You've probably heard the expression "too much of a good thing." It typically applies to anything done in excess, and it can certainly apply to exercise.
While we all know how important exercise is for a healthy lifestyle, there are times when you can take it too far without giving your body proper rest. It's known as overtraining, and you need to be aware of its risks and warning signs.
What Are Some Risks of Overtraining?
When you feel a physical fatigue that lasts well beyond the activity itself, then it could be that you're overtraining. It's both physical and emotional fatigue, and it can be caused by chemical changes within your body and altered immune function brought on by training in excess.
Doing the same type of exercise on a daily basis can increase the risk for injuries to joints such as the knees and elbows, as well to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. They're injuries caused by repetitive use of the same muscles and joints, and can be some of the hardest injuries to treat when it comes to sports medicine.
Disrupted Mood and Sleep Patterns
The production of hormones that keep you vitalized begins to function poorly when your body is under too much stress. This can lead to irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and lack of motivation.
Inflammation and Lowered Immunity
When overtraining causes your hormone levels to fluctuate abnormally, as well as causing the tissue of your joints and muscle to become overly fatigued, you're at a greater risk for inflammation. This can lead to swelling and pain that lingers on far beyond what's normal. Moreover, being overly fatigued can depress the immune system by raising cortisol levels.
You Know Longer See Progress
You can reach a point where you're training too much and yet seeing no progress. This is the result of not giving your muscles the proper time to rest and recover between workouts, which can actually result in a muscle-burning phase that comes when you are re-tearing already torn muscles.
Working with a trainer like Ralph Roberts can help you meet your health and fitness goals safely. Contact Ralph to schedule a free personal training session.
Want to get fit in just 10 weeks? Sign up for Ralph Roberts' 10-Week Strong Challenge this summer!
Leading a busy life shouldn’t be an excuse for an unhealthy lifestyle. Many of us find it difficult to eat healthy when there are so many unhealthy choices out there and so many excuses to hit your favorite fast food drive through.
Wraps can be a delicious and healthy alternative when you need a quick meal. There are tons of wrap recipes out there for breakfast, lunch and dinner that can be made with minimal effort. They’re also a great way to get those extra veggie servings in, especially for kids or picky eaters. Try a few of these delicious wrap recipes to get started!
Tangy veggie wrap – This wrap from HurryTheFoodUp is packed with protein and veggies giving you the fuel you need for your busy life. Lemon, ginger and a little Dijon mustard provide the unique flavor.
Peanut butter banana wrap – This wrap from My Recipes is an excellent choice for a grab and go breakfast or as an alternative to your average PB&J lunch. Adding some fresh berries or substituting them for the dried apricots is a good way to up the antioxidants.
Turkey sausage mango wrap – Another yummy meal from My Recipes. The sweetness of mango goes wonderfully with turkey or chicken, making this a low-fat, low-calorie meal with plenty of flavor.
Quinoa veggie wrap – This vegan wrap from The Nutty Scoop is very simple and would be a good use for extra quinoa if you have it leftover from another meal.
Pineapple chicken salad wrap – From Skinny Mom, this recipe makes enough for the entire family and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. Substituting Greek yogurt for half of the mayo results in lower fat and calories than traditional chicken salad.
Grilled zucchini hummus wrap – There’s just something about grilling veggies that makes them extra delicious. This recipe from Maebells adds hummus for protein to satisfy your appetite.
One of the best things about wraps is that they are versatile. You can modify them to fit almost anyone’s tastes or nutritional needs. If you suffer from a gluten-allergy or intolerance, use gluten-free, whole grain, multi-grain, or vegetable based wraps, such as spinach or tomato. You can even use a lettuce leaf to wrap up your fillings. If you have difficulty digesting dairy, simply cut the cheese from your wraps.
These six wrap recipes can certainly help you eat healthy, but that’s only part of living a healthy lifestyle. Hiring a personal trainer can be a good idea to keep on track with your health and fitness goals. Whether you need a new work out, some extra motivation, want to lose weight or are just starting your fitness journey, contact Ralph Roberts today and schedule a free personal training session.
Want to lose weight and build muscle? Sign up for Ralph Roberts 10-Week Strong Challenge this summer!
If you had 10 weeks to meet a certain fitness goal, what would you want to accomplish? Lose weight? Build muscle? Gain energy? Boost confidence?
With my 10-Week Strong Challenge, you will be able to check all of the above off your list.
It’s time to commit to your fitness and achieve the healthy lifestyle you desire. This training program will take place every Tuesday and Thursday at noon from June 7- August 11 in the Downtown Athletic Club gym.
The cost of the program is $200, and that includes 20 workouts, in addition to weekly full-body percentage and composition analyses to measure your progress. It is available to both Downtown Athletic Club members and non-members.
Classes will include a mix of:
Sign up now! Space is limited.
Your life is busy enough — you work, you raise kids, you’re on the PTA and you sometimes get stuck in traffic coming home from work (or going to it, for that matter). It becomes easy to say you don't have enough time for other things, such as exercise, no matter how important they can be. But most of us can spare at least 20 minutes.
Studies have shown that walking for just 20 minutes a day has a variety of health benefits, and could very well help you prolong your life.
In fact, one study in the United Kingdom showed that a sedentary lifestyle was responsible for twice as many deaths as obesity. When you think of it that way, carving out 20 minutes of your crammed schedule doesn't seem that hard, after all.
7 Benefits of Walking 20 Minutes a Day
1. Longer Life
It's worth repeating that even brief amounts of exercise - like 20 minutes of walking - can help you to live a longer life, while inactivity is responsible for a large amount of deaths.
2. Weight Loss
Twenty minutes of walking a day can help trim your belly and burn calories. It also helps to reduce visceral fat, a dangerous form of fat that presses against your body's organs. The U.K. study showed that simply having a body mass index (BMI) lower than obesity lowered mortality by nearly four percent.
3. Better Mood
Want to improve your mood after (or before) a long day? Research shows that even a moderately-paced walk can release endorphins that help trigger a positive mood.
4. More Energy
People who walked just 20 minutes a day reported feeling less fatigued and more energetic. Walking increases your blood flow, which increases the body's ability to create energy.
5. Less Risk of Heart Disease
The U.K. study showed that walking 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by eight percent. By doubling the walk to 40 minutes, your risk of heart disease is lowered by 18 to 20 percent, the report said.
6. Decreased Risk of Diabetes
Taking a walk after a meal will lower your blood sugar and lessen your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
7. Better Memory
Through walking and exercise, people have a larger hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. Moreover, it can lower your risk of getting dementia.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can help you better attain your fitness and health goals. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free personal training session.
Looking for other ways to stay in shape, but on a tight schedule? Download Ralph Roberts' FREE 2 Weeks of At-Home Workouts!
School’s out, summer’s in. Imagine you’re on the tropical adventure of a lifetime — one you’ve saved for, waited for, and (most importantly) dieted for. You’re excited to lounge on the beach, take a dip in the pool, and have a few drinks at the oceanfront bar.
But be careful. Those yummy drinks could be loaded with hidden calories.
Spring Break Drinks that Won’t Ruin Your Diet
You don’t want a bloated belly while you’re strolling down the boardwalk or playing beach volleyball. But you do want to kick back with a tasty cocktail. Here are five delicious drink options that won’t blow your daily calorie allowance.
1. Tequila and Soda
Margaritas are the go-to drink choice for spring breakers on the beach. The combination of lime, sugar, and tequila makes for a sweet and sour cocktail that’s sure to bring the buzz — and the calories. To keep your body bikini-ready, ditch the sugary margarita for a “viva la tequila” on the rocks with club soda. Squeeze some lime into it and you’ve got an awesome margarita alternative for only 100 calories.
2. Sour-Apple Martini
Some martinis have upwards of 250 calories. There’s no way to keep your waistline in check while downing a few of those every night. But that’s doesn’t mean you can’t sip a sophisticated martini or two. Go for a sour-apple version and save almost 100 calories.
3. Vodka and Diet Sierra Mist
This drink may not elicit any looks of awe-inspired admiration, but it gets the job done. Its simplicity is one of the reasons it’s so great for keeping your weight under control during spring break. With less than 100 calories, this cocktail refreshes and delights your taste buds.
If you’re a fan of sweet cocktails, you probably enjoy the occasional white Russian. But you might as well have ice cream. The succulently sweet mudslide, on the other hand, satisfies your sweet tooth for only 184 calories. That’s what we call a double dose of sugar.
5. Sea Breeze
What better drink than a vodka-cranberry to sip while gazing out at the roaring ocean waves? Unfortunately, it’s not the best choice for your diet. If you love the taste of a vodka-cranberry but you’re concerned about calorie count, opt for a sea breeze instead. This tangy combo of grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and vodka will only cost you 180 calories.
*Calorie estimates for single servings.
With low-calorie drink options, you don’t have to forgo alcohol during spring break. However, if you do put on a few vacation pounds, don’t worry. Contact Ralph Roberts Personal Training and schedule a free personal training session.
Not quite in the shape you want to be for your vacation? Download Ralph Roberts' FREE Summer Slim-down Workout Package you can do at home or the gym.
It's hard not to love summer with its multitude of activities opportunities for outdoor exercise. But summer also means heat, and when it comes to your fitness program you need to make sure you're taking the proper steps keeping yourself healthy - and safe - when the mercury begins to rise.
Here is a list of fitness do's and don'ts to keep in mind this summer.
Be Wary of Protein Loading
Studies have shown that consuming too much protein before your workout could elevate your body's temperature, making you feel even hotter. Consume protein after your workout when it helps rebuild muscles. It's better to cool down before you warm up to perform better in the heat. Sipping a flavored ice drink 30 minutes before you exercise can improve performance by enabling you to exercise longer. Be careful what you choose for your iced drink, however. Try combining your favorite sports drink with crushed ice.
Monitor Your Hydration
A general rule of thumb says that when you start thinking about a nice cold drink your body is already mildly dehydrated. One way to ensure you're properly hydrated is by checking your urine; if it's the color of pale lemonade, then you're hydrated. Anything darker usually signals dehydration.
Experts suggest drinking 17 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before exercise. You can then keep yourself hydrated in the heat by drinking seven to 10 ounces every 15 or 20 minutes during your workout, which is extremely important on the hottest days. And remember: you're also sweating during water-based workouts, such as swimming, surfing and water aerobics.
Listen To Your Body
The heat affects even the fittest of people because it can stress the heart and lungs while increasing body temperature. Your body's natural cooling systems can be compromised in extreme temperatures, leading to cramping or heat exhaustion. Monitor your pulse to ensure that it's staying within its target zone, and beware if you experience muscle cramping, nausea, dizziness, weakness, headache or a rapid heartbeat. If you notice these symptoms, stop working out and move inside to a cooler place.
Sunscreen should be an essential part of any outdoor fitness routine. One study showed that cyclists are exposed to more than 30 times the recommended UV radiation exposure. Apply one ounce of water-resistant sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside, even if it's cloudy.
There are so many places to get fit outside in Amarillo. Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can help you meet your health and fitness goals. Contact Ralph today for a personalized fitness plan to get you in shape for summer.
If you love late-night snacks, you may want to rethink your nocturnal eating habits. Studies have shown that snacking right before you doze can add extra pounds and inches. In addition, eating unhealthy foods at night can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Before you reach for that handful of cookies or chips before bed, remind yourself of the potential impact.
Why Would I Gain Extra Weight By Late-Night Snacking?
Plenty of research has been done about the relationship between sleep and weight, and evidence indicates that your body understands when it's supposed to taking in food and when it's not.
When you eat late at night when your body is normally powering down for sleep, organs such as your liver, are not prepared to deal with the sudden influx of nutrients and aren't able to deal with them efficiently. It can also affect your insulin and blood sugar levels, which in turn, affects how your body stores fat.
So, even if you're not eating more on a day-to-day basis than you normally would but are snacking late at night, you could gain weight.
Research has also shown that people who regularly eat later, such as those who eat more than 25% of their food after dinner and night-shift workers, have larger waist sizes and higher body mass indexes than those who don't. Also, when you're fatigued or stressed, eating before bedtime can make digestion more difficult (as well as cause gas, bloating and heartburn).
How Much Should I Eat Before Bed?
One commonly held notion is that you should eat for the activity you plan to do. Because sleeping doesn't require a lot of energy, you probably don't need to eat after dinner, unless you have strenuous physical activity planned for the next morning.
When you go to sleep, it's best to only have enough in your stomach to be able to sleep peacefully and wake up hungry in the morning.
Another point to consider is that the body will feel more full in the morning after breakfast, which prevents overeating during the day. However, nighttime eaters often skip breakfast, triggering another unhealthy cycle.
What Foods Can I Eat Before Bed?
The type of food is important, even as important as the amount, if you decide to snack right before going to bed. Calorie-rich foods like cheese or pizza will force your digestive system to work much harder than it normally would. But simple proteins such as Greek yogurt or a hard boiled egg are much easier to digest.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can take your health and fitness to new levels. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free personal training session.
Need to burn off those late-night pounds? Download Ralph Roberts' FREE Summer Slim-Down Workout!
There’s a lot of controversy around the term “bikini body” these days, especially on social media. But, bodies, just like bikinis, come in all different shapes and sizes.
So how do you get a perfect bikini body? Well, a perfect bikini body isn’t defined by having Britney Spears’ abs, Carrie Underwood’s legs and Kim Kardashian’s rear end.
A perfect bikini body should be about being healthy, comfortable and confident. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive to be happy and healthy. Strive to be the best version of yourself.
That’s my goal at Ralph Roberts Personal Training — to make you feel good about yourself in a swimsuit this summer.
My FREE Summer Slim-down Package includes a variety of low-impact and high-impact exercises that will work every part of your body. What’s so great about these exercises is that you can pick and choose which ones you want to do. Many of them you can even do at home.
Do these exercises at your own pace, but challenge yourself! Grab your significant other, a group of friends or even your coworkers and work out together. After all, the buddy system is one of the most successful workout methods.
Pair this Summer Slim-down plan with a nutritious diet of lean protein, vegetables and good fats to see the best results. Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up or just feel good about yourself this summer, this workout package will make sure you blow everyone out of the water.
Download my FREE Summer Slim-down package today!
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