Workout Wednesday: Exercise vs. Activity

Should you do one or the other? Or both?  How do you know which one you’re doing? And what makes them different?

All good questions. And all can be a challenge to answer.

Exercise IS activity. But activity is NOT necessarily exercise. For instance, you might be among those in the office that say this…

“Since I work at a desk all day I sit on a stability ball. It makes me feel like I’m doing something.”

“To be quite frank, I cannot see any advantage or reason for a person to be using an exercise ball as an office chair,” says Dr. Jack Callaghan, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Spine Biomechanics and Injury Prevention at the University of Waterloo in Ontario.

Dr. Callaghan and his team found no difference in muscle activity by sitting on a ball, chair, or stool. However, other research shows you burn up to 4 more calories per hour. Whoop-dee-doo-da!! You can practically burn that many calories by twiddling your thumbs for the hour.

Let’s try another…

“I use a pedometer and try and get 10,000 steps in by the days end.”

10,000 steps is a lofty goal. That’s somewhere around 5 miles throughout the day. So the question becomes, is running 5 miles at one time better than random steps throughout the day?

You must take into account speed, incline, intensity, heart rate, and other factors when determining the answer to that question. If you put all that down on paper then you will clearly see they are NOT equal. Because, activity is NOT exercise.

Parking further, taking the stairs, doing housework are all great ways to start being more active throughout your day. But that is very different than working all major muscles of the body for 20 total sets at 15 reps per set. It’s also different than riding the bike up and down hills at 85 RPM.

Activity is NOT exercise. Do you see the difference?

Playing basketball for 60 minutes sprinting up and down the floor and jumping every 15 seconds is a fun activity for a lot of people in America. But that is also a workout. The heart rate is up, legs are exhausted afterward and you feel like you’ve worked out.

Exercise IS activity.

Is this making sense? I hope so. If not, this could be a major reason why you’re not seeing results with your exercise program. Maybe you would benefit from working with an trainer or instructor.

Everyone should be active in their daily life. Walk the dog, take the stairs at work, play catch with your kids, work in the garden, and the hundreds of other things you could do to increase your activity.

But if you’re trying to lose weight and get in shape, you MUST be exercising. Specifically at the right intensity level with strength and cardiovascular training. Separate the two and you’ll be on your way to better results!

Workout Wednesday: GLUTES-TONING MOVES

Contrary to popular belief, having shapely glutes isn’t all about appearance or vanity. Having a strong rear-end not only helps improve posture and athletic performance, and reduce knee and back pain, it can significantly enhance injury prevention as well.

Here is a simple pre-workout activation circuit to target the glutes:

 

HIP BRIDGES

Lie on your back, bend your knees and position your feet about shoulder-distance apart. Place your arms to the side or across your chest. Raise your hips as high as possible while keeping the knees over the toes. Repeat 15-20 times.

CLAM SHELL

Lie on your side with the knees bent to 90 degrees and your torso facing forward. Raise your top leg but keep the foot touching the other foot. Complete 15-20 repetitions on each side.

 

HIP EXTENSION AND ABDUCTIONS

Assume an athletic-ready stance next to a wall or something secure that you can hold onto. Lift one leg back as high as possible without moving your upper body. Return to the starting position and lift the same leg out to the side (abduction) and return to starting position. Repeat 15-20 times on each leg.

 

Source: acefitness.org

Workout Wednesday: Design Your Own Exercise Routine

The following is a step by step process to develop your own personal exercise program to further your weight loss.

Warm up: (5 minutes): Start your exercise session at a low to moderate pace, giving your body a chance to warm up and get ready for more vigorous movement. Gradually increase your pace by the end of the warm-up period. For especially strenuous activities, such as jumping rope or jogging, warm up for a minimum of 5-10 minutes.

Get moving!: (Exercise 30-60 minutes): Slowly increase your physical activity time until you reach your goal of 30 to 60 minutes daily. Start with a minimum of 10 minutes, three times per day. Build up gradually. Enjoy yourself. Remember low intensity and longer duration, can result in effective conditioning as well.

Cool down / recovery: (5 minutes): After exercise, slow down gradually. Cool down by changing to a less vigorous activity, such as moving from jogging to walking. This process allows your body to relax gradually.

 

Source: Home Fitness Toolkit – Mercy Jefferson Bariatric Center

Please consult your healthcare provider to assure you are OK to start an exercise program.

Disclaimer: This information provided in this content is not intended to be professional training advice. The information provided is for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen. All exercises you perform are at your own responsibility and your own risk. Heart of America Bariatrics is not liable or responsible for any injuries incurred during or after performing any exercises included in this content.

WORKOUT WEDNESDAY:STANDING AB EXERCISES

Begin by completing each movement for 10 seconds; gradually increase by 10 seconds each round. The only equipment you’ll need is a medicine ball with handles or a weight plate for appropriate exercises.

RIBBONS

Start at the right hip and move diagonally over your head to the opposite hip.

TWISTS

Hold the weight in front of you and squeeze the glutes to avoid hip movement.

OVERHEAD LEAN

Extend the arms overhead while slowly leaning the upper body to the right and then to then left.

ONE-HANDED TOSS

Begin in a standing athletic position. Toss the medicine ball from the right hand to the left hand while contracting the abdominals.

RUGBY PASS

Hold the ball in two hands as if you are going to “pass” the ball laterally to someone. Brace your core and pass the ball from the right hip across the body; return to the starting position

SIDE DIPS

Hold the ball in one hand and stand up tall. Place the other hand on your head to help keep your shoulders back. Slowly lean to the side while keeping your torso squared and neck aligned with your spine.

Source: acefitness.org

Workout Wednesday: USING STAIRWAY FOR EXERCISING

Following is a list of ideas that may give you a new vision on the stairs that you pass every day, either as separate moves or as an integrated 15-minute workout.

Note: For any specific joint issues, please adapt as prudent for your individual needs, including skipping any particular movement sequence.

CARDIORESPIRATORY

1. TWO FORWARD, ONE BACK

Set-up: At the bottom of the stairs, facing up

Execution: At a comfortably challenging pace, walk or run the right foot and then the left foot to the first step. Repeat with the right and left foot to the next step. Moving backward, move down one step with the right foot and then the left foot. Repeat this format of “two-up, one down” to the top of the stairs.

2. TWO-BY-TWO

Two-by-Two

Set-up: At the bottom of the stairs, facing up

Execution: At a comfortably challenging pace, walk-run up the stairs, moving up two stairs at a time. When you reach the top, turn around and walk down the stairs normally. Repeat as able for three to five minutes.

3. OPENING ICE SKATING

Opening Ice Skating

Set-up: At the bottom center of the stairs, facing up

Execution: Step the right foot to the first or second step as far to the right as possible. Step the left foot to the second or third step as far left as possible. Continue to the top in the same “ice skating” movement, weaving the body to the right and left on the ascent.

4. CLOSING ICE SKATING

Closing Ice Skating

Set-up: At the bottom center of the stairs, facing up

Execution: Step the right foot to the first or second step as far to the left as possible, crossing the midline of the body. Step the left foot to the second or third step as far right as possible. Continue to the top in the same “ice skating” way, weaving the body to the right and left on the ascent.

STRENGTH/ENDURANCE

The first three strength/endurance skills and drills involves moving from the bottom to the top of the stairs. At the top, turn around and walk down to the starting point to repeat the entire sequence for a period of three to five minutes.

 

5. PUSH-UPS UP (THE STAIRCASE)

Push-ups Up

Set-up: At the bottom center of the stairs, face the stairs with your feet together. Place your right hand on a step that is slightly above your chest level, and your left hand slightly below. Lower your chest as you are able toward the stairs.

Execution: Push yourself to the starting position with extended elbows. Lower and repeat twice more. Change hand positions so the left hand starts higher than your chest, and right hand starts lower than your chest, and do three more push-ups. Slowly “crawl” your way to the next step or two up the staircase, walking your feet first and then your hands. Continue for three to five minutes total or until fatigue sets in from plank position.

6. CRISSCROSS ABDUCTION SQUATS MOVING LEFT

Crisscross Abduction Squats Moving Left

Set-up: At the bottom center of the stairs, face to the right so the left side of your body faces the stairs. Place your left foot on the first or second stair and squat down.

Execution: Stand and abduct the right hip so the right leg lifts to the side. Place the right foot of your lifted leg on the next step, crossing in front of your left foot. Squat down as you contact the stairs. Maintaining the squat, uncross your legs as you place your left foot on the next step. Repeat from the start of the exercise, moving up the stairs.

7. CRISSCROSS ABDUCTION SQUATS MOVING RIGHT

Follow the directions for the previous exercise, but begin facing to the left at the bottom center of the stairs. Repeat everything moving upward on the right side of the body.

The following exercises start at the top of the stairs.

8. ECCENTRIC TRICEPS LOWERING

Eccentric Triceps Lowering

Set-up: Sit at the top of the stairs and place your fingers over the edge of the first step where you’re sitting.

Execution: Using your triceps, slowly lower yourself toward the next step, flexing your elbows and moving your glutes toward a contact point with the floor. As a progression, keep one foot off of the floor during the lowering. Repeat for three to five minutes or until you reach the bottom of the stairs. If your stairs are short, stand, walk to the top and repeat.

FLEXIBILITY AND BALANCE

 

9. LONG LEVER SIDE PLANK BALANCE

Long Lever Side Plank Balance

Set-up: From the bottom center of the stairs, face the right side with feet together

Execution: Place your left hand, fingers spread, on to a stair that is approximately opposite your hip. Lean to the left, keeping the left shoulder abducted, and abduct the right shoulder, forming a letter “T” with the entire body. Your feet will be stacked on the floor, left side of the left foot against the floor. As a progression, abduct the right hip. Try to hold the position for 30-60 seconds, and repeat facing the left side.

10. TWISTING HIP AND LEG STRETCH

Long Lever Side Plank Balance

Set-up: From the bottom center of the stairs, facing the stairs

Execution: Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the step across from your chest or just below; keep the elbows extended. Place your right foot to the right of your right hand, gently stretching the right glute. Gently extend the spine, pushing the hips toward the stairs, opening the left hip area. As a progression, rotate to the right, abducting the right shoulder perpendicular to your spine. Hold for 30-60 seconds and repeat facing the right side.

Source: acefitness.org

Disclaimer: This information provided in this content is not intended to be professional training advice. The information provided is for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen. All exercises you perform are at your own responsibility and your own risk. Heart of America Bariatrics is not liable or responsible for any injuries incurred during or after performing any exercises included in this content.

Workout Wednesday: Exercises to Improve Hip Pain

Hip pain is a common problem for sedentary and non-sedentary individuals. Common causes of hip pain include:

  1. Chronic Sitting

The average American sits 13 hours a day. This staggering amount of inactivity causes an imbalance of the hip musculature. The hip flexors remain in a shortened position, while the glutes and deep hip rotators remain elongated. Add to that chronic dehydration and the result is tissue that more closely resembles beef jerky than healthy muscle tissue.

This tissue lacks the necessary flexibility and elasticity to allow for smooth and efficient movement. It tears more easily and becomes overstressed more easily, and the rigidity of the tissue leads to more rubbing against bone and bursae.

  1. Strength Imbalance

A strength imbalance is not the same as tightness or inelasticity. A strength imbalance occurs most often when one’s exercise regimen is consistent and unvaried. The repetition of the same movement without variation builds strength in some muscles, while neglecting others. This imbalance puts an unnatural amount of strain on those muscles, resulting in overuse injury. Try to alternate the type of exercises you do throughout the week.

  1. Skeletal Imbalance

Here, skeletal imbalance refers to the uneven stature or movement pattern that many of us demonstrate, which can be caused by so many things, including old injuries and leg-length discrepancies. When movements are not even or balanced bilaterally, one side will be the victim of added pressure, tissue friction or workload. You can get help from a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist to work on improving movement and posture.

How to improve this problem at home?

Improving the elasticity of that beef jerky-like tissue is best achieved through a combination of homework and loaded movement training. Two to three hours of movement each week is not enough to undo 100+ hours of inactivity each week. Here is a homework assignment for you to add to your regular workout routine: 

Daily Static stretch shortened muscle tissue for more than 60 seconds at least once daily.
Hourly Stand up and perform 10 bodyweight squats or chair sits every hour to get the muscles working and moving.
Nutrition Drink water all day. At least 64 oz a day. If you are well-hydrated, the hourly movement will pull water into the muscles, turning the jerky back into elastic tissue.

Source: acefitness.org

Disclaimer: This information provided in this content is not intended to be professional training advice. The information provided is for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen. All exercises you perform are at your own responsibility and your own risk. Heart of America Bariatrics is not liable or responsible for any injuries incurred during or after performing any exercises included in this content.

Workout Wednesday: The FITT Principle

FITT Principle: Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type

Frequency

Image result for frequency exerciseHow many days each week should I exercise? Physical activity guidelines put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services indicate that we should exercise most days of the week to see the benefits. Try to exercise 4-5 days a week at least. As a bariatric patient, exercise should be a priority and part of your daily routine. You must fit in fitness!

                                                         Intensity

Image result for intensity exerciseHow hard should you exercise? The exercise you choose should allow you to maintain that activity for the duration you have chosen. If you want to exercise longer you may have to decrease the intensity of what you are doing. How to rate your activity can be done by the “talk test” and the “RPE scale” rating of perceived exertion.

  1. The RPE scale is used to measure exercise intensity. The Rating of Perceived Exertion scale targets how short of breath you feel as well as how much fatigue you feel in your extremities. On a scale of 0 – 10 the American College of Sports Medicine suggests levels to be worked at should be a “2” being light exercise, up to a “4” being more strenuous. These levels can be your target for aerobic exercise (walking, cycling, swimming, etc.).
  2. The Talk Test is probably the simplest way to measure your workout intensity. The goal is to work at a level where you can answer a question but not comfortably carry on a conversation. In other words, you are working out too hard if you have to take a breath between every word you say. You should be able to speak understandably and with mild to moderate effort.

Note: Work at an intensity that allows you to breathe comfortably during all phases of your workout. This will ensure a safe and comfortable level of exercise. If you are working too hard, lower the resistance level or slow down. If you experience dizziness or lightheadedness, you may be overexerting yourself and should slow down or stop.

TimeImage result for clock runing

How long should you exercise? Each exercise session should last 30 to 60 minutes per day most days of the week. Set aside a portion of your daily schedule to perform your walking program. One thing to consider is that smaller bouts of 10-15 minutes several times a day adds up. When walking, three sessions lasting 10 minutes each are just as beneficial as one 30-minute session.


Image result for type exerciseType

What type of exercise should you be doing? The main type of exercise for bariatric patients right after surgery is cardiovascular or aerobic exercise with the focus on walking. A few other types of aerobic exercise including cycling, swimming, or water aerobics may offer variety and / or be used in case of orthopedic limitations such as knee, hip or low back pain.

As you progress in your fitness program, adding in strengthening exercises will be very beneficial to increase lean muscle. This type of exercise is also beneficial for improving your balance by strengthening muscles that support your joints. If you are unfamiliar with safe and appropriate strengthening exercises seek out a qualified exercise professional for proper instruction.

 

source: Mercy Bariatric Center – Jefferson Home Fitness Toolkit

Disclaimer: This information provided in this content is not intended to be professional training advice. The information provided is for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen. All exercises you perform are at your own responsibility and your own risk. Heart of America Bariatrics is not liable or responsible for any injuries incurred during or after performing any exercises included in this content.

Workout Wednesday: TRX Core-blasting Workout

You know it when you feel it—when you feel strong in movement, stable when you’re trying not to and balanced in posture. It all comes from a strong core. In broad, uncomplicated terms, the “core” is everything from your hips to your armpits.

But training the core isn’t as fun as it used to be. There are too many misguided, frequently incorrect efforts to list off all the things you should avoid when training the core. You’re never supposed to crunch, you should only train anti-rotation exercises because, some espouse, rotation is “dangerous,” and you should only train the core using standing exercises. Extreme views are usually an unwise approach in life. The core is best trained with an inclusive approach and that means there are few exercises that are absolutely wrong, provided you know what you’re trying to do and how to do it.

One of your Heart of America Bariatrics Dietitian’s favorite workout equipment is the TRX. TRX is used for  suspension training winch is a strength training that uses a system of ropes and webbing called a “suspension trainer” to allow users to work against their own body weight. Suspension training is a really good way to work you core and have fun at the same time.

Follow the workout plan below to start working you core by using a  TRX Suspension Trainer:

The Plan: Perform the following six exercises two times as a circuit. These exercises are best done with time-based sets, because counting reps doesn’t fit well with the variables we are using. Start with a work-to-rest ratio of (20 seconds work:20 seconds rest.) In week two, increase work to 25 seconds. For weeks three and four, increase work to 30 seconds. Perform this circuit three to four times per week.

The Wildcard: Once per week, mix up the order of the exercises any way you like; for example, odd numbers before even, pair up exercises that add up to seven (6 and 1, 5 and 2, etc.), or in reverse order from 6 to 1, or your own fun idea.

The Exercises: The name of each exercise is followed by a parenthetical list of the variables that are challenged by each movement. Wherever you see “(2 sets)” listed, perform one set on each side before continuing to the next exercise. All of the exercises except #5 below (which is set to mid-length) use a length setting that allows you to have your feet in the foot cradles.

Exercise

Asymmetry

Stability

Mobility

Speed

1. Rocking Bicycle (alternate sides each rep)

X

X

 

X (fast)

2. Semi-tucked Knee Tuck (2 sets)

X

 

X

 
3. Pendulum Mountain Climber

X

X

 

X (fast)

4. Knee Tuck to Pike  

X

X

X (slow)

5. Standing Side Plank + Push or Chop (2 sets)

X

X

X

 
6. Hip Roll With Thread the Needle (2 sets)

X

X

X

 

Note: “Speed” as a variable could potentially be confusing. It does NOT always mean fast. “Speed” is a “rate of movement.” In the table, “slow” and “fast” refer to moving either faster or slower than the default speed you would use if no speed direction were provided.

Not included in this workout are static planks, which are typically the standard go-to for core training. Life is about movement and that’s what we are training here. Planks can be thought of as a prerequisite or stepping-stone to challenging core movement. They should not be considered as an end-point in training.

Rocking Bicycle

Rocking Bicycle

Semi-tucked Knee Tuck

Semi-tucked Knee Tuck

Pendulum Mountain Climber

Pendulum Mountain Climber

Knee Tuck to Pike

Knee Tuck to Pike

Standing Side Plank + Push or Chop

Standing Side Plank + Push or Chop

Hip Roll With Thread the Needle

Hip Roll With Thread the Needle

 

Disclaimer: This information provided in this content is not intended to be professional training advice. The information provided is for educational purposes only. Always consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning any exercise regimen. All exercises you perform are at your own responsibility and your own risk. Heart of America Bariatrics is not liable or responsible for any injuries incurred during or after performing any exercises included in this content.

Source: acefitness.org by Jonathan Ross

Workout Wednesday: Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

If you happen to be one of the people who have yet to truly commit to physical fitness, understanding the perks of physical fitness may help you dig in and go for physical fitness, starting today.

You’ll Want More

Exercise newbies have a hard time believing it, but there will come a time when you crave exercise. It may not be during those first few days or weeks, but once your body becomes fit and begins to perform the way it was built to perform, you’ll hunger to exercise every day, and you’ll give it your all once you’re working out. Miss a day in the gym or walk? You’ll feel your body craving it enough to never miss again!

Bedtime Will Be Better

This one doesn’t involve your sex life (though becoming fit will improve that as well). Rather, it’s about your sudden ability to hit the hay, fall asleep quickly, and stay asleep all night long. Just because you’re physically active!

Confidence Becomes You

When you’re not physically active, it’s impossible to feel your best. Not being physically fit leaves you feeling…well, frumpy. Get fit and watch your self-image skyrocket. Along with it, your confidence. Your confidence won’t necessarily push you into cockiness, but it will make you more enjoyable to be around, as it’s awkward to be around people who are down on themselves.

You Eat Well

Just as being physically active makes you want to workout every day, it also inspires you to want to eat well. After all, you spent all that time eating the right things to get fit. The last thing you want to do is throw it all in the trash just for the passing and momentary pleasures of two slices of pecan pie.

Showers Feel Better

Contrary to popular belief, sitting at a desk all day every day doesn’t get you dirty enough to take a shower. On the contrary, when you’re living the fit lifestyle, you’re exercising regularly, allowing sweat to cover every pore of your body. After a hard day of workout, your shower feels magical, because you actually deserve it!

 

Heavy Isn’t Heavy

Spend enough time not being fit and you may be surprised that fit folks can deal with things in life that require strength. Whether it involves carrying a baby through the grocery store, picking up a few bags of groceries, moving a pile of bricks from your truck bed to your garden, or just getting up the stairs, fitness enables you to do it with ease.

 

Your Body Functions Improve

Get active and your heart will work more efficiently. You know that. But getting fit will get your other body systems in line also. Whether you’ve been struggling to think clearly on your feet, you’ve been plagued with constipation, or you’re always out of breath, getting fit can remedy all these issues and more.

 

 

You’ll Go Shopping

You probably know people who have to upgrade their closets every few years to accommodate their ever-growing bellies. Not you. When you go fit for life, you’ll have to go shopping, but only because your waist has slimmed up and your muscles have tightened up and are now situated where they belong.

You Won’t Fear Sore

At one point in time, being sore always meant something was wrong. When you get fit, being sore (a healthy sore as a sign that you are using your muscle, not a sore as a sign of injury) is something that you welcome. After all, you know the soreness means you’re working your body in new ways that will only improve your physical fitness. If it’s a bad sore, you’ll know that also because, well, fit people know their bodies.

 

Got Stress? Get Moving!

Stressed out? Exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.

This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate. However, before you turn to chocolate and skip the gym, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run. (Hint: It’s not the chocolate!)

Resources: fastfitnessbootcamp.com

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