Fitness & Wellness

Easy Workouts To Do On Your Lunch Break

Easy Workouts To Do On Your Lunch Break

Everyone has been there at one time or another, swamped with work and no break in sight. If you have a regularly scheduled workout, it may have to be put to the sidelines on those days. That doesn’t mean you can’t get exercise that day. There are workouts to do on your lunch break that can help fill in the gap. While a planned program of exercise that addresses all types of fitness and all muscle groups is important. These workouts can fill in occasionally or supplement your exercise program.

The first thing you might consider is going out for lunch.

Of course, the simplest of all the workouts is the rush down the stairs and the brisk walk to your favorite spot for lunch. Rather than eating at your lunch emporium, phone ahead for take out, giving you more time. Take the stairs, not the elevator and then walk briskly to your destination. You can adjust your speed and make it a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout, spending a few minutes at top speed and a few at a recovery rate then back up to top walking speed. Purchase your lunch and briskly return, taking the stairs to your office. Now you can eat, after your brisk walk is complete.

Workout at your desk.

There are several exercises you can do right in your office or cubicle. If you don’t have that type of privacy, find a place, such as the employees lounge or even a stock room. Bodyweight exercises and calisthenics don’t require equipment. Start with squats, standing crunches, desk pushups or tricep dips from your chair. If you have the luxury of changing your clothes and privacy, a quick ten minute workout doing burpees, pushups, a one minute plank, walking lunges and tricep dips is great.

Take your resistance bands to work and do a strength training workout.

Resistance bands are perfect for working out in an area with limited space and there are plenty of exercises that don’t require laying on the floor. Ten reps of each; kickbacks, side pulls, squats and forward walk can burn calories and build strength. If you can change clothes and lay on the floor, add ten fire hydrants and leg raises to the mix. You’ll feel the stretch and build your strength.

  • Take your weights to work and get a quick workout at lunch. Low to high wood chop, overhead dumbbell side bend, row with a twist and kick crunch interspersed with intervals of jogging in place can provide a quick workout.
  • Studies show that you can break up your thirty minute workout into three ten minute sessions and get the same benefits. Three quick ten minute sessions, one in the morning, one at lunch and one after work can substitute for your normal workout.
  • Desk stretches can provide flexibility and help make the rest of the day more comfortable. Stretch your shoulders, back, upper body at the waist and legs. End the workout by raising your arms above your head, clasping your hands and bending side to side to get whole body stretching and relief.
  • At Revolution Training, we offer yoga classes that teach poses you can use anywhere, even during a lunch hour workout. Check with the instructor for a workout you can do at your office on those rushed days.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Is Snacking Healthy

Is Snacking Healthy

I have a lot of people bring snacks to the gym in Stamford, CT. Snacking can be detrimental to your health or extremely healthy. What makes the difference is the type of snack you choose. If you opt for a candy bar or bag of potato chips, then snacking definitely isn’t healthy. However, if you’re choosing fresh fruit or a cup of yogurt, then by all means, grab a snack.

Healthy snacks can help you lose weight.

If you’re ravenous, you’ll probably eat whatever is available first, which can be quite unhealthy. I’ve had clients go to the grocery right after working out and they end up buying cookies or other sweets. By the time they hit the checkout, they’ve eaten their purchase and simply scan the wrapper, often with seconds in their cart. That’s not healthy. You end up eating too much junk. Even if you do wait, dinner or lunch could end up being a super binge and your healthy eating program will go out the window. Instead, having a healthy snack available can keep your energy up and keep your appetite manageable.

Plan ahead for mid morning and mid afternoon snacks.

If you don’t have access to a refrigerator, keep your snacks simple, like single servings of nuts and seeds or a piece of fruit. In fact, natural peanut butter and sliced apples make a healthy low calorie snack. Fresh grapes with string cheese or popcorn. If you have a microwave at your office, make your own microwave popcorn. It only takes small paper lunch bags and a bag of popcorn kernels. Simple put a fourth cup of popcorn in the bag, fold the bag over at the top and put in the microwave until there are three seconds between pops.

You need extra energy for the best workout.

Don’t eat a big meal before a workout or you’re liable to leave it on the gym floor. If you eat a full meal, make it two to three hours before you workout. If it’s been longer, boost your energy level about a half hour to an hour before working out with both carbs for energy and some protein. Consider some crackers and a hard boiled egg or Greek yogurt and fruit. After the workout, you also need protein and complex carbs to repair the muscles and replenish the glycogen. You can have a bowl of brown rice with a bit of chicken and some broccoli, a hard boiled egg and toast or even just a glass of chocolate milk.

  • If you’re a grazer, have snacks ready in the refrigerator and don’t stock up on those bags of chips and pretzels. Buy a watermelon or a cantaloupe and cut it in small squares or have other fresh fruit and vegetables ready to eat. You’ll be more likely to munch on those if you have them ready.
  • Try varying your snacks. Maybe you love celery. Some people do. If you like to stuff your celery, consider thin strips of cheese or a some peanut butter.
  • Keep some healthy snacks in your car if you’re on the road a lot. Having individual bags of nuts or trail mix can be the perfect way to keep you on the straight and narrow, while boosting your nutrition with a healthy snack.
  • At Revolution Training we provide help with nutrition and a workout program. In fact, we have an introductory special that offers five classes and a session with a personal trainer, plus nutrition counseling and goal assessment. It gives you a chance to test the waters with for a super low price.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Foods To Avoid For A Flat Tummy

Foods To Avoid For A Flat Tummy

Everyone wants that tummy that’s so flat, you could bounce a quarter off it or one that looks dazzling in low riders and a midriff top. There are a lot of steps to achieving it. Of course, exercise is one of those ways. Diet is another. Diet helps in two ways. First, if you have a layer of fat covering those toned abs, nobody will see that flat stomach. The second reason diet helps is that there are foods to avoid for a flat tummy.

Soft drinks should never be part of your diet.

Whether you’re choosing full calorie/full sugar soft drinks or diet drinks, they’ll both sabotage your efforts. Full calorie soft drinks put added sugar in your diet, which is both habit forming and fattening. These are empty calories, providing no benefit but to slather on the pounds. Drinks sweetened with high fructose corn syrup are even worse and add inches to your middle. Even diet drinks have a drawback. One recent study showed diet drinks also add to your circumference and add visceral fat, belly fat.

Refined carbohydrates are not your friend, even though they may be your comfort food.

Does fresh baked bread sound delicious? Is a donut or bagel a great start to your day? If you want to get a flatter tummy, drop that habit and choose fresh fruit and a hard boiled egg or other protein. Not only will you be keeping fat off your midsection, you’ll also be boosting your energy level. While white bread and refined carbs may be off limits, having a whole grain option is better. It offers more nutrition and keeps you feeling full longer.

So called diet foods may be deceptive and add inches to your middle.

Something happens to the flavor of food when you take the fat out. It just doesn’t taste good. Manufacturers often cure that problem by adding sugar. That sugar can increase your blood glucose level quickly and drop it just as quickly, so you’re hungry soon after eating. However, even though the food had fat, foods like yogurt have healthy fat. That fat increases the leptin in your body, the satiety hormone that makes you feel full. Full fat yogurt also contains conjugated linoleic acid—CLA—which helps burn fat! Other low fat foods, such as salad dressings also have added sugar and don’t have the fat necessary to transport fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

  • Expect all manufacturers to jump on the low fat bandwagon, even though the full fat is often better for you. Don’t trade in healthy natural peanut butter for the low fat type that can pack on the pounds and increase your midsection.
  • Instead of stopping for a drink to get rid of the day’s stress, go to the gym. A thirty day study showed that people who had more than a single drink in a sitting, even once a week, had more abdominal fat than those who drank smaller amounts.
  • Too much dairy, or should I say, the wrong type of dairy can put inches on your middle. You can eat healthy cheese like fromage, a soft cheese, in small amounts.
  • Come into Revolution Training and we’ll help you with both your diet and your workout. Before you know it, you’ll have that flat stomach you’ve always wanted.

For more information, contact us today at Evolution Training

Find Strength With Yoga

Find Strength With Yoga

Strength building is important and most people think of those weight machines or lifting barbells or dumbbells. They don’t normally think of building strength with yoga. You do lift when you’re doing yoga, but you’re not lifting metal weights, you’re lifting your own body weight. Holding positions requires strong muscles.

Yoga isn’t for sissies.

Yoga may look easy, but once you try it you’ll change your mind. There are a lot of different types of yoga, which may vary from Hatha yoga and chair yoga for seniors to power, Vinyasa or other strength building yoga. While it might not seem like moving slowly and exercising without lifting actual weights may seem like a breeze, it’s absolutely not!! It builds muscle tissue, but not big bulky muscles. For that, you need to add more weight.

Yoga builds flexibility as it builds strength.

If you want to reduce the potential for injury, while building your strength and muscle tissue, yoga is perfect. It helps build your body and conditions it for daily types of movements. You’ll be improving your overall flexibility as you build strength, which won’t necessarily happen when you build by lifting weights. It provides a type of functional fitness training, moving your muscles in many different plains as it works it. It has built in flexibility training that extends the range of motion to prevent injury.

Try to hold a pose. It’s tough.

If you want to work on endurance, while boosting strength and flexibility, hold a yoga pose for a while longer each time. It won’t take long before you’ll be ready for a rest if you aren’t used to the workout. To make it even more difficult, you don’t just hold that pose once, but often several times throughout each session. There are a variety of different types of poses that build each muscle group in different ways. Many work multiple muscle groups at once, making them extremely effective in overall fitness.

  • The difference in the type of muscles built by yoga and weights comes from how the muscles contract. In yoga, it stretches while it contracts, developing sleek, sinewy muscles. When lifting weights, it gets smaller as it contracts, providing the bulky look.
  • Since yoga is good for building muscle, while also promoting muscle coordination, flexibility and endurance, it’s a good compliment to lifting weights and other strength building exercises.
  • If you’re a boxer, you’ll benefit from the balance and coordination that yoga brings to your workout, as well as the strength building. People who don’t box can benefit from those attributes as well.
  • Our gym offers many options for healthy workouts from boxing to yoga that can help you boost your energy, build your strength and improve your overall appearance and confidence. Our introductory offer even includes nutritional advice.

Want to Learn More?

If you want more information about yoga, contact me here today.

Boxing For Kids

Boxing For Kids

If you thought boxing for kids was just a way to get your child to become more active, you’d be wrong. It’s so much more than that. In Stamford, CT, the children involved in the after school program not only get the activity they need to stay strong and healthy, they have an outlet that provides many other lessons and benefits beyond the ring that endure throughout their lives.

No matter what you do in life, self-discipline helps you achieve it.

Children need to develop self-discipline to help them make smart choices in life, especially when you’re not with them and have the strength to face challenges. It builds strength of character, while also aiding in impulse control. Children need to learn how to focus and respect rules as they grow to be functioning, healthy adults. The discipline required for boxing helps develop that centered, confident child.

Goal setting, accepting the challenges and achieving that goal improves every area of life.

No matter what the physical challenge, setting a goal and doing the work to achieve that goal is important. Part of training includes setting goals, such as improving their speed or strength. It’s not always easy, but always rewarding, when they overcome the roadblocks and achieve their goal. It helps the child to realize that anything is possible when you break it down to small goals and accomplish them one at a time. Before they know it, they’ve made progress far beyond their own expectation.

Socialization and making friends not only makes it fun, often brings children out of their shells.

It’s interesting to watch children blossom as they develop through training. The quiet, reserved children often make friends and blossom into more outgoing individuals, while those high energy individuals that have far less impulse control, mature to more relaxed centered young people. The program provides a common ground for each individual an becomes a excellent environment for making friends.

  • Let’s not forget the importance of exercise. Not only does a program of exercise help build the body, it also helps build the mind. It increases the neural pathways in the brain and can help improve grades.
  • Boxing can improve your child’s focus. It’s not just the act of coming out punching, but learning how to respond to an opponents moves and the many combinations and sequences in boxing are limitless. It burns off the hormones of stress, while also easing anxiety and increasing focus.
  • Boxing for children can help develop respect for both fellow boxers and authority. It teaches good sportsmanship and learning how to both win and lose with grace. It helps children understand that one defeat doesn’t mean you give up.
  • We provide a great after school program that can help your child develop confidence, strength and self-discipline. We’ll be happy to share the details. Feel free to contact us.

Want to Learn More?

If you want more information about boxing for kids, contact me here today.

What Are Your Summer Goals

What Are Your Summer Goals

Your life during the winter is often spent bundled up and swaddled in blankets at night. When spring hits, you’re ready to start something new. As vegetables grow and flowers bloom in summer, that growth should inspire you further to set summer goals, especially if you haven’t set ones in the spring. Unlike springtime, there are more great days to go outside and enjoy Mother Nature. In fact, that can be one of your summer goals. Spend more time outside, barefoot if possible to get the energy of the earth, and enjoy the season.

Get more comfortable in your own skin, since more of it will be showing in summer clothing.

If you aren’t exercising already, it’s the perfect time to start. It can be as simple as walking more or doing outside activities, like gardening. Most people find that working out regularly not only helps them enjoy the summer fun more, it also gets results faster. If you can, enjoy the water and splashing around in the pool or at the beach. Water exercises are easier on the joints and provide a change of pace from traditional exercises. That makes it a good combination.

Eat healthier.

What’s better than summer for healthy eating. Fresh fruit and vegetables are often grown locally and lower in cost. If you’re a fan of gardening, it’s not too late to get in some vegetable plants. In fact, they’ll be on sale. If you aren’t a gardener, try a U-pick option. It saves money and gives you extra exercise. There’s an abundance of healthy choices available. Try something new. Choose heirloom tomatoes or if you haven’t already tried it, plan a meal with spaghetti squash. The goal of eating healthy is made easier in the summer months.

Drink more water.

Drinking water is harder when the weather is cold, but in the summer months, creating that habit is far easier. You also need to replenish your fluids more in the summer, since you perspire more. Make it a goal to ditch the soft drinks and sweet juices for pure, plain water. For many people, it will seem quite foreign, but once it becomes habit, it’s a tough habit to quit. Aim for eight glasses a day.

  • Learn to relax. You may think that sitting down and reading a book is true relaxation, but in reality, relaxing means relaxing your body AND mind. Take time to sit outside in nature and just be. Learning relaxation techniques like deep breathing helps.
  • Make it a goal to become more social. People with a good social life stay healthier. Take up a new sport or hobby or reconnect with an old one and share it with friends who also love it.
  • Make it a goal to treat yourself better. In order to become the person you want to be, you have to like the person that you are. Even if you don’t stick with a diet or miss an exercise session, don’t beat yourself up. It’s counterproductive. Start anew in the morning.
  • Don’t forget the sunscreen if you’re outside for a long time. If you can, practice safe sun exposure, building a slight tan after short exposures to the sun without screen. It helps boost your body’s vitamin D. Wear sunscreen the rest of the time.

How To Get A Good Night's Rest

How To Get A Good Night’s Rest

No matter where you live it’s getting harder and harder to get quality sleep. Stamford, CT is no different. While it’s hard to get a good night’s rest, it’s certainly worth it. It helps boost your energy the following day, makes your work easier and helps prevent health issues. Studies show that lack of sleep not only can affect your heart, it also may make losing weight more difficult and gaining weight easier.

How does lack of sleep make you fat?

Your body has two hormones that dictate when you feel full or when you’re hungry. Leptin is the hormone that makes you feel full. It’s the reason to eat slowly, to ensure it has time to signal the brain. Ghrelin is the hunger hormone. When you lack sleep the body shuts down the leptin hormone and boosts the production of the hunger hormone. It even happens when you get poor sleep quality. To make matters worse, when you’re tired, you tend to crave sugary treats to boost your energy level, adding more pounds as you do.

Create a sleep schedule and stick with it.

Getting in touch with your body’s natural sleep-cycle and working with it is important. Try to go to sleep at the same time every night and get up at the same time, even on the weekend. You might think you’ll catch up on sleep by sleeping in Saturdays, but you’ll just confuse your body. If you have insomnia, don’t take a nap the next day. Try to tough it out until bedtime. If you can’t function without a nap, keep it short—10 to 20 minutes. If you feel drowsy after dinner, get up and take a walk to stick with the sleep schedule.

Shut off all electronic devises and make the room dark.

Your body’s sleep-wake cycle is regulated by melatonin that comes from light exposure. When it’s dark, the brain makes it. Then you feel tired and sleepy. When you’re exposed to light, the body makes less of it to keep you active and alert. Use that information to your advantage and keep your bedroom dark. Even bright screens on phones, TVs and computers can disrupt your sleep-wake cycle. If you must watch TV before bed, don’t watch ones that are stimulating. Choose ones that relax you. Shut the curtains to block light and don’t read books on devices that have their own light source like e-readers. If nature calls in the middle of the night, try to avoid using bright lights. Have a nightlight in the bathroom and/or the hallway leading to the bathroom.

  • Get plenty of exercise. Exercise not only helps relieve stress, it helps you sleep sounder. That deep sleep is important for good health. Make sure your exercise ends at least three hours before bedtime.
  • It takes time for exercise to give the full benefit of good sleep, so stick with the program. You might find that sore muscles keep you awake at first, but that goes away quickly.
  • When you get up in the morning, pull back the shades and expose yourself to as much sunlight as possible immediately. Even drinking coffee by a sunny window area helps.
  • Spend more time in the sun and get as much natural sunlight as possible. Take a walk outside on your break or go for a walk at lunch time to increase the time you spend in the sun.

You Are What You Eat

You Are What You Eat

When you’re trying to lose weight or get healthier, it’s not about how much you eat, but what you eat, that makes a difference. I work with many clients in Stamford, CT to help them learn how to make smarter choices when it comes to food. Every time you eat, you’re making a decision whether you’re going to eat something healthy or just fill your body with empty calories that don’t provide any of the nutrients you need to look and feel your best.

When you eat food that was living, you extend your life, too.

Living food, such as garden fresh fruits and vegetables, herbs or whole food from animal sources will help you live longer, too. You’ll note that the term whole food was used when talking about animal sourced foods. That’s because there are so many processed foods out there that are filled with ingredients that never existed in nature and came from a lab. Eating healthy is all about eating food as close to its natural state as possible with no added ingredients.

Frozen and even canned food can be healthy, too.

Buying fresh produce, especially organic, isn’t always in everyone’s budget. Don’t worry. There are many canned and frozen options that are just as good. Studies show that both contain as many nutrients as fresh fruits and vegetables, but you have to look on the label to ensure there’s no added ingredients or chemicals. If it’s not green bean season, canned or frozen green beans can be just as nutritious. Canned tomatoes make a great sauce and in the case of cooked tomatoes, the amount of lycopene in the tomatoes increases with cooking.

You should avoid processed foods and start cooking differently.

What exactly is processed food if it’s not canned or frozen fruits or vegetables? Think Spam or other processed meats, those microwave delights like pizza rolls or hot pockets, crackers, cookies or anything that has chemical or mechanical changes to make it something different from the original, increase shelf life or add flavoring—such as added sugar. It’s especially important to avoid additives like high fructose corn syrup, which seems to be in everything on the shelf. The body cannot process it correctly and it interferes with the production of the hormone that makes you feel full, so you eat more.

  • Eating food heavily laden with sugar may give you a boost initially, but it won’t take long that the super high peak in energy drops to a deep valley. That blood sugar fluctuation can create severe health problems.
  • Making your plate a rainbow of colors from whole foods helps ensure that you have all the nutrients you need. Plants contain phytonutrients that improve health in a variety of ways. Many come from the substances that give the plant their color, so getting variety is important.
  • What you drink makes a difference, too. Soft drinks contain high amounts of calories and even diet drinks have been shown to increase fat around the middle. Water is the best choice.
  • There is a new medical area of study considering food as medicine for many illnesses. Why not start by eating and staying healthy before illness strikes.

The Importance Of Cooling Down

The Importance Of Cooling Down

When you have a tough workout, cooling down is extremely important. Your heart is pumping rapidly and your muscles are warm and flexible. When you abruptly stop the workout, the blood isn’t being pushed strongly by the heart and tends to pool in the extremities. That means it doesn’t circulate as much to your head, which causes your blood pressure to drop. A sudden drop in blood pressure can create dizziness and fainting.

You’ll avoid pain later with a few minutes of cool down.

One of the problems with stopping abruptly, besides the potential for fainting, is that when blood pools in your limbs, it doesn’t provide an opportunity to remove lactic acid build up that’s most efficiently removed with gentle exercise. A gentle cool down not only helps eliminate the lactic acid build-up that can cause aches and pains, it also helps protect the muscles. When you workout, your muscles become flexible and loose, which is why your legs often feel like jelly afterward. A cool down returns them to normal length and tension, to help avoid injury.

There are two different types of stretching exercises for warm ups and cool downs.

While you may think that all stretching is alike, and use the same one for both warm up and cool down, there’s a better way. There are several types of stretching exercises, but the two that effect warm up and cool down are static and dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching is best for warming up. It often mimics some of the movements you’ll be doing during your workout or sport. It might be lunges, high kicks or any exercise that stretches the muscles while moving in various directions. The best cool down are static stretches. It’s a stretch and hold strategy. Think touching your toes or a standing quadricep stretch.

Cool down exercises are the best opportunity to increase your range of motion.

You already know that doing cool down exercises can help your muscle tension return from loose to normal tension. That means it’s the ideal time to improve your range of motion, when the muscles are the most flexible. The static stretches not only help you cool down, you’ll find that doing your cool down boosts your flexibility.

  • After a workout, your body needs to return to homeostasis—a balanced state. A cool down allows it to do that slowly, while allowing you to enjoy the endorphins created during the workout—hormones that make you feel good.
  • Even though static stretching is a good cool down that can also increase your range of motion, simply walking will work.
  • Make sure you block the last five to ten minutes of your workout for cool down exercises. It can even be similar to your workout, but done with less intensity. For instance, walking after a run is an example.
  • Don’t forget a warm up session, which is as important as a cool down one. The warm up prepares your body for the workout and helps prevent injury.

Give Yourself A Spring Fitness Challenge

Give Yourself A Spring Fitness Challenge

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel better, which is why so many people are starting to eat healthier and working out regularly. For those that are considering it, but don’t want to commit to a lifetime of healthy eating and exercise, consider taking our spring fitness challenge. It’s simple and has a finish line in front of you. Just workout and eat healthy for two months and see what a difference it makes in how you look and feel.

Make it fun and vary the workout.

If you think the whole challenge will include doing push-ups and jumping jacks, think again. You can have fun and vary what you do throughout the week. I have women and men who absolutely love boxing. It makes them feel more empowered and stronger. I have clients that enjoy the relaxing stretches of yoga. Some clients with back problems say that it eases the pain, so they can sleep and function better. Just think of how much fun it can be.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot either.

We have a special that can provide a lot more than you’d expect to get you on the road to fitness. Just think, for less than $50, you can get five sessions at our bootcamp, a session with a personal trainer, help with your diet and help to create a workable goal. That’s a lot! That’s a great start to any challenge to get into shape and can supply a program that you can use on your own for the rest of spring.

You’ll be surprised how addictive exercise and healthy eating can be!

You are probably like many of the people that I meet in my work, even some of those that now workout at Revolution Training. You probably cringe at the thought of getting into a workout program for a number of reasons. One is that you’re so out of shape and you don’t want to be embarrassed. Don’t be embarrassed by being out of shape. Everyone here is friendly, supportive and they’ve all been beginners at one time or another.

  • If you’re considering the time it takes for the challenge, consider this. If your workout takes an hour every other day, including changing clothes, that’s like giving up a half hour TV program each night. Is it really that important to watch reruns? You can even record it and watch it later.
  • You’ll boost your energy level so you’ll get more done quicker when you workout regularly. That can be a serious time saver.
  • Once you start the challenge of healthy eating and exercise, you’ll find you feel better and sleep better. There’s nothing more refreshing than a good night’s sleep.
  • We help you track your progress. That makes it even more fun. While you might not see the physical results in a week or two, like a size smaller clothing, you’ll see improvement in your endurance, strength and flexibility.