Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stay Active During the Holiday Season

Was just sitting at a local social spot here in Lynchburg, and I couldn't stop myself from conducting a bit of observational research.  Seated close to an entrance, I've been taking counts on the people arriving. There's a pretty even assortment of folks coming through the doors. College students, high school kids, and a wide age range of adults. Oh not to forget mentioning those super excited younglings parents have in tow.

Just watching people walk by triggered a thought about physical activity. I was shocked when I went to my phone and discovered that only 48% of adults meet the 2008 physical activity guidelines published by the CDC.

You might be reading this thinking, "Give me a break, it's the holiday season!" I understand the frustration, but did you realize that physical inactivity in adults leads to higher risks of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, some cancers, and even early death? The CDC recommends that adults (those aged 18 to 64 years) engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week(e.x. brisk walking, water aerobics, biking on level ground, doubles tennis, pushing a law mower, etc.). If you really want to follow the guidelines, engage in moderate activity for 20 minutes every day. If you find that unreasonable, try just 15 minutes a day of simple activity. Start small and work your way up to that 20 minute mark. And for those of you who are going to play the, "I don't have time," card; consider this: 20 minutes is just over 1% of your day! Don't waste time making excuses. Get active, get fit.

Contact Crosswhite Fitness for details on the new gift cards for boot camp or personal training sessions.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Great Dilemma - Thanksgiving Desserts

It's that time of year again...  Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and you are probably watching what you eat now to prevent the great gain on Turkey Day. 

Standard policy at Crosswhite Fitness say, "Stay away from after dinner sweets;" but if you find yourself confronted with the dilemma of dessert, consider these facts on Thanksgiving pies.  It might shock you that...
  • Pecan pie has 503 calories and 27g of fat per slice*.
  • Cherry pie has 486 calories and 22g of fat per slice.
  • The American standard, apple pie, has 411 calories and 19g of fat per slice.
  • Lemon meringue has 362 calories and 16g of fat in a slice.
  • Pumpkin pie contains 316 calories and 14g of fat per slice.
Of course, all these decadent treats can be toned down by substituting ingredients, but eating smart is still the best defense in the battle of the bulge.  If faced with a moment of weakness, just remember that you control what goes into your mouth!

Another simple tip, don't even consider topping off your Thanksgiving meal with dessert till at least an hour after your last bite of turkey.  This wait time will give your brain time to register that your stomach is full (making that pie less appealing).  If you really need to eat something for dessert, skip the pies and cakes and opt for fresh fruit instead!

*For info on Thanksgiving pies, click here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

These are a high spun cotton fitted shirt.  From small to XXXL.  Coming March 2

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Top 5 Fat Loss Tips

1. Combine muscle groups in an exercise to burn more calories:  The bigger the muscle you work, the more calories that will be burned.  So combining multiple muscle groups is like working one giant muscle burning much more calories.  Try implementing kettle bell swings, clean press or dead lifts.  

2. Do high intensity interval training instead of a consistent pace:  Studies have shown that sprinting and walking a mile compared to jogging a mile will burn much more calories at the same distance.  Don't waste your time and pick up the pace.

3. Eat more consistently throughout the day:  Eating smaller and more frequent meals during the day has been shown to raise metabolism over time.  This is not a myth.  If your body continually gets calories then it decides there is no reason to store some for later.  Having the same caloric intake but only through two or three meals tells your body that it's not sure when the next meal will be so storing mode (slower metabolism) gets turned on.  

4.  Leave carbs to a minimum:  Carbohydrates are the first source of energy for your body.  It's even the first source for your brain and nervous system.  However, only small amounts are needed for them to function and you can even function off other sources such as protein and fat when carbs are not present.  Try eating carbs less often such as in the mornings and before your workout when you really need the energy.  Also try filling in protein where the carbs used to be.  You will begin to fill fuller for longer without a bloating effect.  

5.  Do weight training at least 2 times per week:  Unlike the treadmill, working out with resistance such as weights will raise your basal metabolic rate for longer periods of time.  You only burn the calories when running on a treadmill during the run, but with weights you will be burning a higher calorie rate up to 36 hours later some studies have shown.  If you still want a good cardio workout just take less time between sets while adding more reps.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 6 pack wonder

There are many things you need to consider when you are trying to develop and show your abs.  This has been one of the biggest areas I have struggled with up until the last year.  They will come with time and discipline, but they will come, if done right. 

1.)    The first thing you must consider is that the actual rectus abdominis will not be seen unless you get rid of the fat on top.  Doing ab workouts alone will not do this.  You CANNOT spot reduce.  You must lower your total body fat and hope it comes off of the places you would like. The only tricks with trying to target belly fat all involve food.  The biggest one is replacing saturated fat with unsaturated.  Saturated fat is found in animals and is solid at room temp.  This would be associated in red meats, poultry, whole milk, etc.  The unsaturated fat or "good fat” is from plants and liquid at room temp.  The best kinds are olive oil and fish rich with omega-3 fats such as salmon, tilapia, tuna, etc.  There are many other benefits to switching these two kinds of fats out but I will cover that in a different note.

2.)     The second thing you must do is build up the rectus abdominis.  There will be no true 6 pack unless the abdominal muscles are pressing out against the tendons enough.  I also want to mention that the "6 pack" is not actually 6 different muscles.  It is one muscle separated by tendons as I just mentioned.  There are different ways to train abs depending on the different results you want.  Typically, when you want a slimmer look and a smaller waistline but still toned, you would want to do higher reps of failure.  For most guys that want not just a tight core but protruding abdominals, I would recommend adding some weight doing less than 20 reps to failure.  

3.)    The third thing that you must make sure to remember is to train every area of your core.  This means hitting oblique’s and serratus anterior just as hard as rectus abdominis.  This type of training is mainly done by functional training of cross motions and isometric workouts.  

4.)    Do lower abs first.  I hear more people say they struggle with lower abs more than anything.  This is the case for me as well.  I have found out that the biggest reason for this is because by the time I try to work them, I am already too tired from the other workouts which mainly target the upper portion.  Try lower abs first since they are harder to activate.  Every lower ab workout is also involving the legs.  In order to develop this section you must be involving your legs to some degree.  This can be anything from hanging leg raises on the captain’s chair to leg lifts.  I will mention to be careful of working hip flexors instead though.  This is hard to get around when working lower abs but you can get around it.  A big hint is not to keep your feet in a locked position.  Having your feet or ankles locked into place will cause your hip flexors to become activated.  So instead of moving your upper body to your feet locked into place, move your feet and legs to your upper body.  The last tip for these lower ab workouts is to keep your lower back flat.  If you can’t keep your back pressed down flat into the floor then it will be taking a lot of the pressure away from your abs.  If this happens and you are unable to correct it then get some more leverage by keeping your feet closer to your body.  The second your back starts to arc stop the workout and reposition.  

Hope this helps!

Ben Crosswhite-CrosswhiteFitness