Tag Archives: weight loss

Setting SMART Goals

Setting a SMART goal is more than just something you think is manageable, a SMART goal has defined parameters.  Goal setting is a major piece to the fitness puzzle,  It provides you with direction, motivation, and a vision of what you want to achieve.

SPECIFIC – Set a specific goal, for example instead of saying you want to “run better”, focus on a specific piece of the puzzle.  For example, running for a longer amount of time (45 minutes instead of 30), or running at a quicker pace (move from 5.0 to 6.5 on the treadmill).

MEASURABLE – by setting a specific goal, you have unknowingly set a goal that is measureable.  Staying with the running example, running faster, longer or at an incline are all things that you can track and watch your progress.

ATTAINABLE – Choose a goal that is something you can physically achieve.  I have severe arthritis in my knee, I’d love to be able to do higher box jumps, however I know that this isn’t the goal for me.  Keeping my quads as strong as possible without high impact is something that is attainable for me.

REALISTIC – Realistic and attainable sound like the same thing, I like to look at “attainable” as big picture. Realistic can be a breakdown of mini goals within that large goal.  Small realistic goals are stepping stones to reach that finish line.  For example, adding five minutes to your run every two weeks.

TIMELY – give yourself a realistic timeline to accomplish your goal; setting too quick of a time line can set you up for failure.

Remember that the pieces to this puzzle can be adjusted at any time.  You can add to your goal, adjust your timeline.  Making sure that whatever you adjust is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and can be completed in a timely manner will ultimately lead you to success.


Machines VS. Free Weights

Any workout program you choose, any training style you choose, resistance training (weight lifting) is beneficial to you.  There are two ways to accomplish resistance training, Machines vs. Free Weights.  Machines are stationary, usually plate loaded or have a weight stack and pin system for choosing the amount of weight you wish to lift.  “Free weights” is a broader term, and refers to things like dumbbells, barbells, kettle bells, body bars, and body weight resistance tools such as a BOSU, stability ball or TRX.

Which is better?

Well that depends.  Both have a role in training, and it really depends on what you are looking to accomplish.  Stationary machines are a wonderful tool for beginners, and they help to teach the body about postural awareness, what an exercise should feel like and where exactly you should be feeling it.  Machines are also useful for intermediate and advanced lifters, as they work to isolate specific muscles or muscle groups.    Machines may also facilitate the ability to lift more weight, as you are more stable and controlled.  Stationary machines hold your posture, thus they take out the necessity to have an advanced body awareness, and it can be easy to forget to activate your core muscles. Because a weight machine keeps the body in a stable position, it usually only works the muscle in one plane of motion at a time.

Free weights generally require heightened body awareness, as proper posture and core activation will reduce the risk of injury.  When beginning to lift with free weights, you can start by doing many of the exercises seated as opposed to standing which keep a greater amount of control.  Seated vs standing free weight exercises also allows for heavier weights to be lifted safely.   Moving to dynamic equipment such as a TRX suspension system, a greater awareness of proper posture and core activation is recommended. Free weights also train the body in more than one plane of motion at a time.  The body moves dynamically, and free weight training is more functional in terms of movements in every day life.

There are definitive benefits and drawbacks to both – mix it up and try something new.  Remember that if you need help with any of the topics discussed, spotting, or an idea for a different exercise, please ask us!


Water For Wellness

The overall picture of wellness can be daunting, but don’t let that stop you.  Your wellness can be tackled one small change at a time, and a big change for your health that really takes little effort is drinking more water.

Don’t underestimate the wonders that water can do for your health.  Water cleans your dishes, car, and your clothes, and who out there doesn’t appreciate how good you feel after a shower?  When you drink water, you’re doing that for your insides.  Water is a key component in your overall health.  It aids the body by flushing out toxins, regulating body temperature, assisting in  digestion and relieving constipation, as well as aiding in weight loss.

Flushing out Toxins – Water allows the body to remove toxins through sweat and urine.  Water also allows for greater function of the kidneys and even helps to reduce the chance of kidney stones by diluting those toxins.

Regulation of Body Temperature – When you get hot, you sweat.  The sweat evaporates off your skin and leaves you with a more balanced body temperature.

Digestion – Water aids the breakdown of food and promotes regular bowel movements. Allowing our body to become dehydrated forces the body to extract water from the colon, leaving stool harder to pass.  Adequate water consumption stops this process, thus relieving constipation.

Weight Loss – Drinking water in between and before meals makes the stomach feel full, reduces the urge to snack, and limits the amount of food we eat at meal times.  Water is also has no calories in it, and replacing soda and other sugar filled drinks reduces our caloric intake.


Body Shape 101

Not all Fat is Created Equal.

There are two main types of body fat found in our bodies.  Ironically, we tend to focus on subcutaneous body fat, which is the softer fat found beneath the skin.  This is the fat that we can grab with our hands or skin-fold calipers.  Subcutaneous fat is less damaging as it is superficial (closer to the surface), and is less likely to result in major health issues.  Visceral fat is the unseen fat in your body.  It is found deeper inside the body, around your internal organs. It’s a harder fat and has been linked directly to chronic diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and some cancers.  Visceral fat hides well beneath the surface, we don’t see it, most people don’t know about it, and it’s the body fat we should actually be more concerned about.

Lucky for our health, visceral fat tends to be targeted first during weight loss.  Unlucky for our esthetics, the subcutaneous fat we all see is targeted second.

Wellness Comes in All Shapes and Sizes

We’re all wonderfully unique.  It needs to be known that fitness doesn’t look like anyone or anything in specific.  We all have a “best” version of ourselves, and we can’t ask for any more than that.  In this delicious fruit bowl we call life, the three basic body shapes are apple, pear and banana.

Apples – you are identified by the majority of your body fat stored in your mid-section.  This puts you at the highest risk of visceral fat accumulation, as well as the health risks associated with that.

Pears – you are identified by an accumulation of subcutaneous fat around the hips, buttocks and thighs.  Not to say that you shouldn’t be concerned with visceral fat within your body, you are simply at a lower risk than your friend the apple.

Bananas – you are identified by your long and lean frame.  Don’t be fooled with the lack of subcutaneous fat, visceral fat may still exist but hidden deep and unseen on your body.

Where your body carries weight naturally can be a factor in determining a lot of things for you.  What doesn’t change is how to work with and manage your body type.  Put down the junk food and grab an apple, pear, or banana – and get moving!


Tabata for Weight Loss

Dance Fitness Group_98284244

Tabata Bootcamp is a 9-week program designed to help you achieve your goals of weight-loss, toning, fitness & increased energy through 4 components:

  • Exercise Program
  • Nutritional Guidance
  • Social Support & Motivation
  • Assessment &  Results Tracking

Exercise Program

Attend 3 group classes each week and do daily 7-minute workouts at home using the Tabata Bootcamp website.

Nutritional Guidance

Attend 4 group sessions with a Registered Nutritionist to learn how to:

  • complete a food journal
  • make healthy choices and understand why they are healthy
  • track your calorie intake
  • manage your portion control

Social Support & Motivation

Motivation and support from others is a key part of reaching your health goals. Connect daily with your coach and your peer group. Get to know other participants who have similar health and lifestyle goals.

Assessment &  Results Tracking

Get help assessing and tracking your progress so you can really see the difference your hard work is making.

Space is Limited. Register Today!

9 Week Program begins Monday, September 15, 2014
Crowfoot YMCA- 403-547-6576

Cost: $300 for YMCA Members $399 for General Public

Members can register online (Course Code# 96028)

Contact Bogi for more information.
403-241-4606
bgyorfi@calgary.ymca.ca

Reach for your goals today!


2 Step Program to Weight Loss and Increased Fitness

Hello everybody! It has been a while since I have written due to a bit of craziness at University. Long nights and early mornings and wading through endless emails and assignments forced my writing pen away from me! But hark! I have some more time, so I thought I would give you some more fitness advice to further fulfill my ultimate objective: to make you a better you through fitness.

get active
 

I have found the key to weight loss and increased fitness. I promise if you implement my advice, you will see results. Alright…Are you ready for the magic formula?

Chad Baird’s 2-step guide to weight loss and fitness

1. Eat Healthy

2. Workout

Are you disappointed? Did you think that I was going to offer you some quick fix to have you looking like the Hulk in a matter of days? Unfortunately, it is not that simple nor will that quick fix ever exist.

Oprah Winfrey said, “There is no easy way out. If there was, I would have bought it. The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you are willing to work.”

I absolutely love this quote for a variety of reasons. Oprah has immense wealth, resources and contacts. If there is ANYONE on the planet who could find a quick fix for fitness, it would be her. However, that fast-track fitness diet has yet to surface. The magic beans to grow the health benefit beanstalk are yet to be found.

Hard work and dedication are the keys to success, not some pill or program. Have you ever read the fine print for diet pills and quick-fix workout programs? I have taken the time to scan through these documents and one line of fine print on an advertisement particularly grabbed my attention. The focus group who took the diet pill collective lost 2.4 more pounds than the focus groups that did not. 2.4 pounds! Society is spending billions of dollars annually for 2.4 pounds!  You and I can lose 2.4 pounds in one spin class or by eating great salads for a few days. These programs are not the solution.

Another humorous ad I found was on the front of a magazine in a grocery store I was recently at. I kid you not, the ad proudly proclaimed, “Lose 30 pounds eating nothing but cake!”

You know what won’t help you lose 30 pounds? Cake. You know what will help you lose 30 pounds? Eating healthy and working out.

Health is not a destination, it is a journey. To reach your fitness goals you do not need to consume some pill filled with chemicals you can’t pronounce or go on the latest diet fad that won’t help you in the slightest. Being healthy is about a lifestyle choice. Health is about you consciously deciding that YOU are a priority.

Eat lots of salad and lots of colors on your plate. Sweat multiple times a week. Do something active that you actually like to do.

There is no magic program. There is no fitness fairy dust. The cake-palooza plan is not your best action plan.

Eat healthy. Workout. See results. Period.

 

 

 

 

 


A New Year’s resolution which actually works!

DON’T MISS IT!  9 weeks Tabata bootcamp: weight loss/ nutrition/ fitness program.

COME TO THE ORIENTATION NIGHT: JAN 6th 6PM wellness room upstairs at Saddletowne YMCA

 

UNSURE ABOUT if this program is for you but you really want a change in your life:

You want to become healthier.

Want to tone your body.

Want to lose weight.

Want to build healthy eating habits.

COME tO the Orientation night and then decide if it’s right for you!


Be Well This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again, when goodies begin showing up everywhere we look; the staff room at work, festive coffees, holiday parties, and gifts of decadent nature start arriving.  It’s easy to indulge bit by bit, and with the added disruption from our wellness routine celebrating with loved ones, suddenly the fear of facing the January scale is staring us in the face once again.

So what is one to do? Avoidance isn’t always feasible, we all want to get a little bit festive this time of year.  Try some of these tips and tricks to minimize the damage and make the transition back to your usual routine that much easier.

1. Choose a Smaller Plate. We will tend to fill our plate at least 3/4 full, no matter what the size. Choosing a smaller plate right at the beginning will help to reduce the number of unintended calories from unintentionally landing on our bodies.  If you’re hosting, offer smaller plates to your guests.

2. Make Time to Move. It might not be at your Y, it might not be at home, but find the time and space to get a workout in on a regular basis.  As your routine changes for these few weeks, keeping your level of conditioning in a maintenance pattern can make a huge difference.  Don’t park yourself in a comfy seat, be social and keep moving.  Dance, dance, dance at your holiday parties!

3. Live The One-Bite Rule. When grazing on assorted goodies, decide if it’s worth it. If it’s not, don’t just eat it because you took it!  As a wise friend once said to me, it’s either going in the waste or on the waist.  Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to discard.

4. Go Green. Whether its at the holiday party buffet or an assortment of snacks at a friend or family members, load up at least half of your plate with salads, fruits, and veggies.  This may just keep you away from those decadent treats.  As a holiday party host, try to offer more healthy options as part of your spread!  Try serving items that you don’t necessarily care for yourself, it will help you stay away from some not-so-healthy offerings.

5. Try To Keep the Holiday “Cheer” to a Minimum. Alcohol actually has a significantly high number of calories; 7cal/gram to be exact.  To put that into context, both Carbohydrates and Protein offer 4cal/gram, and Fat is 9cal/gram.  Be aware, and please drink responsibly – for so many reasons.
For more information, visit www.madd.ca

6. Relax. One of the nicest parts of the holidays is that we usually have a little bit more opportunity to catch up on sleep.  This is actually quite important to our stress reduction and overall wellness.  Go to bed early, sleep in, and Enjoy!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

 


Be Well This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year again, when goodies begin showing up everywhere we look; the staff room at work, festive coffees, holiday parties, and gifts of decadent nature start arriving.  It’s easy to indulge bit by bit, and with the added disruption from our wellness routine celebrating with loved ones, suddenly the fear of facing the January scale is staring us in the face once again.

So what is one to do? Avoidance isn’t always feasible, we all want to get a little bit festive this time of year.  Try some of these tips and tricks to minimize the damage and make the transition back to your usual routine that much easier.

1. Choose a Smaller Plate. We will tend to fill our plate at least 3/4 full, no matter what the size. Choosing a smaller plate right at the beginning will help to reduce the number of unintended calories from unintentionally landing on our bodies.  If you’re hosting, offer smaller plates to your guests.

2. Make Time to Move. It might not be at your Y, it might not be at home, but find the time and space to get a workout in on a regular basis.  As your routine changes for these few weeks, keeping your level of conditioning in a maintenance pattern can make a huge difference.  Don’t park yourself in a comfy seat, be social and keep moving.  Dance, dance, dance at your holiday parties!

3. Live The One-Bite Rule. When grazing on assorted goodies, decide if it’s worth it. If it’s not, don’t just eat it because you took it!  As a wise friend once said to me, it’s either going in the waste or on the waist.  Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to discard.

4. Go Green. Whether its at the holiday party buffet or an assortment of snacks at a friend or family members, load up at least half of your plate with salads, fruits, and veggies.  This may just keep you away from those decadent treats.  As a holiday party host, try to offer more healthy options as part of your spread!  Try serving items that you don’t necessarily care for yourself, it will help you stay away from some not-so-healthy offerings.

5. Try To Keep the Holiday “Cheer” to a Minimum. Alcohol actually has a significantly high number of calories; 7cal/gram to be exact.  To put that into context, both Carbohydrates and Protein offer 4cal/gram, and Fat is 9cal/gram.  Be aware, and please drink responsibly – for so many reasons.
For more information, visit www.madd.ca

6. Relax. One of the nicest parts of the holidays is that we usually have a little bit more opportunity to catch up on sleep.  This is actually quite important to our stress reduction and overall wellness.  Go to bed early, sleep in, and Enjoy!

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

 


Weights or cardio, which is better for burning fat?

By Geoff Starling – Strength and Conditioning Director, Eau Claire YMCA

The answer to this question has been passed around for years with equal argument for both sides. Proponents of weight training hold up studies that show increases in basal metabolic rate (BMR) and exercise post oxygen consumption (EPOC) following bouts of resistance training. Both of these factors have been shown to increase the amount of calories your body consumes and therefore increases its fat-burning capabilities.

The other side of the fence champions sessions of aerobic activity which elevate the individual’s heart rate therefore placing greater stress on the bodies cardiovascular & respiratory systems. This, again, will lead to the body requiring more calories and ultimately burning body fat.

Well, a new study from Duke University has reignited the debate and added a crisp log to the fire. The paper, Effects of aerobic and/or resistance training on body mass and fat mass in overweight or obese adults, was published on Dec 15, 2012 in the Journal of Applied Physiology. It split 119 participants into 3 groups and recorded their results over a period of 8 months. All participants were extensively screened then randomly distributed into either a Resistance Training (RT), Aerobic Training (AT) or Combination group (AT/RT). The conclusion of the study notes the aerobic activity group (AT) providing the greatest losses in body fat as compared to the other 2 (RT, AT/RT) by 1% (~2kg).

But don’t hightail it from the weight floor just yet! Not only was the degree of difference between the groups almost negligible, resistance training has many other benefits besides fat loss. These include increases in strength and bone density, a decreased risk of injury and falling plus similar cardiopulmonary benefits to aerobic exercise when performed in certain configurations. This study also failed to monitor the caloric intake of the participants to a level that could constitute it being a factor in the results. This may have been the difference between one group’s returns trumping another altogether.

The bottom line is all exercise is good for you and moving more, in whatever form that takes, will make you healthier than sitting on the couch. The other important lesson identified by the results of this paper is that exercise, without equivalent dietary adjustment, will only get you so far (2kg over 8mths is not impressive). To make real, lasting changes you must address what you eat. Stay tuned for more on this subject in the coming months.

Full the full published article head to: http://jap.physiology.org/content/113/12/1831.abstract

 


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