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Jump Rope - A Full Body Workout

Jump Rope – A Full Body Workout

I love seeing people get fit. That’s why I started my programs in Sterling, VA and Fairfax. However, I also know that for various reasons, not everyone can join. That doesn’t mean you can’t workout. There are a number of workouts that don’t require expensive equipment and some may use inexpensive equipment like a jump rope for a full body workout. There’s a reason you see boxers in movies and real life jumping rope. It’s super healthy and can get you in shape fast.

You’ll get a cardio workout every session and quicker than running.

Jumping rope is no walk in the park, neither is it a jog in the park! In fact, one study showed that working out jumping rope for ten minutes every day for six weeks provided the same effects as a 30-minute jog every day. It’s the up and down jumping that makes it more effective and able to get the same results in a third of the time. In one minute, you’ll burn more calories and trigger more muscle moves than you get in rowing or swimming, yet it’s low impact.

Think about the actual movements in jumping rope.

You move your upper body, lower body and boost your cardiovascular system when you jump rope. Not only that, you can switch the way you jump rope and target certain body areas. If you never jumped rope as a kid or were horrible at it, start simply. If it’s easiest for you to jump with your feet together, do it that way. If jumping one foot and then alternating to another, like you’re walking do it. Sometimes you’ll mess up and get out of rhythm. Don’t let that stop you. Keep up the bounce on your toes and the rope in your hands, when you’re ready, bring the rope forward and start jumping again.

Jump rope like boxers do.

Boxers use the rounds to set the pace for the number of minutes they jump rope. Each round is three minutes with a one minute break. Most people start with just three rounds and work toward eliminating the break and jumping through it. Once you’ve mastered the traditional jump, go for a jump where you lift your knees high, alternating your legs as you jump. Try skipping as you jump rope or criss-cross the rope. There’s a number of moves you can do with a jump rope. I find jumping with both feet at once seems to be the hardest for most people. The beginning session should only take about twelve minutes, including breaks.

  • Jumping rope provides benefits for muscle tone, flexibility, rhythm and cardio. It works shoulders, arms and legs.
  • A jump rope workout can be turned into a HIIT workout. Jump at top speed for a minute and do a couple of minutes of recuperation, then back to top speed.
  • If you want to include strength training a bit in your jump rope session, there are specialty heavier ropes that add building muscle and burning more fat to the equation.
  • Double bouncing, side-to-side jump and a single leg jump are more advanced, giving most people something to challenge them as they improve and building different muscle groups. You can also incorporate jump rope sessions with bodyweight exercises.

Having Trouble Staying Motivated?

Having Trouble Staying Motivated?

It’s not the push-ups or the tough cardio that’s the biggest problem getting fit, it’s staying motivated that really ends most people’s fitness plans. No matter how avidly you searched the internet for the best fitness plan, if you don’t stick with it, it will do no good. In fact, someone that simply walks for a half hour a day will actually do better than someone that has a surefire workout but only continues for a week. If people would see a difference in their energy level and body within a day, everyone would look great. Personal trainers specialize in helping people stay motivated, which is one reason they often get the best results.

You decide whether you’re going to fail or succeed.

Everyone has a different motivating reason that made them start a workout program in the first place. It might be an upcoming class reunion or something more severe like a health issue. That reason for starting should be motivating. It should have meaning to you. If it’s to improve health, find a way to remind yourself. Create a poster and record your progress toward reaching your ultimate goal. Whether it’s a specific weight, endurance goal or even blood pressure goal, make it something that is important to you. Keeping your goal in front of you is important.

Don’t depend on just the scales.

Sometimes, the scales lie to you. That’s right! Your weight will fluctuate for a number of reasons, which include temporary water weight changes. Over the long haul, you’ll see exactly how well you’re doing, but weighing too frequently can give a false picture of your weight. If you’re working out and building muscle, but don’t show a weight loss, it could be that you have far more muscle tissue, which weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does. You’ll find that taking measurements will help you in that case. You’ll be thinner and your measurements will be smaller, even though your weight didn’t change. Seeing success is super motivating, so find ways to make sure you see the whole picture.

Get a group on social media who all have goals.

You don’t have to all have the same goal of getting fit or losing weight. One person may want to run a marathon, another may want to quit smoking and you may want to lose weight. Sharing your goals with the group and keeping them posted with updates on how you’re doing helps keep you accountable. Make the group small enough to keep it personal.

  • Having a workout buddy is another way to keep you motivated and hold you accountable. If you’re meeting them at the gym for workouts, they know whether you show and just how hard you’re working.
  • Don’t quit if you mess up one day. Get right back to your goal the next day. Maybe you skipped a workout or ate a whole cake. It’s just one transgression and doesn’t define whether you failed or succeeded. Get back on track and never give up.
  • Make your workout as important as any other appointment. Put it in your planner and assign it an appointment time.
  • Do what you can to make it easier. If you plan ahead, it helps. Plan meals for a week and even have them partially prepared and ready to pop in the oven over the weekend. Find ways to increase the amount of exercise you do. Even little things count when you’re working toward a goal, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

Are Supplements A Waste Of Money

Are Supplements A Waste Of Money

If you’re wondering whether supplements are a waste of money, what you’re really asking is whether you really need to supplement and if they help. I get the same question from people in Fairfax and Sterling, VA. They hear about these miracle pills on infomercials that tout the benefits of certain herbs or juice concoctions you can buy at a health food store. Do you need them? That depends on a number of factors. What’s certain is that they don’t replace healthy eating! There are situations where supplements may help. Smokers, people under stress and seniors may benefit from additional vitamin C, for instance.

Taking a vitamin D may not be necessary.

People in warmer climates may not need to supplement their diet with additional vitamin D if they sun safely. The body creates its own vitamin D from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Slathering up with sun blocker every time you leave the house isn’t a healthy way to handle the sun. Instead, smart sunning, getting small incremental exposure to the sun daily, then blocking unnecessary rays with sun block, can help you improve your vitamin D level. You need Vitamin D to build strong teeth and bones, improve mental functioning, boost your immune system, help reduce abdominal fat, improve hair and heart health.

Age and sex may dictate the types of supplements you need.

Pregnant and lactating women may need different supplements from their counterparts who aren’t. Women of birthing age also should supplement with folate, just in case they do get pregnant. It’s important for the baby. B12 can help improve energy and magnesium supplements can help reduce the risk of muscle cramping—think coronary as the biggest risk, improve energy, lower blood pressure and aid with hormone balancing. Both older men and older women often have more problems processing food and absorbing nutrients, so supplements may be necessary.

Supplements can’t perform miracles.

Taking a supplement won’t overcome poor eating habits. It won’t overcome bad lifestyle decisions like lack of exercise, lack of sleep and leading a stressful life. You can’t go on a bender where you drink to excess and smoke continuously and expect a pill to solve the problem. NOTHING can replace a healthy lifestyle, no matter how great the supplement is. Remember, no matter how convincing the advertising, supplements aren’t miracle cures for weight loss, building muscles and boosting your health. Nobody regulates the supplement industry, so you may be paying a fortune for benefits you can get from simply eating healthier.

  • If you eat healthy and life a healthy lifestyle, but still feel you need a supplement, always check with your doctor first, especially if you take medication. Some interact with medications.
  • Some vitamin supplements may be money flushed down the drain, literally. Water soluble vitamins like vitamin see pass through your body and are eliminated in your urine if you don’t need them.
  • Fat soluble vitamins accumulate in your body in your fat cells. You can get too much of those. They can create health issues, so be very careful when you supplement Vitamin A, D and E.
  • A large group of research studies show that supplementing with Omega-3 fatty acids can boost your heart health. Taking fish oil supplements may be beneficial.

Rules To Build Muscle Mass

Rules To Build Muscle Mass

Clients in Sterling who want to build muscle mass, often come to me with questions about taking steroidal types of supplements. Not only are they illegal, they’re extremely dangerous. There are healthier and better ways to build muscle tissue naturally that aren’t just safe, but also boost your overall health. It all starts with healthy eating and the right type of workout.

A carefully planned diet for building muscle mass is the foundation.

What you eat makes a huge difference in whether you’ll be successful or fail. You need high quality protein in your diet, as well as healthy fat and carbs. If you expect to have the building blocks for muscle, protein is a must. To have the energy to work to your top potential, you need energy and that comes from carbs. Just make sure you eat the carbs earlier in the day, not late at night when they can be stored as fat. Besides its many other functions, healthy fat helps you recover faster from a workout. We’ll work with you to get the best nutritional program for building muscle tissue.

What you do in the gym makes a big difference.

You won’t get great results training seven days a week, for several hours a day. In fact, working that hard is counterproductive. It doesn’t give your body a chance to heal and healing is what builds muscle tissue. Exercise causes micro tears in muscles, then the muscles rebuild even stronger and larger. If you overtrain and don’t give your muscles a rest to heal, it can cause injuries or tear down muscle tissue. Focus on strength training no more than four days a week—three is best—and keep those workouts under 75 minutes at the maximum.

The right types of exercise can be more efficient and help you reach your goal faster.

Whatever you do, don’t focus on cardio. It burns calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Strength building exercises, particularly compound exercises like squats, deadlifts or lunges, workout more muscle groups, improving efficiency. Strength training HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts that alternate in intensity, burn calories and build muscles fast.

  • No matter how hard you workout to get a six-pack, if you have a layer of fat covering them, nobody will know. Strength-building workouts not only build muscle tissue, they burn fat tissue, too.
  • You need to constantly make your workout harder, either by increasing the number of repetitions or increasing the amount of weight you lift. If you don’t challenge yourself, you won’t see the improvement you want.
  • Building muscle requires more calories than you normally eat. If you’re having problems consuming enough calories, consider healthy smoothies with protein powder in it.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Your body needs sleep to heal the micro tears in the muscle and recover from your workout.

Fat Loss Mistakes

Fat Loss Mistakes

Every day there’s a new miracle diet that will help you shed pounds quickly or some new supplement that makes it easier. That’s one of the reasons there’s so many fat loss mistakes that not only can slow down your progress, they even make it harder to lose weight. One of the biggest mistakes I often see is doing too much cardio. Yes, cardio does burn calories, but it also uses both lean muscle mass and fat to secure those calories. That means you’ll lose more muscle mass. The less you have, the slower your metabolic rate, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does.

Another fat loss mistake is thinking that all it takes is exercise.

It happens all the time. People spend 45 minutes to an hour working out and then leave and eat more than they otherwise would. Just because you’ve worked out, it doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want to eat and still lose weight. A large order of fries and a large soft drink at a fast food place has more than six hundred calories. An hour workout will burn slightly less, so you’ll be gaining weight, no matter how hard you work. It takes more than exercise, a healthy diet is mandatory.

Cutting out fat and choosing “low-fat” foods may be your downfall.

Watch out for those low fat foods. They’re often worse for you than the full fat variety when it comes to weight loss. Not only do you need healthy fat for younger looking skin, a healthy heart, healthy brain and other health benefits, it also fills you up and keeps you satisfied longer. Studies show that low fat options often leave people hungrier and they tend to eat more. They also are made more palatable by adding extra sugar that can spike your blood sugar levels and increase insulin. That can pack on the pounds.

Not hitting the weights is a big mistake.

If you want to burn calories and boost your metabolism, strength-building exercises are the way to go. When you do strength-building exercises, you’re building muscle mass while you burn calories. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to keep weight off in the future. There’s also an afterburn that boosts calorie burning by as much as 11% for up to 38 hours. You’ll lose both inches and weight when you do strength-building workouts.

  • Make sure you eat enough protein. It’s necessary for building muscles. It’s also a thermogenic food with up to one-third of the calories being used for digestion. It also keeps you feeling fuller longer.
  • Making certain you have enough fiber in your diet, especially viscous fiber that absorbs water and creates a gel, will fill you up quicker and keep you fuller longer, while also blocking the absorption of some calories.
  • Setting unrealistic goals can impede your progress by killing your motivation. It can cause you to be frustrated and give up completely.
  • Extremely low calorie—fad—diets can impede your weight loss progress. The body mistakes it for starvation and slows your metabolism to make sure there’s energy for vital organs.

Is Going Grain Free Better For Your Health?

Is Going Grain Free Better For Your Health?

You may not realize how much controversy there is about going grain free. People on one side of the issue say it’s a healthier lifestyle to exclude grain, while others keep grain in their diet. Even clients in Sterling, VA will vary on what they do, unless they have gluten intolerance, then grain free is the right choice for them. Grains are tough to digest. Consider the outer coat of the seeds. It’s tough and meant to pass through the intestines of animals, while protecting the seed. That’s why it’s only useful when ground.

If you choose to include grain, choose whole grains over processed grains.

Processing takes out the nutrients, especially in white bleached flour. It changes it to a simpler sugar rather than a complex carb. There’s more fiber in whole grains and that means it’s heart healthy and helps lower blood pressure and prevent bloat. Some grains contain gluten, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s healthy by the label gluten-free. Everything that doesn’t have gluten isn’t necessarily healthy. For instance, potatoes are gluten-free, but potato chips aren’t healthy. Gluten is one of the hardest proteins to break down in our system and hybridization of crops have increased the amount in grains, making it even harder to digest.

Grains can give you more than tummy trouble.

Seeds, which basically what grain is, spread through a variety of ways. One of those is through the excrement of animals. The animals eat the seeds, they don’t digest and they’re carried a distance inside the animal until the animal eliminates them. They don’t digest for a number of reasons. One is the hard shell on some seeds, another is the enzyme inhibitor they contain. Seeds and grains have this inhibitor so the plant doesn’t grow until the time is right. Unfortunately, it also can block your own enzymes for digestion when you eat grains.

Watch out for phytic acid.

Grains and seeds contain phytic acid that can block the absorption of nutrients in the small intestines. It doesn’t block all absorption, just iron, calcium and zinc. While some seeds, such as pumpkin seeds, contain an abundance of the nutrition, so blocking some isn’t a problem, grains don’t, especially processed ones that have many of the nutrients removed. Celiac disease and leaky gut as well as milder digestive problems can be caused by eating grain.

  • You don’t have to give up grain entirely to avoid these problems. For instance, there are breads made from sprouted grain that have more nutrition and less phytic acids.
  • The enzyme inhibitors in grain also can cause difficulty digesting protein and a protein deficiency. Those enzyme inhibitors are tannins. Some studies show they can contribute to mental illness, besides digestive upset.
  • Going grain free is part of a Paleo diet. It’s based on the fact that growing and eating grain wasn’t part of early man’s existence, making grain more difficult to digest.
  • According to one study, not only was going grain free good for people with Celiac Disease, it also reduced inflammation, adiposity and insulin resistance. Eating grain actually added to weight gain and going grain free aided weight loss.

Exercise Helps Your Sex Drive

Exercise Helps Your Sex Drive

You should already know about the health benefits of working out and how it helps you look your best, but did you know that exercise helps your sex drive? It’s easy to understand, since it makes you healthier and being sick, tired or too weak to participate definitely isn’t an aphrodisiac, quite the opposite. It’s also one reason I suggest couples start a healthy living program together. Of course, sharing the common bond of working out and focusing on healthy eating together also makes their potential to achieve success greater than if one started it without his or her partner.

A lot of sex takes place in the mind.

Working out can give you a good body, but it also affects the mind. It boosts the hormones that make you feel great and at ease, such as endorphins. Those endorphins exercise release stimulate the production of sex hormones. Exercise also burns off the hormones created by stress, which is a big boost for anyone in the bedroom. Exercise clears your mind and gives you more focus, which is important for sex. You’ll be more responsive when you workout regularly and especially the evening after working out.

You’ll have a more powerful libido when you workout.

Exercise that builds muscle tissue stimulates the body to create human growth hormone—HGH. That hormone is responsible for creating testosterone in men. The boost in testosterone increases sexual desire and gives men quite a boost in their libido. For women, it makes their body more sensitive to touch and receptive. When both partners workout, it can make sex an amazing experience that’s satisfying for both people.

You’ll be in shape for a better performance in the bedroom.

Building your endurance, strength and flexibility can be a plus in the bedroom. Whether it’s having the energy to hold an awkward position for a while, the endurance to continue or the flexibility to maneuver into positions easily, exercise helps. You’ll enjoy it more without getting tired and be able to add variety with the improved flexibility.

  • Exercise boosts circulation. That can help prevent serious conditions that affect your sex life by causing erectile dysfunction like diabetes and vascular disease. Cardio also boost circulation to help prevent erectile dysfunction.
  • Not only does regular exercise help your sex life, your sex life can provide exercise. Sex is a healthy way to build endurance, strength and flexibility and it is far more enjoyable than riding a stationary bike.
  • You’ll feel sexier when you workout and get fit and your partner will notice that. How you feel about yourself is subtly picked up by other people without them realizing it.
  • When you eat healthier and workout with your spouse, you’re creating a bond that will help you live longer and healthier together.

Throw Away Your Excuses

Throw Away Your Excuses

You might think you have a lot of time to get your body ready for summer, but you don’t and it’s the perfect time to start. It’s time to throw away your excuses and put healthy food on your plates, while you boost your energy at the gym. A healthy diet and regular exercise doesn’t have to be hard to achieve. It all starts by taking the first step.

Start by looking at your diet.

Seriously look at it. In fact, keeping a food journal will help. You’ll be able to see exactly what you’re eating. Is it junk? Are there any unhealthy foods? Are you getting all the nutrition you require? How you answer those questions determines what you need to do. If you’re not eating a host of healthy food with an occasional poor choice, it’s time to start an overhaul of your diet. You can start today by taking two small steps, quit refined sugar and stop processed foods. Increase whole foods in your diet.

How do you feel?

Do you feel worn out and tired all the time? Are you frequently ill? Maybe it’s something you’re doing or not doing. A healthy diet and regular exercise are important to your overall health and energy level. You might say that you’re too tired to bother with healthy eating or exercise, but that’s just why you should do both. You’ll feel great once you start, so don’t let an excuse get in your way.

Do you have batwings that flap in the wind or a huge spare tire?

While it’s not the most attractive description, both can erode your self esteem and change a great look to dowdy. Looking perfect isn’t the goal. Nobody can achieve that. It’s the flaws that make us unique. However, looking your best is what you need to strive to achieve and you can do that with a program of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Don’t let an excuse stop you.

  • Getting old isn’t an excuse for being out of shape. While it’s tougher to get back into shape the older you get, it’s more important that you do. It keeps you mobile and independent longer.
  • Too little time isn’t an excuse either. You can schedule time or carve out three ten minute sessions throughout the day to get into shape. You’ll have more energy and get more done in the long run.
  • Don’t let how you look now be a deterrent. Nobody cares what you look like at the gym. They’re more worried about getting their workout right.
  • Don’t let lack of money stop you. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive with good planning and buying vegetables in season. Exercise is free if you do it at home and walking actually saves you money on gas.

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Abs Are Made In The Kitchen

Abs are made in the kitchen. That’s what I tell clients in Fairfax and Sterling who want that sculpted 6-pack. You can do sit-ups galore and leg-lifts until your face turns blue, but it won’t make any difference. Nobody will see all the work you’ve put into building muscle if you have a layer of fat covering your abs. That’s why what you eat is so important and the reason I say that abs are created in the kitchen.

Eat foods that build muscle tissue and help you lose fat.

Eating food that promotes muscle mass, while lowering the amount of empty calories and foods that pack on the fat is the goal. Choose a diet that is high in quality protein. It has a higher thermogenic effect. That means more calories are required to digest it. You also need fiber, complex carbs and healthy fat.

Change your workout.

To build great abs, add more core exercises to your workout. If they aren’t part of your present workout, change your workout to include them. Core exercises are complex exercises that not only work more muscle groups, burn more calories. Crunches will work the abs, but you need the strong foundation that comes from core training, too. When you do core exercises, like rollouts, mountain climbers and planks, you’ll get the same benefits you get with crunches, while working other muscles in the process.

Eat healthy, lose weight and tone those abs.

Building a six pack all starts in the kitchen and moves on to the gym. A healthy diet is the top priority for building a six pack. Make sure you include foods with healthy fat like nuts and avocados. Lean meat, lentils, chicken and cheese are good sources of protein and a must for your diet. Add food like blueberries, grapefruit and apples to your diet. Not only do they provide valuable nutrients, they also boost your metabolism, prevent new fat or help burn fat to give you that ripped, shredded appearance.

  • While getting the six pack look starts in the kitchen, doing the right type of exercises helps. Don’t turn to running to burn off fat. Running burns both fat and lean muscle tissue for fuel. Strength building exercise are better.
  • Herbs and spices can help you shed those extra pounds. For instance, cinnamon lowers the insulin response that leads to fat storage.
  • The amount of protein you need is based on your body weight. For every pound you weight, eat approximately one to one and a half grams of protein each day.
  • Cut back or eliminate refined foods, sugar and carbs entirely. Not only will you lose weight faster, refined grains can cause fat to accumulate on the abdomen.

Change Your Life, Not Just Your Weight

Change Your Life, Not Just Your Weight

I’m not overstating that at our gym in Fairfax, VA, the ultimate goal is to change your life, not just your weight. We aren’t here to give you a diet, but to help you make lifestyle changes, which include eating healthier. Changing your weight is a short term goal. It may or may not be permanent. However, when you learn to eat healthier, it helps you keep weight off permanently. Unlike a diet that always ends, either in success or failure, eating healthier is a lifelong habit.

It’s life’s habits that make a difference.

You can lose weight by eating fewer calories, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be healthier when you’ve finished the diet. It’s one reason we focus so hard on eating healthy. Not only do you get the benefit of shedding extra pounds, you also have a healthy diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs. A healthy diet helps keep you healthier and lowers the risk of serious conditions.

Working out isn’t just for losing weight.

There are huge benefits to exercise that last a lifetime. It keeps you younger looking and feeling, while maintaining overall good health. Exercise can help protect you from a number of serious conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Osteoporosis is also kept at bay by weight bearing exercise. You’ll stay mentally sharper longer, since studies show that working out not only can help protect you from Alzheimer’s and dementia, it also boosts cognitive power.

When you change your weight, you’ll change your attitude toward yourself.

No matter how out of shape you are or overweight you are, you should always love and respect yourself. To do otherwise is counterproductive. However, that’s not always the reaction of people who have fitness problems. Once they get into shape, they realize how wrong they were and how they deserve to give their body the best care and love.

  • You’ll walk taller and have more confidence when you workout. Exercise improves your posture so you’ll look more confident and the more you wear the look, the more confident you become.
  • Getting adequate sleep is extremely important and an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Adequate sleep is more than just heart healthy, it also helps prevent weight gain.
  • Water will become far more popular when you start living the healthy lifestyle. You’ll realize that sugary drinks, like soda not only add empty calories, they can increase your waistline with unhealthy visceral fat, even diet sodas.
  • Most of all, living a healthy lifestyle will help keep depression at bay. Exercise is part of the reason, but a good social life and smiling more is also part of it.