Just for laughs…
I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street. —Arnold Schwarzenegger
Resistance training provides many benefits that can greatly improve our health when added to an exercise routine.It is an essential component in creating a healthy body and in adopting a healthy lifestyle.In fact, unless regular strength training exercises are performed, an individual may lose up to ½ pound of muscle every year after the age 25.It is for this reason, and more, that many physicians recommend resistance training to their patients as a regular part of their exercise routine. Exercise professionals also understand the importance of resistance training and very few programs are designed without the inclusion of this type of exercise.If you have ever wondered what all the hype is about, we hope this article will help you see how beneficial resistance training can be in your life.
1 Increases lean body mass (muscle)
When you put your body through resistance training exercises, the fibers that make up your muscles undergo a certain amount of stress.This stress causes them to increase in size in order to meet the additional demands to the body.With repetition and consistency, the muscle fibers will continue to grow, resulting in an increase of muscle size, or hypertrophy.
This increase in muscle leads to more lean body mass and will help the achievement of a healthier body composition ratio of muscle to fat.
2 More muscles can lead to less fat
As resistance training adds to your lean body mass, your body will become more efficient at burning calories.An increase of muscle will cause a rise in resting energy expenditure, or resting metabolic rate.In other words, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest, as well as throughout your daily activities and exercise.Because most males naturally (or hormonally) have more muscle mass than females, they will often times lose greater amounts of weight more quickly than women when starting the same diet or exercise plan together.
3 Aids in maintenance of weight-loss
We all know that calorie-restricted diet programs can result in rapid short-term weight reduction.We also know that 90% of the time, the weight lost comes right back on and more (for more on reasons NOT to diet, see the previous issue of The Pulse).However, research has shown that those who have adopted a healthier way of eating, in addition to adding exercise into their program, will be more successful in keeping the weight off during the maintenance phase. This is especially true for those who include resistance training in their exercise programs; again pointing at the fact that the more muscle we have, the more efficient our bodies will be at burning calories, and will therefore, result in a easier time maintaining weight.
4 Improves self image
The majority of clients we see start off with a couple of goals in mind.First, is usually to lose weight.Second, is to tone up.Essentially, what we hear when someone says tone is that they are looking to add muscle and to lose body fat.This is the way to acheive muscle definition and including resistance training in your program will help you do just that.Resistance training increases the muscle mass in your body, which will aid in losing fat. Nutrition and cardio also play a necessary role in achieving the â€œtonedâ€ look, but without resistance training, the desired muscle definition will not develop.
When our clients start to visibly see the fruits of their labor in their muscle development, they cannot help but feel better about how they look.Their body starts to firm up resulting in their clothes fitting better; giving them more self-confidence about their appearance.
5 Decreases risk of injury
Whether you are recreational exerciser, an athlete, or someone who is just trying to stay in shape, resistance training can help you stay injury free.The stronger your muscles are, the less pressure any stress on your body will put on your joints.For example, by keeping your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hips strong, you will be protecting your knee joints from potential injury. By keeping your abdominal and back muscles strong, you are protecting your spine from feeling the stress of everyday life. Having healthy knee joints and a healthy spine is important if we wish to stay active and mobile in our daily lives.
6 Improves posture
Good posture is something most of us have been taught to have since we were young.Don’t slouch! Sit up straight! Pull that belly in! These are reminders our loved ones told us would help us have better posture.They were right.To keep our shoulders back in order not to slouch, we have to engage the muscles in our upper back. To keep us sitting up straight, we need to use the muscles along our spine, as well as in our abdomen. And of course, to pull our bellies in, we need to contract through our belt muscles in our lower abdomen (known as the Transverse Abdominis).A great way to strengthen these muscles that are important to good posture is through resistance training; starting with lighter weights and/or bands and gradually increasing as you get stronger.
7 Strengthens bones
The skeletal system consists of bones to which our muscles are attached.As resistance training puts stress on the muscles, the muscles then place more demand on the bones, resulting in increased bone mineral density.This is especially important in individuals at risk for the age-related disease osteoporosis.Although, osteoporosis is thought to affect mainly older women, it is important to understand that without consistent resistance training, everyone is at risk for muscle loss and therefore bone loss as we age.
8 Improves outcomes for numerous physiological factors:
These factors include:increased blood glucose utilization, reduced resting blood pressure, improved blood lipid profiles, enhanced vascular condition.It has also been shown to improve function in post-coronary patients.In fact, a recent study was conducted on subjects with coronary disease.All of the subjects exercised five days as week for six months.The first group performed cardiovascular exercise three days a week and resistance training exercise two days a week. The second group performed cardiovascular exercise only for all five days of the week. Surprisingly, the first group, who performed resistance exercise two days a week, showed 50% more improvement in aerobic function than the cardiovascular exercise only group.The researchers explained that these results are due to the fact that stronger muscles have a positive impact on many body systems, such as: the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal system, endocrine system, and neuromuscular system. A well-conditioned muscular system enables a physically active lifestyle, which can aid in the improvement of overall health.
9 Increases adherence to exercise programs
While there are most likely studies proving this particular benefit of resistance training, we have learned this to be true through experience and client testimonials.While cardiovascular training is a vital part of an exercise program, it is also an exercise that is often times done solo.Unless you join a group, such as a running group, or you have a friend that is about the same fitness level as you are, it can be difficult to exercise with someone where you both are benefiting the same as you might on your own. When starting a program, this can be challenging, as we find it always helps to have some encouragement and accountability along the way.
Resistance training, on the other hand, is something that can be easily done with a friend or in a group where each person can train at his or her particular level.This sense of community that is found when working with others can help one adhere to an exercise program.The encouragement and accountability is also a big reason why exercise adherence is high amongst those who train with a Fitness Coach.
Another reason we think resistance training can help with exercise adherence is that measureable results can be seen within a short amount of time.Our clients feel stronger and can confirm that feeling by seeing their weights increase.Exercises that once were seemingly impossible to do suddenly feel a bit easier.This feeling of success keeps our clients happy and coming back for more!
10 Improves quality of life
One particular client stands out in our minds when we think of resistance training improving one’s quality of life.This client came to us with a need to lose weight in hopes to help her knee pain.Unfortunately, most lower body exercises hurt her knees, making it challenging to gain strength in her legs. Her knees also made endurance exercise (i.e. bike, elliptical, treadmill) a struggle. Gradually, she worked her way up from 10 minutes to 30 minutes on the recumbent bike, which helped her strengthen her heart and burn more calories during exercise. We worked hard to find ways to strengthen her quads and hamstrings without hurting her knees, and eventually, her knee pain started to dissipate.This pain relief made a huge difference in her quality of life.She felt more confident walking, climbing stairs, and even getting up out of a chair.The most rewarding moment was when she came bounding through the doors with a big grin on her face.She told us how she and her husband had refinished a dresser that weekend. In order to stain the bottom part of the furniture, s he had to get down to the ground. When she went to get up, she popped right up without needing to grab onto anything or anyone for help. Both she and her husband were thrilled!Not more than two months prior, our client had tripped and fallen while walking by herself into Target and had to rely on the help of bystanders to get back up to her feet.She was mortified! Now, here she was, filled with the confidence that, if in the event that she were to fall again, she could most definitely get herself up off the ground with no problem!
This story is exactly how resistance training can improve one’s quality of life.
These are just 10 of the many wonderful benefits resistance training can have in our lives.The type of resistance training program you will need will depend on your goals.The good news is that it does not take much to produce results.The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends the following:
- 8 to 10 exercises for the major muscles
- 1 set of each exercise (to start; then gradually work your way up to additional sets)
- 8 to 12 repetitions per set of exercise
- 2 or 3 nonconsecutive training days per week
- Full-range movements (pain free)
- Moderate speed movements (approximately 6 seconds per repetition)
Building a regular resistance training routine into your exercise program is essential in the quest for a strong and healthy body. It is sure to produce positive results in your life.
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential in a healthy diet.Many people think that a high-protein diet is what they need to build muscle and lose fat.The key is to focus on the quality of foods containing protein, rather than the quantity.Many food sources that are high in protein are also high in fat, and can be especially high in saturated fat.Those sources usually come from animal proteins, such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish. Of course, you can cut back on the fat and saturated fat of these meats by choosing leaner cuts, taking the skin off, and trimming all the visible fat before cooking.
In our never-ending quest for more protein, the good news is that there is more out there then we may realize in forms other than meat.The following article highlights 10 foods that are good sources of protein and can serve as an alternative to animal meats in our diets.
1 Whole grains.
Whole grains are praised these days for the fact that they are complex carbohydrates with superb fiber content; both of which are important for health.But the whole grain boasts more nutritional power than you may think. Certain whole grains pack a protein punch as well.
|Amaranth, 1 cup cooked||9 g||238||9 g|
|Quinoa, 1 cup cooked||9 g||254||4 g|
|Whole wheat pasta, 1 cup cooked||8 g||174||6 g|
|Barley, 1 cup cooked||7 g||270||14 g|
|Spelt, 4 oz cooked||6 g||144||4 g|
|Oats, 1 cup cooked||6 g||147||4 g|
|Bulgur, 1 cup cooked||6 g||151||8 g|
|Buckwheat, 1 cup cooked||6 g||155||5 g|
|Brown rice, 1 cup cooked||5 g||216||4 g|
|Whole wheat bread, 1 slice||4 g||128||3 g|
|Sprouted grain bread, 1 slice||4 g||80||3 g|
Soy products are a growing trend in America today.They have become a good substitute for dairy products because soybeans are very versatile and can mimic certain textures such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and ice cream.Soy products are also made into foods that can be used as a meat substitute, such as texturized vegetable protein (TVP).Soy is high in protein, but low in fat, making it a healthy alternative to meat.
|Soybeans, 1 cup cooked||29 g||298||10 g|
|Tempeh, 4 oz cooked||21 g||223||13 g|
|Edamame, 1 cup shelled||20 g||240||10 g|
|TVP, 1/4 cup dry||12 g||80||0 g|
|Soy nuts, 1/4 cup roasted||11 g||200||1 g|
|Tofu, 4 oz raw||9 g||86||5 g|
|Soy nut butter, 2 tablespoons||7 g||170||11 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup sweetened||7 g||100||0.5 g|
|Soymilk, 1 cup unsweetened||7 g||80||0.5 g|
3 Milk and Cheese.
Milk and cheese, as well as other dairy products are probably best known for their calcium content that helps us keep our bones and teeth healthy.In addition to being a good source of calcium, dairy products also offer us protein.Because dairy can also be a higher source of fat as well, a healthier option is to choose low-fat, or non-fat versions.Keep in mind, however, that often times when the fat is taken out of dairy, other additives, like salt, are added in to keep the flavor.Also, when choosing non-fat versions of dairy, be prepared for a change in texture. For example, skim milk is a much thinner consistency than its fuller-fat counterparts.Non-fat cheese will not melt the same in certain dishes as a full-fat cheese.We recommend choosing non-fat or low-fat dairy in foods where your palate can still enjoy the flavor, and simply limiting the amounts of higher-fat dairy you may choose to use.
|Milk and Cheese||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Whole Milk, full-fat, 8 fl. oz (1 cup)||7.9 g||147||8.1 g|
|2% milk, low-fat, 8 fl. oz (1 cup)||8.1 g||122||4.9 g|
|Skim milk, non-fat, 8 fl. oz (1 cup)||8.7 g||91||0.7 g|
|1% milk, low-fat, 8 fl. oz (1 cup)||8.5 g||105||2.5 g|
|Cheddar cheese, full-fat, 1 oz.||7 g||113||9.3 g|
|Cheddar cheese, low-fat, 1 oz.||6.8 g||48||2 g|
|Cheddar cheese, non-fat, 1 oz.||6.4 g||42||0.2 g|
In the past, eggs had been put on the contraband list, especially for those watching their cholesterol intake.These days, more research has concluded that it may not be the cholesterol amount in foods that raise one’s body cholesterol, but that it’s the saturated fat in foods that are more of a contributor to high cholesterol numbers.Eggs contain both cholesterol and saturated fat, but they are also packed full of protein.
The majority of the protein is found in the egg whites, which have virtually no saturated fat, and no cholesterol.However, don’t fear the yolks just yet.They also contain a certain amount of protein, as well as some essential nutrients that the whites do not.Plus, the yolks give the eggs more color and flavor.A healthier way to eat scrambled eggs is to combine one whole egg with one or two egg whites.
|Whole Egg, large||6.3 g||78||5.3 g|
|Egg whites only, large egg||3.6 g||17||0.1 g|
|Egg yolk only, large egg||2.7 g||55||4.5|
Lentils, part of the legume family, are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods.They are most highly produced and consumed in India where they are typically served at every meal.Lentils are packed with protein along with cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber.They are also loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as disease-fighting antioxidants.
Lentils are tasty and filling and can be used as a side dish, or as a vegetarian main dish.There are different varieties ranging from red, to yellow, to deep black; each containing their own mix of essential nutrients. Although they are not yet a staple in our American culture, lentils are sure to start making a more regular appearance at our dining tables as we continue to become a more health-minded nation.
|Cooked lentils (boiled),1 cup||17.9 g||230||0.8 g|
6 Greek yogurt.
A few years ago, it was next to impossible to find Greek yogurt at the grocery stores.Now, the shelves are lined with all different brands and styles of Greek yogurt.Yogurt, in general, has increased in popularity because it contains probiotics, which are thought to help with digestion and intestinal health.Greek yogurt, however, has gained popularity due to the high levels of protein and the creamy texture it provides.
Greek yogurt is basically regular yogurt that has been strained.Therefore the watery substance you see in your regular yogurt is not present in Greek yogurt, leaving a more thick and creamy texture.This process also eliminates extra sugar and condenses the product, leaving a more concentrated amount of nutrients, like protein.
There are many different brands of Greek yogurt available.Check the labels to compare the protein and sugar levels to decide the best choice for you.Below compares the Stony field Farms brand of yogurt; their non-fat Greek yogurt to their non-fat regular yogurt.
|Stonyfield Farms Organic Yogurt||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Oikos non-fat Greek yogurt, plain, 8 oz. (1 cup)||22 g||130||0 g|
|Organic fat-free, plain, 8 oz. (1 cup)||10.7||107||0 g|
Nuts are a great choice because they provide a hefty dose of heart-healthy fatty acids and antioxidants. Certain nuts, like almonds, also contain high amounts of fiber. Nuts are an easy way to add a bit of crunch to a snack or meal, and that crunch will give you an extra dose of protein too.These tasty treats should be included in your daily diet, but only in moderate amounts.Although, they are loaded with healthy nutrients, nuts are also very high in calories. On average, a handful of nuts (about ¼ cup) will give you 200 calories. Aim for about one to two handfuls a day, depending on your caloric need.Eat them on their own, or sprinkle nuts on your yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, and salads.They are delicious raw or try toasting them to bring out the intensity in flavor.
|Nuts, 1/4 cup||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Peanuts, raw||9 g||207||18 g|
|Almonds, dry roasted||8 g||206||18 g|
|Pistachios||6 g||171||14 g|
|Hazelnuts||5 g||212||21 g|
|Pine nuts||5 g||229||23 g|
|Cashews, raw||5 g||197||16 g|
|Walnuts||4 g||164||16 g|
Seeds, like nuts, pack a powerful nutritional punch.They contain high amounts of the desired unsaturated fats, as well as a number of vitamins and other heart-healthy nutrients.Seeds can also be an easy way to add a bit of protein to your diet.As nuts, seeds are high in calories and serving sizes should be limited to about Â¼ cup, providing around 200 calories.
|Seeds (1/4 cup)||Protein||Calories||Fat|
|Hemp seeds||15 g||232||18 g|
|Pumpkin seeds, roasted||9 g||187||16 g|
|Flaxseeds||8 g||191||13 g|
|Sunflower seeds, roasted||8 g||205||18 g|
|Sesame seeds, roasted||6 g||206||18 g|
Beans, along with lentils and dried peas, are members of the legume family.They are full of protein and fiber and are essential in a meat-free diet.Aside from soybeans, most beans average about 15 grams of protein per cup.They are a healthy addition to foods such as soups, salads, omelets, burritos, casseroles, pasta dishes, etc.
|Beans, 1 cup cooked||Protein||Calories||Fiber|
|Soybeans||29 g||298||10 g|
|Navy beans||16 g||258||12 g|
|Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)||15 g||269||12 g|
|Black beans||15 g||227||15 g|
|Kidney beans||15 g||225||11 g|
|Lima beans||15 g||216||13 g|
|Pinto beans||14 g||234||15 g|
Greens are not usually thought of as a quality protein source. But, remember Popeye who would eat cans of spinach to help keep his muscles strong? Turns out, he knew what he was doing.The good news is that greens actually do have a good amount of protein; it just depends on how much you are able to eat.
Eating vegetables raw will help keep many nutrients in their highest quantities when some may be lost through the cooking process.However, cooking greens can add more protein to a dish, simply because it is easier to eat larger portions when the greens are cooked.For example, it is more feasible to add 2 cups of cooked spinach to a dish, rather than eat 2 cups of the raw, leafy green.This is not to say that greens should be eaten cooked instead of raw, but rather to make sure to include a combination of the two in your diet. When specifically looking for more protein, think about adding cooked greens.
|Spinach, cooked, 1 cup||5.3 g||41||0.5 g|
|Spinach, raw, 1 cup||0.9 g||7||0.1 g|
|Swiss Chard, cooked, 1 cup||3.2 g||34||0.2 g|
|Swiss Chard, raw, 1 cup||0.6 g||7||0.1 g|
Eating a meat-free diet can be very healthful.It is important, however, that you are well educated in what foods provide adequate amounts of protein and nutrients, so you will not become deficient.It is nice to know that protein is plentiful in foods other than meat.
From Vegetarian Times Issue: February 1, 2009 p.66
This dish freezes well for future meals.
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 Tbs. ground cumin
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 3 large carrots, grated (11/2 cups)
- 11/2 cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
- 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed
- Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and saut 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
- Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender. Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Preheat oven to 350 °F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
- Fill each bell pepper half with heaping 3/4-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish. Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour. Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.
Per 1/2 stuffed pepper: Calories: 279, Protein: 14g, Total fat: 10g, Saturated fat: 3g, Carbs: 36g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 518mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugars: 9g
Richard Furash – July
Richard has lived in Tucson since 1993 after moving here from Framingham, Mass. He teaches finance and accounting classes at the University of Phoenix. His wife, Marge, first brought him to BodyBasics because she thought he could learn something and he says she was right! Richard loves that his trainers know him and push him to be the best he can be. He is especially proud of his endurance and his increased speed on the softball field. He also enjoys cycling and playing with his grandkids.
Richard knows that, Fitness is a journey, not a destination and you can be better at the things you’re not good at. Not everyone likes them, but his favorite exercise is inchworm push-ups. Richard’s biggest challenge is eating well. His healthy tip is to: Never leave the table full, quit when you are satisfied and drink a ton of water.
We appreciate Richard for his steady commitment to fitness. He has learned to push hard and hold himself to a higher standard during his workouts. He has become a leader in his group class. Congratulations, Richard on being selected as our client of the month.
Conrad Kelley – August
Tucson native, Conrad K. currently works as a laboratory technician. When he’s not working or working out, Conrad writes, reads, and spends time with his three-year-old German Shepard, Ruby. He tries to resist temptations from foods that would inhibit his performance and overall goal by eating an assortment of fruits and whole foods.
Conrad came to BodyBasics with his goal of getting into shape to become a Fire Fighter. He sought out for help when he realized he couldn’t reach this goal on his own. Since then, his mission has been to increase his endurance and decrease body weight. He was skeptical of trying just any old gym and becoming a no name face and did some looking around. After finding our website, Conrad knew this was the place for him and has been faithfully attending the group workouts for the past seven months. He is amazed by the trainer’s focus on each client’s individual needs even in a group setting.
The progress he has made is truly inspirational. When he first started with us getting through a workout was tough. Now stronger and in better health, Conrad not only completes the workout but he incorporates a 40 pound weight-vest into his routine AFTER doing an hour of cardio! He has really emerged as a leader in the classes. Conrad says to, mach schau (which means to make show) in your routine. He says, To always challenge yourself and test your limits and follow it up with eating right, that is what mach schau means and working out isn’t easy, meeting your goals isn’t easy. People need to ditch the Hollywood mentality and realize that health and wellness takes work.
We couldn’t be more proud of you, Conrad. It has been a joy to watch your progress. Congratulations on being selected Body Basics Client of the Month.
Jenny is currently in her fifth month of pregnancy and loving every minute of it! The due date is still on for October 22 when she and her husband, Jason, will get to welcome their little baby GIRL into this world!
Thank you to everyone for all the well wishes! We are so excited about this time in our lives!
Do you have a favorite workout song? What gets you pumped up? What songs make you want to move? Please email email@example.com any and all songs that you would like to hear at the studio during your workouts. We’ll put them on the Body Basics iPod song list! Thanks!
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Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!