So many people are unsure of what protein can do for them, and how and when to consume protein. One of question those new to working out often ask is, 'Do I need protein every day?' And the resounding answer is, 'Yes!' You do need protein every single day.'
Why does my body need protein?
Protein does a lot for your body. It helps to keep you from being hungry (and then overeating). It helps feed your muscles after a workout, and it even increases the metabolism. When you work out, your body uses fuel. After a workout, your body seeks to replenish all that it has lost during exercise. If you eat protein after a workout (within 30 minutes) your body will be sated.
However, if you do not, the body looks to stored protein; in other words, it actually breaks those muscles down to feed itself, undoing all your hard work.
Why am I always so hungry?
When you do not eat enough protein every day, your body will be hungry. Sugary snacks and carbs just increase the body's hunger. Protein keeps you fuller, longer.
Avoid sugary snacks and high carb meals. For dinner or lunch, think lean meats. Shoot for chicken breasts, salmon (but stick with wild if you can), any type of nuts, beans, hummus and eggs. Peanut butter (or other nut butters) are another great way to add protein and healthy fats.
You should try to have at least 25% protein at every meal. Even vegetarians can do it, with beans, nuts, peanut butter, hummus and eggs.
Will eating protein make me lose weight?
Another added benefit of eating protein is that it gives you a leaner look! Muscle takes up less room than fat, and eating protein feeds the muscles, helping you build and maintain them.
And all that added muscle on your body? It burns more calories than fat, keeping your metabolism revved all day long! So you burn calories no matter what you are doing.
Here's a fact that will wow you: Did you know that a pound of muscle burns just over 35 calories a day (no matter what you are doing) and a pound of fat burns only two little calories.
Since men have more testosterone than women, they are genetically programmed to bulk up, while women lend themselves to a lean look when they have muscle.
Protein has the amino acids that the body needs to build muscle, so you need to eat some protein every single day, to maintain and build muscle.
What are some other benefits of protein?
Additionally, protein also works to help your hair and nails grow and it keeps skin clear. Protein also helps to strengthen your immune system. But remember not to go overboard, because too much protein can be a problem, too.
Stick to about 28 grams of protein per day if you are a woman. Men should eat about half a gram per pound of their body weight. So a man that weighs 200 pounds should eat about 100 grams of protein each day.
Have more questions about protein and getting healthy? Contact Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer, today! Ralph has a protein shake every day, and he can recommend other ways for you to get enough protein daily.
Are you worrying that you won't be swimsuit ready in time for summer now that those warm days are just around the corner? Don’t worry; there is still time to lose weight and get in shape. With a little discipline, will power, time and effort, you can kick your metabolism into gear and have your body looking good for summer.
What’s the quickest way to burn calories?
High energy cardiovascular exercise is perfect for not just burning calories while you perform the exercises, but also for hours afterward, too. HiiT workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) gets the heart rate up right away, but it also keeps the metabolism revved for the rest of the day, no matter what you are doing. This is truly the quickest way to burn fat and calories, along with sculpting.
Please don't forget to eat enough to keep your body performing at its best.
How can I sculpt my arms, abs and legs for summer?
You cannot get that bikini body without strength training. Not only does muscle take up less room on the body (i.e. a smaller dress size), but it also burns more calories, all day long, than fat does.
You will want to do the following moves, 12 reps per set, starting with one set and working up to three sets as you get stronger.
For abs: Do regular crunches, planks and bicycle crunches to really work the entire core section. For the plank, start by holding it for just 10 seconds, and work your way up to a minute. Once you have mastered the regular plank, add in side planks. These will get your abs working hard.
For arms: Do sets of push-ups, tricep dips off of a chair or step, and moves with a resistance band. A resistance band is a great piece of equipment: it's versatile, travels well, takes up little space, is cheap to purchase and gets the job done. When you work against rubber resistance, you are using your entire body weight, making your muscles work. Try the resistance band for bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, shoulder presses and more.
For the lower body: Do sets of squats, squat jumps (without weights), lunges, plié or sumo squats, deadlifts and step ups. If you have a step, like those used in step aerobics, simply add a riser or two, grab two hand weights (or start with no weight if you are new to weight training) and step up and down. This really works the glutes.
What foods should I cut back on?
And finally, no routine is going to get your body ready for summer without a good clean eating plan. 70% of the body is 'made' in the kitchen. Toss the processed foods, the sugary snacks and the simple carbs. Try eating clean, which means just shopping the outer perimeter of the store. Shop for items that do not have nutrition information (that means they just have one ingredient, like fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs and so forth).
Cook your own meals instead of eating out, and you’ll quickly notice a change in the way you look and feel.
Have more questions about how you can get your body in shape for summer? Contact Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer in Amarillo who will help you get the results you want. He will guide you on making the right health decisions so you can not just lose weight and get in shape, but also make a lasting lifestyle change.
If you have recently embarked on a fitness and weight loss journey, the scale can cause more than a little bit of apprehension. The number on the scale becomes the way you judge your progress, and yourself in general. One question you may have is "How often should I weigh myself?" This is a good question, and we’ll tell you what we know.
Should you weigh yourself daily?
Some people swear by daily weigh-ins. This can be a great way to track progress and get valuable feedback on a daily basis. It is important to realize, however, that the number on the scale can fluctuate wildly from day to day based on many factors that are not a reflection of your progress.
What does the number on the scale really mean?
Some of the things that can affect your weight are fluid retention and an increase or decrease in muscle mass. One day you may weigh in and find that you weigh several pounds less than the day before. What a great feeling, until you go in the next day and find that those pounds are back, along with a couple more. Days like that can leave you feeling as though you did something wrong. That is why it is important to really understand that while the scale is a useful tool, it doesn't represent the whole picture, and it isn't the final word on your progress.
Many people, especially when first starting a diet and fitness routine, find that a once-a-week weigh-in is sufficient to track progress. While you will still have fluctuations, you are more likely to have a realistic look at your weight loss, without the stress of a daily weigh-in.
It is important to talk about the other factors that influence those numbers on the scale. For example, if you are working out on a regular basis, you are most likely building lots of new muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. The scale may not be moving, but that doesn't mean that you aren't burning fat and becoming healthier. The scale doesn't show you how you are improving your cardiovascular system, or toning up your arms. Better to check your measurements, or notice how your pants are fitting better.
If you do choose a daily weigh-in, try doing it the same time each time you weigh. Morning is best. Weight can fluctuate a few pounds even within the same day! The biggest reasons for this are water retention and undigested food.
Remember, feeling good is the best measure of success!
Making the decision to lead a healthier lifestyle is exciting. When you eat healthy foods and get regular exercise, you will not only look better, but you will feel physically and mentally better, too. You will have more energy, sleep more soundly and enjoy the benefits of a better immune system. These are the real rewards of a healthy lifestyle, not the number on the scale.
Remember, the scale is a tool, not a judge.
Do I need a personal trainer to help me reach my fitness goals?
Please take the number on the scale with a grain of salt. To reiterate, muscle does weight more than fat. And you shouldn't base your health on the number on the scale; base your health on the way you feel. If you are looking for additional support in your fitness journey, or a personal trainer to help you get the most out of your workouts, contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts to find out how you can benefit from one-on-one personal training.
If you are looking for a way to lose weight, gain weight, keep a track of the calories you are consuming, or even track your macro nutrients, consider using calorie counting and diet apps. Millions of people use apps to help them stay accountable and give them a quick and easy way to track their calories and their exercise.
What are the most popular calorie countering and diet apps?
Here are some of the more well developed apps and how they can help you stay on track. Remember one app doesn't fit all so if you try one app and are not happy with the results it may be worth trying a different one.
MyFitnessPal - MyFitnessPal is one of the better apps that can help you track your calories and exercise. If you are trying to be accountable to a friend or trainer you can add your friends so that they can see your food journal, activity and successes. The foods in the tracking library are vast and you will find most foods already in there when you search for them. If you like to do weigh ins, MyFitnessPal lets you track your weight and will even give you suggestion of how much you could lose if you keep eating the same amount of calories you are currently tracking.
What's also great about this app is when a food or beverage is not listed on the database, you can scan the product's bar code and its nutrition facts will come up.
Lose It - Set your weight goals and then eat and track your calories accordingly. Loseit gives a more accurate and moderate amount of calories that you can consume each day compared to other tracking apps. This app gives you a rundown of how your day is looking in the My Day section, this rundown includes calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fat, which is great for those that track macronutrients. The lose it community often runs challenges that you can join in on, which may help keep motivation levels up.
Lifesum - If you enjoy an attractive interface that is easy to use than Lifesum may be worth a try. This interface includes an as you go breakdown of not only calories but also fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This active update can help you make better choices when it comes to the foods you consume. This app can be linked up with other apps, for example you can link up your runs or bike rides from RunKeeper. This app is great if you are a visual person.
MyPlate - MyPlate which is run by LIVESTRONG can help you track both your exercise and calories however it also works as a complete activity tracker. If you are on the run a lot and tend to eat out, MyPlate may be a good option as it has one of the largest amounts of food items in its library when it comes to eating out.
Should I hire a personal trainer to help me achieve my health goals?
A personal trainer will not only help you meet your goals, but he or she will support you, encourage you and hold you accountable. If you are looking for help with your weight or fitness goals, contact Ralph Roberts, a certified personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas. If you do not live in the Amarillo area, he can design a custom workout for you. Ralph will work with you to create a plan that meets your individual goals while challenging you to go further.
If you are training for a specific sport, know that there are exercises you can do that will make you run faster, play longer, and just be 'better' at your sport, no matter what it is. There are several sports popular in the Amarillo area during spring, and these sports-specific training exercises will have you at the top of your game in no time.
Exercises for Baseball or Softball
If you are a baseball or softball player, cardio is key. You want to be able to run the bases quickly, or head to the outfield for that fly ball as fast as you can. Cardio in this case would including high intensity interval training during a run. What does that mean? It means that you will start out at your regular pace, and at intervals, insert sprints. It is those sprints that will get you to home base safely.
Additionally, ball players need core and lower body strength. Plyometrics are great for this. These type of exercises actually are a combination of strength training and cardio, and rely heavily on the muscles of your core and lower body. Add in a total body circuit to really add some strength, and you will bring your 'A' game to the field.
Exercises for Track
If you run track, plyo training is good for you, too. Plyometrics, or jump training, gets that heart rate up, and then brings it down. It uses the fast twitch muscles, which you need as a track runner. Short, fast blasts will have you running faster in no time.
As you run, too, concentrate on building stamina. Rather than focusing on speed, focus on distance. If you regularly run a mile, or three, or five, up your distance. Once that distance becomes comfortable, you can work on increase the pace of each mile.
Exercises for Volleyball
Volleyball players need a strong core, a strong lower body, and endurance. A game may not be that long, but you are 'on' for the entire time, and you need to be strong and steady for the whole game. Start with doing extra core exercises and lower body exercises, like planks, squats, bicycle crunches and lunges.
For endurance work, try long runs or even bike rides.
Exercises for Swimming
Swimmers always need strong cores. When you aren't swimming, do core work. Wood chops, bicycle crunches and planks will tone your core, and when you are swimming, concentrate on really extending your strokes, and growing longer with each one.
Need some help with your sports specific training? Contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts today. A former professional baseball player and is now a nationally certified personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club in Amarillo, Ralph has the experience, skills and drive to help you bring your best. If you are interested in signing up for baseball specific training, click here.
For anyone who has ever suffered from knee pain, you know that it is no joke. Knee pain can make life excruciating. Sometimes just walking hurts. When people with knee pain think of exercise, they don't think it is something that they can do. But guess what? There are actually plenty of exercises out there that can actually help alleviate knee pain.
Some exercises can help strengthen the knees, and the muscles around the knees, and help you get rid of that knee pain for good/ From stretches to strength training to cardio, every part of your knee program is important.
What Stretches Are Good For People With Knee Problems?
First, begin with some simple, gentle stretching. Remember it is best to stretch warm muscles and joints, so walk in place for a few minutes first.
Knee flexion: Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor. Loop a towel under your foot. Then gently pull the towel with both hands in order to bend your knee. Raise your foot just 4 to 5 inches off the floor. Hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat.
Hamstring stretch: Lie on the floor on your right side, legs straight. Bend your left leg, grabbing your food with our left hand. Gently pull to stretch. Switch sides and repeat.
How Can I Strengthen My Knees?
Wall squats: This exercise perfect for the knees because it strengthens the legs without too much pressure on the joints. No weights are needed, just put your back against a wall, feet shoulder width apart. Step out from the wall about a foot's length. Next, bend your knees and squat with your back against the wall and your arms at your sides. Slide down the wall until your knees are at about 90 degrees, but no farther. Then slowly slide back up the wall to straighten your legs. Do several repetitions, but start slowly. Try just a few at first, and then add on.
Bent knee leg raises: Sit in a chair and straighten one leg in the air, but do not lock your knee. Hold for thirty seconds. Bend the knee to lower the leg about halfway to the floor. Hold again 30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do several reps on each leg.
Straight leg raises: For this exercise, you will need two chairs, one placed in front of the other. Sit in the first chair, and rest your foot on the other chair, straight out in front of you. Keep your leg straight and simply lift your leg up, holding it like this for a few seconds. Remember to keep your leg straight but not locked. Now return to the starting position. Repeat several times on each leg, working to increase the number of seconds you hold the leg up.
Which Cardio Exercises Won’t Hurt My Knee?
The stationary bike is perfect for those with knee pain. It increases both leg strength and range of motion in the joints. Positioning is key. At the bottom of your pedal stroke, your knee should bend at 15 degrees. Start with 10 to 20 minutes and increase your time slowly.
Have more questions about the right way to exercise with knee pain? Contact Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer in Amarillo with the Downtown Athletic Club. A nationally certified personal trainer and former athlete, Ralph is very experienced with athletics and exercise. Allow him to set you up for success with personal training or a customized workout.
Exercise bikes have been around for decades. They remain a solid choice for getting a major workout. Whether you want to go to the gym or purchase one for your own home, they are wonderful for getting your heart rate up and burning calories.
How Many Calories Can I Expect To Burn Cycling?
The amount of calories you will burn, depends on several factors: speed, time, resistance, your body weight and more. The amount of calories you burn on a stationary bike will differ from the number you burn mountain biking, for example.
For an hour-long light session on a stationary bike, you can easily burn 300 calories. For an intense ride, you can burn more than 500. It all depends! In addition to a great calorie burn, there are many other reasons exercise bikes are preferred by many people.
Should I Use An Exercise Bike?
Whether you are just starting to get in shape, are training for a race or just want to keep a steady workout going, consider pedaling away on an exercise bike. Why? Exercise bikes are:
Great for those with joint issues. Stationary bicycling is not a weight-bearing workout. That means your body weight is not being supported on your feet, knees, or hips. For people with joint problems, this training helps them get fit without aggravating or worsening existing joint problems.
Good for those who have more than 50 pounds to lose. Because it is not a weight-bearing exercise, a stationary bike is perfect for those who have a great deal of weight to lose. It helps reduce stress on joints, while strengthening them at the same time.
Help expand muscular flexibility and range of motion. The gentle repetitive motions of the stationary bicycle helps to extend and flex the muscles of the legs, knees, and feet. This is perfect for a warm-up before exercise. It is also a good option for those who have sustained a leg injury and need to start working the leg muscles.
Provide an excellent form of cardiovascular workout. Riding a stationary bike at a moderate pace will get the heart pumping. Gradually increasing speed will get it working even harder. This helps improve heart health, increases metabolism and start the weight loss process.
Are easy for the beginner or challenging for the fit. No matter what fitness level a person is, a stationary bicycle can offer a decent workout. Both manual and electronic bikes have different resistance settings. At the lowest settings, it can help someone just starting to get fit. At the highest resistance settings, it can give even the fittest person a complete workout.
Leave fewer excuses not to exercise. A common reason people skip exercising is bad weather. There is no excuse with a stationary bike at home. You can use it in rain, snow, sleet, and high winds. There is no reason to skip a workout when you do not have time to get to the fitness center. You can get up 15 minutes earlier in the AM and get a ride in, or jump on the bike when you get home.
Can be used at the gym or home. Stationary bicycles are great for a home workout option. They are also a change of pace from weights and elliptical machines at the gym.
Can do it while watching TV, reading or listening to music. Exercise can be boring for some people. A TV or a portable music player can make a workout on the bike fun and entertaining. The bicycle routine can be leisurely enough to enjoy the entertainment, but strenuous enough to be a real workout.
What Else Can I Do Besides The Exercise Bike?
There are ways to maximize your exercise bike workouts. However, if you want to add more exercises on your bike workout, talk with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts is a nationally certified Amarillo personal trainer at the Downtown Athletic Club. He can show you how to get the best workout possible out of a bike at the gym or one at home, and come up with a workout routine you will enjoy. Contact Ralph today to learn more about personal training as well as workouts customized just for you.
With kids always playing video games and smart devices, as a parent, you may be concerned they aren't getting enough exercise. What happened to the days of riding bikes every day and climbing trees?
Studies show that both kids and teens can benefit from both cardio and strength training exercise. Your child does not have to be athletic or enjoy sports to be fit. No matter what age your child is, there are plenty of exercises that he or she can do, and plenty that you can do together! Why not make exercise fun? Get the whole family moving and see the results.
Which Exercises Are Good for Children?
We all know that jumping jacks are a great way to get moving, but most children find them fun to do. What else do they love but jumping around? Get your kids moving and do some jumping jacks with them. Start out with 10, and then add on. Do not worry too much about their form in the beginning. Jumping jacks get the heart rate up and calories burning.
Ski jumps are an exercise that require you to move from side to side. This strengthens the leg muscles and of course, gets the blood pumping. Have your kids move with you, jumping from side to side. Start with lower jumps, and then, as your kids get into it, have them jump higher into the air, and then, wider and wider. These are fun and will really get your (and your kids') heart rate up. Try a set of 20 or so, and see how that goes.
Of course, as adults, we may hate to do a plank, but we also know how good it is for our entire body. The plank works the core, the legs and the arms. Your kids probably won't be great at it from the beginning, but you probably weren't either, so start them out slowly.
Have your children try a plank on their knees, and as they get better at it, they can straighten their legs and hold the plank longer. Try for a few seconds and add on.
Kids love to run, and sprints are excellent for our health. Try a simple game of tag, or just ask your kids to sprint from one side of the yard, or park, to the other with you. Try to make it a game, getting them to pick up the pace and go faster. Do just a few at first, and then add on. This is a great exercise for the heart and for the entire body.
Squats and Crunches and Push-ups
From planks to push-ups, try that same knee position that you had them in for planks, and have your kids try a few push-ups. Start with a few and add on.
Simple crunches and squats are great for bone density and for building muscle, too. Just like with push-ups, start with a few and add on. In this case, make sure that your children's form is good. Work on form before you add repetitions.
Yoga stretches are good for everyone, and the sooner we start doing yoga, the better. Have your kids start with some simple poses, like downward facing dog or even child's pose. Do these at the end of your workout, or just do yoga one day a week as your work out. You may be surprised how much your kids might love practicing yoga!
Who has experience working out with kids?
As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and happy. Exercising can help your kid achieve that. If you want to get your kids in shape, or help them get ready for a certain sport, contact me, Ralph Roberts. I am a personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club and a former professional baseball player. I have years of experience working with kids on and off the field. Contact me today to learn more about helping your children stay fit and be sure to ask about my group training just for kids.
One of the most exciting things about this time of year is undoubtedly baseball season, especially for kids. Every year, an estimated 27.4 million children between ages 6 and 17 in the U.S. participate in some form of athletics, according to a 2012 survey. There are bounds of benefits that children receive if they participate in sports, such as good health, social interaction, and not to mention the fact they are setting themselves to continue healthy habits. Children who play sports are nearly 10 times more likely to be active when they get older.
If you are looking to get your kid in shape for baseball season, Ralph Roberts, a personal trainer with the Downtown Athletic Club, is currently offering group baseball training for Amarillo and Texas Panhandle children.
Where Can You Play Baseball In Amarillo?
There are countless opportunities for parents to get their kids involved with baseball in the Amarillo community. The West Texas Youth Baseball Association is a USSSA sanctioned baseball program. There are several teams for a variety of age groups.
The Amarillo Family YMCA and Kids, Inc. also provides baseball for children in the area. Parents can surely find a team or league for their children.
Where Can My Child Train For Baseball?
Ralph Roberts, a nationally certified personal trainer and former MLB player, offers baseball training for kids in the Amarillo area, including Canyon, Dumas, Dalhart and Hereford. For $35 an hour, you can sign up your child for a group training session. Children can sign up with their teams or with a group of their choice.
What Can You Expect From Baseball Training?
With Ralph, you will get an authentic baseball experience. For seven years he pitched for the Atlanta Braves. Before that, he played throughout high school and college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He most recently played for the Amarillo Dillas where he helped the team win three consecutive championships.
During the training session, kids can expect to do agility, strength, balance and core exercises. Depending on age and skill level, you may exercise with a medicine ball to strengthen your core, or do some TRX exercises, etc.
Ralph will also discuss the “mental game” of baseball and motivational techniques on how to push yourself as a team. You can’t undercut the importance of teamwork in baseball, and Ralph will demonstrate this through discussions about team captains, stepping up to be team leader, on and off the field, and accountability. A teammate is your family, and like a family, you will encounter good times as well as challenges with your teammates.
Ralph will work with children, adolescents and teens, including Amarillo junior varsity and varsity baseball players in area high schools.
Where Can I Sign My Child Up For Amarillo Baseball Training?
For a genuine baseball training experience for your children or Amarillo baseball team, please contact Ralph Roberts with the Downtown Athletic Club to set up a training schedule. Not only does he have experience playing baseball, but he also has experience training and working with children.
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