All posts by Dr. D. Rick

How to stay in shape when you’re busy.  All you need is 10 minutes and virtually no equipment.

You exercise regularly for months… then get derailed by a vacation, business trip, or just the general insanity of life. Sound familiar? Here’s how to stay in shape when you’re busy — it’s faster and easier than you think.

It’s one of the most common patterns I see as a fitness and nutrition coach: People trying to get (and stay) in shape work out diligently for months — then get derailed by the holidays or a big deadline at work.

Many then “fall off the wagon” for the rest of the year.

It’s a seesaw that plays out physiologically too. Exercise regularly and you get a training effect — adaptations in the brain, circulatory system, respiratory system, metabolism, muscles, and bones that optimize health and function.

Stop exercising and your body starts adapting to that — doing nothing — so you start to lose all these benefits you worked so hard for.

That’s why we came up with this simple, do-anywhere workout. It takes only a few minutes a day, it requires minimal or no equipment, and it focuses on compound exercise (big muscles, big movements) so it’s certain to be effective.

It’s also adaptable: You can shuffle exercises around or skip a few of them, come up with different ways to add resistance, or modify the total number of reps and rounds according to how much time you have and your preferences.

The important thing is to get some full-body movement each day.

Use this plan when you just can’t make your regular workout happen. It’ll help you maintain muscle, keep your metabolism humming, stave off fat gain, and more.

Download the infographic for your printer or tablet and bring it with you everywhere so you never get derailed again.

 

To make sure you have your stay-in-shape plan available next time life gets hectic, download the infographic and print a copy (or save it to your tablet).

And, if you’re a health or fitness coach, share the infographic with clients to offer support even in times when they can’t pull off their regular routine.

 

For full article by Craig Weller, go to http://www.precisionnutrition.com/how-to-stay-in-shape-when-youre-busy-infographic

This is Your Brain on Exercise

This is Your Brain on Exercise

Getting fit is often seen as a way to get body-wide benefits inside and out — from a leaner and stronger physique to better cardiovascular health. But another organ surprisingly also sees plenty of advantages when you work up a sweat: your brain.

“Your brain is wired to respond positively to exercise,” says Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD, author of “Habits of a Happy Brain.” “When you exercise consistently, your brain gets even more efficient at making and releasing the natural chemicals that keep you upbeat, like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin.”

That means by working out, you’re basically creating your own anti-depressant. But that’s just the start. Here’s a look at some of the ways exercise can literally change your brain, plus the benefits you might see as a result.

BETTER MULTITASKING

Cardiovascular exercise has been associated with better cognitive function and studies note that when people do high-intensity activity, they tend to increase brain volume. With more volume comes a better ability to complete complex tasks, according to Matthew Capolongo, a NASM performance enhancement specialist and a coach at New York-based Professional Athletic Performance Center. He notes that this can include problem solving, information processing and multitasking.

Consider taking a HIIT class before your next big, multitask project at work — it could make your brain operate better as a result.

IMPROVED MEMORY AND LEARNING

According to a recent study, it only takes about six weeks of aerobic exercise to increase the size of your hippocampus, the part of the brain that’s largely responsible for memory formation and learning activity.

In addition to increasing the size of the hippocampus, exercising can also change what’s happening in this area. The hippocampus has the unique capacity to generate new neurons every day — up to 700 of them, according to neurologist Majid Fotuhi, MD, chairman of Memosyn Neurology Institute. Unfortunately, most of these neurons don’t survive unless they have support from the body to grow.

Exercising not only increases the production of neurons, Dr. Fotuhi notes, but also helps those young neurons thrive. That can be a significant boost for memory. In fact, he adds that somestudies have suggested that walking just a mile a day might lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by nearly 40 percent.

SLOWER BRAIN AGING

Like the body, the brain ages and can show signs of deterioration along the way. But exercise can slow the process, according to a recent study.

Researchers asked 1,228 men and women about their exercise habits, then tested their cognitive abilities, including reasoning, thinking speed, memory and organization. They followed up five years later with the same tests on about half the study group.

They found those who did more physical activity during the five-year period scored higher on the cognitive ability tests than those who were more sedentary. One possible link, the researchers suggested, is exercise can lower risk factors that impair blood flow to the brain, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

Not only does staying physically active lower the chances you’ll deal with those other chronic issues, but it also confers brain benefits along the way.

EXERCISE = BRAIN POWER

The advantages of exercise in terms of brain health may be helpful to keep in mind — no pun intended — if you’re struggling to stay on track with your goals or hitting a plateau. Remember that even if you’re not seeing physical results right now, your brain could be bulking up in the background and making huge improvements that will serve you well into the future.

For full article by Elizabeth Millard, visit https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/this-is-your-brain-on-exercise/

The power of sleep. Why sleep is so important, and how to get more of it.

If your eating and exercise are on point, but you still don’t feel or look the way you want, poor sleep may be to blame. Here’s how to tap into the power of sleep and make rest a daily priority.

Struggling with your weight? Feeling bummed out? Sluggish during workouts? Or just sluggish in general? These are common complaints from new Precision Nutrition Coaching clients. And poor diet isn’t always to blame.

Everything from lucid thinking, to good decision making, to proper digestion, to high performance is heavily dependent on getting good quality sleep.

Unfortunately, more than a third of adults get fewer than 7 hours of sleep each night, the minimum needed to keep your risk of health problems in check.

And that’s not counting the millions of folks who likely over-estimate how much sleep they’re getting, or whose sleep quality is poor because of other, seemingly unrelated lifestyle factors.

In this infographic, we unpack early indicators that you’re not getting enough rest. Then we share exactly how to prep for the best night sleep, starting with when you wake up.

Download the infographic for your tablet, or to print out, and keep it as a handy reminder to prioritize high-quality sleep every day.

(Note to fitness pros: This is also a great resource to share with your clients).

precision-nutrition-hacking sleep-IMAGE

There you have it: Why sleep is so important, how to tell if you’re not getting enough, and how to engineer the perfect day for a great night’s rest.

 

For full article by Brian St.Pierre go to http://www.precisionnutrition.com/power-of-sleep-infographic

Paleo, vegan, intermittent fasting… Here’s how to choose the absolute best diet for you.

People always ask me which “nutrition camp” I fall into. Is it paleo? Vegan? Low carb? Intermittent fasting? Or something else? In essence, they’re asking: “What’s The Best Diet?” 

Today I’ll share my surprising answer. I’ll also explain how we’ve used certain “best diet” principles in our coaching program to help change the lives of tens of thousands of men and women.

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When considering making improvements to the way you eat, it’s so easy to set out in search of The Best Diet. You know, the one that’ll finally…

… help you drop the pounds (and body fat) you’ve been unable to lose, in some cases, for years.

… make you feel physically strong and mentally sharp.

… help you rock a swimsuit at an upcoming pool party, enter a room with confidence, and actually enjoy having your picture taken.

… give you some energy back so you can run around with your kids (or grandkids), take the stairs without getting winded, and book a bucket list trip without worrying about whether you’re up to it.

Here’s the thing. That Perfect Diet might not exist. (At least not the way you think it does.) But the way you want to look, and feel? It’s totally possible.

We’ll dig into this idea in a second.

What is the best diet?

A while back, I did a short media blitz in Toronto, appearing on three TV networks and speaking with 13 print journalists in a single day.

While the journalists’ questions ranged from health and weight loss to sports nutrition, one particular theme kept emerging. They wanted to know which “nutrition camp” I belong to.

From one award-winning journalist:

“I’ve visited your website and I’m still not sure: do you guys believe in ‘paleo’? Or do you believe in the standard ‘RD stuff’?”

From a TV broadcaster (on air, no less):

“Your coaching program sounds great. But, if I were to sign up for it, would I have to cut out all my carbs?”

From a production assistant on a TV program:

“I have a friend who’s vegan and she’s super healthy. I’m thinking of trying it…what do you think?”

In that one day I received at least a dozen questions like this, all of which essentially ask the same thing:

What’s the “best diet” for people to follow?

After answering the same questions over and over again I started to get annoyed. Not at the journalists, mind you. But at myself. Because even after years of the same question, I haven’t yet come up with a pithy, one-liner response.

I simply don’t fall into a single “diet camp”. And that confuses the hell out of people, since the human brain likes easy categorization.

“But … but … I need to fit you into one of these nice little nutrition boxes.”

If I could help people stick me and Precision Nutrition into the right nutrition box, I would. Believe me, it’d make things a lot easier.

But I just can’t do it.

Here’s why: I don’t believe there’s a single, absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for every person to follow, always, and forever.

Spend enough time actually working with clients — like we do every day — and you’ll probably start to feel the same way too.

Think about this: Our coaching program has been tested with nearly 50,000 clients in 100 different countries. (Plus it’s been validated in several peer-reviewed scientific studies).

You can imagine the diversity.

  • Body type: Some clients come to us tall and thin. Others come short and stocky.
  • Dietary preferences & exclusions: Some clients come to us eating lots of meat every day. Others come eating no meat at all.
  • Budget: Some clients come to us with an incredibly low budget. Others come with an unlimited budget.
  • Organic / conventional: Some clients come to us eating only boxed and packaged foods. Others come eating only natural, organic, whole foods.
  • Nutrition knowledge: Some clients come to us as devout followers of a certain dietary practice. Others come with very little nutrition knowledge whatsoever.
  • Time: Some clients come to us with lots of free time for a health and fitness project. Others come with very little time to devote to health and fitness.

You get the picture.

There’s simply no way we’d be able to help all those folks make incremental improvements in their eating if we were militant about a single nutrition paradigm.

Can you imagine:

“I know you have a super-low budget for food. But if you sell your vehicle, or maybe one of your children, you’ll be able to afford the organic and free-range whole foods we recommend in our program. That’s the only way to get healthy and fit.”

“Carbs? You’re not alone. We all like ‘em. But this program is all about cutting way back. Low carb is what works, period. Insulin is the enemy. So say goodbye to sugar. And pasta. Potatoes too. And rice…”

“Sure, I understand the moral and ethical obligation you feel. But eating animal foods… that’s how we do it. You need the protein and the fat. And it’s how our ancestors ate. So suck it up, throw a steak on the grill, and let’s get this party started.”

While these responses are a little extreme, they’re not that far from what I hear every day in the gym or read on Facebook. And it’s a shame because…

The best coaches don’t have a single nutrition philosophy.

Sure, if a particular nutrition idea — like Paleo or vegetarianism — worked for you personally, that’s awesome. You should be happy you found something that helped you reach your goals.

But to suggest that because it worked for you, at one point in your life, under a particular set of circumstances, now everyone else should follow the same program? Well, that’s just silly.

Physiologically, the human body can do well under a host of different nutritional conditions.

This is clearly demonstrated by examining the traditional diets of various tribes and ethnic groups throughout the world.

  • For example, the Arctic Inuit and African Masai eat traditional diets that are very high in fat and animal products with very few vegetables.
  • Conversely, the Kitavans in the South Pacific eat traditional diets that are low in fat but very high in vegetables and starchy carbs.
  • And the Tokelau near New Zealand eat traditional diets that are very high in saturated fats.

Crazy differences, right? Yet all traditional diet eaters are relatively healthy people with minimal incidences of cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammatory obesity, etc.

This is only possible because the human body is amazingly adaptable to a host of different dietary conditions.

It is possible to be healthy and fit whether you eat mostly meat or mostly veggies, mostly fat or mostly carbs, many times a day or just a few times, and so on.

Which means that, as a nutrition coach, I shouldn’t really belong to any specific nutrition camp at all.

When you work with actual human beings, you must be a nutritional agnostic.

Open to evaluating anything and everything that could work. Willing to test new methods, even if they fly in the face of current beliefs or practices. And humble enough to sometimes be wrong, even if you really like being right. (Which I do.)

If I believe too strongly in any particular “nutritional religion”, I fixate on the food itself. Or my own personal way of looking at food. And I lose focus on what’s most important as a coach: my clients and their individual physiological and psychological needs.

Here’s another example: our Precision Nutrition staff. With close to 100 team members, PN is like a nutritional United Nations convention.

  • Some eat plant-based diets. Others eat meat-based diets.
  • Some eat high carb diets. Others eat low carb diets.
  • Some eat dairy-free, gluten-free, and all other potential allergen-free diets. Others “eat whatever I want as long as I get enough proteins and fats and stay healthy” diets.

The common theme is that we all practice what we preach, we all take health and fitness seriously, and we all monitor the results of our dietary choices closely, adjusting where necessary.

We respect each other’s choices and get along just fine. We’re more interested in exploring what works than we are in being right.

But wait … how can all these different diets actually work?

You’re probably wondering: How can such wildly different nutrition programs all lead to positive results?

My response: They’re not as different as you might think.

Most effective nutrition programs are more similar than different. (Yes, even Paleo and plant-based eating.)

When done properly, Paleo diets, plant-based diets, high carb diets, low carb diets, eating small meals frequently, eating larger meals infrequently, etc. all accomplish the following:

1. They raise nutrition awareness and attention.

I know, everyone wants to talk about the food itself — the proteins, carbs, and fats. What to eat more of and what to avoid.

But research is now showing that simply paying better attention to what you eat is a key factor in whether you’ll lose fat, get lean, and improve your health.

Whether your attention is trained on avoiding carbs, eating more vegetables, seeking out organic / free-range food, avoiding animal foods, or avoiding “non-Paleo” food, it’s all good.

Because what you focus on may not matter as much as simply caring more about what you’re eating in the first place.

2. They focus on food quality.

Paleo and low carb advocates want you to eat more natural, free-range animal-based foods that are higher in protein, higher in fat, and are minimally processed.

Vegan and high carb advocates want you to eat more natural, plant-based foods that are higher in fiber, antioxidants, and are minimally processed.

Recognize what’s common here?

Indeed, very few nutrition camps recommend you eat more processed, chemical-laden “junk” food. (Thank goodness.)

Instead, pretty much every camp recommends eating whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods. And that may be one of the most important nutrition interventions of all, regardless of the protein, carb, and fat breakdowns.

3. They help eliminate nutrient deficiencies.

In keeping with the last point, the best nutritional advocates help us shift away from highly processed foods, which are often low in nutrients because they’ve been stripped out during processing, and toward more whole, minimally processed foods, which often have their nutrients intact.

Thus, a properly designed diet of any kind eliminates some of the most common nutrient deficiencies (water, certain vitamins and minerals, proteins, and essential fatty acids).

This is huge. We often look, feel, and perform terribly when we’re deficient in important nutrients. But within a few weeks of correcting these deficiencies, we feel totally rejuvenated. (And because the transformation is so dramatic, that’s often when we become diet zealots.)

4. They help control appetite and food intake.

When we’re more aware of what we’re eating, choose more satisfying, higher quality foods, and eliminate nutrient deficiencies, we almost always end up eating less total food. We feel more satisfied. We lose fat, gain lean muscle, and perform better.

Notice that you don’t need calorie counting here. Focusing on food awareness and food quality is usually enough for people to tune into their own hunger and appetite. And that means calorie control without the annoying calorie math.

It also means you can maintain your results / weight loss. Counting calories has a shelf-life; no one does it forever.

5. They promote regular exercise.

When people start paying attention to their eating, they usually start thinking about physical activity too. In fact, many of the diet camps recommend regular exercise. (Which is a good idea, since focusing on diet alone may actually interfere with establishing a consistent exercise routine.)

When a person exercises regularly, with a mix of high and low-intensity activity, they dramatically improve their ability to turn the food they eat — whatever food that is — into functional tissue (instead of extra fat).

Hopefully you can now understand how different well-designed dietary philosophies — even when they seem oppositional and antagonistic on the surface — can all promote good health, body composition, and longevity.

Which is why…

Choosing a single diet camp makes no sense.

1. There’s no such thing as one, universal “best” diet.

There’s no one absolutely, positively, without-a-doubt best diet for everyone. Humans have evolved to do well under all sorts of dietary conditions.

That’s why I’m happy to help people find the best one for them, no matter their dietary preferences.

Of course, this is a big win for my clients: They get in shape doing more of the things they actually like. And a win for me: I get to help more people.

2. Most popular diets actually have a lot in common.

Most popular diets — when done with care, attention, and a little coaching — help control appetite, improve food quality, promote exercise, and raise nutritional awareness.

3. Coaches should never lock into a single philosophy.

In the last 10 years, our coaching programs have helped nearly 50,000 clients lose more than a million pounds of body fat and develop a new relationship with food.

And we’ve done that without forcing a specific diet philosophy on them. Vegans can stay vegan. Paleos can stay Paleo. And they’ve all had success.

If you’re working with a coach who tells you that you have to eat a very specific way to succeed… well, you might want to re-think that relationship.

And coaches: Don’t waste energy bullying people into a particular way of eating. It’s not necessary.

4. Habit-based coaching is better than diet-based coaching anyway.

Long-term nutrition habits trump diet plans and “rules”. Always.

We prefer a nutritional progression model (which builds habits intelligently and sustainably over time) versus asking people to “follow a diet” (which means doing a full lifestyle overhaul on Day One).

 

So, the best diet to follow actually is …

… the one that’s best for you.

If you want to follow a Paleo diet, we can help with that.

We can also help out if you’re vegan, prefer to eat more carbs (or less), are on a tight budget, or only eat organic / free range artisan foods.

But, really, what I’d like you to follow is what I call “precision nutrition”.

Let me listen to your needs. What you want to accomplish. How you live. What’s really important to you. Then let me help you create the right dietary approach for you; one that’s specific to your goals and your lifestyle.

Because that’s what coaching really is.

Diet gurus are in this game to get attention, make a scene, and get on TV. That’s why they try to force people into following strict and largely unnecessary nutrition rules — demonizing some foods, deifying others.

Sure, it sells books. It gives good TV. But we all know how things turn out when real people try to follow these rules in real life.

The best coaches, on the other hand, are actually responsible for (and accountable to) their clients. They’re paid to get results. This totally changes the game.

That’s why I don’t really have a diet philosophy. Instead, I have a personal coaching process.

One that helps clients find the best diet for them. One that they can follow on their worst day — not just their best. One that takes into account their small (but still important) physical and biochemical differences. And one that takes into account their lifestyle differences, including:

  • family
  • life demands
  • stress level
  • work situation
  • income level
  • food availability
  • cooking experience and knowledge
  • time availability
  • physical capability
  • and so on …

No, it’s not as clean and clear as “avoid meat” or “eat like a caveman”.

But I believe it’s the only sane and rational approach.

It also happens to be the only approach that actually works in the long run.

For full article by John Berardi, please visit http://www.precisionnutrition.com/best-diet

5 SURPRISING WAYS TO USE THE TREADMILL

treadmill, exercises, full body, workout, fitness,

For all you treadmill junkies…..

Sometimes, mileage simply doesn’t matter.

There’s a reason it’s nicknamed the ‘dreadmill’: The cardio machine, though reliable, can seem to some to be a bit dull, a bit one-dimensional. But according to group fitness instructor and full-time treadmill coach David Siik, this machine is what you make of it, and a little creativity is all that it takes to take your treadmill session from boring to body-changing. Watch the video to see him demonstrate these moves during a late-night rooftop session, and then follow the tips below to integrate them into your own repertoire.

(1) Side Shuffles: “I recommend people keep their speed between 2.5-4.0. Going too slow actually makes it more difficult for a lot of people. Starting out in a fast walk, grab onto the front of the treadmill with your left hand and turn clockwise into the shuffle. Hold on until you feel comfortable and eventually you’ll be able to use no hands, which is better for your form. Just keep your shoulders up pushing off with the leg on the back of the treadmill. It also important to do both sides the same amount of time as the push-off leg does more of the work.”

(2) Plank With Push-Offs: “On a Woodway treadmill, get into DYNAMIC MODE. Push the ON button and before doing anything hold down the + and the – speed buttons simultaneously until the treadmill flashes and beeps (you will feel the belt disengage). You are then ready to start. With your feet on the floor behind the treadmill, get into a plank with your elbows on treadmill, or get into a straight-arm plank with hands on treadmill (this will be a slight incline plank). Then get up onto your hands if not already (into a push-up position with feet still on floor) and begin pushing the treadmill forward, like a bear crawl. Be sure to keep the length of push very small and compact. This is a very advanced exercise and requires good shoulder strength and stability. An easier way to do this is to drop to your knees, put one hand on side of treadmill and simply push the treadmill forward 5 times with one hand, then switch and push off with other hand 5 times. First-timers should try it this way. You can alternate between a short set of push-off crawls and stationary incline plank.”

(3) Mountain Climbers: “Set the treadmill to Dynamic Mode. This is the reverse position from the plank set above: Your feet are set about in the middle of the treadmill with your hands on the floor in a push-up position. Make sure your arms are straight down underneath your shoulders. Gripping the belt with your toes, begin mountain climbing, pushing the treadmill away from you.”

(4) Pike: “Set the treadmill to Dynamic Mode. Again, this is the reverse position from the plank set above: Your feet are set about in the middle of the treadmill with your hands on the floor in a push-up position. Make sure your arms are straight down underneath your shoulders. Gripping with your toes, simply pull the treadmill backwards as your hips raise, eventually rising to top and into pike position. If you have good stability and strength you can hold at the top for a few seconds and gently return to first position (pushing the treadmill forward as your body straightens back out). This is also a great opportunity to do a few decline pushups after you return to straight arm plank.”

(5) Self-Propelled Sprints: “Get into Dynamic Mode again. Add a little incline of 3-8%, grip the handles in the middle of the treadmill and begin running while pushing/holding onto the treadmill with the hands. Be sure to keep your shoulders up and your body closer to front of treadmill (instead of extending your arms and compromising your back). I recommend a person does only 30 seconds or less of sprinting, then walk it out, then repeat as desired. They are very difficult and simulate pushing a sled, as you must push you own body weight! An important thing to remember is that the more incline you keep, the easier you actually make it (gravity helps you move the treadmill). The most difficult way to do this is on a 0% incline.”

For full article by Sheila Monaghan please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2013/10/treadmill-moves

DO THIS NOW: DEEP WATER RUNNING

deep-water running

The fittest bodies don’t resist this unsung hero of training.

What do dancers, ball players, pregnant women and runners all have in common? They utilize the pool. Specifically, they take advantage of the cardio and cross-training benefits of deep water running. “Ballerinas, basketball players—I’ve had them all in my pool,” says deep water running coach and founder of Blue Ocean Swimming, Robert Valentin. 

Unlike shallow water running, where athletes run across the bottom of the pool, deep water running offers no impact whatsoever. In fact, you don’t even want to move from your initial starting spot. “With deep water running, the goal is to stay stationary,” explains Valentin. “Instead of mimicking land running motions in the water, in deep water running you run with a straight leg. You want your body to be really tall; your core should be tight, shoulders in line with your hips, knees relaxed and toes pointed like a ballerina,” says Valentin. “People naturally close their fists, but you want to keep them open. This allows you to get the most resistance possible.” 

A typical deep water running session consists of four gaits: a four-foot stride “power walk,” three-foot stride “run” (which simulates running on flat ground), a two-foot wide “uphill” and a one-foot wide “downhill” (quick flutter kicks). Think of your hip as the centerline: You’re trying to move your arms and feet past the centerline, forward and backward, depending on the stride length. Meaning, a two-foot stride would require moving your arms and legs two feet back and forth past your hip. 

Constantly fighting against the water’s resistance while trying to stay tall and increase your cadence during each gait is anything but easy. “Deep water running quickly reveals imbalances,” says Valentin. “Any weakness in your core, glutes, hamstrings or hips will translate to the pool. You’ll find yourself drifting forward, backward or from side to side.” To combat this, it’s essential to wear a flotation device, which helps keep you afloat, making it easier to maintain proper form. 

 

For runners in particular, “not only can you get your heart rate up just as much as on land, but the cooling effect of the water also helps you recover faster,” says Valentin. Fighting to keep good posture in the pool will also carry over to the concrete. “You’re fighting the resistance of the water, just imagine how that would benefit you when you’re up against air.” 

Below, Valentin shares a sample workout:

Warm Up:

1 minute power walk (count and maintain the same cadence every 15 seconds)

45 seconds flat run (count and maintain the same cadence every 15 seconds)

30 seconds uphill (count and increase the same cadence every 15 seconds)

15 seconds downhill (count and maintain the same cadence every 15 seconds)

Set #1:

Uphill 45 seconds x 15 seconds rest, repeated four times (increase each set’s cadence number by 2)

Repeat above set going downhill (1-foot strides, hands sideways, slicing past the hips)

Set #2:

1 minute flat run x 30 seconds uphill x 30 seconds downhill, repeated twice (hold a steady cadence on the 1-minute runs and get faster every 10 seconds on the 30-second run)

1 minute power walk recovery

Set #3:

50 seconds uphill (getting faster every 10 seconds) x 10 seconds rest, repeated three times

Cool Down:

Easy power walk

For full article by Brianna Wippman please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/12/deep-water-running

WHY GRIP STRENGTH (REALLY) MATTERS

grip strength

It’s one of the strongest predictors of good health.

For years, there were a half dozen or so strong predictors of how likely someone might be to develop cardiovascular disease, including whether he or she carried weight in the midsection versus in the legs, if there was a family history, if he or she smoked, and the list, they say, goes on.

But relatively new-ish research suggests there’s one more pretty significant predictor that we shouldn’t overlook: grip strength. In a study published in the Lancet, researchers found that grip strength is a simple and powerful way to predict one’s risk of death and cardiovascular disease. (The study also showed that grip strength is an even stronger predictor of death than systemic blood pressure.) Physicians and researchers reason that if one’s grip strength is weak, it’s very likely other areas of the body—read: your heart—are weak, as well.

Which is not good news for most people including Millennials, who, according to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Hand Therapy, have significantly weaker hand grips than their 1985 counterparts. (Participants for the study were under 30 years of age for men and between the ages of 20-24 for women.)

Like many conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure, weak grip strength can be improved through simple and consistent exercise. “Grip strength goes beyond simply being able to hold a dumbbell for a longer set of reps,” explains Matt Delaney, a Tier X coach at Equinox’s Columbus Circle location. “Improving your grip strength can serious change your overall health for the better.”

Beefing up your grip strength is relatively easy, says Delaney. “You can easily incorporate strengthening exercises into your regular gym routine.” For example, Delaney recommends Farmer’s Walks or walking lunges with dumbbells or kettlebell swings to increase grip strength while exercising. Or, he adds, work it into everyday tasks. “The same tools you use in the gym, you can also mimic in real life. Carrying grocery bags to your car as opposed to using a shopping cart is similar to carrying dumbbells. Or, something as simple as carrying a laundry basket up and down the stairs can help bump up grip strength over time.”

Increasing grip strength can also significantly improve your workout intensity, adds Delaney. “When you have a stronger grip, you can hold onto a pull-up bar longer, which means you can crank out more pull-ups.” It also equates to being able to hold heavier weights during exercises like walking and static lunges or squats as well as Farmer’s Walks. “Grip strength is one of those small but often overlooked things that you can improve that can affect your health in major ways.”

For full article by Blake Miller please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/11/grip-strength

INTRODUCING: PRE-RESOLUTIONS

pre-resolutions

Experts say it’s wiser to change now.

Despite good intentions (a cleaner diet, a commitment to strength-train), New Year’s resolutions are inherently flawed. Research shows as much: A study from the University of Scranton found that six months into the New Year, fewer than half of us are still on the track we set out on.

Yet the solution isn’t to stop goal-setting: That same study found that having a resolution made a person more likely to achieve success than those who didn’t bother with one.

It might just be that our timing is off. “January 1 is an arbitrary date,” says Damon Bayles, Psy.D., a New York-based clinical psychologist. “If you’re actually committed to your health, and you know that healthy behaviors get tossed to the wayside over the holiday season, why not start now?”

Introducing pre-resolutions: specific goals and plans you can put into action right now. They’ll propel you through the holiday season stronger, healthier, and happier— and that’s important. After all, between November and January, the average person gains about 1 pound. While that doesn’t sound like much, researchers say we usually don’t lose that pound. Holiday weight gain, then, is a major contributor to overall weight gain (and thus diseases risk, like diabetes, down the line).

So set your pre-resolution today and use this guide to stick to it all year long. 

1) Build Your Support System: Once you have a specific goal in mind, ID who you need around you in order to succeed. This might include fit friends, a registered dietitian, or a personal trainer, says Bayles. Start your research now and consider reaching out—you’ll beat the crowds and the stress that comes with them. Research from the International Health, Racquet, and Sportsclub Association finds the busiest time of the year at gyms is between January and March.

2) Consider Relapse The Rule: Falling off the bandwagon every so often isn’t the exception, it’s to be expected, says Bayles. Thinking you’re going to make it through the holiday season on a diet of smoothies is not setting you up for success. A better suggestion: Plan indulgences. Building them into your day helps you sidestep debilitating feelings of guilt, says Bayles.

If you’re faced with an out-of-nowhere challenge, use your past experiences to guide your decisions, he suggests. Maybe an a.m. run helped you beat stressful family gatherings last year; so wake up early for some cardio. “Really think, ‘What strategies could I employ to help me through this?’” he says. This kind of thinking, as well as the experiences and solutions you’ll gather throughout the season, will help you tackle issues throughout the year.

3) Find Time For Daily Zen: “After three months of daily mindfulness practice, some of the impacts can be increased concentration, increased attention, decreased anxiety, decreased stress, and increased immune system functioning,” says Bayles. Start now. No matter your goal, guided breathing exercises, classes (like Unplug Meditation), meditations apps like Headspace or Calm, and books can help you build a stronger mental framework to stay fit in the New Year. Don’t throw in the towel if things aren’t coming naturally. “This is muscle that needs to be grown,” says Bayles.

4) Reassess January 1: “Efficacy can get generated for individuals who are successful in this holiday time period,” says Bayles. After all, if you can be healthy throughout December, you can be healthy in January. So use the New Year not as a time to start a new goal but as a time to enter ‘phase 2’ of your original plan, he suggests. Ask yourself: How are you going to continue to manage your goal for the next few weeks and months? What will you do differently? What worked? What didn’t?

For original article by Cassie Shortsleeve please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/12/news-years-resolutions

THE DECK WORKOUT

deck workout

Do this strength-and-mobility sequence (from fitness manager Ted Gjone) at your summer share.

Squeezing in cardio on your summer share is a breeze—running on the beach, swimming in the ocean and biking down the boardwalk are just a few available options. But if you also want to strength train while you’re on holiday, you should look no further than your own body and that beautiful deck behind your house. “This workout is comprised of functional, performance-based movements that test your balance, improve your mobility and strengthen everything you want (shoulders, back, arms, abs, glutes, legs) without the need for any equipment,” says its creator, Ted Gjone, fitness manager at Equinox Brookfield Place in New York City.

Perform this workout as a circuit, moving from one exercise to the next with little or no rest between each, two or three times a week. Start with as many reps as you can (aim for at least 8 per exercise), and then increase that number as you progress. Do 2 or 3 sets total, with 1:00 to 1:30 minutes rest between each.

1. Bulgarian Split Squat

Stand in front of lounge chair (or bench) with feet hip-width apart, hands fisted under chin, elbows by sides. Place ball of right foot on top of lounge chair behind you, and then squat down, keeping back tall and bending knees until right knee taps ground; push through your heel to return to start. Do 10 to 15 reps, switch sides and repeat.

2. Pistol Squat

Stand on a short wall (or bench), balancing on your left foot, with right leg hanging off the side and arms extended at shoulder level in front of you. Keeping chest up, abs engaged and shoulders down, squat, bending left knee, as you begin to lift extended right leg straight out in front of you. Slowly return to start, lowering your arms down to sides, and kick right leg slightly behind you. Do 10 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.


3. Skater Hops

Stand with feet hip-width apart, elbows bent by sides. Jump over to left with left leg, lifting right leg slightly behind you as you swing right arm in front of you; left arm behind you. Immediately jump right leg over to right, swinging left leg and right arm behind you; left arm in front. Continue jumping from side to side for 20 to 30 reps total (10 to 15 each side). *Note: Start with smaller hops, getting bigger as you go.


4. Staggered Push-Ups

Start in push-up position (legs extended behind you, abs engaged, back flat), with your hands staggered—right hand in front, under shoulder, left hand back, with fingertips in line with right wrist. Bend elbows behind you, lowering chest toward floor, maintaining a straight line from head to toe. Push back up to start. Do 10 to 15 reps; switch hand positions (left hand in front; right in back) and repeat.


5. Superman Back Extension with Arm Variation

Lie face-down with arms extended overhead. Keeping gaze down and core engaged, slowly lift both your arms and your legs toward the sky (as if you’re flying like Superman). Once you reach your maximum height, extend arms out to sides at shoulder level, and then send them all the way behind you, lifting chest even higher. Reverse motion back to start. Do 10 to 15 reps.

6. Single-Leg Bridge

Lie face-up with right foot on the edge of a bench (or short table), left leg extended diagonally toward sky and arms extended out to sides with palms up, hands in line with hips. Press into foot and squeeze glutes as you lift hips toward ceiling, until you form a diagonal line from shoulders to toes. Lower back down to start. Do 10 to 15 reps; switch sides and repeat.

7. Dead Bug with Straight Legs

Lie face-up with legs extended over hips, arms extended over shoulders. Engage abs as you slowly lower right arm and left leg toward ground, keeping both straight (like a dead bug). Return to start and immediately repeat on other side; lowering left arm and right leg. Continue alternating for 10 to 15 reps each side (20 to 30 total).

For complete article by Lindsey Emery, please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/07/deck-workout

THE DO-ANYWHERE WORKOUT

Much easier to pack than your fitness club: The 16-minute, equipment-free session to-go.

With the onset of the holiday season come many personal concessions, but missed workouts do not have to be one. Whether you’re on the road trapped in a hotel room or simply pressed for time between meetings and shopping trips, this quick and effective do-anywhere session (it’s just 16 minutes and change and doesn’t require a single piece of equipment) will fit perfectly into even the most aggressive schedules.

The magic is in the movement “stack”:

Do move 1 for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds
Do moves 1 and 2 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds
Do moves 1, 2 and 3 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds
Do moves 1, 2, 3 and 4 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds
Do moves 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds
Do moves 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 for 30 seconds each; rest for 30 seconds

Then repeat the stack one more time.

“It’s a spin on density training, which, in its traditional definition, takes place over the course of weeks or months,” says Lisa Wheeler, Senior National Creative Manager for Group Fitness at Equinox in New York City, who designed the workout. “The same principle applies though: You’re increasing the amount of work you’re doing, but you’re not increasing the recovery.”

It’s the extreme intensity of the build-up that allows for such a short working session. “It’s high intensity interval training in a different format, so it provides similar benefits,” says Geralyn Coopersmith, exercise physiologist and Equinox Health Advisory Board Member. “You’ll increasing lean body tissue, which revs metabolism and maximizes fat burning, helping you burn calories long after you’re finished.”

Watch Whitney Noble, an Equinox trainer in Chicago, demo the moves in the video above in Public’s Frank Sinatra suite, then click through the slideshow for full descriptions of each exercise. Grab a stopwatch, go hard, and remember Wheeler’s wise words: “You can do anything for 30 seconds.” Happy Holidays.

To see full srticle by Liz Mersch please visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2013/11/hotel-room-workout
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