The right pair of athletic shoes can save you from painful injuries when working out. Whether you're exercising inside a gym or running on outdoor trails, your shoes need to be replaced periodically to ensure your feet are being properly supported. Follow our guide below to decide when it's time to find your next pair.
Gauge Your Activity Level
The amount of time that a pair of athletic shoes will last depends on a few factors. Typically, a pair of shoes will hold up to 500 miles of walking or running. However, those who exercise outdoors may have to replace shoes more frequently. Those who weigh more or have a heavier step may also find that their shoes become worn out more quickly.
Give Your Shoes a Once-Over
Start by simply looking at the shoes to check out the wear and tear. Look past dirt and scuffs. You want to look for parts of the shoe that look stretched out and worn down. Often, worn out shoes will plainly show they're past their prime. Pay special attention to the insole. If you can see a deep indent from your feet, the insoles have started to flatten out which means your feet are getting less cushioning when walking and running.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Your body will help to let you know when it's time to upgrade your gear. Take note of any aches and pains while you exercise. Pain in the legs, hips, back, and feet can all be indications that the cushioning in your shoes isn't doing its job. Blisters and rubbing are also signs that you should consider purchasing a new pair of shoes.
Rotate with a New Pair
When you're comfortable with your go-to pair of shoes, it might be difficult to recognize the signs of wear. A good way to judge the condition of one pair of athletic shoes is to compare them to another pair. Pick up a new pair of shoes and rotate the two. It won't take long to notice the difference between the old and new pair. As a bonus, rotating between pairs will help each to last longer and will allow one pair to air out while you wear the other.
Just like the right shoes, the right trainer will make all the difference in ensuring you get your best workout. To learn more about customized workout plans and making the most of your time spent training, contact Ralph Roberts to try a free personal training session.
A lack of time is often the excuse people give for not eating healthy. However, by taking time once a week to prep meals for several days, you can maximize your time and make easy, healthy decisions all week. And under-eating is NOT an answer.
Below, we share a few meal prep tips and essential products to help you get a jump start on your healthy eating plan.
Make a List
Meal prepping starts with smart grocery shopping. If you'll be prepping a week's worth of meals in one day, you'll want to be sure to have all of your ingredients ready to go. Keeping a grocery list on your phone will help you keep track of what you have and what you need to pick up when you're shopping.
Buy Me a Pie! is a grocery list app that lets you sort your lists, organize your shopping trips, and check off items as you go.
Cut Up Veggies in Advance
Pulling out the cutting board and chopping ingredients is one of the most time-consuming tasks when making a meal. Get a headstart on weeknight dinners by stocking your fridge with pre-cut vegetables. After washing and chopping, keep each veggie in a separate container so you can quickly grab the ingredients you need for each meal.
Try the Prepworks Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Keeper to keep produce at its best in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Measure and Store
When your ingredients are measured, portioned, and prepped ahead of time, all you'll need to do each night is cook your meal. Portion control containers can help to keep things simple. The containers come in different sizes and colors, allowing you to portion protein, fruits and vegetables, fats, and carbs for each meal. Use the containers for measuring and storing.
This 7-piece set from Amazon is affordable and takes the guess work out of measuring.
As you prep each week, put aside a couple of your meals to freeze. If your week gets extra hectic, or if you just get bored with the foods you've made for the week, you can pull out one of the freezer meals for a healthy alternative to take out. Be sure to choose the right containers to prevent freezer burn and to keep your food tasting its best.
Rubbermaid Easy Find Lid sets are safe to use in the freezer and microwave. With plenty of container size options, you can choose what works best for your meals and ingredients.
Healthy eating is half the battle. When you're ready to add exercise into the mix, contact Ralph Roberts for a customized fitness plan.
It's easy to get trapped into thinking that if you're eating a salad, it must be healthy. While salads can be part of a healthy diet, they can also be no healthier than a fast-food cheeseburger if you aren't careful about what you put on it.
Here are some ingredients to be to moderate or even avoid as well as healthy alternatives to make sure your salad isn't just a leafier version of a Big Mac.
It's not that all cheese is bad. Three to four daily servings of low-fat dairy products can give a boost to your body's fat-burning potential.
The problem with cheese comes when you pile it on something, like your salad. The good news is that some cheeses are more nutritious than others, and you can add them to your salad in healthy ways. Feta cheese is one good alternative because of its lower fat, as is string cheese. Take one piece of string cheese and chop it into your salad.
Salad dressing, like cheese, should never overpower your salad. Don't douse your greens with it. Dressing is a surefire way to take your salad from healthy to fatty.
For example, one tablespoon of creamy ranch is on average 100 calories. Even a tablespoon of your favorite vinaigrette is about 80 calories. Always order your dressing on the side when you're dining out and, whenever possible, choose light, low-calorie or low-fat options. Better yet? Make your own so you know exactly what is in your dressing.
Croutons add that extra "crunch" to your salad and taste so good. The problem is, they add refined carbohydrates. Popular brands are about 30 calories for just six pieces. They can also have high sodium levels. If you're craving something bread-like, then have a piece of whole wheat on the side, and don't force yourself to finish it.
While nuts provide healthy fats and can be a tasty and healthy addition to your salad, never use ones that are glazed with sugar. You can often find glazed walnuts and pecans sprinkled on salads in restaurants. They might not be the worst ingredient for you, but they're not all that healthy, either. Try raw nuts or ones seasoned with a tad of sea salt.
5. Fried Foods
It's so tempting to add fried shrimp or chicken to a salad to give it that "something extra." Yet, they're packed with unnecessary calories and loaded with sodium. Anything fried food falls into this category and can turn a healthy salad into an unhealthy one. Add grilled items instead, or healthier protein options like tuna or egg whites.
You don't have to eat like a rabbit to enjoy a salad. They can be full of nutritious, healthy and filling ingredients. Calling on the experience and know-how of a professional trainer such as Ralph Roberts can have a positive impact on your fitness and wellness program. Contact Ralph today to sign up for personal training.
Americans have become increasingly overweight as a society. In fact, weight-related illnesses and conditions are on the rise so much that people are constantly looking for new ways to lose unwanted fat. And for that reason, diet and exercise fads come and go — each one promising to produce immediate, life-altering results.
Do you want to know the real secret to weight loss? Shh...don’t tell. The secret is… there is no secret. Maintaining a natural diet (free of junk food) and getting adequate physical activity is the key to losing weight and keeping it off.
That said, there are certainly some physical activities that speed up the process of losing fat. Here we discuss the three main types of workouts and their impacts on weight loss.
Cardio And Weight Loss
Cardio has been the go-to weight loss exercise for decades. It’s relatively simple to jump on a treadmill or elliptical and pound the proverbial pavement for 30 minutes to an hour each day. And while it definitely boasts some benefits (namely, keeping your heart healthy), cardio alone won’t accelerate fat loss.
Think about it this way: One session on a treadmill burns about 300 calories, but there’s no continuous calorie burning going on after the workout. This means that unless you stay on the treadmill for hours on end (or eat less than 300 calories each day, which is not recommended), your weight loss will be slow at best.
Weight Training And Weight Loss
There’s been a lot of hype around strength training lately, and for good reason. Science has discovered that lifting weights or performing other weight-bearing workouts (think squats, lunges, burpees, pull-ups, etc.) actually burns more calories than simple cardio. And even better, your body continues to eat up those unwanted calories long after your workout session ends.
The down side to weight training? It’s not for everyone, and because it’s so hard on your body, it can’t be done more than three or four times a week for about 30 minutes per session.
HIIT And Weight Loss
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is by far the best method for quick weight loss. It involves rotating max-effort exercise with lighter exercise, keeping your body and heart guessing during the entire workout. This constant guessing does wonders for your metabolism and turns your body into a calorie-burning machine.
Along with a proper diet, HIIT is the fastest and most effective way to lose fat. It combines cardio and weight training for a workout that builds muscle, improves cardiovascular health, and burns a ton of calories.
To get more expert tips for losing weight, contact Ralph Robert for a free personal training session.
By now, you've probably heard about how starting your day with a glass of lemon water can help you shed pounds quickly. The truth is, that's far more fiction than fact. Experts say that there is no specific beverage that, by itself, can help you slim down, including lemon water, however tasty it may be!
But some drinks, combined with a healthy lifestyle, can help give your weight-loss program a boost. Here's three of those:
We all know what coffee can do in terms of helping us lift our morning fog. But coffee is nature's ideal energy drink. Studies have shown that drinking coffee before your workout can help you work out longer and harder — which means you'll burn more calories.
But it's important to always drink it black, because dousing it with cream and sugar will undo the natural benefits of caffeine.
Besides turbo-charging your workout, here are some other reasons why your body appreciates caffeine:
- It Improves Your Mood - One study showed that women who drank four 8-ounce cups of coffee per day were 20% less apt to suffer from depression.
- Your Heart Likes It - Consuming 200 to 300 mg of caffeine a day can make your heart perform better, particularly at rest.
- It Helps Your Memory - Consuming two, 8-ounce cups of coffee a day can improve long-term memory, according to one study.
- It Lessens Diabetes Risk - Drinking six, 8-ounce cups of coffee each day can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Do you want to really make that water work for you? Swap out the lemon for a handful of ice cubes. Cold drinks prompt your body to burn more energy because it's trying to maintain its normal temperature. Downing three 24-ounce servings of ice water a day can help you burn up to 100 extra calories. Doing that every day can help you lose up to 10 extra pounds per year.
What's not to like about green tea? It's calorie-free and can help increase fat burn and weight loss. One study showed that regular green tea drinkers weigh less, have smaller waist sizes, and reap a variety of other benefits, including the fact that they're loaded with antioxidants. Enjoy your green tea hot and fresh with nothing added. Store-bought bottled green teas are often loaded with sugar and have fewer antioxidants than your own home brew.
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Spring break is finally here, and while you are pumped, you're also concerned about leaving your fitness routine behind. The fact is, it's probably going to be difficult to continue your workout program while you're sipping margaritas on the beach.
That doesn't mean that you still can't challenge yourself with exercises. Here are 8 exercises you can do that fit seamlessly into your vacation itinerary.
1. Strength Exercise
If you're unable to pack your own exercise equipment or don't have access to a gym, you can still get in strength exercises. Just be sure to push yourself with the same intensity as you do at the gym. Incorporate the following exercises into your vacation routine:
One of the keys with this routine is to challenge your body without weights providing added resistance. Slowing down your reps to four to eight seconds each will increase the muscle's time under tension. Or, instead of using your full range of motion, shorten the movement and keep the reps short and fast.
2. Walk/Run On The Beach
Walking or running in sand is not only a great workout, but it also burns more calories than walking on flat ground. Wearing shoes will help prevent shin splints, which can be brought on by walking bhttp://www.ralphrobertspersonaltrainer.com/blog/10-quick-exercises-you-can-do-at-homearefoot for too long.
3. Play Volleyball
Volleyball is fun and it burns calories quickly. Plus, it's a great way to meet other people.
Snorkeling is a great way to enjoy the water and get in some exercise, but it's more leisurely than regular swimming, in which you have more control over the intensity.
Swim laps in the pool or swim around the ocean to burn calories.
Hiking enables you to enjoy nature and sight-seeing, and you'll burn more calories if you add elevation to your walk. Carrying a backpack will provide even more of a challenge.
Whether you are at the lake or the beach, rent a kayak or canoe for a few hours. Work out your arms and soak up the beautiful scenery at the same time.
8. Practice Yoga
If you are at the beach or the lake, could you ask for a more relaxing place to do yoga? Get up early and greet the day with a sunrise yoga session.
Working out with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can help take your fitness program to the next level. Contact Ralph Roberts today to schedule a free personal training session.
You’ve worked hard and dieted for weeks in preparation for the Big Spring Break Trip. You’ve successfully slimmed your waistline and squeezed into that bikini. But what happens once you’re on vacation?
Maintaining Control of Your Eating Habits
All too often, we neglect our healthy habits while on vacation. But doing so is disastrous for your weight and energy levels. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to keep your calories under control while on spring break.
1. Rate the Food
There will be plenty of delicious foods to try during your vacation. But eating everything in sight is definitely not the way to stay in shape.
Instead of eating everything, implement a rating system. Have a small taste of anything new and then rate each food on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the best. Indulge in only the foods that rank as a seven or higher.
2. Choose Wisely
It’s a fact: You won’t have as many healthy choices available while on spring break as you’d have at home. Maybe your friends want to grab some fast food on the way to the beach. When you’re faced with a situation like that, just do the best you can. Even fast food chains now offer at least a few healthy alternatives. While these options may not be top quality, they’re better than devouring a cheeseburger and fries.
3. Remember the Good-for-You Foods
Speaking of choices, don’t forget to throw some protein, fruits, and veggies on your plate at least once a day. It’s easy to become enticed by the carbs and sweets all around you, but eating a few good things each day will help to counter what not-so-healthy foods you choose to enjoy.
4. Stay Hydrated
Water is crucial in keeping your digestion on track. The last thing you want while sunning in your new bikini is a bloated belly. Drinking plenty of water not only helps prevent heat stroke, but it also keeps bloating to a minimum.
5. Drink Cautiously
You’re on spring break, so you’re going to have some alcohol. It’s important to remember that controlling your calories is about how much you drink - especially if you opt for sugary cocktails. Another good tip is to drink a full glass of water before each alcoholic beverage. This keeps dehydration at bay and prevents you from consuming too much alcohol out of thirst.
It’s possible to maintain your weight and have an amazing time while on spring break. But if you’re struggling to get bikini-ready or have problems shedding the vacation pounds off, contact Ralph Roberts to schedule a personal training session!
Download Ralph Roberts' FREE Spring Break Shape Up package, which includes ab and leg workouts, a TRX guide and a 2-week home workout.
Between an active lifestyle and training regularly, you’re bound to get an injury at one point or another. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your workouts. It also doesn’t mean you should “train through the pain,” which could lead to further injury. The trick is to train around your injury.
Training Around A Knee Injury
Knee injuries are the most common complaint of athletes and fitness fanatics. Whether you’re a marathon runner or a weight lifter (or somewhere in between), a serious knee injury can sideline you for months. But with the right training method, you can be back to your normal fitness routine in no time.
Most knee pain happens due to a lack of hip stability. To prevent hurting your knees or to recover from a knee injury, do plenty of front and side planks. It’s also beneficial to perform stretches that work the hip flexors, glutes, and outsides of your legs.
Other exercises that are good for knee injuries include partial squats, step-ups, side-lying leg lifts, and calf raises. These exercises should be avoided:
Many weight lifting workouts are detrimental to shoulders. Here are the moves you should avoid when managing a shoulder injury:
When back pain strikes, it can make you want to call it quits on everything, not just your workouts. Serious back injuries require physical therapy or other treatment method, but more often than not, back pain can be managed with a few simple changes to your exercise routine.
To minimize pain, avoid slouching and sitting for long periods of time and stretch. You’ll also want to keep moving during your everyday activities and change positions as often as possible while working out. Additionally, here are the exercises you should avoid in order to prevent further injury to your back:
By following the advice here, you can effectively train around your injury.
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It often seems as if there are more sayings about weight loss than there are actual programs to help you shed weight. Chances are you've heard the majority of them and, in many cases, they're more fact than fiction.
Research done in recent years has helped dispel a lot of weightloss claims and, indeed, exposing them as more myth than truth. Here are some of those myths that most of us have heard for as long as we care to remember.
1. You'll Never Lose Weight If You Snack
Losing weight doesn't mean starving yourself. And eating between meals isn't going to prevent you from losing weight. Eating healthy snacks between meals can help you avoid binge eating or overeating later.
2. Eating Close To Bedtime Causes Weight Gain
It's not the fact that you're eating at bedtime that causes you to gain weight; it's that you may be consuming more calories in the way of unhealthy snacks after dinner.
3. Obesity Is About Willpower
It's completely off-base that weight loss or gain is a matter of willpower. For many, obesity is a complex disorder that includes genetic variables and medical conditions.
4. Carbs Cause Weight Gain
It's true that many low-carb diets are effective for weight loss, but that doesn't mean all carbs cause weight gain. Whole foods high in carbs can be very healthy.
5. Fat Makes You Fat
It seems logical that eating more fat will force our bodies to store more fat. The truth is, fat isn't particularly fattening unless it's found in calorie-dense junk food.
6. Fast Food Is Always Bad
It's possible to get something healthy at almost any fast food chain out there.
7. Diet Foods Help You Lose Weight
Unfortunately, a lot of junk food is marketed as "diet" food. If the packaging tells you it's healthy, it's probably not.
8. Weight Loss Diets Work
Dieting is actually a predictor of future weight gain — not loss. You're better off making healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle your goal.
9. Don't Lose Weight Too Quickly
It has been said that losing weight too quickly will make it harder to keep it off in the long run. Fact is, there's little research to support this, and weight loss retention is far more complicated than that.
10. All Calories Are The Same
Yes, all calories have the same energy content, but that doesn't mean all calorie sources have the same effects. A protein calorie is not the same as a fat or carb calorie. Replacing carbs with protein can boost metabolism and reduce appetite.
A professional trainer like Ralph Roberts can help you reach your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today.
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