Does the word exercise cause you to cringe?

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If so, you are not alone! It is estimated that 75% of Americans get less than the recommended amount of exercise. Not only is exercise important for good health, it is also crucial when it comes to weight control. While you can lose weight without exercise, it is very difficult to keep the weight off without being physically active.
Here are some of the benefits of exercise:
    • Reduced risk of heart disease.
    • Improved blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
    • Improved heart functionReduced risk of osteoporosis.
    • Improved muscle mass (this is important for those people on a weight loss diet!)
    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Improves blood sugar control in diabetics.
    • Aides in stress managementEnhanced self-confidence and self-imageHelps to speed the metabolism.

How much exercise should you be doing?

The basic recommendations from American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association for healthy adults under age 65 are: Do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, five days a week Or Do vigorously intense cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week And Do 8 to 10 strength-training exercises, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise twice a week. Moderate-intensity physical activity means working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still being able to carry on a conversation. It should be noted that to lose weight or maintain weight loss, 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity may be necessary. The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease.

Tips for incorporating exercise into your life.

I’m sure most of you city girls have very busy lives with work, family, social obligations, dating, etc. I bet the above recommendations can sound almost impossible. If you are trying to lose weight, do you really have 60 – 90 minutes a day 5 times a week to spend exercising?

Just tell your boss that you’ll be needing 90 minutes each day to spend at the gym. I’m sure you will receive a lot of support (wrong!). So how can you increase your activity levels in a realistic manner?

1. Start by setting realistic goals, otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed and will only set yourself up for failure. If your current activity level is very low, your goal should be to increase it slowly. Maybe start out by walking 3 times a week for 20 minutes. Or get off the bus one stop earlier. Do not go to the gym telling yourself you will need to be on the treadmill for 60-90 minutes. You know what will happen … you won’t even go! Start with 15 minutes.Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car in the far end of the shopping market parking lot. It all adds up – 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there.

2. Do it in short bouts. Research shows that moderate-intensity physical activity can be accumulated throughout the day in 10-minute bouts, which can be just as effective as exercising for 30 minutes straight. This can be useful when trying to fit physical activity into a busy schedule. So walk 10 minutes to work, walk an extra 15 blocks on the way to get your salad at lunch, take a 15 minute walk after dinner.Try to walk at a good pace.

3. Mix it up. Combinations of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity can be used to meet the guidelines. For example, you can walk briskly for 30 minutes twice per week and jog at a higher intensity on two other days. This also helps to prevent boredom as well as injury. Take a spinning class one day and a brisk walk on your lunch hour the other day if you don’t have time to get to the gym.

4. The gym isn’t a necessity. It doesn’t take an expensive gym membership to get the daily recommended amount of physical activity. A pair of athletic shoes and a little motivation are all you need to live a more active, healthier life. Just get out and walk! However if you do go to a gym, take advantage of the different machines and classes. Try a spinning class, a kickbox class or a body conditioning class. Yoga and pilates classes are great for toning and stretching, however they don’t really count as aerobic exercise.

5. Put your exercise into your daily planner just like another appointment. Maybe it’s easier for you to walk during your lunch hour, or perhaps hitting the pavement right after dinner is best for you. The key is to set aside specific days and times for exercise, making it just as much a regular part of your schedule as everything else.

6. Get your family and friends involved. Take your spouse, your children, or a friend with you during exercise to add some fun to your routine. This is also a good way to encourage your kids to be physically active and get them committed early to a lifetime of health.Many of the above recommendations came from this link (ACSM)

Set some goals for this week:

1. How many times a week are you exercising on a daily basis?

2. If you are trying to lose weight, your ideal goal is at least 5 times a week for 60 minutes.

3. Think about several ways you can increase your activity and write these thoughts down.

4. Set specific goals, such as:-I will walk for 30 minutes on my lunch hour on Monday and Wednesday with my co-worker Mary-I will walk 30 minutes after dinner twice a week with my husband-I will take a kickboxing class at my gym every Wednesday- I will walk Jack (my dog) briskly every day for 15 extra minutes.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all women boot camp please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Eat these foods for healthy beautiful skin

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Believe it or not, what you eat affects how supple, soft and healthy your skin is more than what you put on the outside of it. That’s because lotions, creams and oils do nothing but sit on the outside of your skin – they don’t actually penetrate beneath the surface. However, eating the right foods will nourish your skin from the inside out. Here are some delicious – and healthy – foods you may want to try to get the moisturized, glowing skin you want.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which studies are showing help to prevent skin from burning when outdoors. Results show that people who increased their lycopene intake with tomatoes (or carrots) experienced 50% less reddening after UV light exposure than those who did not increase their lycopene intake. It should be noted, however, that those who experienced less skin reddening ate fresh tomatoes – those who took supplements did not experience any significant protection from UV rays.

Tofu

Tofu is an excellent source of isoflavones, which aids in protecting collagen from breaking down. Mice who were given  isoflavones had notably smoother skin and less wrinkles after being exposed to UV rays than the mice who were exposed and had not been given isoflavones. Replacing meat in your diet with tofu a few times a week may increase your isoflavone intake enough that you will notice softer, smoother skin over time.

Bell Peppers (Specifically, Red)

Red bell peppers contain a high amount of vitamin C, which has been shown to help protect the skin from UV exposure. Vitamin C may also help repair damage that has already been done from spending too much time in the sun without adequate skin protection. It’s not hard to get enough vitamin C in your diet – if you don’t enjoy red bell peppers, try having a fresh papaya as a snack, or you can go to the old standard and eat a few oranges or down a nice, tall glass of cold OJ.

Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp And Other Omega-3 Rich Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the body in more ways than one. These acids help promote heart health, healthy vision and have many other benefits for the body. Supple, firm skin is also one of those benefits, as Omega-3 helps preserve collagen.

Consuming a diet rich in these amazing “skin foods” will not only help you achieve the gorgeous, radiant skin that will make you glow from the inside out, they’re also great for your overall health. Eat up!

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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What to do if you ate too much over the holidays

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One of the best parts of the holidays is the food. From turkey to ham to mashed potatoes and gravy to sweet treats, it’s easy to overindulge on all the delicious food. If you ate too much over the holidays, you’re definitely not alone! But chances are, you’re probably miserable and have gained at least a couple pounds, if not more. Overeating during the holidays can run you down and make you tired, so here is an easy and inexpensive way to combat overindulging on all the holiday deliciousness.

Go On A Juice Cleanse

Juice cleansing, or juice fasting, is a popular way to detox your body after a weekend (or more!) of bad eating. If you overate during the holidays, you probably don’t even want to see food again for awhile, so a juice fast is a great way to get rid of the built up fats and toxins in your body. Most juice cleanses are 1-3 days, and you probably won’t need to go any longer than 3 days.

Although there are plenty of juice cleansing regimens out there with pre-made juices that you can purchase, they are quite expensive and actually unnecessary. You can use store bought juices as long as they don’t contain any (or a lot of) sugar. Vegetable juice like V-8 is awesomely satisfying, and fruit juices that aren’t from concentrate are great for the sweet tooth. You can also purchase a juicer if you don’t already have one and juice straight from fresh fruits and vegetables. This is an excellent way to do a juice cleanse as naturally as possible.

You can also drink as much unsweetened tea and water as you like. After your juice fast, you’re likely to feel tons better!

Sample Juice Cleanse Menu

Breakfast:

  • 1 cup green tea, unsweetened with no cream
  • 1 8 oz. glass of grapefruit or orange juice

Lunch:

  • 1 8 oz. glass of green juice (Kale, Parsley, Celery & Apple)
  • 1 8 oz. glass of vegetable juice (Carrot, Cucumber, & Beets)
  • 1 4 oz. glass of cranberry or pomegranate juice

Snack:

  • 1 8 oz. glass of strawberry-banana juice

Dinner:

  • 1 8 oz. glass of vegetable juice (Your favorite veggies will do)
  • 1 4 oz. glass of carrot-celery juice
  • 1 4 oz. glass of blueberry or orange juice

After your initial juice cleanse, switch to eating small portions of fresh foods like salads, lean meats and steamed vegetables. You can also replace one meal a day with a glass of juice – for example, swapping out a lunch salad with a large glass of vegetable juice – to stay detoxed and feeling fabulous.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Super Foods

Though the definition and complete list may vary, there is an entire category of foods that should be on your must have list. They are the super foods and they offer you some truly amazing nutritional value. They contain key ingredients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and even fiber. They are not only good for weight loss but also good for your health overall as well.

What you should know is that they all offer various benefits. Some may help in the prevention of certain diseases such as cancer. Others may be helpful in naturally boosting your immune system in the here and now. Still others may have fiber which helps to keep your digestive system running properly. No matter what, these super foods get their name for a good reason and they are well worth the investment in your health overall. At NYC Adventure Boot Camp, we promote healthy eating versus fad diets.

The Good Fats Really Do Matter
You are hearing a lot about super foods because they really do matter. They have a key substance in them known as Omega 3 fatty acids and this is instrumental to your health. This can help with weight loss, with naturally lowering your cholesterol, and with helping you to prevent certain diseases in your future. The list of the very best foods that contain Omega 3 fatty acids and which are considered to be truly “good fats” includes:

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Swordfish
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Flax Seeds and Flax Seed Oil
  • Olive Oil

True and Very Powerful Whole Grains
Who ever thought that carbohydrates could be truly good for you? The most important part of this aspect of the food pyramid is to ensure that they are the types of carbs that are actually good for you. They need to be true whole grains rather than derivatives. Eating white bread will do nothing but introduce too much sugar which is bad for your health and can make you feel hungry sooner. Whereas if you focus instead on true whole grains you get a heaping dose of fiber and some important minerals that can help your overall health and that’s good for everything from weight loss to lowering your risk of heart disease. You will find that quinoa is quickly growing in popularity and so too are steel cut oats. Beans and legumes are not only lean proteins but fit nicely in with whole grains and offer the same tremendous benefits.

The Brightest and Best Fruits and Vegetables
When your mom told you to eat your fruits and vegetables she knew what she was talking about. You want to be sure to eat plenty of these gems, but some stand out more than others. The brighter and more vibrantly colored the hue of the fruit or vegetable the more antioxidants are contained within. So you get plenty of vitamins and minerals and then boost your nutritional quota with antioxidants that help your immune system and you to work towards prevention. The very best of the best include items such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Blackberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Creating a Challenging Workout Regimen

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When it comes to women and fitness, there are far too many out there who are afraid to challenge themselves. They may feel as though they are working hard enough, yet they aren’t seeing the results that they want to. Does this sound familiar? If you truly want to change your body, lose the weight, add some muscle, or just reach your health and fitness goals then you need to create a truly challenging workout regimen.

This doesn’t mean that you push yourself to the point of injury. It’s important to have a day of rest each week, however you do need to really push it when you are working out. A good regimen should include cardio, weight training, and should make you feel winded and sore at first. You are trying to change the shape of your body and therefore you are going to have to put some true work into it. So what does a truly challenging workout regimen include?

Push Yourself More Than You Ever Have Before

Before you tell yourself that you “can’t” or that you “won’t be able to”, you will never know until you try it. The biggest followers of boot camp and fitness boxing never told themselves that they couldn’t or that it would be too hard. They pushed themselves as they knew that somewhere deep down they were capable and that they could handle it. At NYC Adventure Boot Camp we will guide you all the way.

You need to know that no matter how hard the workout, you can handle it. This means trying new things, setting new limits, and creating longer term goals for yourselves. Every activity, whether it’s running or spinning or just lifting weights, is hard at first. You need to feel that challenge and push through it. You  may grit your teeth, you may be out of breath, and you may feel like you can’t handle anymore—but then all of a sudden it will somehow become a little easier and so much more additive!

Use Common Sense to Avoid Injury

Challenging is good, but it should never exclude common sense. If you want to ensure that you work through the pain and yet avoid injury then use your common sense. If you have an injury then don’t push yourself in that capacity. If you feel like you are going to faint then stop for a second. You do want to challenge yourself, but you don’t ever want to put yourself or your health at risk.

Never push so hard that you get hurt. You will however find that many of the injuries that happen in the gym were due to improper form or technique. Be sure that you know firsthand how to use all of the equipment. If you are taking a class then ask the instructor or even a personal trainer what the appropriate way to perform the exercises are. Never try to do something on your own and do it wrong—that’s when most injuries happen. Not worth it—the regimen should be challenging but still focused on the right way to perform each exercise.

Try New Things and Never Be Afraid

The world is your oyster so run with your creativity and new found energy. You shouldn’t be afraid of any type of exercise, even if it seems overly strenuous. It will only be challenging for a little while and then before you know it, you will have mastered it and become a real pro. At the point that it becomes too easy then it’s time to incorporate some new and wonderful exercises to take things up a notch.

When your muscles feel sore, they are changing. When your body changes shape, then great things are happening. The only way to truly get those results and to reach your fitness goals is to push yourself. Try something new that is totally outside of the box for you. Be sure to get proper instruction and take your time to learn, but then start challenging yourself. It’s a fun way of exercising and it gets results! You are never going to know until you try so see just how much you are capable of and you are sure to be amazed at the results and the person that you see in the mirror.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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