Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Fave Holiday Foods and Fitness Moves

It’s that time of year again! The Holiday Season seems to come and go so quickly that you just have to eat all your favorite holiday foods before you have to jump back into your health and wellness routine. But have you ever thought about what you’d have to do to make up for those extra, delicious holiday calories? You may want to rethink that second helping or substitute your traditional favorites with some healthier options, once you take a look at the type of workout it takes to expend your holiday intake.

Fave Holiday Dish: Stuffing (1 cup)
Calorie Count: 352
Exercise: 35 minutes Jump Rope


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Fave Holiday Dish: Turkey and gravy
Average Serving Calorie Count: 270
Exercise: 30 minutes of Lunges

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Fave Holiday Dish: Slice of Pumpkin pie
Average Serving Calorie Count: 323
Exercise: 230 burpees

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Fave Holiday Dish: 1 Sugar Cookie
Average Serving Calorie Count: 113
Exercise: 375 Push ups

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3 Easy Core Exercises with Chris Varano

 

Strengthening your core (which includes the mid to lower section of your back and abdominal region) is important for not only your spine, stability and posture but ultimately your health and wellness. Even though this section of your body can be a difficult area to work on, with the right moves and a little motivation, you can target this area to create a positive change. Try these 3 simple exercises with a fitness ball to help you begin to tighten your core area.

A demonstration and explanation for each of the fitness ball moves can be seen in the video below.

1. Plank

2. Roll Out

3. Roll Up

 

5 Tips to Stay Fit During the Holiday

It’s that time of year again, when your regular schedule is busier and your fitness schedule gets pushed aside. You’re travelling more and time just seems to fly by so quickly. Don’t lose your new healthier lifestyle just because the holiday season has arrived. Carry your momentum through these last two, food-filled months of the year. Stay active with these 5 fit tips so you can reach your wellness and weight loss goals and create new ones for the New Year.

1) Plan Your Workout Schedule before the Holidays arrive:   What do traveling, gift shopping and exercise all have in common. They all require a pre-determined plan in order to be completed with upmost success. Before the challenge of staying active even arrives, come up with a plan of how you can combat it and be specific. What type of exercise will you do? Where will you Exercise? What equipment do you need? When will you exercise? How long will you do it for? How many days/week will you exercise?

2) Prioritize Physical Activity in your life: When times get busy, do you stop bathing? Do you stop sleeping?  Do you stop brushing your teeth? Do you stop eating? If your answer to that is no, then you probably enjoy taking care of yourself. Staying active is arguably the single best thing you can do to take care of yourself. Make it a priority to get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Even if it is broken up into three, 10 minute sessions, that is great!

If your answer is yes to the question above, then think of prioritizing physical activity as a great way to motivate yourself to bath again, sleep again and eat right again. Oh, and it might not be a bad idea to start brushing your teeth again, too.

3) Use it as a Stress Reliever: Stress is a reality in our lives, but during the holidays it’s almost inevitable. Stress is a physiological response to real situations that happen in our lives. Too much stress can cause poor decision making skills, frustration, sadness, and even anger. The great thing about exercise is that it generates a different physiological response that releases serotonin, dopamine, and other hormones that make us feel good afterwards. This results in having more clear decision making skills. What better time to start managing our positive decision making skills than during the holidays!

4) Do Body Weight Exercises: One of the easiest excuses to use when the weather gets bad is “there is nothing to do and no time to do it.” Body weight exercises are a great way to terminate that excuse. There is never a time when you don’t have access to your body. You need very little time and can use limited space. Here’s an example of a workout you could do in the convenience of your own home or even in a small hotel room, without any equipment.

Repeat these movements continuously for 10 minutes:

20 Jumping Jax

10 Body Squats

10 Push-ups against a wall or on the floor

20 Second Plank

5) Wake Up and Work Out: It is great to have intentions of doing something active. But unless it actually happens, those intentions don’t help you. In fact, those intentions can lead you to disappointment. Working out first thing in the morning is a great way to make sure you get your needed exercise for the day. After all, it is your number one priority and all you need is your body to perform it! Now that you can think more clearly and make more positive decisions, you can now more effectively execute the plans you made for the rest of your day!

Enjoy your holiday season from Hilton Head Health!

 

It’s Time to Change your Fitness Routine

It’s October! As the cool, crisp days of Autumn slowly ascend upon us we prepare for the activities and festivities that the fall and winter season bring. When we turn the clocks back next month, we’ll know the shift of seasons is official. The change of seasons often coincides with a change in our exercise routines as falling temperatures and inclement weather force us indoors. This, in fact, is a great time to bust out of the boredom that you may be experiencing with your current fitness program and try some new fitness options to challenge your body, stoke your metabolism, and reenergize your mind.TRX 300x300 Its Time to Change your Fitness Routine If you have been doing the same routine (machines, weights, cardio equipment, etc.) for an extended period of time, you may find that you have hit a weight-loss plateau. When you begin a new exercise regiment, your body feels challenged and requires energy to complete the task. However, keeping the same routine in place long-term allows your body to adapt and become more efficient at performing the work. The body eventually requires less effort and less calories to do the job. So, keeping that in mind, as you prepare to turn back your clocks consider some of the following low-impact indoor options to breathe some fresh air into your fitness routine:

  1. SPINNING (Indoor Cycling): Hopping on the bike is a fun way to fit in some exercise, with a low chance of damaging the joints. A simulation of hill climbs, intervals, quick bursts of speed on flat road or downhill, or long-sustained flat roads will make you feel as though you just completed the Tour-de-France, but without ever having to leave the gym. Complete your own spin routine or sign up for a guided class to enhance the adventure! To keep the workout as low-impact as possible, avoid standing positions for more than 1-minute intervals at a time, and use them sparingly.
  1. ROWING MACHINE: The rowing machine is a low-impact, intense and fun way to work virtually every major muscle group in your body with one machine. This workout offers significant improvement in cardiovascular function and increases muscle mass, while being performed with very little pressure on the joints.
  1. ZUMBA: This indoor workout has been taking the world by storm for nearly a decade now. The combination of upbeat music of a wide range of Latin-inspired genres with primarily low-impact moves is guaranteed to excite you and challenge you! Some Zumba instructors incorporate more low-impact moves than others so find an instructor you like and be sure to modify when you need to. For variety, find a workout facility that offers Zumba Toning, a fusion of low-impact dance cardio and light upper body and low body resistance training.
  1. BALLROOM DANCING: Take a tip from Dancing With the Stars. Not only is dancing super sexy, it’s often very easy on the body and a guaranteed great workout, while also stimulating your brain by trying something new and different. Bonus points for this workout because it also gives you some quality bonding time with your spouse or partner. So go grab your partner and give those dips, twirls, and whirls a spin!
  1. TRX: Also known as “total-body resistance exercise,” TRX is a nylon strap suspension system (invented in the Marine Corps actually!) that’s easy on the joints but a serious challenge for your whole body. Head to the nearest gym to “learn the ropes”. If you really want to dive into over 45 different exercises and levels of each exercise that can be performed with this tool, consult a TRX qualified trainer!
  1. PILATES: To date, there has never been success with high-impact sports magically giving us six-pack abs. The real way to sculpt abs and increase core strength? Just roll out the mat for a quick Pilates session to strengthen and lengthen your body, improve alignment and posture, develop breathing capacity, improve coordination and balance and increase your flexibility. Participants benefit from the deep concentration allowing them to tune into both body and mind.
  1. YOGA: It’s no tackle football, but the NFL pros are doing it. So ease up and add some spinal twists and downward dogs to that fitness routine. Research shows that yoga helps to improve flexibility, enhance self-awareness, improve lung capacity, and restore your mind-body connection.

Be sure to look at the LIVE Well package from Hilton Head Health for more information about fun, challenging fitness and wellness routines.

 

H3 Fall Fitness Routine by Chris Varano, H3 LOSE Well Coach

 

Good Weather Supports Good Health

At Hilton Head Health, we are blessed with a beautiful environment to utilize for our outdoor wellness activities. The summer months can prove to be very hot and humid making exercising indoors or in the pool a more comfortable location. Now that fall is upon us, outdoor activities utilizing the expansive landscape is encouraged to fully enjoy all the natural amenities of our ocean-front resort.

NewBeachYoga 300x300 H3 Fall Fitness Routine by Chris Varano, H3 LOSE Well Coach

Less grind. More Fun.

Running paths, local parks with exercise equipment,  yoga at the beach or in the park, paddle boarding and kayaking are just a few of the ways to enjoy a different kind of workout that breaks out of the ordinary and challenges muscles and invigorates the senses. The days are cooler, the sun lower in the sky, and the scents of fall are in the air.  The mild Fall season naturally boosts the mind and body, making health and wellness activities more effective.

beach 300x300 H3 Fall Fitness Routine by Chris Varano, H3 LOSE Well Coach

Simple Replacements Make Huge Impacts.

If exercising alone is not your thing, there are boot camps, sports teams and group bike rides to join. They are perfect for any fitness level and having a fitness “appointment” helps develop a sense of accountability. These activities reinforce that staying active and healthy doesn’t require a gym membership.

So, get some friends together, swap out the happy hour for a light activity and set those fitness goals into action.

Happy Fall!!!

 

5th Annual Devin’s Dash Memorial 5K

Despite the inclement weather, this year’s Devin’s Dash was a success! With the help of our sponsors, volunteers and race participants we raised almost $6000 for Happiness is Camping. Amazing! The overall race winner and first male was H3’s own Experience Planner Alex Santa, and the first female race was winner Kim Stanziola. The after party included fresh H3 smoothies and healthy snacks compliments of the H3 Culinary Team, great music, a raffle drawing for the amazing prizes donated by our sponsors, and of course, post-race stretching to prevent any injuries. The official Devin’s Dash Page is here http://www.h3daily.com/devinsdash/ to see the prizes, more race results and sponsors. If you missed this year’s Devin’s Dash Memorial 5K Run/Walk held at Hilton Head Health, here’s a quick photo recap.

DD4 300x300 5th Annual Devins Dash Memorial 5K
 5th Annual Devins Dash Memorial 5K
 5th Annual Devins Dash Memorial 5K
 5th Annual Devins Dash Memorial 5K
Devin’s Dash is one of our favorite races and events on Hilton Head Island, and we’re so proud to host it! We thank all of those who participated, and hope that we see you all again next year!

 

How to do the Perfect Plank

At Hilton Head Health, we love to incorporate planks into the workout routines and fitness classes for our Guests. The plank has become one of the most popular exercises improving multiple elements of physical fitness and your general well-being with different variations that can be done pretty much anywhere. It’s a great exercise that you can easily fit into any workout routine!

5 of the many benefits of planks are:

-           Develop core muscles (including back, abs, hips and glutes)

-           Improve Core strength and stability

-           Encourage good posture

-           Help prevent back injuries

-           Build upper body strength

How to Do a Basic Elbow Plank:

1.       Get face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.

2.       Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.

3.       Contract your abs to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.

4.       Keep your back flat — don’t drop it or you’ll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long straight board, or plank.

5.       Hold as long as you can. Aim for 20-30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute, as you get stronger.

 

I’m Tired of Fitness Models Trying to Motivate Me!

InsidePhoto 300x242 I’m Tired of Fitness Models Trying to Motivate Me!

I’ve made peace with the ubiquitous, stork-like representations of women that seemingly glow with flawlessness. Despite attempts for normalcy like the Dove Real Beauty Campaign, I still don’t see images in magazines or on billboards that look remotely like me. Somehow, I’ve acquired a discreet acceptance with this strange injustice. I know my acquiescence may sound like giving up or turning a blind eye, but really, it’s more about where I want to focus my energy. Instead of fighting an obstinate fashion community, I’d rather help women tap into gratitude for their unique, loyal body.

Recently however, my truce with the media has been threatened. It’s difficult enough being inundated with images of unblemished waifs, but now a new unsavory trend has emerged. Glistening fitness models with full chests and six-packs are being used to sell the idea of wellness and health, and serve as fitness motivation.

The unfairness of this practice gets my dander up for a myriad of reasons. Instead of motivating women to workout, images of fitness perfection can leave women feeling that their present workout regimen is inadequate. Comparing yourself to others is an unfortunate reflex. It’s like scratching a bug bite. We try not to do it but we just can’t help ourselves. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocuous habit can put our much cherished motivation in peril. When engaging in comparisons, it’s usually our exercise efforts that take the hardest blow. Images like the one above feel like the first punch.

For most, becoming as fit as the models portrayed in these pithy little fitness motivation photos is just as unobtainable as having the 5’11”, 117-pound perfect body of a supermodel. Yet, their message implies that with enough willpower and determination you can achieve it. They want me to believe that they represent the image of fitness and that my power-walk just isn’t going to cut it.

To all of my Hilton Head Health buddies, help me fight back! Let’s show the world what real bodies look like getting fit. Not the before and after, just the “I’m exercising now and feel good doing it” photo. Whether it be a picture of you at H3 during one of our programs, excursions and activities, or just getting fit at home, we’d love for you to share! Add your motivational one-liner if you want. Share this blog and post your photo in the comments. Let’s show the world what real fitness and motivation looks like! Be your own fitness motivation model!EndPhoto 300x225 I’m Tired of Fitness Models Trying to Motivate Me!

 

H3 Quick HIIT Workout Routine

When making the choice to exercise, always choose quality over quantity! This is an important concept we convey to our Guests here at Hilton Head Health. We offer 50 different fitness classes and fitness activities that are designed to give our Guests the most out their workout and help them form a successful workout routine at home. HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a great way to get the most out of your workout, as it burns more calories and more fat faster!

For today’s HIIT Workout Routine here on our blog, do each of the 4 exercise shown in the video for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest in between each exercise. Complete 8 rounds of each exercise for the full HIIT workout routine.

1. Jump Rope

2. High Knees

3. Skiers

4. Jumping Jacks

 

10 Tips to Step-Up Your Walking Workout

It’s no secret that walking is one of the very best forms of aerobic exercise that we can do. At Hilton Head Health, we often incorporate all kinds of walking into our Guests fitness routines. Whether it be walking on the beach, walking in between fitness classes or just walking around the beautiful grounds, we love to walk with our Guests! The health benefits are numerous, including reducing cholesterol, as well as the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure, and it can significantly improve cardiovascular fitness and blood circulation. Simply put, it is what we are designed to do! It is one exercise you never have to worry about overdoing and the risk of injury is quite low.

Walk8 281 300x300 10 Tips to Step Up Your Walking Workout

However, when using walking as part of your aerobic fitness plan, it is important to remember that the quality of your walk is what determines the results you can achieve.

Here are 10 tips to maximize your walking workout:

1. Set Goals. You can use goals such as time or distance to inspire you. Try adding one minute of high intensity effort for every three minutes of moderate intensity. Or look for an object in the distance, such as a sign, a bench or a street corner and speed up your pace until you reach it. Also, make a plan for how many times a week you want to get out and complete your walk. Whether it be every morning, 3 mornings a week, after lunch every day, etc. and be sure you stick to it!

2. Maintain good posture. Keep your back straight, your chin up and your shoulders aligned over your hips. When your body is in proper alignment it allows your back and butt muscles to engage more powerfully, which can increase your speed and calorie burn. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in to help protect your back, and to keep you from rounding forward.

3. Use Your Arms. Vigorously pumping your arms can help you walk faster and burn more calories. Be mindful to keep your arms close to your body, strike slightly above your heart, and maintain a controlled movement to avoid excess strain on your back and shoulders. And contrary to popular belief, we encourage you to avoid hand weights. This is particularly important if you have a bad back or joint problems. Using hand weights can cause stress injuries to your arm muscles and joints. Just making light fists with your hands will contract the arm muscles for an added toning effect and a little extra calorie burn. And under no circumstances should you walk with weights around your ankles, as this significantly increases the potential for knee injury.

4. Motivate yourself with music or a workout buddy. Playing upbeat music can make exercise feel more like fun than work.  People who listen to music tend to walk longer than those who don’t.  Just remember to be cautious of how loud your music is.  You want to be able to stay aware of your surroundings and avoid dangerous situations.

During both our weight loss program and wellness program, we encourage having someone in your life to motivate you and keep you accountable. Walking with a partner can be a great motivational tool. You can keep each other on track and inspired! But walking with a buddy has its drawbacks as well. Statistically, walking with a partner decreases your walking pace, sometimes significantly. Typically, this is due to the conversation that is taking place! Here are a couple of tips to keep in mind while walking with a partner:

A. Walk with someone who keeps a similar pace with you.
B. Try to keep conversation to a minimum! You can try to walk in one direction with no conversation and talk on the way back or vice versa! Or do your walk without talking and take turns meeting at each other’s house afterward for a quick cup of coffee to catch up.
C. Be prepared to walk on your own when your buddy is not available. Solo walking is a great way to clear your mind and relax!

5. Avoid eating or drinking too much before your walk. It can slow you down and/or give you cramps. If you have just had a large meal it can interfere with the digestive process and double the workload on the heart. You may need to wait up to 2 hours before you can walk comfortably.

6. Get Outside. People who walk outside are more likely to stick to their exercise regiment. Being outdoors can be a meditative experience, allowing you to clear your mind and lower stress levels. A change of scenery is a great boredom buster as well. Additionally, people who walk outside tend to walk longer than those on treadmills. Try using an app, such as “mapmywalk,” to create new routes and track accurate distance.

7. Use a pedometer and track your progress. Journal your activity each day (type, time and distance) and then challenge yourself to improve in the next workout. Heading out the door with the goal to improve can help you increase your number of strides and the length of time you spend exercising.

8. Check your intensity. A heart-rate monitor is an excellent way to determine how hard you’re working. It can ‘coach’ you to pick up the pace if you are slowing down or reduce the pace if you are working too hard. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, refer to your pedometer. Keep in mind that 2,000 steps is equal to about 1 mile and you should aim to cover that in about 15 minutes time on average. Walk with a sense of purpose and determination!

9. Stride matters. Proper use of your feet makes all the difference. Try rolling through from the heel of the foot to the toes and pushing off just as you get to the ball of your foot and big toe, allowing your ankle to work through a complete range of motion. This will help to recruit the calves, hamstrings and gluteals effectively. The more muscles you use, the more calories you burn!

10. Add some fitness moves. To beat boredom and increase metabolism, try adding a variety of movements into your walking workout. Consider push-ups on a bench, walking lunges, short bursts of jogging, jumping jacks, walking sideways, triceps dips on a bench, knee raises – the list goes on! Be creative – have a list of activities in mind and perform one of them every 5 minutes. This helps to involve a variety of muscles, expend more calories and make the time go by very quickly!

 

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