Fitness Friday: Burn More Calories Trail Running

Need some new ways to blast calories? Since it’s warmer outside, head to the trails. Try some of these three fun, fast-paced trail routines designed by Vindum and Nikki Kimball, three-time winner of the prestigious Western States 100-mile endurance race. I love all of three trail running suggestions.

1. Circuit Play
Why: Mixing walking, running, sprinting, and strength work transforms a hike into a full-body workout.

How: As you move along the trail, vary your pace: Go easy for two minutes, pick it up a bit for five, then sprint or speed-walk hard for 15 to 60 seconds. Recover at a slow pace until your breathing returns to normal. Then launch into a strength move (pushups and triceps dips on a log, calf raises on a rock, squats with one foot propped up on a rock) for 60 to 90 seconds. That’s one cycle. Do four to six cycles, switching up the strength moves and your speeds throughout your workout.

2. Cardio Hill Blast
Why: Running and hiking uphill increases your leg strength and improves your cardiovascular fitness while also torching fat—win, win, win! For each degree of incline, count on at least a 10 percent increase in calories burned, according to New York City nutrition and metabolism expert Jana Klauer, M.D., author of The Park Avenue Nutritionist’s Plan: The No-Fail Prescription for Energy, Vitality & Weight Loss. So running up a 5 percent grade (a gentle hill) will burn 50 percent more calories than running on a totally flat surface for the same amount of time.

How: Run up gradual hills at a strong but comfortable pace (you’re breathing hard, but you can still say a few words). Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders relaxed and down. On steep grades, switch to a quick walk, using medium to long strides. If the route you take has only one or two hills, do repeats: Run or walk the hill, jog back down, then take the climb again. Aim for four to eight total hill climbs.

3. Power Up, Race Down
Why: When you do squats, lunges, and other strength moves uphill, and then run downhill, you’ll get a balanced lower-body workout. The uphill exercises target the glutes, calves, and inner and outer thighs, while downhill running works your quads. Bonus: Doing strength moves on an incline requires more energy, so you’ll burn more calories, and managing uneven ground as you descend improves balance and coordination.

How: When you get to a hill, work in a few strength moves. Then run down the other side (or the same side). If the climb is long enough, perform 20 reps of each exercise on the way up.

Read more of this story at Women’s Health

Fitness Friday: New “Strong & Sculpted” Canyon Ranch DVD & Giveaway

When I heard about the new “Canyon Ranch: Strong & Sculpted” DVD releasing this week, I was excited to check it out. This is a great concept of bringing the Canyon Ranch experience home with you. These three 20-minute workouts take healthy living to a new level for total-body transformation designed to work together to firm, tone, and invigorate your entire body. The workouts include a dynamic strength-training segment to build strong bones and long, lean muscle; a fluid, easy-to-follow yoga flow for more body sculpting and to improve balance and flexibility; and a powerful core segment to work the muscles of the abs and hips that are key to a powerful, smoothly functioning physique. With this program, you’ll chisel your muscles, focus your mind, and transform your body. For more information to purchase, see Acacia Lifestyles.

Check Out These Workout Options:

  • Core (20 min. plus 5 min. cool down) with Canyon Ranch fitness instructor Darcy McCue

  • Strength Training (20 min. plus 9 min. cool down) with Canyon Ranch fitness instructor Heather Schmidt

  • Yoga (20 min. plus 5 min. savasana) with Heather Schmidt

    Bonus Features:

·Take healthy living to a new level with three bonus segments featuring Canyon Ranch integrative health experts.

·Cooking with Super Foods: How to select and prepare foods that reduce inflammation with Canyon Ranch’s nutrition director and corporate chef (7 min.)

·Building Lean Muscle: What you need to know about muscle and how to build muscle through exercise with an exercise physiologist (3 min.)

·Healthy Joints: How to protect and strengthen your joints during exercise and in everyday life with an integrative medicine expert (4 min.)

·Booklet with recipes from the renowned chefs of Canyon Ranch

For a chance to win, leave a comment telling me why you would like this DVD. Do the following for more chances to win and leave me a comment telling me you did. Winner will be drawn on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 8 p.m CST.

Like Ingredients, Inc. on Facebook

Follow Alison Lewis on Twitter

Follow me on Pinterest

Like Acacia Fitness on Facebook

Fitness Friday: 7 Reasons Why to Hire a Personal Trainer

Should you hire a personal trainer? l have so many friends who always ask if they should or shouldn’t, and I asked Matt Crane, owner of L.I.F.E. Fitness why anyone should hire or need a personal trainer Here’s what Matt had to say, “I’m not a fan of the title, “Personal Trainer.” Technically, I am one, but that is such a small part of what I do. “Coach, therapist, counselor, and friend are only a few of the titles that comes from being a “trainer.” I pride myself in improving and reshaping my clients quality of life while helping them live life to the fullest, full of purpose, meaning and with boldness. The name of my business, L.I.F.E, means Living in Fitness Everyday, and I have a passion to spread this message to as many people as I can.

1) Personal Trainers create safe, effective, and efficient training programs: First and foremost, your health and safety should be at the forefront of any exercise plan. I see it all too often. People get excited about working out and getting in shape and try to do it on their own, but commonly end up with frustration, feeling lost, or worse, injured. My clients go through an extensive initial assessment to identify areas of weakness/strength, fill out medical/past injury/background information, and complete a par-q (physical readiness questionnaire).  Taking all of these variables into account, I sit down with everyone and devise a customized plan designed specifically for the clients’ unique needs, goals, time constraints, and other influencing factors.  Once you have a plan in place, a trainer can ensure that you are getting maximum results out of the effort you are putting in.  By following a challenging, dynamic, and efficient training plan, you are ensured to constantly be evolving and overcoming plateaus when you reach them.

2) A trainer can provide guidance with your nutrition: Regardless of your goal, nutrition is by far the most important piece of a successful training program, easily being 75-80% of what will determine if you achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

3) A trainer helps you set REALISTIC and attainable goals: Many times people set goals for themselves that aren’t feasible.  When they fall short, they get disappointed, discouraged, and can lead to their quitting the program altogether.  A trainer, through experience and knowing your individual needs, can help you set, adjust, and track your progress through a number of different ways.  By setting realistic, attainable goals for yourself, you set yourself up for success by achieving small milestones that add up to big change.  I preach to my clients, “SMALL CHANGES, BIG RESULTS!”

4) A trainer provides accountability:  As with anything else we do in life, when you have someone you are accountable to, you are more likely to complete the task at hand.  Having that person there (that you have paid for), waiting for you to show up is a huge motivating factor for making it to the gym to get your workout in. Let’s face it, there never seems to be enough time in the day and we can always find an excuse NOT to do something, it is crucial to have that built in accountability.

5) A trainer provides guidance and knowledge beyond the gym:  The reality is that we only get to see our clients an average of 3 hours or so per week, so the overwhelming majority of your success depends on how prepared you are the other 165 hours during the week.  By having a trainer who helps you during those crucial hours outside of the gym, you are going to be much more likely to make the right choices.

6) A trainer provides motivation and encouragement:  In times of frustration, disappointment, or lack of will, a trainer will motivate you to keep pushing when you would otherwise give up.  Whether it be that extra pushup, that last 30 seconds of cardio, or simply receiving encouraging words via text or through a phone call, a trainer will encourage you to reach your full potential and not give up when you feel you’ve reached your limit.

7)  A trainer INSPIRES you: Having a trainer will inspire you to work toward your goals, reach heights you never thought possible, and ultimately be an inspiration for someone else.  We can ALL be better, and a trainer should inspire you to be the best YOU that YOU can be!  In doing so, you will begin to make a difference in others live as well.  I always teach my clients that they should give the gift they have been given and inspire others- a sort of “pay it forward” mentality.  You never know who is watching or who may be inspired by what you are doing with your life.  Be, live, and give inspiration!

Matt trains clients at Icon Performance. For more information, you can contact Matt at:

Website: www.lifefitnessbham.com

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/cranelifefitness

Email:  matt@lifefitnessbham.com

10 Reasons to Start Strength Training

Several years ago, my older sister, Julie, told me I need to start doing strength training. She is eight years older than I and always has good advice. She stressed the importance of this type of workout for strength, osteoporosis, and of course, a great looking figure as you get older. So, I gave it a whirl. When I began, I told my trainer, “Please don’t make me bulky.” He (Jeff Green at Icon Performance) continues to laugh about it to this day. I am so thankful I listened to my sister, so I thought I would share 10 great reasons to start weight training (you will be so glad you did).

1. It really does make you look lean- I can honestly now see real definition in my legs and arms without the bulk.

2. It prevents injury-I am a runner, and I cycle a lot. Strength training keeps my muscles strong to help prevent injury. Before I started weight-training, I used to be constantly sore. Now, I feel great.

3. Increased metabolism-Strength training can boost metabolism up to 15 % more, and it increases your metabolic rate for hours after training.

4. Increased strength and balance-the stronger I have become, the more my muscles work together properly in balance. I can carry my groceries inside with ease, and I see a difference in performance in my other sports.

5. It increases flexibility-By working my muscles though a full range of motion, my flexibility has increased. This really helps ward off back pain that I used to have.

6. Increased posture-Since my muscles have become stronger, I see a difference when I’m sitting and standing.

7. Stress relief-Weight training can really take your mind off stress and problems of the day. If you work out in a group of people, the time really flies by.

8. Increased Energy Levels-I normally leave the gym energized. Strength training elevates your level of endorphins which make you feel great and boost your mood. It is also said to help ward off depression.

9. Burn more calories-Your body burns calories during and after strength training. More calories are used to make muscle than fat.

10. Help fight diseases-Strength training is great to help prevent and fight arthritis, post menopause and even diabetes.

 

“The five S’s of sports training are: stamina, speed, strength, skill, and spirit; but the greatest of these is spirit.” – Ken Doherty

How to Get Lean?

Everyone wants to have a lean body, but how do we achieve it? I did some research to figure out what I am personally doing right and wrong, and here’s what I’ve found. If you have any other tips to offer, please share in the comment area below.

1. Strength Training-Adding strength training to your exercise program will help build lean muscles. Whether you use free weights, machines, body weight, or resistance bands, you will increase lean muscle, reduce body fat and burn more calories efficiently.

2. Eat more protein-Eating protein will help create lean muscle. Create your meals around protein. Identify what protein you are going to have and work your meals around that.

3. Do more yoga-In yoga, muscles are strengthened and elongated so you will not bulk up as much, but get a tone and flexible body.

4. Front-load your carbohydrates-Reduce the number of carbohydrates you eat as the day goes on. Studies show that your body’s ability to metabolize carbs drops as the day goes on, so more can end up stored as fat. My trainer, Jeff Green, from Icon Performance, says “Cut out all carbs after 3 p.m.” Wow is that hard, but if you can do it, you will see a difference.

5. Limit sugar, white flour and alcohol-These foods are quickly digested which causes blood sugar to rise. This stimulates the release of the hormone insulin, which signals your body to stop burning fat (and storing it instead).

6. Eat more frequently and eat smart-Nutritionist and Fitness Expert Sandra Koulourides, of “Fuel Plus Fitness”, suggests eating lean protein, good fat, veggies and fruit. Also, eating more frequent smaller meals with help curb cravings and splurging

7. Drink more water-Staying hydrated with water will help your body stay energized as well as help you cut down on soft drinks and caffeine.

8. Cardio and Interval Training-Do at least 30 minutes of cardio at least 5 days a week and stay consistent. Mix this with interval training, and you’ll rev up your metabolism even more.

9. Get more sleep-Refueling and resting your body often helps muscles rebuild. Get at least 8 hours of sleep (and 9 if possible) and take a day or two off a week.

10. Read labels-Don’t just look at protein and carbs, but take note at fiber, sodium, fat and how much sugar is in what you’re eating.

Top Fitness Trends of 2011

I’m so excited to introduce a new addition to my site called “Lifestyle”. In this section, I will be writing about fitness, healthy living, health, nutrition and more. I am so excited about this opportunity as I will be taking my passion for a healthy lifestyle to a new level. This week my “Lifestyle” post is about fitness trends. I have been researching and talking to many fitness professionals to determine what I think are going to be the Top 10 Fitness Trends of 2011. Please let me know if you have some ideas of your own.


1. Yoga-Different styles of yoga are becoming mainstream, and more people are catching on to the physical and mental benefits of yoga. I personally love “Bikram” (hot yoga). See information on corporate yoga (below).

2. Strength Training-More and more data explains the importance of strength training. There’s a strong trend of sports specific training for kids, teens and adults. Group training is also even becoming more popular because of the reductions of personal training costs.

3. Core Workouts-Workouts focusing on the core are trending with ball workouts, plank workouts, water core workouts and horizontal workouts.

4. Spin Cycling classes-Indoor cycling classes are really taking off. You can ride at your own level, get a great workout and sweat, and do it even if it’s dark or rough weather. Warning, it really revs up the appetite.

5. Bootcamp Workouts-Personal trainers, as well as, gyms are having more group style mix-it-up workout classes that are tough challenges to the body.

6. Interval Training-High interval training classes (HIT) are becoming very popular this year as well as interval training in all sports such as running, cycling and swimming. You can burn a lot of fat in a short amount of time with this type of workout.

8. Yoga Spinning-This combines yoga and spinning in one workout. I’ve haven’t tried this, but I hear the two go together like a “yin and yang” combining stretching and strengthening all in one. It sounds fun to cycle to new age music.

9. Piloxing-This new celebrity craze combines the power, speed and agility of boxing with the sculpting of pilates. I can’t wait to try this.

10. Body Weight Workouts-Workouts using your body weight are becoming hot. My friend, Sandra, Owner of “Fuel Plus Fitness”, specializes and is the founder of “Horizontal Conditioning”. This is a challenging workout that creates a lean sculpted body. She has DVD’s of her workouts as well as ball videos.

Note: The photo above was taken by Joseph DeSciose of my friend, Jennifer Berman, Owner of Jennifer Berman Corporate Yoga. Jennifer travels around with her mat in tow to business offices such as law firms and corporations. She brings a yoga mind and strong workout to the corporate world.