The Importance of Active Aging Fitness

senior working out

As you get older, it is still important to get out there and stay active. It is crucial to physical and mental wellbeing, as muscle loss increases a bit more rapidly once you hit the age of 40. At age 30 your muscles just begin to lose their mass, but once you hit the age of 40, it is a more rapid decline, and you can lose as much as 23% of muscle by the age of 65. Let’s take a look at the aspects of well-being that fitness effects.

Physical Well-being

  • Weight: Activity can help to decrease fluctuations in weight, as well as moderate weight at a specific level so that one is within a healthy range.
  • Eases Pain: Back pain can be decreased by exercise, as exercise can increase flexibility and help to improve posture.
  • Illness: The impact of illness will be decreased, meaning that you will feel less sick when you get a cold, etc. and be feeling great more often.
  • Disease: Disease rates such as Alzheimer’s, obesity and heart disease can be dramatically reduced by exercising.
  • Mobility & Balance: While maintaining a healthy exercise schedule, many individuals find that they have a better stamina and endurance for walking, as well as the decreased chance of falling due to better balance.
  • Flexibility: By working your muscles, they have the ability to stretch and increases flexibility, making everyday tasks much easier.

Mental Well-being

  • Sleep Quality: By working out, sleeping becomes easier. This is true of people of all ages and can be very helpful the higher in age you get, as while you need less sleep, you still need quality sleep to be able to function right during the day.
  • Mood & Confidence: Working out releases serotonin, which can improve mood, as well as self-confidence.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training services in Back Bay and Arlington, MA, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

Great Leg Exercises for Men

leg exercises

Now that it’s January, many people may be in the process of hitting some health goals as their New Year’s Resolution for 2018. This is very common, but where does one start?

You should start with the basics. It can be extremely difficult and discouraging to throw yourself into too much at once. Starting with a few beginners moves and moving up from there, you can succeed in filling your goals and have a happy, healthy new year!

What Exercises Should I Try?

Squat Jump: A squat jump can be a fun way to get moving. Start off with your legs shoulder-width apart, then squat down, and use this energy to jump. You should make sure your knees do not cross past your toes when squatting, as this can cause some knee problems if done over a long period of time.

Side Lunge: Begin by standing with your legs a few inches apart. From here, step to the side and squat down a bit. Similar to the squat jump, make sure to watch your knees!

Single-Leg Hip Raise: This exercise is a bit different. Start with your back on the ground, with your legs bent in a bit. Straighten one leg, and lift your glutes so that your hips are equal. From here, hold for a few seconds and then drop back down slowly.

Glutes Bridge: The glutes bridge can be done almost anywhere, which is why it is a great exercise. Similar to the exercise above, you start on your back with your arms comfortable next to you, while making sure that your legs are bent up with your feet planted about a foot away from the rest of your body. From here, all your do is lift your hips and hold for a few seconds.

Step Up: The step up exercise is as it sounds, just stepping up. You can do this at a gym onto a platform, or even by using the stairs more often.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training services in Back Bay and Arlington, MA, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

How To Stick To Your New Year’s Resolution

Every year, the clock begins again, and many people want this fresh start to become a part of their life as well. Many people make a New Year’s Resolution, but, many people also break this resolution within the first month. This can be attributed to a few different things, including goals that are too high and a change in lifestyle that is not manageable long term. Let’s look at a few of the things you can do this new year to make sure your resolution stays in place.

Create Goals Within Reason: By creating manageable goals, you can maintain them. One example of this is going to the gym. If you are not working out at all, it can be difficult to go 5 days a week just because it’s the New Year. Start off by going twice a week, then over time, work in another day, and work yourself up to your end goal. Throwing yourself into a different lifestyle can be too much and discourage many from continuing with their progress after a few weeks.

Keep a Schedule: By creating a schedule for your goal, you are more likely to do it. There are two routes you could go with this. Going back to the gym example, you could say, “I want to go to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday”, or you could go down a different path, look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and say, “Okay I can fit in a workout on Wednesday morning and Thursday after work”. By doing things repeatedly, they can become a habit, so make sure to get into a good habit such as this!

Be Accountable: Simply saying you are going to do something is a bit different than going through with it long-term. By holding yourself accountable, you can get back on track at any time.

Forgive Yourself: The first step to any misstep is forgiveness. Again, with the gym metaphor, if you miss one session, or can only go once that week, it’s not the end of the world. Just get back in there the next week and continue to the best you can! By consistently thinking about how you messed up, you can hinder your future progress, so don’t worry about it and get back in there the next week. Many people will stop trying to achieve their goals and say “well, I missed this, so what’s the point?”, but you can do anything you set your mind to!

Add Friends to the Mix: Friends can be great because they are supportive and can help keep you on track. By creating similar goals, you can also motivate each other to continue!

To learn more about exercises, or personal training services in Back Bay and Arlington, MA, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

Why is Stretching Important?

stretching

You have most likely heard, “make sure to stretch beforehand” a LOT, especially when you first started working out, but was it ever explained why that is? Did you ever understand the reasoning behind stretching before any exercise? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why this is extremely important and crucial to your wellbeing. Let’s take a look at some of these reasons why stretching is important.

Prevents Injury

This is probably the biggest thing in regard to stretching. Stretching and getting your muscles moving prepares them before doing any activity. This being said, it relieves stress and tension in the muscles when they tighten up. These muscles typically tighten to defend the body when anxiety and feelings that are overwhelming hit the body. Stretching reverses this and can make your days much more comfortable.

Increased Flexibility

The more you move, the more flexible you will become. Similarly, stretching becomes much easier over time. It is much better for the joints and can help you avoid joint pain, as well as strains to the muscle and overall damage to your body’s muscles. You range of motion has the opportunity to increase, and your balance can become better as well.

Less Soreness

Soreness is typically caused by a lack of blood flow to certain areas of the body before exercising. By stretching, you increase the blood and nutrient supply. Your blood flows better, and because of this nutrients are carried through the blood and spread throughout the body much better than they would have without stretching beforehand.

Better Posture

Stretching helps to strengthen your muscles with ultimately leads to proper alignment of muscles, meaning that your chest muscles typically become more vertical. Due to working on computers all day, many people have this issue. The chest muscles tighten up and therefore pull your entire body forward into a slouching position. This can work wonders on your muscles and lengthen tight muscles like never before.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training services in Back Bay and Arlington, MA, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

Kickboxing: The Ultimate Workout

kickboxing

Kickboxing is one of the best workouts that you can do for yourself. High-energy kickboxing can be a huge motivation for your workout schedule and even make you want to workout even more. This being said, it is a total body workout unlike any you’ve ever tried. Let’s take a look at some of the other benefits that come along with incorporating kickboxing into your workout schedule.

  • Reduce Stress: Boxing has been shown to reduce stress along with feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger. Being able to put all your energy into this one exercise, and focusing on it can really help to take your mind off of other things as well.
  • Boost Confidence: Kickboxing can help to boost your confidence by allowing you to take control of situations and focus.
  • Improved Coordination: Improving your coordination occurs because when you are kickboxing, you are inherently improving your core muscles which helps a lot with coordination, as those muscles are the ones that keep you upright and balanced.
  • Energy Boost: Working out releases endorphins, so therefore you will get an energy boost from a kickboxing class.
  • Better Posture: As mentioned above, the core muscles are vastly improved over time when one goes to kickboxing. The core muscles are was affect posture, so by increasing the strength of these muscles, you will be able to better your posture.
  • Burn Calories: Burning calories is always a plus! Kickboxing is one of the best exercises for burning calories and you can actually burn around 750 calories per hour just from this exercise.
  • Self Defense: By learning kickboxing, you are also learning self-defense. All of the moves you learn in a class can be applied to real life.
  • Improved Endurance: Since kickboxing is a heart-pumping cardio exercise, if you continue to do this exercise over a long period of time, you will improve your endurance.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

What is Core Training?

personal trainer back bay fit boston

Core Training is something that we often hear about nowadays. While fitness has always been important, it has become increasingly important due to daily lives. Many people are very busy, and because of this, they believe that they do not have time or energy to get a workout in during the week. Going to the gym can be a bit difficult, especially if you are very busy, but there are a few things you can incorporate at home that will get you a bit fit, including core training.

So, What is Core Training?

Core training refers to the training of the core muscles. The core is the area including the front, back, and sides of the midsection. There are many different muscles in this area, but all of them are included. The training aspect relates to the stabilization process of these muscles, and core training specifically refers to the act of doing exercises in order to develop and strengthen these muscles.

Why Do We Train Our Core?

We train our core for a lot of different reasons. The first being that life has become increasingly sedentary, especially in the United States, where we often drive places or get there via train/subway, etc. For this reason, core training can help to keep the body strong, as a whole. It also takes a short amount of time to do these exercises, and because of that reason, they can be done at home.

There are also some more physical reasons that it is necessary to keep up with core training. The main reason that this is important is that if these muscles are weak, it is possible to have excessive lower back pain, which really causes a lot of problems over the course of the day. Having a strong core has also been known to very much help with good posture. Without strong core muscles, it is difficult to hold the body up, and as a result, you get bad posture.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

5 Best Arm Exercises for Women

arm exercises

When you head into the gym, sometimes it can be extremely daunting, as there are so many options of exercises that can be done. Since there are so many options, sometimes it can be easy to follow a guide of a few different exercises, with the weight increasing over time, or decreasing with an increase in reps. Sometimes, however, it is good to change it up a bit and give something a try. Here is a small guide to a few moves that will really show a difference when doing an arm workout.

  1. Bent over dumbbell rows: To do this exercise, lean over slightly and then extend your arms in front of you. From here, one would extend both arms outward until they are straight out to your sides. This helps to work the shoulder muscles and can help to build muscle in the back area. Leaning forward creates more of a pull, making the exercise a little more difficult than your ordinary dumbbell rows.
  2. Chest fly handoff: A chest fly handoff is like a chest fly, but instead works with one dumbbell. This is where the handoff comes into play. Start off by laying on the ground or on a bench. Then, start off with your arms directly above the chest area. From here, you will be extending both arms straight outward (with the dumbbell in one hand), so that they are parallel to the ground. From here, extending your arms back in the air and switching dumbbells to the other hand works to make sure both sides of the body get the same workout. This really works the chest area.
  3. Shoulder cycles: This exercise is simple. Start by standing with your feet a shoulder’s width away. From here extend the arms up to your side, lifting them to be parallel to the floor. From here, extend them to be in front of you. After this, you will be reextending them out to your sides and then back down. Doing this may seem simple at first, but you will really start feeling it a few in, so maybe starting with a lower weight would be beneficial to your productivity.
  4. Overhead tricep extensions: This exercise will really work your triceps, and is kind of fun! Start with your arms extended over your head, holding the dumbbell, and slowly bend your elbows so that the weight is basically behind your head. If you cannot do this, even bending your elbow a little bit will still work the muscle!
  5. Half kneeling bicep curls: Bicep curls are one of the most well-known arm exercises, but why not do two things at once! Kneeling can help your body to balance better, and the bicep curls help to build muscle in the area they are named after.

To learn more about exercises, or personal training, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

How Can I Fight Bloating?

girl drinking water

Bloating is a general term for any kind of abnormal gas swelling or increase in the diameter of the abdominal area. This can hurt, and be rather painful, but can also cause the feeling of a tightened abdomen and growling of the stomach. While sometimes there is no way to avoid this, there are some things that you can change about your lifestyle, or add to it, in order to avoid and cut out bloating as much as possible. Let’s take a look at some of these changes.

Increase Potassium Intake: Increase potassium intake can really help you in the sense that it acts as an electrolyte, which helps so much in balancing different levels in the body. When it comes to balance, it can balance out water, fluid and sodium levels inside of the digestive tract, which can counteract against bloating.

Exercise: exercises such as cardio and core training can help with bloating in two different ways. Regarding cardio, it has been known to pass gas through the system, and core training can be used to make you feel less self-conscious about your stomach area.

Drink Water: Drinking water will have the same effects as potassium intake. The more water you drink, the more balanced out your digestive tract will be. The water essentially flushes out anything in your body that is normal, but causes pain. It can help to reduce the gas in the stomach immensely.

Drink Tea: Different types of tea, specifically like peppermint tea, has antispasmodic and relaxing properties which can help to relieve pain and cramping in the gastrointestinal tract, as well as in the bile duct and gallbladder.

Decrease Salt Intake: Salt, while delicious tasting, leads to excess water retention and because of this, makes you feel bloated. By decreasing this, you allow the water to leave your system.

To learn more about bloating, or exercise and diet, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form, or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

Benefits of Meal Prepping

meal prep

As of lately, we have seen a lot about meal prepping and its benefits. Meal prepping has seen to be skewed towards only people who go to the gym all the time, but it really is something that everyone can do, as it has amazing benefits. Planning your week of food is not only beneficial to people wanting to lose weight or gain muscle, but also for people who want to get in the habit of spending less money while also saving time and energy on cooking every single night.

Alongside this, many people find themselves in the middle of a dilemma. Do I stay up late and finish cooking a meal for tomorrow, or do I go out for lunch and spend money? While this seems to be a daunting question, there is more than two options. The final and third option is meal prepping one or two days a week.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of meal prepping a little more in depth.

Saves Money

It is almost always cheaper to buy and cook your own food and this is no different than that. While cooking can sometimes be expensive, buying in bulk and cooking for the entire week can ensure that you will not go out and spend money and you also will not have to continually buy groceries throughout the week. Alongside this, freezing food is also an option so that you can go back to it a few weeks later if necessary.

Saves Time

Time is valuable, especially in today’s climate. While most everyone has an extremely busy schedule, it can be easy to want to take the convenient route. Meal prepping can be the convenient route, believe it or not. Having food readily available in the fridge really take the question of, what do I want for lunch today, off the table, and makes the decision simple.

Portion Control

While not everyone is trying to lose weight by meal prepping, this strategy will help you to learn portion control, which is a valid skill to learn. It will help one to lead a more healthy and happy lifestyle, while also making life easier.

To learn more about our partnership with Kettlebell Kitchen, or about us, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form, or call us directly at 617-450-0001.

Benefits of Personal Training

woman working out

Personal Training is often regarded with the misconception that it is very expensive, but nowadays, that is not necessarily the truth. Personal training has a lot of benefits for everyone and can really help shape a healthy lifestyle is a great way. Having another person there while you work out is really great for accountability, as well as motivation. As a matter of fact, there are so many other great things about having a personal trainer, so let’s check them out.

Goal Achievement

Having a personal trainer really helps to establish a habit of exercise, which has a massive affect in the long-term, as it helps to shape a healthy lifestyle and viewpoint on exercise. This makes being healthy and exercising a priority, which is truly the end goal. Many people think that the end goal to exercising is losing weight, or gaining muscle, but it is mostly about developing a healthy lifestyle that is attainable and maintainable.

Alongside this, personal trainers can help to keep you accountable, as having someone else looking out for your health really makes an impact, to both motivation and attitude. This being said, you can see better and faster results from this. While exercising by yourself, it is easy to waste time or become distracted, but with a trainer, they can make sure that you are spending time on the right kinds of exercises to fit your goals. If you only have short periods of time to work out, you are most likely to see the best results.

When it comes to balance in your exercise regime, there is pretty much two things it comes down to—fat loss and muscle gain. Regarding these two things, a trainer is trained for long periods of time to be able to find your perfect balance in a short period of time. This really ties a healthy lifestyle in together with getting quick results. While it is not a band-aid quick fix, personal training provides you with the tools you need to succeed.

Instruction

Personal trainers can teach you the perfect form and the proper technique for many different moves, and because of this, you are less likely to get injured. Staying safe and injury-free is a necessity, and having a trainer will ensure this is the case. This is essential to the long-term maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. On top of this, utilizing a personal trainer is a safe option for people who have previously had injuries.

To learn more about our personal training services, feel free to contact us by filling out our contact form, or call us directly at 617-450-0001 or 781-643-0002.

How to Maximize your Workout

people working out

 Eat Healthy Carbs Before a Work out

Eating healthy, slow-burning carbohydrates before a workout can help to lower insulin levels and burn more fat during the day. Your muscles rely heavily on the carbohydrates as fuel, and will burn through them quickly when you start working out. Here is a list of foods, such as whole grains, that could be beneficial to your workout:

  • Oatmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Fruit
  • Whole wheat bread   

Listen to Music

Listening to music while working out can benefit you by motivating you to work harder. Because of this, it can help you to do 1-2 more reps per set, which adds up to a lot over time. It can also do a lot to elevate your mood and make you happier, which could also make you want to do more, or return to the gym more often. While listening to music is great for your workout, listening to music that is too fast or too slow could have opposite effects, so make sure that you’re listening to music that is at a good pace for you and your workout.

Do Cardio after Lifting Weights

Doing cardio after lifting weights allows for your body to burn fat faster. Why? Because working out allows your body to generate ATP, and ATP helps you to burn fat. Instead of doing cardio first and having to break through all the layers to get to ATP, it is more beneficial to lift first, get to the point where there’s only less layers to get through until the ATP is generated, and then do cardio, where you can almost immediately break through to that fat-burner.

Interval Training

There are many perks of interval training, most to do with efficiency and effectiveness. This is because alternating intensities of lifting and cardio workouts has you continually burning calories for hours afterward. This is great for your heart, and on top of that, it builds up your endurance and is more time efficient, so it’s easy to fit in your schedule.

Stretching

Stretching is crucial, and probably the most important part of any active person’s daily life. This is because stretching helps you avoid injury. While it is a preventative measure, it also helps to get you more flexible and strong, which is what everyone wants out of a workout. Lastly, stretching helps with your mobility and endurance in the long-term.

All in all,  the  importance of stretching, eating well, and utilizing strategic workouts is essential to maximizing your time at the gym. Schedule a free consultation with us today, or check out of class schedules for group fitness!

Need to Hydrate? Which is Better: Water or Sports Drinks?

two bottles of powerade on a table
 
After working up a good sweat during your workout you’ll need to rehydrate, but which is better for you, sports drinks or water?
 
Sports drinks work by providing your body with electrolytes, carbohydrates, and calories. The electrolytes in sports drinks are usually sodium, chloride, or potassium, which ensure that the cells in your body are working properly. While working out, you will lose some electrolytes, so that is why you need to stay hydrated while exercising. During a normal workout, usually an hour or less, you only lose a few electrolytes. Electrolytes lost during moderate workout sessions can be replaced by drinking water and maintaining a healthy diet.
 
There are situations however, that warrant drinking a sports beverage. If you are working out vigorously such as running long distances or lifting a substantial amount of weight, you will lose many more electrolytes that water alone cannot replace. Working out in a hot environment, even moderately, also calls for a sports drink.
 
Most people don’t drink enough water in their daily lives, even though it is essential to protecting the body before, during, and after exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine’s guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercising, to promote proper hydration.
 
If you are looking to lose weight, you also need to consider the fact that sports drinks contain calories and sugar. If you are not working out vigorously, you will not burn those extra calories! Drinking sports drinks when not working out, much like soft drinks or juices, will add up and work against your weight loss goals.
 
The key takeaway here is, unless you are training extensively or under high temperatures, stick to water to hydrate your body throughout your workouts!

Optimize Your Pre-and Post Workouts with the Right Foods

bowl of oatmeal with berries
 
When it comes down to losing weight, many people believe that you just need to eat less and exercise more to achieve your goals. In reality, you need to eat the right foods, at the right time, at the right portion. More importantly, feeding your body before and after every workout is crucial for burning calories, keeping energized, building lean muscle, losing weight, and speeding up recovery time. If you work out on an empty stomach often, you’ll only lose muscle and not actually burn fat. Eating before a workout will ensure you draw protein from the right sources, maintain your metabolism, and have enough energy to power through your workout!
 
What to eat before working out:

  • Brown rice with black beans (1 cup)
  • A sweet potato with steamed broccoli in olive oil (1 cup)
  • 1 Whole banana with 2 tablespoons of almond butter
  • Multi-grain crackers with hummus (3 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup Plain Oatmeal with berries (can be sweetened with a little stevia or agave)
  • 1 Whole Apple and walnuts (1/4 cup)

 
You’ll need to start refueling 30 minutes to an hour after your workout! After exercising, your muscles will be depleted of glycogen, which fuels your energy to workout. Consuming protein and a little bit of carbohydrates after your workout will refill energy stores, build and repair muscle, and help keep your metabolism burning.
 
What to eat after a workout:

  • Protein shake: 1/2 banana, one scoop of protein powder, almond milk. (Add hemp seeds for extra protein!)
  • Salad with roasted chickpeas (1/2 cup), light olive oil and vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Sautéed or steamed vegetables a ½ cup of tofu
  • 1 Cup of Quinoa with 1 cup black berries and ¼ cup pecans
  • 2 Slices of multigrain bread with 2 tablespoons of raw peanut butter
  • Burrito Bowl: beans (1/2 cup), brown rice (1/2 cup), guacamole (2 tablespoons), and salsa

5 Reasons Kickboxing Class is Great for Your Overall Health

woman kickboxing
 
Kickboxing is a cardiovascular workout that involves boxing & karate-like training, paired with high energy music to get your heart pumping! It is one of the best workouts for weight loss, bone density, joint strength, muscle strength, and cardiovascular endurance. If you have been on the fence about taking a kickboxing class, and want to get into the best shape of your life, here are five reasons to go through with it!
 
Burn Fat & Calories
This high-energy workout is perfect for those serious about burning fat and calories! Typically, you can burn 500-600 calories in each hour-long class.
 
Build Self-Confidence
Before you know it, you’ll start seeing results not only within your physical appearance, but also in your overall energy. It will be due to the hard work and commitment that you gave!
 
Relieve Stress
With an intense kickboxing workout, your body will release endorphins which are the feel-good hormones in your body. Stress blocks the production of endorphins, leaving you craving fatty foods. After an hour-long class, you’ll feel great and mood will have improved!
 
Learn Self-Defense
Though the main goal of kickboxing is to get a great workout, it also teaches you the right way to throw a punch and kick. In a dire situation, this can prove to be very useful.
 
It’s Fun!
You will get to work out alongside some amazing people who are just as passionate as you, about staying healthy and getting in shape! Try taking a class with a friend or relative!

6 Reasons Why You Need to Hire a Certified Personal Trainer

personal training with Kevin Burns Back bay fit boston

If you’re tired of not seeing results you want, or are a beginner just starting to work out, then hiring a personal trainer might be the best option for you. Getting physically fit is a big challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone! If you have been on the fence about hiring a personal trainer, here are 6 reasons why you should go through with it!

Customization
A personal trainer will build a program that is customized to your needs. Our personal trainers will develop the most effective workout based on your fitness level and goals. We understand that one workout may not work for all people, so every routine is customized for YOU!

Motivation
Personal Trainers are not just someone who will stand there and make demands. Back Bay Fit’s personal trainers will not only act as your coach, but also as an educator, confidant, role model, and a big source of motivation and encouragement.

Consistency
Have you ever had difficulty sticking to working out? Scheduling a personal training session might just be the thing you need, to eliminate any excuse for not exercising.

Safety
Many people avoid going to the gym because they are unsure of how to use the machines, and are afraid to sustain injury. Personal trainers will show you the safe way to use exercise equipment.

Injury Rehabilitation
Along with safety, previous injuries also hold back many people from working out. An experienced personal trainer can show you exercises that will restore muscle balance and prevent future injuries.

Effectiveness
Some days you leave the gym feeling like you didn’t get the workout you wanted. That could be because you are not performing the right exercises effectively or as intensely as you should. A personal trainer will optimize your workout time with the right exercises, and challenge you, so that you get the most bang for your buck.