From Negative to Positive

Too nervous to join a gym? Don’t know how to get started? Think you can’t do it? Feel like you don’t have time for exercise?

Then you are thinking of every reason not to work out. You can come up with dozens of excuses, and they will be just that – excuses! It’s normal to have some negative thoughts, but you can turn them into positives. Concentrate on these positives:

1) Studies show that to lose weight and maintain the weight loss, you must exercise regularly. Diets alone don’t work longterm.

2) Exercise drives up metabolic rates.

3) Regular exercise will, on average, increase both the length and quality of your life.

4) Your heart will be stronger, blood pressure lower, lungs stronger, and you will reduce the risk of narrowing of the arteries.

5) Physical fitness goes hand-in-hand with mental fitness. Exercise relieves stress and tension, increases energy, and aids in the treatment of mild to moderate depression.

Overcome the temptation to put it off. Begin a regular exercise program, and you will feel better physically and mentally.

Come into Innovations Fitness. We will help you get started on making that positive change.

Frank Thomas is owner of Innovations Fitness. For more information you may contact him at 770-898-9691 or at innovationsfitness@gmail.com.

Combating ZAD (Zumba Anxiety Disorder)

Like most people who have never tried group exercise classes, I must admit that I entered my first Zumba class with a fair amount of fear and trepidation.  Added to that was my complete lack of dance (or even coordinated movement) ability.  But as the spouse of a fitness center owner and one who generally hates more traditional cardio exercise methods, I felt the need to try to support this new venture in our fitness center.

After several weeks of combating Zumba Anxiety Disorder (ZAD), I feel compelled to share my 12-step method of combating ZAD in hopes of helping those of you who also suffer from this common, dreaded disorder.

1.  Give up worrying about what someone else will be thinking about what you look like.  They are likely way too busy worrying about their own steps to worry about yours.

2.  Don’t look in the mirror at first.  You may psyche yourself out of continuing.

3.  Get a partner to go to class with you and encourage each other.  You can laugh with, not at, each other.

4.   Have some water or a sports drink nearby.  You will probably need it.

5.  Don’t panic if you have to take it slow or stop at first.  That’s better than passing out.

6.  Don’t fret over being able to follow the moves exactly.  Realize that the point is to get you moving – which burns calories and makes you healthier.

7.  Believe the instructor, when she tells you that you need to just jump in and try to follow rather than having her show you every step one at a time.  It will eventually come to you with repetition.  Trust me, I am incredibly slow in catching on, but I find that with each session, I get at least one move down a little better.

8.  Spend a little time at home between classes working with a Zumba DVD or Zumba videos on the internet.  It will increase your confidence level.

9.  Don’t think you are a pervert because you stare at the instructor’s behind.  It actually helps you to learn to move yours.

10.  Don’t listen to anyone else who puts down your efforts.  This is about you, and any critics are likely closet ZAD sufferers.

11.  Sticking with it is the only way to be cured from ZAD!

12.  Loosen up and enjoy yourself!  Take it for what it is – a fun way to get fit.  Nobody is going to be talking about how inept you were at Zumba steps when they do the eulogy at your funeral.

Jeanie Thomas, a licensed social worker by day, owns Innovations Fitness in McDonough, GA, along with her husband, Frank.  Fellow ZAD sufferers can receive encouragement from her via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/innovationsfitness or come to Innovations Fitness for a Zumba class where you will likely find her in the back looking goofy. ;)

Treading Onward

The most popular cardio piece in any gym is the treadmill.  Treadmills are also top sellers for home gyms.  They allow you to take a walk or run in any weather, at any time of the day or night.

Walking is great for calorie burning and workout for your cardiovascular system.  Leg strength and endurance is increased as well.  For optimal use of the treadmill, consider these recommendations:

1. Wear good shoes.  Walking or running shoes have broader heels and help with pronation control.

2. Familiarize yourself with the safety features of the treadmill first.  Be sure that you know how to stop it in case of an emergency.

3.  Be careful in getting on and off a treadmill.  Don’t step on a treadmill that is already in motion.  Start the treadmill slowly, and pay attention as you build up speed.

4. Be sure that your treadmill workout includes a warm up and a cool down time.

5. Hold onto the hand rails until you get steady, but then swing your arms naturally.

6. Keep your head up, shoulders back, chest slightly out, and hips aligned with the rest of your body.

7. Change the incline to work different muscles and decrease boredom.

8. Never run backwards.  It puts the lower back at risk because of poor alignment and increases your risk of falling.

9. Vary your speed.  If the speed of your walk into the gym is faster than your speed on the treadmill, you are not likely to see any benefit from your treadmill time.  Varying your speed provides a better cardiovascular workout and works different muscle groups.

10. Set the timer to a reasonable goal for you and stick to it until you reach your goal.

If you are new to using a treadmill or any other piece of gym equipment, we have personal trainers who can help you get comfortable and get the most out of your workouts.  Come by or call us at 770-898-9691 to schedule an appointment.

Frank Thomas, Owner, Innovations Fitness

www.innovationsfitness.com

 

Oh, My Aching Joints!

Many people (including me) suffer from a variety of joint problems from stiffness and inflexibility to minor and major pain. If this is true for you, you may need to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program. However, if you want to gain movement in your limbs, exercise may be the best remedy.

The muscles that surround the joints actually protect the joints. Improving the joint muscles can help alleviate pain and stiffness.

Some tips from the Arthritis Foundation:

1) Before you exercise, apply heat or ice treatments to the area you will work.

2) Spend fifteen minutes warming up before you exercise.

3) Stop if you feel chest tightness or shortness of breath. Stop if you feel sick or faint.

4) If you have a muscle cramp or pain, gently rub and stretch the muscle.

5) After exercising, cool down for five minutes.

Check out other suggestions on the Arthritis Foundation website at www.arthritis.org, and get started today to improve your flexibility and decrease your pain.

Frank Thomas, Owner of Innovations Fitness

770-898-9691

www.innovationsfitness.com

Lies…Lies…All Lies!

Gym members and personal training clients often allow common misconceptions to get in the way of reaching their fitness goals. Following are just a few of those:

Aerobic (cardio) exercise is all I need to lose weight. Wrong! Good exercise programs for weight loss should include strength training and stretching as well.

Exercise makes you hungry. False. Intense exercise usually suppresses your appetite for a short time.

Exercise has to be hard. No - just think physical activity and add more to your daily routine. Walk the steps instead of using the elevator. Walk three times a day for ten minutes instead of one long 30-minute session. Get a partner to work out with you to make it fun and to hold you accountable.

Ab work will flatten your stomach. No! It strengthens muscles and improves posture. Fat is fat though, and you won’t see your abs by only doing a few ab exercises. You’ve got to go something to burn the fat.

No pain no gain! It has to hurt to workout. No. Exercise shouldn’t be painful. Yes, there will be a little muscle soreness when you do something new, but if it is pain then you should stop!  Soreness isn’t the same as pain.

Come see us at Innovations Fitness today to dispel those fitness myths! We will get you started on a plan toward better health. www.innovationsfitness.com 770-898-9691

Rev Up!

Getting fit doesn’t have to be a major production. Try these simple ideas to rev up your lifestyle:

1) Walk the dog 2-3 times daily.

2) Walk the mall. It can be fun in all types of weather. Some malls even give incentive to walkers.

3) Walk during your lunch hour.

4) Jump rope.  It is one of the top fat burners.

5) Get outside and ride a bike.

6) Use a fitness professional for a couple of sessions to teach you routines that are right for you.

7) Try simple exercise equipment like a body bar, mini trampoline, tubes and bands.

8) Lift weights 3 times per week. It can increase your metabolism as much as 20%.

9) Don’t get stuck in the same workout rut. For fun, do that favorite routine in backwards order.

10) Exercise during TV commercials at a high intensity. Try to do 8-10 commercial sessions in a day’s TV viewing.

Need some other ideas or some accountability to get you going?  Come see us!  www.innovationsfitness.com

Why Diets Fail

Annually a multitude of weight-loss diets flood the market. Many are heavily marketed and sell briefly but fade away as their dieters gain back their weight. The Food and Drug Administration has over 30,000 diets listed with its agency, but the truth is that no single diet works for weight control. Statistically, 98% of diets fail, and most of their patrons gain back the lost weight and often more. If a magic diet existed, everyone would use it, and none of us would be overweight.

Fad diets fail due to nutritional deficiencies and their failure to focus on things people don’t want to do – change exercise and eating habits for life. We, as a society, eat too much and exercise too little to successfully lose weight and maintain it. Therefore, it’s important to learn proper eating habits and establish a consistent training regime.

We have the help you need to make that lifestyle change! We can teach you how to make better food choices and how to increase your activity so that you can find success when it comes to weight loss. Find out more at www.henrycountyweightlosscenter.com or call this week to find out more at 770-892-0085.

Drive-Through Eating – Ouch!

We live in a world where we are so busy that we often zip into fast food restaurants, grab a bag and zoom off to tackle the next item on our agenda. With instant meals available from 24/7 grocery stores, an abundance of fast food restaurants, and convenience stores on each corner, we fill our bodies with fast food that is full of fat, cholesterol, and processing chemicals. A typical meal of a hamburger, french fries and a soft drink usually contains more than 1,000 calories.

Though we may not be able to slow the pace of our daily lives considerably, we can choose wisely when it comes to fast food. For instance, if you are craving a hamburger, choose one with one patty rather than two, and you may save as much as ten grams of fat.  Many hamburgers are cholesterol-choking heart attacks waiting to happen. If you are just craving the taste, try a kids-size meal and supplement with something healthier. Choose fruit, salad, or vegetable as a side instead of fries. Leave off the cheese, mayonnaise, and special sauces!

Try lean roast beef or turkey for a change. Chicken that is grilled, baked or broiled is much better than fried chicken. When trying to choose a healthier option such as a salad or a wrap, be sure that you don’t defeat your efforts by adding salad dressings, cheeses, and other additions that significantly increase the fat and calories. Don’t let your salad option be compromised by high-calorie additions such as buttery croutons or a tortilla shell bowl. If you must have pizza, choose thin crust and lay off the fattening toppings.

A good alternative to traditional fast food is fresh fruit, salad, and low-fat yogurt that can now be found in many convenience stores. Avoid upsizing when you are ordering your meal! Look for low-fat, great tasting sandwiches available at a number of fast food restaurants. And avoid empty calories associated with many soft drinks by choosing water, diet sodas, or unsweetened tea instead.

Though our schedules don’t always allow for making healthy meals at home, with a little thought, we can find good-tasting fast food that is also good for us. Do some research on-line to find some healthier fast food options at your favorite restaurants so you won’t be tempted to fall back on bad choices when you arrive.

Come into Innovations Fitness today, and let us get you started toward making healthier choices!

Frank Thomas – www.innovationsfitness.com – 678-632-1496