Have You Tried LISS Cardio?

Have You Tried LISS Cardio?

One of the latest methods of working out is LISS cardio. LISS stands for low intensity steady state. Unlike HIIT—high intensity interval training—that alternates the intensity between high intensity and a recovery pace, while attempting to reach 80 to 95% of your maximum heart rate for short periods, LISS is a steady state workout that attempts to maintain a consistent heart rate of approximately 50 to 65 % of heart rate.

Which type of exercise is best.

You have to polar opposites, but which type is best. According to most experts, there’s room for both in your exercise program. While you can use HIIT for almost any type of activity, brisk walking, running, biking, swimming and other cardio workouts are normally LISS activities. While one disadvantage of LISS is that it takes longer to be effective, it does burn a lot of calories and trains your aerobic system. Over time, one study finds that there is no significant differences in results.

Besides burning a ton of calories and being more effective for fat loss, LISS has other benefits.

Whether you’re older, completely out of shape or recovering from an injury, LISS is beneficial. It’s good for people of all levels of fitness. It’s not as hard on the body and recovery is faster from LISS than from HIIT. If you’re participating in a marathon or other endurance event, LISS is extremely effective. You can combine LISS with HIIT. It’s a good exercise technique to use for recovery.

When is LISS not appropriate or not the best way to workout.

Are you cramped for time? LISS may not be for you. HIIT workouts can get results with shorter workouts. You need a minimum of 45 to 60 minutes for working out. Steady state workouts that are lengthy can be particularly boring. It’s one reason people often listen to music or podcasts when doing them. Another drawback it the potential for overuse injuries that occur when you do the same workout too often or too long.

  • You can alternate between HIIT and LISS workouts. If you have a busy schedule, save the LISS longer workouts for the weekend and do HIIT during the week or when you’re cramped for time.
  • No matter what type of exercise program you choose, always check with your health care professional to make sure it’s safe for you to do, especially if you have preexisting health conditions.
  • You have to focus more when you do HIIT workouts than with LISS workouts, since the pace is continuous with LISS. You can use the mental break to focus on breathing techniques or as a meditative time.
  • If you’re just starting an exercise program, LISS is far easier to do than HIIT. Recovery is also quicker. It also helps build endurance for longer periods of exercise better than HIIT.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?

If you’ve heard of intermittent fasting—IF—and wanted to try it as a form of weight control, you might get confused because there are so many ways to do it. There are fasts you can do for 24-48 hours when you avoid meals and consume just liquids that have no or few calories like tea, coffee and water, eating regularly at other times or even feasting one healthy foods at least one day. The other type of intermittent fasting is just fasting for a window of time each day. It typically includes fasting for 16 hours and eating in an 8-hour window. The type of intermittent fasting you choose depends on your circumstances and overall health.

Is fasting of any type healthy?

For some people, intermittent fasting can be a health risk. For instance, diabetics, especially those that require medication, should never fast unless it’s under a doctor’s care. Anyone taking blood pressure or heart medication should also consult their health care professional. It’s also not appropriate for anyone with eating disorders, as it could add to the problem. Even if you use the safest type of IF, the one where you fast 16 hours and eat the other eight, if you have any medical issues, you should consult your doctor or if you’re breast feeding or pregnant, you shouldn’t fast.

A lot of animal studies, even some from 80 years ago, show IF provides health benefits.

In the 1940s, animal studies were done identifying that fasting slowed the aging process. One group of rats were fed on demand and one were fed on alternate days. Those who were only fed every other day lived longer and aged slower. The body was meant to withstand periods where food isn’t readily available. In fact, during that time, insulin resistance is reduced, blood sugar levels normalize and the body removed damaged cells, lowering the risk of cancer.

Obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths.

IF can help you lose weight, as long as you eat healthy during the hours you eat. If you only eat during a certain period of time and skip food at other times, such as eating from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. And skip eating the rest of the day, you have less time to eat and studies show you’ll automatically consume less food. Scientists also note that it causes your body to burn fat as fuel, rather than glucose. That lowers blood insulin levels and reduces belly fat. It makes weight loss easier.

  • If you’re prediabetic or have insulin resistance, IF can actually help you become healthier. It allows your body to reboot insulin levels. It can also improve both mental and physical energy.
  • Just extending your fast from overnight to 16 hours can trigger changes in your body. It can allow for cell repair, increase HGH—human growth hormone by 500% and increase fat burning hormones.
  • The changes caused by intermittent fasting can help in other ways. It can aid in developing thicker hair, improve sleep patterns, boost skin elasticity and help prevent erectile dysfunction.
  • Inflammation is one cause of many serious illnesses, like asthma, autoimmune disorders, heart disease, IBS and cancer. When you practice IF it helps fight inflammation and the heavier you are, the more amazing the results.

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

Effective Workouts For Busy Moms

Effective Workouts For Busy Moms

Being a mom can be hectic. Leaving little time for yourself. I have clients in Houston, TX, who can barely make it to the gym one day a week and ask for workouts for busy moms to do at home. It’s one of the main reasons I provide the access to online sessions. That allows people to get their workout in shorter sessions throughout the day, like ten minutes each, three times a day or two fifteen minute sessions. That’s right, if your day is hectic, you can break down your workout to short sessions you can fit in between task and do when you take your break. You can even get the kids involved or do the sessions while they nap.

Make exercise a family activity and get the kids involved.

Sometimes life gets so busy, some of the best times to make memories are left on the sideline. As a busy mother, your job is to raise the healthiest kids possible. Focusing on healthy meals and exercise is one way to boost their health, so why not let them get them involved with exercise. You can make it a family fun time together and even get baby involved. Holding the baby in a carrier while you exercise turns any routine into a weight bearing exercise.

Maximize what little workout time you have with HIIT—high intensity interval training.

HIIT isn’t an exercise but a way of doing exercises to maximize the benefits. It alternates the intensity from high intensity to recovery. You can use it with any types of exercise, including walking. Walk at top speed until your heart rate rises, then slow the pace to allow it to recover to normal. Studies show that a half hour of HIIT is the equivalent to a full hour of steady state exercise. One study showed that people who sprinted for one minute, then followed that sprint with a more moderate recovery pace for nine minutes had the same improvements as those who did a full fifty minutes of a steady state workout.

Turn non-exercise activities into exercise.

Cleaning house takes effort and you can pack more exercise into it by pushing yourself harder. Alternate your speed when doing tasks and the intensity of effort. Washing windows is a great upper body workout when you do it with zeal. If you can, do some exercises while you clean, like doing squats when picking up clothes. If you’re going to the store park further and walk, adjusting your speed as you do. Don’t forget that playing with the kids is also good exercise. If they won’t join you in a workout, join them in play.

  • It’s hard to do but getting an early start can help you stick with a program. If you use my online program, it’s ready for you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  • There are exercises you can do almost anywhere. One four minute workout designed by Dr. Zachary Bush to provide a nitric oxide dump to lower blood pressure, combines deep squats, tin soldier, snow angel and the military press. You can do it at least three times a day.
  • Find exercises that you love to do. If you hate running, don’t do it. Do you love dancing? Turn on the music and enjoy. You’ll be more likely to stick with an exercise program you love.
  • Make social time exercise time. Do you normally get together with friends each week? Stick with that program but make it for exercise and a light lunch. Everyone will end up fitter and happier.

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

Fruit Is Your Friend

Fruit Is Your Friend

There’s nothing better than eating a cold piece of fruit on a hot day in Houston, TX. In fact, I know people that freeze grapes and snack on them during the hottest day. They’re like Mother Nature’s Popsicle. Fruit is a good option as part of a breakfast. It offers a higher sugar content to get you going, but the fiber slows the glucose entering your blood stream so you always have a constant stream of energy. The fiber also fills you up and keeps you full longer.

There are a lot of nutrients in fruit.

If you want to boost your nutrition, eat fruit as a snack. Unlike sugary treats that causes harm to the body, fruit contains beneficial nutrients and fiber. One study compared people that ate a minimum of two servings of fruit a day, with an additional three servings of vegetables for a total of five servings, to those that ate just two servings of total. That combination provides nutrients that lower the risk of death from any cause by 13%, reduced the risk of death from heart disease by 12%, reduced the risk of death from cancer by 10% and the death from respiratory disease by 35% when compared to people who ate just two servings of fruits or vegetables a day.

Fruit helps lower the risk of diabetes.

It’s the fiber in fruit that helps regulate the blood sugar levels, so drinking fruit juice won’t do the trick. You have to eat the entire fruit. The bulk from the fiber also helps aid digestion. You need to eat a wide variety of fruits to ensure you get a variety of benefits. For instance, apples provide polyphenols that helps lower blood pressure and are linked to reduced risk of stroke. Eating apples can help with asthma and improve dental and brain health. You can fight inflammation with blueberries, cherries and pineapple and bananas act like a natural beta-blocker.

Combine fruit with a source of protein for a pre or post workout or a meal.

Whether you opt for Greek yogurt with fruit, eating sliced apples with peanut butter or snacking from a fruit and cheese tray, you’ll get a protein and carbohydrate source that’s nourishing and can keep your energy level for hours. Having a half grapefruit with toast topped with nut butter or an egg is also a complete meal that will keep you going for a long time.

  • The anthocyanins in blueberries were studied as a way of stopping or reducing the risk of colon cancer. However, it was found that it’s the synergy of all the nutrients that help reduce the risk.
  • You don’t have to eat fresh fruit to get the benefits. You can use frozen fruit or canned fruit. In fact, frozen fruit may contain more nutrients than the fruit in the produce department. Just make sure it doesn’t have added sugar.
  • Make fruit ice by freezing sliced fruit and throwing it into a blender or food processor for a fruit ice. It has to be the whole fruit for benefit. Frozen bananas dipped in a bit of dark chocolate and topped with nuts is another healthy quick treat.
  • Boost your immune system with fruit. Combine kiwi, strawberries and grapefruit to boost vitamin C and reduce inflammation. It can help prevent serious illness and is quite tasty.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

Are You Bikini Body Ready?

Are You Bikini Body Ready?

While summer is barely here, warm weather started a while ago and will last well into fall. There’s still time to get bikini body ready and show off your body at the end of the season. In fact, if you start right now, imagine the progress you’ll make by August or September and how great you’ll look at the end of the year. You’ll be ringing in the New Year with a whole new you that’s gorgeous and fit.

Know your goal.

You might think, “Of course, I know my goal. I want to lose weight.” That’s not really a goal but just a statement. How much do you want to lose? If you just want to look better, what does that mean? You need to identify how many pounds you want to lose or state the size that you want to be. Your goal could read, “By September 15th, I want to lose 24 pounds.” That gives you 12 weeks to do it, which is a realistic goal.

It’s time to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

Summer always has been a favorite. It’s time that a lot of fresh fruit ripens, like cherries, apples or berries. These are like nature’s candy. All the farm produce also makes it easier to eat healthier and lose weight easier. No matter how many hours you put in working out, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. A great body starts in the kitchen. That’s why we provide nutritional help and a personalized meal plan. You don’t have to starve to shed extra pounds, just make smarter choices that are lower in calories and more nutritious.

If you create a habit, you’ll be more apt to stick with a program.

How do you make something a habit? You do it at the same time every day consistently. That’s why I always recommend that people schedule in their workout if they’re doing it online or workout the same time every day if you’re working out in person. It’s also one reason that working out with a personal trainer can help. You have a standing appointment with the trainer. Not only does that make you more accountable for showing up, it also helps create a habit.

  • Make sure your goal is realistic. If you have 100 pounds to lose, you simply can’t do it safely in 8 weeks. Stick with a realistic goal that’s between one and three pounds a week.
  • Plan your meals to help you stick with the program and prepare them on your days off of work. When you cook everything in one or two days, you’ll cut the time you spend in the kitchen and have daily meals ready to heat and serve that are quicker than a drive-through.
  • You can have fun while getting that bikini body. Our group classes are a blast and everyone is friendly. Make it a girl’s night out or take the classes instead of stopping for a drink after work, which can really help make you look better.
  • No matter what weight you are, never hate your body. Hating your body is counterproductive. You have to love it enough to keep it healthy and active.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

Squats For Gains

Squats For Gains

We focus on results at RCF in Houston, TX. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on equipment to get the results you want. Bodyweight exercises can get you in shape quickly. One of the best bodyweight exercises for both the lower body and upper body is squats. They provide a functional fitness workout, exercising the muscles that you use in everyday movements, like climbing stairs, bending, walking and carrying heavy loads.

Squats strengthen and sculpt your bottom and thighs.

If you want a toned booty, squats will help you do it. It targets muscles on the lower body that most people realize and feel producing the effort when they do squats in workouts. Squats are a compound exercise that require correct execution and maximizes the benefits in the upper body. It builds the core muscles in the abdomen and back. They target your buttocks, front and back of the thigh, groin, hip flexors and calves. You can even modify squats to work other muscles, like those in the arms, chest upper back and shoulders.

One important benefit of squats is strengthening core muscles.

If you have back pain, work on your core muscles. You’ll improve your posture when you do. Since it improves functional fitness, it reduces the risk of injury by strengthening tendons, bones and ligaments. If you want to lose weight, squats burn tons of calories. If you participate in sports, jumping squats can increase your strength and ability. Best of all, you can do squats anywhere.

Squats have a number of variations that improve other muscle groups.

You can do basic squats by with your feet at shoulder’s width with your arms to your sides. Bend at the hips as you bend your knees, as you sit back, like you’re going to sit in a chair. While you do that, raise your arms in front of you. Keep your body straight and lower it until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push yourself back up to starting position. You can do wall squats, put your hands behind hind your head for a prisoner squat, weighted squats and squats that use a variety of foot positions, like a plie squat.

  • Bodyweight squats are good, but you’ll also get good results when combined with dumbbells, barbells, resistance bands or a yoga or medicine ball.
  • You can get maximum benefits for all muscle groups by doing as little as 50 squats a day. You don’t have to do them all at one time. You can do half in the morning and half in the evening. As you get stronger, you can either increase the 25 squats at morning and evening or add an extra session mid-day.
  • Of the over 45 types of squats, jump squats are a high intensity version of squats. They’re done like ordinary squats but instead of just standing up, the squat ends by jumping up. They increase flexibility and build muscle tissue faster.
  • At RCF, we provide all types of squats to help you shed pounds quickly and transform your body. They’re a key component that can help you reach your goals and become the person you want to see in the mirror.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

How To Hit Your Workout Goals

How To Hit Your Workout Goals

Before you can hit your workout goals, you have to set goals. Setting goals is always the first step toward fitness. You have to know what you want and create a pathway to get to that destination and actualize your dreams. One of the first steps is looking at your goals and making sure they’re achievable. If you want to lose 50 pounds a month for two months, that’s not possible to do. It’s not only unhealthy, but it would also require some type of major illness or surgery to do.

Be consistent.

You can’t exercise every once in a while or eat healthy at breakfast and consume a soft drink and candy bar for lunch and still expect to reach your goals. Schedule your workout at a specific time and put it in your appointment book or on your phone. You’ll not only be more apt to stick with an appointment, but also develop a habit of working out at that time. Plan your meals. Our meal planner can help you create all the meals for the week and snacks, so you eat healthy at every meal.

Learn easy ways to judge portions to give you more control.

There are simple ways to identify what a portion of any food is. For instance, a portion of meat, poultry or fish is the size of the palm of your hand. Your cupped hand can measure your carbs and a fist is the perfect measure for veggies. Fats, like butter, are the size of the tip of your pointer finger and by putting together your ring finger and middle finger, you’ll have the size of a portion of cheese.

Keep a food diary to help you stick with a healthy eating pattern.

Don’t be ashamed if you’re more aware of what you eat when someone is watching. It’s human nature. Keeping a food diary is one way of doing it, keeping you aware of all the bites and nibbles you have throughout the day. Too often people don’t realize just how much they eat. For instance, you might grab a handful of candy when you pass a coworker’s desk candy dish or clean up the last of the lasagna in the dish before you put it in the dishwasher. If you’re more aware of what you eat and when, you’re more able to find ways to save those calories or substitute that food with lower calorie options.

  • Get help. Everyone does better when people work together toward a goal. A personal trainer or family can provide motivation. You can workout with a friend or family member.
  • Track your progress a number of ways. It’s not all about weight lost, inches lost count, as well. You can also track your blood pressure, energy level and clothing size. Take a full length selfie every month and compare photos. All these successes will be motivating.
  • Have fun. Not all exercise is done in workout sessions. Find active hobbies and fun activities that also burn calories. Ride a bike, take a walk or play a little basketball with friends or family.
  • Appreciate who you are. Don’t do negative self-talk. If you fall off the wagon and eat a whole cake, go back to healthy eating the next day. You only fail when you quit trying, so never give up.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

Signs You're Working Out Too Much

Signs You’re Working Out Too Much

More is better is what most people think when they’re trying to get fit. When you have that mindset, you workout for hours every day and do all types of exercises, including strength-building ones in hopes of reaching their goal more quickly. There are signs that you may be taxing your body and working out too much. Overdoing your exercise goals not only can stress your body and slow your progress, but also cause you to lose ground.

Why does overtraining set you back?

When you workout, particularly if it’s strenuous, you’re taxing your body. That causes stress and stress is bad for you. While exercise burns off stress hormones, too much exercise creates it, since it doesn’t give the body an opportunity to heal. That can cause your immune system to be suppressed and reduce your resistance to disease for up to 72 hours. The muscle tissue in your body takes time to repair the micro tears that occur during exercise. When you over-exercise, it doesn’t allow the body to do that. You’ll find you’re more prone to illness when you over-train.

Other signs include poor performance.

The more you workout the better you should be, but what if you’re working out hard and getting worse. Instead of being able to do six sets of 10, you wear out at four or five sets, less than the previous week. That’s a sure sign. If you try to push past it or make your workout tougher or longer, it only makes it worse. Not only will your performance be worse, your enjoyment will diminish and you’ll start dreading the workout that you enjoyed just a few weeks previously.

Your mood can help you determine if you’re overdoing training.

Your body is telling you that it’s tired and trying to heal and sometimes that information comes via your mood. If you’re depressed, angry, irritable, anxious or even confused a lot, it might be signs of working out too much. It’s similar to someone who is getting sick, already ill or still recovering. Many times their mood isn’t stellar. Part of it comes from being fatigued. Imagine if that’s how you feel every day. It certainly can wear on your emotions.

  • Do you have problems sleeping at night that you didn’t have previously? Insomnia can be a sign that you need to take a short break from exercise, reduce your workout time or alternate days of hard and easy exercise.
  • Ironically, if you workout too much, it actually can cause lean muscle loss and may even increase gaining fat. That’s not normally a goal of any person exercising.
  • Losing your appetite is another sign you may be working out too much. It’s normally one of the later stage signs. While it might sound like a benefit, it’s not. You need adequate nutrition to build muscle tissue.
  • If you track your heart rate, you’ll notice a marked difference. If your heart rate is normally 50 beats per minute and it jumps to 70, your body is feeling stress and it could be from over-exercising.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness

Is My Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

Is My Weight Loss Goal Realistic?

A lot of clients at RCF, whether they come to the gym in Houston, TX, or workout online, hate to take the time to make goals or when they do, make them unrealistic. Why should your weight loss goal be realistic? There are a lot of reasons. You not only want to lose weight, but you also want to keep those pounds off permanently. Unrealistic goals may cause you to starve yourself to achieve, so you won’t learn how to eat healthy for permanent weight loss. If you set them too high, it can also be discouraging. Losing weight permanently is all about changing habits and habits take a while to change.

Is your overall goal a healthy one?

If you’re trying to lose weight, but are already to thin, there’s a big problem. If you weigh 135 pounds, that doesn’t mean much, you might be the perfect weight, too thin or too heavy, it all depends on your height. A person who is six foot tall and weighs 135 is classed as underweight on the BMI chart, but they’re five foot tall, they’re overweight. You need to know what your ideal weight is for your gender, age, height and build to see how much you need to lose.

Once you determine your ideal weight, set your goal.

Keep your goal healthy by checking with a BMI chart and give yourself a healthy timeline. Most trainers agree that aiming for losing two pounds each week is a healthy route to take, particularly if you’re using both exercise and a healthy diet. You’ll probably lose more weight in the beginning, since the bigger you are, the more calories you’ll burn. It’s like carrying a heavy weight everywhere you go. Just stick with the two pound loss each week, even if you lose a ton the first week or two, it will slow down.

Divide your goal by two to find how long it will take.

If forty pounds is your ultimate goal, it will take you 20 weeks. Now you have to put it on a timeline. If you’re starting May 1, you’d reach your goal by September 18th. You’re now ready to make your goal, it will be similar to: “I will lose 20 pounds by September 18th by following a healthy diet of 1200 calories daily and working out 45 minutes a day. Track your progress to make sure you stay on track.

As you build muscle tissue, you’ll burn more calories, since muscle tissue requires more than fat tissue does. However, muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch, so you may not shed a pound, but look thinner.

While a healthy diet is the most important part of weight loss, since you can’t out-exercise a bad diet, you need exercise to tone and shape your body. Stick with realistic workouts.

You don’t have to stick with strictly pounds as your goal, you can use inches or other way to measure your progress. Even tracking your progress with a picture of you in the same outfit each time works, especially if it’s way too tight initially.

Keeping your goals realistic boosts your motivation, especially if you exceed your goals, which can happen, particularly in the beginning. They help you not only form a plan, but let you modify it if you’re not getting the results you want.

Can I Workout While Pregnant?

Can I Workout While Pregnant?

Everyone is different and every pregnancy is different, so advising you whether you should workout while you’re pregnant and if it’s safe is impossible. However, there are some generalizations that can be made that will help guide you. Always check with your health care professional first, even if this isn’t your first pregnancy and you worked out your last pregnancy. Most women who have had more than one child understand that not only is each person different, so is each pregnancy. It’s always better to take precautions and be informed before you begin any exercise program.

There are lots of considerations to determine the type of exercise you should do.

Have you been working out? Chances are, you can continue, as long as you make modifications along the way and avoid certain types of exercise. High impact exercises, ones that involve contact or ones where you could potentially fall, should be avoided. If the exercise has jarring movements that could cause shock to the body, it should be looked at closely. Basketball, skiing, volleyball all have the potential of hard contact or falls, so they might be better if avoided. Avoid exercises that put pressure on the abdomen, such as full sit-ups, leg lifts, toe touching or deep knee bends.

There are a lot of benefits to exercising, but even mild exercise can be dangerous for some pregnancies.

People with preexisting conditions, such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes need to discuss the potential for exercise closely with their health care professional before beginning any program of exercise. Anyone with a history of miscarriages, premature births, a weak cervix, spotting or low placenta also need to be careful and base your decision on the recommendations of medical experts.

Take it easy if you’ve never exercised before getting pregnant.

If you led a sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy isn’t the time to start a rigorous exercise program. For those people, taking up less intense exercise programs are the best. They can be as simple as walking, riding a stationary bike, swimming or using a step machine. Regular bike riding should be avoided because of the potential for falling. Avoid any type of workout, include walking, in excessive heat.

  • You’ll find your pregnancy and delivery is easier and your recovery is quicker if you’ve kept exercising during pregnancy or even started a walking or swimming program when you first discover you’re pregnant.
  • No matter how fit you are, avoid exercises that involve twisting at the waist, HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts and those with high impact. Avoid holding your breath during stretches or bouncing.
  • Get your arms ready to carry the baby by working out with light weights. Using wrist weights when you walk is one way to do this. Never lift weights when laying on your back.
  • Exercises like the kneeling or standing pelvic tilt can help relieve and prevent back pain during pregnancy Squats and Kegels help improve delivery. Cardio workouts also help during delivery.

For more information, contact us today at Reggie C Fitness