Fitness & Wellness

Create An Exercise Plan

Create An Exercise Plan

Why should you create an exercise plan? You need a plan in order to achieve any goal, whether it’s a mental plan or a written one. Even if you need milk, you form a mental plan to stop at the grocery on the way home. You might even write it down, especially if you need other items. An exercise plan outlines the number of days you workout each week and for how long. It identifies the type of exercise you do each day and when you’ll exercise.

Find the time that’s best for you and schedule it as you would any appointment.

Whether you’re working out at home alone or working out in a gym, find a time that fits into your schedule, then put it on the calendar as you would any other appointment. Some people prefer the first thing in the morning, while others like to exercise right after work. Whatever time you choose, make sure you’re not too hungry or too full, like right after dinner. It can impede your progress and even make you feel sick if you’ve just eaten a big meal, although a small pre-workout snack may benefit you. Have clothing and equipment set out and ready to go.

Vary your workout to include all types of exercise.

You need cardio training to build your endurance and burn calories. Strength training helps build and tone muscles that also boosts your metabolism and helps prevent falls. Flexibility training is particularly important and can help prevent pulled muscles. Balance training improve core muscles and aid in coordination. Schedule your workout so you have at least one day of strength training every week, but never two within a 48 to 72 hour span. Your muscles need to heal between workouts.

Write down the exercises you’ll do and track your progress.

Winners keep score. You need to write down the exercises you’ll do and have it ready. Create a chart, so you can track the number of reps and sets. As the exercise becomes easier to do, increase either the number of sets or number of reps per set. That way you’ll be able to see your progress. You can find books, websites or videos to help build your workout program.

  • You need 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise each week or 75 to 150 minutes of intense exercise. You can have sessions once a day, every other day or do several shorter sessions once a day of 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You can increase your daily exercise by making small changes in your habits. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking further from the store or the office increases the steps you take.
  • Include a five-minute warm-up before you exercise to warm your muscles and avoid injury. After exercise, don’t forget to cool down. Just walking slowly can help.
  • If it all seems too daunting or you’re having problems sticking with your program, consider coming to Revolution Training. We will build a program for you, track your progress and hold you accountable. Our clients love the addition of boxing to make getting fit fun.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Is There A Wrong Way To Detox?

Is There A Wrong Way To Detox?

The idea of improving your health by doing a detox diet has hit every corner of the nation, including Stamford, CT. When I’m asked whether detoxing works, I tell clients that it all depends. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it. The most accepted technique for detoxing is to dramatically lower the caloric intake from a few days to weeks and in most cases, just including fluids, such as fruit juices in the diet or some “magic” detox herb supplement. Exactly what does this type of detox do?

Drinking only fruit juice or green tea with honey is not the healthiest way to lose weight.

When you reduce your caloric intake too low and fill your diet with low fiber liquid, particularly fruit juice that’s high in sugar, you’re almost guaranteed to have a spike in your blood sugar levels. Drinking fruit juice only is far different from eating the whole fruit, which wouldn’t have as much of an effect on your body. The whole fruit contains fiber that slows the absorption of sugar, so it doesn’t cause dramatic spikes.

What goes up, must come down.

After a spike, the blood sugar doesn’t go back to normal, but drops dramatically. That can cause stress on the body and leave you feeling drained and on edge. Sure, you’ll definitely lose weight on this type of diet, but it’s almost always just water weight with a small real loss. Another bad effect from detoxing is loss of muscle mass. The body needs energy, so it often breaks down muscle mass for the protein. The less muscle mass you have, the lower your metabolism.

What is a better way to detox?

Eating healthy and detoxing your body from sugar and fast food is a better route to take. It’s harder and doesn’t have the same dramatic effect as the quick weight loss or give the same feeling of control, but it’s almost harder to do. You have to be more aware of which foods have added sugar and avoid them. You have to avoid highly processed food, sugary and soft drinks and fast food almost entirely. What is the magic key to this type of detox? It’s increasing the fiber intake and drinking more water.

  • There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber helps slow digestion and aids in controlling blood sugar levels. It helps keep you feeling full longer. Fresh fruit, especially apples with skins, beans and vegetables contain this type of fiber.
  • The other type of fiber that helps detox your system is insoluble fiber. It aids in cleaning the colon and removing waste from your system, since it adds bulk to your stool. It’s found in broccoli, brown rice and whole grains.
  • To prepare for a detox, slowly increase your fiber intake. If you suddenly increase it, it can cause digestive issues. You can increase fresh fruits, add nuts, flaxseed, beans and lentils to your diet to do it.
  • While fasting for short periods can let your digestive system rest, it doesn’t cleanse the body of toxins. The body has organs that do that naturally. Eating healthy can eliminate the dependence on sugar and addiction to fatty, sweet or salty foods.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Does Too Much Sugar Ruin Your Health?

Why Does Too Much Sugar Ruin Your Health?

Are you wiping out a lot of the benefits right after your workout at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, by grabbing a sweet treat loaded with sugar? A post workout snack is good for your recovery and to boost your energy level, it has to be food that boosts your health, which doesn’t describe food with added sugar. Sugar found in food naturally, like fruit, also comes with complementary nutrients, such as fiber that slows the absorption of sugar. Sugar in manufactured products, such as those in a candy bar or soft drink, go to your bloodstream quickly, increasing insulin levels and playing havoc on your body.

Obesity is a huge problem today and part of the problem comes from insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance is the warning signal that you’re about to develop type 2 diabetes. Those changes should include exercise and eating healthily, which includes removing food with added sugar from your diet. It sends a rush of glucose into your bloodstream and kick-starts the body’s manufacturing of insulin to aid in its use. Eventually, your body doesn’t respond to the insulin and the cells don’t open to receive it. That leaves high amounts of glucose in your blood, causing your body to produce even more insulin.

Sugar affects your immune system.

Your immune system not only helps to prevent diseases like the flu or colds, it also is important for removing damaged cells that can cause cancer. Vitamin C enters the cells via insulin to help the immune system and is vital for proper functioning. Sugar, in the form of glucose, is chemically similar to vitamin C, so when you consume it, the glucose competes to enter the cell, lowering immunity and leaving the body less resistant to disease.

People with high blood pressure can benefit from cutting out sugar.

Most people understand that cutting out salt is important when you have high blood pressure, but don’t realize that sugar is just as bad. The American Heart Association suggests limiting sugar to 6 teaspoons a day if you’re a woman and 9 teaspoons if you’re a man. One 12-ounce can of cola contains about 9 teaspoons of added sugar, which would meet or exceed most people’s daily allotment. Having a sugar intake that accounts for more than 25% of your daily calorie allotment can lead to both high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

  • If you suffer from mood swings, depression or anxiety, your problem might come from what you eat. Studies show that too much sugar can lead to all those things.
  • Glucose, blood sugar, can link to collagen or elastin, it creates advanced glycation end products—AGEs. Those cause premature aging of skin and internal organs, giving you wrinkles, while increasing your risk for serious conditions.
  • Sugar not only affects your mood, but it can also scramble your brain. If you’re having a hard time remembering things, learning new things or simply feel like you’re thinking slower, focus more on whole foods and skip those with added sugar.
  • Because sugar affects your entire body, it can lead to poor eyesight, increase the risk of gall stones, arthritis and varicose veins. It’s easy to see if sugar is your problem by cutting it out for a month. If you feel differently, look better or see a drop in blood pressure, you’re on the right path.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Are Grains The Hardest Foods To Digest?

Why Are Grains The Hardest Foods To Digest?

Have you ever wondered why grains are the hardest foods to digest? It’s because they’re seeds and meant to endure a trip through your digestive system. When seeds go through digestion whole, they’re eliminated through waste. They enter and leave the body whole to be eliminated in a new area to start a new plant. Most people don’t eat seeds whole. They’re processed and ground, but there are other factors that also cause problems with digestion.

Plants survive because seeds go undigested due to enzyme inhibitors, too.

You can’t digest food unless you have the right enzyme to aid in the digestion. People with lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance are examples of those lacking an enzyme. In order for the species to survive, there needs to be protection from the digestive system if an animal or human eats the seed of that plant. Seeds like grain have an enzyme inhibitor that reduces the enzymes necessary for digestion. Those inhibitors also play a role in ensuring the seed has the right sprouting conditions, with adequate water and warmth.

Like most seeds, including legumes, grains contain phytic acid.

While phytic acid protects seeds, it also can cause harm to your digestive tract. It can block the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, like magnesium, by attaching to it. It also attaches to phosphorus, calcium, zinc and iron. It inhibits pepsin, amylase and trypsin, making protein and carbohydrate digestion more difficult. There are ways to reduce the phytic acid, but commercially, these normally aren’t done.

Complex foods are harder to digest.

Grain is a complex carbohydrate. The more complex a carb is, the harder it is to digest, unlike simple carbs that are digested and absorbed quickly. That means it takes more processes to digest and fully break down. It’s the chemical bonds that can make grain more difficult to digest and also can cause you to feel bloated, uncomfortable and even cause inflammation and irritation to your gut, causing autoimmune disease, leaky gut and allergies.

  • You can make grains easier to digest by sprouting them. When you sprout grain, it eliminates the enzyme prohibitors, since the right conditions for growing are met.
  • Fermenting grain can also help remove phytic acid, just as soaking it can. Those things also help eliminate other digestive issues caused by grain.
  • If you soak grain, use an acidic medium. Examples of those are lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and yogurt. An example of fermented grain that’s easier to digest is sour dough bread.
  • If you think you have a problem digesting grains, an elimination diet can help. Don’t forget that seeds, nuts and legumes also have many of the same issues. Consult with your health care professional before using any elimination diet.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Benefits Of Meditation Walks

Benefits Of Meditation Walks

What are meditation walks? They’re more than just walking. They’re mindful walking. Getting outside is part of the benefit. Slowing your mind and meditating is another part, just as the very act of walking helps relieve stress. Meditative walking is the act of being aware of all parts of your body as you walk and making each movement with intention. Just like meditative eating, where you savor each bite, with meditative walking you appreciate every physical movement you make.

Like a dancer, you become in tune with each muscle.

Professional dancers, boxers and people in other sports, are often very aware of each muscle as it heads toward perfection of the movement. You become more in tune with your body, how it feels when your foot touches the soft earth and even the sun against the top of your head or on your back. You learn to enjoy the feeling of your muscles working together to walk, while enjoying the great outdoors, breathing in fresh air and absorbing the vitamin D of the sun.

Walking, like running or other exercise, can help lift depression and reduce anxiety.

It’s not just good for reducing stress, walking is also heart healthy. It can help lower blood pressure, aid in weight loss by burning calories and lower your risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Best of all, unlike traditional walking, since you’re focusing on each movement of your body, the time seems to pass quicker and you don’t constantly wonder how much longer you have to exercise. The increased circulation also helps boost your brain power and may prevent some of the damage from Alzheimer’s and dementia.

You don’t walk fast when you take meditation walks.

You need to pick a place where walking slowly and with intention is feasible. It needs to be peaceful and somewhere you won’t interrupt the flow of walking of others. As you walk, focus on your breathing and the movements of your arms and legs and how you feel when you walk forward, turn corners or the terrain under your feet. Feel each part of your body, from the movements to the sun on your head and back.

  • You’ll improve digestion and aid the movement of food through your digestive system, plus boost circulation of the blood.
  • A small study on this type of walking showed it helped people improve blood sugar levels more than more traditional styles of walking.
  • Not only do meditation walks help relieve stress and lift depression, they can help improve the sense of well-being, particularly when you walk in a park, garden or area where there are trees and a lot of greenery.
  • When you practice meditation walking, you’ll improve your sleep. Walking is a weight bearing exercise, so you also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. For older individuals, it improves balance and for all others can inspire creativity.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Chickpeas Vs Garbanzo Beans

Chickpeas Vs Garbanzo Beans

If you workout in Stamford, CT, you know building stronger muscles is important. That takes adequate protein. Today, with prices rising, people often look to alternative plant sources that are less expensive. I get a lot of questions from people trying to find the best type of plant source. One reoccurring question is, “Which is best, chickpeas or garbanzo beans?” The answer is simple. They’re the same thing. It’s like the difference between children and humans. All children are humans, humans but not all humans are children. All garbanzo beans are chickpeas, but not all chickpeas are garbanzo beans.

Garbanzo beans are a type of chickpea.

The US has their own names for various types of food that even vary from state to state. Soft drinks are called coke, soda and pop depending on where you live. Garbanzo beans are a variety of chickpeas officially named Kabuli chickpeas to the rest of the world, but not here in the USA. If you’re looking up the nutritional value of garbanzo beans, you’ll be finding the nutritional value of chickpeas and vice versa. You can use them interchangeably in a recipe, too.

Stock up on protein and keep it ready.

You can buy meat ahead and freeze it, but it only stays good for about four to six months. Dried chickpeas can be kept on the shelf for about two to three years. That makes them a great staple for those busy weeks you didn’t have a chance to make it to the grocery. You can use them to make hummus for a snack, add them to a salad or soup and use them for a main protein source in the entree. Unlike meat, they also add fiber to your diet.

Chickpeas can help you stay healthy and lose weight, too.

When you eat chickpeas, whether or not they’re called garbanzo beans, they contain fiber and protein, both of which fill you up without adding a lot of calories to your diet. A cup of chickpeas is 269 calories and contains 14.5 grams of protein and 12.5 grams of fiber. They also contain manganese, folate, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamine, B6, selenium and potassium.

  • Chickpeas aid in managing blood sugar levels with their fiber, slowing the absorption of carbs into the bloodstream. They have a low glycemic index. Eating a 10.5 oz can of chickpeas a week lowered fasting insulin levels significantly in one study.
  • The fiber in chickpeas is soluble, which can increase the beneficial microbes in the gut. It can reduce the risk of colon cancer and reduce the potential for IBS and other digestive issues.
  • Chickpeas can lower the risk of heart disease, due to their nutrients and cholesterol lowering fiber. Eating them can also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer, too.
  • The choline, selenium, magnesium and zinc in chickpeas promote brain health and provide nutrients essential for producing neurotransmitters. They’re also a good source of iron to prevent iron deficiency.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Why Pushups Are So Good For You?

Why Pushups Are So Good For You?

If you want exercises you can do anywhere, even if you’re on vacation or on the road for business? Calisthenics are a good option. Most exercise programs include them in one form or another. One of the most well-known and often used is the pushup. Not only can you do pushups anywhere and it doesn’t require equipment, it’s good for you. It helps strengthen your upper body and your core. You’ll burn a lot of calories and tighten the abs, burning belly fat in the process.

Pushups care versatile.

You can modify pushups to focus on different muscle groups or work muscles in a different manner or on a different plane. If you’re doing the traditional method, the results are a stronger back, toned abs and a great upper body workout. If you widen the distance between your hands, it activates the pecs and triceps more than the standard or wide version. You can also modify the pushup for all fitness levels or modify your body position like doing incline or decline pushups.

Pushups are heart healthy.

It doesn’t take many pushups to make your heart pump faster, even if you’re doing a simpler, modified type. That extra work the heart has to do can increase the strength of your cardiovascular system. It also works large muscle groups, which triggers the body to make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels, which in turn, lowers blood pressure. When you do them on a regular basis you’ll have a stronger heart, better circulatory system and lower blood pressure.

Improve your joints, muscles and bones.

You’ll work so many joints in the body when you do a push up. It builds the ligaments and muscles that surround the shoulders, elbows, ankles and wrists. Those help support the joints and prevent wear and tear. Pushups are weight bearing exercises that increase muscle strength. Those muscles tug on the bone, which makes the bone increase its calcium intake. Including pushups in your exercise program can help prevent osteoporosis and even improve your bone density.

  • Don’t give up cardio, but don’t make it the primary way you burn calories. Strength building exercises not only burn tons of calories, it builds muscle tissue. The more muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolism and the easier it is to lose weight.
  • Women often forgo pushups because they worry about getting too bulky. Due to hormonal differences, it’s extremely difficult for a woman to bulk up. Instead, pushups tone arm muscles.
  • Good posture not only improves your health, it makes you look better and gives a boost to your confidence and how people view you. Pushups improve posture.
  • If you want to get faster results, boost the intensity of the training. You can do that when you use pushups as part of a high intensity interval program. Doing that also cuts workout time.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Are You Exercising Too Much?

Are You Exercising Too Much?

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we help people with all types of fitness problems. Occasionally, someone comes to our gym almost in despair. They’re not getting fitter, and they’ve boosted their workouts to several hours a day, seven days a week. We know the minute we learn their workout schedule, they’re exercising too much. Getting fit is more than exercising. It’s doing the right kind of exercises, with the right form, for the right amount of time.

Doing too much and not allowing your body to heal impedes your progress.

When you workout, especially when you do strength training, you’re taxing your body. That’s the whole idea of working out. You push your body hard. It causes micro tears in the muscles, which take time to heal, but when it does, it makes the muscle stronger. If you’re working out too much, you don’t give the body time to repair those muscles and recover. It leaves you more prone to injury and even illness. If you’re doing strength training, you need to give the muscles you stressed at least 48 up to 72 hours to repair.

Your body will give you signals when it’s time to cut back on exercise.

The signals your body sends can be quite clear or really frustrating and confusing. They may show up as chronic soreness or illness, which tend to be easier to spot. However, the first signs are even more elusive. It can affect your performance, whether it’s about the amount of weight you can lift or how far you can run without getting winded. You simply don’t do as well as before and start losing ground, then often workout harder, which makes it worse.

What other signs tell you that you need a rest?

Your friends and family will probably notice the other signs quickly. Your mood will change dramatically. That’s because your body is fighting hard to heal itself and you’re not letting it. If you’ve been around someone who is really sick, you know they’re often more emotional than usual. The body is fighting back hard and it can cause depression, anxiety, irritability, confusion and anger. Over-exercise also causes the body to fight for survival, so you may experience those same mood swings. You may feel fatigued, have delayed recovery time and be more prone to illness.

  • Getting adequate sleep, eating enough calories and staying hydrated are an important part of recovery. If you exercise every day, don’t do strength training on the same muscle group two days in a row.
  • Check your heart rate. If it suddenly jumps higher even when you’re not working out, it’s a sign you’re overdoing it at the gym.
  • When you overwork your body, you may actually lose muscle mass and gain fat. That makes it counterproductive. You may have insomnia, which also impedes muscle healing.
  • We’ll help you with a program that provides just the right amount of exercise, without overdoing it. Spending long hours in the gym or doing too intense workouts every day isn’t necessarily the way to a better body. Work smarter, not harder.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Green Juices We Recommend

Green Juices We Recommend

You may have heard about green juices/ If you haven’t, they’re a drink made from vegetable—green ones—that is healthy. The veggies include spinach, wheatgrass, kale, cucumbers and even herbs like parsley and mint. If you’ve ever consumed blended greens, you probably know they are a bit bitter and not too tasty. That’s why fruit is often added to make it sweeter. Apples, oranges and other fruits high in sugar are normally the choices. Most people like to make their own, rather than use commercial varieties. They can control the ingredients that way and don’t have the negative effects of pasteurization.

Supplementing a healthy diet with green juices has its benefits.

While green juices won’t provide the fiber you need daily, which is why it’s a supplement, it does supply a lot of nutrients in a glass. Leafy greens also can help reduce inflammation, which is good for the heart, brain, immune system and joints. Some compounds in green juices are prebiotic to support healthy bacteria and is an easy way to get a lot of nutrients at once.

You need a juicer to make this recipe but can use a blender and strain it for the green juice.

Combine one and one-fourth apple with one and one-fourth cucumber, a cup and a third of kale with a third of a lemon that’s quartered. Put it in a juicer or juice press and enjoy. It helps reduce inflammation, contains antioxidants, aids in lowering blood pressure, promotes healthier skin and reduces the potential for cancer and heart health. If you don’t have a juicer or press, put in a blender and strain through cheesecloth into a container.

This antioxidant rich green juice improves digestion and supports your immune system.

This delicious green juice also helps prevent certain types of cancer, provides increased energy and cardiovascular support. It contains two cups of pineapple chunks, 2/3rds of a cucumber, a half a medium apple and 6 mint leaves. Just put in the juicer or press and enjoy. If you don’t have a juicer, you can blend it and strain it through cheesecloth into a container. Twelve ounces contains 150 calories.

  • You can create your own favorite recipe based on your taste and the nutrients you want present. Adding kale to your mixture will increase vitamins A, C and K. It’s been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and lower risk of heart disease.
  • You don’t always have to add fruit to make your juice sweet and delicious. Carrots can do that job and increase vitamin A, biotin and potassium content, while providing antioxidants. They’re linked to reducing types of cancer, the risk of eye disease and heart disease.
  • You can use both the roots and leaves of beets to add sweetness and nutrients like manganese, potassium and folate to your green juice. It provides nitrates that help lower blood pressure, improve brain health and athletic performance.
  • Add spinach, broccoli and cabbage. Cabbage is high in vitamin K and C, plus reduces inflammation, fights diabetes and heart disease. Spinach provides more benefits, plus adds an antacid effect, while the nutrients in broccoli can help prevent mental decline.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training

Good Fruits For Weight Gain

Good Fruits For Weight Gain

At Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, we focus on individuals and each person’s goal. While a lot of people just want to lose weight and get into shape, some actually have a problem gaining weight that is just as frustrating. These people often eat junk food and avoid exercise in hopes of adding a few extra pounds. You don’t have to do that. In fact, it’s counterproductive to do that. There are healthy foods you can add to your diet, like these fruits for weight gain, which will aid you in reaching your goals.

When you think of fruit and weight gain, bananas are often the first that come to mind.

There’s really no food in particular that will make you gain weight. It’s all about caloric input and output. If you eat 3500 more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. However, bananas are both nutritious and easy to combine with high calorie additions like nut butter. They contain vitamin B6, manganese, protein, fiber and micronutrients that aid in digestion, like resistant starch. They’re also easy to carry with you.

Coconuts are a fruit and their meat is high in healthy fat.

You don’t normally think of coconut as a fruit, but it is. Each ounce of coconut contains a gram of protein, 9.4 grams of fat, 4.3 grams of carbs, fiber, manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium and other minerals. It can be combined with other higher calorie foods, like dipping in dark chocolate. You can also add it to smoothies, fruit salads and even stir-fry to increase the calorie count.

Another fruit that doesn’t seem like a fruit is the calorie dense avocado.

A half an avocado has 161 calories. That means it’s calorie dense. It offers two grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fat and 8.6 grams of carbs. It contains many nutrients like vitamin K, folate, potassium, vitamins, C, B5 and B6. You can slice them on salads to add more calories, make a dip, use as an alternative to butter for toast or slice and top them with hot sauce as a side dish for extra calories.

  • Cube a mango and top it with goat cheese for a delicious treat. You can even sprinkle on nuts and coconut to add calories. A cup of mango contains 99 calories, vitamin C, A, E and several B vitamins.
  • If you want to gain weight without feeling full, take the water out of fruit and then eat the fruit. Dried fruit is energy dense, meaning it’s high in calories. It contains all the nutrients the fresh fruit contains.
  • You’ll get more calories per serving by drinking the juice. Fruit juice contains no fiber, so one serving is also higher in calories. No matter what type of fruit, you won’t feel as full drinking a glass of juice compared to eating the fruit.
  • Tamarinds aren’t found in everyone’s kitchen or even at every grocery. They’re tropical and used in cooking and even in Worcestershire sauce. It’s rich in nutrients, but also extremely high in calories.

For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training