Thursday, November 29, 2012

Is Excess Cardio Harmful to the Heart?

In a recently publised article in the Wall Street Journal researchers are finding out long bouts of cardio can be harmful to the heart. Trainers including myself have advised doing long bouts of cardio for years now and generally prefer some form of interval training.  Interval training is in a nutshell doing short durations of high intensity activity combine with brief periods of rest and/or moderate activity.
This recommendation comes from primarily two purposes.  First, time constraints, not many clients have more that 45-60min they are willing to commit to exercising per workout. Secondly, because clients tend to get results faster with interval style training.

Interval training can take place in a variety of formats for example:

      Walk/Jog or Jog/Sprint- this is were you would walk/jog for a short period of time say 60-90 seconds followed by a more intense jog/run of 30-60 seconds.  This can be applied to any traditional methods of doing cardio.

      Bodyweight exercises- Choosing a series of exercises that can be performed with ones own body.  For instance: Push up, squats, bicycle crunch, lunges, back extension and calf raises. Perform each exercise for 20-40 seconds and rest 0-20 seconds between each exercise.  Complete the circuit as many times as you can in 20 minutes.  This can also be applied to exercise with weights, ie free weights and/or machines.

Interval training is even finding a place in cardiac rehab.  Interval training isn’t just for the athletes.

Holiday Survival Tips

"Preventing the Extra Pounds"
The holidays are intended to be a joyous time spent with loved ones and a time to reflect on the good and bad time over the past year.  It is also a chance to look forward to the future.  Interesting enough it is also the time a year when people actually anticipate gaining a few extra pounds.  Because people concede to the weight gain it is common to start the New Year off with the goal of losing weight.   Seems a bit absurd, don’t you think?  Why gain the weight in the first place?

I suppose everyone may have a reason for gaining the weight, but in the end it comes down to one thing:  you gave yourself permission to gain weight!

It is your choice:

  1. Eat in moderation- I love the holiday food selection and I have a bit of a sweet tooth, but moderation is the key.  Feel free to indulge, but don’t overindulge.  This includes alcohol!
  2. Have an eating plan- Playing off the first item.  You need to eat the bad (but oh so good) food moderation, but the majority of your meals should be centered around the following:  Lean Proteins, Starchy and Fibrous Carbohydrates.
  3. Exercise- Finding time to exercise during the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be a challenge, but if you plan ahead and work your plan you will find that you can get your exercise in. 
  4. Stay Active- Yes this is different than exercise.  For me exercise is defined and doing the extra work beyond what you would do during a typical day.  Staying active implies finding ways to burn more calories through out the day.  For example if you sit all day at work, try and stand up as often as you can.  If you stand all day, then try to walk around.  Get the point?
  5. Practice distraction- If you have kids you might be familiar with this concept.  Here is the skinny, do something that distracts you from the unhealthy habits.  For instance, if you are chatting with a friend next to h’oderves you are likely to mindless graze on the h’oderves.  Move the conversation away from the temptation of h’oderves save yourself and friend from the unwanted calories. Put yourself in a position to be successful.
There you have it 5 tips that will keep you from gaining the extra holiday way.