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!!!

The Weight Loss Plateau: How you can jump over it

 

 

One thing that I know frustrates many people is the dreaded weight loss plateau. Weve all been there; you’re staying on your plan, eating right, and adding more exercise, but that little bit just wont come off. The last five pounds are by far the trickiest, right?

Well, here is your cheat-sheet on how to battle a plateau:

1.) Awareness is key. Many times when we’ve reach our goals and hit a plateau, we tend to ease back on our routine. Maintain your awareness by keeping track of your exercise and daily food log. You might find that skipping your afternoon latte or hitting up brunch after a Saturday workout may seem small, but it really contributes to smaller ratio of calories in vs. calories out that you thought!

2.) Change it up. Plateaus happen when the muscles in your body get used to the exercises that you are doing. So, if you keep the same routine for 6 months, and you find that you lost weight in the beginning but haven’t in the past 3 weeks, switch up your routine. Putting in a higher intensity bursts for just 5 minutes in your routine or adding on mileage or increasing the pace can make a huge difference in how your body reacts.

3.) Don’t stress! Putting too much emphasis on the fact that the scale is not budging and really focus on your overall goal: to be healthy, live life better, and keep other weight-related ailments at bay. Every time you are frustrated think about all you have accomplished. Keeping yourself positive could help shed those final pounds!

Myths about Women and Strength Training

It seems that there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how varied workouts should be between men and women.

Many women have a fear of bulking up or that they will not look feminine if the add strength training into their workout routine. Many women also feel that they are not strong to begin with, and don’t feel that strengthening their body should be the focus, but rather losing weight to decrease the numbers on the scale.

The truth of the matter is, strength training is beneficial, especially for women for many different reasons. Not only will you strengthen muscles to help you in everyday activities, but you can increase balance and coordination as well.

The biggest benefit of strength training that I believe is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions is that having a greater muscle-mass actually INCREASES your metabolic efficiency. So this basically means that if you are looking to lose weight, then doing a cardio-only program to shed calories is not going to give you the desired results as quickly as if you added in strength training.

One of my personal favorite workouts, both because I think you can add a cardiovascular element and because Ive really seen the results is the TRX Suspension Trainer. There is an endless amount of moves you can do with these straps that really work every muscle in the body.

Besides, who doesn’t want toned arms, a lifted booty and strong legs? I rest my case ladies- on to strength training!

 

-Written by Sandi Partyka, Senior Fitness Assistant, CHC

Healthy Summer Recipes for a Deliciously Healthy Summer

Now that we are approaching the middle of May, Summer is coming in full force.

In many ways the beginning of summer marks the start of sun, sand, and little more down time. With this down time can also come a lot more food and booze too! So, to help you stay on track with your fitness and weight goals, I urge you to stay in season.

Some of the most delicious foods are fresh and in season May through August; fruits like peaches, melons and blueberries are perfectly ripe, vegetables like broccoli and asparagus are crisp and fresh. There is truly an abundance of amazing produce that are at their peak during these warm months (and bonus- all are healthy and helpful to keeping you look fit in your bathing suit!).

Click here to see Fitness Magazines great summer recipes.

Are you also looking for a healthy-focused vacation? Check out Smart Workouts Fitness Vacation– a way to see NYC in all its glory all while eating healthfully (even at restaurants!) and exercising. Don’t worry- we’ve included some down time spa services as well!

Heres to a healthy start to a great summer!

-written by Sandi Partyka, CHC

Volumetrics or Crowding Out; How this principle can help you lose weight

Do you feel like every time you go on a diet you are never satisfied? Always hungry and looking for the next snack or meal?

When weight loss is your main goal to starting or maintaining a healthy life, the Principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out can be a useful tool to your success.

Studies have shown that most people will eat the same volume of food per day. The key to Volumetrics is to take the volume that you are eating, and cut roughly 25% of the caloric value of it. To do this in a way where you will still be satisfied and full, here are some quick tips:

1.) Bulk up your meal.
Take your traditional meal of protein, veggies and healthy grains (like brown rice) and bulk up the amount of veggies, cut back slightly on the amount of grain and keep the protein to an appropriate portion of 3-4 oz.

Most vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, and dark greens have a lot of fiber and satiety value- so you’ll stay fuller longer.

2.) Portion Control is now QUALITY over QUANTITY.
Instead of saying, Oh for 500 calories I can have chicken and french fries, its quick and easy. And this is the caloric value if you keep the portion size under control. What about the QUALITY of those calories? Chicken is protein, but french fries are empty calories- no staying power to keep you full. Now, if you were to replace the french fries with a more QUALITY side item, like roasted baby potatoes with peppers, tomatoes, and a spinach salad, you would not only be eating LESS calories but you would actually be able to have a meal that gives you the amount of fiber you need to make it through to your next meal or snack.

3.) If done right you can have dessert!
What if someone told you you could have dessert every night and still lose weight? Obviously, you would know that it is about how you pick you foods and what you choose to eat. However, it doesnt have to be boring.

I often tell people if you start with soup or a salad, you will eat a smaller main dish, and will have room (both physically and calorically) to eat a 100-150 calorie dessert. Who doesn’t want that?

The principle of Volumetrics or Crowding Out is far more than a diet to follow; it truly is a different way of looking at how you eat and planning your meals. In Smart Workouts Weight Loss Program, we discuss way to be successful with the idea of Volumetrics and how you can benefit from it.

Happy Eating!

 

-Written by Sandi Partyka, CHC, Senior Fitness Assistant