Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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Peter's Favorite Things - MyPillow

By: Snap Fitness

Sleep plays a huge role in leading a healthy lifestyle. Snap Fitness Founder/CEO Peter Taunton believes the three pillars for a healthy lifestyle are exercising, eating well, and getting proper sleep.

 

If you want maximum results from your diet and exercise, you should be getting eight hours of sleep every night. A healthy sleep schedule will also help you with hormonal release, metabolic maintenance, and muscular repair.

 

When Peter needs a good night’s sleep, he uses his MyPillow. MyPillow is known to be the world's most comfortable pillow (link to http://www.mypillow.com/). Its products have helped people who suffer from snoring, insomnia, and other ailments get a more restful, comfortable sleep.

 

Peter has made arrangements for Snap Fitness members to receive 50 percent off the entire MyPillow site for a limited time. Order online or call 1-800-279-0910 and use the promo code SNAP for the discount.

Holiday Blast Workout

By: Snap Fitness

This workout is dedicated to keeping your metabolism revved up by creating a huge “after-burn.” The after-burn will help your body ward off any unwanted fat pounds that could try to creep up on you during the hustle and bustle of the season. Beginners can use lighter weights; intermediate and advanced individuals can use heavier weights. This workout routine should be performed in a superset fashion (three sets of 1o-12 reps) and can be done three days a week in conjunction with two days of cardiovascular exercise of your choice.

 

Exercises:

Barbell deadlift

Chest fly

Barbell walking lunges (10 each leg)

Seated row

Lat pull-down

Push-ups

 

Barbell bicep 28’s — Not familiar with this? While holding a barbell either loaded with weight or not, perform seven curls while arms are at a 90-degree angle then immediately perform seven curls at a close range to the face. Immediately do seven more biceps curls with a normal full range of motion then immediately hold the barbell in your fingers while dragging the barbell up your body. This body drag will help build a peak on your biceps muscle!

 

Tricep pushdown

Dumbbell Shoulder press

Dumbbell lateral raise

Kneeling cable crunch

Side-plank crunch (8 reps, extend the arm and lower the hips to 8, then hold for 8 seconds)

Reverse crunch

 

Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles

By: Snap Fitness

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this healthy treat. Dates are naturally sweet while being full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Paired with the protein power of nuts they make the perfect energy boosting snack or sweet bite after a meal.


Coconut Snickerdoodle Truffles


2 cups tightly packed pitted dates
1 1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

 

Pulse cashews and almonds in a food processor until broken down into crumbs but not powdery. Add the dates and process until everything is well chopped. Add the vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt and process until a sticky, slightly crumbly dough forms. The dough should stick together when pinched between two fingers. If it’s too crumbly add water a few drops at a time and continue to process until the desired consistency is
reached.


Form dough into small balls about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place coconut in a shallow bowl and roll each ball in coconut, pressing it against the sides to get it to stick. Store truffles in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days.

 

Quinoa-Stuffed Mushrooms

By: Snap Fitness

Counteract the holiday season (the endless sweets, parties and booze!) with these light stuffed mushrooms! Each mushroom has less than 50 calories and is gluten-free, whole-grain and guilt-free.

 

Makes 12-14 mushrooms.

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp butter

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (+ 1/8 cup more)

salt & pepper

8 oz crimini mushrooms

optional garnish: toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley

 

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Melt butter in small saucepan and add shallot and garlic.

Cook for about a minute and add in quinoa. Stir occasionally for about 3 minutes, until golden brown.

Add broth, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through and liquid is gone.

Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Wipe mushrooms with paper towel and remove stems.

Place stem-side down and bake for about 10-15 minutes to release liquid. Shake off excess liquid and wipe down pan or parchment paper.

Fill mushroom caps with quinoa mixture.

Top with pine nuts and remaining parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown.

Top with parsley and serve!

 

Note: you’ll only use about 1/3 of the quinoa, serve the rest with dinner, it’s delicious!

 

Nutrition: (approximate, per mushroom)

43 calories, 2 grams of fat, 4 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 2 grams protein

 

Sugar, a Sweet Addiction

By: Snap Fitness

It can be very difficult to consume a diet with limited sugar, and this blog is meant to bring awareness to the biggest “secret” killer amongst us. Recently, some clients have gone through a remarkable transformation with one trick: eliminating sugar from their diets. We decided to implement this plan because we noticed progress slowing down significantly after an initial weight loss. Everything seemed to be on point, from the workouts to the daily breakdown of macronutrients and everything in between. Strength development and weight loss had been significant, however the weight loss had slowed noticeably. We then decided a sugar “detox” may be necessary to continue weight loss goals.  

 

For the next week, she experienced flu like symptoms, fever, sweating, stomach pains as well as personality changes. She was “snappy,” unfriendly, short to people at work, couldn’t concentrate, and just overall not happy. She struggled to maintain a normal energy level and food lost its flavor. These are the same symptoms that accompany detox from serious drug addiction. While it may not be quite the same level, the fact that these symptoms are present is evidence that sugar is a poison to the body and can be as detrimental as any drug. In fact, sugar should be considered a drug.

 

How It Begins

 

Sugar is a highly-addictive substance due to the response by the brain to release dopamine, the feel-good hormone.  When sugar is consumed, there is a response in the pleasure center of the brain triggering feelings of happiness and alertness. It is impossible to get the same response from natural foods, so the only way to feel this short-term cognitive boost is to consume something containing added sugar. Drugs such as heroin and cocaine have very similar effects on brain activity. This helps to partially explain why they can be sugar can be addictive once the body gets a regular dose. Personalities that tend to be more addictive constantly crave that response to be triggered in the brain, making sugar a staple of the diet.

 

Changes in the Body

 

Sugar intake can change how and what hormones are released in the body. Insulin is a hormone that regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It will allow the body to absorb glucose from the blood stream into muscle cells. Insulin will also cause fat to be stored or used as energy. If there is a constant influx of these simple carbohydrates into the body, a greater amount of that energy will be stored as cells become resistant to insulin. To combat the increased level of sugar in the blood stream, the body will continue to release insulin, which is futile since the cells no longer respond to the hormone. The liver is then forced to break down these simple carbohydrates and releases them as fats into the blood stream. With a consistent intake of sugars, insulin resistance increases, which in turn raises levels of fat and insulin in the blood stream.

 

Lasting Effects

 

Insulin resistance is one of the leading factors responsible for a number of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease ,and obesity. It was previously believed that saturated fats were the main cause of such diseases but recently has been discovered that sugar has more of a role in developing these health issues then diets high in fat. The human body struggles to deal with stress, both mentally and physically — that goes along with a diet high in sugar.

 

As the sugar detox went on, the pounds seemed to fall off her body, as well as inches.  The cravings subsided and her energy levels returned to normal, allowing workouts to improve greatly. Her mood returned to normal and became excited to eat the foods within her diet instead of the dangerous food filled with sugar. She now claims that she has never felt better and the week or so of struggling without sugar in her diet was completely worth it. Keep this in mind as we are now in the midst of the holiday season, where sweets are bountiful and a sugar habit can develop quickly without even knowing it!

 

Tis the Season to Put on Muscle

By: Snap Fitness

I've always thought that the holiday season was a great time to focus on putting on muscle mass rather than trying to lean out or cut up.  Because of the difference in body types and individual commitment levels, ''growing'' muscles can be easier for some while frustrating and difficult for others. But for everyone, it is the same basic formula of eating more calories and training in a progressive overload manner. 

 

Between mid-November and early January, there never seems to be an end to the gatherings of family, friends, and food! Calories, calories, calories. Some people may be freaking out and trying to figure out how not to gain unwanted weight this upcoming season, but think about this: more muscle will increase your metabolism, which in turn will burn fat for energy.

 

During an intense workout, your body's oxygen levels are depleted and especially after high-intensity strength training, your body must work hard to build those levels back up. This is known as Excess Post Exercise Consumption or ''the after-burn.” It keeps your body at a heightened  metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after your workout! 

 

Since high-intensity resistance training creates a greater EPOC than cardio, the key is to focus on lifting moderate to heavy weights with a routine that utilizes large muscle groups and compound movements (squats, bent-over rows , push presses, etc.). Staying consistent with this type of routine during the holiday season can help keep body compositions at a desirable place by preserving/building muscle.

 

 

Even though most of us get that it takes extra calories coupled with consistent resistance training to increase muscle, don't think the holiday season is your green light to gorge yourself, but to use it to your advantage of increasing mass. 

 

Gingerbread Protein Shake

By: Snap Fitness

What do you think about a gingerbread cookie in a cup? This protein shake tastes just like a gingerbread cookie without all the extra unhealthy stuff.

 

Ingredients:


1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
1 C. Fat Free Milk or Almond Milk
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/4 tsp. Ground Nutmeg
4-6 Ice Cubes

 

Directions:

 

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

Cardio and Core Workout

By: Snap Fitness

This simple but effective workout will get your heart rate up and abs burning! All you need is a mat to lay down on, a skipping rope, and a stable box to jump on.

 

Here are the exercises:

100 skips

20 leg raises

15 burpees

10 box jumps

15 butterfly crunches

20 jump squats

100 flutter kicks

 

Do this routine three times through.

 

Countdown to 2015 Workout

By: Snap Fitness

You don’t have to wait until Dec. 31 to count down from 10! This circuit combines cardio and strength-training moves using only your body weight. Transition between sets as quickly as you can, but focus on maintaining good form during push-ups and squats. Take water breaks as needed.

 

Start with a quick warm-up. Jog lightly for 10 minutes on the treadmill.

 

Here’s the circuit:

Jumping jacks

Push-ups

Squats

Crunches

Jump ropes

 

Do 10 reps of each exercise. After you finished the 10 jump ropes, do nine reps of each exercise. Go through the rest of the countdown (8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Cool down with stretching and a five-minute brisk walk on the treadmill.

Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

By: Snap Fitness

Looking for a healthier holiday treat to bring to your next party or family gathering? Try these Gingerbread Cookies! This recipe is gluten-free and doesn’t contain eggs or dairy. Grab your favorite cookie cutters and get to baking!

 

Ingredients

4 cups gluten-free, dairy-free shortbread cookie mix

1/3 cup packed-light brown sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ¾ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup molasses

6 tablespoons canola oil

¼ cup water

 

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-Put cookie mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, and nutmeg in a bowl. Mix together with a fork.

-Add molasses and canola oil to bowl and blend together with fork.

-Add water and mix with fork until content forms a dough.

-Place dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out ¼-inch thick.

-Refrigerate 10 minutes.

-Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes from the dough.

-Transfer the cookies to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-12 minutes.

-Let cookies cool and decorate as needed!

Posts 1 - 10 of 497