Friday, September 30, 2016

Cardio Circuit Class - Last Call!

Take this opportunity to make time for YOU before the crazy holiday season starts. 
Just one hour boosts cardio, stokes metabolism, pumps strength and tightens abs.
Plus, on the 29th, we will do a Halloween-themed workout with real pumpkins!
You can do one of the sessions or all three
Only a few more spots available. Sign up now!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Critical Calcium

Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, transmitting messages through the nerves, and the release of hormones. If people aren't getting enough calcium in their diet, the body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones and osteoporosis.

Knowing which foods to avoid when taking a supplement or eating calcium-rich foods can help your body use more of the calcium you consume. Research reveals that consuming certain foods can interfere with calcium absorption. That's important because we typically use only 30 - 50 % of calcium from food. Try these tips to increase your calcium levels and maintain bone health.

Foods That Dilute Calcium

The oxalates in spinach, sweet potatoes and cocoa reduce the absorption of calcium from those foods. To increase calcium intake, combine with some cheese.

Salt increases calcium excretion through urine and sweat. Try increasing potassium-rich foods like bananas or cantaloupe to help counteract this effect.

High fiber foods reduce the absorption of calcium in other foods eaten at the same time. For example, cereal and milk. When you increase fiber, try to increase calcium intake, too.

Caffeine, a diuretic, can also increase calcium loss through urination. A smart option is to take your supplement in the afternoon or evening when you're probably limiting caffeine intake already.

Phosphorus, found in meat, poultry, corn and potatoes, also interferes with calcium absorption. Choosing a few meatless meals can reduce your phosphorus intake and increase overall calcium levels in your diet.

Ways to Boost Calcium Intake

*Increase Vitamin D to aid absorption

*Add magnesium, which keeps calcium soluble and available for your body.

*Take your supplement with orange juice because Vitamin C improves absorption of calcium.

*Try splitting your supplement into two 500mg doses - one in the afternoon and one in the evening.

*Consume more calcium-rich foods: navy or white beans, Chinese cabbage, dairy products, leafy greens, nuts, seafood (crab, salmon, sardines, shrimp), and seeds.

Make one or two changes this week to increase calcium levels. Enjoy eating a variety of foods and keep those bones strong! 

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food

Friday, September 16, 2016

Strength vs. Power Training

Exactly what are strength and power training? Is there a difference? Which one is better for me?

Strength training is the popular term for exercises that build muscle by harnessing resistance - that is, an opposing force that muscles must strain against. Strength training is sometimes called resistance training or weight training. Resistance can be supplied by your body weight, free weights such as dumbbells, elasticized bands, or specialized machines. No matter what kind of resistance you use, putting more than the usual amount of load on your muscles makes them stronger.

Examples of strength exercises are weighted squats, dead-lifts and chest presses. Each of these exercises are done with consistent, slow exertion focusing on the contraction of the muscle and the extension of the muscle as the weight is lowered. The goal is larger muscle mass and the ability to lift more weight.

Power training is aimed at increasing power, which is the product of both strength and speed. Power reflects how quickly you can exert force to produce the desired movement. Power can help you react swiftly if you trip or lose your balance, helping you avoid a fall. Power moves are very practical for many sports and activities and create control over your strength.  Most power exercises are performed repetitively over a period of time to improve speed, quick reflexes and stamina.

Some power moves are just strength training moves done at a faster speed. Other power routines rely on the use of a weighted vest.  Plyometrics are power moves such as jumping and throwing that involve a rapid loading and stretching of the target muscles before a powerful counter contraction. Examples include depth jumps, hurdle jumps, lateral hops and clap pushups.

When you go to the gym, you have a limited amount of time to spend. Training for power is much more of a balanced approach to physical fitness. Not only will your muscles get stronger, but they will be better coordinated for quick, precise motions. You will gain strength and power while being efficient with your time.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Save the Date for this Fun Circuit Class!

The Saturday morning classes are returning for a short time in October! As a bonus, on the last morning of the series, we will use real pumpkins as part of a Halloween-themed workout. Block out the time slots on your calendar and join us for high-energy fun.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Weight Loss Plateaus #2

Last week I discussed some of the biological and environmental challenges that are faced when you continue with your weight loss plan. It might seem as if the deck is stacked against you, but I offered a few smart changes that can help you push past the plateau. Here are three more strategies to recharge your weight loss.

Cycle Your Eating
Calorie cycling is a fancy term for cutting back calories periodically rather than all the time. This can help you eat less without feeling deprived. Try eating just 1000 to 1200 calories of protein and vegetables for two days a week. On the other days, eat 1500 - 2000 calories.

Go Hard on Protein
Eating fewer carbohydrates and more protein and fat could give your weight loss a jump start.  Low carb diets can increase your metabolism and reduce your appetite because they're high in protein. Plus eating too many carbs can increase your levels of insulin, a hormone that prompts your body to store calories as fat.

Do a Workout Revamp
Besides the obvious benefits, exercise makes your brain more sensitive to leptin, the hormone that triggers fullness. If you've been working out faithfully, a few small changes to your routine can have major payoffs. Adding fat-blasting strength training or intervals to your sessions can help accelerate weight loss by raising your metabolism. Your muscles can get bored with the moves and burn fewer calories when you do the same thing repeatedly. Try adding five minutes of jumping rope, spinning instead of swimming or 10 minutes of cardio after your strength routine.

Stay the course when the scale stalls. Don"t let the weight loss plateau prompt you to quit your diet altogether. Use these science-backed strategies to move forward and see results.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food