Tag: burn fat

5 Ways to Fight Stress and Burn Fat

Your body is meant to protect you, but when it’s constantly on alert, your health can pay the price. Controlling your stress on a daily basis is important for your well-being and can help you burn fat.
When you are stressed your body produces the hormone “cortisol.” Excess cortisol can produce weight gain, specifically in the abdominal area. If not managed, your long term health can be at great risk.
Try these 5 things to help manage your stress and fight off that unwanted belly fat.

  1. TAKE A LUNCH BREAK. Don’t just keep working while you scarf down a healthy salad at your desk. Read a book; take a walk, or a try a new restaurant. Giving your brain a break will allow you to be more productive.
  2. TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE. I know this can be tough, but turning your phone off at night will allow you get a restful night of sleep. I know you want to check your blackberry at 2am, but don’t. It will stress you out. Turn the thing off. It’s good for you.
  3. TREAT YOURSELF TO A MASSAGE. Massage can be a great way to unwind. Not only is it great for your muscles, but also it can clear your mind and give you time to yourself.
  4. EXERCISE. Move your body! 20 minutes of moderate exercise will help the brain better cope with stress plus improve your overall health.
  5. LAUGH. Laughter is the purest form of human expression that transcends all ages, castes, creeds, religions, and differences. It truly is the best medicine and can cure stress and anxiety.

Break-FAST, Rev Up Your Fat Burning Machine!

You know the how the saying goes, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” It’s true. Studies show that eating breakfast can dramatically help a person lose weight and/or maintain a slim figure. Now, this doesn’t mean you get to order that tasty pastry at Starbucks or eat a bowl full of sugary cereal. What you choose for breakfast will make a huge difference in your overall health and how your body will burn fat.

After fasting all night, breakfast will kick start your metabolism and give you long lasting energy if you choose the right foods such as whole grains, fruits, non-fat Greek yogurt, eggs, etc. Watch out for foods loaded with refined sugars! These foods offer little nutritional value and will cause your blood sugar to rise and fall very quickly. Leaving you feeling tired and hungry, and in my case, cranky. No bueno.

The sooner you eat, the sooner your body will become a fat burning machine. Yes please! Here is one of my favorite recipes for guys and gals who tell me you do not want to wake up 10 minutes early to prepare breakfast.

Oatmeal While You Sleep
This recipe uses steel cut oats and a slow cooker; assemble the ingredients before bed and breakfast will be waiting for you in the morning.

Ingredients
1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped apple
4 cups water
½ cup non-fat or low-fat milk
¼ – ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds or pecans make a great addition)

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients, except the nuts, in a slow cooker and set to low heat.
  2. Cover the slow cooker and let cook for 8-9 hours overnight.
  3. In the morning, stir the oatmeal and add the nuts.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

If you would like more ideas for a healthy, fat-burning breakfast, please contact personal fitness trainer Stephanie Weishaar.

Make Changes that Lead to Success in the First 90 Days

Many gym goers fall out of exercising within their first 90 days of joining a gym or starting a new exercise routine. One of the biggest reasons people stop exercising is because they do not have a very structured workout and/or do not know where to start with their exercising. A new and very beneficial program offered here at the Seattle Athletic Club Downtown is called “The First 90 Days of Fitness”. It’s a structured introduction to fitness involving meeting with a nutritionist to get your diet analyzed in order to meet the demands of exercising; three consultations with fitness trainer where you get measurements and body fat taken and then training session. The Fitness trainers can also get set up on a structured workout program called ActivTrax.

If you are looking for a little more structure to your workout program, there is also our 12 week Evolve program; offering personal training twice a week, fitness assessments, 5 nutritional consultations, two RMR (resting metabolic rate) tests, a shopping trip to your favorite store, educational literature each week.

One of the club’s members, Chris Davidson, has been on this program and just completed his first 90 days of fitness. During his final assessment he was pleased to find out that he had lost 7.6 lbs of fat while gaining a considerable amount of muscle and strength. The major contributing factors to his fitness achievements were that he was at the SAC every day working out or playing racquetball; and that he exercised with a workout partner. This is just one of many success stories at the club. Fitness success is more attainable if you have a structured workout routine and with someone there to keep you accountable, whether it’s a Pilates instructor, personal trainer or workout partner.

Why Strength Train

The goal of strength training isn’t always to be Hulk Hogan, sometimes it’s to “tone up” or keep your muscles strong for sport. Whatever the case may be there are plenty of reasons for strength training;

  1. Increase in muscle mass. This isn’t just great because you look beefy or toned, it’s great because increasing your body’s muscle mass essentially increases your ability to burn calories. The extra muscle fibers will burn more calories than fat, that’s just by having them, they can burn even more when they contract!
  2. Strong joints. Increasing your muscle mass also helps to maintain strong joints. Increasing joint strength means less injuries, better range of motion, and keeps you pain free.
  3. Bone density. By increasing the weight of our bodies and pushing against the floor our bodies will naturally increase bone density. So it’s not only for muscles!
  4. Improve posture. Loading the body while going through a full range of motion will force you to use core muscles to keep good posture and to achieve the full movement of the exercise.
  5. It’s fun! Pushing yourself and being able to lift heavy weights can be not only challenging but fun. It’s surprising what your body can achieve given a little bit of stimulus.

The reasons to strength train are vast. The best thing about strength training is that it keeps you lean, keeps your strong, and keeps you healthy. If you are a marathon runner, the more muscle fibers you have in your legs the easier it will be for you to run up hill and the more endurance you will have over all because there is more muscle mass to help you move. So it helps greatly in all aspects of your life, sport, general fitness, longevity, and a higher metabolism. So if it’s been a while since you’ve pumped some iron, get yourself back in the gym, pick up something heavy and see what kind of goals you can accomplish! If you have any questions about strength training or ways of starting please contact the Seattle Athletic Club’s fitness director Jacob Galloway.