Fitness & Wellness

Reasons Why You Should Log Your Workouts

Reasons Why You Should Log Your Workouts

Winners keep score. Logging your workouts helps you become a winner, but it’s just one of the reasons to do it. You get motivation because you’re tracking your progress. That turns it into a game where you strive to beat your last entry. When was the last time you were excited to exercise? If the answer is never or quite a while ago, it’s time to start tracking your progress. Video games track your progress, making them quite addictive. Do the same thing with exercise. You’ll quit dreading your workout and start looking forward to it.

When you log your workout, you check your consistency and improve it.

Knowing you have to log your workout is a small step toward accountability. You may be the only person that reads your log, but it still makes you accountable. It shows when you slack off and don’t work out or quit too soon before you’ve finished. It also can give you a boost of motivation when you show you’ve never missed a session for several weeks or months.

Add more information to your log.

If you started working out to lower your blood pressure or blood glucose levels, track those factors as well. It gives you a visual picture of how the exercise is helping you reach your goals. If weight loss is a goal, make a food diary and log your daily food intake, including that handful of candy you grab as you pass your co-worker’s candy dish. You’ll be amazed at how it helps you lose weight.

If you’re not making progress, you might need to change your workout plan.

One reason for logging your workout is to find ways to make your workout more effective and get the most progress. If you’re not making the progress you hoped to achieve, you can make your workout more difficult. When building muscles provides disappointing results, switch your workout, add more weight, or more sets. If your cardio isn’t coming along, consider high intensity interval training or circuit training. There are many ways to solve issues, but you have to know there are issues. Logging your workouts identifies them.

  • Share your workout log with someone else. One study found that people who received a phone call checking exercise progress had an improved chance of maintaining an exercise program. Sharing your log does the same thing.
  • Go modern with technology. Use your phone to track your workouts. You can also use a fitness tracker if you want to add it to your workout program. Some track heart rates, calories burned, and sleep patterns.
  • Logging your workouts can help you make better goals. It can help you set more realistic goals or beef up ones that are too easy. It’s all about seeing your progress and then addressing it with realistic goals.
  • When you log your workout, you have your workout routine already on paper, so there’s no messing around trying to figure out what to do. You know the number of reps and sets or the amount of weight to use.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Fitness Helps With Anxiety

Fitness Helps With Anxiety

New York, NY, is a bustling city that I love. With all the wonderful things to do, like every place in the world, there are still things that cause people anxiety. The situations that cause anxiety may be real or imagined but that doesn’t make any difference in how you feel and your body’s reaction. You feel stuck in the loop of impending doom. Getting fit can help you break that loop and start feeling good again. You’ll feel stronger and have the energy to overcome those feelings.

Studies show that exercise can help with anxiety and depression.

Therapists often provide adjunct treatment to help the patient while in treatment. For years prescription drugs were used. Today, an increasing number of therapists use exercise. Studies show that exercise works as well as many medications. The only side effects of exercise are a healthier body and more energy. Moderate exercise three to four times a week helps for several reasons.

It’s the fight or flight response.

Like the fight or flight response, exercise sends a stream of hormones to make bodily changes, like a higher heart rate, faster breathing, and dilated pupils, just like anxiety. Cortisol, the stress hormone, triggers it. Exercise stresses the body also increasing cortisol. When you exercise, you gradually increase the strength of the muscles, heart, and lungs so it requires less effort. You’re not only training the body to handle a progressively increasing effort, but you’re also training it to handle the load of cortisol, the stress hormone. It takes less effort to do the same exercise and it takes less cortisol for the same stress. That reduces the cortisol during normal situations and reduces anxiety.

Exercise makes you feel stronger and diverts your attention.

Your senses can trigger anxiety. It can be a familiar smell that makes you feel like you’re in danger even when you’re not. You don’t have to be reliving a real memory. It might be one you lived vicariously or never at all. Exercise helps divert your attention and memory. The more you exercise, the stronger and more in control you’ll feel.

  • Exercise increases circulation to the brain. The oxygen and nutrient-laden blood stimulates the production of BDNF, which regulates the neuroimmune system and is necessary for mood regulation.
  • Exercise helps you sleep better at night. When you have adequate sleep, you function better. It can stop the insomnia that a mild panic attack can cause.
  • Exercise helps improve the gut microbiome. A healthy gut microbiome is necessary for mood regulation. Studies show that increased beneficial microbes in the gut improve emotional reactions. Exercise increases those microbes.
  • Focusing on breathing techniques often used during yoga or at the gym can help reduce the effects of an anxiety attack. If you have anxiety, depression, or other serious mental health issue, always seek the help of a therapist.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Rest And Recovery Is More Important Than You Think

Rest And Recovery Is More Important Than You Think

If you’re working hard and spending every free moment in the gym, even skipping sleep to get in more workout time but not seeing the results you want, maybe you need more rest and recovery time. You need to make quality sleep a priority to get the best results. When you sleep, that’s when the magic happens. It’s when your body repairs the micro tears in the tissues that come from exercise and causes the muscles to become stronger. You also need to spend less time at the gym. It can be counterproductive.

Working at intense levels for an hour or longer each day is counterproductive.

You might think exercising more and doing it at high intensity will get you fit faster, but it’s not true. Those micro tears that occur in muscles don’t have time to heal. Instead, more muscle fibers tear. Before you know it, you’re losing more muscle than you gain and tiring quicker. It can cause your immune system to shut down due to the stress of overexercising. While exercise burns off stress hormones, it can also create them, especially when you don’t rest between sessions. That creates many health problems both physical and mental.

Sleep is necessary for a healthy heart.

The heart is a muscle and benefits from getting adequate rest. Sleep rests the entire body. When you sleep, your body goes through various stages that control the heart rate and help build cardiovascular health while you rest. You’ll improve your immune system because your body creates cytokine hormones that boost your immune system as you sleep. Sleep helps keep you healthier and increases your endurance for better performance.

Cut back the intensity of your workouts several days a week.

Don’t do strength training for the same muscle groups every day. It doesn’t allow for recovery. Doing a high-intensity workout every day can also cause problems. Focus on a blend of exercise with a day or two of high-intensity workouts, several days of active recovery workouts like walking, and normal workouts on the other days to give your body a chance to bounce back. Create a sleep schedule and stick with it, even on weekends. Sleep in a cooler, completely dark room, and keep your electronics out of the bedroom. Shut them off before you go to bed.

  • When you sleep the body releases human growth hormone—HGH. It starts the repair process in the muscles and helps you build muscle tissue. Lack of the hormone minimizes muscle growth.
  • You’ll be a better athlete when you get adequate R&R. Sleep helps your brain organize and create memories of the day, including training skills. Sleep boosts cognitive functioning, so you’ll make better decisions when playing sports.
  • Research shows that sleep-deprived athletes tend to suffer more injuries and have slower reaction times. Tennis players who lack sleep had decreased accuracy. Sleep-deprived volleyball players and runners lacked endurance.
  • Our trainers can help you find the sweet spot that provides the best results yet doesn’t interfere with recovery. Only you can control the amount and quality of sleep you get.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

The Benefits Of Exercise For Mental Health

The Benefits Of Exercise For Mental Health

Most people love the feeling they have after a workout. They’re almost euphoric. Part of it may be that they finished the workout, but most of the time it’s the endorphins that make them feel good. It’s one of the mental health benefits that comes from exercise. Exercise provides even more for mental health. It helps burn off the hormones caused by stress. The increased circulation also boosts mental functioning, which is why many therapists are using it as an adjunct therapy for dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Exercise helps maintain a beneficial microbiome.

Your gut microbiome is often called an organ because if it’s out of balance, it can make you sick. If it contains mostly beneficial bacteria and just a few harmful ones, it keeps the body functioning correctly. Your gut microbiome directly affects your mental health. It produces enzymes that keep your brain functioning properly. Scientists believe that certain mental conditions like ADD, depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia are caused or exacerbated by an imbalance in the microbiome. Studies show that, like diet, exercise can encourage a healthier gut microbiome.

Exercise increases circulation that sends oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to the brain.

Your whole body benefits from exercise, including your brain. Several studies show exercise can increase cognitive functioning and reduce age-related mental decline. It increases the creation of new brain cells and boosts the functioning of the memory processing area. Exercise also triggers the increased production of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid—GABA—two neurotransmitters. People who are depressed have depleted stores but with regular exercise, those neurotransmitters return to normal levels.

The role of stress and mental health.

Stress is vital for life but was far more important to early man. The fight or flight response occurs because of stress. If a caveman faced a dangerous animal, the stress hormones triggered changes in the body to help man run faster and further or fight with more vigor. Most of today’s stress is nothing like early man’s. Running or fighting won’t solve a problem with an angry boss or help you if there’s a traffic jam so you never run or fight, which burns off stress hormones. Exercise mimics those actions to relieve that angry, anxious, or depressed feeling.

  • When you workout, it improves your posture. It makes you look and feel more confident. You’ll feel stronger and more in charge. Those feelings can help you overcome depression and anxiety.
  • A good night’s sleep can help lift your spirits. You have the energy to get through the day but even more important, quality sleep allows your brain to repair and reorganize. Your brain removes waste when you’re asleep.
  • Exercise can help you deal with addiction. It can replace some coping mechanisms that are more destructive like overeating, smoking, alcohol, or drugs. That can make you feel more in control.
  • Depression and anxiety often display themselves as skeletal tension. Exercise helps relax the tightness. It also diverts your attention from problems and puts your focus directly on the exercise. It can give you a new perspective when you finish.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Can Any Foods Boost My Metabolism?

Can Any Foods Boost My Metabolism?

I love New York, NY. It’s an exciting city with so much to offer, whether it’s the arts, commerce, or food. With so many food choices, how do you decide what to eat? If you’re trying to lose weight, you want something that tastes good, is lower in calories, and maybe even boosts your metabolism. Yes, foods do that, but only by a small amount. You still have to eat healthy to accomplish weight loss. That doesn’t mean you should ignore these foods. All advantages help. Exercise, adequate hydration, and a good night’s sleep are still necessary.

Choose food higher in protein.

When you eat food, it takes calories to digest it. The calories you burn create the thermic effect. In the average diet, 10% of the calories consumed are used for digestion. High-fiber food like fruits and vegetables burn more. They use 20% of the calories eaten to digest the food. Protein uses 30%. Fat only burns 3%. High-protein foods like nuts, fish, dairy, eggs, and beans, take longer to digest so they keep your metabolism higher for longer.

Eating foods high in nutrients boosts your metabolism.

Your body needs the raw materials to function properly and keep your metabolism high. That includes foods containing B vitamins. They play a vital role in metabolizing energy. An inadequate amount of one B vitamin affects the benefits of all the others and lowers your metabolism. Food high in iron and selenium is also necessary for boosting your metabolism. They improve the functioning of the thyroid. Eat seafood, nuts, and legumes to increase B vitamins, iron, and selenium. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, and eggs also contain B vitamins. Food containing vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium also boosts your metabolism.

Your favorite morning drink might be your metabolism booster.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a tea or coffee drinker, they both increase your metabolic rate. For coffee, it’s the caffeine that helps rev up your calorie-burning fires, Tea also contains caffeine, but it also contains catechins that increase the effectiveness of caffeine.

  • Adding spice to your food can burn extra calories. The capsaicin in the peppers that turn up the heat also heats your metabolism. Ginger, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon can also be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Eating protein helps boost your metabolism in another way besides burning extra calories. It provides the nutrients to help maintain muscle mass that you can lose when dieting. Muscle uses more calories to maintain than fat so the more you have, the more calories you burn.
  • Check out food that’s high in fiber and water content to help. Celery may be the closest to a negative-calorie food. It’s mostly water and fiber. The juice acts like a diuretic. The fiber takes excess calories to digest.
  • No matter how low-calorie or calorie-burning the food is, the benefits won’t be there if not prepared correctly. Even though chili peppers can increase your metabolism, jalapeno poppers won’t because they’re stuffed, breaded, and fried.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Favorite Cheat Meal

Favorite Cheat Meal

Planning one meal that doesn’t fit the parameters of healthy eating is a cheat meal. It works by keeping your body burning more calories and controlling your desire to eat certain foods. Cheat meals have limitations. It doesn’t mean you can wipe out the entire dessert bar in one sitting. It does mean you can eat your favorite food, but you must keep portion size in mind.

If your favorite cheat meal is a burger and fries, go for it.

As long as you don’t eat that meal as a regular diet and only once every month or so, you’ll still make progress in getting healthier and losing weight. It will slow your progress, but it also may keep you on track for healthy eating by allowing you to give in to your desires in a planned manner. Avoid cheat meals more than one day a week. As you eat healthier for longer, you may find you no longer crave the food.

What’s your favorite meal?

Cheat meals are just that, cheating on a healthy eating program. No one type of cheat food is better than another. If pancakes with strawberry syrup and whipped cream are your favorites, eat them. The same is true of lasagna, pizza, or fried chicken. You’re not eating it every day if it’s a cheat food, but limiting it to once in a while. If the portion size is two slices of pizza, don’t eat the whole pie.

Plan cheat meals around special occasions.

If you know you’ll be at a family gathering with delicious food on a forbidden list, make that day your day to eat a cheat meal. When you plan it, you don’t feel guilty or start the myth of good food or bad food. There’s just food that is healthier than other types of food. Make sure you enjoy every morsel and savor it. If you’re eating a cheat meal you don’t have to eat it fast because you feel guilty. It’s all part of the program.

  • After eating healthy for a while, you’ll be surprised to find that many of the foods you used to love are no longer satisfying. Your body often reacts negatively. While it did that before healthy eating, you didn’t notice the difference because you always felt that way.
  • Some studies show that cheat meals can boost your calorie-burning fires. That increase in calories burned is about 10% and can last up to 24 hours.
  • You don’t have to use your favorite food as a cheat meal when you find ways to make it healthier.
  • You don’t always have to use cheat meals in your dietary program. If you find you love a healthy diet and don’t miss any specific food, just stick with the healthy diet.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Are You Ready To Change Your Life?

Are You Ready To Change Your Life?

No matter who you are, whether you live in New York, NY, or elsewhere, you can change your life. Getting fit and feeling good changes so many aspects of your life. It can make you more sociable, improve your productivity, and make you more confident. If you failed before, forget it. That’s in the past. It’s time to renew your vow to get healthier. Start working out and eat nutritious meals. You’ll be amazed at how much change it will make to all aspects of your life.

Exercise and a healthy diet improve your physical health.

Getting fit can help you live longer and make those extra years more productive. It can extend your life by reducing the potential for many serious conditions. A healthy diet provides the nutrition necessary without excess calories. It eliminates food with added sugar that can cause your physical health to decline. After a few weeks of changing your diet and exercising regularly, you’ll feel better, have more energy, and even look better.

You’ll look better if you make the changes to eat healthy and exercise regularly.

Exercise increases the length of telomeres. Those protect the chromosomes and prevent them from damage. They prevent unraveling much like aglets do on shoelaces. Cell damage causes aging. Exercise boosts circulation, and a healthy diet provides the building blocks to keep you looking younger. One research study found that people aged 40 to 84 who exercised had more skin elasticity and suppleness than many people who were in their 20s and 30s, based on a biopsy and examination. Your body will be more attractive, too. Getting fit puts pep in your step, so you even walk younger.

Exercising can change your outlook on life.

Exercising can lift your spirits. Many therapists use exercise as an adjuvant treatment for both depression and anxiety. You’ll burn off the hormones of stress when you workout, leaving you feeling great. A healthy diet excludes products with added sugar. Eating sugar can cause your energy level to rise quickly and drop just as sharply, leaving you grumpy and exhausted.

  • You can become the person you always wanted to be. It just takes making the first step. Whether you focus on a healthy diet, exercise, or both, only you can take the first step.
  • Exercising regularly can improve your posture. Poor posture makes you look old. It causes you to tire quickly because it takes extra effort when your body isn’t aligned properly. You look defeated and you’ll feel that way, too.
  • If you have a slow metabolism, you can boost it by exercising. The more muscle tissue you have, the more calories you burn 24/7. It takes more calories to maintain muscle tissue than fat tissue. Exercise builds muscle tissue.
  • Our personal trainers at UpFit Academy can help you reach your goals. We provide personalized programs for each individual, motivation, and accountability.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Sneaky Ways To Lose Weight

Sneaky Ways To Lose Weight

If you want to lose weight, the most obvious way is to follow a healthy diet, but there are simple changes and sneaky ways to shed those extra pounds, too. Most people in New York, NY, look for tips and tricks to make weight loss easier. That doesn’t mean they give up the idea of diet and exercise. It simply means they want to boost the effects of both. Something as simple as drinking a glass of water a half hour before a meal can cut your appetite so you won’t eat as much.

Save the planet and walk a little further.

If you drive to a store, instead of circling the lot looking for the closest parking spot, park at the first spot you see and walk the rest of the way. You’ll be burning calories instead of burning gas trying to find a closer spot. It’s hard to do in extreme weather, but well worth it since you burn even more calories. You can boost that burning by walking faster or even sprinting to the store.

Enjoy the meal and the conversation.

Eat slowly and mindfully, savoring every bite. Chew each bite until it’s liquid in your mouth, enjoying the taste and texture with each bite. Eat slowly to give your stomach a chance to signal to the brain that it’s full. If you’re eating in a restaurant, don’t order dessert until after the meal. You might find you are too full to eat it. Enjoy conversation at the table. That slows the act of eating, too.

Use smaller plates, share meals, and order an appetizer or take half the meal home.

Use smaller plates at home to create an optical illusion that your serving is larger. If you’re at a buffet, don’t overfill your plate. You can always return for more. A thin friend uses the food-touching technique. She stops putting food on her plate when the food touches, so she never mounds any one item too high. I’ve seen her return for seconds of food she loves, but it’s not often. Many restaurants serve large portions that add extra calories. Use the appetizer as a main course, share a meal, or cut the portion in half and ask for a doggie bag. Save the second half for dinner the next day.

  • Start weekly meal planning. Plan meals one day, shop the next, and cook everything on your day off, packing it in portion-size containers. During the workweek, you can heat and serve in minutes. Don’t forget to include snacks.
  • Get a good night’s rest. If you lack sleep, your body produces more ghrelin—the hunger hormone, and less leptin—the satiety hormone. Lack of sleep also can make your workout less productive, so you burn fewer calories.
  • Start with a heaping salad and extra vegetables, then add higher-calorie items. It also fills you with lower-calorie food, so you eat fewer calories.
  • Make family time active time. Have a hula hoop contest with the kids or jump rope. Both are excellent ways for you and your children to get extra exercise and burn more calories.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Best Exercises For Athletic Men And Women

Best Exercises For Athletic Men And Women

Many athletic men and women look for more challenges. They’ve conquered many of the exercises people traditionally do in the gym and either have to push the number of repetitions or opt for more weight in a strength-building regimen. Many look to the tried-and-true bodyweight workouts and modify them, creating difficult variations, if not almost impossible ones to do. It’s all about the challenge, the rush of adrenaline, and pushing yourself to the limit.

You’ll immediately identify any core weakness with the bird dog plank on a stability ball.

Lower onto a large stability ball, putting your weight on your toes and forearms. Move to bird dog position, leaving one forearm perpendicular to your body, while lifting the opposite arm and pointing straight ahead. As you do that, raise the opposite leg. Hold the position for a few seconds and switch the arm and leg raised. You’ll recognize any muscles that need attention.

Try all the modifications of a push-up.

If you’re already athletic, you probably already can do traditional push-ups, but have you tried the Aztec push-up where you touch your toes in the air on the upward movement? To do an Aztec push-up, you have to conquer other variations first. A clapping push-up is one of those. Start in push-up position, drop your body down, then rise with explosive force, lifting your hands off the ground and clapping. Once you’ve mastered the explosive movement to clap your hands, take it one step further and lift your feet off the ground simultaneously. Other preparation push-ups are the X push-up, explosive mountain pose, and the knee tap push-up.

See if you have what it takes to do a plank row chest press.

Start by squatting down, bending one leg at the knee, and putting your weight on that foot and the upper arm lying on the bench. Bend your arm with the forearm perpendicular to the bench. In your free outside hand, hold a weight. As you do a one-arm chest press, lift the opposite—interior–leg off the ground and point it directly out. Do this several times, switch sides, and press with the opposite arm.

  • Burpees can tax anyone’s energy. Newer variations like the burpee box jump can test your athleticism while improving your explosive speed and strength. You can also do one-legged burpees or weighted burpees.
  • Everyone can run, so why is this run so challenging? You’re trying to run at top speed and intensity for a mile. Track your time and try to make the run faster each run or set a goal for a specific number of minutes.
  • A walking lunge isn’t that difficult unless you add weights. Wear a weighted vest as you do a walking lunge on a quarter-mile track. Do you want to make it more difficult? Hold dumbbells in your hands.
  • Our trainers can help you build a tough workout that will challenge you every time you come to the gym. You pick the goal and our trainers will help you reach it with exercises to progress you toward the impossible workout.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Should I Say Goodbye To Fast Food Forever?

Should I Say Goodbye To Fast Food Forever?

If you’ve recently stopped for burgers and fries at a fast food joint, you’ve probably noticed that what used to be considered fast and cheap, is no longer that way. One reason people chose fast food was for the price. You could eat an entire lunch from the dollar menu in the past. That’s no longer true. Fast food is now just convenient and most of the time not very fast. With a little planning, you can say goodbye to fast food, or make smarter choices when eating there.

It’s hard to say no to fast food because it’s addictive.

If you have burgers and fries daily, you might miss them because they’ve become a habit. You’ll also find your body craving that taste. It’s more than just habit that makes them so palatable. It’s the fat, sugar, and salt that make them so addictive. Sugar and fat affect the pleasure center of the brain and release opioids and dopamine much like addictive drugs. That makes giving up fast food even more difficult. Try switching to healthier options or carrying a healthy lunch for a change.

Choose more carefully from the menu.

Choose healthier options from the menu instead of burgers, shakes, and fries. Most places offer grilled chicken salad as an option. If you choose a Subway sandwich, opt for extra veggies and choose turkey, rotisserie chicken, or a plain veggie sandwich. Most people think the wrap is healthier, but it’s not. It’s not even lower in calories. A six-inch Turkey breast signature sandwich contains fewer calories than a turkey breast signature wrap. What’s the reason? All wraps contain double meat which increases the calorie count.

If you plan, you can have more nutrition-packed meals at a lower price.

You don’t have to rely on fast food as your primary source of nutrition. You can create your meals and save time and money. When you meal plan properly, you’ll use many items for several meals. If you baked or boiled a chicken, you’ll have it for a main meal, sandwich, chicken salad, or add chicken to a salad. Extra rice, protein sources, and veggies can become a Buddha bowl for lunch. Meal prep lets you cook on the weekend when you have time and have meals ready quickly during the week. Several days’ worth of healthy food is often the same price as one lunch at a fast food place.

  • Try an experiment. Eat healthy food you fixed yourself for two or three weeks and then eat a meal at a fast food restaurant. You’ll probably notice you feel more sluggish after eating the fast food. Focus on how you feel after eating certain foods. It helps you eat healthier.
  • Using that same experiment with fast food and homemade healthier options, check out how fast food tastes after a few weeks. You’ll probably notice that the healthier food tastes more delicious and you won’t be as thirsty after you eat it.
  • You have more quality control when you cook your food. You know whether you sneezed on it, washed your hands, or accidentally dropped it on the floor.
  • Snacks are important and can keep you going. Instead of opting for packaged snacks, choose fresh fruit or veggies and dip. A quick money-saving option is homemade, not the packaged type, microwave popcorn.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy