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Is Heart Rate Important For Weight Loss?

Yes!! It’s a common misconception that if you’re looking for the best weight loss results you should workout in your “fat burning zone” at about 60% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. However, the fat burning zone burns fewer calories than working out at the higher intensity “aerobic” zone (70% to 85% of your maximum heart rate). The body may burn a greater percentage of fat in the fat burning zone compared to higher intensities but in the aerobic zone you burn way more total calories AND more fat calories overall than at lower intensities. Of course, caloric burn also depends on a workout’s duration and it is easier to work out longer when exercising at a lower intensity.

Heart Rate Monitor

Electronic heart monitors, such as Polar products, typically consist of a wristwatch-like display and an electrode-studded chest strap that provide accurate, real-time heart rate information. Using a heart rate monitor can help you pace yourself and can also motivate you to exercise. With your heart rate monitor you can observe if your workouts are helping you to lower your resting heart rate. You can also monitor your workout routine to see if you can maintain the same pace but get your heart to pump more slowly or to see if you can shorten the time it takes your heart rate to return to normal after a workout.

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Common Running Mistakes

Running Mistake Blog Photo
  1. Pace: The key to starting a running routine is to Increase your mileage gradually, upping your mileage about 10% each week. Be sure to take rest days, they’re important to your recovery and injury prevention as your muscles build and repair during this time.
  2. Core: Runners who do core exercises four times a week run faster on average than those who didn’t according to a study done by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research so be sure to include some core workouts into your routine!
  3. Stretching: Stretching when your muscles are cold is not a good idea so instead warm up a little bit with a quick running then stretch and continue your workout. Sleep: Make sure you are getting enough sleep, your body needs rest to improve your recovery.
  4. Overstriding: Try to keep your steps light and quick, overstriding, or landing heel first with your foot well ahead of your body’s center of gravity wastes energy since you’re braking with each foot strike, and may also lead to injuries such as shin splints. Try to land mid-sole, with your foot directly underneath your body.
  5. Arms: Some runners swing their arms side-to-side, which makes your breathing less efficiently. Additionally, there is a tendency to hold the hands up near the chest, especially as you get tired, however this can actually make you feel more tired and creates tightness and tension in your shoulders and neck. Try to keep your hands at waist level with arms at a 90 degree angle and elbows at your sides. You should rotate your arms at the shoulder, opposed to the elbow, and keep your posture straight. If you feel yourself slouching poke your chest out!
  6. Nutrition: Nutrition is important for running performance and overall health. What and when you eat before, during, and after your runs matters. Eat a snack about 1 to 2 hours before a run that is high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein such as a banana and an energy bar, or cereal with milk. If you’re going on a long run (over 90 minutes) you need to replace some of the calories you’re burning through sports drinks, or bars. You should be taking in about 100 calories after an hour of running and then another 100 calories every 45 minutes after that. Post run it is important to replenish energy quickly as studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise which means eating quickly after your workout can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. Choose foods of primarily carbs, and protein with a ratio of about 1 gram of protein to 3 grams of carbs such as a fruit and yogurt smoothie. Carbohydrates are important to runners as a major source of fuel, so don’t cut them out of your diet! After hard runs, grab your post-run carb snack, and then follow up the evening with a meal of carbs and protein to rebuild muscle.
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Workout Habits to Quit

Workout Habits to Quit Doing Now

It’s easy to get in to a routine and forget to change your workouts. If you get in to the habit, don’t forget to keep challenging yourself. Below are some of the most common habits that you should quit in your workout.

1. Working out alone:
Most people get a better workout when they’re with someone else. It’s more enjoyable to share it, you’re more likely to keep showing up, and you’ll push yourself harder if you have some competition.

2. Long workouts of moderate intensity:
There’s a reason they say, “No pain, no gain.” You can’t improve your fitness without pushing yourself. It’s much better to go 20 or 30 minutes at high intensity, than it is to go for an hour at a comfortable pace.

3. Wasting time between reps:
Don’t look in the mirror, don’t check your phone, don’t start conversations with other people. Plan out a certain workout for a certain time period, and get it done.

4. Too much cardio and no strength training:
Some people are all about burning calories, so they just focus on the treadmill. But building muscle is important too. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn throughout the day.

5. Hydrating with sports drinks:
Most sports drinks have too much sugar. Go with water instead . . . the extra electrolytes aren’t worth all the empty calories.

6. Doing the same exercises all the time:
The more you do something, the more efficient your body gets at doing it. If you run half an hour a day for six months, you’ll start burning fewer calories. Try rotating your workouts on a regular basis.

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Traveling During the Holiday

Trim Up While Traveling for Thanksgiving.

Turkey Workout

Thanksgiving is the busiest time of the year for traveling. While you are busy celebrating and catching up with family and friends. It is easy to forget a workout. Here are a few traveling workout tips to keep you motivated throughout the holiday.

1. See the sites, old or new:

Where you’re reminiscing over childhood memories, or visiting a new place, make sure you get out and see it. Go for a long walk or a jog. If this is where you grew up, go for a stroll to see how things have change and bring back memories. This will make it feel more like and adventure rather than a workout. If you’ve never been there, it will feel exciting to gallivant around town.


2. Stuff your suitcase:

Make sure you pack plenty of gym clothes. On your down time, go to the fitness center. If you are in a hotel with a pool, unpack your swimsuit and go for a swim. Or check out some new trails and go for a hike. Grab a cousin, sibling or spouse and go together.


3. Download your favorite workout:

Share your favorite workout with your family, while everyone has some down time or are waiting to get going. You’d be surprised how far a 20 min workout video can go while traveling and enjoying a Thanksgiving feast.


4. One step, two step:

If you’re staying in a hotel and are on the 15th floor, take the stairs! It will be challenging and even if you do it one time a day, it will still feel good. If you love stair climbing at the gym, take advantage of being at your hometown and go to the high school football stadium. Climb until you can’t any more.


5. Just do something:

This is the perfect opportunity to play with your niece or nephew you only see a few times a year. Take advantage of their energy and play with them. Play catch with a parent or go for a walk with your grandparent. This will get your blood pumping so you can enjoy a Thanksgiving feast, guilt free.

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Fall Fresh Recipes

Fall is finally here and we’re kicking off the season with fresh food ideas! This is a great time of year to incorporate healthy and organic fruits and veggies into your meals. Did you know in Minnesota the fall brings apples, figs, artichokes, arugula, grapes, beets, cabbage, carrots, chard, squash, green beans, kale and so many more delicious options! With this great variety of ingredients you can make endless dishes and you’ll never get bored.

Check out some of our favorite recipes below:Apple Chips

Baked Apple Chips:

Ingredients:
3 medium sized sweet apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs of sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Slice apples. The thinner you slice them, the faster they will bake and the crispier they will be.
Mix the sugar (optional) and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples slices.
Bake for a total of approximately 1 hour then flip the slices, and bake for 1 more hour.

Hearty Vegetable Curry:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup sliced yellow onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
2 tbs chopped cilantro

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add sweet potato to pan and sauté for 3 minutes.
Lower heat to medium and add cauliflower, onion, and curry powder. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Add broth and tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat.
Simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with yogurt.

Caramel Apple Protein Shake:Apple Shake

Can’t live without your shakes? Us either! Plus the apple adds a serving of fruit to your meal.

Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (your choice)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 small apple, skin removed and diced
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
2-3 ice cubes
2 tablespoons sugar-free instant butterscotch pudding mix

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Allow the shake to thicken for a minute. It’s that easy and delicious!
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When to Run

For anyone with a gym membership, it is well known that the worst time to run is generally directly after the typical work day; finding an empty treadmill can be even more difficult than pushing yourself to even go to the gym. But does that mean this is the best time of day to get in your exercise?

Studies vary between what is considered the best time of day to go running, strong arguments can be made for different parts of the day

The case for running in the morning:

Research has shown that running in the morning might keep you more motivated to run. In studies compared to those who run in the morning versus those who run in the afternoon or evening, morning runners are more consistent with their workout regimens. For those who are training for a race, research indicates that your body can adapt to the time of day that you normally train. Most races are run in the morning, so if you are training for a race, your body will adjust to early-mornings runs.

The case for running in the afternoon:

Research has shown that it is best to run when your body temperature is at its highest, generally around 4 or 5 pm. Other studies have confirmed that exercisers perform better on physical performance tests, including aerobic capacity, endurance, reaction time, and strength between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.

The best time to workout depends on what time is best for you and your schedule, so pick a time and stick to it!

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Reasons to Exercise

“I’m embarrassed to start working out.”

“I want to lose some weight before I go to the gym.”

“I’m out of shape.”

Everyone has an excuse not to exercise but how about some excuses to exercise.

  1. Keeps your heart healthy: Strengthens your heart muscles and reduces your risk of a heart attack
  2. Helps lose weight and keep it off
  3. Helps prevent back problems and back pain.
  4. Increases self-confidence and self-esteem.
  5. Strengthens bones and helps reduce risk of osteoporosis.
  6. Improves sleep.
  7. Improves immune function which decreases risk for infectious diseases.
  8. Maintains physical and mental functions as you age
  9. Reduces anxiety and depression.

So every time you give yourself an excuse not to exercise, counter your excuse with one of these. Having a bad day? Go exercise to reduce anxiety and depression. Feeling tired? Exercise improves sleep. Worried about health related issues? Talk to your doctor, exercise can help prevent and/or treat a wide variety of common issues.

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