Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Curried Chicken Salad

By: Snap Fitness

This curried chicken salad is a perfect make-ahead dish for lunches or a quick dinner. Top over a bed of lettuce, spread on a piece of whole wheat toast, or eat alone for a sweet and crunchy meal sure to make your taste buds sing!

 

This recipe makes four cups.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 cup Greek yogurt 0% fat

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon curry

1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup red grapes, halved
1/2 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup cashews

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and reduce heat to medium-high.
  3. Cook chicken for six to eight minutes until chicken is cooked through (time will depend on the thickness of the chicken).
  4. Place the chicken on a cutting board and allow it to cool, then cut into bite size cubes.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry, and turmeric until combined.
  6. Add the chicken, red grapes, celery, golden raisins, and cashews and mix until everything is coated in the curry dressing.
  7. Serve with a salad and avocado or use for sandwiches!

 

How would you dish up this curried chicken salad?




 

The Ultimate Push-Up Routine

By: Snap Fitness

We’ve designed this workout to build strength and create a lean upper body using a variety of body-weight exercises.  Challenge yourself through the end; it will be difficult, but keep pushing - literally. The longer you last during the set, the more benefits you will see!

 

Slightly altering your hand positions and equipment will change the activation of the upper body muscle groups, allowing certain muscles to engage more prominently. The pectoralis muscles, triceps, and deltoids will be challenged during this routine, helping you build strength and endurance.

 

Rest 20-30 seconds between each exercise, with no rest between sets. The muscles that are stressed during these push exercises will be able to rest during the final movement.

 

EXERCISES AND FORM

 

For any push-up position, keep your hands directly under your shoulders and your spine neutral while bracing your core. Lower the entire body to the floor in a controlled manner without letting the hips drop. If needed, drop your knees to the floor to ensure proper form.

 

Complete 10 repetitions for each exercise listed below.

 

Medicine Ball Rolling Push-Up- Place a medicine ball under your right hand and complete a full push-up. Then, roll the medicine ball from your right hand to your left and perform a push-up. Push evenly through your hands during the repetition. One repetition is completed after a push-up is done with each hand on the ball.

 

Tricep Push-Up- From the classic push-up position, push your body slightly forward and keep your elbows tight to the side of your ribs. Complete a push-up while keeping elbows in.

 

Release Push-Up- Once your body is lowered to the ground, squeeze your shoulder blades and lift the elbows up towards the ceiling, releasing the hands from the ground. Keep hands two inches above ground for a full count and return to the start of a standard push-up. Make sure the spine doesn’t curve in the lower back and the entire body elevates.

 

Shoulder Push-Up- Starting in a standard push-up position, push your hips towards the ceiling creating a “v” with the body. Bend at the elbows while keeping your hips elevated; repeat 10 times before lowing hips.

 

Push-Up with Bosu Ball- Place the Bosu ball on the floor with the half-ball facing down. Place your hands under your shoulders and on top of the Bosu ball. Complete a standard push-up with your elbows bent to 90-degrees.

 

Superman- While laying on your stomach, bring your hands towards the side of your glute muscles. Elevate your chest and legs toward the ceiling, squeezing your glutes, lower back, and mid-back muscles. Hold for one count  before returning your chest and legs to the ground.

Cardio Crush Interval Training

By: Snap Fitness

Interval training has been around forever, but like most aspects of the health and fitness world, it has and will continue to transform.  Utilizing complex exercises that require an increased amount of energy allows the body to build full body strength and endurance. When these exercises are completed as a superset or in a circuit, it becomes a highly effective way to burn calories and lose fat.

 

Many times we overcomplicate workouts in the gym; when in reality, keeping it simple can be much more effective. This does not mean working at a rate that “feels” simple because this workout should push you to the max. It is important to give it everything you have for each exercise during the workout to achieve the best results.

 

Complete each exercise with a 45-second time interval and 20 seconds of rest before starting the next exercise. Rest for one minute after each full circuit.

 

This workout should be at least 15 minutes but no more then 20 minutes. Work hard to accomplish as many repetitions as possible or get as far as you can during the sprint of each circuit.

 

WORKOUT

 

Burpees: Start in standing position, move down to the floor and complete a push-up. Pull feet underneath your body and jump in the air. Land with soft knees and repeat.

 

Jumping Pull-ups: Position yourself under a bar so that you can grab the bar with arms fully extended. Once the time starts, jump in the air and pull your body up to the bar. Control the descent so the feet land and jump right back up.

 

Incline Treadmill Sprint: Keep the incline between a 7.5-10 -percent grade on the treadmill and sprint as fast as you can for the full 45 seconds.

Hydrating Coconut-Melon Smoothie

By: Snap Fitness

We’ve created this vitamin-packed and refreshing smoothie to hydrate you after an intense workout. With only a few ingredients, you’ll be sipping this smoothie down in no time!

 

Melons like cantaloupe and watermelon are naturally low in calories, help to reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, melons play an important role for overall health.

 

The coconut water in this smoothie provides electrolytes for hydration and recovery. Refreshing and tasty, coconut water is packed with more potassium than four bananas.

 

Chia seeds pack a serious punch without adding flavor. They provide you with fiber, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and calcium. Chia seeds also contain protein, making it a perfect addition to a smoothie for more energy and muscle recovery.

 

BONUS: You can freeze the extra smoothie in popsicle molds for a breakfast pop!

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut water

½ cup cantaloupe, cubed

½ cup watermelon, cubed

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut

4-5 ice cubes

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix on high until smooth.

Top with additional shredded coconut and enjoy!

Back to Basics: Barbell Strength Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Barbells are a simple but versatile piece of equipment, notorious for producing gains in strength and overall development.

 

One advantage of using barbells is that they are great for multi-joint exercises, which means they incorporate not only the primary muscles but also several supporting muscles to help balance and lift the weight. The more muscles you use in an exercise, the greater the release of growth hormone (GH). GH plays an important role because it is necessary for gains in muscle strength and development in women (whose testosterone levels are naturally lower than men’s).

 

GH is also important for fat loss because it leads to a greater amount of fat being released from fat cells.

 

Barbell Strength Workout

 

Perform six to eight reps of each exercise.

Complete up to four sets.

 

Barbell Squat

 

Barbell Push Press

 

Barbell Deadlift

 

Bench Press

 

Barbell Two-Arm T-Bar Row

Inside Scoop: Training With Landon Cassill

By: Snap Fitness

Hey #SnapNation!

 

Landon Cassill here with a sneak peak into what I've been up to lately!

 

After the crazy weekend with the Quaker State 400 in Kentucky and Muncie 70.3, I went straight from Kentucky to Houston to do a three day swim “camp" with my swim coach Tim Floyd and the Magnolia Masters swim team. Tim is a well-respected coach in the triathlon world who is responsible for coaching some of the fastest swimmers in the Pro Ironman ranks.

 

From that busy weekend to the three days in Houston (with two swim workouts a day), I was officially tired by the time I got back home to Charlotte. I had a couple days to spend at home and get ready to head to New Hampshire for another NASCAR race. Between the New Hampshire and Indianapolis races, I focused on recovering, not putting a lot of pressure on working out, and planning my preparations for Austria. At that point, Austria was about six weeks away,and I felt like my body could handle about three or four weeks of mega volume and intense workouts, so I set my mark on going easy until about July 27 to get started on a four-week block of rebuilding my fitness for the World Championships, including a week of taper/rest leading into the event.

 

With the new baby in the house, I am also trying to find our new daily routine and when the best time is for me to fit in my workouts while still giving my wife a break during the day! I’m finding that the early mornings in the pool are becoming more and more important, with the rest of my workouts being done in the mid-to-late afternoon. Trust me, it hasn’t been an easy process. I’ve blown through multiple 5 a.m. wake up calls so far and have regretted skipping a workout here and there.

 

Now that we’ve made it to July 31, I’ve put in a fairly decent week of workouts. Strong, but nothing close to what I’ll be doing over the course of the next three weeks. I’ve ran just about 20 miles this week, 10 of those miles coming from one run, but I’ve put in almost 125 miles on the bike, and 10k meters in the pool. That’s about 13 hours of training.

 

Over the next three weeks, I will hopefully double that run mileage with my longest run being around 16 miles. One of the biggest things I’m focused on is strength on the bike for the climbs through the mountains in Austria. For that, I am doing a lot of low cadence/high resistance muscle tension work on the bike and leg strength exercises like squats and lunges at Snap Fitness.

 

As far as my running is concerned, I’ve felt like run strength has also been a weakness of mine, so those workouts in the gym are going to help me, along with some higher-intensity runs during the week to build leg speed. Because my run speed just hasn’t been there the past few weeks (maybe because of the hot weather or lingering fatigue from the past couple months), these run workouts will be good to get my leg speed back up. Sometimes, a treadmill session at the Snap Fitness club is even better than a run outside for me because I can control the pace on the treadmill and really dial in my goal for the workout.

 

It's been a wild ride! Stay tuned for even more insider training blogs as I prepare for the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.

 

- LC

14 Fun Activities for an Active Family

By: Snap Fitness

August is National Family Fun Month! For some of us, it may be the last month of summer vacation and the final opportunity to enjoy the warm weather. It’s time to tackle the great outdoors with your loved ones! Below is a list of family-friendly activities that will keep you busy until the dreaded “s-word” (September, of course!) comes. Have fun while being active – it’s what the doctor ordered.

 

Jump in a canoe or kayak and paddle around a lake.

Find a challenging bike route with hills.

Visit the zoo and increase your daily steps.

Visit a theme park and briskly walk from ride to ride.

Swim at your local beach or pool.

Roller skate around the neighborhood.

Take an evening walk through the park with glow-in-the-dark necklaces.

Volunteer at a local race.

Have a water balloon fight in your backyard.

Visit a museum and add to your daily step count.

Go bowling.

Dance at an outdoor concert.

Swim and spash at a waterpark.

Find a local farm to pick fresh fruit and vegetables.                                

5 Health Benefits of Watermelon

By: Snap Fitness

If you think watermelon is just crunchy, sweet water, you are in for a treat!  Next time you are at the grocery store or farmer's market, pick up one of these beauties and enjoy the many health benefits it may bring you.

 

1.  Watermelon is Packed with Antioxidants

You know that tomato juice is good for you, but maybe you don’t like the taste. The good news is that watermelon offers comparable benefits of tomato juice. Watermelon is rich in Lycopene, a potent carotenoid that is found to protect against heart disease, strokes, and certain cancers. Only one cup of watermelon is the same as eating two medium-sized tomatoes!

 

2.  The Rind Contains Many Health Benefits

Don’t throw away the rind anymore! Instead, toss a whole piece (including the rind!) into a blender with some lime for a tasty, yet healthy treat. The rind contains amino acid citrulline (About 250 mg per cup), which is important for heart health and maintaining your immune system. Your body will also thank you for the Vitamin A, B C, and B6 the watermelon provides!

 

3.  … And in the Seeds!

While many people have spitting contests with their watermelon seeds or avoid the seeded watermelon all together, the black seeds are actually a healthy and edible component of the melon. One cup of dried seeds contains 30.6g of protein (61% of daily value), 3.8 mg of niacin (19% of daily value), and 556mg of magnesium (139% of daily value).

 

4. Watermelon Can Alleviate Sore Muscles

Although muscle soreness is evidence of a productive workout, the pain can be uncomfortable and irritating. The l-citrulline found in watermelon is an amino acid that helps to relieve muscle soreness. If you have a juicer, try juicing a third of a fresh watermelon to drink right before you workout. 

 

5.  It Keeps You Hydrated

We know this one probably isn’t exactly ‘news’ to you, but it’s a good reminder to hear mid-summer. Having more than 91% water, watermelon is a tasty way to avoid dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of fresh water as well!

 

Have your watermelon and eat the whole thing too!

Tangled Thai Salad with Peanut Dressing

By: Snap Fitness

This Thai-inspired salad is loaded with fresh vegetables and drizzled with a peanut dressing. We won’t tell if you go back for seconds.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

Salad

1 large English cucumber

1 large golden beet, peeled

1 large carrot, julienned
¼ cup chopped red bell pepper

¾ cup cooked edamame

¾ cup chickpeas

Cilantro and lime for serving

 

Peanut Dressing

1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

Salad

1)   Cut the ends off of the cucumber and golden beet then discard.

2)   Using a spiral vegetable slicer (or spiralizer) slice the cucumber into vegetable noodles.

3)   Place the noodles in a large bowl and continue with the golden beet.

4)   Add in carrot, chopped red bell pepper, edamame, and chickpeas and toss until combined.

5)   Top with cilantro, fresh squeezed lime juice, and dressing.

6)   Ready to serve!

 

 

Dressing

1) Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until well blended.



 

 

Ingredient Breakdown: Diet Soda

By: Snap Fitness

Diet soda often seems like the healthier option compared to regular soda, but what the ingredients do inside of your body may surprise you. We took a look at what goes into diet soda and broke down all of the ingredients because we believe that the more you know, the better choices you’ll make!

 

Carbonated Water

For the most part, carbonated water isn’t bad for you. It is equally as hydrating as regular water. There is concern over calcium loss from your bones due to the acidity of the beverage.

 

Carmel Color

There is some belief that consuming food dyes leads to ADHD in children. At this point, the evidence is non-conclusive but it is still something to be aware of.

 

Aspartame & Sucralose (Artificial Sweeteners)

This ingredient confuses your body. Your tongue can taste artificial sweeteners, but your body cannot break down the molecules which creates a substance that is sweet and zero calories. Too good to be true? We think so. Artificial sweeteners are sweeter than regular sugar. If you adjust your taste buds to this level of sweet, you are less likely to enjoy the natural sweeteners found in healthy fruit.

 

Preservatives

Preservatives are used to maintain the color and flavor of diet soda to prolong the shelf life of the product.

Phosphoric acid: In high doses, phosphoric acid may cause health concerns such as blurred vision, eroding teeth enamel, and gastrointestinal problems. There is a very small amount of phosphoric acid added to soda to prevent molding.

Potassium Benzoate: This molecule, in the presence of Vitamin C, undergoes a reaction that produces a cancer-accelerating molecule, benzene, inside of your body.

Potassium Citrate: This preservative helps balance the acidity of the other ingredients.

Citric Acid: This ingredient gives soda the tangy tart flavors as well as extends the shelf life of the beverage.

 

Caffeine

Caffeine is safe in small doses up to 400 milligrams (there is about 100 milligrams in one cup of coffee). Consuming larger amounts of coffee may cause side effects such as upset stomach, fast heart beat, muscle tremors, and restlessness.   

Posts 1 - 10 of 619