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Lose Weight and Stay Motivated Even through Shorter Days

19 Oct 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Daylight savings ends in a couple weeks. We all know it is harder to lose weight and stay fit in during the shorter days of winter. The short days and the cold weather can wreak havoc on your fitness routine.

As the temperature outside drops, it gets more difficult to brave the elements for outdoor exercise. Wear layers, drink plenty of water and decide how cold is just too cold and winter exercise will get easier.

In the winter, you need a different game plan.

Certainly for most of us, motivation tends to wane in winter. The key is to try different activities, like zumba, yoga, kettle bells or other group exercise classes. Have a flexible approach to your fitness routine as the weather changes.

If you're keen to exercise outside in all seasons, learn to dress for winter workouts.

Wear layers. That's really important when it's cold outside and make sure you're not becoming wet. Heavy cotton soaks up sweat, so you might want to stick with wool or polyester: something water repellent. We suggest a first layer of lightweight synthetic.

Don't leave home without hat and gloves. Heat loss from the head alone is about 50% at the freezing mark, according to ACE's safety tips for cold weather. Keeping hands and feet warm is crucial because in cold the body shunts blood away from the extremities to warm internal organs at the center. Consider a scarf or face mask in temperatures below zero, to warm the air a little bit before it gets into your body.

Usually you won’t forget to layer up in the cold, but many forget to hydrate. It is just as important to stay hydrated in winter.

Here is the breakdown of the calorie burn of 30 minutes of winter activities, such as sledding (250 calories), ice skating (230 calories), shoveling snow (230 calories). These numbers can fluctuate of course. This is based on an average woman of 145 pounds. And calorie burn can change for sledding and snow shoveling depending on whether the snow is wet or fluffy.

Keep mixing it up, and trying out other ways to be physical, remember, you burn more calories when you're shivering.

Reduce The Risk of Breast Cancer

11 Oct 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

October is Breast Cancer awareness month, so we thought we would share this article on prevention. Lifestyle changes and healthy choices have been shown to decrease breast cancer, even in high-risk women. Take the following steps to lower your risk. Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you drink alcohol limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.

Don't smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.

Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week is recommended.

Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect. Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you're taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.

Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust. Eating a healthy diet may lower your risk of breast cancer and may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

For help creating healthy lifestyle habits, contact Best Fitness in your area.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Choosing the Right Personal Trainer

04 Oct 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

There are a handful of things you want to consider when choosing a personal trainer:

  1. Credentials: Are they qualified? Your personal trainer has to be nationally accredited. How knowledgeable they are will result in how affective their training is and how quickly you can achieve your fitness goals. Below is a list of some of the most common certifications:
    • NASM – National Academy of Sports Medicine
    • ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine
    • ACE – American Council on Exercise
    • CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
  2. Area of Specialization: Do they specialize in weight loss, athletic performance, senior fitness, or rehabilitation, just to name a few. Choose a personal trainer that specializes in the fitness goals and areas you want to achieve success in.
  3. Experience: How many clients has your trainer coached? What type of clients do they usually work with? How long have they been training for? These are all good questions to ask to better see if you and your trainer are a good fit. Ask for references. There’s no one better to tell you if this trainer is good or bad than someone who either has or is working with them.
  4. Personality: Are you looking for a trainer that is energetic, enthusiastic and optimistic? These are things to think about when interviewing someone to be your personal trainer. Setting the right atmosphere will promote your success in achieving your fitness goals.
  5. Style of Coaching: Is the training style similar to a drill sergeant or are they soft spoken? Finding a trainer that coaches you the way you want to be coached will make the experience more fun and enjoyable and increase your chances of having success.

For more information on working with personal trainers, contact Best Fitness in your area.

Gym Pricing, What Should you Pay For?

22 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Many wonder what a reasonable price is for a gym membership. But, it is really a very broad -based question which is completely dependant on your needs and your perceived value of the services. Let's start with your fitness goals. Would you like to lose weight, gain lean muscle, have more energy, be more productive and live a longer more enriched life? Or are you someone who has a short term goal of perhaps losing weight to impress your old high school friends at your upcoming reunion, or looking your very best in your bikini on an upcoming vacation. There is no right or wrong answer here and no gym should grade your responses. Whatever's important to you is the proper response and the only one that truly matters. So what are the options that you have for attaining your personal fitness goals? What are the pluses and minuses that accompany these options?

Personal trainers who have successfully helped people reach and maintain their fitness goals for years have some very definite and somewhat biased opinions. Whether your goals are short- or long-term, if they are important to you and if you have never exercised before, get a personal training package so you can learn how to exercise, how to use the equipment and feel comfortable in a gym environment. There are so many positives the pluses outweigh cost. Making the lifestyle changes won't be easy. It is imperative that you join a health club that is dedicated to providing you with the guidance, motivation and accountability necessary for you to reach your goals.

Would you rather spend very little money and fail or spend a little more to be successful?

For more information on how Best Fitness can help you reach your fitness goals, contact us.

Fitness Myths Busted! Part IV

12 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover myths 7, 8, and 9, and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #10: You need to stretch before a workout.

Truth: While it’s true that you shouldn’t just jump right into a workout, dynamic warm-ups are where it’s at—you can save those static stretches for afterwards. Your pre-workout goal should be to improve mobility and elasticity in the muscles. This is best done with foam rolling and a dynamic warm-up, where you keep your body moving (instead of holding stretches still). This preps your body for work and helps increase your range of motion, which means you can get deeper into exercises (and strengthen more of those ~muscles~).

Myth #11: Yoga isn’t a “real” workout.

Truth: People who write off yoga probably have an image of yoga as series of gentle stretches—they clearly haven’t taken a tough yoga class. Yoga can be a radically humbling experience. It is one of the best additions to an exercise routine, both for body and mind. While there are some blissfully relaxing yoga classes out there, tougher types (like Bikram and power Vinyasa yoga) can definitely leave you sweaty, sore, and satisfied.

Myth #12: You should work out every day.

Truth: Definitely not true—hallelujah! When you work out, you’re breaking down muscle fibers so they can rebuild stronger. However, to do this, you need to give your body time to recover from working out. Aim for one to two days per week of active recovery rest days—that means doing something that doesn’t put stress on your body, like gentle stretching or a walk. So, you’re definitely off the hook for that seven-days-a-week workout plan.

For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! Part III

06 Sep 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover myths 7, 8, and 9, and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #7: Sweating a ton means you worked your butt off.

Truth: Not necessarily. You sweat because your core temperature increases. Yes, your muscles create heat when you exercise so a tough workout will increase your internal temp, but it also has to do with the temperature you’re working out in. For example, you’re not going to sweat as much in 40-degree weather as you would in 80-degree weather.

The humidity in the air also plays a role. It’s not sweating that cools you off, it’s the evaporation of sweat. You’ll feel like you’re sweating more when it’s humid because sweat can’t evaporate. This is also a reason to be careful exercising in hot, humid climates, because your body temperature will keep increasing.

Myth #8: Crunches are a great exercise for your abs.

Truth: Meh. Crunches probably aren’t going to hurt your core strength, but they’re not the most efficient exercise you can do to strengthen your midsection. Your ab muscles are designed to work most effectively when you’re standing upright. Of course, there are plenty of great abs exercises that aren’t completely upright.

Myth #9: You have to do at least 20 minutes of cardio to make it worth your while.

Truth: You can get an amazing cardio workout in less time by utilizing high-intensity interval training. High-intensity cardio challenges the respiratory system to work efficiently to deliver oxygen to working muscles. If the system is stressed hard enough, it doesn’t require a lengthy workout for results. Plus, high-intensity training creates an afterburn effect, meaning you continue burning calories after you’re done.

Check in next week for fitness myths 7-9 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! – Part II

29 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover the next 3 and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #4: Not feeling sore means you didn’t get a good workout.

Truth: While soreness and workout intensity are sometimes connected, how tired your muscles feel isn’t always a good indicator of a solid exercise session. Being sore doesn’t necessarily mean it was a great workout—it just means that a significant amount of stress was applied to the tissue. You can have a great workout and not be sore the next day. Proper recovery will help prevent achy muscles. Refuel within the first 30 to 45 minutes post-exercise, stay hydrated, and get enough sleep—all of these things can help boost recovery and minimize soreness.

Myth #5: You should give 100 percent effort during every workout.

Truth: Sort of. You should try your best to stay focused, be present, and give 100 percent during every workout. But not every gym session should require a balls-to-the-wall level of intensity. And if you are sore every day, that may be a sign that you’re going too hard. It’s not a good idea to exercise at too high of an intensity too frequently—it limits recovery and can lead to over training. Ideally, to avoid putting too much stress on your body, you should only be going extra hard two to three times per week.

Myth #6: Strength training means using machines and heavy weights.

Truth: Strength training means using resistance to work your muscles—and that resistance doesn’t necessarily have to come from a machine or a heavy weight. Aside from your own body weight, you can also use tools like kettlebells, medicine balls, and resistance bands to add resistance.

Check in next week for fitness myths 7-9 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Fitness Myths, BUSTED! - Part I

25 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

For every two fitness truths, there’s a lie, and sometimes it’s hard to determine which is which. Letting go of these 12 fitness misconceptions will help you get better, faster, stronger, and more powerful. This blog will cover the first 3 and we’ll cover the rest in subsequent blogs.

Myth #1: Strength training will make you bulk up.

Truth: It’s pretty hard for women to bulk up from a normal strength-training routine because they don’t have as much testosterone as men (the difference in this hormone level makes men more prone to bulking up). In fact, if weight loss is your goal, strength training can actually help you lean out, but you have to keep your nutrition in check, too. Muscle is metabolically active. Simply maintaining lean muscle mass requires higher energy. So, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest.

Myth #2: You can focus on losing fat from certain body parts.

Truth: Spot-training is not a thing. Fat cells are distributed across your entire body. If you want to lose fat from a specific spot, you need to lose overall body fat. High-intensity interval training can work wonders—after an intense workout, your body needs to take in oxygen at a higher rate to help it return to its natural resting state. This process requires the body to work harder, burning more calories in the process. Incorporating strength training can help you hit your goals too, since having more lean muscle will help your body burn more calories at rest.

Myth #3: Doing lots of cardio is the best way to lose weight.

Truth: If your goal is weight loss, logging endless miles on the treadmill isn’t always the best approach. Yes, traditional cardio workouts will help create a day-to-day calorie deficit (in addition to a healthy diet), which is essential for losing weight. But in the long-term, since having more lean muscle mass helps your body burn more calories at rest, you’ll be adding to this deficit without doing a thing. A combination of both high-intensity cardio and strength training is a good idea. And don’t forget, when it comes to weight loss, having a smart nutrition plan is key.

Check in next week for fitness myths 4-6 that are Busted! For more information on weight loss and fitness, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Successful Workout Habits of Olympic Athletes

15 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Heart rate monitors

Olympic athletes are able to do some pretty amazing things. Many of them will tell you that being successful requires more than talent and proper training, it also takes discipline. But what you may not know is that they also have another secret weapon: their habits. We have met current and former Olympians and have talked with them about their secrets of success. We think these habits can help you achieve your personal goals, too!

Corinna Kuhnle, world champion in 2010 and 2011, overall world cup champion in 2014 and 2015, ranked number one in the world in 2014, number 2 in the world in 2015, placed 8th in the canoe slalom at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

“Your body recovers faster as you sleep.” Kuhnle

Recover with a power nap: “When I have a hard whitewater session in the morning, I like to recharge my batteries with a power nap after lunch. Your body recovers faster as you sleep. Afterwards, I am able to concentrate better, and I feel fresh and full of energy for my afternoon and evening training sessions. But it is important to be awake for a while before the next workout so I have time to warm up my muscles again.”

Thomas Daniel, modern pentathlete since 2000, professional athlete in the Austrian Military Sports Center since 2003, placed 6th at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London

“My secret of success? I visualize my personal goals!” Daniel

Visualize your goals: “For a long time before the Olympic Games in London, I would start and end each day by imagining how the event would be. I would make a detailed picture of the place and my personal goals. This visualization habit is my secret of success. The routine helped me a lot to deliver my best performance on competition day.”

Jonathan Wyatt is a two-time Olympian in the 5,000m and marathon. From 1998 to 2008 he won the World Championships of Mountain Running 6 times.

“Be prepared for different situations, pack important items in your hand luggage.” Wyatt

Be prepared for different situations: “When I travel, I always pack my racing shoes and race clothes in the hand luggage. You never know if there is a chance the airlines will lose your bag or if the flight is delayed. One time our track and field team had a delay until 3 a.m. in Singapore so we could take out our running shoes and go for a run inside the airport because there were only a few people about. Then have a shower and feel good for the next flight… Not so easy if you do the pole vault though!”

Petra Zahrl, swimmer and two-time Olympian of Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.

“Establish a routine and gain self-confidence.” Zahrl

Establish a routine: “Following the same routine before competitions helped me do three things. First, I didn’t feel pressed for time. Second, it made me less nervous. And third, I gained self-confidence. It was always important for me to do things the same way before a competition. I’m talking about, for example, packing my bag ahead of time, warming up early and talking to my coach. Then I knew in good conscience that everything was done and that I hadn’t forgot anything important. This helped me feel more confident: I would tell myself I did the same things as last time and everything went fine, so why shouldn’t it work out this time?”

Alexander Huber, U23 European champion in 2006, ranked 7th in the world in 2013, placed 9th at the European Championships in 2013 and 2015, two-time national champion, winner of the 2016 Continental Cup Final and 2012 World Cup Final, qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“Cross training helps me recharge my batteries.” Huber

Cross training for mental energy: “In beach volleyball, we spend a lot of time working on tiny details and tweaking little things to perfection. This requires a lot of concentration and mental toughness. It can be really frustrating at times. I like to recharge my batteries with a little cross training. I am a big fan of the NBA and a passionate streetball player. Basketball is my cross-training sport. Since my training sessions are pretty intense physically, basketball is good in two ways. I can shoot a couple of hoops without much effort and clear my head at the same time.”

Andreas Vojta, competed in the 1,500 meters at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Austrian Athlete of the Year in 2012 and 2013, multiple national champion in the 1,500-meter run

“I do my last workout a few days before the race.” Vojt

Last workout before competition: “Before I go to a big meet or an international championship, I always do the same last training run. This takes place three to four days before the race. I run this session at race pace and even faster. I break it down into short intervals to keep from fatiguing myself. This final workout gets my body and my muscles working in perfect rhythm. If the repetitions are no trouble, then I know that I am ready for a strong race!”

For more workout success tips, contact Best Fitness in your area.


Stay Fit on Summer Vacation

12 Aug 2016

Posted by Joseph Coupal

Summer is winding down, and many of you may be sneaking in a last vacation before school starts up again. Summer vacations can be challenging on your diet and fitness goals because, unfortunately, high-calorie meals and snacks are almost unavoidable when you are on vacation.

But you can have fun, without gaining weight.

Don’t eat out every meal. Just because you are traveling does not mean you need to eat out for every meal. Stopping by a local market or food store when you reach your destination can end up saving you money and calories on vacation.

Grabbing some healthy snacks and meals is also a great way to skip the drive-through on a road trip.

Be active. Find out what activities are included at your hotel or that are nearby. Does the hotel have a gym, tennis courts, bike rentals or a yoga studio? At the beach, sign up for surfing or paddle board lessons. It's easy to stay active when the activities are fun and special to vacation.

Watch portion sizes. Don't eat too much at the buffet. Learn your portion sizes at home, first. By measuring your food at home once or twice, you will be able to estimate appropriate sizes in restaurants. Take your time when eating to allow your stomach to let you know when you're full. In fact, it may be best to avoid the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Eat out smart. Look for restaurants that are within walking distance from the hotel so you can stay active to-and-from your meal. Also, eat a planned snack about one hour before you go out so you won’t be hungry when you get there. Avoid the bread basket.

Ask. Ask if you can substitute a carb or starch with an extra serving of vegetables, and request sauces and dressings on the side. In many situations, you can chose how you want your food served.

Bring a resistance band. Resistance bands are light, small and easy to pack in a suitcase of any size. Find opportunities to grab a quick workout -- even in your hotel room.

Stay hydrated. Don't forget to drink plenty of water while traveling.

No matter where you are, make healthy choices and stick to your routine the best you can. Anticipate the wonderful things you'll be doing, the sights you'll be seeing and remind yourself how great it feels to be able to walk and move more.

For more weight loss tips, contact Best Fitness in your area.

Source: WTOP

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