Burning Fat Is Where Its At!

A recent question posted to the Health/Science writer at The Boston Globe has prompted me to cover an often confusing issue regarding burning fat via cardiovascular exercise. Do you burn more fat when exercising at a lower heart rate, and hence lower intensity, versus exercising at a high heart rate/intensity? As Judy Foreman so expertly puts it- NO! Years ago, fitness instructors and fitness enthusiasts began focusing on low intensity, low heart rate exercise as a”fat burning” regimen. The theory- misinterpreted as it was- was that you can burn MORE fat at lower intensities than at high intensities, thus making low intensity exercise ideal for people trying to reduce body fat. The truth is that what really detemines effective weight […]

Continue Reading

Walking Your Way to Good Health

A recent research study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise proved once again that walking can be an excellent way for many of us to stay in shape and reduce our risk of deadly diseases like diabetes and heart disease. 80 women between the ages of 40 and 66 participated in the study, which looked at the correllation between obesity and daily walking and activity measured by using a pedometer. The study showed that middle aged women who took at least 10,000 steps a day averaged 26% bodyfat, an admirably low measurement, compared to inactive women who took less than 6000 steps a day and had, on average, 44% bodyfat- placing them in the very obese category. […]

Continue Reading

Survey Says… Results of “How Often You Weigh Yourself” Poll

Several weeks ago I wrote an opinion piece on how often to weigh yourself. Since then, I polled 30 clients and friends, asking them “How often do you weigh yourself? Is the scale motivating or depressing? Do you consider yourself overweight, just right, or just out of shape?” Of the 26 respondents, here are the results: 7 weigh themselves daily or every other day. Of these respondents, all considered themselves overweight, and 2 actually found the weigh- ins depressing . The other 5 found it motivating, as they were on “diets” and were feeling successful. 9 weighed themselves once a week, and most felt it was motivating, but all made the comment that it was only motivating when the scale […]

Continue Reading

Pre-season Conditioning for High School Athletes

Gone are the good old days when high school athletes showed up for a fall sport after spending a summer of fun and sun. High school sports are big business now, and the pressure to win and to excel as an athlete is greater than ever. To some degree, I long for the good old days, as the pressure on these young athletes is often way too much for most of them. However, we have learned so much about the importance of pre-season sport-specific conditioning as a preventative measure to reduce sports injuries and heat induced illnesses, that this topic warrants an in depth conversation.  Any high school athlete playing a fall sport will be exercising in heat at some […]

Continue Reading

Weighing Yourself- Does It Help Or Hurt?

How often do you weigh yourself? I ask my clients this question quite frequently, and the answers vary so greatly, it amazes me. Some people- both women and men- get on the scale daily- others refuse to get on at all. What is really best for us to stay on track, but not frustrate ourselves? Fitness experts and nutritionists give lots of varied answers as well, and I, too, have changed my mind over the years on this touchy subject. Except for clients with a history of eating disorders, I believe it is important to occasionally weigh yourself . Daily weighing is a waste of time. Your bodyweight can fluctuate 2-5 pounds in one day, so this is a perfect […]

Continue Reading

Yoga for Equestrians

Another summer is here, and I begin my teaching at Pompositticut Equestrian Camp in Hudson, MA. It is amazing how yoga can benefit the rider in so many ways. Yoga strengthens the muscles used in riding such as the shoulders, back, abdominals and legs. It lengthens the tight, tired muscles riders overuse. It creates superb posture, and enhances concentration and relaxation, all a must for the young and old rider alike. Standing postures enhance balance and coordination, thus reducing injury risk. And yoga can do the same for most athletes looking to supplement their normal training regimen. Look for more information coming soon on yoga classes I will be teaching in the Hudson, MA area. I will be beginning a […]

Continue Reading

How and Why to Keep a Food Diary

Food Logs, or food diaries, are one of the most necessary and effective ways to help dieters lose weight and keep it off. Research has proven that dieters who use food logs for accountability are 60-70% more likely to be successful with their weight loss goals. In my training, I always ask for food logs from my clients, but I have found that many people really dislike this task. Some even refuse to do it! Why? Because they are afraid to really confront their own eating habits. They are afraid that they will be judged by what they eat. However, unless I, or my clients themselves, specifically know what they are eating on any given day, it is almost impossible […]

Continue Reading

To Stretch Or Not To Stretch- That Is The Question

Our long held belief in the fitness industry was that stretching pre-exercise reduces risk of injury and improves exercise performance. BUT, several recently published studies, one of which was published in The Journal of Strength And Conditioning Research, is refuting this common practice. This study demonstrated that stretching prior to intense sport activities such as soccer, field hockey, or other stop and go sports, may actually INCREASE risk of injury and decrease the neuromuscular activity of the muscles, thus decreasing sports performance. Other studies performed with runners showed that injury rates for the non-stretching athletes were the same as for those who did stretch pre-run. SO-what role does stretching play in our fitness regimen?? First, stretching is absolutely necessary and […]

Continue Reading

Walking For Exercise- Can it keep you fit?

I often get asked the questions,”What type of cardiovascular exercise is best for me?”, “Does walking count?” The answer is of course, very individual, and it depends on your goals, baseline fitness and exercise experience. Many people who first begin an exercise program can, and should, use walking as a way to burn calories and get your heart back to good health. But,once you have progressed past the true beginner stage of cardio health, walking may not do it for you anymore! Why? Well, most people do not walk vigorously enough to make walking a useful calorie burning tool. A walk that will both burn sufficient calories for weight loss, as well as stimulate the health of the heart, must […]

Continue Reading

Calcium/Dairy Products Aid Weight Loss

Many dieters give up dairy products like milk and cheese thinking the fat content is inappropriate for a sound weight loss regimen. In addition, adult women and men, in general, neglect drinking milk, thinking “it’s just for kids”. However, several recently published research studies have shown a link between consumption of dairy products and successful weight loss. Overweight adults on a reduced calorie diet that included at least 3 servings of dairy products lost more weight than those on similar diets with minimal dairy consumption. While the exact reason is not clear yet, there are many reasons drinking milk and eating dairy is appropriate for dieters. Preliminary data indicates that calcium may play a role in the way the body […]

Continue Reading