BODYCRAFT https://www.bodycraft.com The Art and Science of Movement Fri, 27 Mar 2020 20:17:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://www.bodycraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/apple-touch-icon-32x32.png BODYCRAFT https://www.bodycraft.com 32 32 A Treadmill Desk May Be Your Home Fitness Answer https://www.bodycraft.com/treadmill-desk-may-home-fitness-answer/ https://www.bodycraft.com/treadmill-desk-may-home-fitness-answer/#respond Fri, 27 Mar 2020 20:17:00 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1089 Like most people, you are either working from home a little or a lot. And, in this time of crisis you are not going to your local gym. And, just maybe going for a long walk or run does not appeal to you because of social distancing. Many people are turning to home equipment, and …

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Like most people, you are either working from home a little or a lot. And, in this time of crisis you are not going to your local gym. And, just maybe going for a long walk or run does not appeal to you because of social distancing. Many people are turning to home equipment, and while that satisfies to a degree the workout need, what about work?

Enter maybe the first serious treadmill desk. You can walk on it while you work with a large work surface. With a nifty flip feature, the treadmill console turns into a desk and back again. So, you can place your work and walk at a pace that is conducive to your work.

What also makes this product appealing is under the hood; this is a serious exercise treadmill. It features a 3.0 HP motor, and speeds which range from .3 to 10 MPH. And for those who want to jog or walk up hills, the incline goes to 12%. Those statistics translate into a treadmill that will fit just about every user from casual walker to serious runner.

It features a suspension system to make it easy on the knees. And the feature that really makes it cool is it is serious treadmill that also folds up. With that feature, it can fit many more places in the home or the home office.

Treadmills aren’t for everyone, yet if you need one that also functions as a workstation as well as a serious exercise device, this might be the fitness ticket. What I also like about this is the company, BodyCraft will ship it directly to your house. Out of the box, and in nine minutes, whoosh, instant treadmill after you secure a couple of parts.

Written by Neil Wolkodoff, Ph.D., originally posted at https://cochss.com/a-treadmill-desk-may-be-your-home-fitness-answer/

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Beyond Crunches: How to Work Your Way to a Six-Pack https://www.bodycraft.com/beyond-crunches-work-way-six-pack/ https://www.bodycraft.com/beyond-crunches-work-way-six-pack/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2020 22:20:44 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1082 Beyond Crunches: How to Work Your Way to a Six-Pack Anything beautiful requires work and perseverance. While you may know by now that getting a “six-pack” means doing more than crunches, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t attainable. Everywhere you turn, there are health professionals talking about how you can get your abs ‘ripped’ in …

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Beyond Crunches: How to Work Your Way to a Six-Pack

Anything beautiful requires work and perseverance. While you may know by now that getting a “six-pack” means doing more than crunches, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t attainable.

Everywhere you turn, there are health professionals talking about how you can get your abs ‘ripped’ in the fastest way possible. However, you cannot spot-reduce your belly fat; or, any other part of your body for that matter. It takes a combination of exercise, diet, and healthy lifestyle choices to get you on that fast track to Insta-worthy abs.

While this might not be news to you, we’ve whittled down some of the best experts’ advice on how you can work towards that flat stomach goal.

Made in the kitchen

Abs are crafted in the kitchen. Your diet is the leading factor in how your fats are stored and utilized by your body – that is along with genetics. While you can’t change your DNA, you can certainly change your food choices. Protein is your friend when you’re trying to lose weight or visceral fat as building muscle can give your metabolism a slight boost which may help burn fat more efficiently.

As you build muscle, opt for poultry, fish, legumes, nuts, eggs, and low-fat dairy in your diet and significantly reduce the intake of processed meat such as bacon, sausage, salami, etc. Everyone’s protein needs vary significantly from person to person based on weight, age, sex, activity levels, and individual health conditions. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight and can be as high as 2 grams per kilogram of body weight for some athletes or individuals with medical concerns. It would be very useful to seek professional advice from a Registered Dietitian to learn more about your personal needs. If you need to lose weight too, you can also try this 8 week weight loss plan we have prepared.

Understand Your Hormones

Experts suggest that your hormones can also be a factor in visceral fat gain. New York Endocrinology expert Dr Rocio Salas-Whalen explains that belly fat is associated with visceral fats – or fats around your essential organs. Not only does visceral fat hinder your six-pack from being visible, it can also lead to or be indicative of metabolic syndromes like diabetes. Moreover, research cited on Parsley Health suggests that your belly fat can also be caused by hormonal changes like a dip in estrogen levels or insulin resistance. The stress hormone cortisol can also contribute to these changes. When you’re constantly under a lot of stress, your body responds by storing more fat as it anticipates worse situations. To mitigate this, experts believe that getting plenty of sleep and staying active can help. Or, find other ways to reduce stress that work for you.

Plank, Plank, Plank

As mentioned above, the more muscle you build, the more efficient your body is in utilizing energy or limiting fat storage. But not all core workouts are made equal. A definitive study by the American Council on Exercise found that these three abs workouts are the best ones to engage all muscles in your core:

Bicycle crunches

The Captain’s chair (equipment needed)

Crunches on a stability ball

Meanwhile, fitness professionals interviewed by Men’s Health warn that you shouldn’t max out the crunches. They highlight that crunches only exercise one capacity of your abdominal muscles – those that allow you to flex your lower spine. Moreover, most fitness experts agree that planks are some of the best workouts to improve your abdominal muscles and make them more prominent.

But don’t spend all your exercise routine on your core. Doing whole-body exercises at least every other day will increase muscle mass, which has the potential to improve your metabolism. Also, do not underestimate the benefit of compound exercises in your fitness routine. Alternating sets is also effective in packing as much in, during the least amount of time – making the most out of your gym session.

We all want abs, and hopefully this article has provided a simple guide on how to achieve them. However, remember that fitness is not just about having a good body; it is about being fit and healthy – both physically and mentally.

 

Prepared by A. Therese for bodycraft.com

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A Dietitian’s Insight for Maintaining a Healthy Weight during the Holidays https://www.bodycraft.com/dietitians-insight-maintaining-healthy-weight-holidays/ https://www.bodycraft.com/dietitians-insight-maintaining-healthy-weight-holidays/#respond Mon, 25 Nov 2019 03:10:38 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1071 Tips for Healthy & Happy Holidays: As we continue through the Holidays and approach the shorter days and longer nights, meals often become bigger or are eaten out more frequent, and desserts may be a regular occurrence. However, I’m here to let you know you can maintain a healthy lifestyle during the Holidays with your will power …

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Tips for Healthy & Happy Holidays:

As we continue through the Holidays and approach the shorter days and longer nights, meals often become bigger or are eaten out more frequent, and desserts may be a regular occurrence. However, I’m here to let you know you can maintain a healthy lifestyle during the Holidays with your will power and a few of these tips!

If you are in a hurry and need a quick bullet point list of suggestions, here you go:

  • Fill your plate half full with vegetables, a fourth whole grains, and a fourth lean protein
    • Make sure the dish you bring to family/friend gatherings fits in at least one of these spots
  • Incorporate physical activity each day, make it fun for the whole family
  • Trade in the soda for seltzer water or plain old water
  • Pick one dessert, not all 5, and have a small sample to enjoy it but not ‘over-do’ it
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. This can help with cravings and unhealthy habits
  • Having a planned, healthy snack before attending any holiday party can help reduce urges to binge/ over-do it
  • Limit your alcohol intake. Recommendations for men are no more than 2 drinks a day, women no more than 1 drink a day (these do not ‘roll over’ like vacation days!)
    • 1 drink = 5 fl oz wine, 12 fl oz beer, 1.5 fl oz liquor
    • Look for drink options with no added sugar
  • Schedule a work out class or plan to do a home exercise video before attending a holiday party. This will start the healthy habits that you’ll feel more motivated to keep up through the night
    • If it’s nice, take a walk! A walk before or ideally after a meal is also always a good idea

 If you have more time, here are the longer-winded suggestions:

Stock up on fun over sweets.

When family and children come to town it can be easy to want to fill the candy bowl or cookie jar, but if that becomes a temptation for you, instead provide fun non-candy, dollar store items that the kids, even some adults, will still love. Examples include glow sticks, coloring books, whoopee cushions, bubbles, stickers, and temporary tattoos. Sound similar to a suggestion in our Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Halloween post? You’re right! I mentioned some were transferable to other holidays.

Eat healthy first.

If you’re going to an event or meal out, control hunger by eating a healthy meal or snack beforeThis is where having a lean protein, whole fruits, and variety of vegetables are the best choice to keep you satiated enough to avoid giving into extreme hunger and overeating at social events.

Bring your own portion-controlled plate and cup.

Those large dinner plates can cause us to pile on far more than a single portion of food, and as possible members of the childhood ‘clean plate club’, we are often inclined to try and finish all the food on our plate. To help with this, bring your own or find a smaller plate (ideally 9 inches), maybe even find one with sectioned out portions, so you are more aware of how much you are consuming. Take it a step further and bring or find a 5 ounce cup and limit to one small high calorie beverage in this cup then stick to water for the rest of the night.

Eat mindfully.

We often overeat because we revert to unconscious eating. When this is taking place we do not recognize when we are full until we are too full. Eating mindfully helps us to slow down and focus on what we are eating and how much to create a better connection between physiological need and mental state. This can also lead to making healthier choices in addition to eating less.

Buddy up.

Ask a friend, family member, coworker, or significant other to be your support system through the holidays. This person may have similar weight goals, healthy lifestyle change goals, or someone who will just be there to eat healthier with you and cheer you on. This person is a support system to remind you of your goals, NOT shame you. Be sure to pick someone who is positive and uplifting and you can have a honest conversation with about what you need from them. This buddy can help bring joy and camaraderie to the pursuit of eating healthy during the holidays.

Living life in moderation is always important but especially important to keep in mind during this time of year. The Holidays do not have to be a time of unwanted gain. Practice mindful decisions, balance, and proper portions for a happy and healthy Holiday season. And when it doubt, do not hesitate to seek out guidance from a professional in their field of expertise such as a Registered Dietitian in your area.

Written by Jennifer McCann, MS, RDN, LD

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Tips & Tricks for a Healthy Halloween! https://www.bodycraft.com/tips-tricks-healthy-halloween/ https://www.bodycraft.com/tips-tricks-healthy-halloween/#respond Wed, 23 Oct 2019 01:32:39 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1065 Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthier Halloween October starts the trifecta of the Holiday season, leading us into “bulking” season as we eat our way from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and then maybe even top it off  with New Years. Although, that day may kick-start other goals which is a topic for another post! …

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Do’s and Don’ts for a Healthier Halloween

October starts the trifecta of the Holiday season, leading us into “bulking” season as we eat our way from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas and then maybe even top it off  with New Years. Although, that day may kick-start other goals which is a topic for another post!

This post is instead focused on how to best manage some of the more candy-filled holidays, such as Halloween. Many of the suggestions here can also double for Christmas time AKA the whole month of December. In no particular order, here are some do’s and don’ts for practicing a healthy Halloween:

DON’T give out or buy candy on an empty stomach.

The hungrier you are with a bowl of candy close by, the more likely you are to indulge in over-eating some. Be sure to keep your regular eating habits, and that includes dinner.

DO have healthy snacks close.

Even if you aren’t hungry, it can be hard to resist taking a little dive into the bowl of miniature candies. Have some fruit or nuts close by that you can reach for instead. Even a healthful protein bar (watch the sugar there too!). You’ll be happy to had these snacks instead later on when you can sleep without a sugar rush.

DON’T have the candy in a place you look at often. 

Having the candy right next to you on the couch or table makes it more tempting. Keep the candy by the door so the only time you’ll see it is when you are handing it out to trick-or-treaters. It may be an old saying but there’s a reason for the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

DO buy candy as close to the day needed as possible.

The sooner you buy it, the longer it’s in your house. And that means you have to maintain the willpower to avoid it for a longer period of time. Instead, wait until a day or two before trick-or-treat to stock up.

DON’T buy more candy than you need to.

When this time of year comes around, candy can be purchased at a bargain. Don’t let this tempt you, buy just enough so that trick-or-treaters leave your house with a smile on their faces. Don’t buy so much that you will be in a sugar rush by the end of the night from eating leftovers that you didn’t give out. Or, don’t buy so much that you have leftovers the whole week(s) after!

DO give out as many treats as you can and leave little leftover. 

If the night is over and you have three unopened bags of candy left it means one of two things: 1.) You overestimated how many trick-or-treaters you were going to get; or 2.) You bought too much candy for the occasion. It’s OK to have a little surplus at the end but make a conscious effort to buy only what you’ll think you’ll need. And leftovers? Take them into work/school/etc. so the remainder is left to the many to enjoy and not to the one or two.

DON’T let leftover candy become your ‘go-to’.

Before you know it you’ll be eating candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and a snack in between. If you have leftover candy, leave it at home so after a long day’s work (and a nice workout), you can indulge in a piece if you feel so inclined — but leave it at a piece. Better yet? Save yourself the temptation and bring the leftover candy to work and leave it out for co-workers to enjoy! (See the ‘do’ note above).

DO dress in a costume. 

For our last ‘do’ let’s get into the spirit of the occasion. Halloween is a day to dress up for no reason but to have fun! Enjoy yourself! If you’re invited to a costume party then go, but go WITH a costume, and maybe a healthier snack option. It’s more fun keeping positive vibes going.

BONUS TIP

Did you know, you don’t have to fill the Halloween bowl or Holiday cookie jar with sweets at all? Take a trip to the dollar store for small goodies like temporary tattoos, whoopee cushions, play jewelry, and glow sticks to fill your bucket with! These give a nice option for children with allergies and parents watching their sugar intake. Plus, you’ll be less tempted to over-do the sweets and treats as well!

Happy & Healthy Holiday Season to all.

Written by Jennifer McCann, MS, RDN, LD

For more tips check out a past blog post on Training Through the Holidays.

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Why Walk While You Work https://www.bodycraft.com/why-walk-while-you-work/ https://www.bodycraft.com/why-walk-while-you-work/#respond Sun, 11 Aug 2019 17:21:31 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=973 “Sitting is the new smoking” Have you heard this phrase in conversation or in other blog or article posts? Yes? Not surprising. No? Then your rock is larger than mine and trust me, mine is not small! So why walk while you work? Numerous studies have taken place in the past years to compare sitting …

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“Sitting is the new smoking”

Have you heard this phrase in conversation or in other blog or article posts? Yes? Not surprising. No? Then your rock is larger than mine and trust me, mine is not small! So why walk while you work?

Numerous studies have taken place in the past years to compare sitting time, active time, and risk of all cause or disease specific mortality. These have all come to similar conclusions: increased sedentary time leads to increased risk of chronic disease and premature death. A recent study the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found sitting time was associated with increased risk of heart disease and death. This relationship was strongest in the most sedentary population who were sitting more than 8 hours per day.

Americans Sit Too Much

One in 4 Americans sit more than 8 hours a day, according to the CDC. Does 8 hours of sitting a day sound like excess to those of us who have a desk job? Not particularly. But almost half of Americans (44%) report they also do no ‘moderate to vigorous activity’ during the week.

Can physical activity outside of work hours reduce sedentary mortality risk? The prior study also looked at this and found even with those who were getting 419 minutes of additional activity (remember the guidelines are to get 150 min moderate to vigorous physical activity per week) had significantly increased risk of mortality and disease with 8 or more hours of sitting per day. So that answer is sadly, maybe not. While risk was decreased with increase physical activity, each group with 8 or more hours of sitting a day were at increased risk of poor health. *Note, this study was over a median of 9 year follow-up time, so the health risk of extended sitting does have short and long-term consequences.

Do these and other findings on the effects of sedentary time spell doom and gloom for all working men and women? The answer is No. You have control to change your risk!

Walk AND Work

The first thing to keep in mind on this topic is that walking while you work does not automatically mean decreased productivity. You do not have to trade health for success, or success for health, as the current work climate and culture may have us believe. You may actually find that walking while you work increases your productivity.

Have you ever been so tired sitting at your desk that you ‘nod off’? Maybe close your eyes for a few seconds, or simply feel sluggish? This is not productivity at its finest, this is your brain falling asleep. If you stand at work, or even take the next step to walk while you work, you will have increased blood flow to the brain, increased ability to focus, and minimize your health risks associated with extensive sitting. This all sounds like increased productivity to me!

Need more? Other benefits of walking while you work include improved bone health (impact exercise), improved physical functioning, increased calories burned (every mile walked is about 100 calories burned), and getting a head-start on your 150 min+ per week of exercise.

How do I Walk and Work?

There are many options to add walking to your day. Such as: Parking further from work, take the stairs every opportunity, walk and talk for meetings or conference calls, walk during your lunch break, and set an alarm every hour to stand and stretch or even jog in place.

Other options? Find yourself a treadmill desk! BODYCRAFT has two different options available that can work for both small spaces or a large space/ home office. The BODYCRAFT SpaceWalker is the perfect little treadmill desk can can fit under your current standing desk, or use with a small laptop or tablet. It is lightweight and easy to fold up and transport, but powerful enough to support up to 300 lbs. Many of BODYCRAFT’s own staff members use this products at their desk or home!

Option two is the BODYCRAFT TD250 Treadmill Desk that can convert from a walking tread desk to a full-functioning running treadmill! This is perfect for the home or an executive office space. This option allows for a two-in-one quality treadmill that will not let you down. From beginners on their wellness journey, to the advanced athlete, you will not find a better option in its class.

Wrap-Up

While sitting is not exactly the “new smoking”, research does support that replacing at least a half hour of sitting time a day is associated with up to a 50% reduction in early mortality. Findings suggest that replacing a small amount of sitting time in your day with even light physical activity (such as walking at a slow 1.5 mph pace) may reduce the risk of premature death in low active adults. This is something you CAN do to improve your health. Sitting is not an addiction, it is a choice. Today is the day you can choose to take your next steps toward a healthier, longer life. Whether you choose a BODYCRAFT SpaceWalker or TD250 Treadmill Desk to help you get there, or simply break up your day by walking around the office, we are proud and support your determination to live active.

#BodyCraftFit #BodyCraftActive

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How to Protect Your Shoulder from Injury https://www.bodycraft.com/protect-shoulder-injury/ https://www.bodycraft.com/protect-shoulder-injury/#respond Sun, 16 Jun 2019 22:08:58 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1041 When you hear about exercise, you automatically think about its advantages. Exercise is associated with improved physical fitness, positive mental health, and even a direct correlation with overall life satisfaction. All these salient benefits, however, often overshadow the ironic yet very real fact that people also risk injury when participating in physical exercise. This is …

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When you hear about exercise, you automatically think about its advantages. Exercise is associated with improved physical fitness, positive mental health, and even a direct correlation with overall life satisfaction.

All these salient benefits, however, often overshadow the ironic yet very real fact that people also risk injury when participating in physical exercise. This is not to scare anyone away from the amazing benefits of exercise, as the rewards far outweigh the risk; however, having a working knowledge of the potential risk is also an important factor to minimizing and mitigating injury while exercising.

A common injury associated with physical training is shoulder damage— a prevailing issue among those who engage in weight training and lifting exercises.

What Causes Shoulder Damage?

In most cases, signs and symptoms of shoulder damage don’t manifest immediately. Many individuals navigating through their daily routine think that they’re doing everything right. But more often than not, it’s these assumptions that can lead to developing shoulder problems after engaging in lifting exercise for a few years.

The most common causes of this not-so-uncommon exercise problem include the following:

  • Not following the proper form in certain exercises
  • Selecting the wrong exercise
  • Overexertion of the muscles
  • Engaging in a faulty exercise program

Of course, other causes of shoulder damage are not necessarily exercise-related. The following factors can also directly or indirectly hurt your shoulders:

  • The natural aging process
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Damage in your rotator cuffs
  • Swelling of the pads that cushion your joints, also called bursitis
  • Dislocation
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Heart problems

Shoulder Damage Treatment and Prevention

Treatments of shoulder pain or injury vary depending on the cause. If it’s a simple fracture or dislocation, treatment may include putting your shoulder back in place or wearing an uncomfortable sling for a set period. However, please note that both injuries should be addressed, corrected, and monitored by a licensed medical practitioner.

Your primary care provider (PCP) may also recommend that you rest or use pain relievers to help alleviate the pain. For more serious problems, like rotator-cuff tears, your PCP may recommend surgery.

Fortunately, there are preventive measures that you can employ to avoid or reduce risk of injury in your exercise routine. These measures are simple yet high-impact actions that can be applied not only to shoulder care but also to your overall health.

Your Body Is Your Best Gauge

It’s normal to feel fatigued after strenuous activity, but listen to your body.  Muscle soreness usually goes away after a few days. In this case, pain relief patches or normal over-the-counter pain medications are commonly used.

However, if you notice that the pain is recurrent, never ignore it. Consult your PCP immediately for a proper diagnosis of the cause of pain before the situation warrants more aggressive treatment.

Exercise Right

A warm-up is always key. If it’s your first time getting into an exercise routine or you have not exercised in a while, ease into your new program to gradually build up your physical comfort for doing more demanding movements.

Another consideration that is given less emphasis than it should is whether to use a machine as part of your exercise routine. While some machines are marketed for their safety advantage,

that’s not always the case. In some instances there are superior machines that offer a better alternative.

A notable example of this is from the study conducted by Wolkodoff and Eichenberger (2016) on the use of Smith Machines as alternatives to free bar exercises. The comprehensive study shows that, in fact, Smith Machines are not a reasonable substitute and the advent of the more advanced Jones Machines offer a better choice when it comes to training and pushing your limits.

Always ask a licensed fitness professional when crafting a thorough fitness program you can rely on.

Maintain Good Posture

Maintaining good posture has multiple benefits. It helps improve your circulation and digestion, provides adequate back support, and helps you portray a more confident image.

Having correct posture also keeps your bones and joints in proper alignment so your muscles can be used correctly. This decreases the possibility of joint wear, which results in arthritis and joint pain.

The good news is, once you realize that you may have been slouching your whole life, it’s not too late to change your old habits and improve your posture and your health. Reap the benefits of proper posture with these simple and doable tips.

Practice Mobility Exercises

Mobility exercises are primarily directed at improving performance and reducing pain. In terms of shoulder care, mobility exercises help maintain the stability of your shoulder structure so it keeps functioning at peak performance.

Mobility exercises for your shoulders are very simple and involve tools that require minimal to no assistance, like resistance bands and dumbbells. Here’s a great shoulder mobility exercise routine you can follow.

Final Word

Exercise has its own pros and cons. Injuries do happen, but many of them are completely preventable. The more you know about correct exercise, machine handling, and your own body, the less you will be at risk for injuries such as shoulder damage.

Keep these tips in mind to reap the most out of your regular exercise.

Written By Guest Fitness Blogger Lauren Hale

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Top Exercise Recovery Trends You Haven’t Heard About https://www.bodycraft.com/top-exercise-recovery-trends-havent-heard/ https://www.bodycraft.com/top-exercise-recovery-trends-havent-heard/#respond Fri, 31 May 2019 01:40:26 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1032 Most athletes spend a lot of time devising their training regimes to help keep their bodies in shape. They may include exercises that can be performed with high-intensity gym equipment like our Elite Strength System, to get the most out of a full body workout. However, top athletes and fitness enthusiasts know that there is only …

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Most athletes spend a lot of time devising their training regimes to help keep their bodies in shape. They may include exercises that can be performed with high-intensity gym equipment like our Elite Strength System, to get the most out of a full body workout. However, top athletes and fitness enthusiasts know that there is only so much the body can endure before it collapses. Our bodies repair and strengthen in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest athletes.

Fitness Consultant Elizabeth Quinn recommends adding recovery time into training programs because “[It] is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effect takes place.” Our ‘Top Fitness Trends’ post discusses high intensity body weight training, strength training, and functional fitness but all require some serious recovery time.

With the importance of recovery time for you to get the best results from your training routine, here’s a list of high-tech, innovative, and lesser-known recovery techniques to help you recuperate after a serious workout.

Elliptical Machines

When suffering a leg or knee injury, most athletes are forced into resting up for days or even weeks, depending on the severity. But being an athlete or even a fitness enthusiast doesn’t stop with an injury. As a result, trainers and doctors recommend low-impact workouts like swimming, yoga and in some cases, walking. Elliptical machines like our SCT400g Seated Elliptical Cross Trainer mimic walking perfectly but with minimal impact, making the exercise easier on the joints, particularly on the knees. Some elliptical machines also come with movable upper body handles for a low-impact upper body workout.

Hyperbaric Therapy

 

Hyperbaric Oxygen is a type of therapy that increases the amount of oxygen the blood absorbs in order to carry it to injured or affected muscle tissue. It involves exposing the body to 100% oxygen at a pressure that is greater than normal. The extra oxygen allows athletes to recover from exhaustion quickly and perform impossible feats. In fact, basketball legend LeBron James notes how it helps enhance his body’s natural healing process and beat exhaustion. He maintains that his body should recover quickly after every match, with which this recovery technique helps. James is currently one of the top earners in the sports world and is one of the most recognizable basketball stars on the planet. The four-time MVP’s athletic body is a result of hard work and dedication to his training, as well as a serious recovery routine.

Keep in mind that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally a safe procedure even for non-athletes; however, you still need to be assessed and accepted for therapy by a specialist who can prescribe you a proper course of treatment.

Blood Flow Therapy

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) helps athletes increase muscle strength and mass with minimal loading. During BFR training, a patient or athlete straps on an elastic band around the upper portions of their arm or leg and performs high repetitions of a particular exercise. BFR is also useful for those recovering from surgery, injury, or immobilization and can help combat muscular disuse atrophy and associated muscle weaknesses.

While BFR is also a good recovery technique, it will be more effective with an individual training plan by a licensed professional. This will also help minimize risk and strengthen BFR’s effects.

Sleep

After a long day in the gym, sometimes the easiest and most effective solution is to get some sleep. If you’re working out to gain muscle mass or improve muscle tone, Sleep Advisor recommends sleeping right after your session. Taking a nap or going to bed after an intense anaerobic workout allows your body time to repair and triggers the growth of lean muscle tissue. However, if you’ve just finished performing some alternative routines like cardiovascular exercises, sleep does not provide any additional benefits. As a matter of fact, you probably won’t be able to sleep straightaway – exercise in general triggers your body to release endorphins and other chemicals to make you more alert and energetic.

 

Written by Guest Blogger Alisha Therese

Content intended only for the use of bodycraft.com

 

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How Healthy is Your Liver? https://www.bodycraft.com/how-healthy-is-your-liver/ https://www.bodycraft.com/how-healthy-is-your-liver/#respond Sat, 27 Apr 2019 15:13:22 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1024 -Yes, it is important Various situations affect liver health from medications, to diseases, to excessive calorie or alcohol intake and even drastic weight loss. Diagnoses that compromise the health of you liver include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatic cancer, and others. However, this post will focus …

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-Yes, it is important

Various situations affect liver health from medications, to diseases, to excessive calorie or alcohol intake and even drastic weight loss. Diagnoses that compromise the health of you liver include Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Alcohol-related liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, hepatic cancer, and others. However, this post will focus on reducing risk or reversal of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) due to its increasing prevalence. The American Liver Foundation estimates that 20-30% of adults have NAFLD. This rate increases to 80-90% in the overweight/obese population. 

Why is it important? 

Your liver is a vital organ. A normal adult liver with healthy tissue weighs from two to four pounds and is located in the upper right side of the abdomen and has many jobs. It is responsible for detoxification, metabolism, and aiding in digestion. Specifically, this organ removes or breaks-down drugs, alcohol, chemicals, bacteria, and other toxins from the blood. Furthermore, it filters and stores nutrients used later for energy such as glucose. It also produces bile which aids in the digestion of dietary fat. Most importantly, disease and injury decreases its ability to function properly, limiting these important hepatic duties.

Quick reference of common liver diseases

NAFLD: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the clinical term for excessive fat buildup in the organ that occurs with the absence of alcohol intake.

NASH: Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis is the presence of excessive fat in liver that over time has lead to inflammation. This is often, but not always, the stage before cirrhosis.

AFLD:  Alcoholic fatty liver disease is caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. This can lead to alcoholic hepatitis, when the liver becomes inflamed, as well as alcoholic cirrhosis (see below).

Hepatitis: Hepatitis is the term for inflammation of the liver. Similarly, it can be caused by both alcohol and non-alcohol related diseases. Damage here is reversible as scarring has not yet taken place.

Cirrhosis: Cirrhosis is permanent and irreversible scarring to the liver that can be a progression from both alcohol and non-alcohol related diseases.

What YOU can do

The good news with a diagnosis of NAFLD or NASH is that it is often completely reversible, you are in control! For cirrhosis and other diseases, the focus is on how to keep the remaining healthy portions of your liver, healthy. Here’s what you can do to keep a healthier liver:

  1. Make time to move. Increase physical activity slowly to reach a minimum of 150 minutes per week, including cardio and resistance exercises.
  2. Watch out for added sugar! It can be hiding in many foods. Sweeteners like corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, honey, agave, maple syrup, brown sugar, raw sugar all indicate ‘sugar’. Aim to reduce these in your diet.
  3. Go whole grain. Aim to have half your servings of grains each day come from a whole grain source. More is even better! This will add fiber and other nutrients to your intake.
  4. Eat the rainbow! Add in a variety of different vegetables and fruits of all different colors. Aim for 2.5 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit a day – but maintain fruit consumption to 1/2 cup servings throughout the day.
  5. Pick lean proteins. Include a variety of different protein sources in your diet and aim to make most choices lean such as skinless turkey, chicken, and fish as well as plant-based options like beans, lentils, and soy! Limit red meat to 3 oz three times a week or less.
  6. Choose fats wisely. Aim to replace most saturated (animal) fats in your diet with unsaturated (plant) fats. Say yes to vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, cold water fish, and no to butter, cream, high-fat dairy, marbled meats.
  7. Abstain from alcohol. Even a recommended moderate intake of alcohol can progress liver disease if it is already present.
  8. If weight loss is appropriate, use the above ideas to aim for 5-10% weight loss from your current weight. *It is important to make weight loss slow and steady (no more than 2.5 lbs per week) to avoid possible further hepatic injury.

This list is not exhaustive, and it is not to go change everything you do.  Pick 1-2 ideas off this list, use it as a reference to set a goal, and start making that change. Take it one idea at a time!

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8 Week Plan for Your Weight Loss Success https://www.bodycraft.com/8-week-plan-weight-loss-success/ https://www.bodycraft.com/8-week-plan-weight-loss-success/#respond Sat, 30 Mar 2019 17:13:16 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=997 Overweight/obesity is associated with poorer quality of life and linked to many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The American Heart Association recommends being at your ideal body weight to reduce risk for serious health problems, allow your body to work more efficiently, and improve energy while feeling better to continue …

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Overweight/obesity is associated with poorer quality of life and linked to many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The American Heart Association recommends being at your ideal body weight to reduce risk for serious health problems, allow your body to work more efficiently, and improve energy while feeling better to continue to make positive health changes! If you are not in a healthy weight range (always check with a health professional, such as a Registered Dietitian, if you are unsure of your ideal weight range) then gradual weight loss and weight maintenance may be key in your continued health. Read on for an 8-week plan to get you started on your weight loss journey to a healthier you.

Before you start:

Set a SMART goal. What is a SMART goal? It is Specific, Measurable, Action-orientated, Realistic, and Timely goal. This goal is going to tell you where you want to be and how you are going to get there. It needs to be realistic and attainable to your current fitness levels, motivation, and mind-set. It is recommended to set both short term goals (1-3) and a long-term or “reach” goal.

For example, if after checking with my healthcare provider I find out my Body Mass Index (BMI) puts me into the overweight or obese category and that losing an initial 10% of by body weight will reduce my risk of chronic disease (true!) that 10% may be my overall goal. But how am I going to get there? That is what my SMART goals are for. For this example, I recognize that I need to increase my physical activity, so my first SMART goal is: I will walk on the treadmill or outside for 15 minutes every morning starting this Monday and increase my time as I am able. My second SMART goal may be food related such as: I will pack one fruit and one serving of vegetables to take with me to work to replace my mid-day vending machine raid.

These SMART goals should be written down and placed somewhere I see them everyday. If you are still unsure of how to start, the American Diabetes Association has a great step-by-step example of setting a realistic weight loss goal here.

Week 1

Now that we have our goals set, let’s get warmed up! It is important to stretch not only before and after exercise, but also daily to help prevent injury, keep muscles toned, and help with stability and balance. Your challenge this week is to start each day with a stretch and build upon this, adding one additional stretch until you are stretching 3-5 minutes each morning. If you are new to stretching, then a resistance band or strap, even a belt, may be a great way to help you get started. Reference this handout on stretching with exercise bands to see!

Week 2

Beat the blues. Have you heard that exercise creates endorphins, and endorphins keep us happy? Well, that is true! While nothing is that simple, the fact that exercise boosts mood and confidence has been supported over and over. Therefore, the best way to get pumped-up for your weight loss journey is to add exercise and physical activity daily. It is also important to remember to mix things up, especially for weight loss goals. Once your body gets used to a new routine, it is no longer novel and you are no longer getting the same benefits you initially were.

If you are normally a cardio person, try to add in some new strength exercises here and there. Or vise-versa, if you are all about the weights try adding new cardio into your routine. Even better, get both with rowing! If you have never tried a rower, we highly recommend giving it a go. With all this in mind your challenge to focus on this week is to take the stairs everywhere you go and/or add 15 minutes of cardio or strength exercises to your routine. If you are just getting started with your exercise routine, reference this handout for suggestions on setting the right intensity for you.

Week 3

Think fiber. Fiber is key to maintaining fullness after a meal or snack as well as helping with regularity of our GI! Fiber in your diet may also help improve blood cholesterol levels. This nutrient is found in abundant sources in 100% whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. So, not only will you be able to fill up on less calories with these foods, but you will be able to reap the many benefits associated with the other vitamins and minerals in these food choices. For weight loss, it is not simply adding these foods to your normal meals, as that still adds calories, but replace refined grains and other low nutrient choices with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

With this in mind, the challenge this week is to replace one refined grain (white bread, white rice, white pasta) with a 100% whole grain alternative and/or replace one sugary treat (soda, chocolate, pastry) with a serving of whole fruit.

Week 4

Your halfway through your initial weight loss challenge! Keep momentum going with the 4 elements of exercise: strength, cardio, flexibility, and stability. If you are missing one of these elements in your current exercise plan, work on mixing things up to add it in. Remember, variety is key and both strength and cardio are important for weight loss goals. If you have the opportunity to use a functional trainer for your exercise routine, these machines are a multi-tasker’s dream. Functional trainers provide the opportunity to get all 4 elements of exercise in one single machine. Get some ideas from this post about the BODYCRAFT T3.

With the theme of momentum and movement, the challenge this week is to mix up both your workout and meal prep routines, especially if you are starting to see your weight loss plateau. And if you are getting bored with your food, or not finding the time to eat healthy, meal prep can make a huge difference! But that’s a topic for another post.

Week 5

Be mindful. You do not have to be an expert in meditation to practice mindfulness. It is something we can do, and should do, with daily activities. Mindfulness plays a large role in our food choices, portions, and hunger and fullness cues. A simple aspect of this is watching portions and food consumed in front of the TV. This is mindless eating, as you are not focused in the moment on the taste, smell, and experience of the food you are consuming.

If you are an avid TV ‘snacker’, you do not have to stop cold turkey if you do not think that is realistic for you. The challenge this week is to find a healthier alternative. Instead of grabbing the box or bag, try pouring your snack into a small bowl and bring that to the couch instead. Maybe even replace your usual snack with a lower-calorie option, such as un-buttered popcorn, rice cakes, or sliced vegetables or fruit.

Not a ‘snacker’? Then your challenge is to take 60 seconds every day this week to close your eyes and just breath.

Week 6

Eat your victory veggies! Yes, I know, no one likes feeling like they are 5 again and being told to eat their veggies. However, vegetables are a superhero when it comes to weight loss, especially the non-starchy veggies. These vegetables are nutrient-dense, meaning they are packed with nutrients to help keep us at peak health, and are also low in calories. This makes them a great snack choice and should also cover most of (at least half your plate) during meal times.

Therefore, your challenge this week is to add one an additional serving of vegetables to your daily intake (replacing servings of protein or starches that may be too big). Check out these tips from the USDA to add more vegetables to your day. Reminder: 1 serving of vegetables=1 cup raw or cooked veggies or 2 cups raw leafy greens.

Week 7

Water, water, water! Staying hydrated aids in weight loss goals as dehydration can mask itself as hunger – not good! Drinking a full glass of water before each meal (especially first thing in the morning) can help keep your portions in check and aid in your overall health goals. It is also important to maintain hydration before, during, and after exercise. Increase your water intake particularly if you have added additional physical activity during this challenge.

Your challenge this week is to aim for 8 cups (64 oz.) of water a day; but, if you have been sweating or are a male, you likely need more than this. Always have a refillable water bottle with you to assist in accomplishing this goal, and fill it up often! Get more tips on staying hydrated here.

Week 8

Finish strong and keep moving! Week 8 may be the end of this challenge, but health is ongoing and we challenge you to continue with your goals and maintain your progress. If you do this your body will continue to reward you for years to come. And if you started an exercise program this challenge, awesome! Keep up your progress and motivation with a home gym, and let BODYCRAFT help in your healthy living goals.

To wrap up, your challenge this week is to pick at least one of the challenges you completed these last 8 weeks and make it a habit.

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Quick HIIT Bodyweight Routines https://www.bodycraft.com/quick-hiit-bodyweight-routines/ https://www.bodycraft.com/quick-hiit-bodyweight-routines/#respond Sat, 23 Feb 2019 21:31:31 +0000 http://www.bodycraft.com/blog/?p=1000 We know that a home gym is not always realistic for everyone. Maybe you’re not in a space yet that has the room, or maybe you just prefer paying for a monthly gym membership to swap sweat with everyone at a gym. (Too far?) Whatever the reason may be, what is certain is that sometimes …

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We know that a home gym is not always realistic for everyone. Maybe you’re not in a space yet that has the room, or maybe you just prefer paying for a monthly gym membership to swap sweat with everyone at a gym. (Too far?) Whatever the reason may be, what is certain is that sometimes there is just not enough time for either. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) might be your solution.

To preface this post, have you seen our blog on the benefit of just 10 minutes of exercise a day? It’s true! We’re not making that up. While the guidelines recommend that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 min) of aerobic activity a week, these do not have to be consecutive hours of exercise. Gone are the days of one hour workout sessions, for now, we have HIIT! HIIT helps get all the heart-pounding benefits of cardio, without the extra time. Don’t forget, the guidelines also include 2 or more days of strength training. HIIT can help you there too, both using body weight and/or equipment. Keep reading for some quick routines to start (or end) your day right! 

Home HIIT Routine- no equipment needed

30 Jumping Jacks

20 Squats

10 Burpees

10 Inchworms

10 push-ups

30 second plank

*REPEAT 4x or as many as you can in 10 min!*

Home HIIT Routine- add some equipment

1 minute at high speed on the rower

10 weighted squats using a dumbbell, barbell, or functional trainer

10 Inverted push-ups (put those feet up on a utility bench)

10 weighted lunges -or- 10 lunge jumps (each side!)

10 hyperextension raises (holding weight or no weight)

10 step-ups each side (on bench)

30 second stability ball plank

*REPEAT 3x or as many as you can in 10 min!*

Reminder

To get maximum cardio benefits for your heart do these exercises back-to-back with a short (no more than 1 minute) break before you repeat. Good luck! We hope you use this guide to stay active and healthy today and every day.

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