Fitness & Wellness

How Fast Can I Lose Weight?

How Fast Can I Lose Weight?

At Upfit Training Academy in New York, NY, our mission is to help you reach your goals as fast as possible. Whether you want to bulk up, increase endurance, or lose weight, we find the most efficient and healthiest way to help you do that. All fitness goals are based on one principle, consistency. You can’t instantly change from a couch potato to an Adonis overnight. You can, however, speed up the process by using the best, most effective, techniques to reach your goal.

Weight loss is all about the numbers.

To lose one pound, you have to have a 3500-calorie deficit. The average person burns anywhere from 1600 calories to 3000, depending on weight, age, gender, body mass composition, and activity level. If you use 2300 as an average the maximum you would burn in a week is 16,100. That means if you had an average weight and activity level and ate nothing for a week, the most you could lose would be 4 ½ pounds. Of course, that’s not sustainable or even realistic. You have to eat something to be healthy and survive.

Start with a healthy diet.

Upfit Training Academy focuses on developing healthy habits and keeping the weight off permanently. You’ll learn to choose healthier options that are lower in calories and help boost your metabolism to burn more calories. The best goal to set is 1 to 2 pounds a week. If you are severely overweight, you’ll lose more. Cutting calories too low for long periods will put your body into starvation mode and your metabolism slows. You’ll also develop healthier eating habits that can keep weight off permanently.

We’ll help you with exercises that torch calories.

If you increase your activity level, you’ll increase the number of calories you burn each week. Using the best types of exercises to burn calories should be your goal. While cardio torches calories, the energy comes from both fat and muscle tissue. Muscle tissue uses more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the more weight you’ll lose. Strength training also torches calories while building muscle that helps you burn even more calories. Modifying your workout and creating a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout also torches calories but in far less time.

  • The more you weigh, the more calories it takes to do everything. It’s like carrying 30 or 40-pound weights constantly, so you’ll burn far more than the average person. You can cut calories more dramatically and lose weight faster initially.
  • Weight loss is all about consistency and developing new habits. Yoyo weight loss is hard on your body and bad for your health. You may lose several pounds, but it’s usually water-weight that returns quickly.
  • Never try to out-exercise a bad diet. It’s impossible. To lose weight faster, you need to eat healthier and reduce your calorie intake as you increase your activity level.
  • Our trainers will help you lose as much weight as quickly as is safely possible. Losing weight too fast can cause gallstones, depression, and wrinkled skin. We’ll help you find the healthiest option.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

How Exercising Can Be A Stress Reliever

How Exercising Can Be A Stress Reliever

If your day is hectic and it feels like the top of your head is about to blow off, take a break and go to the gym. You’ll end up leaving more refreshed and ready to handle those problems. That’s because exercising is a stress reliever that can help clear your mind and boost your energy. Stress saps you of your power and exhausts you. Exercise helps you get back to normal and function at your peak. There are scientific reasons to back this.

Scrub out the hormones of stress and replace them with happy hormones.

Stress hormones prepare your body to fight or run. It’s an automatic reaction to danger. That response sometimes serves a purpose, but for most of today’s stresses, it’s not appropriate. Can you imagine the problem an employee would face for punching a boss or what would happen if you abandoned your car and ran away in a traffic jam? Exercise burns off those hormones and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. It’s normal body chemistry and helps the body deal with pain and stress.

You can escape the world when you work out.

The continuous rhythmic movement of exercise acts like a meditative chant. It allows your brain to take a break from the problems of the day and focus only on body movements. Many runners describe the feeling they have when they’re in stride. They hear nothing but the sound of their feet on the pavement and the rhythm of their steps. That laser-sharp focus extends to the gym, whether lifting weights or doing squats. It turns the focus inward, just as meditation does.

Doctors now use exercise as a complementary treatment for depression and anxiety.

Stress can cause anxiety and depression. Besides professional therapy, many now use a program of exercise to help patients instead of medication. Studies have found that it helps relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety as much as most drugs and it doesn’t have negative side effects. Exercise not only releases endorphins, but it also boosts circulation. Sending more oxygen and nutrient-laden blood to the brain can improve your mood and clear your mind.

  • You’ll sleep better when you work out. Higher quality sleep can improve your mood and the quality of the following day. When you combine exercise with having fun, it improves the results more dramatically.
  • You’ll improve your posture when you work out and help prevent aches and pains. Feeling better physically can reduce stress. Improved posture makes you look and feel more confident and less stressed.
  • Exercise improves the gut microbiome. The microbes in the gut affect your physical health, and also your emotional well-being. By increasing the diversity and the population of beneficial microbes, you’ll be giving your mood a boost, too.
  • Changing your diet to a healthier one can also play a role in stress reduction. A diet high in sugar increases stress, while one with less sugar and more whole foods is beneficial for the mind and body.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

How Fitness Helps With Mental Health

There’s a direct link between fitness and improved mental health. If you focus on living a healthier lifestyle, which includes getting adequate sleep, regular hydration, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, you’ll feel better both physically and mentally. Therapists now use exercise as a complementary therapy instead of prescribing drugs. They found that exercise can bring the same benefits without any negative side effects and with many positive benefits.

Stress hormones can cause a problem.

If you’re under stress the body prepares to run or fight. It’s the fight-or-flight response hard-wired into our brains. Unless you run, fight, or do some other type of movement mimicking either, the changes made remain. It can leave you in a state of panic, affect digestion, and cause other damaging physical changes that worsen with time. Exercise helps burn them off, reverse the changes, and produce neurotransmitters that help you deal with pain and make you feel good.

Your body needs sleep to feel your best.

Exercise improves and increases the quality of sleep. Getting adequate sleep is important for mental health. If you’re tired, it’s easier to feel more emotional about situations that might not bother you otherwise. Your brain reorganizes during sleep and repairs itself. It cleans out the accumulated waste and increases lymphatic fluid to help avoid mental decline. Exercise also boosts circulation. The increased circulation brings nutrient and oxygen-laden blood to the brain to clear away the cobwebs and help you see situations with more clarity.

Your diet affects your mental health.

Your gut has trillions of microbes that aid digestion and affect both the body and mind. What you eat determines the population of microbes. The microbes produce enzymes and send signals to the brain. Other microbes produce short-chain fatty acids that regulate the nervous system and help prevent anxiety and depression. Food high in soluble fiber feeds the bacteria that make our bodies stronger. Food high in sugar feeds harmful bacteria. A healthy diet is also beneficial to the body. Eliminating food with added sugar can reduce inflammation which can affect mood.

  • Studies show a reduction in aggression occurs when you increase omega-3 fatty acids and reduce the amount of omega-6 fatty acids consumed. It also can reduce inflammation which takes a toll on mental health.
  • Staying hydrated is also important for mental health, especially in seniors. Even mild dehydration can cause changes in seniors that resemble dementia. It can cause brain fog and irritability in younger people.
  • What you eat affects the production of neurotransmitters produced in the gut. Much of the serotonin in the body is produced there. Serotonin is responsible for mood shifts and many other functions.
  • Studies show that endurance training can improve memory. It helps build new brain cells and neural links. Several studies suggest that exercise may be a good complementary treatment for Alzheimer’s and dementia.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

The Importance Of Flexibility

The Importance Of Flexibility

At Upfit Academy in New York, NY, we focus on all types of fitness. People understand the importance of fitness and many take action. Some do only cardio, while others focus on strength building or a combination of cardio and strength. Those people are missing the importance of balance and flexibility training. Being flexible is vital to health. It helps improve the range of motion, preventing injury when doing other exercises or everyday tasks.

Your posture will be better when you focus on flexibility.

Tight muscles can cause poor posture. If your muscles are tight, it can affect the spine alignment and create an imbalance. If the muscles are too tight on one side of the body, it can pull the body in that direction, creating a constant state of pain. When you increase the range of motion, your muscles are more relaxed, allowing you to stand tall. It lets you sit and stand correctly, plus perform strength and cardio exercises with proper form, making them more effective.

Flexibility reduces injury.

Many injuries to the muscle are caused by tearing or overstretching the muscle further than the range of motion allows. When muscles are looser and more relaxed, it prevents those injuries. Improving your flexibility allows your body to absorb more stress without injury. Eliminating imbalances can also help prevent injury. If you’re prone to injury while exercising, you may need more flexibility training to correct tight muscles or imbalances.

You’ll walk taller and feel more confident when your muscles relax.

Stretching the muscles with flexibility training helps them relax and reduces the tension of tight muscles. It’s one reason yoga is so beneficial for relaxation. It’s easier to relax when there’s no tension in the muscles. The improved posture also benefits your state of mind. You look more confident and ultimately, that appearance affects how you feel. It may be due to the body’s alignment and relaxation or how people treat you because you look more confident.

  • Flexibility training can boost your energy. When your muscles are more relaxed, your body doesn’t have to work as hard. The body’s biomechanics change when muscles can’t sufficiently stretch and relax.
  • When you focus on flexibility, you’ll feel less pain. You’ll be less prone to pain when getting up from a chair, picking up items off the floor, or doing everyday tasks.
  • Flexibility training also helps build balance. The older you are, the more important balance becomes. A fall can be devastating. Flexibility training helps people to live unassisted longer and improves their quality of life.
  • Stretching is one way to improve flexibility. You can stretch throughout the day to help regain it or do static stretching after working out and muscles are warm to improve your range of motion.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Best Pre-Workout And Post-Workout Meals

Best Pre-Workout And Post-Workout Meals

When you’re talking about pre-workout and post-workout meals, the content is approximately the same as the snacks, but you eat more, so the timing of the meal is different. You can eat a snack closer to working out since you aren’t eating as much. It’s also easier to bring a post-workout snack to the gym to consume as soon after a workout as possible. For preworkouts, the bigger the pre-workout meal, the longer you need to wait to exercise.

A balance of macronutrients are necessary for a pre-workout meal or snack.

Carbs are vital for energy, which you need for a successful workout. Eating carbs before working out has been proven to improve performance. Adding some protein is also helpful for longer endurance. Avoid fiber. It takes longer to get through your digestive tract. Watermelon, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and beets are excellent. Avoid fat. Fat, like fiber, requires more effort for your body to digest.

A post-workout meal boosts recovery and helps build muscle tissue.

Eating within 45 minutes after a workout can help your body recover faster. When your workout is intense, it burns the store of glycogen and can damage muscle proteins. Eating a combination of carbs and protein can help in many ways. You’ll replenish glycogen stores, increase muscle growth, decrease any muscle breakdown, and improve recovery. Consuming at least 30-40 grams of carbohydrates and 20-30 grams of protein (one serving of Greek yogurt) as soon after your workout as possible if you’re eating a snack. You can include healthy fat in the post-workout meal.

Hydrate before, during, and after each workout.

Drinking plenty of water can help you stay hydrated and boost your workout efforts. If you’ve had an intense workout, you may need to replenish electrolytes for recovery. Chicken soup can help replenish sodium, while tomatoes, lettuce, and olives provide chloride. Fresh fruit like melons, grapes, and oranges provide both liquid and potassium. A side of baked sweet potatoes or a spinach and kale salad also provides potassium. Green leafy vegetables also provide magnesium.

  • If the meal is small, like a snack, wait half an hour to an hour before exercising. If it’s a bigger meal, wait two to three hours. Eat as soon as possible after a workout.
  • Salmon and sweet potatoes, a tuna salad sandwich on whole grain, and Greek yogurt with berries and granola are good snack options. Eat more for a meal, like a multi-vegetable salad, grilled salmon, sweet potatoes, and whole wheat bread.
  • It’s all about intensity. The harder you work, the more you need a post-workout snack or meal. Eat a snack if you can’t eat a full meal within 45 minutes. Bananas, fruit and nut mixes, or nut butter and apples are a good choice.
  • Combinations of Greek yogurt and berries, with a few pistachios sprinkled in make a good snack. Add it to a big salad that’s topped with salmon or turkey and you have a great pre-workout meal.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

The Psychology Of Weight Loss

The Psychology Of Weight Loss

People often balk and feel sorry for themselves when they start a weight loss program. That’s the quickest path to failure. There’s a lot of psychology that can help improve your chances of losing weight. Why do you love the food you love? When do you find it more difficult to avoid certain unhealthy foods? Focusing on your eating habits, when you eat, and why you eat can help you make changes to a healthier future. There are reasons for choosing unhealthy foods and reasons for overeating. If you address those issues, you’ll be more likely to make the necessary changes.

You may be an emotional eater.

Are you hungry, or are you eating for another reason? What does ice cream or those mashed potatoes represent? In many cases, these types of foods are comfort foods, and you eat them for more than filling your belly. You eat them for comfort. Comfort food tends to have a soft texture, while foods you eat when angry are often crunchy. Learning why you eat some foods instead of others can help you find a healthier option with similar qualities.

Is it nature or nurture that makes us love sweets?

There are theories that man is hardwired to seek sweet foods. Sweet berries were often not poisonous, while bitter ones were. Sugar, like drugs, and alcohol, also fits in opioid receptors in our brain to trigger the dopamine release and give the pleasurable rush that can be addictive. Many sweets and fatty foods link to childhood memories. Most mothers don’t give kale or spinach as a treat, but they do offer sweets.

If you feel deprived, it’s time to change your mind.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you can NEVER have your favorite food. Just don’t eat it as often and choose smaller portions. Make small changes and adjust your palate. Instead of drinking a soft drink, opt for water. If you drink soft drinks three times a day, start by replacing one with water, then move to two times, and finally all three. Switch your mid-morning snack of a candy bar for a healthier option, like an apple. All those small changes build a healthier lifestyle and diet. Rejoice in those changes and embrace them. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. It sabotages your weight loss efforts.

  • Some people eat their feelings, instead of expressing them. Learn techniques to avoid using food as an emotional outlet. If stress is a problem, learn meditation, breathing techniques or use exercise to control it.
  • Get help from a professional. There’s no longer a stigma to getting emotional help, especially if you use food as your emotional outlet. Professionals can provide help with self-expression.
  • Be a food adventurer. Make eating more fun by learning ways to use new foods. You can even include making new healthy snacks. Have you ever heard of aquafaba? It’s an excellent replacement for eggs for a vegan diet.
  • Don’t label food as bad or good. It’s just food. Changing how you look at food can help you control what you eat. When you take the emotion out of it and eat intuitively, you’ll be more satisfied when you eat and eat less.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Hiking Workouts

Hiking Workouts

Unless you’re a cold-weather hiker that likes the cold, hiking in New York, NY, is somewhat seasonal. You can get into shape for hiking by taking easy paths in the city, such as Forest Park Inner Loop, and building up to Long Path Trail. A better way to further your adventures is to precondition for hiking. Here are some workouts to help you get into shape for hiking in the Adirondacks or following the Appalachian Trail.

Bodyweight exercises can build overall strength.

While your legs get the most workout when you’re hiking, all body parts work hard, especially if you carry a lot of gear. Squat jumps, burpees, bridges, and single-leg bridges can be the start of your workout. Lunges, squats, and hip-hinge workouts are a few more that can help prepare your body for the trail. Create a circuit and you’ll get more out of the workout. You can even turn the workout into a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout by alternating intensity between high intensity and recovery.

Focus on boosting cardio strength.

As noted previously, circuit training, particularly HIIT circuit training, can build strength and endurance. Create a circuit and compete against yourself by attempting to increase the number of reps for each leg of the circuit. You can start by allowing a minute for each exercise and have a ten to fifteen-second rest before starting the next exercise. If you choose five exercises for different muscle groups, you can repeat the workout six times for a demanding half-hour workout. Running, biking, and dancing are also good cardio workouts.

Fine tune your legs and balance.

A hip roll will prepare your legs but also help you work on balance. Stand with hands on your hips, elbows out. Lift one leg slightly behind you and keep your hands on your hips, twist as you raise that same side’s elbow toward the sky by twisting at the waist, while you lower the opposite elbow. Other good balance and leg strengthening exercises are step-up workouts, including heel-down moves using a step-up box.

  • Using a weighted vest or exercising with a backpack can help. Focus mostly on your posture as you do. Building the muscles to maintain good posture means every climb requires less effort.
  • No matter what your age, if you want to hike, always start within your capabilities. If you only can go one block and still have enough energy to get home, do that. As you get fitter, extend your distance.
  • Our trainers can help create workouts to get you in shape for next-level hiking. You can do these workouts at our facilities, and you’ll have access to programs at home.
  • Always check with your healthcare professional before starting any physically taxing exercises and hikes. A program of good nutrition can also help boost your efforts.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

Does Vitamin Water Have Special Health Benefits?

Does Vitamin Water Have Special Health Benefits?

At Upfit Academy in New York, NY, it’s normal to see electrolyte replacement water. Recently, more and more bottles of vitamin water have made their way to the gym. People often drink them because they believe they offer health benefits. After all, they do contain vitamins. These are water-soluble and include vitamins C and many B vitamins. Some contain vitamins A and E and the minerals magnesium, potassium, zinc, manganese, and chromium. It sounds like an easy way to boost nutrition, but is it really that good for you?

It’s a better option than drinking a soft drink.

If you hate plain water and prefer a sugary drink, vitamin water may be an option. It can boost your intake of vitamins while reducing your intake of soft drinks. That’s a plus. There is always a catch or a downside. In this case, there are several. The first is using it as an alternative to a healthy diet. Good nutrition doesn’t work that way. You need to eat whole foods, not just take supplements. Whole foods provide more than just vitamins and minerals. They provide phytonutrients that work with the vitamins and boost their effectiveness.

The vitamin water with or without electrolytes may be helpful, but there are other considerations.

Yes, you can get too much vitamin C, and B, so take it easy on the vitamin water. It can be tough on your kidneys and digestive system. Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea. Water-soluble vitamins are flushed out in the urine by the kidneys when you consume more than you need. That can make it hard on the kidneys, especially if you already have a preexisting kidney condition. Others may contain vitamins A and E, which can accumulate in the body and create problems.

There’s a lot of sugar in most types of vitamin water.

Sugar causes inflammation and can lead to obesity. Even worse, a diet high in sugar can create a vitamin C deficiency. Animals make their own vitamin C from glucose—sugar. Man lost that ability long ago. Vitamin C and glucose enter the cells through the same receptors, the Glut-1 receptors, so they compete to enter the cells where vitamin C is necessary. Those receptors prefer glucose to vitamin C, so it blocks the entry. The inflammation and free radicals released by the sugar make vitamin C even more necessary, leaving you worse than when you started.

  • Some people may benefit from the extra B vitamins in vitamin water. B12 and folate are important for pregnant women and those considering pregnancy.
  • The added sugar in vitamin water can increase risk factors for diabetes, tooth decay, heart disease, and obesity. One bottle may have as much as 100% of the daily recommended limit for sugar.
  • Some vitamin waters are zero-calorie and use artificial sweeteners. Studies show artificial sweeteners increase waist circumference and belly fat.
  • If you worry, you’re deficient in a vitamin, taking a supplement is far less expensive. Eating healthier is even better and provides all the phytonutrients as well.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

How Does Tea Promote Weight Loss?

How Does Tea Promote Weight Loss?

Could doing something as simple as having a cup of tea boost your weight loss? It can. This simple tool can supplement other tactics and techniques to help you lose weight. It won’t replace a healthy diet or regular exercise, but it will help shave off a few extra pounds over several months and can help you maintain your weight loss.

What makes tea help weight loss?

Several varieties of true tea come from the Camellia sinensis plant. The way the leaves of the evergreen plant are processed determines the type of tea it becomes. Whether it’s green tea, oolong, puerh, white, or black tea, they all contain health benefits. These are a type of flavonoid called catechins, with the most important one the catechin EGCG. Catechins are potent antioxidants associated with a boost in metabolism and increased fat burning. The antioxidants also help reduce inflammation. That can help protect against diabetes and heart disease. All types of tea contain caffeine, another metabolism booster.

What are the varieties of tea? Which is best?

The difference between the types of tea is the processing. The minute you pick the tea, the oxidation process starts. Enzymatic reactions and oxidation change the green leaf to brown with flavors that are different every step of the way. Green tea is processed quickly so it has less oxidation and retains more antioxidants. It’s either pan-fried or steamed to stop oxidation. First black tea is rolled, then exposed to air for almost complete oxidation. Oolong tea is between the two. White tea is air-dried with minimal processing. Puerh tea is fermented and has a strong earthy flavor. Green tea is the best tea for weight loss since it’s the highest in catechins.

If you drink tea without sugar instead of a soft drink, you’ll be saving calories.

You lose weight because you consume fewer calories than you burn. Drinking plain tea without sugar can help you do that. It fills you up and provides a tasty alternative to syrupy drinks like colas. It takes a 3500-calorie deficit to lose a pound. Replacing two soft drinks daily with plain tea can save 200 calories. That means in just 18 days, you’ll lose one pound with almost no effort. A few animal studies showed oolong and white tea increased the breakdown of fat cells. Other studies showed it blocked fat cell formation.

  • One study followed 1200 Taiwanese men and women. It cited that the participants who drank at least two cups of green tea daily for 10 years or more had a smaller waist and lower body fat than those that didn’t.
  • The catechin EGCG works in synergy with the caffeine in tea to produce the best boost in metabolism. It also protects from cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and obesity.
  • A very small study of 10 obese men found that 300 mg supplements of EGCG—the potent antioxidant in green tea—taken for three days broke down fatty acids. One cup of green tea brewed properly contains 100 mg of EGCG.
  • To maximize the EGCG in green tea use boiling water. Pour it over the green tea bag and cover, steeping it for ten minutes. Then remove the bag and enjoy.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy

How Do Eating Disorders Affect One's Mental Health?

How Do Eating Disorders Affect One’s Mental Health?

Eating disorders have only been widely recognized as an illness in the last 50 years, although these disorders have existed for centuries. In the Middle Ages, starving oneself was a way of cleansing the soul, and the spiritual aspect continued through centuries. As the beauty type changed from rounded, full-figured women to lithe, thin ones, eating disorders became more prominent as a way to gain beauty. Today, the cause is unknown since many factors can lead to eating disorders. Regardless of the cause, it can then lead to other mental health issues.

Eating disorders can disrupt the body’s reward system.

When you eat sugar, it activates the opioid receptors and causes the release of dopamine, part of the body’s reward system. Binge-eating, for instance, alters the body’s food intake control and reward response. Those changes can be permanent and make recovery difficult, if not impossible. It causes biological changes that make the disorders chronic and reoccurring.

Eating disorders aren’t a lifestyle choice.

There are underlying pre-existing mental, physical, and behavioral conditions when people develop eating disorders. The person may have compulsive-obsessive behavior, a perfectionist personality, body image issues, or control issues. Some believe it’s cultural, often developing in people who have a misconception of the perfect body. In a society that often touts that you can never be too thin, it’s easy to see how it can happen. It can be a coping mechanism to deal with other issues created by the belief that if you can control yourself and your body’s need to eat, you can control anything in life. Finding the underlying cause is the top priority to successfully overcome eating disorders.

Eating disorders can make other mental issues worse.

Eating disorders may exist with another mental health issue and make it worse. It can co-exist with addiction, for instance. Many mental health professionals find that when one is treated, the other one becomes activated and more difficult to treat. Eating disorders can also cause malnutrition, which can lead to other mental health issues, such as paranoia, depression, and anxiety. Treating the eating disorder and nourishing the body can diminish the symptoms caused by the nutritional deficiency.

  • Three types of eating disorders are common, anorexia, binge-eating, and bulimia. Each type of eating disorder has specific symptoms.
  • The symptoms of an eating disorder vary. Some include over-exercising, a preoccupation with dieting, dramatic weight fluctuations, dental issues, and menstrual irregularities.
  • Not all people with eating disorders are thin. Binge eaters, for instance, consume huge amounts of food in an almost ritualistic session, reverting to stealing food sometimes. Unlike people with anorexia, binge-eaters are usually overweight.
  • One of the biggest mental health issues that can occur when people have eating disorders is a distorted view of themselves. It can cause self-hate, lead to self-destruction, and requires finding the cause of the disease before treatment can be successful.

For more information, contact us today at UpFit Training Academy