If you're dealing with the pain and stiffness of arthritis, working out may not be high on your priority list. But exercise might be exactly what you need to relieve arthritis pain.
Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis because it increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and even relieves fatigue. If you suffer from arthritis, here are some things to know before you start a workout routine.
1. Can You Exercise With Arthritis?
Studies show that people with many forms of arthritis can participate in exercise that's appropriate and safe for their condition. Even individuals with severe inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis can benefit from moderate intensity workouts.
People with osteoarthritis of the knee or other joints can reduce symptoms by combining strength and aerobic training.
2. Why Is Exercise Beneficial For People With Arthritis?
Here are just a few benefits to working out with arthritis:
Make sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you've been inactive. Your doctor can tell you how to incorporate exercise into your arthritis treatment plan.
It's vital to develop an exercise plan that provides the most benefit without aggravating your arthritis pain.
4. Best Types Of Exercise For Arthritis
Among the most common types of exercises are range-of-motion exercises, strengthening exercises and aerobic exercise.
Range-of-motion exercises relieve stiffness and help you to move your joints through their full motion. Strengthening exercises help you build strong muscles that support and protect your joints. Aerobic or endurance exercises improve your cardiovascular health, control your weight, and give you more stamina and energy.
Here are some specific workouts ideal for arthritis sufferers. But it's important to know that any type of sustained movement, from raking leaves to walking the dog, can help.
Water Aerobics & Swimming
Water aerobics has 75 percent less impact on your joints than regular aerobics, while swimming works all of your muscles groups and builds cardiovascular endurance.
Weight lifting and resistance training are great ways to help manage arthritis pain. They keep the muscles around the affected joints healthy, lubricate joints and decrease bone loss.
All types of walking, whether outdoors or on a treadmill, help to relieve arthritis pain, strengthen muscles and reduce stress. Start slowly if you haven't been exercising and work up to 30 minutes of continuous walking on a flat surface or slight incline.
Cycling works all the muscles in your lower body, including your feet. If upright stationary bikes and outdoor biking aggravate back or knee problems, use a recumbent bike instead.
Yoga improves flexibility, strengthens muscles, reduces stress and more.
Pilates stretches the spine and strengthens muscles.
Bosu ball workouts are a great way to tone muscles and strengthen your upper and lower body. They are also lighter on joints than traditional aerobics.
Ready to get fit? My bosu ball guide will provide you with 7 full-body to help you get the body you've always wanted – right from home.
Daylight Saving Time has officially ended. With it getting darker earlier, your motivation to workout may begin to dwindle.
It’s difficult to get going when you have few, if any, daylight hours to exercise. With that in mind, we compiled a list of helpful tips to keep you moving all year.
Keeping Your Motivation High Year-Round
Working out regularly takes dedication, perseverance and time. This is never truer than during the colder months of the year when there’s little daylight in your free time.
Here are five ways to stay motivated.
1. Make It A Family Activity
Just because it’s dark out doesn’t mean your family can’t get in some fitness time together. If the street you live on is well-lit, then bundle up and go for an evening walk. If that’s not a safe option, consider playing a game of tag in your own yard using flashlights for fun.
2. Have An Accountability Partner
It’s much easier to stay dedicated when there’s someone counting on you. Consider meeting a friend a few mornings each week at a well-lit track for a jog. Or maybe video chat while doing an indoor workout together.
3. Bring It Inside
If it’s simply too cold or too dark to exercise outside, find ways to stay active indoors. This is easy if you own gym equipment. But if not, join a gym or invest in some exercise programs that can be done any time of year no matter the weather.
4. Take A Lunch Break
Why not use your lunch hour at work to fit in exercise? Instead of simply eating at your desk through your break or going out to lunch with coworkers, spend half your lunch break walking or jogging around your office building. This gives you the chance to take in some fresh air and sunshine when you otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity.
5. Choose Active Alternatives
A simple way to stay fit during the winter months is to make minor adjustments to your everyday routine. For example, take the steps at work instead of the elevator. Park farther away from the store when you go shopping. Take stretching breaks at least every hour at work to avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
Making small changes like these may not seem like a big deal, but it drastically impacts your health.
Work With A Personal Trainer
One of the most effective methods for getting (and staying) in shape any time of year is to work with a personal trainer. Ralph Roberts is a certified trainer who offers individual, group, and sports training as well as customized workout plans. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to get a free training session!
November is here. That means cooler temperatures, less sunlight and plenty of turkey. Yet, November is also notable as it is American Diabetes Month.
Diabetes has the potential to send your health into a tailspin. It can even cause full blindness. Everyone should be aware of diabetes, its warning signs and how it can be prevented.
Diabetes Prevention Tips
Though your genetics play a significant role in your risk for diabetes, if you are proactive, you can drastically reduce its odds.
The first step is to achieve a weight that is appropriate for your height and body frame. Carrying excess weight severely spikes the potential of an onset of diabetes. Those who eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis will mitigate their risk for this life-changing disease.
In terms of specific exercises, all the data points to resistance training and aerobic exercise as the best ways to combat and control diabetes. If you are looking for specific foods that will reduce your diabetes risk, key in on fiber. Fiber boosts your blood sugar control, makes you feel full so you don't overeat and even decreases your risk of heart disease. Examples of foods loaded in fiber include beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Warning Signs of Diabetes
The typical warning signs of diabetes are triggered by abnormally high levels of glucose in one's blood. If you find you are especially hungry or tired throughout the days and weeks, see your doctor to find out if you have diabetes or are a prime candidate for the disease.
High blood sugar will also mitigate blood flow and inflict nerve damage that makes it difficult for the body to heal. If you observe your cuts and sores heal at an especially slow speed, seek a medical evaluation right away.
A rapid loss of weight that cannot be attributed to a change in diet or an increase in exercise is also an indication that you might be a diabetic.
Additional diabetes warning signs include urinating at a high frequency, excessive thirst, blurred vision, overly-itchy skin, headaches, dry mouth, and yeast infections.
As noted above, one of the best ways to prevent diabetes is by controlling your weight. If you are ready to lose weight and get healthy, Ralph Roberts Training can help build your body into a lean machine. We'll customize a workout plan according to your physical fitness goals and help you achieve a fit, healthy body. Contact us today to learn more.
Back to school means hectic mornings, busy afternoons and very little down time. As a mom, you’re likely responsible for getting the kids to and from school, making sure they’re fed each day, handling homework and extracurricular activities.
Just thinking about it probably stresses you out. But keeping calm is not only good for your own health and sanity, but it also helps your children stave off anxiety about a new school year.
Here are some ideas on maintaining a peaceful home atmosphere in the midst of back-to-school chaos.
1. Stay Positive
Stress isn’t a result of all the things you have to do; it’s a result of your thoughts about those things. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths, go for a walk and remind yourself that you’re only human.
Additionally, when your kids express negative feelings about going back to school, respond with only positive things. Maybe a silly story about your own school days or a reminder of something fun they get to do in school.
2. Organize Your Life
The biggest cause of stress is being unorganized, feeling like everything is coming at you at once. Find ways to organize that makes sense for your family. One idea is to keep a calendar in a spot everyone sees daily, and write down all activities, school projects, etc.
Another way to get organized in your home is to prepare ahead of time. For example, pack lunches and pick out clothes each night for the following day. Meal plan every Sunday so that you know what you need to get at the grocery store and what you’ll have for dinner every day. This cuts down on the stress of figuring out dinner when you’re already pushed for time.
3. Ask for Help and Say No
Moms have a tendency to overdo. They think they should be able to take on the world and do everything — volunteering, career, housework, social life, etc. But it’s just not possible. The sooner you realize this the sooner you’ll be able to breathe.
It’s OK to say no sometimes. Don’t take on more than you can handle. And remember it takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help around the house and your friends for help outside the home.
4. Practice Self-Care
As a mother, you give and give. But if you’re not replenishing yourself, you’ll have nothing left to give. Find what makes you happy and schedule it into your day—whether it’s going for a run, taking a bath, or reading.
If you're too busy to hit the gym, contact Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts. Ralph Roberts Training can create custom workouts you can do at home or on the go.
You can also download Ralph Roberts Training's FREE At-Home Workouts eBook!
The average person has tried everything from trendy diets to intense physical fitness regimens in his quest to lose weight. Yet few people know that simply altering their posture has the potential to facilitate the weight loss process. According to some doctors, improving one's posture can result in losing two pounds per week.
The Importance Of Standing And Sitting Tall
When you were younger, your parents and teachers likely told you to stand and sit straight. But most of us reverted to our slumped ways, partially because we are forced to sit at a high frequency and maintaining correct posture takes effort.
Make an effort to sit and stand as straight as possible and you'll enjoy many benefits. Body posture really does impact the body as well as the mind.
Carry yourself in a more upright manner and you'll reduce the tension placed on your entire body. As a result, blood will flow better and you might even feel less stressed out.
Breaking Down How Improved Posture Benefits The Body
Aside from boosting blood flow, proper posture also engages the muscles along your core and your back. This engagement serves to tone these muscles and even build new muscle. When new muscle is created, more calories are burned, gradually resulting in weight loss.
The mere act of sitting and standing straight has also been proven to help burn calories. You don't have to perform any sort of exercise while sitting. Sit as straight as possible and you really will enjoy a more toned physique and start shedding pounds. This phenomenon occurs due to the fact that more energy is required to maintain proper posture as opposed to a flawed posture.
Sitting and standing tall even serves to guard against neck pain, backaches and other aches that have been linked to poor posture. Remove these pains from your life and you will find it that much easier to hit the gym at a high frequency. Spend more time in the gym and you will shed more weight.
Correcting flawed sitting and standing posture is only part of the weight loss battle. If you are looking to lose weight and keep it off for good, reach out to Ralph Roberts. The expert assistance of a personal trainer will help you reach your physical fitness goals as quickly as possible. Contact Ralph today for a free workout session.
The average person's schedule is full of activities and responsibilities. From the eight-hour workday to family responsibilities, cooking and cleaning, we just don't have much free time. Plenty of people completely forego “alone time.”
In many of my Monday Motivations and Friday Reflections, I have stressed the importance of mental health. Taking time for yourself every week is a critical component of maintaining your health and empowering your mind. Here are five reasons you should reserve time for yourself every week.
Reasons To Find "Me" Time
1. Time for Introspection
When you are surrounded by other people, you’re constantly inundated with their opinions, questions and demands. You need time to perform some introspection. Use this time to ponder how you think and feel about the happenings in your life as well as the world around you. Give yourself this alone time each week so you can reflect on the past and plan for the future.
2. There Really is Value in Doing Nothing
Though society claims otherwise, there really is value to slowing down and taking it easy. It seems as though stimuli are bombarding us from every angle, whether it is kids, a spouse, pets, TV, radio or smartphones. The bottom line is that contemporary life moves way too fast. Spend some time on yourself and let everything slow down. Take this time to relax. Kick back your feet, recline and do exactly what you want at that moment. You can read, enjoy a delicious meal, listen to music or simply do nothing.
3. A Chance for Internal Growth
Perhaps the best reason to devote time to yourself is the chance to achieve inner growth. If you are constantly running from one appointment to another and interacting with people, you severely limit your chances to round your edges. Take some time for yourself and you will have the opportunity to change from a “static” person to a “dynamic” person.
4. Anxiety Relief
A steady stream of stimuli is terrible for your mental health. If you spend all of your time doing things and not thinking about what matters the most to you, you'll eventually become a nervous mess. Spend some time alone and you will have the opportunity to process all of the events that occurred during the previous days and week(s). As a result, you'll feel much less stressed.
5. Alone Time Boosts Your Physical Health
When you are surrounded by people you have few, if any, chances to exercise. We tend to gravitate toward others for socialization and fun. Spend more time alone and you will have the opportunity to exercise on a regular basis.
If you are unsure as to how to make the most of the "me time" you've reserved for exercising, give Ralph Roberts Personal Training a call. We will create a highly effective workout for your unique physical fitness needs and goals. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today to learn more.
Being in a committed relationship is exhilarating, especially when you’ve found that special someone. But all too often, you get more than you bargain for when it comes to your waistline.
Date nights, lounging on the couch, sharing sweet treats — these are just some examples of the way your significant other might be causing you to gain weight.
Keep these tips in mind to enjoy your relationship without the extra pounds.
Ask for Flowers Instead of Sweets
If you’re dating a romantic, it’s likely you’ve been lavished with chocolates and other sweets. While a nice gesture, that’s the fastest way to consume unnecessary calories.
Let your better half know you appreciate the romance, but that you’d enjoy an occasional card or flower bouquet instead of those fattening chocolates. Or you could ask for a gym membership!
Don’t Make Drinking a Habit
Date nights often include a few alcoholic beverages. Enjoying some drinks together every once in awhile is no biggie, but making it a thing every time you hang out can quickly land you in weight-gain land.
If your partner insists on alcohol with each meal, opt for one glass of wine instead of two, or consider cocktails with low-calorie counts.
Enjoy Fitness Together
It’s tempting to spend every weekend lounging on the couch watching movies together. After all, it’s free and it’s comfortable. But doing this too often can turn you both into couch potatoes.
Spice things up in your relationship — and keep your figure in check — by trying new physical activities together, like mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, etc. You’ll have fun and make memories without risking your fitness.
Cook a Romantic Dinner
Eating out is simply part of dating. As your relationship matures, those dinner dates go from nice sit-down restaurants (where you can get a somewhat healthy meal) to quick fast food or takeout.
Try to limit the amount of times you and your partner eat out each week. Mix it up by cooking a big, romantic (and healthy) dinner. Light some candles, dim the lights. Not only will you be helping out your waistline, but you’ll ignite a little romance.
Don’t Shy Away from Your Routine
Even if your significant other isn’t a gym nut, you should stick to your own health and fitness routine. Whatever it is you normally do to stay in shape - whether that’s going for a job each morning or taking a weekly yoga class - don’t let your desire to spend time with him/her derail your plans.
Love is a beautiful thing... until keeps you from fitting into your favorite skinny jeans! Give personal trainer Ralph Roberts a call to schedule a free personal training session for you AND your old ball and chain!
Work out with your significant other at home by downloading Ralph Roberts' FREE 2-Weeks of At-Home Workouts Guide!
The holiday season is a time for cheer, joy, and celebration. You gather with family and friends to celebrate your own holiday traditions and you even enjoy some time away from work.
However, it can also be a time of stress, sadness, anxiety and even loneliness. The holiday blues affect many of us and they can be tough to shake. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to lift your spirits and help you enjoy the holiday season.
1. Escape Social Media
Connect with close friends the old fashioned way: By phone, in person, or even via text messages. Unlike Facebook, where you're often getting the “highlight reel” of people you haven't seen in years, you'll get better satisfaction hearing updates from people actually have a true relationship with.
When you suffer from the holiday blues, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut and skip workouts. By doing so, you're depriving yourself of exercise-induced endorphins that can help boost your mood. Challenge yourself to exercise when you least feel like it.
3. Do Something Different
Lift yourself out of your rut by trying something new, whether it's a new exercise class, a restaurant you've never tried, or even taking a new route to work in the morning.
Channel your inner Sinatra and sing out loud — in the shower, in your car, anywhere. You may not land an album deal, but you'll feel a lot better.
Want to feel better about yourself? Do something for others. There are many volunteer opportunities over the holidays, from distributing gifts to the less fortunate, to helping serve a holiday meal to the homeless. Moreover, you can have friends join you and make a real impact.
6. Walk It Off
Similar to No. 2, you can shake off those blues by doing something active. Even a simple stroll around the block can help clear your head when something isn't going well at home or work.
7. Keep Track Of The Positives
It can become easy to get bogged down in the negatives, like what you don't have, or the stress of the season. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for in your life.
8. Get Moving
Whether it's signing up for an exercise class, or making a list of Christmas activities you enjoy (perhaps taking a drive to enjoy the holiday lights), taking that first step of doing something positive can help lift your mood.
Partnering with a personal trainer like Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can help you achieve your fitness goals and develop the discipline to stay on track.
If you’ve lamented at your BMI (body mass index) numbers recently, take heart. BMI isn't the end all be all measure of health. In fact, there is a growing number of people who maintain that it is an outdated system that can be replaced by more accurate data that better reflects the health of the individual.
Should I Worry About My BMI?
The body mass index is supposed to help you determine whether you are falling in the "average" range for body fat, if you are extremely low in body fat or if you are obese or in danger of being obese.
These numbers can be helpful, but there is danger in relying on them too much. There are factors that BMI does not reflect, such as muscle mass. Thinking that a "good" BMI number means that you are in excellent health is also not a good idea. Don't use that number to lull you into a false sense of security about your health.
When it comes to things like risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes, BMI is just a tiny blip on the screen. There are many other factors, such as family history and diet, to consider. It is possible to have a normal BMI yet have horrible nutritional habits that may put you at risk for health problems.
Another issue is that the BMI may be skewed when it comes to height. This can result in taller people believing they are overweight, and shorter people not realizing they may be overweight. Also, if you’ve built muscle, the BMI may not accurately reflect that.
Not only that, but obsessing over numbers can be counterproductive.
What To Do Instead Of Worrying About BMI
The best way to ensure good health all around is to consume an adequate amount of quality calories. This means protein, healthy fat, whole grains and a reasonable amount of carbs.
This also means developing a fitness plan that works for you. It is important that you find an exercise plan that you will stick with, so find activities you enjoy. The point is to find the method of fitness that feels good for you and is geared toward the results you want. It is important to set your goals, and then create your plan.
If you are struggling with fitness, it may be time for a personal trainer who can develop a program specifically for you and your goals. Personal trainer Ralph Roberts in Amarillo can do just that, and provide support and motivation along the way.
Does the idea of making resolutions for the new year make you groan and roll your eyes? Have you made resolutions in the past and abandoned them before the first week of the new year was even over? Well, you are not alone.
Most resolutions for the new year tend to focus on health-related goals, such as losing weight, quitting smoking or eating healthier.
How Can I Keep My Resolutions This Year?
One way to ensure that you keep your resolutions is to be realistic and specific. Don't just tell yourself "I want to lose some weight" or "I want to get in shape." What does that mean to you? Do you want to lose ten pounds or twenty pounds? Do you want defined muscles? Where?
It is also a good idea to be realistic. Sure, it might be nice to look like a swimsuit model or one of those guys on the front of a weight-lifting magazine, but don't put that much pressure on yourself. You can feel good about exceeding your expectations, but you don't feel good when you fall short. Yes, it is good to think big, but focus your efforts on the process. Tell yourself specifically what you want to achieve and then focus on the steps that will get you there.
Write Them Down
Write your resolutions down, along with what steps you will take to achieve them. You may want to add dates to them if they are time sensitive. For example, you may write:
I will lose 10 pounds by the time I go on vacation in July.
I will do this by going to the gym three times a week and by cutting out sugar, soda and other unhealthy items from my diet.
Get A Buddy
Resolutions are no fun when you are on your own. Recruit a friend to become your accountability partner. They do not have to have the same goals as you, but they need to be able to be honest and give you a nudge when you are slacking. Having an accountability partner can make a huge difference when it comes to keeping resolutions.
A personal trainer makes a great accountability partner and also offers years of expertise in the health and fitness field. Ralph Roberts is a personal trainer in Amarillo who knows how to get results. He can design a personalized training program based on your needs and goals. Make this the year you stick to your resolutions. Find Ralph at the Downtown Athletic Club.
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