Building a healthier, stronger body takes work and dedication, but the results can be magnificent. However, you can make the process a lot harder — and less effective — by developing certain bad habits in the gym.
What bad habits are they? The kind that can leave your fitness pro shaking his head.
1. Not Stretching
It's never a good idea to jump right into your workout without stretching, because you put yourself at the risk of cramps or injuries. Make it a point to complete a five-minute warmup before each workout, ideally one that targets specific areas of your body that will be challenged.
2. Too Much Slow Cardio
There's no question that aerobic exercise is an important part of a total fitness program. But devoting too much time to long, slow cardio at the expense of strength training won't help you lose weight. Lifting will help speed up your metabolism while building and maintaining muscle mass.
3. Sticking To The Same Routine
Changing your routine is crucial to reach your goals, whether that's losing weight, building muscle, or developing a strong core. Aim to incorporate interval training in at least every other workout.
4. Only Doing Abs For Abs
All the abdominal exercises in the world won't produce the results you want is you're not following a well-rounded workout. It's pretty hard to see those tight abs when they're covered under a layer of fat.
5. Not Drinking Water
It's well-documented that dehydration can limit athletic performance. Water is nature's energy drink, and experts say stick with it unless your workout is 90 minutes or longer.
6. Having Poor Form
Doing advanced exercises with poor form is another path on the way to injuries and soreness. Exercises like box jumps and burpees are excellent, if done with proper form.
7. Not Having A Plan
Begin each workout with a plan in mind, rather than bouncing from machine to machine. Without one, you'll more likely focus on your favorite muscles groups while neglecting others.
Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can help you stay on point and break these habits. Get a jumpstart on your 2016 fitness goals with a Jan. 9 group training session.
If you're just starting out on a weight-loss journey, congratulations. You're taking an important step towards a healthier lifestyle, and the end results can be amazing.
But also know that you'll experience some peaks and valleys along the way. Here are some things you can expect as you tackle your weight-loss resolution.
1. Hitting a Plateau
Many people find it easy to drop pounds early in the process, then hit a plateau where the pounds don't come off so easily. Here are some ways to get past it:
You'll find yourself craving favorite snacks as you remain on the journey. One way to deal with these cravings is to always have healthy snacks on hand — such as almonds, grapes, yogurt and chickpeas.
3. Hoarding Food Storage Containers
This is a good thing. Portion control can be an important part of your weight loss program, and stocking up on containers that ensure your next meal is the right size is crucial.
4. Different Social Activities
Instead of sticking with same old routine, i.e., dinner and drinks with friends, make your lifestyle more active by joining a dance class, or taking a long walk with a friend.
5. You May Suffer From Calorie Creep
Eating more than you burn can easily get you stuck in plateau. That's why portion size is so important. Cutting your daily intake by 100 or 200 calories can have a positive effect. Also, eating a high-fiber breakfast will help you reduce the quantity of food you'll eat at lunch.
6. Vegetables Are Your Friends
Vegetables are high in nutrients and low in calories. In other words, they're a perfect component of your weight-loss plan.
7. People Will Become Jealous
Seek out the people who will be in your corner, cheering you on, during this important journey. Inevitably, there will be others who aren't so supportive of the slimmer, healthier you.
8. You Will Love Yourself For It
The benefits of losing weight are almost too numerous to count — you'll lower your risk of disease, you'll sleep better, and you'll have more confidence, etc.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo will help you take your health and fitness program to a new level. Ralph is offering a group training class beginning in January to help you kick off your New Year’s weightloss resolution.
If you're a person who is limited physically — either temporarily or permanently — from participating in high-intensity or high-impact workouts, take heart. By following a walking program, you can still enjoy a variety of health benefits without placing excess stress on your body.
Additionally, you can turn up the intensity of your walking program with some simple adjustments. A recent study by Ohio State University researchers showed that you can burn more calories walking by varying your speeds.
How It Works
During the Ohio State study, researchers had walkers vary their speeds on a treadmill, either by trying to exceed the speed of the treadmill or walking slower than the belt. It was shown that the metabolic cost (calories burned) was higher than when simply maintaining the same speed. It was even more effective than in changing the speed of the treadmill, when the belt actually shoulders some of the burden.
Researchers recognized that most people don't live their day-to-day lives by walking at a constant speed, as if on a treadmill. When you change your kinetic energy of walking, more work is required from the legs and more energy is burned. The study showed that people tend to walk at a slower pace when covering shorter distances, and at an increased pace when covering longer distances.
How You Can Use The Study’s Findings
Use these tips to pump up your walk. Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can also provide physically-limited individuals with exercises to increase strength and get results.
A healthy diet doesn't just boost your immune system, it also helps you recover quicker when you're sick with a cold or the flu. Because your body is expending energy to help you heal faster, fueling it with healthy, nutritious foods is essential. Here are some of those foods that will help you get on the mend sooner than later.
The important thing to remember here is easily digestible protein. When you're sick, your body may not be up to a protein-packed steak. But easily digestible, easy to fix proteins, such as yogurt or eggs, will do the trick.
Note: In one study, it was shown that the probiotics in yogurt shortened colds and flu by nearly two days. Be sure to choose those that contain Lactobacillus casei or Lactobacillus reuteri. Also, Greek yogurt includes a healthy dose of protein.
Citrus Fruit (Flavonoids)
What are flavonoids? They're found in the soft white skin of grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes, and increase immune activity. They also have anti-inflammatory health benefits. Vitamin C may not actually shorten the length of your illness, but that's no reason to ignore citrus fruits.
Soup And Broth
Just like your mother (or grandmother) told you, soup and broth can be just what the doctor ordered when you're not feeling well. Clear broths like chicken or veggie broth will not only keep you hydrated, but are also easy to digest. Soups that contain vegetables and grains such as barley will have added vitamins and nutrients. Moreover, the hot liquid will ward off the chills and open up sinuses.
Put glutathione up there with flavonoids when it comes to helping you get over the crud. Found in watermelon and veggies such as kale, cabbage, collard greens and broccoli, glutathione is a powerful anti-oxidant. Still not convinced? Glutathione has also been shown to fight aging, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.
Foods With B6 And B12
Vitamins B6 and B12 are considered healing nutrients and you can get your fill of them in a variety of foods: milk, fish, fortified soy milk and cereals, potatoes, turkey, spinach and nutritional yeast.
Physical fitness can also ward of sickness. Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts can not only help you find the best health and fitness program for you, but can also help you more easily meet your goals. Get a head start on your fitness goals now by signing up for a group training class on Jan. 9.
Winter is in full swing, and that means it’s time for cold weather sports. For the snow sports fan, this is an exciting season. You’ve waited all year to break out your gear and hit the slopes. Or, maybe you’re a snow sports newbie and can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. Either way, it’s important to be informed about each sport so that you can make the best decision and prevent injury.
The Ins And Outs Of Snow Sports
Winter sports differ from other sports in terms of risk factors and difficulty levels. In addition to the normal physical stresses that exercise puts on your body, cold weather comes with a long list of problems all its own. For instance, altitude sickness and hypothermia are legitimate concerns.
Because of the extra dangers present in snow sports, it’s important to be well-informed about the activity you choose. Here’s the 411 on three popular winter sports:
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, want to get in shape, or you’re just seeking a thrill, snow sports are an excellent option. But they do come with their own set of risks. Before participating in any sport, especially those in extreme weather, be sure to prepare with the right equipment and take all necessary precautions to prevent injuries.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts customizes workout plans geared to his clients’ specific needs, fitness levels, and goals. If you’re thinking of taking up a snow sport and want to prepare your body for the effort, contact us for a consultation.
With the holidays just around the corner, we all want to look our best while visiting friends and family. If you feel pressed for time during the festivities, it is extremely important to make the most out of every workout. Instead of taking time away from your busy schedule, try out some of these time-saving exercise tips on your next visit to the gym. You will see results in no time.
While working out alone, it is sometimes very easy to fall out of a routine of pushing yourself towards your goals. Try talking to a personal trainer about working with you to add intensity to your workout, or consider joining a group training class. Adding intensity will burn calories quicker, as well as speed up your metabolism. If you can’t make it to the gym, you can try an intense running routine, or even jumping jacks.
Boost your cardio by adding intervals. Short periods of speed will burn more calories than working out at a slow pace. Short intervals will also encourage specific genes that help to jumpstart the fat-burning mechanisms. The after-burn that happens after the intervals are put into effect will help to burn more calories even after you’re finished working out.
If you’re looking to quickly burn belly fat, try changing the pace on the treadmill every few minutes. Speeding up the pace for a short period of time will push you past your comfort zone, as well as gradually build your endurance. Make sure to lower your heart rate with minute-long recoveries (which involve a walking pace) in-between each interval. Always challenge yourself, so that you will be encouraged to continue this routine in the future.
Adding weight-lifting into your routine is not only for bulking up, but it is also the key to growing in strength, as well as getting toned. Try about four strength-training workouts each week, after spending about five minutes warming up with cardio. One great way to add strength-training to your workout is to try out different circuits.
One fantastic circuit option is to start with 15 reps of a narrow squat, paired with an overhead press. You will then move on to 10 planks with a reverse row. End this circuit with 12 reps of a side lunge. Other great muscle-toning circuits include plie squats with lateral arm raises, reverse lunges paired with bicep curls, and side plank push-ups.
If you are looking for an instructor to coach you along towards your fitness goals, Ralph Roberts is the personal trainer for you. He can create a custom workout routine just for you, and provide encouragement and guidance along the way. Try his training style out in a group training session!
As you're buying your children gifts this holiday season, consider what kind of activity each present will encourage. If it's a video game console, for instance, you know your child could potentially spend a lot of hours indoors.
But it's vitally important to buy gifts that encourage your kids to get outside and be active. For their own fitness and well-being, you'll need to think outside the Xbox. Here are some gift ideas that can help you accomplish it:
There's no denying the bond between a bike and a child, as well as the many fitness benefits that come with it. A bike represents both freedom and fresh air, and learning how to ride a bike is a rite of passage for every child. Moreover, it's an activity they'll never outgrow.
How will they benefit from cycling?
2. Jump Rope
Another traditional favorite, a jump rope can reap many physical benefits for your child, including being a heart-activity encouraged by the American Heart Association. It's simple and fun, and can be enjoyed alone or with others. And with everything from standard rope skipping to side jumping and alternate straddling jumps, your child won't get bored with it.
Let's face it, there are probably times when you say "It's good for you" to your child and he or she automatically resists the idea. Chances are, however, they won't feel that way about a trampoline. Children will naturally take to a trampoline — no matter how athletic they may be — and they'll end up spending hours on it without realizing that it's “good for them.” It's a form of exercise that builds stamina while improving coordination, balance, flexibility and agility.
This is another fun gift idea that can provide healthy exercise for your child without them even realizing it. The act of sledding itself, while tremendously fun, might not provide much exercise on its own, but trudging back to the top of the hill after each run certainly will. In fact, your child's larger muscles will get more use as they walk through snow.
5. Hop Ball
Fun for adults, too, a hop ball will get your child outside and active. It promotes coordination, balance, circulation and cardio fitness.
Personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo wishes you a merry Christmas and a healthy new year. Kick off the new year the healthy way: Sign up for a group training class Ralph is giving in January.
Resistance or strength training has long been considered a distant second to traditional cardio exercise when it comes to burning calories. New research, however, begs to differ.
A recent study by Arizona State University researchers showed that strength training may actually burn twice the amount of calories as originally thought. It found that the traditional equation used to measure energy expenditure during resistance training didn't tell the whole story.
The good news for you? You can adjust your own strength training routine to maximize weight loss. Here are some tips on how to do so:
1. Concentrate On Muscular Endurance
For many years there has been a debate of whether it's best to work on muscular strength or muscular endurance (the difference being that muscular endurance typically involves lifting lighter weights at higher repetitions). You can't go wrong with either approach, but studies have shown that concentrating on muscular endurance has more of an affect on weight loss.
2. Increase Your Protein Intake
Here's some more research: Studies have also shown that strength training is more effective in promoting weight loss than just cutting calories alone. Additionally, swapping some of your carbs for protein will help accelerate the process. Taking in protein right after resistance training can not only help improve body composition, but enhance recovery, as well.
3. Up The Intensity
You may have already heard of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in terms of cardio training. The theory is that you push yourself at a high intensity for a short period of time and then take a break before repeating the process for multiple sets. HIIT can also be used during strength training workouts. Exercises such as squats, burpees and mountain climbers can be utilized in this kind of training structure.
4. Compound Exercises
A compound exercise is when you target multiple muscle groups all at once. For instance, a bodyweight squat can significantly decrease body fat and help develop lean body mass. Using either a barbell or dumbbells, you work both your upper and lower body while getting an intense overall workout.
5. Weights Before Cardio
Typically, most people do strength training after cardio exercise and thus do fewer weight-lifting repetitions than they might be capable of. Many trainers and coaches now recommend doing strength training first, when you're fresh. Moreover, you'll be better able to maintain form and do the exercises correctly. One approach would be to alternate days of strength and cardio training, or do one in the morning and the other at night.
Working with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can help you take your fitness to another level. Get a head start on your New Year's resolution with Ralph's group training class!
While there are endless ways to measure how healthy you are and the progress of your fitness program, many women continue to use one of the oldest methods: the scale.
While using the scale can be helpful as a way to measure weight loss, studies also show that doing so can be the cause of great distress to many women. In fact, one recent study showed that women who weigh themselves more often tend to have a more negative body image, lower self-esteem, and depression. Ouch.
The key is to not let the scale define you. It's just one measure — one that really doesn't give much detail about your overall health. More importantly, there are ways to use the scale without making it your enemy and the cause of unwanted mental distress.
1. Use The Scale Sparingly
If one of your goals involves losing or gaining a certain amount of weight, then check in (with the scale) every one to two weeks. Certainly not every day! Remember: The number on the scale can be influenced by a variety of factors that day, including your period or eating something salty at lunch. Checking the scale every day can create an unhealthy obsession about your weight.
2. Weigh-In On Wednesday
Why Wednesday? A recent Finnish study showed that weight fluctuates less during the middle of the week. But it also helps to measure your progress by sticking with a schedule and certain day. Your goal may be to lose one or two pounds a week; stepping on the scale every week on a certain day will help you track that goal more specifically. Here's another helpful hint: Weigh yourself first thing in the morning, after you've gone to the bathroom. This will give you a clearer comparison.
3. Don't Be So Specific
Setting a specific weight-loss number can lead to more emotional distress. Instead, set a range while seeking that place in which your clothes feel comfortable. Give yourself a cushion of around five pounds of that “place.”
4. Measure Progress In Other Ways
When you step on the scale you're obviously going to check the number. But don't make that your only measure of progress. Also consider how your clothes fit and how you feel mentally. If you're feeling good about yourself, that number will let you know where your 'happy' place is.
Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts can help you take your fitness program to the next level. Try out a group training class with him and get a head start on your New Year's resolution today!
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