As a new mom, I am involved in a baby play group along with other mothers with babies the same age. Most of our babies are around 6 months old, so the topic of losing the extra baby weight comes up quite often. Each week, I hear about the newest diet that is being passed around the group in hopes that maybe this will be the key to dropping pounds. A few of the ladies have started training with personal trainers a couple times a week. Recently, one of the ladies said she is about to stop going to her trainer and just focus on cardio because she needs to get the weight off and she feels cardio is the way to go. Then, she looks at me. Apparently, my expression gave away my thoughts. She said, â€œYou don’t agree, do you? It was at that moment, I realized how perfectly this subject would fit into this year’s Were Better Together newsletter theme.
Were Better Together “ Cardiovascular Exercise and Strength Training
When we think weight loss, we think caloric expenditure, or burning calories. Although our bodies are always burning calories, we know that we will burn more if our heart rates are elevated then we do while we are at rest. We also know, that in most cases, we are able to keep our heart rates consistently higher while doing cardiovascular exercise than we do during strength training. It is this thinking that has led so many people to believe that cardiovascular exercise is the key to losing weight.
So, when my mommy-friend at the playgroup asked me whether I think she would be better off using the 40 minutes she has available during the day to do cardiovascular exercise or to continue with her personal trainer doing strength training, I answered carefully.
The truth is, anyone can do as much of either type of exercise, cardiovascular and/or strength training, and not lose any weight if their nutrition is not in check. Nutrition is a key component in any weight loss program and it is necessary to consume the right types of foods in order to get the best results from any type of exercise.* But, that is going to have to be a discussion for another playgroup date.
*See the March/April 2011 issue of The Pulse for the Were Better Together article on exercise and nutrition.
Cardio burns more calories right?
For most people, if the calories burned were counted during a 30-minute intense cardiovascular session on the treadmill or elliptical, for example, the total would likely be higher than a 30-minute strength training session. We tend to burn less calories during strength training due to the fact that in order to achieve adequate muscle build, it is important to keep a controlled pace for each repetition as well as to rest in-between sets. Depending on an individual’s fitness level, the heart rate will usually drop from a higher intensity level (i.e. the maximum calorie burning range) to a lower intensity level, therefore burning less calories overall (when compared to high-intensity cardio exercise for the same amount of time).
However, if you want achieve maximum caloric expenditure during exercise and long after your exercise session, strength training is what you need.
Body composition must change
When we set out to lose weight, we are looking to change our bodies. Most often, it is because we feel we are carrying too much fat and not enough muscle. Unfortunately, cutting way back on calories (the way we’ve been doing it for years) not only leads to feelings of starvation and deprivation, but it also contributes to the loss of lean body mass (muscle), which is the exact opposite of what we set out to do in the first place!
The age-old equation, Calories in must be less than the calories out to achieve weight loss is still accurate. However, we must be smart on just how we get those calories out if we are to be successful in changing our body composition for the better. To gain lean body mass, a strength training routine must be added into your exercise program.
Why strength training?
Strength training is important because it helps us build muscle and that muscle will help us burn more fat. Simple proof of this fact is shown when a male and a female start a diet/exercise program together. If each is doing the same exact thing, the male will most likely lose more weight more quickly than the female. This is because men genetically have more muscle than women.
Recent studies have shifted the focus from thinking cardiovascular exercise is the key to burning fat, to further understanding the role that strength training plays in fat loss. One particular study showed that participants who had their meals measured each day and performed no exercise other than a strength training program three times a week for 12 weeks were able to increase their muscle mass by three pounds. That three pounds increased their resting metabolic rate (the rate at which our bodies burn calories at rest) by 7%, which resulted in the subjects burning an approximate 100 additional calories a day.
Burning more calories while resting? Sounds too good to be true. But, it is true! While cardiovascular exercise can maximize the amount of calories burned in a specific timeframe, regular strength training can result in an increase of lean body mass, which helps burn more calories throughout your day, even at rest!
To achieve optimal health and the fit physique we all desire, remember that cardiovascular exercise AND strength training are better together.
A good goal is to include a strength training routine into your exercise program consisting of 2-3 sets of at least 8-10 exercises, at a minimum of two days a week. Depending on your specific goals, your cardiovascular exercise prescription may range from 20-60 minute sessions, 3-5 days a week. Be sure to consult your BodyBasics Fitness Coach for a personalized strength training and cardiovascular exercise program individually designed for your needs and goals.
Want the most bang for your buck? Consider a high-intensity circuit training program. Circuit training is great because it is all about effective strength training exercises performed at a pace that keeps your heart pumping, giving you the benefits of cardiovascular exercise as well.
Check out the many different circuit training small groups BodyBasics has to offer!
The take home message is that both cardiovascular exercise and strength training are important elements in achieving optimal weight loss. While one seems to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time (provided the HR is elevated enough), the other is necessary to facilitate a change in body composition. Remember, the more muscle you have, the more efficient your body is at burning calories throughout your whole day, while your exercising and at rest.
And once again, while cardiovascular exercise and strength training may be better together, all the exercise in the world is not nearly as powerful alone as it is when combined with a healthy diet, whatever your weight or fitness goals may be. But, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, that was going to have to be a conversation for another playgroup. For you, however, please refer to the March/April 2011 issue of The Pulse for more details on how fitness and nutrition are better together.
We’re Better Together Goals for May and June:
- Incorporate a strength training program into your exercise regimen at least two times a week
- Perform cardiovascular exercise 2-5 days a week for 20-60 minutes each session. Seek guidance from your Fitness Coach for heart rate ranges and other weekly goals.
- If you haven’t already tried a circuit-training group, be sure to attend at least one over the next two months. You’ll be surprised at how fun combining cardio and strength training can be! Refer to the left hand column of this newsletter for group training days and times. See you soon!
Westcott, Wayne, Ph.D. Effects of Strength Training on Resting Energy Expenditure. American College of Sports Medicine’s Certified News, January-March 2010, Vol. 20; Issue 1. p. 10-11.
Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know!
That says it all! Those words are the words Patti Wylie lived by each and every day of her life. Despite on-going and life-long health obstacles, Patti was always upbeat, cheerful, and full of passion for life.
Patti started training with Chris in 2000 during his Gold’s Gym days. She faithfully followed him to Oasis Health Club (now closed) and then to the original location of Body Basics in 2004. There, she instantly became a beloved client and friend to all the Body Basics coaches and fellow clients. Patti was always eager to train in the various groups we offered, including the bright and early 6am Wake-up Call, the 7am Fresh Start, and the noon Power Lunch. She also spent time one-on-one with our Fitness Coaches because she enjoyed gaining new knowledge and experiencing the different perspectives from each of us. Full of encouragement, Patti expected the best out of herself, as well as others. Her positivity and determination helped those around her recognize their own potential.
We could always count on Patti to be there for every event held by BodyBasics. From focus groups and nutrition seminars to the Race for the Cure and anniversary picnics, Patti consistently gave us her love and support. As one of the most thoughtful people we have ever known, she NEVER forgot a birthday! And she was never quiet when it came to birthdays because she believed they are a cause for celebration! Patti celebrated life and she did so with gusto!
It is hard to believe Patti Wylie will never walk through the doors to BodyBasics again. But, she is not gone. No, far from it, in fact. Her presence is still so strong in those who knew and loved her. Patti made such an impression on everyone she came in contact with and we are all better people for knowing her. She helped make Body Basics what it is today simply by being Patti.
Thank you Patti. Thank you for your life, your love, and your legacy. We will miss you so very much. But, we can picture you now, looking down at us, smiling as you skip along your very own Route 66 up in Heaven. For you taught us to let no obstacle stand in our way and â€œbecome the most positive and enthusiastic person you know!
There has been a lot of hype these days about the good, polyunsaturated fat called Omega-3 Fatty Acids.But, how much do you really know about these wonder fats and what they could do for you when included in a healthy diet? Here are five things you may or may not know about these good, essential fats.
1. There are three basic forms of omega-3:
- Alpha-linelenic acid (ALA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
ALA is found in food sources such as: English walnuts and vegetable oils like flaxseed, soybean and olive. The body eventually converts ALA to DHA, but in small quantities (around 5%).
DHA is the ultimate form of fatty acid found in humans and is the most studied form of the omega-3 fatty acids. DHA is found primarily in fish oil.
EPA is also found in fish oil and is automatically absorbed along with foods or supplements containing DHA.
2. Omega-3s boast many health benefits. Some of which include:
- Lubricates joints
- Decreases inflammation in joints
- Improves skin, including fighting wrinkles and acne
- Protects vision
- Benefits the heart by decreasing cholesterol, decreasing blood pressure, and regulating irregular heartbeats
- Boosts good cholesterol (HDL) which helps clean your arteries
- Improves brain function
- Decreases depression
- Enhances fertility
3. How to get omega-3s into your diet.
- Omega-3 fatty acids occur naturally in foods like walnuts, avocados, flaxseed, and fatty fish (tuna, salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines). It is recommended that we consume two 3-ounce portions of fatty fish each week to boost omega-3 fatty acid intake. Wild-caught salmon has about 600mg of DHA per ounce and sardines have about 400mg of DHA per ounce.
- Flaxseed is a good source of ALA and only about 5% gets converted to DHA, so it should not be considered your main source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Also, flaxseed must be ground in a food processor or coffee grinder in order for the body to absorb its nutrients. Flaxseed oil is another option, but be aware that it has a shorter shelf life and must be refrigerated.
- Fish oil supplements are another way to ensure you are getting enough omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. Dr. Mehmet Oz from The Dr. Oz Showâ€ is a huge proponent of omega-3 fatty acid supplements because most Americans are consuming very low amounts in our daily diets. He recommends taking a supplement that has 600mg of DHA daily. For more tips on choosing a supplement*, check out the following article on the Dr. Oz website. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/daily-dose-omega-3
- Be cautious that while Dr. Oz says the more the better, when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids, some studies have shown potential health risks when consuming too much of this good fat. These potential risks seem to be associated more with the over-consumption of ALA, so medical experts advise that we focus more on eating food sources or taking supplements higher in DHA and EPA.
- *Always consult your doctor before taking any supplement.
4. Omega-6 fatty acids are NOT the same as omega-3 fatty acids
- Omega-6 fatty acids are not as widely known as omega-3 fatty acids because they do not have the same health benefits. In fact, consuming too many omega-6 fatty acids may take away some of these health benefits that omega-3 fatty acids give us.
- Omega-6 fatty acids is also a polyunsaturated fat, which makes it healthier than a saturated fat; but it is a fat that is over-consumed in our diets today. Omega-6 is a main source of fat in our diet and is found in virtually all the oils that are used to cook our foods on a daily basis. Omega 6 fatty acids is predominant in packaged and processed foods.
- On average, our diets consist of about 6-10 times the amount of omega-6 fatty acids as they should. Ideally, the ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids should be 2:1 or even 1:1. Therefore, we need to work hard to stay way from processed foods and stick to lean, whole foods that contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in order to maintain a proper balance between these fats in our diets.
5. Read food labels carefully!
- Because of the recent omega-3 fatty acid hype, companies have been adding this fat to their products. Cereal, for one, is a good example. Be wary of these products and know that just because they may claim to have a certain desired healthy ingredient does not mean the product itself is a healthy choice. Often times, the omega-3 added is in such small amounts that you will not necessarily see the health benefits from that food.
- Also, marketers are labeling their products as being enriched with omegas. This most likely means there are very few omega-3 fatty acids and much more omega-6 fatty acids. Remember, we want to consume more omega-3 fatty acids and less omega-6.
- The bottom line is to educate yourself and go into the grocery store armed and ready to choose the most wholesome, naturally healthy food for you and your family.
Recipe found on Raleys.com
This meal is full of omega-3 fatty acids! Very yummy (Jenny-tested), very easy, and very good for you! Enjoy!
This quick dish is perfect served on a bed of spring mix greens.
- 4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets (preferably wild-caught)
- Freshly ground sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. whole grain mustard
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 10 to 15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 400Â°F and spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Rinse salmon and pat dry. Place skin side down on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir together honey and mustard; spoon over the top and sides of salmon. Sprinkle with walnuts and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked to your liking.
Makes 4 servings.
320 calories, 45 g protein, 10 g total fat (1.5 g sat., 0 g trans), 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 100 mg cholesterol, 320 mg sodium, 7 points
Diana DeHaven is devoted to living a healthy and active life. She has been a client with Chris for over a year and is also a cheerful and inspiring member of the noon group class. She keeps a food journal and feels like eating healthy whole food is its own reward. She has made health and exercise a priority in her life so that she may enjoy her family to the fullest. She has worked so hard for many years to be as healthy and strong as possible. Diana is applying that great work ethic to her training at BodyBasics. She is extremely diligent in working to correct imbalances and adding variety to her workouts. Diana understands that variety and even moderation are necessary components to a healthy lifestyle- especially when it comes to exercise.
Congratulations on being selected BodyBasics Client of the Month!
Doug Brozovsky and Pam Hyde – June
Doug and Pam are a very special couple. They make their home in Flagstaff, Arizona but have spent the last several months in Tucson at the University of Arizona as they prepare to change careers. Even in a time of transition such as that, they are committed to improving their health and fitness. They are preparing to return home at the end of the semester. Doug and Pam work out together three times a week in fun filled sessions with their trainer, Maureen. They have complimented their exercise efforts by adopting a healthy eating plan and lots of extra cardio. They have each improved their cardiovascular fitness, body composition, strength, stamina, agility, flexibility and the quality of their movements. Doug and Pam, enjoy your good health. You will be missed.
This year’s Race for the Cure was more like a race for the pancakes! It was unseasonably cold so we made quick work of the race and got right to the best part…..
The post-race pancakes! A fun time was had by all and we really appreciate everyone who supported this worthy cause.
To empower people to realize their innate abilities by providing an environment that nurtures, educates, and inspires.
Keep Up the Great Work!
We are very proud of all of you!
Chris, Mike H., Maureen, Mike D., Nick, Jenny, Amelia, and Becky