Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Not too long ago, women were urged to avoid exercise during pregnancy. Today, we know differently. It is not only okay to participate in exercise during pregnancy, but it is encouraged. Exercising can have a positive impact on both the mother and baby. Be sure to consult your doctor once you know you are pregnant, before you start or maintain your exercise program.
Exercise does wonders during pregnancy! It boosts mood, improves sleep, and reduces pregnancy aches and pains. The ideal workout gets your heart pumping, keeps you limber, manages weight gain, and prepares your muscles without causing undue physical stress for you or your baby.
If you already had an exercise routine before you got pregnant, stick to it! However, remember that the goal of this is to maintain, not to improve; your workout intensity should be mild to moderate. Do not try to beat your pre-pregnancy achievements, or even what you had done in the previous trimester. Get a good workout but to not push yourself too much, this could put undue stress on your body and the baby.
If you have not exercised before, pregnancy is not the time to start a full-blown exercise program. Beginning a new weight-training program is traumatic on the body when you are not pregnant, so it is not a time to start.
However, starting out slow and simple can do wonders for your pregnancy. Something as simple as a daily walk or swim can help a lot! Walking is one of the most natural and one of the safest forms of exercise. You want to choose something that will be safe and have the least risk of injury. Ten minutes a day is a great beginning. Then increase it to ten minutes twice a day, and then gradually go up to fifteen minutes.
Some of the major benefits that exercise can offer to expectant mothers are:
· Speedier recovery and delivery
· Increases sense of well being and self esteem
· Less leg cramps
· Larger placenta which provides an increased nutrient base for the baby
· Decrease the risk of excessive weight gain
· Stronger back which reduces the risk of lower back pains
· Boosts energy levels
· Reduces the chance of having a Caesarean birth
Some things to remember to avoid when exercising during pregnancy:
· After the first trimester, avoid exercises where you need to lay down on your stomach or back
· Avoid high heat, humidity, and altitudes
· Avoid heavy weightlifting
· Avoid stretching any further that your range of motion before pregnancy (Once pregnant the body produces a hormone called relaxin. This hormone is designed to help lubricate your joints so labor is easier. It will also make you more flexible, however this can lead to injury!)
While exercising, if anything feels “odd,” stop right away! Make sure you are listening to your body; many problems can be avoided this way. Once you are done with your pregnancy you will be so glad you that you exercised throughout it. Pre-natal exercise can be incredibly beneficial to both the health of the mother and the unborn child as well as rewarding and a great way to continue healthy habits.
This article was written by Certified Personal Trainer Emma Scagnelli.
Emma trains out of our Hunt Valley Location and is an expert in helping people lose fat, get in shape and tone up! To set up a consultation with her to talk more about your weight loss goals, email her firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, May 3, 2010
And no doubt once summer has come and gone, those same people will pack on those pounds all over again, only to repeat the process again next year.
While regimens like these may help people lose some weight rapidly, it could also be causing their heart undue stress, leading to potential heart attacks down the road, according to Cardiologist Isadore Rosenfeld, MD, a professor of clinical medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City, and author of the forthcoming "Doctor of the Heart: A Life in Medicine".
"A crash diet once won't hurt your heart," Dr. Rosenfeld says. "But crash dieting repeatedly increases the risk of heart attacks."
Research suggests rapid weight loss can slow your metabolism, leading to future weight gain, and deprive your body of essential nutrients. What's more, crash diets can weaken your immune system and increase your risk of dehydration, heart palpitations, and cardiac stress. And yo-yo dieting can also damage your blood vessels. All that shrinking and growing causes micro tears that create a setup for atherosclerosis and other types of heart disease.
The Bottom Line:
If you're overweight, slimming down is critical for your overall health. Even moderate weight loss can lower your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.
But it's important to lose weight safely, which usually means slowly: Most experts recommend dropping just 1 to 2 pounds a week. And despite what some brand-name diets claim, the best way to do so is to exercise regularly and stick to a diet that limits saturated fat and sugars and emphasizes fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, and whole grains.
"The key to losing weight is a combination of diet and exercise," says Dr. Rosenfeld. "One alone will not do it."
Certified Personal Trainer
Life FX Hunt Valley
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We all know “cardio” is a necessary tool to improve the health of our heart and lungs. It is also a great component to your training program if your goal is to lose body fat. Unfortunately, we often have this limited association with cardio. “It must be 45 minutes to an hour long--which can be a roadblock for those who have limited time per day in the gym. Many people also hop on a piece of cardio equipment and simply cruise at an easy, mindless pace--great if you need the mental vacation, but not so great for your metabolic response. Last, cardio, for many people, makes one whine at the mere thought because it can be boring!
The following are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate cardio and conditioning in little time, but sure to make your heart throb, body sweat, suck wind and feel exhausted. Not to mention, it can leave your metabolism soaring post cardio :)
One of my personal favorites for the following interval methods listed is the Schwinn Airdyne Bike, but many forms of cardio equipment will work. You are only limited by your imagination! Aside from traditional cardio machines, alternatives such as body weight exercises (ie: burpees, mountain climbers, power skips, sprints) or equipment such as JC bands, boxing, hammer/tire work, kettle bells, plus numerous other possibilities are perfect too!
#1 Moderate Interval Work: 3 minutes of cardio on a machine of choice, (ie: a bike, the rowing machine or treadmill) at a moderate intensity, followed by 2 minutes of jumping rope. 5 minutes per round, complete 4 rounds for a total of 20 minutes.
#2 Complete a Timed Mile (on your choice of cardio equipment) in as little time as possible. This will only take you minutes, but it’s all about INTENSITY!. Over time, after you’ve mastered one timed mile, try incorporating a rest period for recovery–about the same amount of time it took you to complete the first mile) then begin timed mile number 2!
#3 Moderate to Hard Intervals: 1 minute at a mild pace to warm up. 1 interval round = 30 seconds of hard effort followed by 30 seconds easy. Repeat 8 rounds and a 1 minute cool down for a total of 10 minutes.
#4 High Intensity Intervals: Another interval scheme I enjoy is 10 seconds hard (and I mean HARD effort) coupled with 20 seconds for recovery. 30 seconds is one round, repeat 8 rounds for 4 minutes total. This is a Reverse Tabata. If you are at the intensity level you should be, 4 minutes will be all you need to feel smoked! Over time, you may also progress this to 15 seconds of hard effort and 15 seconds of rest.
#5 Tabata Interval Training: Tabatas are probably the shortest yet most intense style of cardio/conditioning out there. A true Tabata is 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes for a total of 8 cycles. This is a phenomenal way to sky rocket your metabolism, burn fat and increase your fitness capabilities. Again, the exercise chosen for a tabata is open, but the intensity is the key. Many folks trail off the intensity by the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th round, so build up to this demand using the suggestion #4. This style of training is recommended only for higher levels of fitness and should be progressed into it’s truest form.
So no more excuses that you don’t have time for cardio or you’re bored with the traditional methods. Give these suggestions a try and it’s sure to leave you feeling physically worked with a higher caloric expenditure and a metabolic response in less time than you could imagine!
-- Alli McKee
Certified Personal Trainer
Life FX Hunt Valley and Silo Point
Sunday, April 25, 2010
A new article published on the CNN Health website shows that unhealthy foods can be dangerously addictive.
According to the article:
"A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. When rats consume these foods in great enough quantities, it leads to compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction, the study found.
Doing drugs such as cocaine and eating too much junk food both gradually overload the so-called pleasure centers in the brain, according to Paul J. Kenny, Ph.D., an associate professor of molecular therapeutics at the Scripps Research Institute, in Jupiter, Florida. Eventually the pleasure centers "crash," and achieving the same pleasure--or even just feeling normal--requires increasing amounts of the drug or food, says Kenny, the lead author of the study.
"People know intuitively that there's more to [overeating] than just willpower," he says. "There's a system in the brain that's been turned on or over-activated, and that's driving [overeating] at some subconscious level."
This research just confirms what many of us have suspected for a long time.
Eating junk food is so harmful for you in so many ways physically, and this research shows that the damage is now psychological too.
So the next time you're about to tuck into to that tasty morsel of junk food, make sure you think twice, you could be getting addicted.
Yudi Kerbel, CPT
Life FX Hunt Valley
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Not so, according to a recent article in the NY Times:
"For people who lift weights to tone up and slim down, experts say, a regimen that includes a combination of challenging weights and fewer repetitions can help significantly. In a 2002 study, for example, scientists looked at what happened when women performed various resistance exercises at different weights and repetitions (85 percent of their maximum ability for 8 reps, versus 45 percent for 15). Subjects lifting more weight fewer times burned more energy and had a greater metabolic boost after exercise.""
In other words, lifting heavier weights revs up your metabolism and burns more calories than lifting lighter weights.
So if you're currently avoiding the heavy weights out of fear that you might 'bulk up' and 'get big', you need to do exactly the opposite of what you're doing now.
The Bottom Line:
If you want to tone up, train heavy and train hard. Light weights and high reps have their place in a training program, but most people turn to them way too often to really see the results that they want.
If you can't seem to shift that weight and you've only been training with high reps, give those heavier weights and low reps a try.
And if you're not sure about the best way to get started training with low reps, make sure to stop in to one of our fitness center locations and ask for your free consultation with a certified personal trainer. Our trainers are all experts in fat loss training and can help you tone up, slim down and get in killer shape super quick!
Yudi Kerbel, CPT
Life FX Hunt Valley Certified Personal Trainer