Tuesday, April 18, 2017

WANT TO GET HEALTHY, TAKE A NAP

Want to get Healthy?  Take a Nap!
How often do you hear someone say, “I had a great night’s sleep last night!” or “I feel refreshed and energetic!”?  Probably not very often.  Feeling sluggish seems to be the new normal.  In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, it is the new normal:  most Americans are sleep-deprived.  But not getting enough sleep may be causing more trouble for you than just that pesky drowsy feeling:  it could be seriously harming your health.
Why aren’t we sleeping?
Centuries ago, it was common for people to sleep 8 to 9 hours each day.  But now, only about 25% of Americans get 8 or more hours of sleep.  The reasons we are not sleeping are many.  We live in a 24/7 society—practically anything we want to do is available around the clock, from fitness centers to pharmacies to department stores.
We are working long hours, transporting our kids to activities, trying to make time for friends and fitness and entertainment.  When the heat is on, the first thing to go is usually sleep.  And it’s usually not even a conscious decision to skimp on sleep-we just get in bed a little later most nights, because we are so pressed and pushed.
But even when we get into bed, we aren’t guaranteed sleep.  The National Sleep Foundation reports that 60% of Americans have sleep problems.  That means more than half of us struggle to sleep.  And it is taking its toll.
Dangers of sleep deprivation
"The foundations of good health are good diet, good exercise and good sleep, but two out of three doesn't get you there,"1
-- Dr. Anne Calhoun, neurology professor,                           University of North Carolina.
Eating healthily and getting plenty of exercise are not enough to make up for the danger that sleep deprivation poses to your health.  Adults need around 8 hours of sleep each night, although some studies indicate that as little as 7 and one-half hours can be sufficient.  Getting less than that can have serious consequences:
Risk of Cardiovascular Disease:  If you get less than 6 hours of sleep each night and have disturbed sleep, you have a 48% greater risk of developing or dying from heart disease and a 15% greater risk of developing or dying from a stroke.2  Lack of sleep can cause high blood pressure, blocked arteries, stroke, kidney disease and dementia.

Obesity: Sleep shortage is directly linked to obesity.  When you don’t get enough sleep, two powerful hormones that control hunger are disrupted.  The result is that you feel hungrier and have fewer sensations of feeling “full.”

But without enough sleep you will also feel more stressed, which encourages the production of the hormone cortisol in your body.  This hormone causes you to crave high-carbohydrate foods such as potato chips and brownies, and then deposits those carbs as fat around your belly—the most dangerous place to store fat.

Pre-diabetes is also a risk for those who don’t get enough sleep.  Trying to get by on less than 6 hours of sleep per night can cause impaired glucose tolerance.

Compromised immune system:  Why is it that two people can be exposed to the same germs, but only one of them gets sick?  The reason is the immune system.  If your immune system is functioning well, you can ward off many illnesses.  But if something happens to compromise your immune response, you will be vulnerable to infections, bacteria, viruses, and even some autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and asthma.

When you do not get enough sleep, your immune system becomes stressed and compromised.  You actually have a decrease in white blood cells, and those that remain are less active.  The result is that you will get sick more often.

Impaired exercise performance:  As if the threat of heart disease, obesity and immune suppression weren’t enough, lack of sleep can negatively impact your fitness efforts.  It’s not uncommon for people to struggle to maintain their normal level of workout intensity when they are sleep deprived.  You just won’t have the energy to push through.  Also, your muscles repair and rebuild while you sleep:  if you don’t allow your body this recovery time, you will be at a significant disadvantage during your next workout.
Make time for sleep
The truth is, if you don’t make time now for adequate sleep, you will likely be forced in the future to make time for illness.  It may take significant effort to arrange your schedule and priorities to carve out time for more sleep, but the payoff will be increased health, energy and productivity!
Ready for a nap?
Sources:
1http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/12/02/f-sleep-tips.html
2http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2011/feb/09/dangers-sleep-

DAVID KNAPP NCSF-MCPT,CNS
dekfitness2014@gmail.com

Saturday, April 8, 2017

OVER COMING WINTER WEIGHTGAIN

How to Overcome Winter Weight Gain
Today, we’re taking a hard look at winter weight gain.  It’s a common problem—people tend to pack on a few pounds during the winter months.
But we want to fight back, and we hope you will join us.  Let’s get after this now, while winter is still in full force.  We’ll have less to deal with when the warm breezes start blowing!
The good, the bad…and the solution
Although winter weight gain varies from person to person, research shows the average gain to be five to seven pounds!  Some people gain this extra weight because they have Seasonal Affective Disorder—a type of winter depression.  But most of us can’t blame winter depression for our tendency to pick up extra weight during the winter months.
So, why does winter weight gain happen?  According to Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, it happens because we eat more and move less during the winter months1.
This is bad news and good news.  It is bad news because it would be kind of nice if we could blame our cold-weather corpulence on something exotic like the jet stream cycle and waddle off for another espresso.
But it is good news because we can do something about it.  We don’t have to greet spring with softer middles and tighter clothes.  So let’s celebrate leap year by tackling winter weight gain with our weapon of choice here at Fitness Revolution:  discipline.
Hour of decision
According to Merriam-Webster, discipline is a “rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity2.”  This is perfect.  In order to fight winter weight gain, we have to discipline ourselves to follow some rules.
Here we go…
1.  Banned language: For the next several weeks, do not allow yourself to say, “Just this once.”  If you pay close attention, a ‘just this once’ situation comes up practically every day.  You go to a retirement party.  You take spouse out for a birthday dinner.  Someone brings a meal by your house because you’ve been sick.  Your co-worker brings in the leftover pizza from last night’s party.  Your child has leftover Valentine’s Day candy.  You have to say no every single time.  Otherwise, you will never get ahead.
Just grit your teeth, resist what others are having and make good food choices.  I’m not saying it is easy.  I am saying it is necessary.
2.  Plan your occasional splurge, and do not deviate from the plan. Unending deprivation is never a good idea, but you have to be intentional about the time, place and food that you let yourself splurge on.
Love the hot wings at your favorite restaurant?  Then let’s make a deal.  Eat clean for ten days.  No cheating.  And then at the end of those ten days, go have the wings.  Guilt free.  Just enjoy them.  Then set the next goal.  But you are not allowed to deviate from your plan in the meantime.
If you do, you lose the wings.
Don’t waste your fun calories on something that doesn’t compare to those wings!
3.  Keep moving.  Exercise is not an optional activity.  Now more than ever you have to get your body in motion.  Exercise is very effective at preventing weight gain—and that is what we’re after right now.  Don’t even worry so much about losing pounds; just work to keep the winter scale-creep from happening to you. Try to get some cardio in at least six days a week.
Remember:  spring is coming.  Let’s be ready for it, and leave winter weight gain behind.
DAVID KNAPP NCSF-MCPT
dekfitness2014@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

FIT TEST




 I know someone who can bench press 500 pounds, but gets exhausted when
he carries groceries up the stairs. #ThatsNOTwhyyoulift

C'mon, let's leave the bench press contests for another day. 

Here are 3 fitness tests to go after with tenacity if you find 
yourself in a rut or want to know your starting point...

Fitness Test # 1 - The Core Test

Can you hold a plank for a full 2 minutes?

I'm talking about maintaining those abs braced hard, not letting
your hips sag AT ALL. Can't hold it for 2 minutes? Let's get that
core stronger. Add in these moves 2-3 times a week into your routine...

Spiderman Climbs
Mountain Climbers (at a SLOW pace)
X-Body Mountain Climbers
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Hand Walk-outs
Variety of Planks
High-Rep DB Rows
etc., etc.

Here's an ab finisher you can plug into your routine twice a 
week to improve your core strength and endurance (while building 
a bullet-proof back).

It's not fancy - VERY simple. 

Do the following superset 3 times, resting for 30 seconds after 
each superset.

Ab Wheel or Stability Ball Rollouts (10)
Spiderman Climb (8/side)
Then rest 1 minute followed by ONE plank to failure. Try to improve 
your time each week on the plank.

Fitness Test # 2 - Bodyweight Squat Test

This will test lower body muscular endurance.
Sit on a chair with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor just 
outside shoulde our legs should show a 90-degree angle.

Stand up.
Sit back down until you're on the chair or bench.

Repeat as many times as you can using just your legs (no hands 
on your knees for leverage). Once you can't keep a tempo of taking
1 second to come up and 2 seconds to lower yourself, you're done. 

You should be able to squat your age.


Not there yet? No problem. Here's how to fix it...

You might have muscular imbalances. Start doing single leg 
work like a variety of lunges, split squats and the evil Bulgarian 
Split Squats. Replace your normal squats with one of those.

If you're behind a desk all day, then focus on bringing your 
knees out to the sides as you lower yourself into a bodyweight squat. 
You have tight hips and you need to unlock those. 

Fitness Test # 3 - The Pushup Test

You guessed it - you'll be testing your upper body muscular 
endurance. Your pushing muscles allow you to... push stuff.

#MindBlown

It's simple... Do as many pushups as you can (your chest needs to 
be only about 2-3 inches from the floor for it to count). Use a tempo
of 1 second to go down and 1 second to come up. Once you break that 
tempo, you're done. 

Also - keep those elbows tucked (you'll save your shoulders).

How did you do?  You should be able to do at least 40 if you are excellent shape


Don't measure up?

It's simple - practice pushups. That, and include a variety of DB 
Chest Presses into your program, focusing on the eccentric 
(lowering) phase.

Take the DB Chest Press for example. Take about 5 seconds to 
lower the weight and one second to press it up. This will tax your 
muscles more, while building up endurance.

The same goes for pushups - focus on eccentric pushups. So take 
about 4 seconds to lower yourself, and one second to come up.

You'll jack up your endurance while at the same time, fry your 
abs. You're very welcome. 

Have fun with those tests and remember - you don't have to become
a legend with all of them. Focus on one goal at a time. 

Challenge yourself leaner and get out of your rut

personal training,fitness,diet and exercise,health and wellness,fit test, 
DAVID KNAPP NCSF-MCPT,CNS
princetonbootcamps@yahoo.com

FIT TEST




 I know someone who can bench press 500 pounds, but gets exhausted when
he carries groceries up the stairs. #ThatsNOTwhyyoulift

C'mon, let's leave the bench press contests for another day. 

Here are 3 fitness tests to go after with tenacity if you find 
yourself in a rut or want to know your starting point...

Fitness Test # 1 - The Core Test

Can you hold a plank for a full 2 minutes?

I'm talking about maintaining those abs braced hard, not letting
your hips sag AT ALL. Can't hold it for 2 minutes? Let's get that
core stronger. Add in these moves 2-3 times a week into your routine...

Spiderman Climbs
Mountain Climbers (at a SLOW pace)
X-Body Mountain Climbers
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Hand Walk-outs
Variety of Planks
High-Rep DB Rows
etc., etc.

Here's an ab finisher you can plug into your routine twice a 
week to improve your core strength and endurance (while building 
a bullet-proof back).

It's not fancy - VERY simple. 

Do the following superset 3 times, resting for 30 seconds after 
each superset.

Ab Wheel or Stability Ball Rollouts (10)
Spiderman Climb (8/side)
Then rest 1 minute followed by ONE plank to failure. Try to improve 
your time each week on the plank.

Fitness Test # 2 - Bodyweight Squat Test

This will test lower body muscular endurance.
Sit on a chair with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor just 
outside shoulde our legs should show a 90-degree angle.

Stand up.
Sit back down until you're on the chair or bench.

Repeat as many times as you can using just your legs (no hands 
on your knees for leverage). Once you can't keep a tempo of taking
1 second to come up and 2 seconds to lower yourself, you're done. 

Here's a chart showing where you should be:


Not there yet? No problem. Here's how to fix it...

You might have muscular imbalances. Start doing single leg 
work like a variety of lunges, split squats and the evil Bulgarian 
Split Squats. Replace your normal squats with one of those.

If you're behind a desk all day, then focus on bringing your 
knees out to the sides as you lower yourself into a bodyweight squat. 
You have tight hips and you need to unlock those. 

Fitness Test # 3 - The Pushup Test

You guessed it - you'll be testing your upper body muscular 
endurance. Your pushing muscles allow you to... push stuff.

#MindBlown

It's simple... Do as many pushups as you can (your chest needs to 
be only about 2-3 inches from the floor for it to count). Use a tempo
of 1 second to go down and 1 second to come up. Once you break that 
tempo, you're done. 

Also - keep those elbows tucked (you'll save your shoulders).

Here's where you stand:


Don't measure up?

It's simple - practice pushups. That, and include a variety of DB 
Chest Presses into your program, focusing on the eccentric 
(lowering) phase.

Take the DB Chest Press for example. Take about 5 seconds to 
lower the weight and one second to press it up. This will tax your 
muscles more, while building up endurance.

The same goes for pushups - focus on eccentric pushups. So take 
about 4 seconds to lower yourself, and one second to come up.

You'll jack up your endurance while at the same time, fry your 
abs. You're very welcome. 

Have fun with those tests and remember - you don't have to become
a legend with all of them. Focus on one goal at a time. 

Challenge yourself leaner and get out of your rut
r-width apart. Y