Wednesday, April 20 2016
Wednesday, March 30 2016
If you can’t decide if you should follow a low-carb or a high-carb diet, why not just combine the two diets in an effort to address all of your sports-performance and weight-loss concerns? Known as carb cycling, proponents claim this dietary approach offers a wide range of benefits. Learn the pros and cons of alternating high-carb and low-carb days, and discover if carb cycling could potentially help you reach your health and fitness goals.
Monday, March 07 2016
If you’ve stopped seeing progress with your health and fitness efforts, your body has likely hit a plateau and adapted to whatever physical stimulus you have been giving it. To experience continuous progress, it is essential to keep both your mind and body guessing. Here are 10 tips for pushing past plateaus.
Wednesday, February 24 2016
Strong, toned, powerful legs build a solid foundation for the body. While squats and deadlifts can be used to start a client’s foundation, lunges can add the perfect finishing touches to his or her quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Here are several lunge variations that can be used to add more dynamic and agility-based exercises into your clients’ workout routines.
Tuesday, February 16 2016
Don’t fall victim to sedentary environmental design and increasing sitting behavior patterns and start moving more today. Learn how you can add healthy movement to your work day and positively affect your quality of life, work productivity and sense of wellbeing, and decrease your risk for disease.
Wednesday, February 03 2016
With so much conflicting fitness information out there, how do you determine the most effective program for you? First, it’s important to know that a well-rounded fitness regime should include cardiorespiratory training, resistance training, and mobility or flexibility training. Here is a summary of what and why each component is important in your routine.
Thursday, January 21 2016
While core strength is essential, if you’re just beginning an exercise program, you want to be sure to first establish sufficient stability and mobility throughout your body. Here are two series of core exercises—the first will help you to develop stabilization throughout the core and spinal column muscles, while the second will progress you to training the core by mobilizing the limbs and incorporating movement.
Wednesday, January 20 2016
Friday, January 08 2016
If you’re like most people, you’ve recently resolved to lose weight, get in shape or maybe just to live more healthfully. These resolutions often include a commitment to exercising more regularly, but before you lace up your shoes and get moving, here are five common mistakes you’ll want to avoid in 2016.
More people join a gym in January than at any other time of year. While this can be a great first step, joining a gym does not necessarily mean a person will become more active. The key, of course, is actually using the gym. Before you sign up for a gym or health club membership, spend some time researching facilities. Make sure the gym offers the environment and types of equipment and classes you would be inclined to use regularly. And don’t forget the importance of choosing a convenient location. For many people, it makes more sense to join a gym that is close to work, especially if they are more likely to train right after work; others are more likely to use a use a gym that’s closer to home. Find out which location will increase your likelihood of using the gym.
Wednesday, December 23 2015
Has anyone told you to “warm up” before you exercise or play sports? It seems simple enough, doesn’t it? What’s easy to do is also easy not to do, and the biggest mistake people make is skipping this important component of exercise. Learn how to warm up properly (and why it’s so important) so you can be more effective with your physical activities.
Most people sit for long periods of time or lie in bed before they exercise. Warming up helps you shift gears both mentally and physically. It’s preparation—kind of like chopping vegetables before cooking. The way you prepare your veggies changes the meal. And cooking them can be more challenging if you skip chopping or do it poorly. The same is true of your body when you warm up incorrectly or skip it all together.
When You Warm Up…
Wednesday, November 11 2015
If you’ve hit a health and fitness plateau, it may be time to look at the lifestyle factors that could be slowing down your metabolism and hindering your progress toward achieving your health and fitness goals. While you can’t change all of the factors that determine how your metabolism functions, it is possible to give your metabolism a jumpstart simply by changing some of your daily habits.
Turning these tips into daily habits is a great way to give your metabolism a boost and enhance your ability to meet your health and fitness goals. You may also benefit from working with a personal trainer, who can design a specific exercise regimen that your body responds to positively. Regardless of where you are in your health and fitness journey, don’t despair—get up, get moving and give your metabolism the boost you need to start seeing results.
Wednesday, September 23 2015
Flexibility is an important component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate towards strength training. Incorporating these yoga poses into your workout regimen will help increase range of motion, as well as enhance stability and mobility.
Flexibility is an important yet often overlooked component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate to strength-based workouts. Adequate range of motion around the joints is imperative to perform loaded movement patterns safely and effectively using strength-training tools such as barbells and dumbbells. In addition to enhancing performance in the gym, incorporating movements into one’s workout routine that enhance joint stability and mobility will also address existing muscle imbalance and allow for greater ease and efficiency when performing activities of daily living (ADLs) outside of the gym. The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.
Friday, August 28 2015
The clothing you wear to workout is just as important as bringing a water bottle. Choosing the right clothing, therefore, for your workout is so very important.
Choosing, however, the right exercise clothing is not always easy to do, especially if you are a bit self-conscious about your appearance that I find to be the case with those easing back into exercising. So with that in mind, the best choice is both, practical, objective as well as, subjective, in that it reflects who you are, and your individual taste for fashion. You want your clothing and footwear to be stylish, but they also need to be functional. We wouldn’t want to wear something that’s so practical that you’re wearing something your mother would wear; but of course, I would like to think my daughters feel I have great taste in fashion, so that wouldn’t necessary be a bad thing.
First of all, we want to wear clothing that is appropriate to the sport or activity. That’s a given. If we choose baseball, we wear the appropriate attire, which includes cleats. However, if your activity is just that – to be active, play a little racquetball, hit the cardio machines or run the local trails – to choose the proper attire isn’t that simple.
The best advice I could give regarding workout clothing is that you pick fabrics that breath wicks away sweat. There are many breathable synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat away from your skin, which can help it to evaporate quickly and keep your body cool. Clothing made out of fabrics containing polypropylene or fabrics such as COOLMAX® and SUPPLEX® are a good choice for exercise and other activities in which you are likely to sweat a lot, as they allow the sweat to be evaporated from the skin but do not soak clothing and leave you feeling sweaty and uncomfortable.
Cotton shirts and pants, on the other hand, absorb the sweat, and they don’t pull it away from the skin or help it to evaporate quickly. That’s why cotton workout clothes can feel heavy and wet as you exercise.
Equally important is choosing the proper footwear. Having the right, supportive, shoe is extremely important for physical activity, especially weight-bearing activities. Likewise, choosing the right kind of footwear depends on your exercise routine. Certain exercises require shoes that are light in weight while others require more ankle support. If you perform more than one type of workout, you may want to buy a different pair of shoes for each activity, especially for high-impact exercises such as running.
If you’re a runner, for example, you will need lightweight shoes that are designed specifically for running. It’s a good idea to go to a running store to buy your shoes, instead of a standard shoe store. The sales staff will measure your foot and look at the pronation of your foot; whether it over or under pronates, as well as, your gait. If you’re a distance runner, make sure to let the salesperson know how any miles you run each month. This will help them to recommend the right kind of shoes. Now get out there and have some fun!
Thursday, August 06 2015
Is the fitness club or even private studio where you and your love ones work out SAFE? How does the equipment look, as well as basic overall club cleanliness?
Are the machines in shambles, and the upholstery cracked and split? Is there a build up of dust, hair, and gunk on the equipment? If so, that speaks volumes not only of the cleanliness of the club but also about the maintenance of the equipment.
The potential dangers in a fitness center can be observed likewise in the proximity of equipment, poorly maintained equipment, and improper use of equipment. But by management taking a proactive approach – through ongoing preventative maintenance, daily equipment checks, and having an attentive, qualified staff, many mishaps can be prevented.
According to Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman Kim Dulic, there were an estimated 24,400 treadmill-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in 2014 – but just 30 reported deaths associated with treadmills for the 10-year period between 2003 and 2012. Moreover, per the CPSC, treadmills, free weights, stability balls, and resistance bands, four of the most recognizable pieces of fitness equipment were notably four of the most dangerous pieces of equipment.
A noted safety requirement for all exercise equipment is to leave ample space, two or more feet on each side and four or more feet in the rear to avoid serious injury or even death. Tragically, when safety is not paramount, accidents do happen. David Goldberg, the 47-year-old CEO of an online company, died from severe head trauma and significant blood loss after slipping and falling from a treadmill at a hotel gym in Mexico. Again, you need to ask yourself, is the club where I work out SAFE?
Think Fitness – Think Safety!
Wednesday, August 05 2015
Squats work the glutes, hamstrings, quad, back and core, making it a great total-body exercise. Once you’ve learned the basics of good form (described here), you’ll be ready to move on to these six super-effective squat variations that will do wonders for your strength, flexibility, physique and power.
6 Super-Effective Squat Variations You Need to Try
July 28, 2015
Love them or hate them, squats can work wonders for your strength, flexibility, physique and power. This multijoint movement engages the glutes, hamstrings, quad, back and core, making it a great total-body exercise.
Before stepping into the squat rack or grabbing those heavy dumbbells, be sure to check in with your squat form. Stand in front of a mirror and begin with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart, giving yourself a good base of support. Throughout the squat, make sure your heels stay on the ground and your knees stay behind the front of your toes. As you begin to lower into the squat position, think about pushing your hips to the back of the room (or whatever is behind you). Continue to lower your glutes until parallel with the floor.
Remember: Squatting is like sitting in a chair. You don’t sit in a chair with your behind half in the air, do you? The bottom half of the squat is the hardest part and the portion of the exercise that really focuses on the glutes and hamstrings. In other words, get low, even if that means using no added weight at all. (Read More)
Sunday, July 12 2015
If you’re exercising regularly, you undoubtedly are noticing the benefits—better sleep and moods, maybe a few lost pounds. The last thing you want to do is derail your efforts or, worse, get yourself injured. Learn about five of the most common exercise mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.
1. Skipping Your Warm-up and Cool-down
Scenario: You feel you only have time for a short workout so you skip both your warm-up and cool-down.
Consequence: Your body is not adequately prepared for your workout so you underperform and create a greater potential for injury. You also create more soreness by not allowing your body to cool down properly when you’re finished. When it’s time for your next workout, you feel tired, sluggish, sore and ill prepared.
Solution: Instead of skipping the warm-up and cool-down, shorten your workout and increase the intensity. You can get a very effective workout for both muscular strength and cardiovascular health in only just 20 to 30 minutes. Add moderate-to-intense intervals and/or decrease your rest time between sets. But find a way to do five to 10 minutes of mobility (dynamic stretching) work prior to your workout and some static stretching after you’re done.
Tuesday, July 07 2015
It’s easy to sit back and think about all the reasons not to exercise. I’m tired. It hurts. I can’t do much. It’s just too hard. The classic excuse I hear most often is, “I don’t have the time!”
It’s by far easier not to even contemplate the possibility of exercise. You convince yourself – why bother entertaining the idea? I won’t stick with it. The hardest part is making the conscious decision to make that change in your life. Once you can tell yourself that you must make a change. That you cannot go on like this! Then you just have to do it!
Write out or verbalize what you want to change. Once you’ve done this – then the commitment is born. It’s time now to put words into action. Start your day, first thing in the morning before you can talk yourself out of it, by lacing up those running shoes and step get out the door for the track or the gym. It’s that’s simple.
Seeing the improvements you can make once you’ve made that commitment to exercise on a regular basis will be an absolutely gratifying. After this triumphal first step, the rest is history! Just do it!!!
Tuesday, July 07 2015
If you recall, in a recent blog, I discussed the most important qualities that make for a good personal trainer. The first quality being that a good trainer has the appropriate certifications. We have examined a host of certifications available in the field and what a nationally recognized certification entails and an excellent resource to compare the certification or lack thereof in the industry.
Now let’s discuss another important factor of what makes for a quality personal trainer. A quality personal trainer has an above reproach reputation and excellent rapport with colleagues and clients. That goes to say that the trainer must possess exceptional communication skills. Remember the trainer has to wear many hats! She’s a coach, cheerleader, and motivator to name just a few. Although, a qualified trainer has what it takes to be all the above, she knows she can a better trainer when she works in collaboration with other experts in the field. No helping profession works in isolation! They elicit the expertise and knowledge base of other reputable colleagues in the field. This team building emphasis goes a long way in providing the best for the client!
Thursday, July 02 2015
What makes for a qualified person in any vocation? Before I attempt to answer that question, let me tell my story of why I chose the health and fitness industry. Here I was after earning a hard-earned graduate degree in business, and working a decent, respectable job in my area of study, yet I wasn’t happy. I had no passion for the vocation I had chosen. I’d heard of people who were happy with their job and that it wasn’t even work for them; it was something they very much enjoyed. They were having fun. They didn’t mind going to work. They were doing exactly what they were truly passionate about. I wanted that too – a job I could be passionate about!
So I asked myself, “What was it that I really enjoyed? “ After taking a closer look at how I spent my time (outside the job, I really didn’t like) and asking those who were closet to me – in other words, who knew me well – I then discovered that my love, my passion, a job I knew I would enjoy doing for years to come that would not only benefit me but others was in the area of health and nutrition. I believe wholeheartedly that we are to remain active as well as to enjoy our life to its upmost! Thus, my renewed career focus was to be the best health and fitness professional I could possibly be. I did my homework and discovered exactly what it entailed to be recognized as the best in the industry.
The questions you need to ask when seeking a qualified health & fitness professional are:
(1) Does he have the appropriate certifications?
(2) Does she have an excellent reputation in the industry, as well as, an outstanding reputation with clients?
(3) Does she have overall good communication skills?
In addition, a personal trainer should be educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization. Remember this person’s job is to assess your fitness level, set up a program for you and keep you motivated for this individual’s job is to safely push you past your comfort level–something difficult for you to do on your own.
Now where do you go to find a “qualified trainer”, an individual who will educate, motivate and inspire you to reach for the sky; an individual that knows his/her stuff that will protect, motivate and get you the results and lifestyle change you so desperately want! My recommendation is to do your research before you make that kind of investment. It can be costly!
A good place to start is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The NCCA accredits programs that meet its standards.NCCA accredited programs is the only place on the Internet where you can compare accredited personal training certification programs. There, you will soon discover that not all trainers are equal when you compare accreditations and standards in the industry.
In short, there are over 400 organizations in the U.S. that purport to certify personal fitness trainers. Of that number, about a handful are considered legitimate by most professionals. Among the most respected are the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the American Council on Exercise (ACE). The better organizations have specific requirements based on tested and practical knowledge, mandatory retesting at renewal periods, and continuing education.
Again, my recommendation is to take heed and do your research! Don’t assume just because a personal trainer works at a fitness center that they carry the credentials they boast. Ask to see their credentials; write the name as it appears on the certificate and the certificate number. Then do your homework and call on the certifying organization(s), for they will be more than happy to provide you that information. In short, seek and you shall find a happy, healthy fitness journey with the right professional for you!
Sunday, June 28 2015
If you really want to see that number on the scale drop, then you have to think twice about what you put in your mouth. People who simply cut calories to slim down lose about 2 pounds a week. At the same time, people who exercise but don’t restrict calories drop less than half a pound in the same period.
Why doesn’t physical activity produce the same pound-dropping results as calorie restriction? One thought is that though exercise burns calories, it doesn’t rev your metabolism. It also doesn’t prevent your metabolism from slowing as you lose pounds. As you slim down, via any method, your metabolism slows incrementally with your weight loss, and despite what many believe exercising doesn’t keep that from happening. As you lose weight, you burn fewer calories through exercise alone. For example, a 150-pound person who works the elliptical for 30 minutes burns about 306 calories. After losing 10 pounds, that person will burn about 286 calories doing the same workout. So to burn 306 calories, you’d need to extend your workout.
Think diet and exercise combined equals more weight lost? Not so, research shows people who diet and exercise for weight loss drop the same amount of weight as people who only diet. Yet, research reveals that people who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest. Likewise, those who diet and exercise are more likely to keep the weight off than their counterparts who simply eat less.
Bottom line: slimming down for the long term, you need to create an energy deficit by eating fewer calories, and by increasing the number of calories you burn through physical activity.
Saturday, June 27 2015
Friday, June 26 2015
Sometimes, I wonder how we live civilly with one another. What sets us apart from an uncivilized society? Wow! That’s an oxymoron. Living civilly – having a civic responsibility to play by the rules carries over to all aspects of our lives which includes the gym.
Understanding and embracing good gym etiquette will make for a more positive exercise experience for all. And for the sake of brevity, I am only going to discuss the gym floor, which excludes the locker room, the group classes, the pool area, the racquetball courts, etc.
If I were to sum up the most irritating, most inconsiderate things people do or don’t do in the gym, it would be the following.
(1) Clean up. My biggest pet peeve is someone who walks away from a machine, leaving a slimy pool of sweat behind. No Thanks! Always bring a towel with you and wipe the machines down when you’re finished. Most gyms offer wipes or sprays strategically located around the gym for this purpose.
(2) Pick up. Another pet peeve is the person who leaves excessive weight on the leg press machine. I don’t know, maybe I look stronger than I am. Or your mother isn’t doing her job. The point is, always put your weights back when you’re finished. Likewise, not returning weights to their rack is frustrating for other members looking for a specific dumbbell, especially if there’s only one pair for each weight interval. Putting them away is just common courtesy. Why do some people find this so difficult?!?
(3) Share. If you’re doing multiple sets on a machine, it’s common courtesy to let others work in during your rest periods. This may not always be practical, but offer to share whenever you can. If you’re doing sets on a piece of equipment and resting between each one, don’t sit on the machine while you recover. I’ve seen people sit for three to five minutes while someone else is waiting to work in a set. And if you see someone waiting for your machine, offer to let him or her work in while you rest. Even if there isn’t someone in line, try to limit your recovery time when seated on the equipment to 30 seconds; it’s better for your heart rate and for those around you. In the same way, don’t hog the treadmill! Many gyms have time limits on cardio machines during busy hours. And no, throwing your towel over the display doesn’t fool anyone!
(4) Use the machines properly. I’ve seen people doing crunches on a leg press machine. If you don’t know how a machine works, either look at the diagrams on the machine or ask someone to show you how it works. Most gym-goers are happy to help. Likewise, use good form. Some inexperienced member may be looking at you and wondering is that how I’m suppose to do it? Good form is different depending on what exercise you’re doing but, however, in general, good form means:
Don’t swing your weights. Unless you’re doing a sports specific workout, use slow and controlled movements. If you have to heave the weight up, it’s too heavy macho-man!
(5) No personal belongings on the gym floor, please. Your gym bag on the floor takes up space, but moreover it’s a hazard, since someone can trip on it. Use a gym-provided locker or another provided space to stash your bag.
(6) Talking on a cell phone. Hearing someone gabbing away on the machine next to you is always distracting. It’s amazing how many people wear phone earbuds and carry on a full conversation while you’re trying to work out. Keep your phone stashed in your bag or locker while on the gym floor. If you find yourself tempted to make a call, remember that if you’re able to talk easily while you’re exercising, you may not be exerting much effort.
Above all, always respect the people around you and follow any posted rules that your gym may have. If you see someone blatantly breaking the rules, ask them politely to correct the behavior or talk to the facility manager about the problem. If you’ve noticed a situation, others probably have as well. Getting along with others at the gym just takes a little common sense. By following the rules of gym etiquette, you—and the exercisers around you—can all enjoy a great workout with minimal aggravation.
Friday, June 26 2015
Most people want to start exercising and eating healthy but are completely overwhelmed at where to even start. So hopefully these tips will help to point you in the right direction.
First and foremost, you need to write down the biggest reason you want to get healthy. What’s your motivation? If you find this task overwhelming, perhaps, it’s time to seek a professional who can help you with the process. In an earlier blog, I spoke about what to look for in a qualified personal trainer (August 2011). Now let’s take it a step further and look at what a personal trainer should do for you! A qualified personal trainer (Qualifications of a Personal Trainer August 2012) other than exercising you, he or she should be doing the following:
So those are my tips to get started. You need to be realistic with your time and make an effort to plan. Believe me, even the most fit and healthy people you know today at some point where were you are right now. If it were easy, we’d all be looking good! So if you want this badly enough, you will do what it takes to meet your goals. Just be consistent; stick with it; and realize that yes, things will come up that will throw you off track; however, the most important thing you can do is to get back on track! That’s what your trainer and your support network are there for. The best to YOU!!
Tuesday, June 23 2015
Research Finds ElliptiGO Produces Comparable Heart Rate and Energy Expenditure Response to Running, Meets Fitness Industry GuidelinesSAN DIEGO, June 18, 2015—Since their debut in 1990s, elliptical cross-trainer machines have steadily ranked among the most popular cardio options by gym-goers, but their one drawback is that users are trapped indoors. The ElliptiGO, a bicycle and elliptical hybrid, provides an outdoor option for elliptical devotees. Intrigued by this machine, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) commissioned an independent study to determine the effectiveness of a workout on the ElliptiGO and how it measures up to accepted fitness industry guidelines for improving cardio respiratory fitness and body composition.
Wednesday, June 17 2015
You’re at that point where you say…”I can’t do this on my own! I’ve tried again and again to lose this weight; to build more muscle, or just feel better…only to be frustrated time again and again! Would hiring a personal trainer be the answer? And what do I look for in a personal trainer? If I’m going to entrust my physical well – being and my health to a stranger, they better know what they’re doing! ”
Well, let’s look at what makes a good personal trainer. A good trainer has the appropriate certifications. He or she has an excellent repetition in the industry and with his/her clients, and he or she has exceptional communication skills.
So what makes for a qualified personal trainer? A personal trainer should be educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization. Remember this person’s job is to assess your fitness level, set up a program for you and keep you motivated. He or she will push you past your comfort level–something difficult for you to do on your own.
Now where do you go to find a “qualified trainer”, an individual who will educate, motivate and inspire you to reach for the sky … an individual that knows his/her stuff… that will protect, motivate and get the results and lifestyle change you desperately want! I highly recommend doing your research before you make that kind of investment, for it can be costly!
A good place to start is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The NCCA accredits programs that meet its standards.NCCA accredited programs was the only place on the Internet where you can compare accredited personal training certification programs. There, you will soon discover that not all trainers are equal when you compare accreditation and standards in the industry.
Friday, June 12 2015
Learn how to eat properly based on your goals and your personal profile
Learn to turn your body into a “fat burning machine” – Lose up to 2 pounds a week and keep it off for life!
Find out how you can get maximum results based on the best fitness prescription for YOU!
Find out how to burn fat while you sleep, watch tv or sit at your desk at work
Have the body you’ve always wanted; be in the best shape at 40 or 50 then you were at 20
Regain your pre-pregnancy body; better yet, redefine a better YOU!
Get the motivation, inspiration, and accountability you need to stick with a complete health & fitness program
Learn new training techniques and reinforce training habits
Learn to adapt to a lifetime exercise program
Learn how to exercise properly to achieve goals, rehabilitate injuries, and prevent future injuries
Show your family and friends that you have made the choice to be different from the 60% of Americans that choose to live their lives overweight and unhealthy!
The ultimate goal of befitgal.com is to turn you into your own personal trainer!!