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Setting Realistic Weight Loss Goals

 

Perhaps one of the reasons that gyms are so full in January but seem to empty out quickly in the subsequent months is because many peoples’ New Year’s Resolutions are unattainable and unrealistic. They set themselves up for failure with goals that they cannot meet and become easily discouraged. Whether you have 10 pounds or 100 pounds to lose, it is important to follow these guidelines that will help you be successful in your weight loss:

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credit http://easternshoremedicalweightloss.com/ for photo

 Quit using finite words:

When your goals include words like “always,” “never,” or “every,” you leave yourself no room for flexibility and error. It is highly likely that your weight loss plans will not go perfectly according to plan and those types of words will make you feel like a failure when plans change. Cut yourself slack and leave room for error. Be sure that when mistakes are made, you start fresh and immediately get back on your plan.

Set small goals as part of the larger ones:

It is awfully daunting to face the goal of losing 50 pounds, or running 10 miles when you cannot currently complete one mile. While you can and should set big goals, it is just as important to have small goals contained within your larger ones. Even if you ultimately want to lose 50 pounds, it will be much more effective for you if you have the smaller goals of losing one to two pounds each week until you reach 50.

Be SMART about your goal setting:

Reachable goals are SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-limited. These types of goals are easy to track and thus, easy to meet. A SMART goal is something like, “I will go walking three times each week for 60 minutesd, beginning next Monday.” This gives you the specific exercise for a measurable amount of time, is realistic (assuming that you like walking. If you hate walking, substitute an activity that you do like), and it is time-limited. A goal like this is much more effective than “I’m going to be healthier,” which could mean anything from quitting smoking to running a marathon.

What is it that motivates you to make this change?

It is very important for your weight loss success that you clearly identify your reasons for losing weight and then stick to them. Whatever motivates you – and it will be different for different people – should be revisited often should continue to inspire you. Pick a strong motivator, otherwise it will be too easy to let it go. For instance, if you are originally motivated by wanting to impress the people around you, it might be easy on a day that you do not feel like exercising to tell yourself you no longer care about what those same people think of you. Instead, if you are motivated to be healthy because you want to cut your risks for heart disease or other ailments, it will be easier to draw on that motivation when you have a hard day.

Focus on what it takes to lose the weight you want:

it is important to know some technical details so that you know specifically what to do to be effective. To lose one pound of fat, you must take in approximately 3,500 calories less than what you use. This means that to lose one to two pounds per week, you need to cut 500 to 1,000 calories daily. Having these concrete numbers makes it easier to track your progress and is very effective in helping quantify weight loss. Even if you have changed your diet to include more healthy foods, too many calories will still lead to excess weight.

Change for life:

Do not approach weight loss as a goal with an endpoint; focus instead on changing habits and your lifestyle forever. Your weight loss will last and you will be much healthier when you change your outlook and approach to health forever instead of going on a diet with an end date.

Reward yourself:

When you meet your goals along your weight loss journey, do not be afraid to reward yourself. Do not reward yourself with food, but with a new item of clothing, or maybe a something that you have been wanting for your home or for a hobby you have. Your small goals need to recognized as you go because they ultimately lead to you reaching your larger goals.

Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day

 

Welcome To National Nutrition Month, Time To “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day”

 

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Many people start a new year with the goal to be healthier. Just when the excitement of your resolution has started to wear off, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics presents March as National Nutrition Month. The 2013 theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” recognizes that everyone has different tastes, preferences, schedules and dietary needs, and emphasizes personalizing each person’s healthy eating plan.

 

Whatever your reason for wanting to improve your eating habits, National Nutrition Month is a time for learning how to practice good eating habits, leading to a healthier life. Here are some tips that will help you in your quest to meet your nutrition goals.

 

  • Grow some of your own greens and herbs. You can buy plants that will grow throughout the season, and even throughout the year if you plant them in a container that can come inside during colder months. This ensures that you always have fresh greens on hand, which can be important ingredients in many meals. Additionally, herbs are easy to grow and add lots of flavor to many dishes. They are a healthful way to add dimension and taste to your meals, and when they are grown at home, can be very inexpensive

 

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Not only is the freshest and most healthy food kept along the perimeter of the grocery store, but you will also avoid much of the prepackaged and expensive non-nutritious food by staying away from the inner aisles. Sure, there will be some items that you need in the aisles, but do your best to keep your shopping focus on the perimeter.

 

  • Pack your lunch. One of the best tricks to being healthy is to make your own meals and eat at least 10 meals each week at home. Not only does this save money, but it ensures that you know exactly what you are eating. When you pack your lunch, although you may not be sitting at your kitchen table, you are essentially eating at home because your meal comes from your own fridge and cupboards. This way, you know that you are getting high nutrition without any mystery ingredients or additives that can often be found when eating out.

 

  • Buy locally and eat seasonally. Eating locally grown and in-season foods can cut food transportation costs that are usually passed to consumers, as well as provide more nutritious foods because the food makes it from the farm to your table in a much shorter period of time. Not only is this better for your health and your wallet, it is better for your local economy and environment as well.

 

  • Drink water. This is one of the easiest and least expensive tips that everyone can incorporate into their diet and routine. Drinking sufficient water helps improve digestion, helps you feel fuller and can make workouts more effective. Water is essential to good health and should replace the soda, sugary drinks and juices that many Americans consume regularly.

 

  • Eat a vegetable with every meal. Although many people have a negative view of veggies, they are one of the most healthful and important parts of any diet because they are low in calories and high in nutrients. If it is a challenge to incorporate vegetables into your diet, start by working them into the meals you already eat and like, such as soups, pizza or spaghetti sauces. Bulk up your sandwiches and salads with extra veggies, helping you feel full without adding significant calories. You can also make veggies into a favorite snack by having something healthy – like hummus or light ranch dressing – to dip them into.

 

There are many more ways to increase your nutrition, and we encourage you to spend some time this month practicing healthy eating habits, so that even when March comes to an end, your healthy habits do not.

 

What are some of your best healthy eating tips? Please share them with us in the comments section below.

Never Plateau Again: Part 1

 

Plateauing in the weight room is just flat out depressing. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to lift a little more, look a little better, lose the last ten pounds, run a little further, or a little faster. Stagnation can tax anyone’s will power. For some of us going to the gym may seem like a job and a job with no forward progress is no fun. When we first start out training we see rapid improvements and that gets us excited to go to the gym. Unfortunately we will plateau and lose that excitement. In the past I’ve made several mistakes that have led to stagnation in the weight room. I’m willing to bet the majority of readers don’t lay in bed thinking about their form or ways to improve their deadlifts, squats, and bench like I do and I’m also willing to bet I’m one of the few who stays in on Friday nights to study everything  from postural improvements to the best post workout nutrition. But lucky for you I do, so I’m going to share some mistakes I’ve made so that you can avoid them when it comes to strength training so you can get back to making gains and enjoying your time at the gym.tired resized 600

Mistake number one: not sticking with a program. In this day and age we are flooded with information. I can’t walk past a magazine isle without finding six new ways to add an inch to my biceps in only one week! I was a flip flopper; I’d drop old workouts and pick up new ones monthly. If you want to see improvements you need to be consistent with a program. While another program might promise you a four hundred pound bench press or twenty inch arms see the program you’re currently on through to the end.

                Mistake number two: you’re writing your own program. One does not simply become a master chef overnight. You make recipes based on what you have read or what another experienced chef has come up with. Sometimes when we try to cook our own concoction we end with disastrous results. Same thing happens with the weight training. There are plenty of great online coaches willing to help you and a multitude of educated trainers who can help you with a program. Leave the programming to the experts. Once you demonstrate compliance with a program over the course of a year or so you can start fiddling around with training variables on your own.

That went a little bit longer than I expected so I will continue soon with another installment on ways to avoid mistakes that I have made so you can continue to make progress in the gym.

Fight Cancer With Oxygenating Exercise

 

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Article by: David Haas

According to SurviveCancer.org cancer cells are anaerobic which means they abhor oxygen. Since aerobic exercise introduces more oxygen into the body, it is an excellent way to fight the effects of a cancer diagnosis and the subsequent cancer treatment, while maintaining good physical conditioning. Whether you are fighting breast cancer, mesothelioma or any other type of cancer, participating in exercise that introduce oxygen into your body is an effective way in which to stay strong and promote good health before, during and after treatment. Speak to your doctors or oncologist to create an exercise plan, and then start incorporating it as an effective tool to help you feel better.

Walk

The Roman Army was a powerful force that won many battles and conquered many lands. Part of their method for staying strong was interval training, also known as walk/run. For starters, take as brisk a walk as you can for 30 minutes. If you're able to incorporate any running spurts, do it. Most importantly, walk outdoors where you can get fresh air in your lungs. The oxygen alone does your body a world of good.

Dance

Put on some music and dance, or take a dance class. Dance is an excellent form of exercise and types of dance that involve faster movements help bring a lot of oxygen into and through your body. Boost your physical fitness and your mood with some fun disco or jazz music and dance around your living room. If you need some socializing and your immune system is up to being around other people, a dance class is ideal.

Tennis & Golf

You don't have to be a pro at either tennis or golf to get outdoors and enjoy playing. Whether you play an actual game or just hit the ball around, the fresh air and movement are excellent for your body. Grab a partner or friend who also enjoys the sport of your choice so you can enjoy the company of another while getting your exercise.

Stress Relief and Breathing Exercise

Sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Take in a deep breath, and then slowly let it go. As you exhale, feel the tension and fatigue flow out through your limbs. One at a time, feel each body part relax and grow heavy and warm. When your body is totally relaxed, clench each body part one at a time for 10 to 20 seconds and then release to get rid of tension. Finish with a cat-style stretch.

Improve Health and Athletic Performance with Plyometrics

 

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Summer is near and, with the hot weather approaching, it’ll be more difficult to exercise outdoors. Instead, there is a great fat burning, cardio vascular activity called Plyometrics that can easily be done indoors. With its many health benefits, Plyos can really help you take your training to the next level! Here at Rapid Fitness, we have plenty of equipment that will help you maximize your training and get you into the best shape of your life!!!

Plyometrics (also known as “plyos”) is a type of exercise training that is designed to produce fast, powerful movements and improve the functions of the nervous system, generally for the purpose of improving athletic performance. Plyometric exercises may also be referred to as explosive exercises. [1] [2] Plyometric movements, in which a muscle is loaded and then contracted in rapid sequence, use the strength, elasticity and innervation of muscle and surrounding tissues to jump higher, run faster, throw farther or hit harder, depending on the desired training goal. Plyometrics is used to increase the speed or force of muscular contractions, providing explosiveness for a variety of sport-specific activities. Plyometrics has been shown to be beneficial to a variety of athletes. Benefits range from injury prevention, power development and sprint performance, amongst others.

For more information, or to learn how you can incorporate Plyometrics into your fitness regiment, visit our knowledgeable staff and personal trainers at Rapid Fitness today! 

Improve Brain Health and Prevent Alzheimer’s With Exercise

 

 

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Did you know that more than 100 studies found that aerobic and resistance training are essential for maintaining cognitive health in old age? Regular exercise can prevent age-related hippocampus degeneration, or shrinking of the brain, which is often responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and poor memory.

Exercise encourages your brain to work at its optimum capacity, providing your body with a greater production of nerve-protecting compounds, improved development and survival of neurons, greater flow to your brain and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. To keep your brain healthy, make exercise a regular part of your life. We recommend trying different activities since each type of exercise and training offers unique benefits for your brain health. For example, you may choose to incorporate moderate-intensity exercise and high-intensity interval training, as discussed in our last article.

For help finding an exercise regimen that best suits you, take advantage of the complimentary Fitness Evaluation we offer members at Rapid Fitness. With help from our knowledgeable staff, personal trainers and guided Group Fitness classes, we’ll get you on the road to better health. 

Improve Blood Sugar With One Session of High-Intensity Interval Training

 

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High-intensity interval training refers to short, repeated bursts of strenuous activity in between rest periods, rather than conventional, longer and more consistent training. This method of training is an excellent strategy for several reasons: it will benefit your overall health, boost weight loss, improve your muscle tone and even improve your blood sugar. Rather than long-duration workouts, you can get the same fitness benefits from working out for a short session of 20 minutes. Using this method two or three times a week, you’ll be able to achieve your fitness goals much faster and improve your insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. According to a recent study by a Canadian research team, people with full-blown Type 2 diabetes were able to improve their blood sugar regulation significantly over 24 hours, after just one interval training session.

 

As always, it’s all about the effort you put in to your workout. Intensity is key with this form of training. Push yourself! While you may need to slowly work yourself up to this point, you will see optimal results from vigorous bursts of activity in between periods of rests. If you need some help getting started, we urge you to take advantage of the complimentary Fitness Evaluation we offer to members at Rapid Fitness. This hour-long session is geared on finding out how we can help you reach your fitness goals. With the help of our great staff, personal trainers and guided Group Fitness classes, we’ll get you looking and feeling your best!  

How Do I Start an Exercise Program?

 

Reader Question: How Do I Start an Exercise Program?

The biggest challenge may be changing your lifestyle.

By Elizabeth Quinn

"I’d like to start an exercise program, but where do I begin?"

Making the personal decision to begin exercise is the first step. Committing to making it a priority in your life is the next.

Often, the biggest challenge you will face is changing your lifestyle. Many of us have created bad habits over the years and changing these habits requires a committed effort to consciously recognize and alter some of these patterns. Ultimately, you need to change both your internal beliefs and your external environment to step up for success.

It takes time to develop new habits, so a positive, forgiving attitude is essential. You will not become an athlete overnight, but by slowly changing your internal dialogue and external situation, you will find a new lifestyle that encourages fitness.

Begin by checking with your doctor to ensure that you can safely exercise without restrictions. Once you have the OK, surround yourself with supportive people and role models. Having a support system is crucial in starting a workout program. Accountability and motivation are very important to success. Ask those who are active how they’ve set up their lifestyle to support activity. You will learn a lot from those who are doing what you want to do.

You might also consider several sessions with a qualified personal trainer to learn what to do to reach your fitness goals. Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to stay active. Find something that works for you, whether it’s riding your bike to work, walking after dinner, joining a sports league, exercising while watching TV or training for a marathon. There are so many options and, sometimes, we don’t realize how life provides many opportunities to be active – we just have to recognize them.

Physical health is often the last item on the daily agenda in trying to balance school, jobs, relationships and all of the other demands of your daily life. However, if you make physical fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle a priority, you will find more energy and enthusiasm for the other areas of your life.

Ideally, your exercise routine should be goal-oriented, especially for those who are starting an exercise routine for the first time. Your goal must be realistic relative to your starting point, and measurable in a way that you will see your progress.

At Rapid Fitness, we offer each member a complimentary Fitness Evaluation. It’s an hour-long session that is geared on finding out how we can help you reach your goals, getting you past that dreaded "plateau" and on to looking and feeling the best you ever have felt.

We have structured personal training guidelines to keep track of your progress to make sure we are maximizing your time here. When starting off, it can be overwhelming, but with the help of our great staff, personal trainers, and guided Group Fitness classes, we are designed to help everyone at every level.

Whether you are a new or existing member, we are always here to help!

4 Great Tips on Getting 6 Pack Abs

 

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Here are 4 GREAT tips on getting those 6 pack abs you want right in time for the beach! Happy Reading!

TARGET ALL FOUR ABDOMINAL MUSCLE GROUPS
One mistake many people make is to only work one or two sections of their abdominal muscles. There are FOUR layers of muscles in your abs! You need to work each layer/muscle group to effectively tone your abs. 

  • Rectus Abdominis – This is the “six pack” muscle. This paired muscle runs from the front of your ribs down to your pelvis. This the muscle referred to when people say “upper abs” or “lower abs”, but it is actually one big muscle – of which different areas can be targeted. Typical “ab workouts” usually focus on this muscle.
  • External Oblique – The external obliques are the muscles that run along the sides of your ribcage, on each side of the rectus abdominis. The external oblique muscles allow the trunk to twist – contracting one of your external obliques twists your body to the opposite side. For example, contracting the right external oblique will turn the body to the left.
  • Internal Oblique – Your internal obliques are located just inside your hip bones – just below the external obliques. They work in the exact opposite way as the external oblique muscles. When you do a twisting motion, one externaloblique contracts while the opposite side’sinternal oblique contracts. For example, twisting or crunching the trunk to the left requires the left internal oblique and the right external oblique to contract together.
  • Transverse Abdominis – The transverse abdominis is the deepest abdominal muscle layer. The muscle reaches from each side of your lower abdomen towards the middle. It is primarily responsible for stabilizing your trunk and maintaining internal abdominal pressure. This muscle is especially worked when you do stabilization exercises like planks or other similar ab exercises.

VARY YOUR AB ROUTINE 
In addition to working all four layers of your abs, you also need to change up your ab routine so that your muscles are continually being challenged. If you do the exact same ab exercises for weeks on end, your muscles will adapt and plateau – and you will miss out on some of the benefits of your training program. 


QUALITY VS. QUANTITY
Have you ever heard someone brag about how they do 800 crunches/situps every day? You do not need to doanywhere near hundreds of reps! You will actually seebetter results by doing fewer repetitions of the right exercises with correct form.
When it comes to number of reps when weight training, the same rules apply to ab workouts. For longer, leaner muscle, you should do more reps (we’re talking sets of 12, 20, or sets of 30 seconds… not sets of 800!), and for building size (and deeper cuts), you should do fewer reps with more weight resistance (ie: sets of 5 or 8). An exception to this rule is for stability exercises, such as planks, where you will hold a single position for anywhere from 20 seconds to a couple of minutes. 
And, just like other muscle groups, you shouldn’t train your abdominal muscles every day – which brings me to my next point:


TAKE TIME TO RECOVER
Your ab muscles are just like any other muscle – they need to be worked hard, and then given adequate time to rebuild and recover before then next workout. Depending on how hard your muscles are worked – as well as whether you are focusing on strength or endurance – you will need anywhere from 36 hours to 2 or 3 days recovery time between workouts.

We have Great Personal Training specials going on this week too, so if you would like to setup a free session just see any Rapid Fitness employee and we will be happy to schedule yours today!!!!!!!!

TRX and Kettle Bell Training - Break Through Your Plateaus

 

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Did you know that suspension training bodyweight exercise was born in the Navy Seals? That's right - you can build your strength and endurance, particularly in your lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase your grip strength through TRX Kettle bell exercising at Rapid fitness Glenwood. Because the basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work your entire body has the opportunity to benefit.

At Rapid fitness Glenwood we combine the very best of cardiovascular, strength and stability training in our fun, dynamic and challenging classes. Kettle bells are a great metabolic and strength training system which is specifically geared toward hamstring and glute muscle recruitment and engagement of muscles in the core, back and shoulders.

TRX suspension training works the core with every movement and helps strengthen stabilizers in the shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. And to complete the workout package, we top it off with plyometric and body weight basics like pushups and pull-ups to complete the package. So why not stop by today, talk to one of our trainers and check out a TRX Kettle bell class this week.


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