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Worth a look!

Hi everybody!

I hope you are having a great week! It is sometimes hard to get back in to the routine after a long weekend like Thanksgiving. I’m sure many of you (us) may have eaten a little too much Thanksgiving goodness over the weekend. No need to despair! Just a small bump in the road to your health and fitness goals.

I came across this article and thought it was really well worded and informative. Helps put our workout priorities in to perspective a little bit more. What do you think?

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/cardio-vs-strength-training-workouts

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Part 1- Top 10 Most Common Gym Mistakes

Hi everybody! It’s been a while. Life has been busy, but that’s never an excuse to not get the important stuff done. You make time for what is important to you in the end. Therefore, I shall make the time to blog… and you all can make the time to exercise! :)

I am a Fitness Coach for Health Systems Group. I circulate the floor at the Miles Nadal Jcc (the fitness center) greeting members, offering them help with operating the fitness equipment and ensuring they (the members) are exercising safely.

In my rounds I have made in my time at the Jcc (and even working out at other gyms), I have witnessed many people with shall we say misconceptions about working out. Some of these mistakes can pose danger to your musculoskeletal health and some are just a matter of being aware of common courtesy, either way, I think it’s good for all exercisers to be aware of these exercise misconceptions in order to workout more effectively and safely.

So, with no further ado, here are the first five of my top 10 Most Common Gym Mistakes.

10) Deadlifts and/or Bent Over Rows with a rounded back

Proper alignment for a deadlift and Bent Over Row

Deadlifts and Bent Over Rows are staples in the weight room. And for good reason, they are very important exercises that everyone should take the time to master (well, maybe not EVERYONE, but you know what I mean). All too often, I see eager exercisers jumping in to these exercises without first learning the importance of the underlying foundation of technique. If you don’t keep that straight back and lose the proper form then you could cause yourself some serious back injuries. At best, if you don’t hurt yourself you will end up working the wrong muscle groups and promoting bad habits in your routine.

Improper technique for a dead lift. Please do not immitate

9) Unnecessary grunting when lifting heavy weights

Yes, I know you are working hard. Yes, I understand that there are certain breathing techniques needed for heavy lifting. But if you are grunting and moaning loudly for every rep of each exercise, you should probably reconsider the weight or your technique.

8 ) Leaving your equipment all over the gym instead of putting it away where you found it

Life is easier if you just put something back where it belongs in the first place.

If you are going to use free weights, or load up the squat rack, there should be an understanding that you leave the area the way you left it. Free weights left on the ground can be a tripping hazard for other members working out. Also, if you move something from where you originally found it (or from where it is intended to be) then it will make it more difficult for other members to find it after you are done with it.

7) Locking your knees(joints) on the Leg Press Machine (or during any exercise at that)

Sitting in a locked joint position on a leg press like this puts un due stress on your joints.

Locking your joints in any exercise is not good for your joints or overall alignment. Keeping a micro bend in your knees or elbows when exercising ensures the muscles stay activated and that your joints stay healhty.

If we continue to use the leg press as an example, when you are using the leg press, ensure that you move through the exercise slow and controlled. If you sit in the leg press machine with your knees locked, you are no longer using your muscles to control the weight, but are just sitting in your joints and fascia which will be putting undue pressure on your knees.

6) Not wiping off your mat/cardio machine/bench after finishing with the machine

Exercise is sweaty. It’s a fact of life. I think we all expect to see sweaty people when we make a trip to the gym. This does not mean that you can get away with using all the machines or exercising on a mat without wiping it down after you are done. It is common courtesy and helps keep the gym a cleaner and more sanitary place.

Tune in next week, as I look at the top 5 Most Common Gym Mistakes. If you have some pet peeves or have some questions about gym etiquette between now and then, please feel free to comment or send me an email for feedback.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Let’s all be greatful for what we have and enjoy this much needed long weekend!

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Baking and cooking healthy!

Hi everybody! I hope you have all been having a wonderful week!

Baked goods. What does that make you think of? A treat you can have a few times a week? Delicious but eat with caution? What if I said, baked goods can be healthy, delicious and full of protein and fibre.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on this. But I have come across some great blogs that can introduce you to healthy baking and alternatives you can use in the kitchen to maximize nutrition and limit excessive fats and processed food.

A good friend of mine, Lauren Breuer, has a great website exploring different healthy eating options you can make in the comfort of your own home. I myself tried out the “Gingerblondies” that she posted just last week. Chickpeas substitute the flour, dates substitute sugar, along with some other substitutions I won’t claim to know the science behind. It’s pretty interesting how the ingredients can come together and make a pretty tasty baked treat! Check out Lauren’s website at http://cravingsgoneclean.wordpress.com . I also was checking out another website that looks like it has lots of tasty and supremely healthy alternatives to conventional cooking and baking at http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com

I hope you are inspired to make some healthy treats for yourself this week! Until next time :)

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Keeping Things Interesting

Hi everybody! I hope you had a great weekend! Be sure to check out my poll for the month of August if you have not already!

Workouts. What comes to your mind when you hear that word? Logging in time on the treadmill while listening to music? Or heading to the weight room to dead lift some heavy weights. Or maybe you think of going for a long bike ride outside? Whatever it is YOU think of, I am willing to bet that you all thought of something different.

Working out for me is something I find exciting and something I look forward to in my day (well, most of the time). I have always found joy in staying active throughout my life. When I was younger, I found my love of exercise and physical activity in dance, diving, swimming, track and field and playing soccer. As I’ve grown older now, I enjoy going to the gym, lifting weights , going to yoga classes, going for a run or cycling through a spin class. I enjoy being active and keeping variety in my routine.

I know not everyone feels the same way I do about going to the gym. Or getting active in general. I truly believe that everyone is made to be physically active and exercise. I just think there is a lot of pressure from external sources (of many kinds) for us to exercise the same way. There are hundreds of ways to work your body or change up your exercise routine. There is no one “right” way to exercise. One size does not fit all, so if you are still struggling to get active, maybe you have yet to figure out the routine that works for you.

I always say time and time again; “The best exercise is the one you will do.” Find exercise you will enjoy and stick to it. Maybe you like going to the gym and hopping on the treadmill, that’s great! Or there are hundreds of exercise classes out there for men and women that cater to just about every fitness goal you could imagine. Or maybe you enjoy playing sports. Or losing yourself in your mind and the music as you go for a run by the water. Or maybe there is a dance class you have always wanted to try. Or maybe you like all of the above!

There are hundreds of ways to get active or mix up your exercise routine. Are you stuck in an exercise rut? If you think you are, challenge yourself to try something new this week! Or pick an exercise you always wanted to master (like a deadlift or clean) and find out ways that you can get there.

Good luck with your exercise goals and adventures ladies and gents! Until next time :)

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What is being fit? Part 2

Do you like to call yourself physically fit? Do you think your workout program gives you everything you need? Most of the time? Read on to learn more…

In order to have a well rounded fitness routine we need to make sure we are working every component of our overall fitness. As we learned last week, this means including exercises that work your cardio respiratory system, muscle conditioning, flexibility and maintaining a healthy body composition.

We are so busy and overwhelmed nowadays, that sometimes it’s a miracle to make it to the gym at all, let alone having to concentrate on making sure you have a whole body workout routine. So often, we make it to the gym with hardly a moment to spare and just hop on a treadmill for 30 minutes, or go straight to the weight room to work on our bench press or squat routine.

Are you really fit though if you’re just going on the elliptical or treadmill for 45 minutes a few times a week?  The answer, is most often no. The cardio will take care of your cardio respiratory fitness and most likely help maintain a healthy body composition. But what about your strength and endurance? And your flexibility? Granted, any and all exercise is good and everytime you log exercise into your exercise bank you are helping your body fight off many health risks and diseases including high blood pressure, cancer and heart disease. But to help your body function to its optimal potential, you have to make sure you work every part of your fitness routine.

Flexibility exercises should be done 5-7x/week. Stretch all your major muscle groups and any muscle/muscle group you work a lot in your physical activity routine. Stretching should never be painful, only to the point of tension. Flexibility exercises will help you prevent injuries and help make activities of daily living easier.

Muscle conditioning should be done a minimum of twice per week on non consecutive days. If you’re pressed for time and looking for overall health benefits, then start with a full body routine of about 6-8 exercises of about 12-15 repetitions of each exercise. Muscle conditioning helps prevent osteoporosis (especially important for us ladies!) and will help you maintain a healthy body composition.It will give you that extra kick of energy for your day and help you be ready for whatever life has to throw at you!

Cardio respiratory fitness is important for a healthy heart. Exercise that is continuous and that uses many muscle groups at once will give you the healthy heart benefits your body craves. Running, roller blading, dancing, swimming and biking are all great ways to get in your cardio exercise for the day.

Now that you know more… do you think your exercise routine is giving you everything it can? Can you truly call yourself fit? Congratulations if you can! But for the rest of us… what changes do you have to make to really get everything you can out of your time at the gym? Is it time to re-evaluate how you use your time at the gym?

Good luck with all your fitness goals and happy exercising!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

August Poll!

Hi everybody! I hope you all had a great long weeknd! Sorry, I have been a little absent from the blogging world this past week. Part two of “What is being fit?” is on the way shortly!

This is the poll for the month of August! I want to know how many days per week you exercise. If you feel like commenting and specifying what kind of exercise you do, I would love to know!

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What is being fit? Part 1

Hello everybody. I hope everyone is making it through the heat okay! 

Fit. Being fit. Getting fit. At what point is a person fit? What quantifies being fit? Can a person who looks fit, be unfit? Fitness is an overused word. Fitness classes… fitness studios.. functional fitness…. cardio fitness… a little confusing right? Is someone who runs 10k five days per week, fit? You may be surprised that the answer could be no.

In order for someone to be truly fit, it’s not just about doing cardio and it’s not just about lifting weights. True physical fitness means doing exercise that works your cardio respiratory system, muscular endurance and strength, flexibility and maintaining a healthy body composition. If you are lacking in one of these things, then you cannot truly call yourself fit.

We can sometimes get away with only working parts of our overall fitness when we are young; in our teens, twenties, even our thirties. But as we get older, it becomes more and more apparent in our quality of life if we are not maintaining our overall fitness. Activities of daily living (going to get groceries, taking the stairs, walking to the corner store, playing with our kids/grandkids and even brushing our hair) become more difficult as we age especially if we aren’t maintaining our fitness and overall health.

Is your fitness routine giving you everything you need? Or are you only working parts of a fitness routine?

Come back to read part 2 of “What is being fit?” to find out the benefits of a well rounded fitness routine and how you can make sure you are getting everything you can from your workout.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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