The 30-Day Treadmill Workout

The 30-Day Treadmill Workout

Today’s post is brought to you by Shape.com

Against all odds, you might just fall in love with the treadmill this month, thanks to this killer workout program that uses speed, hill, and endurance intervals—plus body-weight moves with the treadmill…

Image result for treadmill workouts

In addition to helping you beat boredom, the roughly 30-minute-long interval workout will help you become a stronger runner by improving your endurance, speed, and power over the month, while also sculpting your entire body with killer hill intervals and body-weight moves that incorporate the turned-off treadmill. (You can also opt to do them on a mat instead.) Don’t worry, you’ll also have time for recovery—which can mean a jog or a walk if you’re a beginner—to get your heart rate down and prepare you for the next interval. And most importantly, since the program is built around your own personal base pace (more on how to figure out that number below), it’s designed for all levels of athletes—even those brand new to running.

How it works: The first week, you’ll follow the workout as-is. If you’re new to running, start implementing this workout into your routine two days per week, Arzon suggests. The rest of the week you’ll spend doing low-impact workouts like spinning or yoga, plus one “long” run—whatever that means to you. While this is a great opportunity for those training for longer races to get their miles in, it can also be swapped for 60 minutes of sustained cardio, such as 30 minutes on the StairMaster and 30 minutes on elliptical, Arzon says. For the rest of the month, you’ll focus on improving one component of the workout each week—speed, hills, or endurance—while keeping the other areas the same. (This ensures you don’t increase your total distance by more than 10 percent per week, a good safety measure.) Even though you’re only making one component harder at a time, you’ll probably see improvement across the board, she says.

Before you begin your treadmill workout, start with some pre-run dynamic stretches that will improve your range of motion and loosen up your muscles to help reduce your risk for injury. And after you finish your cool-down sesh, turn the treadmill off and use it for some quick static stretches that will help loosen up tight quads, glutes, lats, and hamstrings.

Treadmill Challenge Chart

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It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising!

Today’s post is brought to you by Harvard Health

It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising!

Exercise can ward off chronic disease and help you maintain your independence and mobility. But the older we get in the United States, the less active we are, according to a study published Sept. 16, 2016, in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Researchers analyzed data from a 2014 national health survey, focusing on adults ages 50 or older. Over all, about 28% of those people had not exercised in a month. But inactivity increased with age: non-exercisers amounted to about 25% of people ages 50 to 64, about 27% of people 65 to 74, and about 35% of people 75 or older.

The good news? “It’s never too late to become physically active! We have research studies showing that changing from being inactive to active—whether occurring in your 40s, 50s, 60s, or even 70s—is beneficial for health,” says Dr. I-Min Lee, a Harvard Medical School professor. Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking. If you’re unable to meet that goal, remember that any physical activity will provide health benefits, so do what you can manage based on your ability and your doctor’s advice.

Exercise Tips for Beginners

There are a variety of simple exercises you can do to build strength without leaving your home. Below are a few examples Healthline.com recommends to help you get started on your new path to fitness.

Abdominal Contractions

To increase strength in abdominal muscles

Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles. Hold for three breaths and then release the contraction. Repeat 10 times.

Wall Push-Ups

To increase strength in chest and shoulders

Stand about three feet away from a wall, facing the wall, with feet shoulder-width apart. Lean forward and place your hands flat on the wall, in line with your shoulders. Your body should be in “plank” position, with your spine in straight, not sagging or arched. Lower your body toward the wall and then push back. Repeat 10 times.

Pelvic Tilts

To strengthen and stretch muscles in the lower back

Take a deep breath, tighten your buttocks, and tilt your hips slightly forward. Hold for a three-count. Now tilt your hips back, and hold for three seconds. It’s a very subtle movement. Repeat eight to 12 times.

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

To strengthen postural muscles and stretch the chest

Sit up straight in your seat, rest your hands in your lap, and squeeze your shoulder blades toward one another. Focus on keeping your shoulders down, not hunched up toward your ears, and hold for three seconds. Release and repeat eight to 12 times.

Toe Taps

To strengthen lower legs

Sitting in a chair and keeping your heels on the floor, lift your toes high enough that you can feel the muscles along your shin working. This helps keep blood circulating in your legs and also strengthens the lower leg. Repeat 20 times.

Heel Raises

To strengthen upper calves

Sitting in a chair, keep your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor and lift your heels. Repeat 20 times.

Knee Lifts

To strengthen thighs

Seated in a chair, with your arms resting but not pressing on the armrests, contract your right quadriceps muscles and lift your leg. Your knee and the back of your thigh should be two or three inches off the seat. Pause for three seconds and slowly lower your leg. Complete eight to 12 repetitions and then repeat with the opposite leg.

Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch

To stretch the shoulders and back

Bend your right arm, raising it so your elbow is chest level and your right fist is near your left shoulder. Place your left hand on your right elbow and gently pull your right arm across your chest. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat with the opposite arm.

Ankle Rotations

To strengthen calves

Seated in a chair, lift your right foot off the floor and slowly rotate your foot five times to the right and then five times to the left. Repeat with the left foot.

 

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8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Today’s post is brought to you by Health.com

8 Metabolism Secrets That Help You Blast Calories

Discover how to torch more calories every day and boost your metabolism in this complete guide to your body’s fat-burning engine.

Your metabolism

It’s no wonder metabolism is a subject of fascination and speculation: The process that turns food into fuel powers all that we do. “Even when you’re sleeping, your body requires energy for things like breathing and repairing cell damage,” says Donald Hensrud, MD, medical director of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. The number of calories you need to perform such basic functions is called your resting metabolic rate (RMR)—and it can affect everything from your waistline to your energy level. Read on to learn how to keep your metabolism revved so your body is operating at just the right speed.

metabolism

Dieting can lower your metabolism

“Whenever you cut calories, your metabolism slows down, often by more than you’d expect,” says Kevin Hall, PhD, an obesity researcher at the National Institutes of Health. Studies have found that formerly obese people have a 3 to 5 percent lower RMR than people who’ve never had to lose weight. But such a drastic slowdown isn’t inevitable. Other research has shown that regular exercise can counteract the effect. And a gradual weight-loss strategy can help keep your metabolism humming. A good rule of thumb: Reduce caloric intake by no more than 500 calories a day, and torch roughly the same number through exercise. A 1,000-calorie daily deficit should help you lose about 2 pounds a week. greens

Chronic stress slows your burn

Wigged-out and gaining weight? No, it’s not in your head (unfortunately). Research suggests that when you’re totally frazzled, your metabolism stalls. One reason: Chronic stress stimulates the production of betatrophin, a protein that inhibits an enzyme needed to break down fat, per a University of Florida study. Other research found that women who experienced a stressful event the day before eating a single high-fat meal burned 104 fewer calories over the seven hours following the meal than their more chillaxed counterparts. “The stressed women also had higher insulin levels, which contributes to fat storage,” says study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD, a professor at The Ohio State University. These effects could lead to a gain of 11 pounds a year, she says.

stress

Intermittent fasting may help

For the most part, experts have advised against cleanses and other trendy fasts. But research now shows that alternate-day fasting—which entails eating without restriction one day, then consuming about 500 calories the next—can trigger weight loss without mucking up your metabolism. Women who followed this plan for eight weeks lost an average of 13 pounds, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago. “When we compared the change in their resting metabolic rate to that of subjects who lost weight by consuming 25 percent fewer calories overall, we didn’t see any differences between the two groups,” says study author Krista Varady, PhD.

What’s more, after the first few days, most of the women in the alternate-day fasting group didn’t report feeling hungry. But Dr. Hensrud cautions that further research is needed to determine the long-term effects of this strategy. If you’re tempted to try it, do so under a doctor’s supervision.

fasting

Lift weights the right way

There’s no question that strength training is a good way to combat the drop in metabolism that comes with age. But new research suggests that when you’re lifting weights, the ideal strategy is to go slowly. Resting for two to three minutes between sets may actually promote more muscle growth than a shorter rest interval, according to a U.K. study published this year. “The most important thing is to just do it, two or three times a week,” stresses Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body-for-LIFE for Women. To reap the most benefits, add your strength training to a HIIT workout (like a boot camp class), she says.

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Protein is key

You’ve probably heard that the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. And you know protein is essential for muscle growth; it helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue that happens as you get older and when you cut calories, says Caroline Cederquist, MD, an obesity specialist in Naples, Fla., and the author of The MD Factor Diet. But the trick, she adds, is to divide your intake evenly throughout the day. “You can utilize only 4 to 6 ounces of protein at a time. If you consume more than that at one sitting, it will get stored as fat.”

Research backs up her advice: A 2014 study found that people who took in 30 grams of protein at each meal had 25 percent better muscle protein synthesis than those who ate 90 grams in a day in irregular portions (10 at breakfast, 15 at lunch and 65 at dinner). As for the best sources of the nutrient, study author Emily Arentson-Lantz, PhD, a scientist at University of Texas Medical Branch, suggests lean meats, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy and nuts.

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You can blast calories all day long

6 A.M.: Work out. You can melt up to 20 percent more body fat by exercising in the morning on an empty stomach, according to a 2013 U.K. study.

7:30 A.M.: Have the right smoothie. Swiss research found that folks who consumed whey protein at breakfast burned more calories throughout the morning than folks who ate a high-carb meal.

11 A.M.: Refill your water bottle. In a German study, drinking 17 ounces of H2O increased metabolic rate by about 30 percent for more than an hour.

1 P.M.: Add some sweet red peppers to your salad. They contain a metabolism-boosting chemical called dihydrocapsiate.

3 P.M.: Take a call on your headset and go for a walk. Small bursts of activity like this can torch up to 350 calories a day, found Mayo Clinic researchers.

7 P.M.: Turn off your iPad before dinner. Exposure to blue-enriched light (the kind emitted by electronic devices) during the evening meal increases insulin resistance, according to a 2016 Northwestern Medicine study.

7:15 P.M.: Enjoy some carbs. A 2014 study showed that people who saved most of their daily carbs for nighttime burned more calories after lunch than those who ate their carbs early on.

9 P.M.: Turn down the heat. Sleeping in colder temps ramps up your body’s production of brown fat, a type that burns calories, per a study in Diabetes.

conshohocken restaurants, local table market fresh cafe smoothie

Certain health problems can affect your metabolism

Thyroid disorders: An overactive thyroid (called hyperthyroidism) can cause your metabolism to speed into overdrive, while an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can make it slow to a crawl. Fortunately, both conditions can be controlled with medication.

Prediabetes: This condition elevates insulin levels, which inhibits fat metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist. But lifestyle measures such as exercise and a low-glycemic diet can help repair metabolism.

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: Neither condition affects metabolism directly, but both can make exercise painful—and not exercising enough can lead to muscle loss and a drop in metabolism, explains Dr. Cederquist.

Polycystic ovary syndrome: Women with this hormonal imbalance are at higher risk of developing insulin resistance, which can in turn impact metabolism. Possible treatments include birth control pills to regulate hormone levels and the diabetes drug metformin.

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Should You Exercise When You Are Sick??

exercise when sick

Getting into a good, steady exercise routine feels great and it’s so frustrating when life gets in the way – especially when it’s in the form of an unwanted cold or flu. When you get sick after you’ve come so far to get into a regular schedule, it’s natural to wonder – “Is it still ok for me to get my cardio in today?” “Will exercising make me feel worse? Or will it help me kick this cold”.  We’ve wondered the same things, so we asked our experts and did our research to get you the answers you’ve been looking for.

In short – the consensus is to use your judgement, evaluate your level of illness and decide accordingly.

If your sickness is simply a common cold, it should be okay to work out, as long as you listen to your body. In regards to whether or not to work out when you’re sick, fitness trainer Anthony Moscardelli explains “It’s not so cut and dry. It’s almost like saying, should you stop exercising if you are injured? The old school of thought is to work around your injuries. The same thing holds true for being sick. If you are “deathly ill”, then obviously you shouldn’t exercise. If you simply have a common cold that is entirely different. Most people with a common cold may feel a bit weaker and should curtail their workouts according to how they feel. I would not suggest to just stop working out all together, as some colds or sinus infections could take 3-5 weeks to get rid of entirely.”

With this information in mind, there are a few things to be cautious of.

  1. Physical activity increases your heart rate, which some cold medicines can cause also. This combination can cause you heart to pump very hard, and lead to a shortness of breath. If you start to experience this, slow down or stop.
  2. If your cold comes along with a fever, exercising can stress your body even more – so hold off for a few days.
  3. Decrease your intensity. If you work out too hard when you have a cold, it can cause you to feel worse and can even slow down your recovery – so cut it back a little.

Richard Besser, MD says to use the neck rule”: If your symptoms are above the neck – sneezing, sinus pressure, stuffy nose – then breaking a sweat is generally considered safe. The American College on Exercise recommends holding off completely if you are experiencing flu-like or below-the-neck symptoms like nausea or vomiting.

So – if you’re symptoms are above the neck and you’re feeling up to sweating out some of those germs, here are the best workouts to embrace and the ones you should completely avoid.

Just Do It

  • Walking: If you want to get moving but don’t have a ton of energy, something is better than nothing. Even a 20 minute walk can help you reap the benefits of regular exercise, and as a bonus can help your symptoms. “If your sinuses are plugged up, walking will stimulate you to take deep breaths and can help open up those passages,” says Besser.
  •  Jogging: If it is part of your regular routine. Running is a natural decongestant – just remember to scale back the intensity.
  • Yoga: Research suggests that stress relieving techniques like breathing exercises and yoga may help boost immunity. A Swedish study also found that humming is a good way to open clogged sinus passages
  • Dance: This is a low impact alternative that allows you to break a sweat without putting too much stress on your body.

Don’t Do It

  • Endurance Running: If you’re in the middle of training for an upcoming distance run or marathon – put it on the back burner, even if you are just starting to feel better or are just coming down with a cold. Andrea Hulse, DO, explains “In general, regular exercise stimulates the immune system and helps keep us healthy,” says Hulse. “But too much regular exercise at a high intensity can have the opposite effect,” she adds. Immune function may be compromised for up to 24 hours after prolonged, continuous exercise (1.5 hours or longer)
  • Lifting Weights: Your strength and performance will likely be diminished while you’re battling a cold, says Besser—especially if you’ve missed out on quality sleep—putting you at increased risk for injury while trying to lift heavy equipment. Plus, the muscle strain required to lift weights can cause sinus pressure and headaches to feel even worse, he adds.
  • Team Sports: Plain and simple – nobody else wants what you have!

So the last question out there is – “When is it ok to  resume your regular exercise routine after you’ve recovered?” Raul Seballos, M.D., vice-chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic says, “Listen to your body. Colds typically last for a week to 10 days but it may take you two to three weeks to recover from the flu, depending on the severity. Don’t go 100 percent the first three or four days. Start at 75 percent of your normal workout (for both cardio and weights) and increase gradually for the first week or so. If you try to go back too soon you may have a prolonged recovery phase. You may also be more short of breath if you’re recovering from an upper respiratory infection.”

*You should always consult your doctor for a confirmed medical opinion. The content in this article was developed through online research and discussions with local fitness trainers.

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Source: Mens Fitness, WebMDHealth

Ask the Expert: Resistance Training

pistol squat, resistance training

Expert fitness and performance nutrition specialist Anthony Moscardelli answers all of your questions in his “Ask the Expert” segment on the ScullyFit site. Submit your questions for Anthony by emailing scullyfit@scullycompany.com.

Question: What are the benefits of resistance training?

Physiological Benefits

1. Beginning a structured resistance training program has the proven ability to build muscular strength and development.

2. Resistance training aids in building a stronger bones. As we age, absent some form of resistance training, we each, at some playing in our lives, will begin to experience a loss in bone density which unfortunately could lead to certain debilitative conditions such as hip fractures and osteoporosis.

3. Research has shown that between the ages of 32 and 50 our body naturally loses upward of 10% of its muscle mass. By the age of 60, that number is likely to double. Resistance training will reverse that probability.

4. A strength training program can allow us to regain certain useful levels of flexibility.

5. Resistance training leads to a stronger healthier heart. A strong, healthy heart is associated with lower levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks are also diminished greatly.

6. Strength training increases the bodies ability to keep insulin levels in check. It has also been proven to prevent or reverse certain life-threatening diseases like diabetes.

7. The use of weights for resistance training enhances the bodies ability to reduce oxidative stress and cellular damage, it has also been proven to lower the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Psychological Benefits

1. Strength or resistance training has a profound effect on boost in confidence and self-esteem.

2. Strength training allows us to better cope with life stressors.

3. Strength training provides for a better quality of sleep.

4. Resistance training is a natural mood elevator, which has been proven to boost overall cognitive function in the brain.

Content courtesy of Anthony Moscardelli.

anthony moscardelli personal trainer

Anthony Moscardelli is a seasoned fitness and performance nutrition specialist.  He offers mobile personal training services and group fitness for all ages, abilities, and goals.  His mission is to help set people on their way to living a fit, healthy, and happy lifestyle.  His unique training methods will not only keep you engaged and energized, but will keep you guessing what he might come up with next!

To discuss taking the next step in reaching your health and fitness goals, contact Anthony at (215) 970-6799 or phillystrength@gmail.com 

 

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