Posted: September 06, 2016|Categories: Weight Loss
1. Not Having A Plan
Your primary objective should influence the amount you do, as well as the the intensity and the type (cardio, resistance, stretching) of every workout. Pick a goal such as losing 10 pounds, running a 5K, or improving your endurance and research proven plans. This is a great way to optimize your workout and stay focused!
2. The All-Or-Nothing Approach
Research shows that just ten minutes of exercise can provide important health benefits. A ten minute workout is better than a 0 minute workout!
3. Skipping The Warm Up
Taking 5-10 minutes to gradually increase your body temperature and heart rate decreases your risk of injury since working cold, stiff muscles can lead to sprains and tears. Warming up also increases circulation and improves range of motion.
4. Not Switching Up Your Routine
Once your strength and stamina improve, it's time to upgrade your routine. The same workout week after week will lose its effectiveness and may lead to injury or burnout, as well as becoming incredibly boring. To switch up your routine, you do not need to spend more time at the gym. Simply try to manage your time differently and more efficiently. This is why interval training has become so popular!
5. Unbalanced Training
Most people focus only on certain muscles (such as the abdominals or biceps), but it's important to work your whole body and core.
6. Rapid Progression
Exercising too hard and too often, or increasing intensity too quickly, can result in injury and/or setback.
7. Ignoring Heavy Weights
It can be intimidating, but you aren't gaining anything from avoiding heavy weights. You have two types of muscle fibers: slow and fast. If you don't use the heavier weights, you neglect the fast fibers, which are important for moving quickly, lifting heavy objects and for spine and hip stability. Ladies, if you're worried that you'll bulk up, don't be. Women cannot add much size to their muscles due to low concentrations of testosterone.
8. Not Protecting Your Bones
It’s important to do weight-bearing exercises to help protect your bones. While treadmill walking is sufficient to keep the spinal bones strong, your hip bones need more loading. Remember the terms "steep," or "step." Either increase the steepness (incline) on the treadmill or attempt stepping exercises.
9. Incorrect Machine Set-Up
Exercise equipment is adjustable. It's important that you set it up to fit you correctly before you use it. Using poorly adjusted equipment could lead to injury and/or setback. If you're unsure about proper set up ask a staff person at your local gym or 2nd Wind Exercise fitness store.
10. Always Running At A Steady Pace
Again, we’re back to interval training. It teaches your muscles to burn energy more efficiently so you can go faster. Try starting out with a half or one-mile warm-up, then doing four to six rounds of running faster than your regular pace for a quarter mile and then switching to a slower pace for the next quarter mile. Strive to gradually lengthen the faster-paced intervals, but be careful not to progress too rapidly. Limit these interval runs to a few times a week to help avoid injury.
If you’re a busy working professional you know it can be hard to fit in daily exercise, which also makes it even harder to achieve weight loss goals. With so many busy professionals strapped for time, we wanted to figure out how they can still lead a healthy lifestyle and, more importantly, lose a little weight while working. So, we turned to a few personal trainers, who are also 2nd Wind store personnel, for some tips on how to squeeze in a little extra calorie burning activities throughout the day. Here’s what they suggest:
1. Take Time for Walk Breaks: Movement is crucial when trying to lose weight. Every time your body moves, calories are being burned. If you’re at a desk all day, be aware of the dangers that come along with sitting too much. In fact, check out this infographic we put together awhile back. It’s a quick insight into some of the issues that come along with sitting too much, as well as some of the benefits regular moving can bring. OK, let’s get to it. Here’s what we suggest you do every work day. Go for walks. Whether it’s down the hall, around the building, outside in nature… wherever you decide, grab a buddy and go! Set a schedule and hold yourself accountable for completing your walking goals each day. If you have a whiteboard in your office, write down your schedule so colleagues see it and ask about your progress. Set calendar alerts reminding you to head out for a quick stroll for 5, 10, 20, or 30 minutes, depending on what your schedule allows. Schedule at least two, 30 to 40 minute lunchtime walks per week.
2. Move While You Work: Be cognizant of how much you can actually move while you’re completing daily work tasks. Do you talk on the phone a lot, read documents or watch webinars from time-to-time? Those are perfect opportunities to move while you’re being productive. Having a desk that gets you moving is one of the best investments you can make for your health. Treadmill desks (see the LifeSpan Treadmill Desk pictured below) or bike desks will allow you to move with your work right in front of you. Walk or bike at a pace that suits you and you’ll be surprised at how many calories, steps or mileage you can cover while getting caught up in workloads.
3. Increase walking speed: If you have a treadmill desk, bike desk or take walks outside throughout the day; add a little HIIT or high intensity interval training to the walk. Just like any other workout effort, moments of increased speed equals an increase in calories burned. Try taking your speed from 2.0 to 4.0+ for one minute on your treadmill desk, then bring it back down. Continue that cycle as much as you can. Maybe your 30 minute lunch time stroll incorporates this HIIT effort; one minute up, two minutes back down, and repeat.
4. Be sure to hydrate: Do you drink enough water throughout the day? Take a look at your daily water drinking habits. How much should you drink? That depends on size and weight, and also on your activity level. You should drink between 1/2 an ounce to 1 ounce water for each pound you weigh, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day. What are some benefits to drinking more water? Water boosts metabolism, helps break down food, flushes out toxins, helps you feel fuller and acts as a natural energy booster (just to name a few). Keep it cold! An added bonus of drinking icy cold water? It burns calories! Drink one 16 oz. glass of cold water and burn up to 17.5 calories. As your body brings down the temperature of the water, it will burn calories.
5. Incorporate fat burning foods: Foods like green tea, whole grains, hot peppers, lean meats or lentils can actually boost your calorie burning engine, even while you’re not moving or exercising at all. Spicy foods like hot peppers contain a high thermogenic which increase the heat in your body causing it to burn more cals. Enjoy foods with whole grains? Great! You’ll burn a little extra there, too. In fact, your body burns twice as many calories breaking down whole grains so that’s a win-win!
6. Eat smaller food portions more often: Shrink your tummy by consuming those foods above in smaller portions more often throughout the day (aside from breakfast, lunch and dinner). Consider having 5 to 6 small meals a day. Start with a breakfast that includes hearty whole grains, berries and nuts, then mid-morning, have a snack. For lunch, keep the portion small because early afternoon, you’ve got another snack waiting for you. Then, have a portion controlled dinner when you get home. Breaking down your meals into smaller portions throughout the day might take your stomach some time in getting used to, but once you do, you’ll notice your hunger is satisfied much earlier than it used to be. Smaller amounts will start to be plenty of food for you (pay attention to those changes).
If you’re using fitness equipment to help you reach weight loss or fitness goals, try adding some body weight exercises to the mix to really fire things up. Here’s a fun elliptical workout, created by our certified fitness coach, Joli that will rev-up your metabolism and sculpt those legs. In no time you’ll be done with this very effective workout! Let’s start with why you need this: An intense interval session on the elliptical is a great way to burn some serious calories and get your lower body circulation ready for training. By targeting the large muscle groups of the lower body, you'll keep your metabolism revved up for hours, supporting your weight loss.
Now, let’s get started:
Start with five minutes of easy movement on your elliptical, bringing your heart rate up to 75% of your max effort. Increase your intensity working at 85% of your max effort for 90 seconds, recover for 45 seconds, repeat.
Lunges: Step in and out of a lunge 20 times on your right leg. Repeat on your left leg. Follow by completing 16 stationary lunges on each leg. For more resistance, add plates or dumbbells into each hand and complete a bicep curl with each lunge.
Elliptical: Reverse your pedal movement for five minutes. Maintain an uncomfortable level of intensity (you should be able to speak in short sentences.
Bodyweight squats: Keeping your torso upright, sit your bottom down as low as you can. Stand up. Repeat for 3 minutes. Rest for 30 seconds. Follow with a Wall Sit for up to 90 seconds, with breaks as needed.
Bridge with toe taps: Lying on the floor with heels close to your bottom and knees towards the ceiling, lift up into bridge pose. Pressing into your left heel, lift your right heel, leaving right toe on the ground. Lightly tap right foot up and down. Complete 16 reps. Repeat on the Left. Complete two to three repetitions taking a break between as needed.
You're finished with this elliptical workout! Nice work. Now, make sure to stretch and recover your muscles so they're ready to hit this again in the next few days.
Love coffee? That’s completely OK! If you drink it black you’re not adding any extra cals for the day. Black coffee is one of the lowest-calorie drink choices around, and it’s a great weight loss ally. Coffee alters levels of gut peptides, the hormones naturally released to control hunger or fullness.
Coffee drinkers may be a lower risk of liver and colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease, and it may help you live longer: A 2008 study found that women who drink coffee regularly – up to six cups a day – were less likely to die of various causes during the study than their non-coffee-drinking counterparts. And, caffeine in coffee can speed up metabolism and fat-burning, which helps lower your risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Try this recipe: Healthy Iced Coffee
Calories: 37 per ½ cup
This sweet, yet light on calories snack cures that sweet-tooth without the guilt. And, beets are also rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants. Beyond their rich, earthy deliciousness, beets are also a nutritional powerhouse nutritional powerhouse. Rich in iron, fiber, folate, and potassium, they’re an excellent way to boost the nutrition in a salad or pasta dish.
Try these easy beet recipes
3. Brussels sprouts
Calories: 38 per cup
Brussels sprouts are super-low in calories but loaded with cancer-preventing phytonutrients and fiber. These veggies, sometimes called little cabbages taste great, especially when roasted with a sweet or tangy sauce.
Try this roasted Brussels sprouts recipe
Calories: 27 per cup
Another great tasting vegetable, especially with a light sauce or pinch of lemon – Asparagus is traditionally known as a detoxifying food, because it contains high levels of amino acid that acts as a diuretic, flushing excess fluid out of your system. It also helps speed up metabolism of alcohol and other toxins (it’s a surprising hangover remedy). Asparagus is also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E and K, B6, folate, iron, copper and even protein.
Try this grilled asparagus recipe
Calories: 4 per cup
This delicate, full of peppery flavor green is amazingly low in everything you don’t want, especially calories, fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. However, it is loaded with fiber, vitamins A, C and K, and other nutrients, including potassium.
Arugula is perfect in salads, soups, over pizza or within pasta.
Add arugula into your diet with these recipes
For another low-calorie food option, try our spaghetti squash recipe.
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.
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.
If you're a calorie counter and really want to know how much your workout is burning, here are 7 exercises proven to melt some serious cals.Read more »
Running. I bet you either love it or you hate it, but it’s a great way to burn a lot of calories – hopefully that will keep you motivated to run like the wind! It’s an easy exercise to get up and do because it doesn’t always require a treadmill or gym membership; you can just walk out your front door and go. Running can burn about 550 calories per hour.
Jumping rope. This fun, yet intense workout can burn about 750 calories. Jumping rope is a great warm up – start with 10 – 20 minutes before you begin your workout to get a good jump start on burning those pesky calories.
Swimming. A great workout that puts your joints at ease. And, since you’re using your whole body in this workout – not just your arms or legs – you can burn up to 650 – 700 calories in a hour swim.
HIIT (high intensity interval training). This workout is great because it switches things up throughout your work out. Before you know it, you’re done and burned a ton of calories. This workout involves short quick routines that are done at a fast pace, and you alternate different exercises with no rests in between. You’ll only have to do about 20 minutes to burn around 300 calories, without any cardio at all. For example: you might do 30 seconds of jumping jacks, then hit the floor and do 10 pushups, then another 30 seconds of jumping jacks, followed by 20 squats, then 20 sit-ups… and so on. It’s intense, that’s why it burns so much, so fast... then voila! You're done.
Kickboxing. This is a great full body workout. It’s a fun way to burn calories as well as get out some aggression. This is great for muscle building as you do your cardio. Burn up to 500 - 700 calories in a 40 minutes session.
Cycling. This is a killer calorie workout you can do all year round. In the winter you can join a spin classes, or cycle comfortably in your own home on your own time with a gym-quality spin bike. In the summer, of course you can get out and hit the bike trails and go for miles. Either way, cycling can burn about 500 calories per hour.
Aerobics class. There are a variety of different classes you can take; body pump, zumba, step, barre, circuit training. Regardless of what you take, you can burn around 500 – 700 calories per hour if you really move!
Kettlebells are the door-stop looking, cannonball-shaped workout tools that you’ll want to add to your routine if you want to get a leaner, tighter figure without spending much time. If you're curious about all the benefits training with these weights can have, then you've come to the right place. Here are 10 benefits of kettlebell training:Read more »
- Saves money: No gym membership required here, and only one kettlebell needed in this training, saving you space and money (depending on the type of training you do, a second kettlebell may be required). You can do kettlebell training in your living room, backyard or take them to the beach.
- Lose more weight in less time: Kettlebell workouts can tighten and tone your whole body, but the dynamic all-muscles-on-deck movements also burn a lot of calories – studies show up to 20 calories per minute, or 400 in a 20-minute session.
- Combine “cardio” and “strength” training: This exercise gets your heart racing, building cardio as well as strength. Your whole body is working to move, or swing, as well as stabilize the kettlebell, building the proper balance of mobility and stability.
- Versatile and fun: Let’s face it, long exercises can get boring. And as a result of that boredom, they're easy to give up on. As mentioned earlier, kettlebell training can be a quick exercise, so that makes it more achievable and fun! From swings to squats to arm strengthening exercises, you’re constantly moving and burning through this workout. With an exercise that’s quick and versatile, you’ll likely stick with it!
- Solution for busy people: Busy people want the biggest bang for the buck. Kettlebells can be the solution to trying to squeeze cardio and strength training in an already busy schedule. Because of the intensive nature, the workout duration must be kept short. Best of all, they are so small and portable, training can take place even in your office.
- Improves posture: Using so many muscle groups in conjunction means your core has to stay engaged 360 degrees to stabilize each and every movement. It’s important to note that good form is essential in kettlebell workout, so stop and rest if you feel like your form is deteriorating.
- Easier time performing daily tasks: Working out with a kettlebell is the definition of what fitness pros call a "functional" workout. That means it works your muscles in the same way as when you do everyday activities, like picking up a toddler, carrying your laptop bag, hoisting a gallon of milk, or lugging a heavy grocery bag.
- Increase core and back strength: As you train with kettlebells, keep your core engaged and posture stabilized. As you move through your training, you’ll build strength, as well as flexibility.
- Full-body workout: From shoulders to calves, kettlebell training works many different muscle groups, all while giving you a cardio lift. As you train with kettlebells, you’ll notice your entire body engaged and working hard, burning and conditioning.
- Boost your bum: The kettlebell swing is the foundation for many other kettlebell exercises, and it simultaneously firms your butt and abs. As you do the kettlebell swing, your body is in a squatting position, already firing up the bum.
- Here’s a how to do a swing: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, your hips and knees slightly bent, and your back and arms straight, pick up the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, knuckles facing forward. Hinge forward from the hips and swing the bell back between your legs, then exhale, straighten your legs, and pop your hips and pelvis forward to propel the kettlebell upward to about chest height (that’s the butt-toning part). As you lower the kettlebell, your abs will contract—like a built-in crunch. Continue with one fluid movement as you lower back to the start and repeat. (It’s okay to start with smaller swings to build the momentum until you get the hang of the movement and can swing it to chest height.) Once you’re comfortable with the movement, try to swing the kettlebell with one hand, alternating hands with each rep (both hands come to the handle on the upswing, and one releases as you swing down).
You decided you want to start a new diet or fitness regimen GREAT - now where do you start?! If you're a Googler like me, you have already looked up a thousand fitness websites, blogs and instagram accounts and you're probably feeling a little overwhelmed - that's okay! The biggest thing is to make sure that you sit down and figure out what you want to achieve and the time-frame you're looking at. Figuring out the workouts and the diet are also important, but if you're not sure what you want to achieve, it becomes tough to figure out the right plan and diet for you. I've broken down three important things to think about when you're setting your plan:Read more »
- Set a long-term goal
- Set short-term goals