Stepping it up

In this episode, we are stepping it up with John and Tammy.

John discusses his exercise program, which includes walking about 15,000 steps per day.   He has been working on his squats and is making improvements to his form.

We introduce the concept of Tabata to his workouts. The premise of a Tabata is a series of rounds where you move as hard as you can with an exercise for 20 seconds, in this case squats, jump squats or even push-ups.  Then you take 10 seconds of rest.   The cycle is repeated for a total of 4 minutes.    If you really want to step it up, you can walk a lap or two when the first cycle is finished, then repeat another cycle with a different exercise.

There are apps that you can find that are Tabata timers or interval timers which work well with this concept and guide you through the on and off cycles.   It provides a fantastic workout in a short period of time, while increasing your cardiovascular endurance.

Stepping up your exercise routine with Tabata or interval training will give you a good metabolic kick. We will continue to follow John and Tammy as they continue their health and fitness journey.


Do you have patience, persistence, and progression

Tammy success and lessons learned


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 29, 2016

Fat 101

I received a request on Facebook to discuss body fat in more detail. Consider this Body Fat 101. Body fat can be complex, as there are different types of fat and various reasons for it to be stored. Specifically, there are two types of body fat. The first is white adipose tissue, where energy is stored as fat. The second type of fat is brown adipose tissue, which generates heat. Brown adipose tissue is something you will want to have.

It’s also important to consider where the body fat is stored. Visceral or abdominal fat is packed between the organs. This is a bad fat. Abdominal fat is linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, and inflammatory disease. It is more common in men, but as women get older, their bodies may shift toward a tendency to store more body fat in the abdomen. Subcutaneous fat is located under the skin and muscles. This type is not as dangerous as the abdominal fat. If you are in good shape, simply try to keep your body fat in a reasonable, healthy range.

It’s important to note that eating dietary fat does not give you body fat. In fact, it is the insulin response to blood sugar that causes fat storage. When you eat simple carbohydrates and processed foods loaded with sugar, your blood sugar and insulin will spike and lead to a gain in body fat. This is why it is important to eat sensible, real food and avoid processed foods.

Contrary to popular belief, the scale is not an accurate way to measure body fat. Great ways to get an accurate body fat measurement include being evaluated by a professional or using a DEXA scan. The DEXA scan will not only measure body fat, but also indicate your bone density.

To better understand your personal Body Fat 101, be sure to take measurements of your body and use tools at your disposal to estimate your body fat. For more information on health and fitness measures, visit http://older.fitness/measures to obtain a helpful guide.

How to of strength and mass


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 26, 2016

Deanna gets momentum

Deanna Gets MomentumDeanna is a homeschooling mom of six who lives a very busy lifestyle. However, she’s also a runner who has gained momentum and improved her health and fitness. She wasn’t always this way though. In fact, she used to feel as though she was in a rut. She didn’t get out of the house a lot and wasn’t involved in anything. She felt frumpy and lacked motivation.

Over the years, she would work out on and off. She would walk every day or do fitness videos, but nothing really stuck. At the beginning of 2013, Deanna didn’t want to be a “frumpy hermit” anymore. She logged into My Fitness Pal and the rest is history. Since then, she has logged into My Fitness Pal each and every day. She had always known what she needed to do, but never really set her mind to it until 2013.

She started running and doing strength training. Deanna also did the Couch to 5k program. She remembers it as being difficult to run for one minute. If one week of training was too difficult, she repeated it. She felt it was important to listen to her body. She didn’t want to overtax herself and risk injury, so she took it slow. Though she continued to wonder—what else can I do? Her positive momentum and drive to succeed was still pushing her forward.

For Deanna, it all started with a decision and commitment. She pushed through and continued to challenge herself with a progressive program. She has seen fundamental changes in her body composition and health as a result. Though she never imagined this level of fitness, she knows it is a lifelong pursuit. She advises others to find something they’re passionate about. Try different fitness routines until you find what you like. Have patience and persistence, and soon you will create a momentum that will lead to progression. To connect with Deanna, send her a message on My Fitness Pal as RunningForeverMama.

Mel goes from couch to infinity


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music


February 25, 2016

How is sleep affecting my weight loss?

It’s true that sleep has a significant impact on your health, and more specifically, your weight loss. This was shown in a study from November 2015 called “Interactions Between Sleep, Stress, and Metabolism.”

The study pulled together information to explain how a lack of sleep can adversely affect one’s health. It found that sleep is a major component to keeping the body healthy and the metabolism working well. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body continues to stay in a stress mode. The body is not fully recovering, adrenals are being overstimulated, and cortisol is being produced. Excess cortisol can lead to weight gain.

Another interesting study showed the connection between sleep deprived individuals and exposure to unnatural light in the evenings, such as from a television or computer. This stimulation from the unnatural light was throwing off the individuals’ hormone cycles. As a result, they were gaining more weight than those who were only sleep deprived and not exposed to the unnatural light. This is a cautionary tale to those who stay up late to watch TV or work on the computer, as these activities could be adversely affecting fat loss.

The key is to maintain good sleep hygiene and adopt a pattern of behavior that will allow you to enter and stay in a rested state for the night. Be sure to select a noise-neutral location. Don’t eat or drink things that could be disruptive to sleep, such as caffeine or alcohol. There are also apps that can monitor your sleep and provide information as to how long you maintain a deep sleep or if you have issues with snoring or sleep apnea. Sleep studies can also be an option. Simply find tools that will help you to manage your sleep better.

If you’re not sleeping well, you will struggle in getting healthy. Sleep is so very important to your overall health, including your weight loss. Getting adequate, solid sleep will allow you to have more energy, feel better, and experience fat loss.


Sleep smarter | Shawn Stevenson

The magic of sleep


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

Note: Link to episode 107

February 24, 2016

How to not die of diabetes | Dr. Michael Greger

This episode contains Part 2 of a two-part series with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die. Dr. Greger’s book includes information and real stories of individuals who were able to reverse the signs of diabetes simply by adopting a plant-based diet.

The health benefits of a plant-based diet are incredible. In fact, the plant-based diet is the only diet that has ever been proved to reverse heart disease. In the 1930s, the first studies that showed the reversal of Type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet were released. Individuals who went on this diet were essentially cured. Their blood sugar levels became normal and they were able to go off all of their medication.

The truth is, there is no excuse to not eat healthier, especially for those who have diabetes. Dr. Greger discussed his “Daily Dozen” – a checklist of all the things one should fit into their daily routine. This includes the best greens, berries, nuts and seeds, and beverages to consume, as well as how much exercise to get.

After all, diet is the key driver to the reversal of diseases including hypertension, heart disease, and chronic diseases in general including diabetes. Premature deaths are preventable with simple changes in diet. The key is to recognize that we are all on the path to gradually improve our diets. Any steps we take will accrue significant health benefits.

In the last few decades, much awareness has been brought forward, but there is still work to be done. One issue is that people have a tendency to underestimate the power of diet and its effect on our bodies. Switching to a plant-based diet is a proven method of reversing Type 2 diabetes and has many other health benefits. Be sure to make any changes with the supervision of a physician, who can keep a close eye on your levels and remove any medications at the proper time. To connect with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die, go to www.nutritionfacts.org to find his contact information.

How to not die of heart disease | Dr. Michael Greger

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

Do you have patience, persistence, and progression

It’s time to check in with clients, John and Tammy. Their journey has been one of patience, persistence, and progression, and they’re not done yet.

Tammy mentioned that while she was on the treadmill, she was watching her heart rate. She can actually gauge the intensity of her workout based on her heart rate. The maximum heart rate to achieve during a workout is calculated by subtracting one’s age from 220. Of course, there are varying levels that can be achieved depending on where one’s heart rate falls. In an aerobic state, the body is getting plenty of oxygen and burning fat. In a more intense anaerobic state, the body burns sugar and not so much fat. In either case, the body is burning some fat. While Tammy was on the treadmill, she noted that her heart rate did not exceed 110. This may indicate that she should add intensity to her workout to give her a greater challenge. This will allow her body to respond by burning more fat. However, any physical activity is burning calories and improving her cardiovascular health.

Tammy explained that she was unable to do squats like John, but that she used dumbbells and did the leg press. In doing the leg press, it is important to be cognizant of form. She will want to ensure she has a solid base and keeps her knees from extending beyond her toes. Doing this exercise will help to build her strength.

Finally, Tammy wondered about the inside of her thighs, which have begun to droop since losing some weight. Fortunately, skin is very elastic and may retract over time. Though some areas of loose skin may not go away completely, this can be aided through using moisturizer and building muscle in these areas. If those alternatives do not fix the issue, skin removal surgery is always an option in extreme cases.

John and Tammy are getting stronger and building endurance every day. As they continue along their fitness journey, their success is evident in the patience, persistence, and progression they have displayed thus far.


You are in the gym, now what?

Stepping it up


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 22, 2016

What is high intensity interval training?

What exactly is HIIT or high intensity interval training? HIIT is an intense workout where you are giving a full 100% during your intense sessions. However, the intense sessions are followed by a recovery session that usually lasts three times the length of the intense session. HIIT is designed to put a metabolic challenge on your body, which helps to rev up your metabolism. HIIT is a quick and easy way to get an intense workout while improving your cardiovascular fitness and boosting your metabolism.

With HIIT, it’s important to focus on your diet first. When you do intense work, you burn certain calories and set up your metabolism for a post-workout burn. This increased metabolism can last as long as 24 hours. It’s important to know how your body will react, and then monitor what you’re eating. You will need enough fuel to fully recover before your next high intensity interval training.

In the work phase, you need to hit 100% effort. Move and work hard, but only do it for 30 seconds or less. An example of a good work phase would be doing sprints. Remember, the rest interval that follows will last three times the length of the work phase. This allows the body to hit recovery. During the work phase, a heart rate can go up to 190. Once the heart rate is back to 125, then it’s time for the next work phase.

When first starting high intensity interval training, you may only be able to do three or four rounds. That is normal. You want to take it slow at first. With HIIT, it is possible to over train and stress yourself. Because of this, you will never want to do more than 10 rounds in a session.

When trying high intensity interval training or HIIT, the key is to start slow and work hard. Try one session per week. If you’re recovering fully, add another. Give it a try and see what you think!

A secret weapon in your health and fitness journey


Ben Sound Royalty Free Music





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