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16851992Walking is low-risk and easy to start. It can help keep you fit and reduce your risk of serious diseases, like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and more.

A regular walking program can also:

American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. Even short 10 minute activity sessions can be added up over the week to reach this goal. If you would benefit from lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol, aim for 40 minute sessions of moderate to vigorous activity 3 to 4 times a week. You could do this by walking 2 miles briskly (about 4 miles/hr). If that’s too fast, choose a more comfortable pace.

Get ready

All you need to get started are comfortable clothes and supportive shoes. Layer loose clothing, keeping in mind that brisk exercise elevates the body’s temperature. Shoes designed for walking or running are best. Make sure you have a little wiggle room between your longest toe (1/2″) and the end of the shoe. Avoid cotton socks since they retain moisture and can promote blisters.

Work on your technique

  • Begin with short distances. Start with a stroll that feels comfortable (perhaps 5-10 minutes) and gradually increase your time or distance each week by 10-20 percent by adding a few minutes or blocks. If it’s easier on your joints and your schedule to take a couple of 10- to 20-minute walks instead of one long walk, do it!
  • Focus on posture. Keep your head lifted, tummy pulled in and shoulders relaxed. Swing your arms naturally. Avoid carrying hand weights since they put extra stress on your elbows and shoulders. Don’t overstride. Select a comfortable, natural step length. If you want to move faster, pull your back leg through more quickly.
  • Breathe deeply. If you can’t talk or catch your breath while walking, slow down. At first, forget about walking speed. Just get out there and walk!

Pick up the pace

To warm up, walk at an easy tempo for the first several minutes. Then gradually adopt a more purposeful pace. A good way to add variety is to incorporate some brisk intervals. For example, walk one block fast, two blocks slow and repeat several times. Gradually add more fast intervals with shorter recovery periods. Concentrate on increasing your speed while maintaining good posture.

Walking hills is a great way to tone your legs. Using Nordic walking poles can help your burn more calories and give you better posture and overall muscle endurance. Treadmill walking, while not as scenic, can be convenient during bad weather.

The end of your walk is an ideal time to stretch since your body is warmed up. Stretch your hamstrings and calves as well as your chest, shoulders and back. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds.

Track your progress. Although experts recommend walking at least 30 minutes a day, there are no hard and fast rules. Walking 60 minutes/day and brisk intervals will help you burn more calories. Fit walking into your schedule whenever you can. That may mean three 10-minute walks over the course of a day. The best schedule is one that keeps you walking and keeps you fit!

Be safe

  • Avoid traffic accidents. Listening to lively music while you walk is a great way to energize your workout. But if you wear headphones, keep the volume down and watch out for traffic that you may not hear. Wear light colors or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight or glow stick if you walk when visibility is low.
  • Walking on sidewalks is best, but if you have to walk on the street, stick to streets with lower speed limits. Faster streets are riskier because motorists are less likely to see pedestrians and cannot stop as quickly. Accidents involving pedestrians have an 85 percent chance of becoming fatal if the car is moving at 40 mph as compared to only 5 percent if the speed is 20 mph.
  • Know your area. Pay attention to what businesses are open in the area you’ll be walking and know the location of emergency telephones. Walk on well-traveled streets rather than taking shortcuts in less crowded areas such as alleys or parking lots. If you give the message that you are calm, self-assured and have a purposeful gait, you’ll lower your chances of becoming a victim.
  • Two heads are better than one. Walking with a partner or in groups discourages crime and may help alert you to dangers such as speeding motorists or unleashed dogs.

If you experience foot, knee, hip or back pain when walking, STOP and check with your doctor to find out the cause. You may need special exercises or better shoes. If you have osteoarthritis and experience increased joint pain lasting an hour or two after walking, consider an alternate activity like stationery cycling or water exercise. But don’t stop exercising!

Source: Walking 101

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8295214_XXLMorning, midday or midnight — when’s the best time to work out?

Well, that depends on when’s the best time for you.

“The best time of the day is when you will do it most consistently, because the benefits of physical activity are tightly linked to the amount you do on a consistent basis,” said Russell Pate, Ph.D., professor of exercise science in the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Your best time is based on a “constellation” of factors:

  • location,
  • time of day,
  • type of physical activity and
  • social setting, among others.

“It’s not just what time, but what activity, with whom and where,” said Pate, who is also an American Heart Association volunteer. “This mix of factors for people come together to result in being consistent.”

Everybody’s Different

“Different people will have different preferences and predispositions with regard to how they respond to exercise at different times of the day,” Pate said.

For example, if you’re much more likely to work out consistently with a partner, “then you’re better off to opt for a social part regardless of the time of day,” Pate said. “On the other hand, some people like the solitude, the chance to get away.”

You might have heard that the best time to work out is early in the morning — to get your metabolism revving or to avoid unexpected distractions during the day that could derail your regimen. “Are there differences in working out at different times of the day? Maybe. But those differences would be minor compared to the overall effect of doing it consistently,” Pate said.

“If you’re not a morning person, it does no good for you to try to get up at 5 in the morning to work out,” he said. “Try to stack as many cards on your side of the table as possible by doing what’s most likely to work for you. The converse is, don’t make it as hard as it doesn’t have to be.”

Fit in Fitness

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. But what if you’re tight on time? Then, be creative and break up your activity into daily bouts of 3-10-minute increments.

For example:

  • In the morning, park 10 minutes away from the job and walk briskly.
  • At lunch, walk 10 minutes in or around where you work.
  • In the afternoon/evening, walk briskly 10 minutes back to your vehicle.

And there you have a 30-minute workout!

“Accumulation across the day doesn’t have to be performed in one bout, but can be across the day,” Pate said. “More is better, but we’re absolutely certain even modest amounts are much better than being sedentary.” And remember, “exercise” is any kind of physical activity that gets your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes at a time.

So get moving — at the time that’s right for you!

Source: When is the best time of day to work out?

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22571019The good news is that no matter which is first, cardio will improve everything from your heart health to your mood and weight training will improve everything from bone density to metabolism. However, depending on your fitness goals, there may be some benefit to doing cardio first followed by weight training or vice versa.

If power, strength or building lean muscle mass is what you’re after, you don’t want to fatigue your muscles with cardio first, so do it after your hit the weights. If general fitness is your goal, then definitely mix up the sequence of aerobic exercise and resistance training on different days. Each sequence has advantages. Research shows that a person burns slightly more calories when they finish the workout with weight training. However, studies also show that since a person has more energy in the first part of a workout, they can train at a higher intensity which is advantageous for those doing resistance exercise first. So for variety and total benefits, mix up the sequence on different days of the week.

© 2014 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Working Out BWThe fresh start of a new year inspires lots of people to make New Year’s resolutions. Some of the most popular wellness resolutions include losing weight, exercising more, dieting, quitting smoking and stress reduction. Here are some tips to help you stick to those resolutions for 2014:

  1. Find Your Motivation. Make sure you REALLY want to make the change. What is your motivation for making a change? Don’t just do it because someone else told you or you need to fit into a new dress. Find your intrinsic motivation and you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Maybe you want to lower you cholesterol or reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. Only when you feel this intrinsic motivation, this reason inside of you with the true desire to make a change, then your chances to succeed are high.
  2. Set Goals. You must break the old habits and replace them with new ones. Instead of a rush of activity in a one-time effort, consistency is the key to success. You need to do things regularly to achieve challenging goals. Make a realistic plan to reach your goals. Resolutions are really just annual goals. But like all goals, they should be SMART: 
    • Specific- your goals just identify exactly what you want to accomplish in as much specificity as you can muster.
    • Measurable- as the old adage says, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.”
    • Actionable- every resolution should start with a verb (e.g., “quit,” “run,” “finish,” “eliminate,” etc.)
    • Realistic- you have to be careful here. A good resolution should stretch you, but you have to add a dose of common sense.
    • Time-bound- every resolution needs a date associated with it. When do you plan to deliver on that resolution? It could be by year-end (December 31) or it could be more near-term (March 31).
    • With SMART goals, you now have a visual reminder of your plans and a way to measure your progress.
  3. Make Your Plans Public. Tell your family and friends what you are committed to achieving. If you’re accountable to someone else for your work, you might be more likely to stick with it. Better yet, find someone with similar resolutions and buddy up. A co-worker or friend who is interested in going to the gym will often make it more likely that you both will go.
  4. Measure Your Progress. Measurement allows you to visualize your progress. It will give you something to look back at and be proud of. If you have a feeling of accomplishment towards your goal, you will most likely continue to strive. Even if each day’s effort doesn’t feel like much, it adds up to a big change.
  5. Reward Your Success. Rewards are a great motivation to keep going so celebrate the good stuff you’ve done. If you’ve reached a mini-goal or you’re stuck with your resolution for a month, treat yourself to something special. But, try not to use food as a reward.
  6. Don’t Give Up. Be ready for setbacks along the way. Nobody’s perfect. Forgive yourself and get back on track as soon as you can. Plan ahead for how you’ll deal with setbacks so you won’t be surprised if it happens.

Sticking with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 can be easier when you have a plan. Use some of these tips and strategies to stick with your New Year diet resolutions in 2014 – and beyond!

Happy New Year! …Tiffiny

© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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Fitness Fusion Classes in Whippany NJ

Burn calories and have fun doing it! Join us for our next Fitness Fusion session beginning Sept 18th at the Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey. Classes are modified for all levels even if you’re just starting. Regardless of your workout style or fitness level, this class offers something fun and challenging for everyone.

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We’re more concerned than ever with maximizing our workout efforts and getting the fastest results. Effective workouts demand complete nutrition, and these simple guidelines will help make the right choices to refuel the body.

Recovery should be thought of as a window of opportunity. Approximately 30 minutes after cardio, the body is optimized to replenish its energy stores— muscle and liver glycogen. For strength training, the window is extended up to two hours post-workout. Muscle protein synthesis occurs, setting off muscle tissue recovery and repair, replacing fluids, and helping the body adapt to the stresses of the workout.

Eating around your training is vital to your progress. Use this infographic to help get the nutrients you need for the best results in the gym!

Tiffiny Marinelli

Energy in Motion LLC

workout nutrition

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Muscle SymmetryIt’s not uncommon for one side of the body to be stronger than the other, which is why it’s important to assess the strength of each muscle group separately, as in the single-arm row and single legged leg extension tests. With testing, you may find each side has a different level of strength. Most often the dominant side of the body is the stronger side. It’s important to balance the strength of the muscular system, not just for appearances, but to keep a healthy, functional posture which helps prevent injury and pain due to muscle imbalances. The major muscle groups work in pairs and those muscle pairs need to be balanced in terms of strength and flexibility. Developing a symmetrical physique entails focusing on all muscle groups equally through the employment of a variety of exercises. Balancing the muscles in each of your major muscle groups allows for more efficient functional movements and improves performance. In addition, symmetrical muscles make many day-to-day activities easier, including lifting, pulling and pushing. If you find an imbalance in your body symmetry, you’ll need to incorporate unilateral exercises, moves in which you use one arm or leg at a time, into your regular routine to regain your strength symmetry. With unilateral exercises, always work the weaker side first so you don’t use a heavier weight for the stronger side. You can also work the weaker side slightly harder than the stronger side with an increase in weight, reps or sets.  This will allow you to focus on strengthening your weaker side without the risk of your stronger side taking over. A personal trainer or exercise physiologist will be your best partner in helping improve your muscle balance. They have the education and knowledge to assess your movement patterns and muscle strength, and based on the results, create an exercise program for your specific needs. Trainers can also encourage and assist you in working with the correct weight load for each side of the body.

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© 2013 Tiffiny Marinelli, Energy in Motion LLC

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