Month: September 2018

Portion (Out of) Control

We’ve all heard the old adage that bigger is better. Over the last 40 years or so, it seems the American public has applied this to just about everything. A bigger car is better. A bigger house is better. A bigger job is better. But, there’s one thing that has ballooned over the years and the increase is definitely not for the better. It’s portion sizes. As portion sizes have gotten bigger our waistlines have too. There is a direct correlation between the increase in portion sizes and the rate of obesity in this country.

Just a quick peek at social media will show you the evidence. Foodies post pics of plates overflowing with food. Steaks the size of your head. Wine glasses that look more like decanters. Even health blogs will show a giant sized smoothie that’s big enough for three. It seems that across the board, whether we’re talking about fast food or health food, our measures of what makes a portion are entirely off.

Based on research, our activity levels have not changed much over the last 40 years, but our dietary intake certainly has. While it’s impossible to calculate a precise number,

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Screen Time is Bad for Your Health

There’s been tons written about the negative effects of too much digital screen time on children. Research has shown that it’s bad for their developing brains, increases their risks of  childhood obesity tenfold and can even damage their social development. So, it’s not that big of a stretch to assume that the same can be said for adults.

I think we all intuitively know that too much screen time can’t be good for us. But as a gym owner, I wanted to know more specifically about how our health and fitness might be impacted by all the time we spend staring at a screen.  Here are the basics of what I found.

  • First off, here’s a scary statistic. The average adult in America spends about 11 hours a day looking at a screen and checks their phone every 10 minutes. That means that we spend much more than half of our awake time on a computer or mobile device or watching TV. Wow! For some, much of that screen time is related to work, so it can be hard to bring those numbers down. But many others are consuming all that digital media as part of their leisure time.

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Here’s What Losing 5% of Your Body Weight Can Do

Sometimes when you’re at the beginning of your fitness journey the idea of all the “work” you have to do to get to where you want to be can be a little daunting. This can be especially true if you have a substantial amount of weight to lose. I always tell members who are just starting out not to let their end goal intimidate them. Because the truth is, even just the littlest bit of weight loss has been shown to make a big difference in your health.

Losing just 5% of your body weight — that’s just 10 pounds if you’re 200 pounds — results in lots of benefits on your body.

  • If you’re walking around with even just 10 pounds of extra weight that puts an additional 40 pounds of pressure on your knees and other lower body joints. Losing that really eases the pressure on your joints and reduces the likelihood that you’ll develop arthritis later in life.
  • People who are at risk for type 2 diabetes can do themselves a huge favor by losing weight. Shaving just 8-12 pounds of a 160 pound frame substantially lowers your risk of getting diabetes.

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HIIT – Big Benefits in a Little Time

There’s a long held misconception that if you want to get in shape you have to work out long and hard. This belief is what holds many people back from starting on their fitness journey. They think, “I’m too busy to spend hours at the gym,” or “I just don’t have the time.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s false. In fact, I started Synergy based on my knowledge that there is a better way to get fit that doesn’t require that you live at the gym.

One of the ways to make big progress in just a little time is with HIIT training. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. And if you’re a Synergy member, you’ve probably done a HIIT workout maybe without even realizing it. A typical HIIT workout is a series of short bursts of exercises followed by a brief period of rest. In research, HIIT has been shown to give the same health benefits as a moderate intensity workout that is twice as long.

During a HIIT workout you’ll spend about 45 seconds going all out on an exercise like jump squats or jumping jacks and then about 30 seconds resting before moving on to the next exercise.

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Why Build Up Your Core Strength?

When most people think about having a strong core, they equate it with having six pack abs or a flat belly. For a lot of people achieving that is a huge motivator for working out. I get that. A tight, trim midsection looks great. But there’s much more benefit to having a strong core that goes beyond just how you look in a swimsuit.

Your core is not just your ab muscles. It starts in your pelvic area and extends all the way up to your sternum and around to your back. Basically it’s everything except your arms and your legs. Core strength has an impact on every single movement you make. In fact, just about every movement originates in your core. Whether you’re mopping the floor or tying your shoes, you’re engaging your core. So, it’s safe to say that strengthening your core will help you do almost everything better.

Here are just a few of the benefits of a strong core:

Better athletic performance – Whether you’re a runner, a swimmer or play recreational sports, improving your core strength with improve your game. If your core is solid you’ll be better able to hold certain body positions.

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