What are the best foods to eat for exercise? I hear this question a lot as a personal trainer in Bethesda. What we eat is important for our body. If you fuel it with good food, your body will thrive. However, if you fuel your body with poor foods, your body will break down. What foods to eat for exercise will determine how effective your workout is and the results you gain. Let us talk about a few great foods to eat for exercise!
Foods to Eat For Exercise Before Your Workout
The foods to eat for exercise before your workout in Bethesda will focus on making sure your body has enough energy to do the workout. Foods to eat for exercise will be those that release the energy (and won’t spike your insulin levels) needed during your work out. Sample foods are: eggs, bananas, oatmeal, Greek yogurt, fruit smoothies and other fruits like apples and berries.
Foods to Eat for Exercise After Your Workout
The foods to eat for exercise after your workout in Bethesda will focus on foods that will help you recover. Also, the foods to eat for exercise should be those that will help increase your muscle mass and lose weight. Foods to eat for exercise after your workout include foods such as: grilled chicken, veggies like: spinach, broccoli, green beans and asparagus, eggs, avocado, fish, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
What foods to eat for exercise in Bethesda are important. What we eat will continue to be important to determine how we look in the mirror, energy levels and overall health. Our bodies need energy before the workout and they need fuel to recover after the workout. The foods I have given to you as a personal trainer in Bethesda will help with this. If you need help determining the best foods to eat for exercise in Bethesda, give us a call at 240.200.4003 0r schedule a FREE consultation with us TODAY!
Women and knee pain is unfortunately, very common. Women and knee pain is a big one in our society that ranks up there with men and ankle injuries. Whether it is from playing sports, being overweight or some type of acute injury (like a car accident), a lot of women suffer from knee pain. Like us men, women choose to just deal with the pain instead of doing something about it. However, there are a few simple takes you can take to help you with your knee pain. Here are my two tips to help women with their knee pain.
Tip #1 for women and knee pain deals with weight loss. If your body is holding more weight than it should, your joints will let you know. Your joints, particularly, the knee joint, can only bare so much load before they start to wear and tear. Weight loss has helped a lot of people eliminate knee pain. One of the best ways to lose weight is to do the following: drink more water (at least half your body weight in ounces as a starter), get more sleep (7-9 hrs. /night) and lift weights (2-3x/week,doing total body exercises). For women and knee pain, these tips have helped other women to reduce or get rid of their knee pain.
Do Specific Corrective Exercises
Tip #2 for women and knee pain deals with specific exercises. If extra weight is not the reason why you have knee issues, then it could be that you need to strengthen and stretch the muscles that have a relationship with your knees. If you are not currently doing this, then I recommend you do the following:
Women and knee pain is common today. Whether your knee pain is a result of being overweight, some past injury or neglecting to include exercises for your knee area in your workout routine, you can work to get rid of the pain. Weight loss and doing specific corrective exercises are both great ways for women and knee pain to eliminate the pain! If you would like help from us in eliminating your knee issues, CONTACT US today for a free consultation!
Gaining weight without gaining fat can be hard, especially since most people want to lose weight, not gain it. How can those who want to gain weight do it without gaining fat? My recommendation is by doing resistance training and eating right. Sound familiar right? Well, it is! This formula is not going anywhere and helps with so many things! Let’s talk about gaining weight without gaining fat.
Gaining weight without gaining fat must include resistance training. In order to gain weight using resistance training, you have to make sure you have the right volume (sets, reps, weights and intensity). The right volume would be something close to doing 3-5 sets of 6-12 reps of moderate to heavy weight for each muscle group 3-5x/week. If you are a beginner, then starting with three sets of 12 reps is best for you. If you are a veteran with resistance training, then 5 sets of 5 reps might be best for you. Gaining weight can be done right through the right kind of resistance training!
That old saying, “you are what eat” could not be truer for gaining weight without gaining fat. You have to eat a healthy portion of protein (a fist to a fist and a half) such as salmon, eggs, beef and chicken. Along with protein, you have to eat a good portion of vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, green beans and avocados. Along with protein and vegetables, you have to eat moderate amounts of fruits like bananas and tropical fruits. Lastly, extra foods like vegetable oils, peanut butter, granola, whole wheat bread and 100% whole fruit juices can help you with gaining weight without gaining fat. Keep in mind that the healthy eating goes along with the resistance training. If you do one without the other, you may not gain healthy weight.
Gaining weight without gaining fat can be hard to achieve. However, if you incorporate the tips above, you will gain healthy weight in no time and look awesome doing it! If you would like help with learning how to gain healthy weight without gaining fat, please contact us today!
Fitness advice is just that, advice! You must take it with a grain of salt while considering the source. As a fitness professional with almost 20 years of experience, I have heard a lot about fitness. There probably has not been day that has gone by in my days of training clients, watching people exercise and exercising myself that I have not heard something that made me “cringe” lol! Here are a three of the worst fitness advice that I have heard.
“No Pain, No Gain”
Worst fitness advice # 1: Our society has become so use to pain that we now ignore something that our body gives to us as good thing! While exercising may result in a temporary uncomfortable feeling, it should not leave you with pain. Pain is a warning sign from your body that there is something wrong right now or is on the way. So, when we are swimming, lifting weights or going for a run, we should not have pain. Pain leads to injury. Perhaps if we change the phrase to say "No Pain, No Injury" that might help people avoid pain while exercising. If you have experienced pain while exercising, you should seek a medical professional soon!
“You Have to Stay in the Fat Burning Zone Only to Lose Weight”
Worst fitness advice #2: While this may be true for some people, staying in the "fat burning zone" only that is written on the cardio equipment is not required. The fat burning zone was developed to encourage novice exercises to remain compliant to exercise. If they could exercise for 30 minutes/day at a light intensity (i.e. fat burn zone) as opposed to 15 minutes of exercise at a medium to high intensity, then they are more likely to come back and do it again. This is true, but, our bodies are capable of handling more stress without injury. As an alternative better fitness advice, interval training is a way to ensure that one gets best of both worlds. For example, if a person wants to workout four times/week, then they could do two days of the fat burning zone and two days of a higher intensity. This allows the body the maximum capability to achieve results while allowing it proper recovery too.
“Lifting Free Weights Will Make You Bulky”
Worst advice #3: Lifting free weights is one of the best things a person can do for exercise. It allows a great amount of good stress to be put to our bone structure, help with weight loss and improve our posture. In order for a person to get “bulky” from weight lifting, their volume (i.e. sets X reps X weight) would have to be high, however, most people in the gym never get their volume high enough to do this. For example, the average gym goer lifts weights 2-3 time/week and does 2 sets of 15 reps at a moderate intensity. This is not enough to get bulky. However, it is enough to get stronger & allow for some muscle definition (tone).
There has been plenty of bad fitness advice given over the years that has resulted in what is called gym science. Gym science is basically not proven information that tends to float around in gym conversations. Typically speaking, they either have been proven wrong or not proven at all. No pain, no gain, staying in the cardio zone only for weight loss and lifting weights makes you bulky are all forms of bad fitness advice that are not true. You need good fitness advice, so, let us give that to you. Why not schedule a free consultation with us NOW!
The bridge exercise is one the best exercises ever. I say this because one of the muscles that tends to be weak on most people are the glutes, aka: butt. When we talk about the butt, we generally speak of the muscles that help you to stand up from a chair. Those butt muscles include the: gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, hamstrings & adductor magnus. Don’t worry; I will not get anymore technical with you than this!
One of the best exercises to work the butt muscles is an exercise called the bridge. The bridge can be done by just about any person as it is a beginner core exercise. Let us discuss three benefits that come from doing the bridge.
It Helps to Stabilize Your Butt
We sit a lot. Sitting for long periods of time does not allow our butt muscles to work properly. Eventually, prolonged periods of sitting leads to our butt muscles having a hard time working like they use to. As a result, they become less stable. This means that they are not ready to do its job of helping you to stand and do other activities. If your butt is not stable, then you could potentially injure yourself or cause another muscle (like your piriformis) to work more than it should. Well, the great thing about the bridge exercise is that it can help get your butt back working again. It does this because it is specifically designed to extend (lengthen) your hips. The butt is a major hip extender!
It Helps to Prevent Lower Back Pain
Another issue that could result from weak butt muscles is low back pain. If your butt muscles are not stable or weak, they could change the position of your pelvis. Changing the position of pelvis could put stress on your lower back and force it to work unintentionally when it should be stabilizing your pelvis and hips too. By bridging, you are getting your butt muscles firing, stable and stronger while at the same time reducing the work that the lower back was doing. So, the bridge exercise helps to properly stabilize your hips and reduce the amount of work being done by your lower back.
Assists in Helping to Stretch the Hip Flexor Muscles
Unlike the butt muscles that shut down when we sit for long periods of time, the hip flexor muscles are working overtime. The hip flexor muscles, aka: psoas, TFL and rectus femoris to name a few, are all working more than they should when we sit all day. However, by doing the bridge exercise, you can help to stretch those muscles and return them back to their normal length. This is accomplished because while in the bridge, you are lifting your butt in the air. By default (or at least it should be by default), those opposite muscles, aka: hip flexors, will lengthen (or stretch).
The bridge exercise is truly a functional exercise that is very good for stabilizing your pelvis and butt while at the same time reducing stress to your low back and hip. It should be a part of just about everyone’s core exercise routine. If you would like help learning how to bridge, please contact us today for a free consultation!
The perfect squat is not something we do everyday. However, squatting is something we do everyday. It is a movement that does not require a lot of thought. You probably did it this morning when you went to the bathroom, lol! However, when it comes to squatting in the gym that can be another ball game. Here are some basic tips to master the "perfect" gym squat.
The Perfect Squat
Depending on what fitness professional you talk to, you might get five different answers of what they think is the perfect squat. Here is my definition of a perfect squat.: a perfect squat is a squat that your body can do according to your make up. What this means is that everyone does not squat the same. Things such as limb length, flexibility and past or current injuries can dictate how you squat. Now, there is such a thing as an ideal squat. An ideal squat, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine is:
- Start with feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Toes pointing forward, back straight.
- Squeeze the butt and pull the shoulder blades toward the spine.
- Keep eyes forward and a neutral head posture.
- Push the feet apart as if trying to spread the floor, and descend as though you’re sitting into a chair; knees should track in line with toes.
- Descend for about four seconds, with a one-second contraction back to standing. Repeat for desired reps.
Like I said, this is the ideal squat. However, if you don’t have the flexibility or strength to do so, your body may compensate. Typical squat compensations include (see pictures below): your knees moving toward each other, feet turning out, excessive forward lean of your upper body or your lower back arching or rounding.
Stretch the Calf & Hips
These two muscles are super important when it comes to the proper squat. They are responsible for helping your butt muscles move in and out of the squat. If they are not flexible, your squat form could be on shaky ground, which could lead to injuries. I recommend the following stretches to make sure these muscles are flexible.
Start With a Stability Ball
Using a stability ball or exercise ball can help keep your body in proper position. In order to do this, you would position the ball in the middle of your back against a wall. Make sure your feet are hip to shoulder distance apart. Place your hands on your hips. Slowly descend into the squat, keeping your eyes forward, as if you are sitting in a chair. Once your thighs break parallel to the floor, ascend back to the starting position and repeat for desired number of reps. I recommend 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
Medicine Ball Squat
As an advanced version to the wall squat, the medicine ball squat will challenge your upper body in addition to your lower body. The set up remains the same as the stability ball wall squat, except you will hold a medicine ball in your hands at your chest to help your upper body stay upright. I also recommend 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps for this exercise. The medicine ball should most likely not exceed 8-10 lbs.
While the perfect squat may not be something one can accomplish, there is certainly an ideal squat and ways to achieve it. By following the exercises and stretches mentioned in this article, you can certainly get very close to a perfect squat! If you would like help with achieving the perfect squat, please CONTACT US today!
Foam Rolling has become very popular. It has become popular because we are not as active as we once were. Our lifestyles today do not require as much movement as it once did. A perfect example of this is the grocery store Giant’s Peapod delivery service! Not moving our bodies wrecks them.
For those that are active, injuries may still occur. When a person is not active, does a lot of sitting, sleeps in awkward positions or when a person is active and gets injured, their body responds by putting their muscle tissues into overdrive. In other words, they end up working harder than they should which leads to knots in the connective tissue found throughout our entire body. This is where foam rolling in Bethesda can be very helpful.
What is Foam Rolling?
Foam rolling is applying gentle, consistent pressure to a sore or tender muscle through a device like the one picture above. That pressure will send a signal from your muscle to your brain telling it to relax. If you are familiar with a massage, then, you can think of foam rolling as a self-massage.
Why Foam Rolling?
According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), foam rolling is beneficial to help alleviate discomfort. For example, if a person does a lot of sitting, then most likely their hip muscles will be working too much. Foam rolling in Bethesda will help the hip muscles to return to a normal state of work. Also, since overworking muscles causes your body to compensate and have poor posture, foam rolling can help to correct bad posture too.
How Do You Foam Roll?
First, you must determine what muscles on your body are working overtime. To find this out, I recommend you talk to your local corrective exercise specialist (like me). This could be a physical therapist, personal trainer (who is at least certified as a NASM-CES) or massage therapist , to name a few. They can watch your posture and how you move to determine which muscles might need foam rolling. Typical muscles that need foam rolling include one’s: calves, hips, lateral to mid-back, thighs and chest. For example, if one determines their calf muscles are working overtime, the protocol would be to sit down on their butt with the foam roller placed directly underneath their calf muscles. The person would apply gentle pressure by pushing one of their calf muscles into the foam roller. If they feel any discomfort (discomfort should not be higher than a 7 on a scale of 1-10), they would hold that spot of discomfort for at least 30 seconds to allow the calf to relax. If a person does foam rolling in Bethesda on a regular basis (I recommend 3-5 times/week for four weeks), they could accomplish significant improvement to their tight muscle and posture, which means less discomfort to their body.
Foam rolling is a proven technique that allows overactive muscles throughout our bodies to return to a state of normalcy. If you have muscles on your body that do not feel normal, foam rolling may be the solution. If you are interested in learning more about foam rolling and feel that it could help you, please contact us today for a free movement analysis & foam rolling session TODAY!
Is exercise for busy professionals possible? From our professional careers, to family and technology, we are all busy. When busy happens, we seem to forget the things that really matter, like our health. Ouch! However, exercise does not have to be a chore or an event. Here are three tips that will help make exercise for busy professionals doable.
Exercise During Commercial Breaks
Tip #1 for exercise for busy professionals is to exercise while while watching TV. Why not take advantage of this time during the commercial breaks, to exercise? It will not take long and after watching TV for one hour, you would have completed 20-25 minutes of exercise. I recommend the following exercises: jumping jacks, planks, squats, lunges and pull-ups. These are all exercises that use your body weight and do not require a lot of space. Try these Exercises You Can Do At Home. Let us move on to tip #2.
Tip #2 for exercise for busy professionals is to play! I’m sure we all remember the game Twister right? It was fun and we did not even realize that it was exercise too. I recommend you bring that game back or make up a game similar to it. I also suggest video game exercising, particularly Wii boxing, tennis and or bowling as a great way to get the family involved in exercise with you. Top Five Wii Games
Tip #3 for exercise for busy professionals is to do household chores. Although it may not be fun, doing household chores together is a great way to exercise. Turn on some upbeat music and make it fun! Mopping, dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes, folding clothes, etc. all require certain muscles to work! If you focus on them as exercise, it can turn into a workout. Try these out for measure: House Bingo & Household Chores Into Exercise.
Exercise for busy professionals can be challenging to fit in. I hope I have made it easy for you to start exercising with the three tips I gave. So, get to moving! Contact us for a FREE diagnostic consultation so we can show you how to exercise as a busy professional!
How to stay motivated to keep fit can be hard. We are living in a different world where everything is fast paced and ever-changing. We are not loyal to each other nor our jobs. Technology has made things really easy for us. Oftentimes, this mindset can carry over into our fitness too. It seems as if we think our bodies are going to get and stay in shape without us doing anything (the magic pill syndrome). As a fitness professional, I must admit that I sometimes fall into this category too. I have found myself being lazy and saying to myself: "I still “look” fit, so I am good." Well, we can overcome this together by these three simple ways of how to stay motivated to keep fit.
Have you noticed that when we write things down and put them in a place where we can see them consistently, we tend to get those things done? This is no different with our fitness. Suggestion #1 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to put it on your schedule. That is right; schedule your fitness into your calendar. However, do not just put it down and leave it there. Write down the exact days and times you will do it each day and give yourself reminders.
Do Fitness Events
Suggestion #2 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to do fitness events. There are tons of fitness competitions that are fun, competitive and require you to be in shape. How about a five or 10 K? Not interested in that, how about something like Tough Mudder or The Spartan Race? Not interested in those, well, how about an event that raises money for a cause that interests you like the Susan G. Komen or the Congenital Heart Walk? I am positive you can find something that will fit your personality or philanthropy.
Suggestion #3 for how to stay motivated to keep fit is to exercise with someone. Most of us do not like letting people down. We typically will get things done when someone else is depending on us to do so. As a result, finding a workout partner could be the missing key to you staying motivated to keep fit. Statistics show that having an accountability partner improves one chance of success!
Although we are busier now than ever… Even though we are not as consistent with things in our lives as we use to be… We cannot let those excuses keep us from doing what we know is good. So, how about you schedule your workouts, find a competition or get an exercise buddy for your solutions of how to stay motivated to keep fit! If you would like help with how to stay motivated to keep fit, please contact us today!
Belly Fat, that awful dreaded thing hanging over your hips… You know, that stuff that you have to pull in really tight to fit into those favorite jeans of yours. That part of your body that you hate looking at in the mirror. Yes, I went there! Let us face, belly fat is frustrating and typically hard to get rid of right? Well, if you follow the three tips below, you might be surprised to see your belly fat (and fat in other places on your body) gone “bye, bye” in the next 30-45 days!
Drink More Water
Drinking more water helps to get rid of belly fat. Oftentimes, the extra fat we have on our bodies is a result of toxins being held onto. Water is a great way to flush those toxins out. You should try to drink at least half your body weight in ounces, if not more, each day.
Cut Out the Booze
Yes, you heard me right. Drinking alcohol really has no health benefit that you cannot get from something that is not intoxicating. One of the major downfalls of drinking wine (or beer) is all of the empty calories it has. I understand that it is relaxing, but look at the expense you get instead. That expense is weight gain, particularly as belly fat! Some alcoholic beverages contain as much as 200-300 calories/glass or container. Ouch! That might be the calorie deficit you need to help you lose one to two pounds/week, particularly from your belly fat.
Add-In or Increase Your Resistance Training
Oftentimes, people turn to tons of cardio to help them lose belly fat. While cardio exercise can certainly help and is recommended, please do not neglect the benefits of resistance training. Resistance training helps to develop muscle. Our muscles are great in helping our metabolism (the calories we burn each day) stay active throughout the entire day in burning fat. If you are not weight lifting, you should be!
Belly fat is not necessary and you should not feel that you will never get rid of it. If you incorporate the three tips above, I am confident your belly fat will start to melt away! If you would like more help with helping your body shed fat away, then please contact me HERE for your free consultation!