Tagged as: holistic health

Holiday Time! Something to Think About and Then Do!

Something to Think About, and then Do

 

This month’s article is about about holiday time and You.

 

Holiday time evokes a wide range of emotions, from happy to sad, excitement and joy to dread.  Regardless of where you may fall on the spectrum, additional stress tends to accompany holiday time.  Schedules get crazy.  To-do lists, grow.  Before you know it, exercise patterns may be affected.  Whoa!  What was that?!

 

Here’s something to think about.

 

Remember what flight attendants say before take-off, “… put your oxygen mask on before assisting others.”  When it comes to your health, what is your oxygen mask?  Maybe you work with a personal trainer, or attend small group strength training, spin class, fit camp or yoga.  Whatever it is, when you are in the midst of holiday craziness, remember how important it is for you to stay healthy. Think of how good you feel after a workout. Think about the supportive people you’ve met at 5050, classmates and trainers, people who care about you, who miss you when they don’t see you, who help you along your health journey.

 

5050 is here for You!  We look forward to helping you get through the holiday season and into the new year.

 

Here’s to your health!   Cheers!

 

 

Something to Think About, and then Do is a series of articles to inform you about training

and exercise concepts and to provide ways of bringing them into your daily life. So far,

you’ve read about core, posture, glute amnesia, cardio fitness, hydration, balance, the

importance of moving, and strength training.

Strength Training – Something to Think About, and then Do

Something to Think About, and then Do is a series of articles to inform you about training and exercise concepts and to provide ways of bringing them into your daily life. So far, you’ve read about core, posture, glute amnesia, cardio fitness, hydration, balance and the importance of moving.  Now we discuss strength training.

Our eighth installment is about Strength Training.

I’d like to start with a few basic principles. First and foremost, strength training is for everyone. Second, strength training is an enabler of balance, coordination, and good health. Last but not least, building strength builds confidence.

 

What is strength training?

Also known as resistance training, it is the use of muscle force against some form of resistance. You can do strength training with nothing more than your
body weight, as with squats, pushups, crunches and planks. The resistance can be enhanced and intensified by using equipment such as dumbbells, kettlebells, resistance bands, or weight stacks on an exercise apparatus; also everyday objects at home can be used for resistance, like a gallon of juice or milk, a bag of groceries or even a child or a pet (I remember doing flying angel leg extensions with the weight of my daughters). With or without equipment, there are hundreds of workouts that can accommodate all levels of fitness and fitness goals. Strength training has been found to have a number of positive effects on your health and well-being, as identified in scientific studies conducted over the decades and that continue today:

• Improving strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments
• Improving balance, coordination, and injury prevention
• Building strong bones by increasing bone density
• Increasing lean muscle mass, reversing the effects of muscle loss that come with
sedentary behavior and aging
• Increasing metabolism, burning more calories throughout the day
• Improving range of motion and joint flexibility
• Controlling blood sugar level

Increase Confidence

In addition to all that, strength training increases confidence. When you are stronger you can do more for yourself. You feel better about yourself. You might even sleep better. Sound too good to be true? Hear about transformations some of our members (your friends and neighbors) have experienced. Many of their stories have been recorded and can be found here and on our Facebook page.

 

Strength Training Programs

Whether you are new to strength training or you want to enhance your workout, we have a number of offerings for all levels, ranging from one-on-one, to small groups of 8-10, to larger classes. As always, we are here to help you find the right approach for your personal goals.  Click Here for frequently asked questions about our Strength Training Programs!

 

Click Here to Learn More!

Vive la resistance!

Something to Think About, and then Do – Moving

Written by Susan Brano

Something to Think About, and then Do is a series of articles to inform you about training and exercise concepts and to provide ways of bringing them into your daily life. So far, you’ve read about core, posture, glute amnesia, cardio fitness, hydration and balance. Our seventh installment is about Moving.

You just finished your 45 minute workout at 5050 and you feel pretty good. You waved your arms and legs around, lifted some weights, did a few moves on the TRX, and stretched. Phew! You’re all set now until your next session in a day or 2, right? Yes and no.

Taking classes and/or working with a personal trainer provide an excellent foundation for a strong, healthy life. They also provide inspiration for wanting to continue. After your workout at 5050, you’ve earned time to relax, read a book, watch a little TV. But you also want to build on that excellent foundation by moving. There is a misconception that for movement to be beneficial, it needs to be ‘exercise’. If you do push-ups or sit-ups or the like at home, that’s great and you should continue to do so. If you don’t, don’t fret. The important thing is to move. That’s what our muscles are made for and that’s what will keep us healthy and strong.

 

There are many things you can do throughout that day for your muscles. Here are some suggestions: if you’re sitting, move from sitting to standing a few times, maybe do a few squats, swing your legs and arms, roll your neck; take a walk, varying the speed (fast-slowfast-slow); play catch with a person or a pet. Gardening is good, bending up and down (with good form), grabbing and pulling weeds. Yard work of all types: mowing the lawn (with a push mower), moving rocks around (back straight, core engaged), trimming bushes. You can always put on some music and dance! Lastly, a few stretches: reach up to the ceiling on flat feet and on your toes, reach down to the floor, reach up and over from side to side, repeat.

Movement is good for your muscles and joints, and good for your soul. I’ve heard so many times how good clients feel after moving, which is good for my soul.

Enjoy

Janis’ Story. Cancer. Comeback. Ferocity.

My career began as an English teacher, but while I loved the students, I felt frustrated with the subject matter. I was offered an opportunity to run a high school library and found that the interdisciplinary nature of the work was exactly what I liked. Over the past thirty years I’ve worked with students from pre-school to grad school, helping them find, evaluate, and assimilate information about every subject you can imagine. Since retiring from full-time work I’ve taught grad classes for Simmons College Library and Information Studies program and have supervised grad students when they go into schools to do their internships to become certified as library teachers.

When I retired one of my first priorities was getting back into shape. I’ve always been a walker, but I added Pilates classes to my routine. When Mindy’s classes moved to 50/50, I came along. Katie occasionally subbed for Mindy, and I, like everyone else in the classes, fell in love with her. She and Mindy collaborated on developing a TRX class that incorporated Pilates principles, so I added that to my exercise schedule.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although I had planned to keep exercising throughout treatment, I had several complications and by the time I was out of treatment I felt like I had lost every muscle in my body. Among other things, I developed thoracic outlet syndrome and weak, sore knees. I went to PT, got stronger, and started working with a personal trainer at 50/50, Michael McCarthy. I enthusiastically went back to my walking, pilates and TRX, but overdid it and ended up with more aches and pains.

Again, I went to PT, but it didn’t help, so I came back to 50/50 and started working with Brittany. She has been amazing. Brittney has taught me how to use the right muscles for each exercise instead of having my back, neck or knees do all the work. It has made a huge difference and I feel stronger and more confident about my ability to exercise without reverting to the old cycle of overdoing it and hurting myself. One of the most unexpected, fun parts of training is punching Bob! I never thought I was the kind of person who could hit something, but after I threw my first punch my inner boxer jumped out! I love it! It makes me feel strong, fierce, and indomitable!

This fall my husband and I are traveling to Tanzania for a safari and in March I am to England with my book group. Our group has been together for 35 years and we always talked about doing a trip together. Now that we are retired, our time has come.

I have stayed with 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition over the years because of the skillful, engaging, fun staff and the sense of community you have built. I feel like I am coming in to talk with friends and have a good time. There is a wonderful mix of ages and a great environment. I’ve gone to a lot of different exercise places over the years. I found the level of teachers to be uneven and the atmosphere felt cold and anonymous. 50/50 is the exact opposite. It’s a pretty remarkable place.

-Janis Wolkenbreit

 

Do you need support along your health and wellness journey?

Sign UP for a FREE Health and Wellness Consult Here!

Balance. Something to Think about, and then Do.

Written by our trainer Susan Brano
Something to Think About, and then Do is a series of articles to inform you about training and exercise concepts and to provide ways of bringing them into your daily life. So far, you’ve read about core, posture, glute amnesia, cardio fitness, and hydration.
Our sixth installment is about Balance.
Balance is that subtle skill that keeps us from falling. We all have it, to varying degrees, and it is at work all the time. If you’re sitting on a chair or on a Bosu ball, standing on one foot or two, balance is keeping you up upright. If you’re walking, running, skiing, climbing stairs, gardening, bending over to tie your shoes, making your way through an obstacle course…you get the picture, it’s always at play.
The ability to maintain balance is imperative for avoiding injury, improving physical fitness and improving athletic ability. To make all that possible, the nervous system is continually processing input from many sources. Three that are germane to our discussion include visual cues, proprioception and neuromuscular control.
For visual cues, the most obvious one is having your eyes open or closed, an affect that can easily be tested: Stand on one or two feet with your eyes open. Now close your eyes. Losing visual input requires the nervous system to adjust. The speed of that adjustment will vary based on conditioning. Another visual cue that can affect your balance is your point of focus. When you are learning to balance on one foot or on a Bosu, your eyes may wander. This would create extraneous visual input. Focusing on a single object limits the input and helps you balance.
Proprioception, which happens to be one of my favorite words, is awareness of the location of the body in space, i.e., knowing the location of your head, hands, arms, legs, feet, etc., based on input from various receptors. This input is an important component of maintaining balance. Lastly, neuromuscular control plays a primary role in balancing. Like any physical activity, balance is dependent the right muscle(s) being activated at the right time. As you’ve learned in previous articles (core, posture, glute amnesia), using the right muscles can improve mobility and skill, eliminate common aches (e.g., low back pain) and help avoid injury. Likewise, with balance. As you walk, if you are slouching because your core muscles are taking the day off, not only will your gait be affected but your balance will, too, possibly resulting in a trip or a fall. Training your body to improve balance will reinforce your other training and could awaken muscles you didn’t know you had. That’s a good thing! As they awaken and get stronger and learn how to work together, you’ll see benefits in your daily life and in all levels of physical activity.
There are many things you can do at home to improve your balance. Start by standing on one foot but first, to make sure your using the right muscles, check your posture (engage your core, shoulders down and back, neutral pelvis (no excessive arch in your back). Ok, now raise one foot off the floor and squeeze the standing glutes. As you master static balance, challenge yourself by adding some motion. The one that many of my clients have heard from me is brushing your teeth while standing on one foot. That’s a good one because it’s something you do at least twice a day (right?) so you have lots of opportunity practice. You can add a calf raise or leg swing to amp it up. A couple other moves you can do at home include single leg squat and warrior 3 pose (hinge at the hip, neutral back, torso forward, straight arms forward, one leg back).

 

As a general rule, to progress your balance training, go from 2 feet on the floor to one; from static to dynamic (e.g., swing a leg, toss a ball, touch the floor, hop); change the foundation from fixed (floor) to standing on various pieces of equipment, like that which you may have had the pleasure to use at 5050: black sponge pad, balance disk, Bosu with either the black or blue side up, and our latest addition, the boogie board.
Balancing is fun and very satisfying.
May the force be with you.

Lean Muscle IS Your Friend

Personal Training Director, Jay McWilliams
 

Strength training = Lean muscle tone

I want to take some time this week to talk about the link between strength training and body composition: two of my all-time favorite subjects. During this July, which is body composition month, I want to try to dispel some common myths regarding the effects of strength training. Many people, both women and men, have a fear that strength training will result in “bulking-up”. Unfortunately, there are a large percentage of people who miss out on all of the wonderful benefits of strength training due to this concern. In fact, strength training often results in a leaner more toned look (the opposite of bulky) and will improve your body composition by simultaneously increasing lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat percentage. Strength training even helps you burn more calories when you are not in the gym. How, you may ask?

Cardio or Strength Training for Higher Calorie Burn?

First of all, muscle mass is metabolically active. Muscle burns more calorie pound for pound than fat, some estimates place muscle calorie burn at 50 calories/pound/day while fat only burns 3 calories/pound/day. This is a huge difference! Increasing your lean muscle mass even slightly will have profound effects on your daily calorie expenditure even on days you don’t make it to the gym. Another benefit of strength training is that your body tends to burn more calories for the 24-48 hours after a strength session than it does after a cardio session. So for all of you counting calories, while an hour on the treadmill may look like it will result in more calories burned than an hour lifting weights, the long-term calorie expenditure of strength training will often be greater. I encourage you all to take advantage of these benefits of strength training. Aim for at least two strength sessions a week. We have great options for strength training from Targeted Training to TRX. Your body (and your body composition) will thank you!

It is a BIG one

It is a BIG one

Personal Training Director, Jay McWilliams

Guess what? It’s my favorite month of the year….. STRENGTH MONTH! If you have been following my newsletters, you know how important full-body resistance training is to achieving all of your health and wellness goals. The benefits are countless: from increased metabolism, to decreased risk of fractures, to better cognitive function. If you do one thing for yourself this year, make it adding two to three days of strength training to your routine. A new 8 week cycle of Targeted Training is beginning May 28th, and this is a great way to begin a consistent strength routine. Please find below a description of Targeted and some answers to frequently asked questions about the program.

Targeted Training provides a middle ground between personal training and group classes, by offering strength training in 8 week programming cycles, in a well-planned progression to groups of up to 6 participants. You will receive the attention to detail, individualized coaching and support found in training, while still enjoying the camaraderie of a small tightly knit group, all at a much more affordable price tag than personal training. Each 8 week progression offers full-body strength training using a variety of equipment, including barbells, cable-machines, kettlebells, dumbbells, and resistance bands. You will track your progress over the course of the 8 weeks on a personalized tracker sheet. Most participants are able to see concrete improvements in strength over the course of the program. In fact, the majority of participants continue with the program for months to years and continue to reap the strength benefits. After the 8 week cycle of training, there will be an additional make-up week; to allow those who had to miss 1-2 sessions during the program a time to make-up these work-outs. At that point current participants are allowed to sign-up for the next cycle before it opens up to the general community. To maximize the benefits of the program, we highly recommend twice a week attendance, but once a week attendance is possible. Each session allows a maximum of 6 participants, ensuring a good training environment and plenty of one-on-one coaching from the trainer.

Targeted Training Frequently Asked Questions:

I am a beginner at strength training, is Targeted a good fit?

Yes! Targeted has the ability to be much more customizable than group classes and all levels, from beginner to advanced, can work out together and challenge themselves appropriately. One of the most rewarding aspects of Targeted is seeing your progress over the 8 weeks, which we track on a strength training tracker sheet. Beginners will be shocked by how much they can progress in these 8 weeks, and often report feeling encouraged and inspired by more advanced participants. It is a warm and compassionate environment with everyone supporting each other.

Do I really need to attend twice a week?

The program is designed for twice a week attendance and you will get the most out of the program if you are able to attend twice per week. However, if this is not possible in your schedule, you can attend once per week. If you are only coming once per week, it will be critical to complete 1-2 days of full-body strength training on your own outside of class.

Why is this an 8 week program?

We have found that eight weeks is a good amount of time to focus on a “micro-cycle” of training progressions, and this provides an easy way to allow new participants to enter the program at designated times. However, most participants continue to attend Targeted training for months to years; there are some members who have been doing Targeted twice a week steadily for three years and they have the strength gains to prove it! The program is designed to be used as a long-term progressive strength training program divided into 8 week cycles.

I have an injury I am rehabilitating from, is Targeted right for me?

Targeted training has worked wonders for many participants with injuries and physical limitations. The small group environment and one on one coaching allow for safe effective strength training for those with some limitations. Personal training may be a better option if you are very restricted by your doctor or physical therapist, or if your goal is a more specific rehabilitation program for a certain body part. But, if you are looking for full body strength training while working around an injury, Targeted is a great option.

Why is there an additional cost for Targeted?

Targeted training fits more in the realm of small group personal training than group classes, and due to the small group size and level of attention it is an excellent value. At less than $20/session it is a fraction of the cost of personal training. You will also have the opportunity to utilize equipment that is not available to group class participants. We encourage you to speak with current Targeted participants and ask them about the value of the program.

Upcoming Targeted Schedule

Targeted Strength Training: Traditional Program

Monday/Wednesday: 8:30-9:30am, 5:30-6:30pm, 7:00-8:00pm

Tuesday/Thursday: 6:30-7:30am, 11:30-12:30pm, 6:00-7:00pm

Introduction to Weight Training (Female only)

Saturday 12:00PM

This class is designed for women who are new to strength training and are interested in learning the fundamentals of the three primary barbell lifts – the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Taught in a supervised and small group of women only, this class will help you find your strength and properly and safely execute the major barbell lifts. No prior weight training experience is required. If you’ve ever been curious about powerlifting and wondered, ‘can I do that?’, then this is the class for you. Come learn how to lift with the camaraderie and support of your fellow strong women! Each class will begin with a warm-up to properly prime your movement patterns and work on mobility prior to lifting. This class will follow a workshop-style – the first half of the class will cover the basic cues, setup, and execution of the lift, and the second half will include a weightlifting circuit incorporating the lift of the week. We will learn the basic movements using kettlebells, dumbbells, and resistance bands, and work our way up to the barbell lifts.

Women’s Intermediate Weight Training

Saturday 11:00AM

This class will cover the fundamentals of the three primary barbell power lifts – the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Taught in a supervised and small group of women only, this class will help you find your strength and properly and safely execute the major barbell lifts. In addition to barbells, this class will use a variety of equipment including kettlebells, dumbbells, cable machines, and resistance bands for a well-rounded full body strength training program. Come discover why so many women are switching up their old gym routines and changing their body composition with barbell training! This class is recommended for those who have some prior weight training experience but are looking to take your experience to the next level, or fine tune your barbell lifting techniques and increase your strength.

Once you have registered, we will email you with instructions to either sign up for Targeted on your own, or set up a one on one consult to discuss the targeted program and figure out if it is the right fit for you.

Three Steps to Improve Your Balance

Three Steps to Improve Your Balance

Health & Fitness Specialist, Michael McCarthy

Balance can be tricky. It seldom comes easy and the more it’s neglected, the worse it gets. Whether it’s work/life, relationships, or fitness, the long-term benefits of improving your balance can be life changing. For our purposes, let’s stick with fitness.

When training for balance, let’s start at the root of the matter- feet! Most people have had their feet stuffed in their shoes for 8 or more hours per day, every day, for nearly as long as they’ve been alive. Although necessary in most circumstances, the shoes have essentially created a “crutch” for your feet. The muscles of the feet will likely have atrophied (broken down) and weakened, giving you a much less stable surface to move upon. Now I’m not saying to go burn every pair of shoes you own and to relive your Woodstock experience, but let’s address this sooner than later.

First – take your shoes off and let your toes wiggle. Let them breath and feel the ground beneath them. Our feet are incredible sensory tools and require that stimulation to function optimally. Try this out: while standing, take a tennis or lacrosse ball and place it under one foot. Gently apply pressure on the ball and slowly roll your foot up, down, left and right all over this ball. This is a great way to jump starting your nerves, relieve tension in your feet, and bring in some fresh blood supply.

Second – perform a simple exercise to “root” your feet. After you’ve rolled out your feet, stand tall, abdomen and glutes slightly engaged, with your feet facing forward about shoulder width apart. For this exercise you will focus on the connection to the ground with three parts of your foot: big toe, pinky toe, and heel. Apply pressure into the ground with just those three parts of your foot, hold for 10 seconds, and rest. Doing this exercise regularly can help strengthen the muscles of your feet and improve their neuromuscular response, essentially making them more “awake.”

Third – strength train. Having balance requires total body strength and proprioception. Standing still and training balance is one thing, but what about when we’re in motion? Teaching your body how to move through space is incredibly important and even more important as we age. Our feet have been neglected and need attention, however muscles like the glutes and core are incredibly important as well. To truly make an impact on your balance and quality of life I recommend full-body strength training 2-3 times per week. 50/50 Fitness Nutrition provides a great space to strength train in a supervised and safe environment. Programs such as personal training, Targeted Strength, Yoga, and Pilates are all fantastic options to challenge yourself. I hope to see you there!

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