Keeping up your Exercise Excitement!

Its pretty common to be excited when you start a new exercise program. Theres hope that you’ll finally reach your goals, you’re immersed in a new regime, and because you are starting fresh, your mind is a little more engaged and curious to see whats coming next.

But after a few months, how do you keep that going?

Here is a list of 10 ways to stay excited about exercising, and below are some of my favorites that I use too:

1.) Make exercise a part of your schedule. This personally is crucial for me. If I block out the hour, and have a workout regularly dedicated to this time slot, that’s it- I have my plans set in stone and theres no backing out!

2.) Mix it up. I try one new exercise routine or format every other week. Even just slightly mixing up something I normally do keeps me engaged and challenged.

3.) If you ever happen to miss a workout (life gets in the way, so this does happen sometimes!) re-motivate and make a game plan right away. Figure out how you can reschedule that workout and stick to it!

 

Good luck!!!

New Study Shows exercise for Cancer patients is beneficial

Its unfortunate, but all of us know at least one person that has been diagnosed with some form of cancer. The treatment, therapy and recovery when going through a form of cancer can be such a draining time both mentally and physically. Since we’ve been lucky to have guest Blogger, David Haas from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance join us for a post today, Ill let him explain the new findings discussing the benefits of moderate physical activity for cancer patients:

Changing Attitudes Regarding Exercise For Patients Undergoing Cancer Treatment



Doctors have often recommended that patients undergoing treatment for cancer minimize their physical activity and get plenty of bed rest, but recent evidence from UPenn has shown that moderate amounts of physical activity can offer significant benefits for cancer patients. In the past, it was thought that allowing the body to spend large amounts of time resting and recuperating would aid in the recovery process; however, it has now been shown that cancer patients can improve their chances of survival, their quality of life and their energy levels by engaging in moderate physical activity if they are capable.



Exercise for cancer patients should be moderate in intensity, and mirrors the guidelines normally set for healthy adults. Simply walking for thirty minutes a day for five days out of the week is enough to gain practically all of the benefits afforded by exercise. In addition, resistance training may also be useful for cancer patients. Cancer patients often experience weight fluctuations while undergoing treatment; cancers that are hormone based such as breast cancer often cause significant weight gain in the form of additional fat deposits while cancers that affect the integrity of the digestive system can cause weight loss due to the patient not having an appetite or not being able to absorb nutrients as efficiently as they are used to. In the former case, exercise can help prevent the fat gain by increasing the number burned by the patients body; in the latter case, exercise will help preserve lean muscle mass by actively engaging the patients muscle tissue during exercise. Regardless of the type of cancer, exercise can help to stabilize the patients weight and prevent unwanted fat gain or muscle loss.


Cancer patients, like anyone else, should take care to listen to their body while performing exercise. A medical professional can help guide patients on what type of exercise is suitable for them; for example, patients being treated for breast cancer who have had biopsies or lumpectomies performed may sustain injury from doing any exercises that work the upper body, as muscle tissue is often damaged by those surgeries. Experiencing aches and fatigue from performing exercise is usually not an issue, but any sort of sharp or stabbing pains indicate a more serious problem and patients should not perform exercise that is uncomfortable.



The data collected in clinical studies points to patients undergoing cancer treatment receiving a positive benefit from physical activity. It is likely that this will result in a shift in the treatment paradigm in oncology, with oncologists stressing the need for their patients to perform reasonable exercise at a frequency similar to healthy adults rather than suggesting that their patients remain sedentary and inactive.

Fitness Gift Guide – Give a healthy gift this season!

With the holidays just a couple weeks away, everybody is busy shopping for gifts for family and friends. More challenging than the actual shopping is thinking up unique gift ideas, that your loved ones will be able to appreciate, and use throughout the year. Fitness related gifts can make some great unique gift ideas and help your loved ones  jump-starting a new fitness regimen for the new year.

Here are some of the Smart Workout staffs favorite fitness gifts:

Heart Rate Monitor

This is an excellent device for any exerciser looking to get the most out of his or her workout. There are many different types of heart rate monitors, but you should look for one with a heart rate strap, so the exerciser can see a continuous heart rate at a glance. Fancier models include a GPS, which will track pace, speed, location, etc.

 

 

Hydryx Workout Towel

At first thought, giving someone a towel as a present may not seem like an extraordinary gift, but this towel is pretty unique. Once you take it out of the included tube, it instantly cools to help keep your workouts more comfortable. It’s great for the gym, which can get steamy with all the body heat, or for warmer weather workouts as well.

Kettlebells

Kettlebells are currently a very popular trend in fitness and a good choice if the person you are getting the gift for likes a challenge. There are a variety of kettlebells on the market, from medicine-ball like bells to basic iron models. If giving kettlebells as a gift, it may also be a good idea to pair it with a kettlebell video, to allow the exerciser asset of instructions in doing this workout, so in time they will be able to pick up the kettlebells whenever they’d like and do reps of various exercises! Many places, like Smart Workout, are giving Kettlebell classes, so this would be the perfect gift for someone who wants to continue their training at home!

Personal Training Sessions or Gym Membership

Personal Training sessions are a great gift if your loved one has expressed interest in training but is reluctant to spend money, or intimidated to sign up on their own. Every trainer charges a different fee for their services, ranging from about $50.00 to $100.00 per session. This is a great idea for anyone looking for more personalized workout sessions. You may want to first purchase only one or two sessions for them, and let them decide if they want more. Like the gift of personal trainings, a gym membership is a good gift idea only if the person has been talking about it and considering it for some time, but for one reason or another, has not yet signed up for it. There are tons of different gyms to consider, so find out what type the person is looking for (size, location, small group classes offered.) Another option is to get them a coupon for free tours of gyms nearby and let them browse first before you buy.

Many gyms also offer a package that will help a person jump start a fitness routine. Especially if a friend or family member expressed interest, a package like Smart Workouts 6-Week Shape up or Fitness Vacation. The 6-week shape up combines classes and personal training, while the Fitness Vacation combines classes, nutritional education and lectures and some fun activities around NYC!

Healthy Dieter BasketHeart-Healthy Holidays Gift Basket

Found on Wellbaskets.com, this basket includes all kinds of healthy foods including green tea, soy coffee, smoked salmon, soy chips, and dried fruit. Also included is a pedometer and a guided weight loss CD. This particular basket is $85.00, but it can launch a great idea for to make you own unique healthy basket for a loved one as a gift, working with your own budget and making it as inexpensive or pricey as you wish!

 


Happy Shopping from Smart Workout!


-written by Victoria Arrigo, Fitness Asisistant

To Snack or not to Snack: That is the Weight Loss Question

To be or not to be. That used to be the age-old question. However, in todays weight-loss world it is now, To snack or not to snack. That is the question.

More books by more qualified RDs, Doctors, Health Counselors and Weight Loss clinics are coming out every day telling you how you should eat. Articles and research are continually published defending all of these ways of eating. So who’s right?
The actual science behind losing weight is not all that complicated: Calories in must be less than calories out to lose weight. The real struggle with weight loss is not that people don’t necessarily know what to do- its the path to get there.
For some people eating 3 meals a day with enough calorie and nutrient balance is just not logical. A nurse who works a 12-hr shift may not necessarily have the time to sit for a 45minute lunch. Having a smaller meal and a snack may suffice better. A person who has an 8 hour work day and then does a very hard workout (like training a run in training for a marathon) in the evening may not have the energy to make it through their workout if the last thing they ate was at noon and the workout is at 6:30. In these 2 cases snacking in between smaller meals make sense.

However, a person who has a job where they are at their desk and rarely moves, 3 meals may be a better option. If you create a meal that is balanced and nutrient dense, then the idea of snacking may be hindering your weight loss goals. You may have enough calories in just those three meals, and the time between those meals may be enough to satiate you before your next meal.

Like most things, its all about balance. If you are feeling ravenous, and your next meal is hours away, then maybe a snack is appropriate. We also shouldn’t be married to the same way of eating every day.  For example, when you’re stressed you may snack more. If you know you have a stressful project coming up- it may be wise to not make any larger meals for that day/days. If you know you’re not going to an intense workout after work, maybe you skip the afternoon snack that day.

Weight loss can be tricky, and that is why it can be difficult. Having a good support system, whether it be a significant other, friends, family, or a health counselor like the one you would work with in Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program its critical to have a sounding board to help you along the way.

Most important, you need to create a way of eating that works for you. Just because your friend thrives on a certain diet, and your aunt swears by a completely different way of eating, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Its important to find your very own diet- the ME diet.

So, To snack or not to snack. Thats up to you!

5 Tips to Keep Fit During the Holiday Season


  • SET REALISTIC GOALS.  Let’s be honest, the holidays are a busy and bustling time.  Current workout routines easily dissipate in the season’s currents.  So this year don’t try to lose weight, instead simply try to maintain your current weight.  Cut your exercise time to 20-30 minutes to better your chances of fitting it in to your schedule.  Remember: DON’T STOP.  A little is better than none.  Besides exercising during the holidays will help to reduce stress associated with the season.
  • FIT IN A WORKOUT ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. Staying fit doesn’t have to involve a gym membership, treadmill, exercise DVD, or expensive running shoes.  Simple everyday chores and errands can add up to great fitness benefits.  Park further from store entrances so you have to walk more.  Take a brisk lap through the mall before you begin shopping.  (Note: this can also help you clear your mind and log in figures for some good bargain shopping sales!).  Take steps instead of escalators.  Increase pace of shopping.  Take bags into the house one at a time.   
  • MAKE EXERCISE A FAMILY ACTIVITY. Schedule at least 1 family activity a week.  Take a ballroom dance class, go ice skating, sledding or skiing, or even take a walk.  Either way you will squeeze in some mind relaxing and heart filling activities that will keep the family and skinny jeans together.
  • EXERCISE EARLIER IN THE DAY before the To-Do list gets too long.  Use 20-30 minutes to calm the mind and wake up the heart and body.  You will be far more prepared to conquer that list once you dedicate some time to yourself.  Then you can save yourself the guilt of licking that spatula from the German chocolate cake mix.
  • APPROACH HOLIDAY MEALS WISELY. Eat a high protein breakfast or snack before the big feast.  This way you will feel less inclined to binge, overeat, and overindulge once the spread is laid.  Also, save the best for last.  Eat the salad, fruit, and veggies in first.  Keep portion sizes down.  Try not to fill up the first plate, knowing you have all intentions of going back for a second helping.

 

 

 

 

  • -written by Annique Roberts, Certified Group Fitness Instructor