Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Featured Recipe: Almond Banana Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

What is cool, creamy, and full of protein? This Almond Banana Protein Shake. Feel free to customize this recipe to fit your taste buds. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla for added flavor. Why not throw in a splash of almond milk for added creaminess?

 

It’s time to break out the blender and start freezing those bananas. You will definitely be making this recipe again and again!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 scoop protein of choice

½ cup raw almonds

1 frozen banana

 

Directions:

1. Combine the water and almonds in your blender. Blend until smooth.

2. Add banana and protein, blend until well mixed and smooth.

3. Enjoy immediately! 

Attacking Heart Health – A Three-Part Approach

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

When discussing heart health, most people think of cardiovascular exercise.  Did you know that nutrition, stress management, and cardiovascular training all affect heart health?  To tackle heart health, consider looking at your health from a balanced 3-part approach: 

 

1. Proper Diet

 

Nutrition:


Dietary changes to improve overall heart health include; a decreased consumption of high fat or processed meats, increased consumption of dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, and the inclusion of high quality, specifically mono-saturated, fats.  Diets high in these items work to decrease LDL (bad cholesterol), and increase HDL (good cholesterol).  Additionally, check with your doctor to get a baseline cholesterol level.   

 

Foods to include:

Lean meats – chicken, fish, turkey, and lean cuts of red meat

Vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, kale, and beets

Fruits – all citrus fruits and berries

Grains – Oats and brown rice

 

Hydration:

 

When you are properly hydrated, your cells can function at their best.  Proper cell hydration improves the flushing of fluids and waste products out of your system – free radicals and fatty acids within the blood stream specifically.  Make a goal to hydrate with at least ½ of your body weight in ounces each day.  This should include fresh, plain water without additional carbonation, artificial flavors or sweeteners.  

 

Supplements:

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids – according to a study from the Mayo Clinic Medical Education and Research (MFMER) from 1998-2010 - can reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and the risk of blood clots.  Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of unsaturated fatty acid that is thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body. Overall, inflammation can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease.

 

They recommend eating one to two servings a week of fish, particularly fish that's rich in Omega-3 fatty acids or including an omega-3 supplement to your diet that contains at least 300mg daily.

 

Vitamin E – Vitamin E helps to neutralize free radicals and prevent heart disease because it acts as an antioxidant.  According to the Livestrong organization at livestrong.com, Vitamin E slows the process of plaque buildup in the arteries, which can lead to many heart problems. Foods that contain vitamin E include nuts, seeds and vegetable oil.  Or supplement with at least 600IU of Vitamin E daily.

 

Vitamin C - Vitamin C also prevents the activity of free radicals. According to NaturalNews.com,  Vitamin C helps to rebuild collagen which prevents damage in the arteries and decreases the chance of heart disease.  Choose citrus fruits that are high in Vitamin C (like oranges, mango, or grapefruit).  Or, supplement with at least 500mg daily. 

 

Vitamin D – It is well-known that North Americans don’t get enough Vitamin D each day.  As we spend more time indoors we lose the absorption of this important vitamin.  Plus, when we are eventually outdoors, we cover up with sun-blocking clothing and hats or use sunscreen to prevent sun damage.  Though good to prevent sun damage on the skin, the need to absorb Vitamin D is still crucial to preventing heart disease, increasing energy, and improving your mood.  Truestar Health recommends supplementing with at least 500 IU per day.

 

 

2. Stress Management

 

Stress increases cortisol levels within the body.  This increase in cortisol also promotes inflammation.  Increased Inflammation in the body forces the release of fatty acids into the blood stream.  The result is increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels.  Consider taking up a daily meditation practice or other mind/body disciplines like yoga or pilates as a way to manage stress and subsequent cortisol and inflammation.  We love the meditation support offered through Truestar Health – download and try some of our favorites here:  Travel Meditation with Truestar

 

 

3.  Cardiovascular Fitness

 

Though High Intensity Interval Training is the latest fitness craze, it is well-documented that consistent and moderate cardiovascular exercise is best for improving heart health and lowering blood pressure.  Consider a balanced approach to cardio that includes:  3-4 days/week using a variety of equipment options such as:  Stairstepper, elliptical, and treadmill - at the following intensities:

 

Steady State – Maintain the same moderate intensity heart rate throughout the entire duration of a 30-45 minute workout.  This intensity should make you winded to the point that you work up a sweat, and cannot sing a song but, could say a few sentences at a time in conversation. Do this 1x/week.

 

Low Intensity – Maintain a light intensity throughout the entire duration of a 60 minute workout.  For most people, this would include a long walk or an easy bike ride.  This intensity should allow you to speak easily to a friend, break a light sweat, and generally leave you feeling re-energized.  Do this 1-2x/week.

 

Anaerobic Intervals – Include bouts of high intensity mixed with lower intensity. You should establish an aerobic base before adding anaerobic intervals into your cardio mix.  It is recommended that you complete 2-4 weeks of steady state and low intensity workouts first (2-3 workouts/week for 2-4 weeks), before adding in anaerobic intervals.

 

An example of anaerobic intervals include; running for 1min, then walking for 1min.  Or, walking at a steep incline for 1 min. and then walking with no incline for 1 min.  During high intensity bouts, you should feel breathless and unable to speak a full sentence.  Use the easy interval to recover and get your heart rate back down to where you can speak 2-3 sentences in conversation. 

 

 

Looking to improve heart health and prevent heart disease takes a balanced approach.  The key is consistency and finding a way to make positive changes in all areas of nutrition, stress, and exercise.  Start in the areas that you can make the most immediate impact and add from there.  You will add years to your life and of course, life to your years!

Butt & Gut Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

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:


Repeat the circuit below 4-5 times.

 

1. Squat jumps - 30 sec.

 

 

 

2. Walking lunges - 45 sec.

 

 

 

3. Back leg pulses - 30 sec. each side

 

 

4. Oblique twist - 45 sec.

 

 

5. Step throughs - 30 sec. each side

 

 

 

6. Glute bridge with march - 45 sec.

 

 

7. Elbow plank - 30 sec.

 

5 Yoga Moves to Perform After a Workout

By: Snap Fitness

As you may already know, stretching after a workout is not only an effective way to cool-down, but is also good for stiff muscles and joints. Leaving your body more relaxed and rejuvenated after pushing it to the limits.

 

There are many stretches that can be done, but none are as effective as doing a few easy yoga moves. Most people think that yoga isn’t for them, that it takes flexibility and balance, but in time yoga can actually assist in your overall fitness performance. In conjunction with a workout routine, yoga can be the missing piece to the puzzle. Not only does yoga provide strength in a whole new way, but also allows the body to take a break and breathe.

 

Grab a mat, take a moment to “stretch it out” with these 5 basic yoga moves.

 

Downward dog - This simple pose stretches out hamstrings, calf muscles, strengthens the core and shoulders while releasing tension in the upper and lower back,

 

Camel pose - This chest and heart opener is releasing tension in the lower back and neck joints.

 

 

A good modification for this posture is placing your hands on your hips leaning back slightly.

 

 

Another modifcation is placing only one hand on your ankle.

 

 

These modifcations help to support the spine while keeping your chest lifted and your lower back straight.

 

Standing Forward Fold - Release tension in the thighs and calf muscles. This posture also elongates the back and opens up the shoulder muscles. Great for runners and those weight training.

 

Legs up the wall pose - This pose helps to release tension in the lower back. Do you have sore legs or poor circulation? Then legs up the wall pose is for you!

 

 

Tree pose - Effective for stretching out the legs, back and arms, and also challenges balance.

 

These postures are not only beneficial after a workout, but also can aid in better sleep, digestion, and over-all mood. Next time you hit the gym, try taking a few extra minutes after your workout to go through these basic yoga postures. Your body will thank you tomorrow!

5 Minute Treadmill Blocks Workout

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

This treadmill workout improves cardiovascular fitness and improves speed on hills and flats – perfect for anyone looking to improve pace for an upcoming race or just decrease the boredom of treadmill work.

 

The Workout:

 

5 min. easy warmup

 

1 min. –  jog at 0% incline

2 min. – jog at 3-5% incline

1 min. – sprint at 0% incline

1 min. – easy walk

 

Repeat this 5 min. interval 4-6 times for a 20-30 min. workout

 

Bonus: For each 2 min. interval (hill), increase the incline .5-1% each time!

Featured Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Mousse

By: Snap Fitness

Avocados aren’t just for guacamole anymore!

 

This rich, chocolate dessert is so delicious you won’t believe the creaminess came from an avocado. The chocolate takes over the taste of the avocado, which leaves you with a smooth texture you’d never thought imaginable. Because avocados are a superfood, you are getting your chocolate fix along with heart healthy fats and antioxidants. That’s definitely something you won’t get from a candy bar! If you weren’t a fan of avocados before, you will be now.

 

Top with fresh fruits if you wish, serve cold and enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

 

1 ripe avocado

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choosing)

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Directions:

 

1. Halve and pit the avocado and scoop out the middle.

2. In a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, agave nectar, almond milk, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Process for 2 minutes, stir and scrape the sides, and process again for 1-2 minutes until the mousse is smooth.

3. If desired, top the mousse with fresh fruits such as mango, raspberries or blueberries

4. Serve within 6 hours.

 

Nutritional Value:

Makes about 2 servings

Per serving: 195 cal, 26g carbs, 13g fat, 5g protein, 20mg sodium, 12g sugar

Snap Workout: TABATA

By: Snap Fitness

You might be wondering, what is Tabata?  Tabata is a type of high-intensity training that moves very quickly. You perform an exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 second. You repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times. One Tabata round will take 4 minutes.

 

Note: This type of workout is for the more advanced. For beginners, start with just 1-2 rounds and build your endurance up. Anyone with preexisting cardiovascular conditions should consult with a doctor first. 

 

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:

 

Perform each exercise at full intensity for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds.

Repeat the pattern for a total of 8 times, then move to the next exercise.

 

1. Mountain Climbers

 

Rest 1 minute

 

2. Dumbbell Squat with a Bicep Curl into a Shoulder Press

 

Rest 1 minute

 

3. Jump Squats

 

Rest 1 minute

 

4. Dumbbell Plank Row (renegade row)

 

Rest 1 minute

 

5. Lateral Lunge to Row

 

Rest 1 minute

 

6. Jump lunges

 

 

The Cool-Down:

 

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

Featured Recipe: Spaghetti Squash

By: Snap Fitness

For all of you watching your carb intake, or with a gluten allergy who are on a mission for a pasta substitute, we have a solution.

 

Spaghetti squash has the same texture as pasta without the starchy reputation. Top with your favorite spaghetti sauce, or drizzle with olive oil and parmesan. However you enjoy pasta, you can enjoy spaghetti squash the same way. You will be surprised how easy it is to make- and how even the pickiest of eaters will be asking for seconds.

 

There are two ways to cook spaghetti squash. You can cut it open, which will cook faster- or you can save the cutting for the end and bake the squash whole. Because spaghetti squash is fairly hard to cut, we suggest cooking it whole. It may take longer to cook, but will save you from the frustrations of trying to crack the squash open. 

 

Ingredients:

1 Spaghetti Squash 

 

Directions:

 

Version 1: Cutting squash before baking

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Cut the squash in half (lengthwise). Scrape out the seeds and pulp.

3. Place the squash on a baking sheet with cut sides down. 

4. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until you can insert a sharp knife with little resistance.

5. Remove squash and let it cool until it can be easily handled. 

6. Once cool, gently scrape a fork around the edge of the squash to shred into strands. 

 

Version 2: Baking whole squash then cutting

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Pierce the squash with a sharp knife. Place in oven on a baking sheet.

3. Bake at 375 degress F for an hour.

4. Remove squash and let it cool until it can be easily handled.

5. Once cool, cut the squash lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.

6. Gently scrape a fork around the edge of the squash to shred into strands. 

 

Enjoy!

Cable Machine Upper Body Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Don’t let the cable machine intimidate you! This is a versatile machine that gives you the ability to perform a full body workout.  To help get you started, take a look at this Upper Body Workout. Keep moving in-between sets with a 30 second cardio burst.

 

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:

 

1a. Cable Flyes: 3 sets 12-15 reps

1b. 30 seconds jumping jacks

 

2a. Bent-Over Rows: 3 sets 12-15 reps

2b. 30 seconds jumping lunges

 

3a. Axe Chop: 3 sets 12-15 reps

3b.  30 seconds burpees

 

4a. Bicep Curl: 3 sets 12-15 reps

4b.  30 seconds body weight squats

 

5a. Cable Pull-Downs: 3 sets 12-15 reps

5b. 30 seconds Mountain Climbers

 

The Cool-Down:

 

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

 

 

 

Lunch Hour Elliptical Workout

By: Snap Fitness

 

Get a boost of energy during your workday with this 15 minute elliptical workout.

 

Not only does working out during the workday boost your energy, it also boosts your mood and helps reduce stress!

 

This workout will maximize your time on the elliptical during your precious lunch hour.

 

If the workout is too hard, try decreasing the resistance, and if it is too easy for you, increase your resistance.

 

Have fun! 

 

Posts 391 - 400 of 573