Is It Time For New Workout Shoes?

Is It Time For New Workout Shoes?

In Houston, TX, working out doesn’t require you to make a fashion statement. As long as your clothes allow free movement, they’re good enough to workout, even if they’re old and torn. What you shouldn’t skimp on is workout shoes. Not all shoes are gym worthy. Tattered and torn shoes held together with duct tape and gorilla glue can lead to injury. The type of shoes you choose depends on your foot and the exercises you’re doing. Weight-lifting shoes are different from those you wear to do bodyweight exercises.

Can your shoes cause injury?

The answer is a definite yes. Good workout shoes have spring in them to absorb shock. A worn midsole limits that ability and allows your foot to move excessively. A worn shoe also causes the shoe’s form to change which will affect your foot alignment. It causes stress on various parts of the foot that correct alignment protects. That can cause stress and overuse injuries.

How long should your shoes last?

There’s not a specific timeline for how long workout shoes last. A lot of factors come into play. Better quality shoes will last longer than those that are of lesser quality. Quality isn’t always determined by price, so look for shoes that absorb shock when you jump. Does it cushion the shock? It’s the shoe’s compression ability. The National Strength and Conditioning Association—NSCA—suggests that running shoes last about 6 months or 4=300 to 500 miles. If you’re using those shoes in the gym to do high-impact cardio, it could take less time. If you do more low-impact exercises, expect your shoes to last longer.

Check the wear on the sole.

Look at the soles of your shoes. If you notice the heels are extremely worn or have lopsided wear, with one side showing far more wear than the other, it’s time for new shoes. That kind of wear puts your heel in motion and causes you to land unevenly, putting even more strain on your body. Does your foot slide from side to side inside the shoe? It’s time for new shoes.

  • If you notice a hole starting to wear in the ball of the shoe, toss it. It’s time for new shoes to protect your feet. Your shoes no longer protect the balls of your feet.
  • Did you buy new shoes and let them sit for several years? They may not be useful even if they look new. It depends on the materials they contain. Some materials can dry out in the outer sole, midsole, or upper area causing them to lose their ability to function properly.
  • Do a thorough visual inspection. It’s more than just the sole that wears out, the interior can show wear, too. Check for uneven wear everywhere. You can judge the life left in shoes by the wear they show.
  • How your feet feel when you wear the shoes makes a difference. Do the balls of your feet hurt? There’s no cushioning left. Do your knees hurt? Your shoes may be responsible for turning your feet at an odd angle. Even small changes can make a difference.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Say Goodbye To Back Fat

Say Goodbye To Back Fat

No spot-reducing exercises can take fat off one area and not another. When you lose weight, you lose it all over your body, not just in specific areas. However, toning the muscles in certain areas can change your body’s appearance, making it look thinner with less fat. Getting rid of back fat is possible by targeting the muscles in the back and toning them. By tightening the muscles, it builds muscle tone and alters the appearance for the better.

Start with a healthy diet.

To lose back fat, just like losing any fat, you have to lose weight all over your body, but you’ll make it less noticeable. To eliminate back fat, focus on eating a healthy diet. To lose one pound, you need to eat 3500 fewer calories than you burn. You can make it easy on yourself by switching to healthier options and eliminating foods with added sugar and highly processed food. Pile on the greens and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Is that back fat or just a sagging muscle?

It’s often hard to tell the difference between fat and sagging muscles. One thing is certain, the appearance of both isn’t attractive. Upper body exercises focusing on the shoulders and back can help tighten the area and tone the sagging muscles. You’ll still have to burn extra calories to reduce the amount of fat and for that doing cardio and strength-building exercises work. Kettlebell workouts can build the back muscles while also burning lots of calories. HIIT workouts—high intensity interval training—also burn loads of calories, but don’t necessarily tighten back muscles.

Work all areas of the back.

Back fat can be in the shoulders and upper back, mid, and lower back areas. How do you work all the areas to maximize the results? Doing core exercises will work. Simple core exercises like the Superman can tone all the back muscles while building abdominal muscles. Planks, pull-ups, push-ups, burpees, and seated dips are also excellent for toning back muscles.

  • Create a circuit of back toning exercises and do it. If you cut the rest time between sets, you’ll create a HIIT workout that burns even more calories.
  • Add weight to your workout. Including weights can tone muscles faster and burn extra calories. You’ll tone and tighten your muscles by including weights or doing bodyweight workouts.
  • Check your posture. Exercise can help improve posture, but also focus on it throughout the day. Sit straight and walk tall. Focus on keeping your shoulders back and your head up.
  • Do a little air boxing. It can be fun to do, especially if you imagine you’re punching out someone you don’t like or defending the championship. Use resistance bands as an alternative to weight training. They’re inexpensive and take little storage room.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

How To Stay Motivated To Exercise In 2024

How To Stay Motivated To Exercise In 2024

If you’re like many people in Houston, TX, you probably made some New Year’s resolutions. One of them may be to exercise regularly and get into shape. Most people who make that resolution are sincere and start well, but as each day passes, they find it harder to stick with their goals. You can stay motivated if you have realistic goals. Are you trying to push too hard and accomplish an impossible goal? Having a realistic goal will keep you motivated longer.

Identify why you want to get fit.

If you make a goal that doesn’t mean much to you, you probably won’t achieve it. The goal should excite you and have a purpose. If you want to get fit because a friend is doing it or someone told you that you should, you won’t be as motivated. If that person who told you that you should get fit is your physician and he added that if you don’t there are serious health repercussions, you’ll be more motivated. Maybe you’re a grandparent or parent who wants to play with the kids but is too out of shape to do it. That’s a driving force. Even someone mocking your appearance can be turned from a depressing moment to a driving force.

Take your big goal and break it down into smaller more achievable goals.

If your goal is to lose 50 pounds, it can be overwhelming and take a long time to lose. You won’t get the reinforcement that success offers for a long time. Break your goal down into smaller, easier-to-accomplish goals, like losing two pounds a week for 25 weeks. Your ultimate timeline will be 25 weeks from the date you start, but along the way, you can stay motivated with mini successes.

Create a photo journey and track your progress.

Start your journey by taking a picture in close-fitting clothes. Every month, take a picture standing in the same spot and wearing the same clothes. Keep a separate album on your phone to show your results or share your journey on social media. Track your progress using measurements or weight. Use glucose levels and blood pressure if that is your goal. When you track your progress, you can see how far you traveled on those days when you get discouraged.

  • Use procrastination as your friend to help you reach your goal. Procrastinate getting up for a snack. If you’re working out, procrastinate quitting by attempting to do just one more set.
  • Feel your muscles work during the exercise. When you become familiar with it, you’ll have more control over each muscle group. Also, focus on how good you feel after a workout. You do more of what feels good.
  • Get active. Besides working out, find ways to be more active daily. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further from the store and walk more. Do fun activities like dancing.
  • Schedule your workout at the same time every day. When you schedule it like an appointment, you increase the potential of doing it. Doing it each at a specific time makes it become a habit.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

What are HIIT workouts? HIIT is an acronym for high intensity interval training. It isn’t a specific workout but a way of doing any workout. You alternate the intensity between high intensity and recovery. HIIT workouts burn tons of calories, but some are far better than others if you want to burn fat. There is a difference between the two. If you’re burning calories, those calories can come from both fat and muscle tissue. If you’re burning fat, you don’t deplete muscle tissue to use as energy.

HIIT workouts are successful because they allow your body to work at peak performance.

If you do steady-state workouts at peak performance, you can’t workout very long before your body has to rest. Alternating between peak performance and recovery allows you to take advantage of the massive benefits of a high-intensity workout longer. You’ll even burn calories after the workout ends. It’s called EPOC—Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. HIIT also helps improve overall health by lowering blood pressure, improving heart rate, reducing blood glucose levels, and boosting endurance.

The best HIIT workouts involve strength training.

You can do any type of strength training to reap huge benefits. Strength training builds muscle mass as it burns fat. Cardio HIIT workouts like running burn tons of calories, but those calories come from both fat and muscle tissue. You can do bodyweight exercises and create a total workout. Start with lunges for 30 seconds to a minute then do burpees for 30 seconds to a minute, followed by the same amount of time for squat jumps. Take a short rest and start the exercises again.

Use battle ropes for HIIT workouts.

It’s easy to modify the intensity when you use battle ropes. They make an excellent tool for HIIT workouts. You can also use weights. The key is to raise your heart rate for a minute and then alternate back to a recovery pace to allow your heart rate to lower. You can use kettlebells or dumbbells for HIIT workouts, too. It’s all about modifying the intensity.

  • Doing squats of any type from traditional to goblet at peak intensity for a minute and then slowing it down to a recovery rate is a HIIT workout that will burn fat and build muscle.
  • When you first start HIIT workouts, don’t push yourself. If you can only go at peak intensity for a few seconds, do it. If you need more recovery time than those few seconds, take them.
  • HIIT workouts do more than just get you into shape and help you lose weight. They also help you stay younger longer. They lengthen the telomeres to protect cells and prevent cell damage that can cause aging.
  • Before you attempt any HIIT workouts, learn the proper form of each exercise you do. Take it slower until you have the form perfect. Always check with your healthcare professional first before starting any exercise program.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Exercises For Reduced Mobility

Exercises For Reduced Mobility

There are many reasons people have reduced mobility. Some people have temporary issues like a broken ankle, while others have a more permanent problem or are bedridden. In all cases, people benefit from exercise. The more limitations, the more adjustments need to be made. You can workout in a chair, a bed, or if possible, move on your own and adjust for your limitations. Before starting any exercise program, always check with your healthcare professional first.

Do exercises appropriate for your limitations.

If you can’t get out of bed, do exercises you can do in bed. If you can move your arms, making arm circles in the air can boost circulation and help you heal quicker. Discuss the type of exercise you’ll do with a physical therapist or physician to guide you. Don’t try to overdo it. Start with a few minutes and work toward a half hour. Do several sessions throughout the day. Stretching your arms and legs prevents atrophy. You can use resistance bands for strength training. Hold one end of the band in each hand and pull. Adjust how you hold the band to work other muscles. Do flutter kicks in bed if possible.

If you can sit in a chair, you have more options.

You can do an upper body workout if you’re in a chair. Don’t forget posture exercises. Sit up straight in the chair and pull your shoulders back. Lift your head as you straighten your spine for a beneficial and simple workout. Lift your arms, bending them at the elbow until the upper arm is perpendicular to the body and the forearm is parallel like a goal post. Stretch backward. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. Practice getting out of a chair and sitting back down. Have someone available to help you so you don’t fall.

Move what you can move.

If you have lower body limitations, focus on upper body exercises. Modify exercises to match your capabilities. Exercise in a pool. Your body is more buoyant, so it doesn’t put as much pressure on the joints. You can use resistance bands for flexibility and strength training. For lower body exercises, slide the resistance band around the arch of your foot and sit upright holding an end in each hand. Pull your arms backward then slowly straighten them. You can work your lower body if you begin with your knees bent and then straighten your legs.

  • Short sessions throughout the day add up and can boost recovery time. The increased circulation improves healing. Don’t overdo it. That can be stressful.
  • Stretching your body while in bed can reduce the pain that occurs from remaining in the same position for too long.
  • Always do warm-up and cool-down exercises. They can be as simple as shaking your hands in the air, keeping them loose to stimulate circulation, or doing big body stretches.
  • Do isometric exercises. You don’t have to move doing isometrics. You just tighten and relax the muscles.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Start Adopting Healthy Habits Now

Start Adopting Healthy Habits Now

In Houston, TX, some people start working out and eating nutrient-dense meals in the middle of December, hoping to get fit for the holidays. It takes more than just a week or two of exercise or nutritious meals to be fit. It takes developing healthy habits to become healthier. If you consistently do things to help you get fit and avoid those things that can harm your body, it will provide a boost to help you reach your goals and make it easier.

Exercise at the same time each day.

Identify a time that you can exercise each day. It might be after work, but if your hours are crazy and you never know when your day will end, exercise first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter what time you choose. The key is to choose a time when you can do it consistently. Put exercise on your schedule and treat it like any other appointment. It helps you develop a habit. You’ll automatically workout at that time or feel uncomfortable if you don’t.

Don’t wait until you’re famished to plan your meal.

Meal planning a week’s worth of meals makes it easy to stick with a healthy eating program. You plan the week’s meals one night and create a shopping list. You shop on another night. Over the weekend or when you have a full day at home, you cook the weeks’ worth of food and package meals in individual serving sizes. During the next week, all you have to do is heat and serve. It’s quicker than a drive-through and saves money. If the main meal for one night is baked chicken, you can use the leftovers for chicken salad, a Buddha bowl, or several other dishes.

Make it a habit to get adequate sleep.

You need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for maximum energy and to function at its best. If you don’t get adequate sleep, it triggers the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and diminishes the production of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. That makes it difficult to stick with any healthy diet. When people are tired, they often crave sweets to boost their energy. Processed products high in added sugar are never part of a healthy diet.

  • When you do meal planning, make sure you include snacks. A nutritious, low-calorie snack mid-morning or mid-afternoon helps you get through the day without snacking on candy or other sweet treats.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate regularly. Dehydration can cause serious health issues or make you eat more. Your brain misinterprets the body’s message of thirst for hunger. You eat more to fill the need.
  • Stick with a sleep schedule to be your healthiest. If you go to bed at the same time each night and get up on schedule, it helps you fall asleep quicker, get sounder sleep, and wake up refreshed.
  • Stay active. While exercising regularly is necessary for fitness, staying active when you’re not exercising helps. If you have a sedentary job, get up once every hour and move, walk, or stretch.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Avoid Holiday Food Temptations

Avoid Holiday Food Temptations

The last two months of the year are hard for anyone in Houston, TX, who is trying to lose weight. Every get-together has food temptations that can destroy the potential for success. How do you avoid overeating during the holidays and bypass all those goodies that only come once a year? One simple way is to go ahead and eat a treat or two. If you have a small serving of your favorite food that your Auntie makes only at holiday time, it’s not the end of the world. It’s okay to eat a small amount of unhealthy food occasionally. Just don’t eat a whole pie or consistently eat unhealthy foods.

Are you afraid you’ll eat everything in sight the minute you arrive at celebrations?

It’s easy to do, especially if your celebration isn’t a formal sit-down dinner but a grazing experience where you can go back for seconds, thirds, and more. You can eat quite a bit even if you’re casually eating a few cookies here and a cupcake or two there. Many people don’t eat all day when they have a party that night. That’s the worst thing you can do. It leaves you ravenous and the only option is the party food. You don’t control the food that’s there. Instead, eat something at home right before you leave so you aren’t as hungry. You’ll be more likely to choose healthier options and eat less.

Drink plenty of water.

Water fills you up, but not out! Have a glass of water a half hour before eating. It can help you feel fuller. At parties that offer a serve-yourself option, where you can eat whatever and whenever you choose, drinking water first as you meet and greet other guests. Drinking water can be your secret weapon to curb your appetite, fill you up, and help you stick with a program of healthy eating.

Visit with others and eat slower.

Sometimes, feeling socially awkward can cause people to eat more. If you find your head down, shoveling food in your mouth because you don’t feel comfortable talking, then listen. Some of the best conversationalists don’t talk much, but they listen better than anyone else. Instead of eating, pause to absorb what the other person says. The extra time it takes to eat slower allows the stomach to signal to the brain that it’s full.

  • Even if you don’t know anyone, you can slow the food you consume. Chew each bite thoughtfully. Savor each bite, chewing it until it’s almost liquid while enjoying its taste and texture.
  • If it’s a buffet-style meal, fill your plate with a heaping serving of greens. Eat that first before you go back for other food. Choose vegetables without creamy sauces and healthier options first.
  • Sit down to eat. Whether you’re at home or a party, eating while you stand destroys part of the experience. Sitting down can slow how fast you consume your food and help make you more aware of each bite.
  • Replace alcoholic beverages with water or unsweetened tea or coffee. Alcohol not only adds tons of calories, but it also makes you hungrier, so you eat more.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

What's The Best Time Of Day To Workout?

What’s The Best Time Of Day To Workout?

If you’ve heard varying opinions on the best time to workout and wondered who was wrong or right, the answer is simple. No matter what time of day you workout, it’s the best time of day. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the best time to exercise. There are good reasons for working out at any time of day. The most important factor is when is best for you and when you can do it consistently.

You are unique.

Some people simply don’t function their best in the early morning. It takes a while for them to wake up and be at peak performance. Others love the early morning hours when they won’t be interrupted. If you’re an early bird or have an unpredictable workday that defies scheduling, working out in the morning before the day starts and while you’re at peak energy is best.

Working out at lunch or after work has its advantages.

For some people, the biggest advantage of lunch or after-work workouts is sleeping in for an extra hour. But there are other reasons to workout later in the day. Even though previous beliefs were that working out too late can keep you awake, more recent studies show that it isn’t true. Newer studies show it may help you sleep better. Poor sleep or lack of sleep can increase ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and suppress the creation of leptin that makes you feel full. If you workout in the afternoon, your muscles have warmed up and you still have a high amount of energy, so you’ll have a better workout.

It’s all about scheduling a time and sticking with it.

No matter what time you workout, if it’s the best time for you to exercise consistently, it’s the right time. It’s all about fitting the workout into your schedule consistently and matching it with a time when you have your highest energy level. If your day is consistently interrupted and you never know when you’ll finish work, you’re better off exercising in the morning. Even if your energy level is low, you still can do it consistently.

  • Studies show that hormone levels in the morning make it the best fat-burning time. Some studies show you’ll burn more fat exercising on an empty stomach after fasting overnight.
  • If you workout after your workday ends, you’ll burn off the hormones of stress and can finish your day feeling more relaxed and stress-free. Are you prone to a mid-day slump? Exercising at noon can help.
  • Even if you aren’t a morning person, if your schedule won’t allow you to workout consistently any other time of day, working out in the morning is best. Once your body adjusts to early rising, you might realize that you enjoy it.
  • Put your workout on your schedule so it becomes a habit. Even though some studies show it’s easier to create a habit in the morning, everyone is different. Do what is best for you.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer

How Exercise Can Help You Live Longer

People in Houston, TX, exercise for a variety of reasons. Some people simply love it. Others exercise to look their best. Still, others love the health benefits and the fact that you live longer when you exercise. It can improve the production of stem cells that repair the body and extend telomeres that protect the cells. Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable death. It can lead to serious conditions, including diabetes. By helping you look your best and preventing obesity, it extends your life expectancy.

Exercise and a healthy diet can keep you looking younger.

Exercise and a healthy diet protect the cells and keep you younger at a cellular level. Exercise lengthens the telomeres. Those are similar to aglets on the end of shoelaces. They keep the DNA from unraveling. The longer they are, the more protection they provide. Exercise also increases stem cells. Stem cells can become any type of cell and repair damaged areas. A healthy diet provides antioxidants that protect the cells. It helps reduce inflammation that can cause health issues.

Exercise can help ease joint pain and improve heart health.

If you sit on the couch and avoid exercise, fearing you might hurt yourself or cause injury, you’re probably doing just the opposite. Exercise helps lubricate the joints and can relieve joint pain. The heart is a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs to get a workout to stay strong. Exercise can increase heart rate and give your heart a workout. It increases muscle strength and helps lower blood pressure too. If you exercise regularly, you probably won’t wear out, but if you don’t, you definitely will rust out.

With just a few exceptions, exercise is for everyone.

If you’ve never worked out previously and the heaviest thing you’ve lifted was the full plate at the buffet, you need to exercise. The key is to start with easier workouts and not to push yourself too hard at first. Learn the proper form for each exercise first. Focusing on your form is vital and can help prevent injury and maximize the benefits. Everyone can do some type of exercise. Some exercises can be done in a wheelchair or bed. It improves circulation and sends oxygen and nutrient-laden blood to all parts of the body.

  • Stress triggers a rush of hormones that prepare the body for fighting or running. If neither occurs, it leads to long-term changes that threaten health. Exercise helps burn off the hormones of stress.
  • Exercise doesn’t have to be calisthenics. It can be as simple as walking. An Australian study showed that when sedentary people started walking 10,000 steps a day, it reduced their mortality risk by 40%.
  • Exercise increases nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and expands the blood vessels. That reduces resistance and lowers blood pressure.
  • Exercise helps your mental health. It can relieve depression and anxiety. It also helps improve cognitive function and is often used with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness

Pros And Cons Of Going To The Gym With Someone Else

Pros And Cons Of Going To The Gym With Someone Else

If you hate not knowing anyone when you go to some place, going to the gym with someone can make you feel better. It also can help you stick with your workout program in a variety of ways. There are pros and cons to working out with someone else. Knowing someone is going with you makes you more apt to go and is why personal trainers have a high success rate. While they may hold you accountable, if they aren’t dedicated to exercise and want to skip it, or can’t go one day, you may not either.

Being held accountable is a huge benefit.

If you go to the gym with someone else and use them as your workout partner, they’ll hold you accountable in several ways. If someone is beeping their horn in front of your home or waiting at their house for you to pick them up, you’ll make a bigger effort to be ready. One study found that people were 78% more likely to stick with an exercise program if someone called them twice a week.

Workout partners can check your form.

Maintaining the correct form makes a huge difference in the success of any exercise. If you go to the gym with someone and work out with that person, you’ll also be more likely to push yourself and do every repetition, even if you’re tired. You’ll get better results. Working out with a friend will help you try different exercises instead of sticking with the same routine.

Not all friends are good workout buddies or motivating.

If you have a workout buddy who’s more than willing to skip a day or two, you may have a problem. You’ll be holding them accountable, and if they don’t care enough to go, you might skip exercising. It helps to find someone at the same fitness level as you. It provides a more competitive workout. They can drag you down and make you less productive if they aren’t at your fitness level.

  • If you go to the gym with someone, have a backup plan. Your partner may get sick, have an emergency, or be less dependable. If your partner bails, keep up your program.
  • Safety is important. Going to the gym with someone else can make it safer, especially if you go at night. They can be your spotter if you’re lifting weights and provide help to maintain proper form.
  • Working out is more fun if you have someone with you. You’ll look forward to going to the gym when it’s fun. Just make sure you focus on the exercise more than the entertainment.
  • Everyone needs a little praise. A workout partner can provide that. If you’ve struggled with a specific exercise and finally made it through a set of reps, being congratulated is motivating.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C. Fitness