Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Featured Recipe: Red Quinoa Salad

By: Snap Fitness

When you’re craving rice, try opting for quinoa. Quinoa is full of fiber, amino acids, and protein. It is also gluten free, which makes it a vertical alternative to those with gluten allergies.

 

For this recipe, we are using red quinoa because of its texture that binds well with dressings. This salad is the perfect side when paired with your favorite grilled fish or chicken dish.

 

Going to a party? This one is sure to please the crowd!

 

Ingredients:

3 cups water 

2 cups kale, trimmed and thinly sliced

1 ½ cups red quinoa

1 large. Crisp apple, such as Fuji

½ large red onion, diced

3 oz. feta cheese, crumbled ( about ½ cup)

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper

 

Directions:

1. Place quinoa in a 3-quart pot. Add water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, covered, about 15-20 minutes. Quinoa should be tender, but still have a crunch to it.

2. Drain the quinoa and return it to the pot. Cover and let the quinoa rest for 5 minutes; then fluff it with a fork. Let cool to room temperature.

3. When quinoa has cooled, in a large bowl, mix the quinoa, onions, kale, cheese, apple.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Add the dressing to the salad and gently mix it in. Feel free to add more dressing to the salad if it seems dry.

 

Enjoy!

 

25 Minute Run/Walk Treadmill Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Avoid feeling bored on the treadmill with this 25 minute treadmill workout that alternates between a brisk walk and a run every couple minutes. Not only will this keep boredom at bay, but it will give your body a good workout. 

 

Start with a slight incline around 3. If you feel like the workout is too easy or hard, play around with the incline or speed. 

 

For extra distraction while running on the treadmill, create a motivating playlist and listen to some tunes! Don't have time to create a playlist? Check out the Get Up & Go playlist we created for you!

 

Good luck! 

 

Jodi The Trainer's August 7th Facebook Live-Chat!

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Jason – How much time do you need to recover from cardio before you do strength train with weights?

 

It depends on your training goal and the intensity of your cardio.  For example, if you are looking to add muscle/keep muscle, I would recommend doing cardio on separate days or separate time of day from your strength training.  When doing cardio, your muscle glycogen is depleted making it easier to lose hard-earned muscle. 

 

However, if you are looking to burn calories, increase endurance, stamina and overall cardiovascular fitness, you can do strength training with or immediately following your cardio.

 

Nicole - I got out of my hardcore spinning and lifting routine due to a severe anemia diagnosis. Now I need to start over. What's my best plan for quick fat loss to get back to where I was?

 

Your anemia can be related to your high intensity training so, first make sure that you check with your doctor and find out what the parameters of your training are.  That said, it’s next to impossible to combine “quick and fat loss.”  For your weight loss to come from fat, it is a slower process.  Focus on building muscle, having awesome nutrition, and doing enough cardio to burn fat and avoid burning muscle (with too much cardio). 

 

To get back where you were, focus on starting and staying consistent. “Small daily steps always look to the greater big picture of overall success, not quick fixes.”  Good luck!

 

Julie - What are the best sets of exercises to strengthen full body?

 

I love to work total body exercises – seems like the most functional use of strength, calorie burn, and the ability to work our bodies as nature intended.  That said, the following exercises seem to cover that nicely:

 

Plank Row – Hold a plank, place one dumbbell on the floor in between your hands, Take the DB with one hand (while you balance on the other and work to keep core strong and hips level), Pull the DB back, repeat on the opposite side.

 

Squat-Curl-Press – Keep 2 dumbbells on either side (on the floor), squat down and hold each DB, as you stand from the squat, curl the DB, once standing press the DB overhead.  Lower the DB to the floor with control and repeat.  Works the legs, biceps, shoulders, and core.

 

Spiderman Pushups – Hold a plank position, as you lower to a pushup, pull one knee up and out to the side until your knee meets the same side elbow, pause to hold, then press up from the pushup while pulling the knee back, foot down, ending in the plank position before repeating on the opposite side.  You can modify this by eliminating the pushup and just doing the lower body portion.

 

Ashlee - Have you heard of Adrenal Fatigue and do you recommend supplements for this?

 

Yes!  In fact, I have worked with many clients that have suffered through it.  It is extremely common in women, post childbirth, that also have a strong work-ethic, and drive.  This burning the candle at both ends negatively affects your hormones (adrenal glands being part of that).  When you exhaust your system, somethings gotta give.  I can’t recommend a specific supplement, but I can give you 2 options.  1.) Go to a doctor or naturopath that believes in this condition so that they can set you up on the appropriate course of action.  2.)  Do the free online supplement consultation with Truestar.  Click on the link to get started:  http://truestar.com/JSfitness . Within the consultation, you will notice questions that are specific to any condition, disease, or interest.  Check it out!

 

Carol - How can you tell if you've gained muscle weight? My weight has stayed pretty steady this summer but I've definitely toned and strengthened my muscles. I've also improved my cardiac health.

 

You can always have your body fat checked by a personal trainer in your club.  But ultimately, if you have noticed a difference in your clothing (fitting better), and your muscle definition, etc….you probably already know the answer to your question.  Congratulations on improving your cardiovascular fitness too.  Remember, the weight on the scale doesn’t paint the full picture.  Finding a balance between strength, cardio, muscle definition, and overall health indicates success – so, congratulations!

 

Melissa - What is the most effective way to lose fat in the abdominal area and hips and tone the glutes?

 

Focus on working the entire body by way of strength training, interval and intermittent cardio, plus proper nutrition.  Though you can’t “spot reduce” and lose weight in specific areas, while keeping weight in others, you can spot strengthen.  Focus on strength in the hips and core by choosing funcational and total body exercises.  I noted a few in the question above but, I think they would be great exercises for you as well:  

 

Plank Row – Hold a plank, place one dumbbell on the floor in between your hands, Take the DB with one hand (while you balance on the other and work to keep core strong and hips level), Pull the DB back, repeat on the opposite side.

 

Squat-Curl-Press – Keep 2 dumbbells on either side (on the floor), squat down and hold each DB, as you stand from the squat, curl the DB, once standing press the DB overhead.  Lower the DB to the floor with control and repeat.  Works the legs, biceps, shoulders, and core.

 

Spiderman Pushups – Hold a plank position, as you lower to a pushup, pull one knee up and out to the side until your knee meets the same side elbow, pause to hold, then press up from the pushup while pulling the knee back, foot down, ending in the plank position before repeating on the opposite side.  You can modify this by eliminating the pushup and just doing the lower body portion.

 

I would also add – deadlifts to work your glutes and challenge the stability of your core.

  

Khan - I just started working out. I’ve never been a work out person,  but have started doing cardio and planning to do a small amount of weights in the future. My goal is to gain weight, I am too skinny, I  weigh about 60 kg on a height of 6"3. What do you suggest I eat to gain muscle mass?

 

Good for you for choosing to add strength training to your routine.    Make sure that you are eating ENOUGH calories.  In a world of eat less, lose weight (calories in, calories out) it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that you actually need calories to grow muscle.  Without enough calories, even the best diet falls short.  Include at least 1gram of protein per pound of body weight, (or .035 ounces per kg of body weight), to ensure that you get enough protein.   Also, check with a personal trainer in your area as they can help you calculate how many total calories you should take in each day.  There is a minimum number called your ‘basal metabolic rate’ that you should not go under - good luck!

 

Lauren - I have been working out and eating healthy for about year and half.  I’ve lost about 80 pounds. I am hitting a plateau. I run a lot! I work out 6 days a week. I do weights. I am just trying to push through. Suggestions?

 

First off, congratulations on your successful weight loss thus far.  Now it’s time to focus in on body composition – is the weight on the scale the most important at this point, or are you looking to see muscle definition and strength?  If so, then consider having a body composition test done with a personal trainer.  They can show you how much of your weight is body fat and how much is lean mass (muscle, bone, etc). 

 

Since you run a lot, you may be losing muscle making it harder to maintain your metabolism and see ongoing weight loss as result.  Consider decreasing your running slightly, adjusting your calories, and focusing on strength training to see if this adjusts and changes your overall body composition.  More muscles, means a better ability to burn fat, and enjoy a healthier metabolism as a result.

 

Will - My son is 14, turning 15 in mid November. He is 5-10 at least 190 pounds. His coaches are having him lift weights and from the sound of it they are having lift one weight until he is fatigued, lower the weight do it again. Is this ok, I mean he is bigger than I am and hopefully will get taller

 

Hi Will –It sounds like your sons’ coaches are doing something called “drop sets” – where you work a set to failure, and continue an exercise with a lower weight to induce muscle failure again.  Doing this is shown to increase muscle size (hypertrophy)…IF that is the goal.  This type of training can also cause overuse injuries if it’s the only type of training done – just some pros and cons.  My question to the coaches would be, are you looking to increase overall size or function?  In sport, the challenge by many athletes and coaches is balancing the two.  In football for example, I can increase size but, can I move my newfound build with efficiency, power and speed and still have agility and injury prevention.  All dependent on their goal, his sport and/or position. 

 

Becky -  How long should I be doing cardio every day? HIIT 3X week and low intensity w/weights 2X/week. I want to do an adequate amount but not waste my time. 

 

I like the variety of intensity that you are looking to do – great work!  I would start with a lower time frame for your HIIT work – 20min and work up to 45min.  Beyond that, people tend to decrease intensity overall (thereby defeating the purpose of the High intensity intervals in the first place!).  So, 20-45min of HIIT, and 30-60min of your weights plus cardio.  Keep me posted on how it goes!

 

Carol - I've been nursing a shoulder injury that my Dr. said is probably an overuse injury. I hardly ever have pain from it anymore, but would love recommendations for what muscles to work to help finish up the healing.

 

Most injuries (especially due to overuse) are caused by muscle imbalances – your best bet is to work the shoulders and the stabilizing muscles around it.  For example, work your back (upper and mid) as much if not more than you work your chest.  Work your rotator cuff muscles as a way of balancing any work that you do with your shoulders.  I love:

 

Cable External Rotations – for the rotator cuff

 

Bentover lateral Raise – for the rear deltoids

 

Bentover Y lift – Again for the rotator cuff, and the lower trapezius.  Bend at the waist, keep spine long, holding light dumbbells (2-5lbs), lift your arms out to the side at about a 45degree angle, thumbs toward the ceiling.  You will look like you are making a letter “Y”.  Lower with control and repeat.  Do this while keeping core strong and shoulder blades down.

 

Toni - My 16 yr old daughter was in a weight training class last year and really bulked up and gained 40 lbs. Now she hates her body and weight. What can she do now to lose that bulk and weight?

 

I am sorry to hear that she hates her body and weight – teenage girls should feel empowered, strong, and confident after completing a course like that.  And honestly, she should be proud that she was able to strengthen and put on muscle.  That said, it is really tough for a teenage girl to put on 40lbs of solid muscle.   As a teen, she is likely growing, dealing with changing hormones and likely needs to balance her nutrition as well as cardio.  I would like to work with you both directly – private message me at Jodi the Trainer FB page please.  This way,I can give you more detail – thanks!

 

Christopher - Can you give me an idea of what would be good exercises for a heart patient?

 

Not knowing the details of the patient and level of cardiovascular health they are in, I wouldn’t want to give you advice.  Most heart patients are placed in a cardiac rehab program.  Have you inquired to a medical professional about this?   They can guide you and suggest the next steps far better than I could.   They will give you specific heart rate intensities to work at, how often, what type, and additional strength training recommendations as well.

 

Amanda - How can you tone flabby arms?

 

It’s all about strength training Amanda!  Strength training builds muscle, muscle boost metabolism, which then supports fat loss.  Work your arms by choosing 2-3 different exercises for each major muscle group (Chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps).  Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 repetitions.  Repeat this at least 2 times per week to get started.  Good luck!

3 Tips for Back to School Success

By: Snap Fitness

Back to school season is upon us, and in just a few short weeks the kids will be headed back to the classroom, giving you time to head back to the gym. Just like kids are preparing for the new school year, now is the time for you start preparing to get back into a regular workout routine. But after a summer packed with vacations, cookouts and suntans, you might be having a little trouble deciding how to get started. 


That’s why this month we’re making it easy for you to kick-start your workouts in just three simple steps:


1) Pick a time and stick to it – By scheduling your workout ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to get preoccupied by other things that might keep you out of the gym. If you say you’re going to work out “sometime this week,” chances are you’ll either forget (or choose to forget). Consistency is key, so pick a day, pick a time and put it on your calendar.


2) Plan your workout – Getting back into your workout groove can be a challenge, especially if you’ve been away from the gym for a little while. Instead of showing up with no game plan, sit down beforehand and decide what type of workout you’re going to do and how long you’re going to do it for. This will keep you on track, and ultimately save you more time in the long run. If you’re unsure of how to create that plan, talk to a personal trainer about your goals and ask for guidance in setting the roadmap for your success.


3) Find a partner – Having a workout buddy is an easy way to increase your motivation and accountability. It can be easy to skip out on a workout or only give a half-hearted effort if you’re by yourself, but if you know someone else is counting on you to be there, you’re more likely to show up and give it your all. Even if you aren’t at the same fitness level as your partner, having a shoulder to lean on can make all the difference.

 

Bonus tip: When it comes to back to school season, everyone knows it’s important to have the right supplies! That’s why this month, you can win a free “Back to School Grab Bag,” loaded with cool Snap Fitness gear! All you have to do is Like Snap Fitness on Facebook! See below to get started now.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Snap Fitness member Carlie from Salem, WI gets started on her path to weight loss success

By: Snap Fitness

Last month, we invited members to send in your stories and let our very own Jodi the Trainer help you get started on the path to creating your very own Snap Fitness success story!

 

One of the members selected, Carlie from Salem, WI, is looking to get started on a new chapter of her life starting and sees Snap Fitness as one of the first steps to reaching her goals.

 

“I am 28 years old and I finally understand how important my health really is,” she says. “One year ago I made a choice to quit smoking and I am proud to say that I have kept that commitment to my health.  The downside of this amazing achievement is that I gained a lot of unwanted weight.  It took me too long to finally realize what had happened to my body.  I finally broke down and bought a scale and when the numbers appeared I broke down in tears of depression and sadness.  This is what I called my rock bottom moment of clarity.  I knew that I had to do something different.”

 

Carlie is already off to a great start, having added more fruits and vegetables to her diet, preparing her meals ahead of time, and of course joining her local Snap Fitness. Now Jodi the Trainer is going to help her take it to the next level.

 

“After talking with Carlie on the phone, I learned that her goal is to lose weight, gain muscle and improve her energy level,” says Jodi. “With that in mind, I sat down and created a nutrition and fitness plan specifically to meet her needs.”

 

Here’s what Jodi had to say when it came to creating a nutrition plan for Carlie:

 

1) Consistency: “Carlie told me that she has been preparing her meals ahead of time, in order to maintain consistency and stick to her diet. This is an awesome habit, and I love that she is already doing this!”

 

2) Current Nutrition and suggested changes:  “I asked Carlie to write down what her standard menu looks like, and offered my suggestion for tweaks or changes. My suggestions are in bold.”


- Breakfast–Yogurt with banana


You always want to have protein with a meal.  A lot of yogurt brands alone do not have enough. Instead, try Greek yogurt (low-fat, plain is ideal).  It’s very plain but, you can dress it up by adding fruit and nuts. If you aren’t interested in that, have one egg and two egg whites, prepared however you like. Try and add one cup of veggies too.


- Lunch – Fruit, pita chips w/cheese, turkey sandwich, PB&J sandwich


Your turkey sandwich at lunch is perfect.  Try to include one cup of steamed vegetables along with this. If you are doing pita chips, try to eat them with hummus instead as it is higher in protein and fiber.


-
Snack  - Carrots or cucumbers


Again, make sure you have either a protein or a fat with your vegetables.  Examples include nuts, avocado, or protein powder/shakes.


-
Dinner - Lean protein, veggies


Perfect! Remember to drink lots of water as well. You’re doing great!


Once they completed the nutrition plan, Jodi and Carlie discussed her workouts for the week.


“Carlie told me that she’s doing cardio three times per week,” says Jodi. “I told her to start adding in weight training at least two of those three days. For example, she could do Tuesday cardio and weights, Thursday cardio only, Saturday cardio and weights, and then Sunday cardio only once again.


“As for the cardio itself, my recommendation is for Carlie to start switching it up and adding some variety,” continues Jodi. “She’s currently doing a lot of biking – and loving it! However, I told her to think about adding in some elliptical, and don’t be afraid of the treadmill. Both of these will incorporate more core and upper body movement too.”


As an added bonus, Jodi put together a sample weight workout for Carlie, which you can get started with too:


Tuesday and Saturday weights: Do a total body weight routine, with two sets of each exercise, 10-12 reps per set


- Walking lunges
- Squats
- Dumbbell Chest press
- Lat Pull-down Machine
- Seated Shoulder Press
- Seated Row machine
- Dumbbell Bicep Curl
- Tricep Press down machine (using the cable system and a rope or triangle attachment)
- Ab - 30 second plank
- Abs – Basic Crunches
- Ab machine (use what you have in the gym)

 

We’ll follow along with Carlie’s journey over the next several weeks, and share her nutrition plan and workout routine to help you achieve your fitness goals right alongside!

Featured Recipe: Protein Pancakes

By: Snap Fitness

Pancakes are always a crowd-pleaser, but a big no-no if you are trying to watch your diet. The answer to this dilemma? Protein Pancakes.

 

This recipe will make you ditch the boxed pancake mixes in your pantry and never look back. 

 

These pancakes not only contain a good amount of protein, but they also include slow-digesting carbs and fiber, making it a healthy and satisfying alternative!

 

Go forth and ditch those boxed mixes in your pantry!

 

Ingredients:

 

4 egg whites

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp baking powder

Cinnamon to taste

 

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender. Blend until you have a smooth batter.

2. Scoop approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake on medium-low heat until mixture bubbles on top, flip and cook for another 60-90 seconds.

3. Finish with a topping of your choice such as fresh fruit or peanut butter and fruit preserves

 

 

Nutritional Value:

Makes 4 pancakes

Per pancake: 70cal, 8g carbs, 1g fat, 8g protein, 85mg sodium, 2g sugar

20 Minute Elliptical Interval Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Interval training is an effective way to get more out of your workout and burn more calories.

 

With Interval Training, you should be working at or above 85% of your max heart rate for a period of time, followed by a recovery period at 60-70%. This type of workout has a lingering effect, which helps your body burn more calories after your workout.

 

To learn more about Interval Training, check out Jodi’s blog on "The Importance of Varying Exercise Intensity.”

 

Now turn on your tunes and get to work! 

 

 

Featured Recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

 

Nothing tastes better than the combination of  chocolate and peanut butter. Take your taste buds to new heights with this cold, creamy, peanut butter chocolate protein shake recipe. So good, you’ll forget its actually healthy for you!

 

Ingredients:

 

1 Scoop chocolate protein powder

1 Cup choice of milk (almond, skim, soy)

2 Tbsp natural peanut butter

5 ice cubes

 

Directions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately!

Snap Workout: Back & Chest Supersets

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

The Workout:

 

8-10 reps of each exercise

Complete 3 sets of each superset and move on to the next

 

1a. Bent-over barbell row

1b. Incline dumbbell chest press

 

2a. Lat-pulldown

2b. Flat bench dumbbell press

 

3a. Seated row

3b. Flat bench dumbbell flys

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes.

Stability Ball Whole Body Workout

By: Snap Fitness

The Warm-up:

 

Select your favorite cardio machine and get your body loosened and blood flow moving for 5 minutes. The warm-up should increase your heart rate, but it should not leave you feeling fatigued.

 

 

The Workout:

 

Stability Ball Hamstring Curls (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Glutes and hamstrings

 

Stability Ball Fly (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Chest

 

Stability Ball Back Extensions  (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Hamstrings and Lower, middle and upper back

 

Stability Ball Push-ups (3 sets of 10-15 reps)

Muscles worked: Arms, shoulders, chest and core

 

Stability Ball Sit-ups (3 sets of 30 seconds)

Muscles worked: Abdominals

 

 

The Cool-down:

 

End your workout routine with stretching exercises for 3-5 minutes

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