Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hot Crossed Buns...


By Ron McDonald Jr. - CPT

Do you want a backside that turns heads [ladies]? Fellows strong glutes will help improve your sports performance as well. The glutes are the forgotten muscle, which happens to be the largest in the human body. Poor glute function can directly point to hamstring strains, anterior knee and hip pain as well. Here is a glute workout I designed to surely have your bottom on fire. Follow the instructions below and keep a fire exstinguisher close by to help put the fire out.


Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

  1. Start by getting on one knee.
  2. Slowly shift your hips forward until a comfortable stretch is felt on the front of your hip.
  3. Hold this position for the recommended time and then return to the starting position. Repeat for desired repetitions.
  4. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the opposite side.



Ball Bridge

  1. Start by lying on a ball with the ball underneath your shoulders.
  2. Feet should be shoulder width apart and knees bent at 90 degrees.
  3. Start by placing your hips close to the ground. Now extend them up towards the ceiling by contracting your hamstrings and glutes.
  4. Your hips should now be parallel with your knees and shoulders.
  5. Return to the starting position and repeat
  6. Do 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions



Mini Band Walks

  1. Start by placing a mini band around your ankles and standing
    with your feet parallel and about hip width apart.
  2. Keeping your hips level throughout the movement slide your left foot to the left about 6-12 inches or until the resistance is too great and then slide your right foot to a parallel stance again.
  3. Repeat this movement for the desired reps or distance.
  4. Repeat in opposite direction starting with the other leg.
  5. Make sure you keep your hips level and do not hike your hip to left the lead leg. This will defeat the purpose of the exercise. It does take some time to master the subtle lifting of the lead foot and abducting it out to the side.
  6. Start with a light band until you have mastered the technique. Your foot should only raise just enough to slide it to the side which is like 1/4in.
  7. Do 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions.



Single Leg RDL /w Dumbell


  1. Stand with feet hip width apart with knees slightly bent (at 20°)
  2. Start position: Lift left foot off ground by flexing at the knee (foot should be behind you)
  3. Bending at the hips, lower hands to approximately shin height. Keep knees bent at 20° throughout movement.
  4. Return to start position. Complete recommended repetitions and switch legs. Remember to keep back straight - movement should occur at the hip. To facilitate this, shift glutes back as if ready to sit down. Knees should not move forward beyond the toes or deviate laterally or medially. Keep abdominals tight throughout exercise by drawing stomach in toward spine.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions.



Stair Climber



  1. Place your feet on the steps and adjust the resistance so that you are
    climbing at a fairly quick pace.
  2. Continue to climb but do not lean on the arms or support yourself with your arms.
  3. Focus on pushing through your heels and NOT through your toes - this will focus the movement on your glutes.
  4. Do 3 sets of 2 mins repetitions.


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Be Well,

Photo coutesy of Jupiter Images. Animated Images courtesy of Fitness Generator.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Boost Your Metabolism


By Ron McDonald Jr. - CPT

Do you feel like you have a "slow metabolism"? I always hear people (ladies mostly) saying they have a slow metabolism, as if they were born that way and cannot do anything about it. So I have compiled this list of things you can do to boost your metabolism. Read through this list and see if you should be doing 1 or 2 things or maybe even all 7.


  1. Build Muscle Mass
    Resistance training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at work or at rest, all day everyday, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be (ladies). How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups, or a few squats or lunges. Use 5 lb. free weights or bands to perform simple biceps curls or triceps pulls. Add these exercises to your daily routine, and you'll notice a big difference in your metabolism as well as in your physique.

  2. Avoid Skipping Meals
    If your body senses that food is in short supply, it will slow your metabolism to conserve energy. Over time, the result is that when you do eat (even if you consume the same foods as always) your body will be slower to use the calories as fuel, thus creating a backlog of unwanted pounds. A good strategy is to cut your caloric intake by no more than 500 calories per day and never less than 1500 calories total each day. Once you determine your goal for calorie consumption, divide those calories into 6 different small meals/snacks through out the day.

  3. Get Whey More Protein
    Research shows that protein helps to stabilize the release of insulin into your blood stream, a process that can affect metabolism. The average person would benefit from protein intake at least 70 grams or higher each day.

  4. Exercise 3-4 Days a Week
    The goal is to burn as many calories weekly as you can through exercise. The extra calories you burn over time could add up to an additional 1-2 pounds of weight loss per month. Remember to lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume.

  5. Increase Movement in Daily Lifestyle
    The more you move, the more you burn! You can actually make a significant addition to the number of calories you burn each day by relatively minor changes in lifestyle. This can be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator; park a distance from the mall or office; window-shop with your best friend rather than sit over coffee; walk the dog instead of just let him out; do a little gardening or clean house while you talk on the phone. Making these types of changes for just 20 minutes of your day will cause you to burn an additional 100 calories per day or an additional pound per month. Making more of these changes can help you burn as much as an additional 1,000 calories per day!

  6. Go For an Evening Walk
    Although exercising any time is good for you, evening activity may be particularly beneficial. Many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours. What that means for you: those dinner calories have less of a chance to take up permanent residence on your hips!

  7. Get Adequate Sleep
    As funny as it sounds, sleep deprivation may make you fat and not just because you're susceptible to cases of the late-night munchies. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, women who got less than four hours of sleep per night had a slower metabolism than those who slept for a full eight hours.
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Be Well.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How To Lookout; When You Eat Out


By Ron McDonald Jr. - CPT

In living a healthy lifestyle there are many obstacles you have to face. One of the biggest obstacles for many people when focusing on proper nutrition is when their eating out. One of the hardest task they may face is what to order when eating out that will keep them in line with there weight management goals. We all enjoy eating out however, most restaurants don't make it very easy to decipher their menus in order to see what is a more healthier option. What I have put together is a list of keywords and things to avoid and look for when choosing food out there in the wild (restaurants).

Menu items to avoid (Bad):

  1. Fried, deep fried, french fried
  2. Batter Fried
  3. Crispy
  4. Breaded
  5. Sauteed
  6. Alfredo
  7. Buttered or buttery
  8. Anything that states it is "creamy or creamed"
  9. Scampi
  10. Rich
  11. Cheese sauce or Au Gratin

Menu items to look for (Good):

  1. Grilled
  2. Steamed
  3. Roasted
  4. Baked
  5. Marinara Sauce
  6. Tomata Sauce
  7. Garden Fresh
  8. Poached
  9. Boiled, Broiled, Charbroiled

Some general guidelines to eating out and making healthy choices:

  • Order what works best for you and your goals. Don't let family and friends eating habits and goals impact your healthy eating habits.
  • Buffets or "All-you-can-eat" joints" - Avoid buffets. Enough said.
  • The famous bread basket. If you can't only take one, then ask for the bread basket to be removed.
  • Ask for dressings and toppings to come on the side.
  • Watch serving sizes and portions. If it is too much, you don't have to finish it all. In addition you can order a lunch size or share.
  • Don't let a night out be a reason to overeat or drink. Social environments spark heavy eating and drink. Snack on veggies and drink water. Your waistline will thank you.

I hope this list will help you in living a healthy lifestyle. By no means is this the end all on how to survive in out there in the world of restaurants. This is just a starting point for you to use as a guide to survive. Let us know what works for you when eating out.

Be Well.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Myth Buster: "I only need to do cardio to lose weight"


By Ron McDonald Jr - CPT

Unfortunately this is a common misconception, when it comes time to lose weight for most people. Let me see if I can lead you down the right track.

Current research strongly indicates that, in general, combining a conventional aerobic exercise program with a restricted calorie diet does little (IF ANYTHING) to help you preserve lean body mass during your weight-reduction efforts. It is important to keep in mind that the lower your lean body mass is, the lower your resting metabolic rate (i.e., the calories expended by the body to maintain life and normal bodily functions such as respiration and circulation) will be. As a result, it is more likely that you will regain some or all of the weight you lost.

On the other hand, if you engage in an exercise program that is designed to improve your level of muscular fitness and weight loss, you enhance the likelihood that you will be able to maintain your level of lean body mass. Accordingly, for optimal results in weight management you should combine aerobic conditioning and strength training. Such a prescription will allow you to expend a relatively large number of calories, while simultaneously preserving or increasing your level of lean body mass. The bottom line in weight loss is to burn calories, burn calories, and burn calories - as many as possible on a daily basis, by increasing physically activity and planned exercise.

The biggest benefit to weight training is what is termed EPOC, which stands for Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption. What this is basically referring to is how your metabolic rate stays elevated for several hours after you exercise session has been completed. Weight training has a significant impact EPOC after a training session. The number of calories burned during recovery depends upon the intensity and the duration of the workout. So your burning more calories in your recovery time - this is what you want, by no means can you expect to burn all the calories you need to burn for the day in a 30 min or 60 min training session. The real magic of exercise is the calories you begin to burn when you not in the gym, as you overall metabolic rate increases over time. In general, approximately 15 extra calories are burned during recovery for every 100 calories you expended during your exercise bout.

While muscular fitness is certainly important, aerobic fitness is also essential. The bottom line is you need to make time for both components of fitness in order to achieve your goals.

Be Well.

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