physiquality blog: working toward a better body

In revamping this post (it was originally “work out like a model,” which isn’t easy to relate to physical therapy and general wellness), I may have been speaking for myself, as well as my family back in the Midwest, when I wrote about the weather. Friends in Kansas City have had 10 snow days at this point of the year. My sister-in-law in Chicago has had multiple days with highs hovering around 10 degrees.

Dallas may not have been as bad as either of those, but I have done my fair share of hibernating during our first winter here. And now I need to find a way to shed some of the weight gained in the last few months. Luckily, I found some advice on that very subject. Read on for more information…

Working toward a better body

Working toward a better body

As spring break approaches, many of us are starting to realize how much we have hibernated during this overly cold and snowy winter. Trapped inside our homes, we may have been eating more and working out less.

With the prospect of spring break trips and summer weather on the horizon, here are some ways to shed those winter pounds and to shape up your physique.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: four signs you should STOP working out

When a new year begins, it’s a natural time to start new habits, particularly ones related to your health. You may or may not have eaten or drank your way through the holidays, and the lack of social events in January is a good time to start eating better, drinking less (alcohol) and moving more.

However, at any fitness level, there are ways your body is telling you that your activity is too much and that you need to stop. Immediately. (I know this from personal experience — I’ve had to walk out of two different dance classes due to a sharp, stabbing pain that eventually led to joint repairs and orthopedic surgery.) These are not signs to “rub some dirt on it” and get back to exercising. They are your body’s way of telling you to sit down and possibly call your doctor or physical therapist to see what is causing the symptom.

Four signs you should STOP working out

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT

January often brings resolutions of better health and exercising more. After a month (or 6 weeks) of indulging, hectic holiday plans, and falling off the wellness wagon, it makes sense to try to improve your health through exercise. But there are times when you should listen to your body and stop exercising.

Despite the mantra “no pain, no gain,” if your body hurts, it’s trying to tell you something. Here are four things to be aware of when working out.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: how often should I exercise?

Like many people, exercise has been a challenge to fit into my schedule as I’ve grown older and have more commitments in my calendar. If you’ve ever wondered how frequently you should be exercising in order to stay healthy, you’re probably not alone. (And you’re probably not exercising enough.) Read on to see what our strength and conditioning expert had to say about workout frequency and your health.

How often should I exercise?

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS

As the weather begins to get colder, many of us may be retreating indoors and not walking around as much. If you didn’t exercise regularly when it was warm outside, you’re probably moving less now that it’s not.

The recommendations from the U.S. government (through the Department of Health and Human Services) focus on aerobic exercise and strength training. They include 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, or 75 minutes a week of high intensity training, plus strength training at least a couple of times a week.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: strength training for kids and adolescents

Strength training for kids and adolescents

with advice from Mark Salandra, CSCS

When most of us think about strength training, we think of oversized bodybuilders with rippling muscles, like Arnold Schwarzenegger (during the 1970s, not as the governor of California). Or the guy from the Planet Fitness commercial that lifts things up and puts them down.

Done in moderation, however, strength training can benefit people of all ages, including children and adolescents, says Mark Salandra, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and the founder of StrengthCondition.com (a Physiquality partner program).

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: walk more, be healthier

I will admit that since I became a mother, I have focused more on convenience and less on movement. Most shopping is done online (with the exception of the groceries). I work from home, so my commute is up a flight of stairs, and I have noticed (thank you, Apple watch) that I do not move enough during the day. At least in New York, I could walk everywhere. Moving to a more suburban environment means that the only place within walking distance was a BBQ truck, and that closed more than a year ago.

So what’s a mom to do? I’ve written about this for a long time — walk. Even just walking 30 minutes a day can improve your cardiovascular health and help you lose weight. The reality is that it’s still winter here, and as I look out my window I see wet streets and melting snow. But I’m promising myself that as soon as our weather is less brutal, I’ll be walking more every day.

Walk more, be healthier

with advice from Libbie Chen, PT, DPT and Polar

Technology has made a lot of things easier. If you need to buy something, order it online. If you need to get somewhere, just drive your car.

What this also means is that Americans are walking and moving less. This is one of many factors leading to the ever-increasing waistlines in our country. And even if you haven’t been gaining weight, moving less can contribute to heart disease and other health issues.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy

The holidays can be hard. Even the New York Times has acknowledged that the increased activity in December, plus the quantity of time spent with family, can lead to fatigue. And while you may want to turn to alcohol and coffee to get you through this, studies have shown that both can actually make you feel more tired. Which will not help you when you’re stuck in a corner with Cousin Al.

So if you’re looking for ways to gain more energy for your upcoming holiday calendar, take a look at what I’ve put together at the pqBlog.

Five ways to beat fatigue and have more energy

Winter is coming. As December begins, so does the holiday whirl. Office parties. Family get-togethers. Late nights spent trying to put together toys that have instructions written in a foreign language.

It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and feeling tired will make it more difficult to get through the month. So here are five ways to beat some of that fatigue, giving you more energy to face whatever is on your calendar.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: fueling your workout

The balance of nutrition and exercise is always difficult as it depends on a variety of factors. Height. Weight. Gender. Fitness level. Length of activity. And so on.

But I do think there are some misperceptions about the ability to eat more food or less healthy food if one is working out regularly. (Kind of like the saying that “eating for two” while pregnant gives women carte blanche to eat whatever they want. Only if they want to live on a treadmill while breastfeeding after the baby comes.)

This is especially true if one’s goal is to lose weight — it is nearly impossible to lose weight through exercise alone. As someone who has been struggling to lose weight for several years now, this post speaks to me personally. Perhaps it is time to practice what I write.

Fueling your workout

with advice from Angela Mader
and AlterG

You’ve made a commitment to get healthy and lose weight.

Great!

You’ve trimmed unhealthy foods that have lots of sugar and trans fats from your diet and added in more fruits and vegetables, and you’re doing 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week, but you’re not seeing any weight loss.

Not so great.

Angela Mader, the creator of the fitbook™ (a Physiquality partner program), recommends taking a look at what you’re eating before workouts to make sure that you’re eating the best foods to energize you and maximize your results. As she explains it, “food is fuel. It might be time to take a look under the hood to make sure you’re properly fueling (and re-fueling) your body to optimize burning fat while gaining lean muscle.”

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: working out while on the road

While meant to be a break from your regular routine, travel can sometimes add stress to it instead. If you’ve finally gotten into a daily or weekly workout regimen, or started losing weight after months of gaining, you don’t want to lose that momentum during summer vacation.

I have found that when I’ve been able to work out while traveling, I’ve become more relaxed. If the point of vacation is to make time for yourself and your family, shouldn’t part of that be focusing on your better health? We spoke to some members and partner vendors who had some great tips for ensuring that your fitness isn’t forgotten, wherever you go.

Working out while on the road

with advice from Richard Baudry, PT, DPT, OCS,
Yousef Ghandour, PT, MOMT, FAAOMPT, and Brian Klaus

With Memorial Day behind us and Independence Day quickly approaching, many of us have plans to travel in the next couple of months. If you’ve been trying to stick to an exercise regimen, here are some ideas for how to continue working out when you leave your regular routine behind.

“Exercise that doesn’t require bulky equipment or a lot of space is best while traveling,” advises Brian Klaus, the Vice President of Stretchwell, Inc. (a PTPN preferred vendor that offers a variety of progressive resistance products). Why take up space in your luggage with heavy weights or bulky equipment?

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: exercise trends — rucking

Exercise trends will come and go. (I don’t think anyone expected the Thighmaster to last very long, did they?) When I heard about this trend, I mentally put it into the P90X/Tough Mudder/crazy challenge category.

And then I started reading up on the trend. The most impressive group I found was Go Ruck, which was launched by a former Green Beret to stay in shape after leaving the military. The movement evolved into not just a fitness trend, but a way to create relationships within the community. So while it may place an initial emphasis on strength training, it’s also a team building exercise.

As someone who has been working from home for almost 10 years now, I can definitely see the benefits to this type of training. While I doubt that I’d try this (bad knees don’t lend themselves well to hiking with a heavy pack), I wish that my classes in yoga, Pilates or dance could encourage such relationships with my peers.

Exercise trends: Rucking

by Daniel Butler, CEP

Have you heard about rucking? The word “ruck” is short for “rucksack,” a military backpack that soldiers use to carry supplies on their back. Rucking, or ruck marching, refers to walking over paved or unpaved terrain with a loaded rucksack for the purpose of improving your fitness.

The military often uses rucking to measure physical fitness. Many units require a soldier to complete a timed ruck march in order to qualify for the unit. For instance, the U.S. Army Special Forces requires potential recruits to be able to ruck 12 miles in 2 hours with a pack that weighs 65 pounds in order to be eligible for Special Forces Selection. Even after leaving the armed services, some veterans continue to use rucking as a way to remain strong and build social ties while exercising.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!

physiquality blog: challenge your office to be healthy

When the TV show The Biggest Loser started becoming popular, my husband’s office had a weight-loss challenge. While I appreciated the attempt, focusing on weight loss versus making healthier choices is a tricky path. People who focus on weight loss, as compared to determining to living a healthier life, rarely keep the weight off.

When I stumbled upon the Global Employee Health and Fitness Month website, I thought its goals were much more attainable, and the idea of a challenge that could be adapted to a variety of environments was great. Unfortunately, as I don’t think my office mates of toddler boy and five-year-old bulldog are up for the idea, I’ll have to focus on my own decisions, which is why I’ve been challenging myself to work out at least 30 minutes a day for six days out of the week. What’s your challenge?

Challenge your office to be healthy

with advice from Mitch Kaye, PT,
Stefania Della Pia and Polar

Did you know that May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month? Created by the National Association for Health & Fitness (NAHF), a network of state-based councils and groups that promote healthy living, the group encourages daily physical activity and quality physical education in our schools. Through Global Employee Health and Fitness Month, the NAHF asks employers to create a workplace environment that promotes healthier living.

There are a variety of reasons to do this as a business owner or manager, or for employees to suggest it to their bosses. For a start, the CDC points out that healthier employees take fewer sick days, incur lower healthcare costs and are more productive; in fact, one study found that by promoting physical fitness and regular check-ups, employer healthcare costs could be cut in half. In addition, wellness programs can be seen by some prospective employees as a great benefit. It shows that the company is willing to invest in its employees, leading to a more positive work environment, better morale and higher retention.

Read the full entry at physiquality.com!