Sunday, December 23, 2007

Don't Make New Years Resolutions!

Ask A Trainer

Question: I “resolve” to get in better shape and or lose weight this year… again! How can I start and stay on track?

Answer: Here are “top ten trainer tips” that will help you begin and maintain a healthier more active lifestyle.

1) Don’t wait until the New Year to get going. Start today! Start slowly and build up. Try a walk at the mall before you go gift shopping. 5-15 minutes is a great start, and then add a minute or two each time out.

2) If you have physical limitations or restrictions, check with your doctor or physical therapist before starting your exercise program.

3) Local health clubs, gyms and recreation centers that have personal trainers and structured classes are great resources for safe, effective and even fun workouts/activities.

4) Set realistic goals for yourself. Remember it took a few years to put that extra weight on … give yourself a few months to lose it. Use a pound or two a month as a sensible guide. Use an event or activity as another goal. It might be a 5 or 10k fundraiser run/walk, a walking tour in Europe, get fit to build that great garden or home project, ride bikes with the kids.

5) Adding sound nutrition, proper hydration and good rest into your routine will only further your chances of success.

6) Don’t be intimidated by all the equipment available at the gym or on the market.
All it really means is more variety and adaptability for you. Be sure to ask for assistance in getting a routine or program designed just for you. If you don’t like a particular exercise (don’t say all of them) don’t do it. The best exercises/activities are the one’s that you will consistently use and stick with.

7) Be sure to include strength, endurance and flexibility work into your program. Strength training tones muscles but also burns calories even hours later. Endurance building can be as simple as walking. If you can talk while walking, that is a great starting pace. It’s best to do that this with a partner. Improvements in your flexibility can enhance your posture and reduce back pain. Try a yoga class or tape. All of these areas of fitness are great stress reducers as well.

8) Make time for you to do this. If you can’t commit to 30-60 minutes continually, just 5-10 minutes a few times a day will work. It is better than limiting yourself by just thinking you can’t find the time to do it. This is important! It is an investment of your time into your own health and happiness that pays big dividends.

9) Use a buddy system or have a family member join you. It creates a more enjoyable and social workout. You can also set a great example. Your success at this may be the inspiration for someone else you care about; your spouse, kids, mom or dad, siblings or good friend.

10) Keep in mind that this exercise/activity time will help you in many ways. You will feel better, play better, work better and even sleep better. Try it … you may even end up enjoying yourself. After the entire ultimate goal is for you to want to be active versus feeling like you need to be active. Of course, have fun while you are at it.

Keep these tips in mind (tape them to the fridge) and you will be on your way to a…

“Merry Fitness and a Healthy New You”

Scott Fushi B.S.
Scott is a certified trainer with a Bachelors
degree in physical education. This article is
part of a regular column in the Villager
newspapers. Please submit any fitness
question to

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Circuit Training 101

Circuit Training 101

People want different results from a workout. You may want to slim down, work off stress, increase your energy level or just feel better about yourself.

The following workout should be used by individuals with little or no strength training experience. These workouts will focus on improving your muscular strength and muscular endurance. Strength training will also improve your body composition by decreasing fat tissue and increasing lean tissue. An increase in lean or muscle tissue will assist you in burning more calories at rest. Additionally, strength training improves tendon, ligament, and bone strength, and strength training will improve your muscle tone.

The following 8 exercises will utilize your major muscle groups: hips, legs, chest, back, shoulders, and arms:

Perform 1 set of each exercise and perform additional sets as your fitness level increases.

1. Lying Leg Press

2. Leg Extension

3. Lying Leg Curl

4. Chest Press Machine

5. Shoulder Press Machine

6. Seated Row Machine

7. Arm Curl Machine

8. Tricep Pushdown

Seat adjustment is important. Please see a staff person for this setting.

You should perform strength training exercises 3 days/week with a minimal rest period of 48 hours between workouts. Start with a weight that you can lift for 8-12 repetitions.

You should increase the weight once you can perform 12 repetitions with the weight that you are using. If you can’t lift at least 8 reps then lower the weight. Strength training machines are recommended for beginners because they are generally safer than free weights. After you gain experience using machines and your fitness level improves, you can incorporate free weights into your strength training routine.

For more fitness education or if you need a custom designed program we suggest using a certified personal trainer. We have a brochure available at the desk with more information.

Go to our web site for free fitness tools and a free fitness newsletter.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"How To" videos

I was searching the web looking for ideas on how to develop video clips of how to use all the different strength equipment in our gym. While browsing different sites I came upon a site called which basically offers tutorials. This link (gym video tutorials) looks like good solid info to answer your gym questions.

Please use this information wisely and consult a certified personal trainer for more help.

Please check out the google sponsored links at the top of this blog.

Technorati Profile

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Healthy Snacks

Dietitians' Picks for Healthy Snacks

Dietitians agree that the best snacks satisfy hunger while helping meet our daily dietary needs, especially for fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy.

"Look for snacks that contain protein with healthy carbohydrates and fats, and eat your snacks slowly so they fill you up," says Weems.

Here are 22 portable and healthy snacks that make the list of dietitian's favorites:

1. Half a peanut butter sandwich on whole-wheat bread
2. Low-sugar, whole-grain granola bars that have at least 3 grams of fiber
3. Whole-grain crackers or whole-wheat tortilla with hummus or nut butter
4. A handful of unsalted or lightly salted dry-roasted nuts
5. Individual unsweetened applesauce with a few dry-roasted walnuts
6. Small apple with 2 teaspoons peanut butter or 1 ounce low-fat cheese
7. Ants on a log -- celery with nut butter, topped with raisins or other dried fruit
8. Half of a single-serving string cheese with a small piece of fruit or a few whole-grain crackers
9. 4-onces to 6-ounces of low-fat yogurt or yogurt treat
10. High-fiber dry cereal with a few nuts or seeds and dried fruit (put this in a baggie for a make-your-own snack pack)
11. Individual packs of carrots, celery sticks, or apple slices, with a protein source like a tablespoon of nuts, nut butter, or low-fat cheese
12. Pretzels and low-fat cheese
13. Whole-wheat cracker sandwiches made with natural nut butters
14. 1 ounce of lean meat and a few whole-grain crackers
15. 3 ounces low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese and a few whole-grain crackers
16. 1 whole graham cracker and 1 teaspoon nut butter
17. Raw vegetables with 1/4 cup low-fat ranch dressing
18. 100-calorie pack of low-fat popcorn rich in whole grains and fiber
19. Handful of tortilla chips and salsa
20. 100-calorie ice cream treats
21. "Skinny" latte (made with low-fat or skim milk)
22. Small bowl of whole-grain cereal with skim milk or low-fat yogurt

10 Top mistakes you can make in the gym

The Top 10

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently polled 2,500 certified Fitness professionals to learn what they considered the top 10 mistakes being made by health club members today. Here are the surprising, and not-so-surprising results of that study:

10. Exercising too hard: Moderate exercise is the most effective. Many people believe that they can "make up" for missed workouts.

9. Not exercising intensely enough: Picking up the pace will help members achieve changes they may not be experiencing. If their workout isn't challenging, then the lack of results can be discouraging.

8. Bad posture: People should never slouch or slump when either using machines or participating in a group exercise class. Proper posture can prevent back injuries

7. Using momentum, rather than muscles, to lift weights: Slow, controlled movements are what builds muscle strength.

6. Lifting too much weight: If complete range of motion is not possible, then most likely the weight is too heavy. More is not necessarily better!

5. Not stretching: Stretching helps reduce injuries and increases muscle length and mobility, if done properly.

4. Skipping a cool down: Cooling down after a workout will lower the heart rate and prevent dizziness.

3. Not warming up properly: People who start their workouts full-force are likely candidates for injury and/or exhaustion. Warming up gets the blood flowing and gives muscles time to adapt.

2. Not drinking enough water: In exercise, the key is hydration, hydration, hydration! Please ensure that water is readily available at all times.

1. Not consuming a nutritious "meal" within one hour of workout: The optimal time for consuming a combination of protein and carbohydrates is immediately following an intense workout session. This "window of opportunity" is imperative to the recovery of the body. The optimal choice is a fruit smoothie containing at least 23 grams of protein.