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Running on a treadmill vs running outdoors

Joseph Coupal - Monday, March 15, 2010

You'll get equally fit running on a treadmill or running outdoors. In fact, many distance-running athletes use the treadmill for training to save their legs from the pounding of roadwork. However, there is a slight difference in energy expenditure (calories burned) between the two.  Outdoor running burns slightly more calories than treadmill running at the same speed due to lack of air resistance on the treadmill. Researchers studying this phenomenon found that setting the treadmill at 1% elevation pretty much equals things out.  So set the treadmill at 1% so that treadmill walking or running mimics outdoor exercise.

Speed up when Walking for exercise

Joseph Coupal - Sunday, March 14, 2010

Walking speed is a function of stride length and how fast you move your legs. There is a limit to how much you can lengthen your stride, so when fitness walking or walking for exercise, concentrate on increasing how fast you move your legs. Try artificially increasing your stride, and you end up over-striding, which can actually slow you down as your heel comes down too far in front.  This can cause a breaking feeling or action.  So move your legs faster but keep your stride in the normal zone for you.

Unfit people may be able to get their heart rate into a training zone by walking faster than usual, but as you get more fit you may have trouble walking fast enough to really push yourself.  If you reach this point make sure your course has hills in it. Having to go uphill when walking for exercise increases the challenge and keeps you on path to higher fitness.

Weight Gain as You Age

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Many people during their mid-life years (starting as early as 35) experience slow but steady weight gain. The process actually starts when you are not expecting it and could take a few years for the full effects of gaining unwanted weight to set in. This is sometimes referred to as 'Creeping Obesity' where you slowly gain weight over a period of time (2-3 years).  Then all of a sudden you finally notice what has happened but cannot point to a root cause.

If there are 4 keywords to health as you age through your middle years, they are "Eat Less, Move More".  If you fall into a routine where you do the exact opposite (Move Less, Eat More), that's when  this Creeping Obesity begins. It is due to not realizing the fact that you are eating just slightly too much, and not exercising enough (or maybe you stopped exercising completely over time). It is not abnormal in the beginning that it could take you a whole month to gain one pound. However the compound effect of this pattern over a few years could result in weight gain of 25-35 pounds ... without really noticing it until it's too late.

One of the keys in getting back in shape in your middle years is to acknowledge how long it took to put the weight on. If you fell into Creeping Obesity, and it took you several years before you realized what has been happening, then it only makes sense that it will take a while to lose the weight. So don't get frustrated if the weight doesn't come as fast as you like.  Stay the course and you will achieve your goals.  If you need personalized support or a structured fitness program than contact one of our fitness professionals at Answer is Fitness.

Core Exercises and Health

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Core exercises refer to those exercises that target the abdominal and lower back muscle groups. You will also find that including some exercise for the glutes (butt) will help, too, as these areas function together as your core.

Pilates classes or exercises specialize in the core group, but some traditional strength exercises like crunches, lunges,  and back extensions also are effective. You can and should work these areas every other day. As always with any exercise program you should start slowly.  Maybe do one set of crunches, an exercise for the oblique abs, an easy back extension, and set of lunges. If you are out of shape or beginning rehab due to surgery contact a fitness professional at Answer is Fitness to get proper guidance and direction.

As you progress you should increase degree of difficulty (resistance, reps, etc) slowly. However If you're already in good shape, start at an appropriate level. Remember, you will not see abdominal definition unless you have a low percentage of body fat, which requires a good nutrition or diet program. However, it's important to have strong abs anyway as they impact back health, posture, stability, etc.

Circuit Training Fitness

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, February 23, 2010

At Answer is Fitness you will notice more and more people using circuit training methods and routines.  A lot of our personal trainers use such routines with members to acheive a range various fitness goals including sports conitioning and losing weight. After one of my circuits, a person will sometimes ask me what I am doing? This is probably due to the fact that I am breathing heavily and have just performed a group of exercises/sets that look strange and difficult.

This post is really just to give a brief descrption of circuit training.

Circuit Training is when one performs 3-4 different exercises in a row, followed by some type of cardio exercise with no rest in between. An example of a "circuit" would be push-Ups with a medicine ball, followed immediately by walking lunges with a kettlebell, then by Lateral Pull-Downs, and ending with Jumping Rope for a minute.  Then you get to rest for 1-2 minutes. Both taxing and rewarding.  This appraoch forces your body to get tired quickly beacuse of lack of rest, while hitting/working a lot of muscle groups.   Essentially the goal is that you are exercising the whole body during the circuit. For circuit training routines one would want to perform 3-5 whole circuits, definitely making sure that you stay hydrated and give yourself ample rest between circuits. Try it or speak to one of our personal trainers. 


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