’t want to let others down.
Exercise Before You Eat
Instead of heading to the kitchen when you get home from work, set aside a half hour or an hour to get your workout in.
Not only will it help you let off steam from your job, but you'll be less likely to overdo it with extra helpings and desserts at dinnertime.
Holiday Shopping Trips: Tips for Decreasing Stress in the Stores
Tune out the noise: Headphones and some nice calming music can help drown out the screaming kids and Christmas muzak!
Skip the stylish footwear: Put on your work-out shoes.
Keep hand-sanitizers ready: For when you can't conveniently wash your hands--and you don't know who's handled that bargain before you.
Watch your back: Take multiple trips to the car with packages...or see if the mall has locker storage while you pillage store-to-store.
According to Dr. Oz from Time Magazine, frozen and canned vegetables hold fiber and nutrients as well as fresh.
Some research indicates that the heating process in canning foods makes carotenes (cancer fighting agents) more available to the body.
Be Fear Free!
One of the main reasons people avoid the gym is that they're afraid of being judged by other people.
The truth is, the majority of people at the gym are there to focus on their own bodies, not yours.
The sooner you overcome that insecurity, the sooner you can focus on your fitness performance.
Dress for Success
Before you start any kind of exercise routine, make sure that your body is well supported.
This means comfortable shoes, breathable fabrics, and appropriate clothing.
The less you have to fuss with during your workout (i.e. tugging at your shorts, pushing hair of your eyes) the more you can focus on achieving better results.
Working out with a friend is a great way to stick with a fitness routine.
Meet each other for a run in the morning or take an aerobics class after work.
Just make sure you partner up with a pal you can count on to push you and help you reach your goals.
Get a Good Base...
When doing a standing exercise, make sure that your legs are a good width apart.
Having stronger balance will help you perform more easily, is safer, and will help you get better results.
Get in the grains.
Eating plenty of whole grains is important to maintaining healthy immunity.
Nutrition experts agree that at least half of the recommended 6 to 9 servings of grains you should eat every day should be whole grains.
Look for the term "whole grain" as the first ingredient when shopping for breads
Use your weight. YOU are all you need!
Your own body weight can provide a great workout and build strong muscles.
Try sets of lunges, crunches, squats, and push-ups to get yourself going when you can’t make it to the gym.
Burn big calories.
Work the big stuff STAT!
You burn more calories when you work many large muscle groups simultaneously.
The next time you hit the gym, try running, jumping rope, skipping, even jumping jacks!
Skip the gym.
You heard that right. It’s good to give yourself a change of pace…shock those muscles and make the most out of your workouts. Head to a hill with a friend and take turns running up (and down) it—see who’s “king of the hill”, take a dance class, play tennis, play tag. Find a workout that reenergizes you and gets you excited about exercising again.
Defy your Desk Job!
More and more occupations require workers to sit in front of a computer for 6 or more hours. And that lack of movement can take a toll on your body. Make a point to move every hour, whether it's to physically deliver a message or just to circle the office. It will break up the monotony of your workday, help you get to know your coworkers and restore some fitness to your 9-to-5.
Change it up. Get that Metabolism Going!
Change up your workouts with a little high-intensity strength training. Increase the weight, reps and/or sets you lift (and decrease the amount you rest in between). You’ll start to see some sculpted, lean muscles (and you’ll keep your metabolism humming post-workout!)
Eat the Colors of the Rainbow
It’s easy to identify foods with the highest levels of antioxidants—they’re often the most colorful.
• Carrots and sweet potatoes have plenty of beta carotene
• Bell peppers, strawberries and tomatoes contain vitamin C
• Tomatoes and watermelon have lycopene
• Dark leafy greens like spinach contain lutein. Blueberries have anthocyanins
• Red grapes have resveratrol
• And the list goes on—so banish the beige!
Pump that Iron
Use weights in your daily work-out! Muscle burns fat, so the better your weight training sessions, the less cardio you’ll actually have to do. A well-rounded session of exercise includes weights, cardio, and flexibility training. Try to work in all three!
Optimize your Playlist
Music has an amazing power to pump us up and get us going. Rather than relying on shuffle to get you through a workout, organize your songs carefully. Put your favorite songs at the beginning, middle and toward the end of the time you'll be working out to motivate you. Change it up every week by adding new songs or switching music with a friend.