You’ve been exercising consistently for a few months now and the payoff has been BIG. Your weight has dropped, your biceps are bigger, your endurance has improved, and your pants are looser. Now, suddenly, you’ve stopped seeing results. It sounds like you’ve hit the dreaded plateau. Everyone who embarks on this journey will inevitably hit a plateau. What do you do now? Don’t give up! You can get past it, but you must work harder and smarter. It’s an opportunity for you to refine your goals and strategies. Push through the plateau by kicking it up with exercise.
The solution is NOT necessarily to increase the amount of time you workout. Take a look at the quality of your workouts and how you can change or alter them.
The following are some examples:
1. Walk faster. If you walk two miles in 20 minutes, cut it back to 18 minutes.
2. Increase intensity by walking on an incline. If you walk outside, take advantage of any steep inclines or hills. On the treadmill, increase the grade to 1 or 2.
3. Make your movements larger in a group exercise class. Lift your legs higher, sit lower in a squat, or hold that plank longer!
4. Push your muscles more. Increase your dumbbells from 5 pounds to 7 pounds.
5. Get out of your comfort zone and try a new fitness class. Or, attempt a new challenge like hiking or outdoor biking.
Keep in mind that your goal is to do cardio exercise 4 or 5 times a week for 30 minutes, and resistance training 2 or 3 times a week for 15-30 minutes. If you’re only doing resistance training two times a week, increase it to three.
Increase your daily activity by finding ways to move your body! Take stairs when possible, park your car far away, play soccer with the kids, or walk briskly through the mall with some friends. Everything you do will make a difference.
Hitting a plateau doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Make it positive by re-evaluating your workouts. If you haven’t yet tried one of our fitness classes taught by our fantastic instructors, come check it out! Just step out of your comfort zone and reap the benefits.
- Decreases body fat
- Increases sensitivity to insulin
- Decreases blood sugar levels
- Improves sleep
- Improves reflexes
- Decreases age related memory loss
- Improves balance
- Helps contribute to muscular endurance and flexibility
- Improves mood
- Increases energy!
You are right—there wasn’t one negative effect noted! So let’s explore the last bullet line a little further.
When we improve the heart’s ability to pump blood though out the body, the blood flow to the brain also increases. More oxygen and nutrients to this organ will enhance its overall function. You feel more alert and generally more productive. There is probably even a bit of bounce to your step!
A study published a few years back in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, University of Georgia researchers found that inactive people who generally complained of fatigue could increase energy by 20% while decreasing fatigue by as much as 65% by simply participating in regular, low-intensity exercise.
If you are not currently in an exercise routine, what’s holding you back? If trying to figure out where to start, why not try one or more of our group classes. You are always encouraged to start at your own level and modifications can be made to any exercise. If group activities aren’t your thing, personal training can be the perfect fit. Check out the training specials on the next page!
Take advantage of our longer days and increasingly milder weather. Head outside for a walk and breathe deep! Adding Cardio-respiratory activity can help your body, your health and your mind.
No matter what your fitness level is, yoga can help you in many ways. Not only does yoga affect the physical aspect of the body, it addresses the mind and spirit as well. Yoga exercises are a great way to help relieve the stress of your day and can bring a sense of well-being to your life. Now we all can use a little of that! Here are the top ten benefits of yoga.
Stress Relief – Yoga can help reduce the effects of stress on your body. One of the benefits of yoga is that it encourages relaxation and can lower the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in your body. Studies show that prolonged high levels of cortisol can lead to heart disease and other health problems.
Improved Circulation – Yoga will help improve your body’s circulation. In turn, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.
Increased Cardiovascular Conditioning – Even the gentlest style of yoga will help to lower your resting heart rate and increase your overall endurance. This is one of the important benefits of yoga to help improve the amount of oxygen taken in during the daily exercises.
Relief from Pain – Daily exercises of yoga can help ease the aches and pains of the body. Many people with very serious diseases have reported less pain after these daily exercises or meditation.
Better Breathing – You will learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga. It will help to increase your lung function and set off the body’s relaxation response. This can be one of the most powerful benefits of yoga.
More Flexibility – You will notice your level of flexibility will increase, which will help you with your range of motion. Sometimes in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes. The benefits of yoga will include lengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your body to help you become more flexible.
Increased Muscular Strength – Yoga poses use all the muscles in your body and help you increase your strength level from head to toe. Yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which increase the support of your skeletal system.
Weight Management – You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale. Daily exercises are always recommended, but yoga helps reduce the level of cortisol in your body which aids in weight loss and weight maintenance.
Improved Mental Clarity and Focus – You can have greater coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises. These benefits of yoga will extend far out of the yoga class.
Inner Peace – What more could you want. This is one of the primary reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga. This is one of the most important benefits of yoga and is also one of the more easy ones to attain.
If you haven’t tried yoga, you should! You may find it is just what you need.
Join us Thursday evenings at 6 p.m.—your first class is free!
The heart is the crucial organ that supplies blood and oxygen to all parts of the body. It’s about the size of a clenched fist and is shaped like a cone. Symbolically, the heart is the center of emotion, including affection and love. Last week we celebrated Valentine’s Day with our loved ones, maybe a sentimental card, some chocolate, and EXERCISE!? Actually, we don’t normally think of exercising with our sweetie as an expression of our love. I’m going to explain why it’s not only a great thing to do for yourself, but also together with your partner!
Cardiovascular exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. It uses large muscle movement over a sustained period of time to keep your heart rate at over 50% of its maximum level. There are numerous benefits of cardiovascular exercise. Most people understand that cardio decreases body weight, decreases blood pressure, decreases LDL (bad cholesterol), increases HDL (good cholesterol), strengthens the heart and lungs, and increases metabolism.
In addition, cardio workouts flood the brain with chemicals that enhance memory, problem solving, and decision making. So, you’re working out your brain at the same time as your heart! Also, cardio boosts productivity, revs up your energy, and improves your mood. The overall effect is greater self-confidence.
To reap these amazing benefits of cardio exercise, what formula do you need to follow? (FITT)
FREQUENCY: 3-5X a week depending on your goals.
INTENSITY: Moderate pace, out of your comfort zone (uncomfortable), about a 6-7 on a scale of 1-10.
TIME: At least 20 minutes, (beginners will do less), and can be split up into two, 10-minute workouts.
TYPE: An activity that uses large muscle groups and one you will enjoy doing for an extended period of time.
Examples of fun exercises you can do with your spouse or partner are: swimming, dancing, walking/jogging, or a group exercise class such as Zumba, kickboxing, or spinning.
Loving yourself means taking care of you. Make time for cardio exercise and you’ll soon see how it transforms you on the outside and the inside. It’s a fun and healthy way to spend some quality time with a loved one.
There is always going to be a certain amount of stress in your life. Some of the things that come your way are neither predictable or preventable. You may not actually be able to do anything to change these events but you have total control over your response to them and its effect on your body. By combating stress, you allow your body to restore and balance the delicate systems that lie within.
Your coping mechanisms work better if you’re not overly tired and have eaten properly so it’s important to keep to a regular sleep schedule and eating pattern. And don’t forget exercise! Physical activity also helps you combat stress. Anything you enjoy, whether it’s aerobic or strength training, will act as a stress-buster. Make exercise part of your stress management plan.
Your body releases endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, as a result of physical activity. You don’t have to be a runner, any heart-pumping exercise will work.
Regular exercise lowers the symptoms related to mild depression and anxiety while increasing your overall health and your sense of well-being. Sleep can be improved with routine exercise. Stress, depression and anxiety often disrupt sleep but easing the stress levels can put you back in command.
Your mind responds to meditation in motion! Try it—after an hour of Zumba or Yoga, you will have forgotten what irritated you during the day. Repetitive motions that command your concentration keep you focused on a single movement and can help you remain calm and collected in everyday tasks. Who couldn’t use a little more energy and optimism?
- Start by making a plan and take it slow. The gyms are full of people who burn out before January is over. This is a life-long habit you are building, not a 30-day program.
- Set realistic goals (think back to Chapter 1 WMU™ ) and find a friend who enjoys the same activities to join you. You are more likely to stick with it if someone is waiting for you.
- Try something new. Check out our fitness classes or consider personal training.
- Put it on your schedule. 45-60 minutes, three days a week, you spend more time than that on Facebook.
You deserve to be happy, healthy & strong this year – and you can make it happen!
Exercise makes me HAPPY. It’s exhilarating and the benefits are numerous. Every day is a new day to sweat, challenge the heart and lungs, and see what you’re body is capable of! It’s unrealistic to believe that everyone feels the same way I do. Just the idea of working out is daunting for many. It takes desire, stepping out of your comfort zone, motivation, and discipline. What happens if you don’t possess ANY of those qualities?? You can hire a Personal Trainer!
We have exceptional trainers here at CFWLS. They are certified, knowledgeable, have many years of experience, and they understand high-risk clients. They’re here to help you reach your fitness goals.
What do you look for in a personal trainer? Personality and knowledge are key. Your trainer should have a certification and experience. You should feel comfortable and supported by your trainer. If you don’t feel a connection, choose someone you have more in common with. The two important qualifications are:
1. Personality: a leader, leads a healthy lifestyle, passionate about the job, empathetic, disciplined, professional, creative, and likeable.
2. Certification: Their credentials are from a nationally recognized, accredited organization.
There are numerous reasons for hiring a trainer. In the past, clients hired trainers for several sessions in order to design a fitness program, teach the program, and ensure the client could implement it. Then the trainer never saw the client again. These days, it’s very common for clients to hire trainers long-term. They develop a repore and need their trainer for continued support, motivation, and/or maintenance. For the past 5 years I’ve trained a client in her home. I visit just 2 or 3 times a month and bring her new exercises and make sure she’s using proper form.
Benefits of hiring a trainer:
1. Consistency and Accountability: It’s hard to blow off your workout if someone’s waiting for you.
2. Safety/Proper Form: Getting an injury could side-line your workouts altogether. Have a professional ensure good form.
3. Motivation and Effectiveness: Plateaus occur when you don’t step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. Trainers can help mix up your workouts to prevent plateaus and boredom.
4. Self-esteem Building: A trainer can give you non-judgmental support.
5. Maximize Workouts: Your trainer can show you how to effectively condense a 60 minute workout to 30 minutes.
6. Sports-specific Training: Are you training for a 5k? We have trainers who run and can get you ready for your race.
7. Injury Rehab: A program can be designed for you to achieve fitness benefits without exacerbating your injury.
8. Fresh Perspective on Nutrition and Fitness: Exercise physiology is not an exact science and is ever-changing, growing, and improving. Personal trainers stay current about the latest fitness trends, classes, and fads.
Before hiring a trainer, do your research. It’s a process not unlike finding the perfect doctor, hairdresser, or massage therapist. The trainer should make you feel comfortable, they should possess the appropriate knowledge, and have your best interests at heart. You can’t go wrong here at The Center For Weight Loss Success. We have the crème of the crop with our fabulous trainers. Check them out and take your fitness to the next level.