Archive for February, 2013

Personal Trainers And Weight Loss

It’s no secret that weight loss is a major concern for many Americans; despite increased availability of nutritional information and an attempt by some restaurants and food manufactures to offer more healthy products, the rate of overweight Americans is increasing.

Of course, it’s not just the type of food that people are eating that affects weight; exercise plays a crucial role in weight management. In addition to promoting heart health and strong bones and muscles, exercise burns calories to help you shed weight and fat.

Creating an effective weight loss exercise program on your own can be complicated, so using fitness DVDs has become a popular trend. However, such programs pale in comparison to having a personal trainer help you with weight loss.

While some commercial exercise programs do have benefits, the individual attention and ability to customize the plan makes having a personal trainer the better choice. Everyone has unique weight loss needs, and the same program that works for one person isn’t guaranteed to work for you.

A personal trainer can make a more effective and more enjoyable exercise program for you by taking into account your schedule, exercise preferences and personal injury history.

Additionally, if you are seeking a different rate of weight loss than one-size-fits-all programs suggest, a personal trainer can help you attain your goals in your preferred time frame. 

Having a personal trainer also provides you with an ally, an advisor, and someone to whom you are accountable for staying on track. If you have a question as to a particular technique’s effectiveness or if there is an alternative to an exercise you don’t enjoy, a personal trainer can help you with that.

Additionally, personal trainers can provide expert advice on your form and protect you from injuries. Because there are so many variables and potentially risky circumstances involved when taking part in an intense exercise program, having an expert available is crucial. 

A personal trainer will also help keep you on track with your progress. Although you may feel as though you are making progress, your trainer will give you an honest, candid opinion. Having your trainer check up on your progress on a regular basis will allow you to ascertain what types of exercises and methods are effective for you and which methods are not effective and not worthy of your time.

A personal trainer can also see when a creative solution is needed to solve a problem with your progress.

Personal trainers are exercise experts, and know how to offer efficient results for you, no matter how much weight you need to lose.

Lose one pound a week workout exercises for beginners.

If your goal is to get more healthy and fit then starting out with workout exercises for beginners is a great way to lose one pound a week. 

Remember that burning 250 calories per day and decreasing your caloric intake 250 calories should have you losing about one pound per week in no time.

Starting out with workout exercises for beginners will help you become more toned, lose weight and become more healthy with less risk of injury.

It is important that you discuss your workout plans with your doctor and start slowly to avoid injury and make it a rule to take the time to stretch before and after your workouts.

The next step is deciding what workout exercise for beginners you are going to do.

Walkingwalking-workout exercises for beginners

 

 

 

 

Walking is a popular beginner workout because it’s very low-impact and you can go at your own pace. You can do it virtually anywhere, alone or with a friend. You can even do it inside if you have a treadmill or belong to a gym.

Most beginners start by walking one mile daily; however, if you are only able to walk 100 feet without stopping then make that your starting goal and build on it as your fitness improves. As you get stronger and more conditioned you find yourself walking that mile will less and less effort.

Spend the first 5 minutes walking slowly to warm up then begin increasing your speed until you are walking briskly. Try to maintain that pace for most of the distance then begin slowing down the last few minutes of your walk.

Do not forget to stretch your upper and lower body before and after your walk.  This will help tone your muscles and prevent injury. stretchPulling a muscle can put your walking on hold for days and sometimes weeks, so use common sense and spend a few minutes stretching before you start your walk and after you have finished.

Strength Training

Walking is a great cardiovascular exercise for beginners, and strength training is a great way to tone and strengthen your muscles.

Most beginners will want to start with light weights using dumbbells or barbells. The choice will depend upon what bodypart you are trying to develop. Dumbbells are a good choice to start with because of the dumbbells-workout exercise for beginnersflexibilty you have in performing different exercises. If you are new to strength training then start with 1 to 3 pound weights and increase the weight as your strength increases.

Strength training workouts are exactly what they sound like, you lift the weights in various positions to strengthen your muscles.

When starting out you should focus on the major muscle groups then add more specific strengthening exercises as your strength and fitness improves.

The following are common strength training exercises:

Examples of exercises for the major muscle groups would be:

Dumbbell or barbell squats (legs)

Dumbbell or barbell bench press (chest)

Dumbbell or barbell overhead press (shoulders)

Dumbbell or barbell curls (biceps)

Perform these exercises for 10-15 repetitions doing 3 sets of each.

An example of a more specific exercise would be dumbbell lateral raises:

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hold one dumbbell in each hand, slowly raise your arms out to the sides, coming up to shoulder height, the backs of your hands facing up toward the ceiling. Then lower your arms slowly back to your sides, and repeat. Ten repetitions of this move is a good start for beginners.

This dumbbell exercise will work your shoulder muscles, with a focus on the lateral deltoid muscle.

Swimming

Swimming is unique because it is both a cardio workout and a strength training workout. As you swim laps, you are using your arms and legs to move through the water. The resistance of the water will help you build and tone your muscles. This continuous muscular exertion will increase your heart rate, boost your metabolism and improve your cardiac fitness with time.swimming

If you don’t have a pool of your own, you might consider joining a gym with a pool, the YMCA or YWCA  if available. There memberships are usually reasonably priced and you may even find they have water aerobics and different fitness classes available.

Water aerobics is a great way to improve your physical fitness if you suffer from arthritic problems that make weight bearing difficult or painful.

There are many workout exercises for beginners available such as dance classes, aerobic classes, various exercise machines, kettlebell exercise, yoga and many more.

If you are not sure what the best choice of workout exercise for beginners is for you then talk with some of the trainers at the gym you are interested in or just jump in and get started.

 

How To Avoid Hidden Calories In Foods And Beverages

Avoiding Hidden Calories in Foods and Beverages

We all know that our overall calorie intake vs. energy expenditure is what counts in weight loss, but sometimes we greatly underestimate how many calories are in the foods and beverages we consume each day.

Some of the worst offenders are prepared foods that can be found in virtually every restaurant, coffee shop, and grocery store. For example, did you know that the average muffin from a coffee shop contains a whopping 400 to 600 calories? A plain bagel has over 300 calories – and that’s if you don’t add cream cheese to it (add another 190 calories for that).

Even foods that you would think are healthy may not be what they appear. A crispy chicken salad often contains 400 calories, and dressing will add another 100 calories or more.

Beverages are just as bad; a large latte contains nearly 300 calories, and even a small can contain 150 calories or more. A large glass of sweetened iced tea can contain over 200 calories, while an 12-ounce serving of soda can have over 150 calories.

Part of the problem with these prepared foods is that the portion sizes are often 2 or 3 times larger than they should be. Compare the size of coffee shop muffins to those you make at home. The coffee shop muffins are easily 2 or 3 times larger, so they will contain 2 or 3 times as many calories.

Being aware of these hidden calories is as simple as educating yourself. Look up the nutritional information for the foods and beverages you usually eat and drink. Write down the calorie content so you can reference it whenever you need to.

Just because some of these foods are higher in calories doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them occasionally, but you may want to eat 1/2 or even 1/3 of the item to fit within your daily calorie requirements. Many beverages can be altered to make them more diet-friendly; for example, some coffee shops offer light versions of their flavored coffees and lattes. You can enjoy a small, non-fat, sugar-free latte for only 90 calories or so (this varies depending on the store or restaurant and the type and size of drink).

This handy checklist will help you determine whether a food or drink contains excessive calories:

– Portion size. If it’s a “big” anything, chances are it contains a lot of calories.

– Cream added. Cream or creamy sauce in beverages, pasta, meat dishes, or desserts is bound to have more fat and calories.

– Sugar added. All muffins, pastries, desserts and sweetened beverages are probably higher in calories than you think.

– Starchy foods. Potatoes, french fries, bagels, and bread.

– Most prepared foods. There are exceptions, but most of the prepared foods available today are high in calories, fat, sodium, sugar, and probably plenty of chemicals and preservatives. Read labels carefully to know what you’re really getting.

 

The Best Vegetables For Weight Loss

Best Vegetables for Weight Loss

Have you ever wondered which are the best vegetables for weight loss? Are all vegetables beneficial for losing weight, or are some more effective than others?

Almost always, the best vegetables for weight loss are those with a lot of fiber, few calories, and the plentiful nutrients.

For example:

Leafy Greens

Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, lettuce, and collard greens. Most of these leafy green vegetables are super low in calories, but have a lot of Vitamins A and C, plus a substantial amount of fiber. That makes them excellent weight loss foods – in fact, many of them are considered to be “negative calorie foods,” which means your body burns more calories digesting them than it absorbs by consuming them!

Watery Vegetables

Other options among the best vegetables for weight loss would be any vegetable that has a high water content. Good examples are tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and yellow summer squash, eggplant, and pale green lettuce like iceberg and romaine. Eating plenty of vegetables with high water content is a sure way to add to the water you drink and keep your body fully hydrated, which helps you lose more weight.

High-Protein Vegetables

One of THE best vegetables for weight loss really isn’t a vegetable at all, but a legume. That’s right, beans! Beans are excellent weight loss foods because they contain good amounts of protein and fiber and they are low in calories while providing a lot of energy. Some of the best beans for weight loss (according to calorie and fat content) are:

– Black beans

– White beans

– Chili beans

– Kidney beans

– Lima beans

– Lentils

When it comes right down to it, eating any vegetable is better than eating none at all. However, if you’re looking to lose weight faster and easier, you can’t go wrong by including more of these delicious vegetables in your eating plan.

Diet Success By Cheating

“Cheating” Your Way to Diet Success

Most of us equate “cheating” on our diets with failure, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s possible to “cheat your way” to a slender, healthy new you – IF you do it right. The most important thing to do is change your perception of what a “cheat” really is.

Right now you may think of cheating as eating something you are not allowed to have – those “forbidden” foods that tempt you oh so much! The problem with making foods completely forbidden is that it will only intensify your desire for them if you know you can’t have them.

Instead, why not change your perception of forbidden foods and instead call them “occasional yummy indulgences” or “treats worth waiting for”? If you know that you can have some of these goodies now and then, you won’t feel such a strong wave of temptation every time you see them, smell them, or hear about them. You’ll know that you can indulge occasionally, so the urgency to have them right now will fade somewhat.

The Challenges

The first big challenge is in not making these cheats a daily occurrence, because that’s what got you into trouble weight-wise in the first place. Decide ahead of time how often you will cheat. It’s very feasible to cheat once a week, or twice a month and still continue to lose weight very steadily and easily.

Do what would work best for you. If you notice that a weekly cheat slows down your weight loss too much, push it out to every 2 or 3 weeks and see if that works better.

The second challenge is in keeping serving sizes modest. A cheat does NOT have to be a 3-scoop hot fudge sundae with all the fixings. In fact, if you gorge on your treats you will only reinforce the perception that you are out of control and can’t enjoy treats.

On the other hand, if you firmly stick to having just a small serving of whatever goody you wish to enjoy, you will keep reinforcing your perception that you CAN trust yourself with food and you CAN lose weight while still eating foods you enjoy.

Keep in mind that this approach may be more challenging for some people than others. If you have a strong habit of eating for emotional reasons, you may find that cheating becomes a convenient excuse to overdo it and sabotage your weight loss.

If you struggle with this, it might be a better idea to space out the treats more, like once every 3 months. As you gain better control over your eating habits, you should be able to enjoy a treat now and then without slipping into old destructive habits again.

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