How 15 Minutes of Walking a Day Can Change Your Life

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2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205 (412) 304-2016 
241 Three Springs Dr. Weirton, WV 26062 (304) 914-3112

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We all know how important exercise is and the impact it has on our mental, physical and emotional health.  So often we at Elevation Medical Weight Loss hear that people can’t exercise for one reason or another.  Some think they are too large, too old, too feeble, the list goes on and on…excuses, excuses. Thankfully, there is something most of us can do and we do it every day, without even thinking…WALKING.

Did you know that walking at least 15 minutes every day can add up to 7 years to your life?  We suggest if you are able to do more, challenge yourself with a vigorous walk whenever you can.  If you have trouble physically walking for a while, just getting up and moving can make a difference!

Here are some benefits of walking every day:

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  • Walking boosts your mood.  Walking just 12 minutes results in increase attentiveness
  • Walking can improve cognitive performance
  • Walking can lower your blood pressure
  • Walking can help prevent or control diabetes.  Women, in particular, who walk at least 30 minutes daily decrease their risk of diabetes by 30%.
  • Walking has proven to be effective at shrinking dangerous abdominal fat linked to diabetes.
  • Walking can help reduce pain and improve mobility

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When you are walking, here are some tips to make the most out of your stroll:

  • Swing your arms. Bend at 90 degrees and pump from shoulders. This allows for a quicker pace and provides a workout for your upper body.
  • Wear comfortable shoes.  Look for flexible soles and stiff heels, or any cushioned, lightweight, and low-heeled shoe.  Try to avoid stiff-soled shoes that don’t bend.
  • Make sure your posture is correct.
  • Pick the right pace.  To burn more calories, you should be walking at least 3-5 mph.  Take smaller, faster steps to speed up.
  • Try small hills, up and down steps for a more fat-blasting workout!

The smallest of things can help you walk more.  If you have to take public transit, get off before your destination and walk the rest of the way.  If you can, try taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk after lunch instead of sitting and chatting with co-workers. Walk your dog or a friend’s dog.  Put your phone in the next room so that you have to get up to answer it.  Same with the remote, put it by the TV.

The benefits of walking daily are astronomical, as it positively effects both your mental and physical state, leaving your mind and body happier and much healthier.

So grab your sneakers and your music and start moving those legs! Your body will thank you!

 

 

 

 

How to Start a Strength Training Program

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As a primer ahead of my upcoming strength training series of articles, I want to spend some time on the fundamentals of creating workout plan so that you can get the results you want regardless of the specific exercises you choose. While I will encourage everyone to pick up a barbell or dumbbell from time to time, I care less about what you do than how you do it. I will focus on strength training in this article since it is the more effective for our goals than cardio, however if you are limited to typically “endurance” activities we can discuss you options on an individual basis.

A routine consisting simply of pushups, situps, and squats, or really any movement that requires you to move your body or move an object around your body, can be used to develop strength if done properly. When planning your workouts, there are 3 main components that you want to adjust to achieve your desired strength training goals: repetitions, sets, and exertion,

Reps

Repetitions, or reps, are a major factor in the results you get from your workout. Generally speaking, lower reps lead to more strength while higher reps nurture increased endurance. Of course its more complicated than that, but for our purposes we want to stick with weights that are difficult to perform for 3-12 reps. By staying within this rep range you can gains strength while staying safe. Remember though, repetitions only matter when you use the right weight, sets should be difficult but manageable with good technique.

Sets

Sets are groupings of reps, so if you do 3 sets of 10 reps of pushups, that would mean that you  did 10 pushups, rested, did 10 more pushups, rested again, and then did 10 more pushups. Generally doing anywhere from 3 to 6 sets (excluding warm ups) will get the results you want. You should also consider your reps when deciding how many sets to perform; the fewer reps you perform, the more sets you can do and vice versa. This ensures that you are exercising in sufficient volume to stimulate muscle growth.

Exertion

Perceived exertion is just a fancy way to describing how hard you think something is. This may seem fairly straightforward, however I want to make it clear that the weight, reps, and sets that you perform are based entirely on you. I want you to feel like you are putting in a 8/10 effort with every exercise, hard enough to strain you but easier enough to control.
So that’s it, with these three concepts together with a fitness goal in mind you can start to put together you own workout routine. If you are now sitting there confidant that you understand the how of working out but are still lost on the “what”, browse around the internet, or ask a trainer at your gym, or just hold tight because my next few articles will try to give you some easy to do exercises to choose from.

9 Tips for Losing Weight from a Fit Physician

DSC_1283Throughout my  years helping thousands of clients lose literal tons of fat, I have received many questions about how I managed to stay lean & lose my baby weight just months after giving birth to my now one year old daughter.  So here are the highlights:

  1. Drink more water. A lot more,  actually. . You may have heard that you should drink 8 glasses of water a day.  I’d second that advice, so long as you use 16-oz glasses/bottles.  That’s right, I advise that you should drink about 1 gallon (128 oz) of calorie-free fluids daily to stay well-hydrated. Quite often when your body sends signals that it is thirsty, your brain will misinterpret this thirst as hunger.  Drink 16-oz of water when you first think you are getting hungry between meals and wait 30 minutes to see if you are truly hungry.  Having extra hydration is especially important when you are using an appetite suppressant (such as phentermine or Adipex) as a tool to aid in weight loss.
  2. Don’t snack, have real meals instead.   This is important when the goal is fat loss. Since you are on a calorie-restricted diet and are allowed ~1,200 calories a day, you need to have real meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) at planned times.
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  3. Keep your meal times consistent. If you must have 3 meals a day, have designated time (usually a 1 hour window) that you will eat.  If you miss this time frame, you must wait until the next meal.
  4. Delay breakfast for as long as possible. If you’re not hungry, don’t eat.  Evening times may be the worst time for snacking, so if you are still under your calorie goal by dinner, you can enjoy your dinner a bit more 😉
  5. Calorie in < calorie out. By eating a calorie deficit diet, the majority of healthy individuals WILL lose weight. That includes you.
  6. You cannot out-exercise what you eat. Well, you probably can but you don’t want to. Spending 2 hours in the gym will most likely not make up for the “cheat meal” from last night. A large amount of time is required to burn off even a paltry 100 calories, you don’t even want to imagine how long it’ll take to burn off that Tall Mocha Frappaccino from Starbucks.
  7. Track calories for consistent weight loss results.  I have used ALL of the apps out there, from Myfitnesspal to Lose It! to Fat Secret and many other ones.  My favorite is MyPlate Calorie Counter from Livestrong.  You will obtain excellent results if you track calories daily for each meal. The constant reminder of what you put into you body really makes it easy to make difficult choices when you are tempted by your favorite snacks.
  8. Abs are made in the kitchen.  Really!
  9. You do not have to exercise to lose weight. Ok, I may have already said this but it bears repeating. Exercise isn’t NECESSARY to lose fat, but exercising will help reduce stress, tone your muscles and help shape your body, while making it easier to keep your weight loss progress for the long term.

Thank you for reading.  And good luck in your journey to feeling better and improving your health!