Unusual Workout Places

Many people in Massachusetts find it hard to exercise because it’s boring. Others feel it’s unnatural to create extra effort and work for your body. You can overcome those objections by making your workout more fun. It can go a long way to boosting your enthusiasm for exercise. One way to do it is to find unusual workout places. These places and variations can go a long way to keep your workout interesting.

Consider the benefits of rock climbing.

You can try the original rock climbing adventures at your local mountain, but most people don’t have access to that in their backyard. Instead, try a safer version that doesn’t involve a big investment in equipment. Rock climbing gyms provide a challenge and a great workout. You can climb higher on the wall or closer to the ground. The higher you go, the more ropes and safety equipment you’ll need. Once you experience the adventure, you might even take up the sport on a mountainside.

Get fit in the woods.

You’ll get a good workout just setting up camp, but there’s more to the camping trip to provide a great workout. The greenery can calm your mind, and a dip in the lake builds your endurance as it burns calories. Start your workout with deep breathing, then go for a hike. Start gathering firewood as you do. It’s a good time to do squats when you pick it up. Do a few extra squats holding the log or use it to do an overhead press. Mother Nature supplied you with the equipment and a quiet place to workout. Enjoy the calming environment.

Become a swashbuckling exerciser.

Have you ever watched a sword fight in a pirate movie and thought you could do just as well? Sword fighting takes a lot of endurance, balance, and strength. Unique sword fighting exercise classes start with a traditional bodyweight workout. It adds some cardio for good measure. Then it’s on to a “save the castle” or “conquer the country” sword fighting with foam swords. You’ll get a full workout and have fun.

  • Dance classes can get you into shape quickly. You might not realize that all forms of dance, not just Zumba or fast dances, get you fit. Ballet classes can be quite grueling and build strength and endurance quickly.
  • You don’t have to go anywhere if you have a trampoline. You can jump your way to fitness in your backyard. Even mini personal trampolines can provide big benefits.
  • Help the neighborhood get into shape with a hula hoop block party. Everyone can join in the fun, even the kids. Have contests to see who can hula hoop the longest or do the most complicated routines.
  • Take to the water and get mermaid training. These exercise classes involve maneuvering underwater. Each graceful move burns tons of calories while you have fun.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Increasing Iron Can Increase Performance

It’s easy to understand how iron deficiency anemia could lead to poor performance in the gym, but did you realize that even a minor deficiency can set you back? Iron is necessary to create the hemoglobin in the blood and myoglobin in the cells. Hemoglobin takes the oxygen from the lungs and sends it to the tissues. Myoglobin uptakes the oxygen, stores it, and releases it. If you lack iron, the effectiveness of the system of transporting oxygen is diminished. The shortage doesn’t have to be severe enough to cause anemia to affect your progress in the gym.

A lot of things can affect your store of iron.

If you regularly do intense workouts and sweat a lot, it can reduce your iron levels. That loss of iron can negatively affect your heart rate. If your iron levels are lower, even if they’re not low enough to cause anemia, it can affect your energy level. Women often face iron deficiency, just as vegetarians do, but the most often overlooked group facing it is the endurance athlete who pushes it to the limit.

Not only does iron transport oxygen, but it plays other vital roles in your fitness.

Besides transporting oxygen via the red blood cells, iron also helps your body use carbohydrates for energy. That’s especially true when you workout. It plays a role in recovery and boosts the production of new cells, proteins, and hormones. Other factors that affect the amount of iron you have include age, health conditions like Crohn’s disease, heavy menstruation, and blood loss. Absorption of iron by the body plays a role. Eating food like shrimp, chicken, beef, and fish provides the easiest source, while tofu, pumpkin, and vegetarian sources aren’t as bioavailable.

If you’re an athlete, you’ll lose 70% more iron than a couch potato.

Sweating, high intensity exercises, and endurance workouts increase the amount of iron you lose. It can cause a higher heart rate. If your rate increases even though you’re fitter, have your iron checked. Profuse sweating and exercise not only cause iron depletion but also causes red blood cells to break down faster. Studies have shown that even a minor shortage makes a difference. One study compared two groups of sedentary women. One group took iron supplements and did aerobic exercise and the other just exercised. The group taking iron improved more rapidly.

  • Signs you lack iron include crunching on ice cubes. It also includes a low immune response. If you’re increasing iron in your diet, don’t forget to increase vitamins C, B12, and folate.
  • Replenishing your iron takes a while. You can’t do it by taking a supplement for a few days. It takes improving your overall diet for as much as two months.
  • If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it’s harder to get iron from plant sources. While many plants are a source of iron, iron isn’t as bioavailable from plants as it is from animal sources.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet, especially if you’re working out, can help prevent iron deficiency. It’s easier to prevent deficiency caused by a poor diet than it is to replenish the iron in the body.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Best Fat-Burning Foods

Most people understand that simple carbohydrates digest quickly and immediately increase blood glucose levels. What some may not realize is that foods that take more effort for the body to break down, may burn more calories than they contain. These fat-burning foods have a thermogenic effect. The thermogenic effect considers the number of calories it takes to digest the food compared to the overall calorie count it contains. Eating more thermogenic foods, such as celery, can fill you up, without adding extra calories.

Greens are notoriously good for weight loss.

Not only are greens low in calories, but they’re also high in fiber. The fiber fills you and keeps you feeling full longer. Greens contain sulfoquinovose. It helps keep a healthy microbiome balance boosting good microbes and minimizing bad ones so you lose weight more easily. Use beets and beet greens in the salad to burn more fat. Beets boost fat burning and reduce insulin resistance. The amino acid betaine reduces the fat produced.

Protein takes longer for the body to digest.

Eating protein can help you burn fat. Like fiber and fat, protein fills you and keeps you full longer. Foods high in protein also require more time to digest because they take more processing. It can boost metabolism by as much as 25% while digesting. If you’re building muscles as you lose weight, protein provides all the necessary materials. Increasing the amount of muscle increases your metabolism since it takes more calories to maintain muscle tissue than it does body fat.

Some drinks can burn more calories than they contain.

The good old stand-by coffee has zero calories as long as you don’t use any additives. It contains caffeine that can give your metabolism a boost. That boost can be as much as 13%. Drinking a cup of coffee before a workout or consuming one to four cups a day can help with weight loss. Green tea also has caffeine, but it also has EGCG, a biochemical that increases fat-burning. Even drinking water can help burn more calories.

  • Eggs are a good source of protein. They keep you full longer and increase the thermogenesis. You’ll benefit from all the nutrients in eggs and the boost to the metabolism, which can be as high as 35% for several hours.
  • Using the right types of fat can help you burn more fat. Fats containing omega-3 fatty acids like fish oil or flaxseed oil can prevent insulin spikes. Coconut oil and other oils can increase thermogenesis.
  • Add chili peppers to your meals to add more spice and increase fat-burning. The capsaicin in the peppers makes it hot and also boosts your metabolism to burn more calories.
  • Add yogurt to your diet to help burn fat. Make it full-fat yogurt. Full-fat yogurt contains conjugated linoleic acid that helps burn fat.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Why You Should Add Stretching To Your Fitness Routine

We love helping people in Massachusetts to develop a fitness routine. You should include all types of exercises, such as resistance exercises for strength and cardio exercises for endurance. You also need to ensure there are core exercises for balance and stretching for flexibility. Including stretching in a workout is vital. It helps warm the muscles before a workout and cool the body after the workout.

Stretching helps the body warm up for activity.

Sleeping lowers the body temperature and completely relaxes the body in all animals, including humans. If you’ve ever watched a cat when it first awakens, you’ve probably noticed it yawns and stretches. People do that too. Yawning increases oxygen intake and stretching increases circulation to warm the muscles and prepare them for daily activities. Stretching also prepares the muscles for exercise.

The additional circulation serves several functions, including protecting the muscles from injury.

Stretching warms the muscles and makes them more pliable. The type of stretch you do, and when you do it, makes a big difference. Before a workout, you should do dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching involves movement that warms the muscles and slowly makes you more limber. That provides more protection from muscle pulls. Static stretching, like touching your toes, should be done after a workout when the muscles are warm. It increases the range of motion and makes your body more flexible.

Stretching can improve posture and reduce or prevent pain.

If you stretch frequently, pulling your shoulders back and pushing your head toward the sky, it can offset a habit of slouching, making it easier to stand straight. Good posture helps prevent breathing difficulties, constipation, incontinence, and GERD. You can reduce muscle and joint pain or prevent it by stretching. You can prevent or ease shoulder impingement syndrome, back, knee, and neck pain, and headaches when you stretch regularly.

  • You’ll be kinder to your heart when you stretch before working out. The mild stretching and movement before a workout slowly increases circulation. It increases the work of the heart slowly and doesn’t spike blood pressure.
  • Stretching helps build muscles when you do it after a workout. Increasing the range of motion aids the muscle-building process by improving the range of motion so you can work the muscle on all planes.
  • If you have a sedentary job, getting up and moving a few minutes every hour keeps you fitter. It protects the progress you make at the gym. Doing a full-body stretch at that time helps.
  • When you have a hard workout, you need a recovery day. Use stretching for active recovery. It becomes an internal massage to help increase circulation, send oxygen and nutrients to build new cells and relax muscles.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Benefits Of Group Fitness Classes

Statistics show that people get fit faster when they have the help of a personal trainer, but not everyone can afford one. Many of those same benefits can come from joining group fitness classes. It’s especially true when a personal trainer leads the class. You’ll get a program designed specifically for your needs with modifications for physical limitations. Personal trainers don’t direct all group classes, but even those without trainers offer a lot. They are fun, which keeps you coming back for more.

Group sessions are more fun than working out alone.

There’s a social element to group fitness classes. You meet new people or go with people you know. For seniors or new mothers, it’s often a way to reconnect to society. A vibrant social life can help prevent depression, improve health, and increase life expectancy. It can motivate people with friendly competition. The group can also cheer each other on to victory to accomplish even more.

Group sessions, whether led by a personal trainer or not, are less expensive.

Group classes help you learn an exercise routine and proper form. It’s a scheduled workout to create a habit. It costs money to join, but not nearly as much as it does to hire a personal trainer for private sessions. That’s because everyone pays for the time of the trainer or the class leader. While you don’t have to exercise to get weight loss results from our program, exercising speeds the process but it’s the right diet that drives it.

A meta-study looked at 44 separate studies and showed surprising findings.

Not all individual exercise programs are in the gym. Some are at home with a healthcare professional, and some are alone with and without aid like videos or online classes. There are also group sessions with different goals. The goal of all is to increase fitness, but some have a subgoal of increasing bonding. The groups created to improve fitness and create bonding were considered true groups in the 2006 Nebraska Medical Center Meta study. Those groups got the most benefits from exercising, while people who worked out alone at home got the least.

  • Good nutrition plays the most important role in good health and weight loss. People socialize in group classes and often share their favorite recipes for healthy meals.
  • When you take group classes that include the same people each time, you’ll make friends that can last a lifetime. They share the same goal of getting and staying fit and encourage each other to become more active.
  • Group sessions hold you accountable when the same people are in the group each time. People notice when you skip a workout.
  • Whether you workout alone or in a group, the key to getting fit from exercise is consistency. Group sessions create a consistent time to workout. It helps build healthy habits.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Most Common Mistakes People Make At The Gym

If you’ve never gone to the gym before, it can be pretty intimidating. You don’t want to look foolish or make a lot of mistakes. Don’t worry. Just do it. Everyone makes mistakes when they workout, whether it’s their first time or their one thousandth. You don’t have to be a newbie to make some of these common mistakes at the gym. Other people won’t notice. Just identify the mistake and correct your course. Chalk it up to a learning opportunity.

It’s all about the intensity.

Finding the right level of intensity and balancing it is a challenge. If you aren’t working at peak performance part of the time, you won’t get the results you want. That doesn’t mean you have to lift as much weight as possible and work to failure every day. That can reverse your progress. You have to tax your body sometimes with a heavier weight or boost your heart rate higher for a while. Push yourself a little farther every week until hard workouts are easy. If you’re building muscles, you shouldn’t lift to the maximum daily. Strength-building makes micro tears in the muscle that require 48-72 hours to heal and get bigger. You’ll lose muscle mass if you don’t give them healing time.

If you’re discouraged because you spend hours in the gym and don’t see the progress you want.

Just spending time in the gym won’t give you the body you want any more than spending three hours on your exercise mat will if you only spend 15 minutes of it exercising and the rest of the time watching TV. Taking long rests between sets or extra time talking to others doesn’t keep your heart rate elevated. That’s necessary for improving endurance and burning calories. Cut the time between exercises and sets. Eliminate wasted time and see how long the workout takes.

Don’t forget to warm up or cool down.

If you do warm-up stretches, it warms the muscles and makes them more flexible. You can do a wider range of motion and work the muscles on several planes. It enhances your workout and can protect you from injury. Cooling down helps prevent blood from pooling in your extremities. When the muscles are loose, it’s also easier to do flexibility—cool down—exercises to increase the range of motion.

  • Change your workout frequently. Using the same exercise routine for too long makes your body more efficient so it burns fewer calories. That can cause plateauing or slow progress.
  • Focus on your workout. Make sure your form is impeccable. Just going through the motions won’t get you the success you hoped to achieve. It can also lead you to a sloppy form and injury.
  • Eat a pre and post-workout snack if you’re doing an intense workout. The pre-workout snack will fuel your workout so you don’t hit the wall. The post-workout snack starts the process of recovery.
  • Track your progress. Tracking your workout helps determine whether your workout is effective or if you need to change it. Show the workout, the number of reps and sets, or the amount of weight lifted. You’ll have a visual record of your improvement.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Best Exercises With Resistance Bands For Toning

You don’t have to pay a fortune for equipment if you’re working out at home. You can use bodyweight exercises, dumbbells, kettlebells, or resistance bands to substitute for a traditional or home gym. Bands are stored easily, and a set can substitute for several weights. You can use them for building or toning muscles and incorporate them into traditional bodyweight exercises to increase the intensity.

If you thought squats provided a good workout, try banded squats.

Merging resistance bands with traditional workouts can take you to the next level. Each color indicates a different resistance level. When you use them with squats, you stand in the middle of the resistance band, holding your feet in a squat position hip-width apart. One end of the band is held in each hand at ear level with the upper arm parallel to the floor. Now squat. The bands add more effort when you stand and can tone core muscles, legs, and arms.

Work your thighs with a banded bridge.

A bridge works the core muscles and lower body. Tone the inner and outer thighs faster by adding resistance bands to your workout. Use the flat resistance bands that look like rubber bands. Wrap them around the thighs and lay on the floor with your arms to your sides, feet flat on the floor, and your knees bent You’re in the starting position for the bridge. Raise your bottom off the floor until your body is straight from the knees to the head in the traditional bridge position. Now add the magic toning of resistance bands and attempt to press your knees outward. Pull them back, squeezing your abs and bottom tight.

Do resistance bands pulls to build all upper body muscles.

You can tone your upper body with resistance bands. Start with an overhead pull. Hold one end of the resistance band in each hand with your hands shoulder-width apart. There shouldn’t be any slack in the bands. Raise your hands above your head with palms facing out and pull the band until you can’t overcome the tension, attempting to create a T with your arms. Do the same exercise with palms facing inward. Start pulls with hands in front, behind the back, or by stepping on the resistance bands and lifting upward.

  • You can work your muscles on various planes. You’ll feel different muscles working when you change the direction of your palms or raise an arm as you lower the other. Standing pulls work different muscles than bent resistance pulls.
  • Do a banded bicycle exercise. Wrap the rubber band-style resistance around your feet and curl into the crunch position. Start pedaling as you hold your upper body slightly elevated and hips firmly planted on the floor.
  • Do a banded high plank with resistance bands around your wrists. Stay in the high plank until you move one hand forward a few inches until there’s too much resistance, then move it back. Then do the opposite hand.
  • Do walking lunges with a resistance band around the calves. Step on the resistance band. Hold your bands at ear level with forearms at a 90-degree angle to the body. Step back with the unbanded foot and lunge down.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

The Importance Of Mindset On Your Fitness Journey

People in Massachusetts know the importance of a positive mindset for success. It’s true in every endeavor in life. It’s especially obvious when it comes to fitness. A positive mindset will help you achieve your fitness goals, regardless of how long it takes to do it or how many setbacks. A negative mindset about any activity will defeat you before you even start.

You can convince yourself a thousand ways that you’ll never succeed.

There are a lot of reasons to abandon your fitness goals or never even attempt to achieve them. Almost everyone has heard at least one of these or even said them themselves.

I don’t have time.

I’ve failed before so why bother?

I’m way too out of shape to even start.

There’s simply no hope for me.

People in Massachusetts know the importance of a positive mindset for success. It’s true in every endeavor in life and particularly obvious for fitness. A positive mindset will help you achieve your fitness goals, regardless of how long it takes to do it or how many setbacks. A negative mindset about any activity will defeat you before you even start.

It’s all about self-talk, not willpower.

If you wanted to workout, then you suddenly changed your mind, it’s a sign you realized you have a problem and need to change. You’ve overcome two parts of the struggle to change your mindset. The next step is to start planning for action. After that, beginning your plan and acknowledging your gains are the last two steps to success. After that, a positive mindset becomes a habit that transfers to every area of life.

Understand that things don’t change overnight.

There’s a difference between a positive mindset and wishful thinking. Change doesn’t occur overnight. That means you won’t perfect your mindset or change your fitness dramatically overnight. Like any skill, it takes practice and focus. If you’re working on a more positive mindset and have a fitness setback, your improved mindset can help you stick with your fitness goal. Remember, success isn’t always a straight line upward. Reel in your emotions and try again. Make the changes necessary. Anything worth achieving is worth working for and often takes time.

  • If your goal is to lose weight, understand that you can’t always control how much you’ll lose in the short term. A lot of things can cause temporary weight fluctuations. Stick with a program longer than a week or two to see results.
  • A good reminder to help develop a beneficial mindset is to write down goals. List your fitness goals. Don’t forget to include ones for mindset. Remind yourself daily that you are capable and will succeed.
  • Change your words and how you talk to and about yourself. Focus on the positive and the ways you’ve improved. Start with easy fitness goals. As fitness becomes a habit, make your goals harder to achieve. Nothing boosts positive self-talk like success.
  • Record your success and dwell on it. Something as simple as looking forward to a workout can be a victory. Write down all the small victories, and don’t forget to congratulate yourself.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Foods That Fuel Your Workouts

There are many theories about food and how it affects workouts. Some people believe you’ll lose more weight if you workout on an empty stomach. Others attribute a pre-workout snack to a more intense calorie-burning workout, so you’ll lose weight faster. One thing is certain, food is the fuel for the body, and like gasoline, there are high-octane ones and ones that could make the performance less than stellar. Consuming foods that boost your workout benefits helps you achieve more during exercise and keeps your body healthier when you’re not exercising.

Include healthy pre-workout and post-workout snacks.

The body requires a combination of protein, fat, and carbs. The carbs provide energy in a pre-workout snack, so you don’t hit the wall mid-workout. The protein improves your performance and increases muscle protein synthesis. A small amount of fat is necessary if your workout is longer but less intense. During those workouts, the body switches from burning glycogen to burning fat as fuel. Post-workout snacks also include these things and can help improve recovery and build more muscles. An example of a good pre-workout snack is a cup of Greek yogurt with berries. A healthy post-workout snack is a glass of chocolate milk.

Include fatty fish in your diet.

Fatty fish like tuna and salmon provide more than protein for muscle growth. The healthy fat in the fish helps maintain hormone levels. Low-fat diets have a link to lower testosterone levels in men, which makes building muscles more difficult. It’s also linked to menstrual dysfunction. The omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish keep your body healthier. Nuts are vegetarian alternatives containing magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps.

Add beets to your diet.

You’ll lower blood pressure when you drink beet juice or eat beets. The body changes the nitrates in beets to nitric oxide, which provides benefits. Nitric oxide is produced in the body when you exercise, too. It is necessary to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow. The increased nutrients and oxygen help boost the building of muscle cells. Studies show that eating beets or drinking beet juice improves muscle power, endurance, and strength. It also boosts brain power.

  • Have oatmeal for breakfast to increase your energy level and keep you feeling full longer. It’s heart-healthy and boosts immunity. Top it with blueberries for more antioxidants. The combination is loaded with fiber to help maintain blood glucose levels.
  • Increase your protein intake. Lean meat, chicken, fish, dairy, and eggs are a few protein boosters. Protein is necessary to build muscles and do muscle repair. Choose chicken and beef for the most leucine. Leucine starts protein synthesis.
  • Include food with potassium, like avocados and bananas. It helps prevent muscle cramps. Avocados also contain healthy fat that improves blood pressure, digestion, heart health, and mood.
  • If you’ve sweat out a few cups of water during exercise, eating watermelon can help replace it. It also contains l-citrulline, which can limit muscle soreness and improve heart recovery.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss

Best Snacks That Keep You Full

If you’ve tried to lose weight and found you’re hungry all the time, you’re facing the same challenge as many people from Massachusetts. What you need are snacks that keep you full until your next meal. You need a snack that is lower in calories but will stay with you long enough, you aren’t so ravenous you eat everything in sight at dinner.

Fiber, healthy fat, and protein fill you up without packing on the pounds.

Most people reach for a sugary treat when they need a boost. While it might help for a short time, the sugar spikes your blood pressure, and just as quickly, it drops down even further. That leaves you even hungrier. How do you avoid that? Eat food containing fiber, protein, and/or fat. For instance, apple slices contain fiber and enough sugar to give your energy a lift. Top them with a teaspoon of peanut butter for protein and healthy fat. You’ll have a snack that keeps you full from mid-afternoon until dinner.

Don’t forget avocados.

Avocados are versatile and excellent as snacks. You can drizzle hot sauce on them and eat them plain, make guacamole, or mash them up and use them as you would butter to spread on whole wheat toast. Put the avocado in a blender with a small amount of condensed milk for a sweet spread. You can even use it to dip strawberries. Dip avocado slices in dark chocolate and sprinkle with flaked salt. You can even drink your snack. Put several tablespoons of Greek yogurt, a few ice cubes, cinnamon, a drip of honey, and avocado slices in a blender for a smoothie that will keep you full.

Keep it simple.

Hard-boiled eggs are probably the easiest snack. You can combine them with fresh veggies to add fiber and more nutrients. If you want to add to this snack, create deviled eggs made with Greek yogurt, mustard, and lemon juice. You can even make a quick egg salad by adding chives and celery. Then mix it with a dressing made from yogurt, mustard, pickle relish, salt and pepper.

  • Frozen fruit mixed in a blender makes a delicious sorbet, especially on a hot day. You can also freeze a half banana on a stick, then dip it in high cacao dark chocolate.
  • Put two tablespoons of Greek yogurt in a glass. Top it with a handful of berries and layer on half a sliced banana. Top that with another layer of Greek yogurt then sprinkle on crushed walnuts.
  • Make a dip from beans or chickpeas. Just mash the chickpeas and beans, Mix in garlic, chicken broth, a small amount of olive oil, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Dip raw veggies when you need a snack.
  • Make a trail mix with nuts, mini pretzels, a few dark chocolate chips, and a small amount of dried fruit. Pack it in individual serving sizes. Air-popped popcorn is another low-calorie filling snack.

For more information, contact us today at ProWeightLoss