Archive for July, 2011

Workout Not Working?

July 27, 2011

Who has time to waste on ineffective, risky exercises? Not you. So ditch these nine moves that may not deliver the results you want — and may even cause injury.

 

#1: Lat Pull-down Behind the Head

The problem: Only people with very mobile shoulder joints can keep their spines straight enough to do this exercise properly. So the move — done wrong — can lead to shoulder impingement or worse, a tear in the rotator cuff. And if the bar hits the back of the neck, it could injure cervical vertebrae.

 A Safer Lat Pull-down
On the pull–down machine, lean back a few degrees, use a wider–than–shoulder grip, and bring the bar down in front of your body to the breastbone, pulling shoulder blades down and together. Contract your abdominals to stabilize the body, and avoid using momentum to swing the bar up and down. The lat pull–down works the muscles of the upper back.

 #2: Military Press Behind the Head
This shoulder move, in which you lift weights or a barbell up and down behind the head, can cause the same problems as the lat pull–down behind the head.

A Safer Military Press
A safer shoulder alternative: When doing the military press, keep the bar or dumbbells in front of your head. Stand with the weight no lower than the collarbone and keep your upper body upright. The exercise can also be done seated. Always sit straight against a back support, and keep the natural curve in your spine, with upper back and glutes pressed to the chair.

#3: Upright Row
The problem: Pulling weights, a barbell, or a weighted cabled bar up under your chin is a big no-no because it can compress the nerves in the shoulder area, impinging the shoulder.

Safer Alternative to the Upright Row

Instead of doing an upright row, work your shoulders with a front or lateral shoulder raise, lifting weights out to the front or side of the body.

#4: Lying Leg Press with Knees Bent Too Deeply

From a reclining position, you push the plate up and bring it down in this common exercise to work the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. The problem comes when you bend your legs too far — past a 90-degree angle — which can hurt your back and knees.

Leg Press: Safer Moves

If you want to do a lying leg press, keep your butt from rotating off the back of the machine, and don’t bend past 90 degrees at the knee.

#5: Squats on the Smith Machine

The problem: The bar on the machine doesn’t give, which can force the body into risky positions. Plus, people tend to put their feet farther in front of their bodies when doing squats on the machine, which makes matters worse.

Squats: A Safer Alternative

It’s not necessary to use weights when doing a squat, but if you keep good form, adding weight will intensify the move. Standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, slowly lower your body, back straight. Move the hips back as if you are going to sit in a chair. Try to maintain your weight directly over your feet, keeping heels on the floor. Lower yourself to about a 90 degree bend in the knee. Slowly return to a standing position.

#6: Using Bad Form on Cardio Machines

The problem: Hunching over or using a death-grip on the handrail cheats your body and can throw off your alignment, jarring your spine, shoulders, and elbows.

Better Technique on Cardio Machines

Don’t set the incline or resistance so high that it causes you to hang on to the machine too tightly. Use a natural gait with a light grip. For a more challenging workout, hold on lightly with one hand and move the other arm, switching arms periodically. And save the reading for after your workout so you can focus on good form.

#7: Exercises Done with Goal of Spot Reduction

People who do strengthening and toning exercises in an effort to trim fat from a certain area — thighs, hips, stomach, or arms — have the wrong idea. Although these exercises can help firm muscles, if the targeted area still carries an extra layer of fat, it won’t look much different. You can’t isolate fat loss to one part of the body.

Effective Ways to Reshape Your Body

Cardiovascular exercise will torch calories, but resistance training is a big part of the equation if you want to burn fat. Boosting your muscle mass increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories all the time, even when you’re not working out.

# 8: Always Lifting with a Weight Belt

The problem: Too many people wear weight belts too often. Unless you have a back injury or other medical reason — or are lifting a lot of weight — the weight belt may let your core muscles slack off — and you need your core muscles all the time in everyday life.

The solution: Back off the weight belt unless it’s necessary.

#9: Any Exercise Done Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Even if you’re doing everything else right, your efforts can be undermined by improper footwear. Working out with the wrong shoes increases pounding on the joints, and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis or tendinitis.

Shoe Solution

The key, experts say, is to choose a shoe that is specific to your activity and that suits your particular foot. They recommend shopping at stores specializing in athletic shoes, where you can seek advice from a knowledgeable salesperson. And don’t forget to replace your shoes when they show signs of wear.

At Coffs Coast Health Club we are advocates of healthy fitness practices.  If you ever have any questions or feedback we are hear to listen.

The above information comes was sourced from http://www.webmd.com. 
Visit their website for all things more information about health issues.

Should You Exercise When You’re Sick?

July 19, 2011
Have you been down with either a cold or flu  or know of someone who has?  This winter, here on the Mid North Coast, is seems as if there has been an epidemic of flu & viruses affecting our community.
Often we are asked is it okay to exercise when feeling unwell?  This article gives useful information about when & when not to exercise.
The Coffs Coast Health Club is about fitness & health–our main goal is helping  clients develop healthy lifestyles & fitness to get them through all seasons and stages of life.  
You’re not feeling your best. Should you exercise when sick or sit this one out? 
How to make the call.
By Denise Mann
WebMD Feature

You have been so great about your new exercise routine, rarely missing a day since you started up again. Then all of a sudden you are waylaid by a cold or flu.
What should you do? Should you skip the treadmill or forsake that Pilates class for a late afternoon nap? Will it be hard to get started again if you skip a day or two?

Exercising When Sick: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

The answer depends on what ails you, experts tell WebMD. For example, exercising with a cold may be OK, but if you’ve got a fever, hitting the gym is a definite no-no.
Fever is the limiting factor, says Lewis G. Maharam, MD, a New York City-based sports medicine expert. “The danger is exercising and raising your body temperature internally if you already have a fever, because that can make you even sicker,” he tells WebMD. If you have a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, sit this one out.

Maharam’s rule of thumb for exercising when sick?  “Do what you can do, and if you can’t do it, then don’t,” he says. “Most people who are fit tend to feel worse if they stop their exercise, but if you have got a bad case of the flu and can’t lift your head off the pillow, then chances are you won’t want to go run around the block.”
Personal trainer and exercise physiotherapist Geralyn Coopersmith, MA, CSCS, senior manager of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute in New York, has this to add: “The general rule is that if it is just a little sniffle and you take some medications and don’t feel so sick, it’s OK to work out. But if you have any bronchial tightness, it’s not advisable to be working out.”
You really need to know your limits, she says. “If you are feeling kind of bad, you may want to consider a walk instead of a run. Take the intensity down or do a regenerative activity like yoga or Pilates because if you don’t feel great, it may not be the best day to do your sprints,” says Coopersmith, the author of Fit and Female: The Perfect Fitness and Nutrition Game Plan for Your Unique Body Type.

“A neck check is a way to determine your level of activity during a respiratory illness,”
adds Neil Schachter, MD, medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. “If your symptoms are above the neck, including a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and tearing eyes, then it’ OK to exercise,” he says. “If your symptoms are below the neck, such as coughing, body aches, fever, and fatigue, then it’s time to hang up the running shoes until these symptoms subside.”

How Long Will You Be Sidelined?

An uncomplicated cold in an adult should be totally gone in about seven days, says Schachter, the author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu.
A flu that develops complications such as bronchitis or sinusitis can last two weeks, he says. “The symptoms of cough and congestion can linger for weeks if not treated.” In general, the flu, even if uncomplicated, can make you feel pretty rotten for 10 days to two weeks.

Prevention Prescription

The best way to avoid the problem is not to get sick in the first place.
Exercise in general can help boost your body’s natural defenses against illness and infection, Schachter says. “Thirty minutes of regular exercise three to four times a week has been shown to raise immunity by raising levels of T cells, which are one of the body’s first defenses against infection. However, intense 90-minute training sessions like those done by elite athletes can actually lower immunity.”

Gym Etiquette When Exercising With a Cold

It’s one thing if you decide to exercise when sick, but how do you keep from spreading it to others in the gym? And what about you if they are the ones exercising with a cold?
“Be careful that you are not blowing your nose constantly. And you should be using a towel and putting it down on every surface you touch and wiping it off when you are done,” says Equinox’s Coopersmith.
“The value of hand washing cannot be overstated,” Schachter says. “I recommend washing hands before and after using the restroom, before meals, after using public transportation, and after returning home from school or work.”
Also carry alcohol-based hand sanitizer gel in your gym bag to use when you realize that you have come into contact with someone who is sneezing or coughing.

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/exercising-when-sick

French Onion Soup in support of Tour de France!

July 14, 2011

We at the Coffs Coast Health Club love to support sporting events from all over the world.  So in support of France’s famous Tour De France, let’s have some French Onion Soup. 
Great for this chilly time of the year too. 

Healthy French Onion Soup

 

1 Reviews 4.5

From:  The Diabetes DTour Diet — Free Preview

Ingredients
Serves: 8  Prep: 15min Cook: 30min Total: 45min
NOTE: Ingredients for a changed serving size are based on a calculation and are not reviewed by the author or tested. Please also consider scaling up or down cooking containers as needed.
Directions
  1. Preheat the broiler. Heat a pot over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat for 1 minute. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaves, and salt. Stir. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until the onions are uniformly browned and softened. Reduce the heat if needed to keep the onions from browning too fast.
  2. Add the wine or 1/2 cup broth and turn the heat to high. Cook at a brisk simmer for 3 minutes, or until the wine evaporates. Add the broth and the water. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaves.
  3. Place a half slice of toast in the bottom of each of 4 wide, heatproof bowls. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon flaxseed over each toast half. Ladle in the soup. Top each bowlful with 3 half slices of cheese.
  4. Broil 6 inches from the heat source for 1 minute or until the cheese is bubbly and light golden brown. Watch very carefully so the cheese does not burn. Season to taste with pepper.

Nutritional Facts per serving
CALORIES 320.6 CAL
FAT 14.9 G
SATURATED FAT 4.7 G
SODIUM 359 MG
CARBOHYDRATES 27.9 G
TOTAL SUGARS 8.6 G
DIETARY FIBER 5 G
PROTEIN 12.9 G                               Recipe sourced from: http://recipes.prevention.com

Know your body to eat less

July 8, 2011

How Fit is YOUR Family?

July 4, 2011

At Coffs Coast Health Club we are passionate about healthy lifestyles for the entire family!

Did you know that families that eat together & exercise together have a higher success rate of raising healthy, fit children?  You as parents are setting valuable lessons for your children just by doing these  two things-eating & exercising as a “family”.

So during these school holidays get out there with your kids and show them that they can exercise with their parents and siblings and have fun.  It really is a win-win situation for all.

Remember at Coffs Coast Health Club we are here for YOU, so if you have any questions or suggestions just let us know.
Your club, mixing fitness & fun!

This short quiz will open your eyes to how fit your family really is plus give you useful advice on how to improve.
Take 2 minutes and you might just learn a little bit about your family.
Raising Fit Kids…How Fit is YOUR Family?