Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

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!


3 Moves for Killer Legs & Glute

At Hilton Head Health, we offer over 50 different fitness classes to help our Guests achieve their weight loss and wellness goals, and live a healthier lifestyle. One thing that we like to remind our Guests of is that you don’t need expensive equipment to get a good workout. Today we’re going featuring 3 simple moves that make a great leg and glute workout!

1. Squat and Lift

2. Curtsy – Side Lunge

3. Fingertap

We hope that you enjoy this leg and glute workout! What’s your favorite move?


H3 Stability Ball Routine

We want to create new and exciting fitness classes that are fun and challenging for our Guests during their weight loss program and wellness program here at Hilton Head Health. We’ve found that one source of discouragement and a major deterrence from achieving weight loss goals and wellness endeavors is boredom. By keeping a fresh and varied fitness and exercise regiment, you can keep mind focused and stay motivated toward reaching and maintaining a healthier lifestyle. Try to infuse new types of equipment and different variations to your everyday exercises. The more you change up your workout routine and challenge yourself, the more rewarding each workout will become. Here’s a  5 move, full body stability ball routine.

1. Squat

2. Split Squat

3. Push up

4. Crunch

5. Plank

Tell us what you do to keep yourself enthused about working out? Do you ever use a stability ball yourself?


Exercise is great, but can you over do it?

Moderationiskey8 8 300x300 Exercise is great, but can you over do it?

Exercise: Planned and purposeful physical activity that challenges the physiology of the human body.

Like eating vegetables, everyone knows that having a helping of exercise daily is good for us. Unlike vegetables, however, too much exercise may not necessarily be a good thing. Here at Hilton Head Health, when it comes to implementing exercise into a healthy lifestyle, we believe that quality is always more important than quantity. During our weight loss program and wellness program we offer our Guests over 50 different fitness classes as well as fitness adventures to help improve fitness, as well as help with weight loss and wellness. However, we also understand that moderation is key.

Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “No I need quantity. I need to burn as many calories as I can as quickly as I can to shed all of this weight off”. If you’re thinking like that, listen carefully. If you’re not thinking like that, good for you and continue reading to find out why you should be proud of yourself. Regardless of what you’re thinking right now, the point is that quality is more important than quantity.

When we exercise, we are essentially damaging our bodies. Luckily the human body does an amazing thing and it heals itself! Not only that, but when we challenge our physiology the way we typically do when we exercise, the human body does more than just heal itself. It makes itself even better! It does this so that the next time it is challenged in the same way, it will be able to accomplish that task more efficiently. Like mankind inventing the wheel, your body has the ability re-invent itself in new ways in order to make your life easier.

In order for these physiological adaptations to happen, your body needs proper nutrition and time to recover. It is not uncommon for people (especially those on a weight-loss journey) to not only overexercise, but also to skip meals. However, remember exercise is technically damage. Imagine that your cells and hormones are like little engineers and construction workers in your body. When you exercise, you are bulldozing old structures to make way for newer better structures. When we fuel ourselves with proper nutrition we are supplying our engineers and construction workers with tools to re-design and re-construct. So combine constant bulldozing with minimal new supplies. All that gets you is a giant junkyard. What does that mean for the human body? Injury! Overexercise (A.K.A. too much quantity = injury). When we reach this point, we not only have to re-design and re-construct; we also have a lot of cleaning up to do before we can even start. This clean up that results from injury will slow you down with your health and wellness goals. So while quantity may sound appealing at first, it may be counter productive in your healthy lifestyle endeavors.

Well now exercise seems like a bad thing. I don’t want to injure myself. What should I do?

The American College of Sports Medicine (The Golden Standard) recommends that we aspire to reach 5 or more days/week of 30-60 minutes/day of quality exercise. This 30-60 minutes is your time to challenge yourself. This is your time to bulldoze the parts of yourself that you don’t want anymore. Make these workouts count! During the times you are not exercising, be sure to get in a quality breakfast, lunch and dinner sprinkled with a few healthy snacks in between. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep. And be sure to include stretching, rolling out and massage as a priority in your healthy lifestyle. These times of eating right, sleeping well and relaxing are the times that your body’s construction workers and engineers need in order to  re-design and recreate a better you.

Keep in mind that rebuilding a city does not happen over night. Neither does changing your body. Work interdependently as a team with your body in order to make the most amazing city you’ve ever lived in! Make your city a quality city, not a junkyard!

Remember, moderation is always key!


How To Stretch Your Back to Strengthen Your Wellness

At Hilton Head Health, we offer a weight loss program and wellness program that educates our Guests on the importance of listening to their bodies as we help them create their health and wellness path and reach their weight loss goals. When our Guests pay attention to what their bodies are telling them, a new or improved workout regiment can be much more effective in bringing postive fitness and health results rather than worsening pre-existing conditions or issues. Today, we’ll talk specifically about the importance of maintaining a  properly stretched back in order to help strengthen overall physical wellness, which will in turn help contribute to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle.

A strong, flexible back is a crucial component to good posture, increased metabolism, improvement in bending and prevention of aches, pains and serious injury. Your back muscles help to stabilize your torso and to hold your body upright and forward, making it easier to walk and run in proper form.  The back is one of the most injury-prone parts of the body.  Stretching your back regularly helps to keep your muscles flexible and supple.  The types of stretches you choose, however, can make the difference between improving back health and exacerbating back pain.

One of the most classic and common stretches, the toe-touch, may actually be one stretch you should be avoiding.  In this particular movement the lower back is forcibly stretched, stressing the vertebrae and discs, and you can actually strain the back and the hamstrings.  It may compress the discs in your spinal column and actually push them toward the nerve canal.

To improve this stretch, you can try to focus on rolling the spine forward and back up instead of staying completely rounded throughout the movement, to ensure the vertebrae articulate in a graceful, flowing manner.  Avoid flattening the back or forcing the fingertips towards the floor, to a point that exceeds a reasonable and pain-free range of motion.

Consider an alternate stretch altogether, such as a back rotation stretch.  This is a gentle, but effective movement where lower back muscles are gently and gradually elongated.  The abdominal muscles support the back throughout the movement, the oblique muscles are activated and strengthened and the hamstrings are disengaged.

To perform this stretch:

  1. Sit on the floor or a table with your back straight, knees bent, and feet resting on your heels.  Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pulled back gently.
  2. Contract your abdominals and rotate left as far as you can go.  Do this 4 or 5 times until you feel loosened up.  When you’re ready, rotate again and then flex your body forward, leaning your elbow towards the surface you’re sitting on.  Avoid pulling on your head with your hands.
  3. Hold for 1-2 seconds, and then return to an upright position.  Work one side at a time, doing 10 repetitions on the left, then 10 on the right.

BackStretch1 300x300 How To Stretch Your Back to Strengthen Your Wellness


Preform this stretch frequently to experience the positive weight loss and wellness related benefits.

What’s your favorite stretch that you learned during your experience with weight loss program and wellness program? If you haven’t made it to Hilton Head Health just yet, what are some of your favorite stretches to do on your own?


Fitness Friday: The H3 Wave Plank

At Hilton Head Health weight loss camp and health spa, we help our guests achieve their weight loss and wellness goals by creating a personalized weight loss program and wellness program for a healthier, better lifestyle through fitness, cooking classesnutrition education and stress management. While all these factors are important in helping our Guests with their individualized weight loss goals and new wellness paths, we also want our Guests to have fun while they reach their goals and carve out their new paths. Adding an extra element of fun not only helps vary workouts to make them more challenging, but it helps make the entire experience that much more enjoyable. After all, your trip to our weight loss camp and health spa is a fun getaway!

Following an interval training workout earlier this week, our Guests participated in what we like to call the “Wave Plank”. It’s just like “the wave” you see or do at a sporting event but there’s a little twist. Our Guests did the wave while posed in plank position! Not only is this a fun way to mix up a sometimes monotonous exercise, but adding the extra movement of lifting ones arms can help strengthen the core and make the workout that much more effective.



Fitness Friday: H3 TRX Workout

Here at Hilton Head Health, we strive to provide the  most challenging and exciting workout routines to help our Guests reach their personal weight loss and wellness goals with our weight loss program and wellness program. When you try new fitness equipment and throw in different variations to your normal routine,  it can help you stay motivated to keep up your new, healthy lifestyle. Today, we have a full body TRX workout to help you get one step closer to your fitness, weight loss and wellness goals.

For the best results, perform 3 sets of 15 reps of each exercise.

1. Squat – Lower Body

2. Row – Upper Body

3. Lunge  - Lower Body

4. Push up – Upper Body

5. Sit ups / Planks – Core

Here’s a video to show you the best techniques for each exercise using the TRX straps.

We hope that you enjoy your TRX workout! What was your favorite new workout that you tried at Hilton Head Health during your stay participating in our weight loss program or wellness program?


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