Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Arm Day for Beginners

By: Snap Fitness

Starting a workout routine can be tough. You might not be familiar with the machines in your club or know where to begin with weights. Don’t worry, every expert was once a beginner!

 

Arm day is an important day to include in your weekly routine. Tank-top arms are always a goal for the warmer months, but you need to start working them now to see results in time for summer. Strengthening your arms takes time, and it’s key to build up your weights as time goes on. Start with these four exercises for your first few Arm Days. Add weight as you see fit!

 

Here are four basic arm exercises for beginners:

Bicep Curl: Start with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift your weights to shoulder-level while keeping your elbows by your sides. Slowly lift back down to the starting position. Repeat 10 times for two or three sets.

Chest Fly: Grab a mat and lay on your back. Start with dumbbells facing upwards in each hand and arms extended out on the floor. Lift weights up to meet above your chest, then return back to the starting position. Avoid locking your joints when your arms are out straight. Repeat 10 times for two or three sets.

Tricep Extension: Hold dumbbells in each hand above your head. Move arms down so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Lift weights back up above your head. Repeat eight times for two sets.

Bent-Over Row: Lean forward with weights in each hand. Pull weights up towards your sides, and bring them back down. Keep your arms as close to your side as possible. Repeat 10 times for two sets.

Chocolate Cherry Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which means you may be tempted with chocolate or other candy treats from a special someone! Instead of polishing off a heart-shaped box of chocolates, we have a healthy protein shake for you! Not only will it satisfy your seasonal sweet tooth, it’s perfect for a post-workout treat. Try our Chocolate-Cherry Protein Shake and share the recipe with your valentine!

 

Ingredients:

½ cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

5-10 ice cubes (depending on the consistency you prefer)

½ or 1 cup water (depending on the consistency you prefer)

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

½ cup frozen cherries

 

Directions:

1. Place all the ingredients in a blender.

2. Blend to your preferred consistency.

3. Pour in a glass and enjoy!

 

“Break the Fast” with Breakfast

By: Snap Fitness

Breakfast is one the toughest meals to master for a number of reasons. Between busy schedules and habits of not eating in the morning due to not feeling hungry, breakfast is often an afterthought in the morning. However, breakfast should be at the forefront of each and every person’s morning ritual. The benefits of eating in the morning are clear and becoming increasingly obvious with more and more research. It can be difficult to build this habit as our metabolism adapts to our eating patterns over time; for many people, that is the absence of food in the morning. It can take the body two or three weeks to physiologically adapt to the addition of breakfast, but the changes that accompany that addition are well worth the effort.

 

Overnight, our body essentially goes through a fasting process, as no calories are consumed for an extended period of time. Without “breaking the fast” in the morning, the metabolism will remain slow until the next meal is consumed. This can be troublesome though, as the body is in a state that will want to store more of what is consumed then used for energy. We have to keep in mind that our bodies are meant to be in motion for the majority of the day, so eating throughout the day gives us the energy to do so. The more we are able to move through the day, the more calories we will burn and the higher the metabolism will stay. Those that skip breakfast tend eat foods with more of a sugar/fat component to them, negatively affecting the glycemic index and hurting their metabolism further. Reduced stress and an increase in hormones that positively affect lean body mass has also been associated with people that consume a good breakfast. So for 2015, make breakfast one of your resolutions to see a dramatic difference in your body.

 

Here is a recipe I use during my really busy weeks from heandsheeatclean.com. Make these on Sunday (or any off day) and have them ready for the rest of week. A quick warm-up in the microwave and breakfast is ready!

 

Ingredients:

4 scallions, minced

2 carrots, shredded

1/2 red bell pepper, minced

1/2 zucchini, shredded

14 egg whites

4 whole eggs

1/2 tsp basil

1/4 tsp oregano

Dash of sea salt and pepper

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 12-muffin tin with olive oil.
2. Combine vegetables in a big bowl. Fill each muffin tin 2/3 full with vegetables.
3. Whisk eggs and seasonings in a large mixing bowl.
4. Use a 1/3-measuring cup for the egg mixture and pour slowly into each muffin tin. Egg mixture should fill tin the rest of the way. Bake for 30 minutes or until muffins have risen and are slightly browned. 
5. Serve!

 

Complex Carbs vs. Simple Carbs

By: Snap Fitness

Carbs are either your best friend or your worst enemy. There are two different types of carbs that can affect you differently: complex carbs and simple carbs.

 

Complex carbs (“Good” carbs)

  • Are beneficial from the moment you wake up until your post-workout.
  • Are high in fiber helping you to feel fuller longer.
  • Are high in vitamins and minerals.
  • Give you sustained energy.
  • Examples:

           - Whole grain pastas and breads

           - Brown rice

           - Sweet potatoes

           - Oats

           - Green vegetables

           - Fruits

 

Simple carbs (“Bad” carbs)

  • Are digested quickly and don’t contain vitamins or minerals that are used by the body. If unused, they are often stored as fat.
  • Are nutrient-stripped to make them inexpensive.
  • Are often converted to fat.
  • Make you feel tired due to fluctuations in blood sugars.
  • Contain added sugars to make them more flavorful to consumers.
  • Examples:

            - Treats and candy

            - Refined/white breads

            - Sodas, artificial juices, and high-sugar drinks

            - Any processed foods

 

 

How to Prepare for Your First 5K

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

With spring just around the corner, you may be more motivated to hit the treadmills to prepare for an outdoor running event. If you haven’t run a 5k and you’ve always wanted to, this article is meant just for you!

 

I have put together a 5k training program that you can do right in your Snap Fitness club. Taking the first step is always the toughest – let’s leap!

 

Rundown to Running: Here is an 8-week sample workout to get you up and running and ready for your first 5k race!

 

Simple and Fast Protein Pancake Recipe

By: Snap Fitness

This recipe is one serving and makes approximately three to four medium pancakes.

 

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup Liquid Egg Whites

1/2 Cup Roll Oats

2 TBSP Fat Free Cottage Cheese

 

Directions:

1. Add ingredients to a blender. Blend into batter.

2. Pour onto skillet and make like a normal pancake.

 

Optional flavors that can be added to batter:

Cinnamon

Pumpkin Spice

Cocoa Powder

Maple Extract

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Mint 

 

Incline Training With a Twist

By: Snap Fitness

This workout is designed to focus on getting your heart rate up but also provide a nice burn for your legs. Walking at an incline burns significantly more calories than walking on flat ground. We are also going to add a little bit of a strength aspect in with some light dumbbells too.

 

Workout Prep

Grab a set of dumbbells that equal somewhere between 10% and 15% of your total body weight and set them near the treadmill for easy access.

 

Warm up

Hop on the treadmill and start walking for 5 min to warm up. No incline needed at this time, just get loose and get those muscles ready to work.

 

Main Set

After 5 minutes of walking, significantly increase the incline level of the treadmill so we can really start burning; shoot for a 15% grade or steep as you can get without holding on at all. No hands for this work!  Most people are able to walk at 2.2 to 3.5 mph for this section, but start conservative and add speed if you can as you go. 

 

Grab your weights and walk for 25-35 minutes at that incline while keeping an upright posture, don’t slouch! While walking, work on taking long strides and firing your entire leg as you walk. If you start to feel some shoulder fatigue (trust me you will) throw in a few curls, presses, or raises while walking to get the blood flowing even more. It’s important to let the dumbbells just hang down while walking. Avoid the urge to shrug or swing the weights. They are designed to add dead weight for an extra leg strength aspect, not for a shoulder and arm workout.

 

Extra Credit Finisher

Once you’re done, if you still have gas in the tank, bring the incline down to flat and walk, jog, or run for an extra 10 min. Get those arms moving and legs turning over. This is going to feel like a big downhill after that mountain you just climbed! Great job if you complete it all and enjoy the burn.

 

At Home or at the Gym HIIT Circuit

By: Snap Fitness

Equipment Needed:

2 to 8-pound dumbbells (DB)

Floor Mat

 

Warm-up:

10-minute cardio at medium speed (3.5-3.8 mph)

 

HIIT Circuit:

Squat to Single Shoulder Press with DB - 4 Sets – 12 Reps

Mountain Climbers - 30 Seconds

Side Lunge with DB - 4 Sets – 12 each Reps

DB Punches with DB - 30 Seconds

Alternating V-Up with DB on Mat - 4 Sets – 12 each Reps

Jump Squat - 30 Seconds

DB Tips to Shoulder Press - 4 Sets – 12 each Reps

Elbow Plank on Mat - 30 Seconds

 

Allow yourself a one-minute water break between sets. Repeat circuit four times.

 

Cooldown:

20-30 minute cardio at medium speed (3.5-3.8 mph)

10 minutes of stretching on your mat

 

National Heart Awareness Month

By: Snap Fitness

Having a healthy heart is key in preventing diseases and heart related issues. There are three major components to having a healthy heart:

 

1.     Exercise daily

The more a person works out, the more efficiently the heart can pump blood and oxygen to the working muscles. Here are some great heart-healthy workouts:

  • HIIT training: Doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) increases calorie burn, strengthens the heart to work anaerobically, and expands the fat-burning zone (anaerobic zone).  
  • Weight lifting: Lifting weights help build muscle mass, which helps burn fat. 
  • Running: Invertal training is highly effective in improving cardiovascular fitness.
  • Cycling: If running puts too much pressure on your joints, cycling is a great alternative to boost your cardiovascular fitness.

Try alternating between 2 or 3 of these cardio options to keep your workouts exciting and constantly challenge your fitness abilities.

 

2.     Eat wholesome foods

Load your grocery cart with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean meats. These things provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. Avoid trans-fats at all costs! These can be found in:

  • Crackers
  • Margarines
  • Packaged snack foods
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Fast foods
  • Bakery products
  • “Partially hydrogenated” foods

Focus on adding foods that are similar to how they are found in nature. When you pick up an item at the grocery store, ask yourself, "Did this come from a farm or a factory?" 

 

3.    Avoid smoke and tobacco!

We are all aware of the negative affects smoking and tobacco have on the body. Maybe you or someone you know just has a cigarrette when they drink. It is important to know that even one cigarrette once in a while is still harmful to the heart and blood vessels. Second hand smoke does the same thing so try to avoid it at all costs. 

 

Start implementing these three things in your life today! 

 

 

15 Superfoods for Weight Loss

By: Snap Fitness

Here is a list of superfoods for a super YOU!

 

1. Black Beans

- Loaded with protein and zero saturated fats.

- Add with brown rice for a healthy and harty protein/carb combo.

 

2. Oats

- High in fiber, boosts metabolism, and burns fat.

- Start of your morning with whole grain oats and fruit.

 

3. Avocado

- Packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein.

- Avocado is very tasty with eggs.

 

4. Salmon

- Lean protein and packed with monounsaturated fats.

- Have it by itself or throw it in a sandwhich or salad.

 

5. Blueberries

- Anti-aging and a high fiber content for low calories.

- Toss in your next smoothie!

 

6. Broccoli

- Also high fiber content with less than 30 calories per serving.

- Eat it raw, steamed, or roasted but don't ruin it with ranch sauce.

 

7. Brown Rice

- Healthy carb that burns fat and boosts metabolism.

- Pair with chicken for a great post-workout meal.

 

8. Pear

- Has 15% of your daily fiber intake.

- The peeling contains most of the fiber.

 

9. Grapefruit

- Contains 90% water.

- Grill your grapefruit to bring out more flavor with the natural sugars.

 

10. Kidney Beans

- High in protein and in resistant starch.

- Kidney beans taste great in chili!

 

11. Almonds

- Contain healthy fats to slim down.

- Swapping out crackers for almonds can do wonders.

 

12. Green Tea

- Contains antioxidants that burn fat and calories.

- Drink 3-5 cups a day to lose weight.

 

13. Lentils 

- A half-cup serving contains 3.4 grams of resistant starches that burn fat and boost metabolism.

- The ways to eat lentils are endless. Cook them up and add to your favorite dish to get all the lentil nutrients.

 

14. Banana

- One banana contains a whopping 12.5 grams of resistant starches.

- Mush a banana into a bowl, put it in the freezer until it is an ice cream-like texture, and enjoy your healthy ice cream.

 

15. Eggs

- Loaded with protein that curbs your appetite.

- Make sure you have hard-boiled eggs packed in your lunch for a quick and nutritious snack.

 


 

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Posts 11 - 20 of 545