Aquatic Fitness offers many options and different forms of training from Aerobics to Water Walking. A Medical Doctor may even prescribe aquatic activities for individuals with certain medical conditions. Check out these benefits of Aquatic Exercise:
Improves Fitness- Cardiovascular Endurance, Muscular Strength and Endurance and Flexibility. Water gives added resistance and water pressure facilitates blood circulation.
Therapeutic- Exercise in water safely facilitates and assists you in the recovery of injuries, surgeries and illnesses. Water provides an environment for less weight-bearing stress on the muscles and joints.
Stress Release- Exercising in a soothing water environment gives you a chance to forget about daily stresses and problems and helps you relax. Exercise in warm water relaxes muscles, decreasing depression, anxiety and stress and thus improving your mood.
Social- Aquatic exercise allows you to meet and be with other people, you have the opportunity to communicate and make new friends.
Comfort- The cooling and massaging effects of exercising in the water make it a great place to workout without feeling fatigued.
Fun- The pool environment makes water a great place to have fun while doing something great for your body.
Once again the New England Patriots have won their way into the Super Bowl. So whether you are hosting or attending an upcoming party, I have a winning game plan for both.
This week…Super Bowl Party Tips to Save Your Shape if you are hosting.
If you are hosting a party, start planning, you can serve healthy, lower-fat snacks that are sure to satisfy the crowd.
1.) Ok, there’s no way I am going to tell New England fans they shouldn’t have pizza. So, “order up”! Do go light on the cheese and ask for extra veggies rather than pepperoni, sausage or bacon.
2.) If serving sandwiches, use whole-wheat or rye bread, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard, low-fat cheese, turkey breast and lots of veggies such as sliced tomatoes, onions, pickles, roasted mushrooms and red peppers.
3.) Or replace all buns and breading for sandwiches with a lettuce wrap alternative.
4.) Serve humus with a vegetable platter instead of cheese and crackers.
5.) Fruit platters with greek yogurt for dipping, make your platter arrangements colorful and creative.
6.) Skip the cheese and do nachos with salsa and guacamole.
7.) Prepare your own mixture of homemade snack mix using unsalted nuts, raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and pretzels.
8.) Create winning treats, bake cookies and tasty bars with protein powder instead of flour.
9.) For beverages, serve water, sparkling and still with a variety of fruit wedges for taste. Provide lighter versions of your favorite beers.
10.) Go Online to find great recipes for your Super Bowl event. Look for healthier ways to prepare chicken, chili, dips for dipping and even your own specialty pizzas.
Want to get a fitter body and feel better in 2012? Then think positive.
Thoughts matter, so choose the good ones. Changing the way you think can help you get a great workout and overcome any obstacles in your way.
Positive thinking can keep you going.
It’s winter, it’s cold and dark. Seasonal depression sets in and you find yourself stuck in bed or on that comfy couch.
Positive statements such as ‘I will feel great when I am done’, or “I am worth it” can get you up and motivated. Just talking yourself into a quick workout can result in the best workout you’ve had in weeks.
Positive thoughts can intensify your workout.
Once you get to the gym, pushing yourself during the workout is what gets results.
Simple positive statements can push you through a workout. Positive affirmations such as “you can do it”, “be strong”. Small phrases like, “run”, “breathe” and “drive” can be very effective.
Positive thinking can help overcome obstacles.
No matter what your health and fitness goals are, you must face obstacles. If you are dieting and someone offers you a piece of cake, use positive thoughts. Don’t give in so easily. Affirm that cake is something that your just not interested in right now and perhaps once you reach your goal you will have a slice.
Every time you have a negative thought replace it with a positive one.
Focus on the positive outcome of your fitness goals. This will give you something to look forward to…
Form a good support group. Surround yourself with others who are striving for health and fitness goals.
Expose yourself to positive resources, such as books, lectures…
Listen to your thoughts. Negative thinking is usually a sign that it is time to make some changes.
Recognize your progress and let it be positive motivation propelling you toward your goals.
***Positive thinking is very effective. You must practice and be on the lookout for negativity.
Look Slim, Get Trim
For the New Year
Holiday gatherings and leftover Christmas cakes and cookies have left you feeling a bit uncomfortable. Some of these weigh changes can be the cause of fluid retention or gas / waste retention. Here are some quick tips to help you get back into that little black dress.
Limit Your Liquor Intake
For quick weight loss, cut back on alcohol as much as possible. If you must have a drink, stick to wine and drink more water. Steer clear from beer.
Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated keeps things moving, helping rid your body of waste, while guarding against water retention and constipation.
Move it to lose it
Exercise more. Add a few extra sessions in. Step up the cardio.
Higher protein, Lower carbs
Unless you’re going to use them, cut down on the carbs. If not all this fuel will be stored and water retention a result. Eat a delicious dinner with grilled fish and green veggies.
Opt for low-bloat veggies
Avoid gas-producing vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, legumes, cabbage and peppers. You may want to steer clear of them a few days before an important event where you don’t want lower-belly bloat.
Cut out the salt
Sodium can cause the body to retain fluids, causing you to puff up. Substitute the salt with herbs like parsley and basil. Mrs. Dash also has a variety of no salt spices.
Avoid artificial sweeteners
Sugar-free desserts and candy are usually sweetened with sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol, which can cause a pooch in the abdomen.
Get a tan
Tanning is a great way to look thinner!
It’s the hottest gear of the year. Why not include these fitness favorites on your holiday shopping list. There is sure to be something for everyone, naughty or nice.
Kettlebells are great training tools. A kettlebell is a great new piece of equipment to add to your home gym. With the current popularity and interest it is easy to find a local kettlebell class, join in and learn some new moves.
The bodybar is another great piece of training equipment to add to your arsenal. It provides an effective resistance-training workout. There are some easy to follow body bar workout books with killer routines.
Resistance bands are the most simple, convenient, and affordable equipment option in fitness equipment. They have total portability for great fat-loss workouts that can be done anywhere.
Work out Gloves
Especially for the ladies, having work out gloves will not only “save” their hands but also provide hand-strengthening benefits that come with a better grip. Gloves completely change the stimulus of any upper body pushing or pulling workout.
A foam roller is a must for anyone who works out regularly. You can give your whole body a massage from head to toe. They’re excellent for recovery, decreasing injuries, and keeping your body performing at its best.
Keeping track of workouts and daily food journaling is key to overall success. Give the gift of organization with a great day planner or pretty notebooks.
There is so much new technology on the shelves. How about the latest version of the Apple iPod Nano . It has a touch screen, like an iPhone, which is great for navigating.
Massage Gift Certificate
This is for someone at the top of your list.
What’s all the buzz, minimalist footwear, anything from the Vibram FiveFingers to the Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove. They are light and extremely flexible, great for travel (packing). Love them.
Sunglasses worn while performing sporting activities need to be lightweight and nonfogging. They also need to stay on during fast movement and of course, look sleek.
Wool Sox- Keep those feet warm with wool sox, great for running outside in the colder weather.
Arm Warmers- First there were leg warmers…Wear these with tees or over long sleeves. Once you heat up, push them down or take them off.
Subscriptions- to health and fitness magazines, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Beverages- Tea, coffees and red wines, all known to reap health benefits.
Many working Americans are sitting at their desks all day, dealing with a certain level of stress and eating out regularly. Not to mention the dreaded deserts in the “break” room and desks topped with candy dishes. These are all contributors to weight gain. Here are some easy ways to zap some calories and make better choices.
1. Don’t skip breakfast, the most important meal of the day.
2. Pack your own lunch, plan your meal the night before and “brown bag” it. This way you will know exactly what your eating and how much.
3. Check out the menu, if you plan to eat out for lunch, go online and view the selections. That way you can make an informed decision once you get there.
Get A Move On
1. Take a walk, spend half your lunch break taking a brisk walk to torch some of those calories.
2. Use man power, bike or walk to work. If you have to drive to work, park your car in the space farthest away from your building. 3. Do chair exercises, leg extensions, seated calf raises, ab crunches,etc…These movements will expend energy and burn calories.
4. Use the stairs, instead of the elevator.
5. Ask Santa, for a treadmill desk. Put that at the top of your workplace wish list.
1. Brush your teeth, reduce the temptation to put something else into your mouth once your mouth feels clean and fresh.
2. Snack smart, bring a few healthy snacks to work with you each day, or leave them in the break room. Good choices are Greek yogurt, fruit, nuts.
3. Stay hydrated, water will keep you feel full, prevent fatigue and help you shed pounds.
4. Breathe, avoid stressing out. Try mastering breathing techniques to help you stay calm and handle any overwhelming tasks that may be thrown your way.
1. Make a change, a break room stocked with healthy vending machine and beverage options. Everyone will benefit.
2. “Biggest Loser”, hold an office challenge to see who can shed the most pounds.
3. Form a group, walk together at lunch, discuss diet and nutrition during break time. Compare food journals to hold each other accountable.
***Especially careful and considerate during Holiday Season, with boxes of chocolates and cookie swaps !!!
Post Turkey Day Tips and more for the Up and coming Holidays that follow…
Eat more Turkey
Eating more protein will help you shed pounds, so pile on the poultry. Avoid anything too fatty such as excess gravy and turkey skin.
Eat Your Veggies
There is such a great variety of vegetables at holiday feasts, unlike any other time of the year. Fiber makes you full faster and keeps you feeling full longer, if you eat more of it you’re more likely to be trim. Be careful to watch how the vegetables you eat are prepared.
Take away the Chill
Tea to the rescue, drink green tea. Green tea is a brew with benefits…fends off disease, helps with cholesterol, boosts metabolism and burns fat. Sipping tea before your meal also helps to fill you up. Peppermint and Cinnamon are also good selections.
Red, Red Wine
Have that drink. Studies show drinking wine in moderation can aide in weight loss. Red wine drinkers had the best effects.
Worst Holiday Habits…
Bad: Missing your Workouts
Good: Don’t get wrapped up and neglect your gym routine. If you can’t maintain your usual regimen, take a walk or do an extra lap around the mall during your holiday shopping. Now is also the time to take advantage of those great gym deals.
Bad: Stressing Out
Good: Cut down your to-do list; many tasks are small enough to drop or delegate. Striving for perfection can wear you down, store-bought goodies will be just as appreciated as homemade.
Bad: Losing Sleep
Good: When you don’t get enough sleep, your appetite hormones go crazy. When you’re sleep-deprived, you’re also more likely to crave sugar and other carbohydrates because of the quick boost of energy they provide. Sleep deprivation can pack on the pounds.
Good: With so many Holiday parties to attend you can easily fall off track, and keep on falling. Keep your weight in check by having cheat days, not cheat months.
It’s the same old story year after year…gaining weight during the holiday season is a national pastime. How did we become so side tracked from the true meaning of holiday and so focused on food.
This holiday season does not have to sabotage your efforts to stay trim, be healthy and Enjoy!
Get A Move On
Get ahead of the Holidays. Eat less and exercise more to prevent weight gain.
Training and participating in those Turkey Day 5K Races will create a calorie deficit/ burn before indulging in your favorite foods.
Eat smart all season long and have those hard-earned “cheat meals” (not days/weeks) at holiday feasts.
Don’t starve yourself the day before trying to “save” calories for the next day. This is a recipe for disaster and will lead to overeating.
Eat a nutritious breakfast, such as egg whites a slice of whole-wheat toast and 1/2 a grapefruit. You may also want to eat a small snack before arriving at the feast. This will give you more control over your appetite and reduce the need for second helpings.
“5 Super Easy’s”
1.) Choose wisely. At Thanksgiving there are so many favorites to choose from, scan the spread and fill your plate with only the most desirable. Even better the most nutritious (White turkey meat, plain vegetables, sweet potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories).
2.) Portion control.
3.) Skip the Seconds. Opt for leftovers.
4.) Drink lots of water. Go easy on the alcohol.
5.) Eat Slowly.
Whether you are doing the honors yourself or bringing a dish, make your recipes healthier.
Use the bountiful resources available giving you options for smart, healthy tasty cooking.
Use fat-free/ low sodium chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy.
Use natural sugar substitutes in place of sugar and/or fruit puree instead of oil in baked goods.
Try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.
My favorite: Ditch the Crisco!
Dressing properly will keep you warm and toasty during the winter months. How do you stay warm while exercising when it’s cold outside?
Follow these easy tips…
Cold hand and feet are the main reason people do not like to exercise outside during the colder months.
Here is what you can do:
1. Warm up before you go outside
A great way to warm up is to take a hot shower before going out for a run.
2. Wear gloves and hats
Gloves can always be zipped away in pockets if your hands get too hot. I like to wear the athletic tops that have the “glove” at the end of the sleeve you can poke your fingers through. ***Glove liners, mittens.
Hats can also be removed. Better to keep them on to retain body heat. ***Scarves.
3. Layer clothing
As your body adjusts to the outside air and you “work up a sweat” from your exercising, you should have layers of clothing that can be taken off if you start overheating. Start with a base layer made from a material that wicks perspiration away from your skin. Avoid cotton because it traps moisture and draws heat from you. ***I usually wear long underwear, sweat pants, turtleneck and tee-shirt with my Northface or Down jacket when it is really cold. Don’t wear jeans!
4. Sneakers and socks
Stay away from cotton. Wool, and CoolMax are all good choices.
Depending upon the activity, you can find the right sneakers for winter exercise. If walking or running on slick surfaces add a little traction to
5. Avoid the wind
Check the wind chill index, the stronger the wind the colder the temp will feel. Be mindful when bike riding. You may risk frostbitten noses, fingers and toes.
6. Be prepared
Taking time to prepare makes it safe and enjoyable. I carry tissues, hair tie and a few dollars in my pocket when running or walking. In my car I have
water, quick nutritious snacks, extra clothing and footwear.
*** If Walking
Joining a gym can be scary and intimidating. New gym-goers feel nervous and that all eyes are on them. I always tell my clients, “once you get a basic routine and get in the groove, you’ll be “toolin’ around like you own the place”
Tips for overcoming common workout fears.
“The exercises look too hard”
For someone who has not worked out, the thought of attempting a push up or even a crunch in front of fellow gym goers is like torture. Some of my clients ask if they can practice at home first.”
The fix: Start with beginner modifications and then progress into the full version of the exercise. Find other exercises to build your strength first .For example, you can strengthen your chest and shoulders before attempting a push up.
“Will I get too bulky?”
Women are always concerned that they’ll build too much bulk if they start working out.
The fix: It’s a fact that building lean muscle revs up your metabolism, burns fat, and sculpts the body. Most women don’t produce enough testosterone to bulk up from a few gym sessions a week.
“It takes too much time”
People think that they must work out for an hour or they won’t get results. Blocking out a whole hour for most seems impossible.
The fix: You can get an effective workout in a short period of time, but you really have to work it. Use short bursts of exercise with short recovery breaks in between. This is called high-intensity interval training, it has the same effect as exercise performed for a longer period. Even in 30 minutes you can burn a lot of calories and that’s what counts.
“I’m going to fall off the treadmill”
I think we have all seen someone get dragged off the dreadmill, I mean treadmill at some point. The treadmill can be intimidating.
The fix: Start off using the stationary bike. Also, ask the staff to show you how to use it. When using the treadmill start at a slow pace, gradually working your way up manually. Stay away from programs set by the machine until you are more comfortable and familiar with the controls.
“I don’t like exercising”
Activities such as lifting weights or cardio can seem like a chore. Some people don’t like exercising or find it boring.
The fix: Variety is the spice of life. I mix it up by using the treadmill one day, bike one day and then do the elliptical another day. Or sign up for a class that you think will be fun.
“I feel fat”
The extra weight you’ve gained is making you feel insecure and embarrassed.
The fix: This is why your joining the gym, to get healthy and trim. It’s all about you. Everyone is there for the same reason, it’s a wonderful network and environment for support.
“I don’t what to do”
When first joining a gym many people have no idea where to begin. Trying to figure out the machines and the adjustments can be overwhelming.
The fix: I love to read books and magazines that explain muscle groups and workout plans. I also started with home videos. All of these resources can help boost your confidence. Hire a personal trainer to familiarize you with the equipment and give you a starter routine!