What is the Best Exercise to Lose Weight?

Are you trying to lose weight?

Best exercise to lose weight scale

Would you like to know the best exercises you can do to accomplish that goal?

best exercise to lose weight running

best exercise to lose weight spinning

best exercise to lose weight cardio

workout2_rounded1.png

Well here’s your chance!

best exercise to lose weight Bob Bateson We’re working with fitness expert Bob Bateson to write an eBook that finally answers this commonly asked question: “What is the best exercise to lose weight?” This book will be a great resource filled with information that is sure to help you accomplish your weight loss and body transformation goals. With close to 30 years of helping tens of thousands of people change their lives and transform their health, Bob will help us provide readers with a clear concise guide to shedding body fat, understanding their bodies, and we’re sure he’ll dispel a few weight loss myths along the way. If you have specific questions regarding this topic that you’d like us to answer please submit them using the form below and we’ll try to answer them in the book. We’ll also send you an email letting you know when the book is complete. If your questions are used in the book we will send you a link to download the book for FREE (The book is expected to sell for $29.99 USD).

What is the best exercise to lose weight?

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How to give yourself a nail salon quality pedicure at home

While there is no substitute for getting a professional pedicure, sometimes this just isn’t possible due to time or budget constraints. This made us wonder, is it possible to give yourself a salon quality pedicure at home? To answer this question we turned to our friend Alexis Luczak, owner of Spa Alexis in Buffalo, New York. She agrees that there are some aspects of a professional pedicure that are difficult to duplicate at home – for example the ability to just sit back in a chair and relax while someone else takes care of you – but she says it is still possible to give yourself a good pedicure.  We had Alexis walk us through a pedicure so that we could break it out into steps that you can follow at home.

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Supplies.

You are going to need some supplies to complete your pedicure and you will want to be sure that they are available and in reach BEFORE you get started.

What you’ll need:

Now that you have all of the necessary supplies, let’s get started.

Step 2: Soak Feet.

pedicure foot soak - spa alexis buffalo
Fill foot soaking tub with warm water,  liquid soap, Epsom salt, and essential oils (eucalyptus, spearmint, and lavender are good choices to help relax) and soak feet for approximately 5 minutes to help soften nails and calluses.

Tip: If you have thicker nails you can add a cap full of Listerine Original (The amber color) to the foot soak to help soften them.

Step 3: Remove existing nail polish.

pedicure remove nail polish - spa alexis

Using a cotton ball and acetone remove any existing nail polish that might be present on the nails. For stubborn polish spots simply hold the cotton ball on the area for a few seconds and it should easily wipe off.

Step 4: Cut Nails.

pedicure cut toe nails - spa alexis

Lift your leg bringing your foot toward you then cut your nails to the desired length using the toenail clippers.

Important: Do not lean over to cut your toenails. This creates a poor perspective and can lead to an uneven cut. Also be sure to cut your nails straight across -you will use a file to round them later if you prefer – cutting them on angles increases the likelihood for an ingrown nail…OUCH!!!

Step 5: Push Back Cuticles.

Use the cuticle pusher (bamboo stick) to push cuticles back. Don’t worry about removing them at this point – you will take care of that in a couple of steps.

Step 6: Files Nails.

pedicure file nails-spa alexis

Starting with the sides of your nails first use the nail file to file each nail down and around leaving the edges smooth and creating your desired shape.

Step 7: Apply Cuticle Oil

pedicure cuticle oil - spa alexis

Apply cuticle oil (or olive oil) to each nail. This will help soften and nourish the cuticles.

Step 8:  Buff Nails

Using the nail buffing sponge, buff the tops and edges of nails.  You can use the edge of the sponge to clean up any loose cuticle that still remain from step 5.

Step 9: File Calluses

Using the foot file, file calluses and thick skin that has formed on the side of toes, balls of feet, and heels.

Important: Do not file arches of feet and other sensitive areas of feet as this can cause injury. Also do not use “cheese-grater-like” callus tools as these can also cause injury. 

Step 10: Apply Sugar Scrub.

Apply sugar scrub to feet and legs to remove dead skin.

Step 11: Rinse Feet.

pedicure foot and leg massage - spa alexis

Place feet back in tub and rinse off the sugar scrub.

Step 12: Dry Feet.

pedicure dry feet - spa alexis

Remove your feet from the tub and dry them off using the towel.

Step 13: Apply Lotion and Massage Feet.

Apply the lotion and massage it into your feet, toes, and legs. Don’t forget to get the area between your toes. This is the step that is much more enjoyable if you can have someone do it for you. So if your significant other or kids owe you any favors, this might be a good way to cash in.

Step 14: Remove Lotion and Oil from Nails Using Rubbing Alcohol

pedicure remove oil - spa alexis

Wet a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and use it to remove lotion and oil from each nail.

Step 15: Put on Toe Separators.

pedicure toe separators - spa alexis buffalo

Put on toe separators with the openings facing down. According to Alexis, a lot of people make the mistake of putting them on the opposite way which requires them to have to lift their feet to remove them and increases the likelihood that they will hit their nail on something in the process.

Step 16: Apply Base Coat.

Apply a base coat to nails before applying polish. The base coat contains vitamins and nutrients that help keep the nail healthy as well as providing a protective layer that prevents the nail from becoming discolored. The base coat also helps the polish set.

Step 17: Apply Nail Polish.

Prepare the nail polish by either tapping it on the palm of your hand or rolling the bottle between your hands. Alexis advises that you avoid shaking the bottle. Using smooth, even strokes apply the polish to each nail ensuring that the entire nail is covered. Don’t worry about going outside the nail, we’ll show you a great technique to clean that up in a minute.

Step 18: Apply Top Coat.

pedicure products - spa alexis

Apply a top coat to the nails to help protect the polish from chipping.

Step 19: Clean Up Nails.

Pedicure Nail Polish Cleanup - spa alexis buffalo

Use the nail cleanup brush and some acetone to remove any polish that may have gone outside of the nails.

Step 20: Apply Drying Drops.

pedicure drop dry - spa alexis

 Apply drying drops to each nail to help set the polish.

pedicure finished toes - spa alexis

 

TADA!!!

Once again Alexis reminds us that there is no substitute for receiving professional treatment, but if you’re in a bind following these simple steps will have your toes looking great and your feet feeling wonderful.

To learn more about Alexis Luczak you can read this article that was published in the Buffalo Business First, visit her website at www.spaalexis.com, or stop by Spa Alexis located within the Hyatt Regency Buffalo | 6 Fountain Plaza | Buffalo, NY.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

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Start your day with a Positive Mental Attitude and Carpe Diem

Woman Turning Off Alarm

Have you ever woke up and immediately started to dread the day at hand? One of those days where your schedule seems to be overflowing with meetings, deadlines, quotas, the kids’ after school activities, and a whole host of other responsibilities. You almost wish you could bury your head under the sheets and make it STOP! It turns out that this type of negative approach to the day may be contributing to a self-fulfilling prophecy of misery for your day. Research has shown that our mental attitude has a profound effect on the way that we interpret various events. The key is to focus on having a positive mental attitude and seize the day (carpe diem).

Perception is everything

In her article, “7 Keys To Having A Positive Mental Attitude” Nancy Friedman highlights the power of a positive mental attitude (PMA) through the telling of a funny story about a brother and a sister. The story goes that a brother had finally had enough of his sister’s constant, overly positive attitude so he derived a plan to bring out the worst in her one Christmas morning. He wrapped up some horse manure in a box and placed it under the tree; knowing that there was no way that anyone could be positive about receiving such a crappy gift (pun intended). He watched with eager anticipation as his sister grabbed the box and gave it a shake in an attempt to determine its contents. She unwrapped it and finally the moment of truth was at hand; his sister’s positive attitude was about to come crashing down and he couldn’t wait. However to his dismay, his evil plot failed as he watched his sister excitedly yell, “Where’s the pony?!”

Girl at Christmas Time

While this story may be a little extreme, the lesson is unmistakable. Our mental attitude has a major impact on the way that we interpret the world around us. If we can start the day with a positive mental attitude, no matter how overwhelming our schedules may be, it will be more productive, less stressful, and more enjoyable than if we go into it with a sense of trepidation and filled with negativity.

5 Ways you can boost your PMA and ‘seize the day!’

1. Create a morning exercise routine.
Get your body moving first thing in the morning. Exercise gets your blood flowing and releases dopamine and endorphins that help boost your PMA.
2. Spend at least 10 minutes reading something positive.
Don’t read the news (it’s usually depressing). Instead read something positive and motivational. This could be motivational quotes, a motivational or self-improvement book; anything that helps boost your attitude. NOTE: Social Media (Facebook,Twitter, Etc…) does not qualify as motivational content. I know there are motivational pages – like CANI’s- but your news feed can be a harmful distraction so avoid social media and stick with books and blogs.
3. Meditate.
Don’t know how? Learn! There are many methods that you can research(Transcendental Meditation, Buddhist, etc). Find one that you are comfortable with and practice it. Most methods have you focus on breathing or a mantra to help put the mind into a trance-like state, allowing it to reset. There are a number of studies that show the positive effects that meditation has and how it contributes to a PMA.
4. Take inventory of the positives in your life.
Rather than thinking about all of the things you must do today, begin by being grateful for the things that you have: health, a home, food, your job, etc… Beginning your day with an attitude of gratitude will contribute greatly to your PMA.
5. Create a top 5 “to do” list the night before.
Eliminate the need to overwhelm yourself in the morning by starting your day with a ready-made list of the first 5 things you will do today. Focus on getting through that list before you worry about any of the other things you must do. Allowing yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment will help you approach the remainder of your tasks with the right attitude.
challenge2

Try to incorporate some or all of these items into your routine and begin your day energized and positive.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

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References:
Friedman, N. (2005). 7 Keys To Having A Positive Mental Attitude. Business Credit, 106(7), 78.

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Starting a food journal: being consciously aware of what you are consuming is half the battle.

There is a popular axiom that states, “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

CANI Consulting Weight Loss

Many people who are overweight are unaware of what they actually consume on a daily basis. Starting a food journal is one of the simplest and most effective ways to begin making healthy choices. Start by documenting everything that you have eaten over the past couple of days. Be honest; there is no sense lying to yourself.

CANI Consulting Food Journal

A large part of this process is being willing to face the unpleasant realities that we previously ignored. You can do a manual food journal by documenting everything in a notebook or you can use one of the many online food journals or smart phone apps that are out there. I recommend the app because it’s convenient and contains all of the nutritional information, making it very easy to use. The Calorie Counter App by FatSecret.com is a great option, but again there are many to choose from so find one that works best for you. Once you have the app (or a notebook) document each food item and the amount that you eat along with the general time of the day that you ate it (morning, late morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, late evening). Don’t forget to include your drinks: soda (pop), juices, beer/wine (unfortunately these contain calories too).

Nutrition_Lable

After you have added all of the food items, look at the total calories and nutritional values for each day, if you are doing it the old-fashioned way and using a notebook, you will have to manually look up the nutritional information for each item and do some math; either way the results may surprise you. The most important part of this exercise is becoming aware of what you are putting into your body. Armed with that information, you can begin to make some changes.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

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3 Fitness Myths Preventing You from Accomplishing Your Goals

Are these common fitness myths may be preventing you from accomplishing your goals?

Fitness Myths True False

The internet is filled with free workout videos, exercise videos, fitness books, etc. that provide advice about fitness and how to drop a few pounds. Like anything, some of the information is credible and some of it not so much. Unfortunately sometimes the false information becomes so pervasive that it actually comes to be accepted as fact by many people. Our friend and fitness expert Bob Bateson refers to these as fitness myths and he loves debunking them whenever he gets the opportunity. With more than 25 years working in the fitness industry, Bob often finds himself setting the record straight on a number of these myths. These are the three that he says he encounters most often.

fitness myths scale

Myth #1: Want to lose weight… consume fewer calories.
If you plug your gender and size into most fitness apps, you will probably be given a calorie goal of between 1200-1500 calories per day. Although this might happen to be accurate for you, these numbers are based on average body compositions that are likely different from yours. In reality your calorie goal should be based on a calculation known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This number is assessed by using your specific body composition to calculate the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24-hour period. Put simply this is the number of calories your body needs to properly sustain life.
This means that if your BMR is 1500 calories and you are only consuming the recommended 1200 calories you are failing to provide your body with enough fuel to make it through the day (if you were resting). While this may seem to be producing favorable results in the short-term, over a period of time your body will begin to store calories in the form of fat to ensure survival.

Bottom Line: The best way to manage your weight is to understand how your body works and to use weight reduction strategies that cut the extra calories that are consumed in addition to your BMR. Which means that you may actually have to take in more calories.

fitness myth body builder

Myth #2: Strength training will make you look like a bodybuilder.
According to Bob, this may be the most common fitness myth that he hears, especially among women. The reality is that it is a big enough challenge for men, who have the added advantage of muscle producing testosterone to help them out, to add that type of muscle mass. Most women simply don’t have the biochemical composition to add enough muscle mass to get “bulky.” This myth often results in people skipping resistance training and doing only cardio (we’ll address that problem next).

 fat vs muscle fitness myths

The simple fact is that lean muscle takes up less space than fat. If you were to look at 1 lb. of muscle compared to 1 lb. of fat you would see that the fat is almost double the size of the muscle. There’s a tremendous difference between a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 5% body fat and a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 30-40% body fat. What’s better is that lean muscle mass helps your body burn more fat, this means that you get leaner.

Bottom Line: Strength training in the endurance work zone (12-15 Reps) will increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat, and have you looking leaner.

Active Lifestyle

Myth #3: You must do more cardio if you want to lose weight.
Although cardio makes you feel as if you got a great workout in and it is definitely convenient (No thinking involved, put on your iPod, set it, and go), the reality is that cardio alone burns fewer calories than weight training. In fact resistance training in the work zone (lifting the maximum amount of weight for a desired number of repetitions) can produce a calorie burn that is 3x’s higher than cardio.

Bottom Line: No, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do cardio. Having a strong cardiovascular system is essential to achieving your fitness goals. However, if your fitness goal is to burn fat, it is essential that you do your resistance training, in the work zone, first and save your cardio for the last 15-20 minutes of your workout.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

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Related Articles:

Cardio or Resistance Training?

 

 

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It’s not a stretch…to say this is a must read blog!

Originally posted on: The Fitness Defined Blog by Bob Bateson

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh……………….

Nothing beats or feels better than a good stretch and there are a number of benefits that we receive from stretching our muscles. So it is definitely something that we should all be doing; however did you know that there are certain types of stretches that, although they feel good are failing to produce the desired results?

In fact, right now you can probably observe individuals that are engaging in stretching exercises that may be counterproductive for the activity that they are preparing to perform.  Case and point,

this guy:

Or this girl:

Ok, so I guess you don’t have to be a genius to figure out that besides their choice of clothing, these two subjects might be doing a couple of other things wrong.  But what about this next guy who is preparing to go for a run?

While this stretch looks good and is quite common (in fact, you may currently do something similar before your runs), has he prepared the proper stretching strategy for the activity that he is about to perform?

Bob, did you just say the proper “stretching strategy?”

That is correct, no different than any other activity (and arguably more important) you must have a well planned stretching strategy that uses the proper modalities to ensure that your body is prepared for the task at hand.  In a pre-workout stretch, it is important to activate the muscles, tendons, and joints (we’ll call these “MTJ” through the rest of this article); preparing them for activity. By stimulating the MTJ properly the brain is activated and sends a message to the MJT that says, “Hey get ready we have some work to do!” Before your workout it is important to choose the correct modality of stretching because there are stretches that can have the opposite effect and rather than preparing the MJT, they can cause the brain to send a message that says, “Ok we’re done with our activity now, let’s shutdown and relax.” Let’s explore these modalities so that we make sure that we are sending the right message.

There are basically two types of stretching modalities that I will discuss within this article: static and dynamic.

Static stretching includes active, passive, and isometric techniques. This is the type of stretching that we see our runner doing in the picture above, it involves holding positions that apply steady tension to a specific MTJ for periods of 15-30 seconds at a time.

Dynamic stretching uses movement to stretch or stimulate the MTJ.  This type of stretching will usually incorporate a typical sports movement into the stretch. For example a lunge with a trunk rotation at the end or perhaps a high knee kick into a lunge (this one would actually be a good stretch for our runner because it would serve to loosen up and activate his hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and glutes). Ultimately this type of stretching can be any type of movement that applies tension to the MTJ while remaining engaged in a controlled motion.

Other stretching modalities that you should be familiar with:

Ballistic stretches are similar to dynamic stretches in that they involve movement; however the movements are not as sport-specific and are performed at a much faster rate.  An example of a ballistic stretch would be rapidly crossing your arms back and forth in front of your chest.This activates the MTJ and increases the synovial fluid to the joint. (This is the equivalent of your body’s natural grease and it helps prevent damage by ensuring that your joints are properly lubricated for the activity at hand.)  This is typically used just prior to an activity that will require a heavy load on the MTJ. It is important to note that this type of stretch is not always recommended as the rapid movements can result in injury if not properly performed.

Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (What a great term! Use that at your next party for instant credibility) more commonly referred to as PNF is the best modality we have for rapidly increasing flexibility. PNF begins by getting the MTJ into the maximum capacity of a static stretch (put simply, this is the limit to how far the MTJ can be stretched without causing excruciating pain) and then applying a contraction to the muscle being stretched for a period of 7-12 seconds. The muscle is then fully relaxed and set back into the maximum static stretch position, but with increased force this time. This process of stretch, contract, relax is then repeated as necessary. There should be a considerable and immediate increase in the range of motion that can be observed in the MTJ after each round.

OK great, so now we have a good understanding of the different types of stretches and more importantly you have a clear picture of the difference between a static and dynamic stretch; Let’s now discuss when to use each.

Before your workout you want to engage in dynamic stretches and ballistic stretches. These are great at effectively getting blood flowing to the muscle and allowing the MTJ to prepare for the upcoming activity. As I mentioned earlier, they activate the brain to send the “hey get ready!” message to the MTJ.

After your workout is complete is when you want to engage in more MTJ specific static stretches. These stretches actually alert the brain to sends the “ok we’re going to take it easy now” message to the MTJ allowing them to relax. Doing this type of stretch before activity can actually have a negative impact on athletic performance. Especially those sports that require an explosive muscle response, such as sprinting, jumping, etc. Please don’t confuse this statement and think that I am “down playing” the importance of static stretches in any way.  It is an important part of the recovery process that ensures that the MTJ relax, which creates an ideal opportunity for increasing flexibility and recovery.

So let’s get back to our runner who appears to be doing a static quad stretch.  Although this stretch feels amazing, he may find that it is a better choice for after his run.  Before his run he should be doing dynamic stretches like the example I provided earlier or a one-legged hop/high knee raise. (please note, that the “hop” is more of a ballistic movement) This will help him avoid injuries and ensure that the MTJ he will use during his run are primed and ready for optimal performance.

You now have enough knowledge to begin to design your own stretching strategy.  If you have limited flexibility right now, just keep stretching.  Remember your results are only limited by what you’re willing to put into it.

Also, I only briefly mentioned PNF in this post. The reality is that this is a very complex and effective modality that incorporates some fascinating science in increasing your flexibility.  I will be dedicating an entire post to this one subject in the very near future. Plus we get to introduce more cool terms like Golgi (Goal-Ge) Tendons, so you’ll definitely want to read it because it is sure to improve both your flexibility and your Words With Friends score.

Stay healthy,

Bob

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

facebook twitter linkedin google_icon

 

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3 Myths Preventing You from Accomplishing Your Fitness Goals

 

True, False Road Sign

The internet is filled with advice about fitness and how to drop a few pounds. Like anything, some of the information is credible and some of it not so much. Unfortunately sometimes the false information becomes so pervasive that it actually comes to be accepted as fact by many people. Our friend and fitness expert Bob Bateson refers to these as fitness myths and he loves debunking them whenever he gets the opportunity. With more than 25 years working in the fitness industry, Bob often finds himself setting the record straight on a number of these myths. These are the three that he says he encounters most often.

scale2

Myth #1: Want to lose weight… consume less calories.
If you plug your gender and size into most fitness apps, you will probably be given a calorie goal of between 1200-1500 calories per day. Although this might happen to be accurate for you, these numbers are based on average body compositions that are likely different from yours. In reality your calorie goal should be based on a calculation known as your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This number is assessed by using your specific body composition to calculate the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24-hour period. Put simply this is the number of calories your body needs to properly sustain life.
This means that if your BMR is 1500 calories and you are only consuming the recommended 1200 calories you are failing to provide your body with enough fuel to make it through the day (if you were resting). While this may seem to be producing favorable results in the short-term, over a period of time your body will begin to store calories in the form of fat to ensure survival.

Bottom Line: The best way to manage your weight is to understand how your body works and to use weight reduction strategies that cut the extra calories that are consumed in addition to your BMR. Which means that you may actually have to take in more calories.

bodybuilder

Myth #2: Strength training will make you look like a bodybuilder.
According to Bob, this may be the most common fitness myth that he hears, especially among women. The reality is that it is a big enough challenge for men, who have the added advantage of muscle producing testosterone to help them out, to add that type of muscle mass. Most women simply don’t have the biochemical composition to add enough muscle mass to get “bulky.” This myth often results in people skipping resistance training and doing only cardio (we’ll address that problem next).

 fat muscle

The simple fact is that lean muscle takes up less space than fat. If you were to look at 1 lb. of muscle compared to 1 lb. of fat you would see that the fat is almost double the size of the muscle. There’s a tremendous difference between a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 5% body fat and a person who weighs 200 lbs. with 30-40% body fat. What’s better is that lean muscle mass helps your body burn more fat, this means that you get leaner.

Bottom Line: Strength training in the endurance work zone (12-15 Reps) will increase lean muscle mass, reduce fat, and have you looking leaner.

Active Lifestyle

Myth #3: You must do more cardio if you want to lose weight.
Although cardio makes you feel as if you got a great workout in and it is definitely convenient (No thinking involved, put on your ipod, set it, and go), the reality is that cardio alone burns fewer calories than weight training. In fact resistance training in the work zone (lifting the maximum amount of weight for a desired number of repetitions) can produce a calorie burn that is 3x’s higher than cardio.

Bottom Line: No, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do cardio. Having a strong cardiovascular system is essential to achieving your fitness goals. However, if your fitness goal is to burn fat, it is essential that you do your resistance training, in the work zone, first and save your cardio for the last 15-20 minutes of your workout.

For more great health and wellness information or to learn how we can help your business grow: follow our blog, visit our website, and connect with us on:

facebook twitter linkedin google_icon

Related Articles:

Cardio or Resistance Training?

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