Is Uphill Walking a Better Workout?

Walking is one of the most popular forms of exercise, and for good reason. It’s something almost everyone can do, it doesn’t require any special skill, you don’t need much equipment other than a good pair of shoes, and you can do it almost anywhere at any time! For those on a weight loss plan and a tight schedule, walking makes sense as a regular form of exercise.

But you might have heard that uphill walking is preferred. Is this true? And what’s the big difference?

Primarily, those who tout the benefits of uphill walking are referring to calorie burn. It is true that you can burn about 10 percent more calories when you choose a hilly route, versus a completely flat one. That’s because walking uphill requires greater effort from muscles, so this translates into greater energy expenditure. Plus, when you walk uphill, you target hamstrings, calves, and glutes (the backs of your legs). So a hilly route can work great for toning your muscles.

On the other hand, the downhill part of your route isn’t exactly a waste of your time! And when you do it right, walking downhill is also a valuable exercise. This movement will require more effort from the front muscles of your legs – your quads and lateral hip stabilizers – helping to tone and strengthen them. When you hit the downhill part of your route, be careful not to give into gravity and forget about form. This is a time to carefully monitor your movement to build strength in those muscles and prevent injuries.

So, yes, a hilly walking route is definitely more beneficial than a flat course. But, as with all forms of exercise, we caution you not to dive into a more difficult routine too passionately. Take it easy at first, and don’t push yourself harder than feels comfortable. And of course, watch your form to prevent injuries, and take it easier on days that you’re very sore.

To discuss your fitness and weight loss plans in more detail, call us to schedule an appointment. We can review your plans and help you decide upon safe and attainable goals.

 

One Quick Change for Healthier Workouts

You’ve been faithfully working out for a few weeks or months now, or maybe even longer. You’re seeing great results from exercise, you feel more energetic, and you’re happy with your progress overall. These are all positive outcomes. But on the negative side, you’re feeling a bit bored with your workout routine. Sometimes you really have to push yourself to get started, and you feel a bit less enthusiastic overall.

What if we told you there’s one simple change you could make, that would rejuvenate your workouts and help you feel more motivated to get going? It’s really very simple, but many people haven’t thought about it before: Take your workout outside!

Obviously, you can’t haul heavy gym equipment into your yard (that would be a workout of its own). But you can abandon the treadmill for a real-life walk or jog, swap the stationary bike for a regular one, or even grab your free weights and head out to the patio. You might even design a new workout, with a jump rope or some Pilates bands, or try out a new Youtube video via your phone or laptop. Most types of exercise can be adapted to the outdoors, and you’ll reap the following benefits:

Get more Vitamin D. Our bodies synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight, and most of us don’t get enough. This nutrient is important for building healthy bones, and might help to prevent problems such as diabetes and obesity. Sunlight also helps your body to regulate its circadian rhythms, so you can get better quality sleep.

Fight depression, anxiety, or simply the “workout blues”. Time spent outdoors can help you fight depression and anxiety. Or, if you simply feel less motivated to exercise these days, moving outdoors can feel rejuvenating.

Prevent boredom. Of course, the primary benefit to outdoor exercise is to prevent stagnation in your workout routine. If you always work out inside a gym, trying something new can help you switch up your regular program. You’re less likely to skip workouts or quit altogether when you keep things fresh and exciting.

As always, remember to consult with us before beginning a new workout routine. We can screen you for underlying problems that can make some forms of exercise dangerous for you. We can also help you put together a nutrition plan, if weight loss or maintenance is your goal, and help you stay motivated as you progress.

4 Things No One Tells You About Weight Loss

You know that weight loss can reduce your risk of chronic diseases, improve your mood and self esteem, and give you more energy. But for some people, certain “side effects” sometimes appear – and most people don’t talk about these things! So, here’s the scoop on a few facts you might not know, along with what to do about them.

Saggy chest. You might think that only women are bothered by a “saggy chest” after losing a lot of weight, but men can experience this discomforting effect too. It just depends on how much weight you previously carried up top, how fast you lost it, and how your muscles and skin respond to weight loss. Luckily, there’s an easy solution that offers significant improvement: Weight training that targets the pectoral muscles can help you to overcome sagging.

Acne. Weight loss generally makes most people feel great about themselves, but you might not appreciate the return of your teenage complexion! Happily, this side effect is usually temporary, and will improve once your hormones adjust. In the meantime, eating a healthy diet based on plentiful fruits and veggies can provide your skin with adequate nutrition.

Hair loss. Also the result of shifting hormones, hair loss has taken many dieters by surprise. As with acne, the condition is temporary and will improve – usually within six months or less. Drinking plenty of water and eating a diet rich in fatty acids can help you combat the condition, which is luckily quite mild in most cases.

Stretch marks. You might already have stretch marks, or you could develop them as your skin changes. Many people feel that they become more noticeable with weight loss. They won’t harm you, but if you’re bothered by their appearance we have laser treatments that can help. If you choose not to treat them with cosmetic procedures, just know that they usually fade to silver or white over time.

We certainly don’t mean to frighten you with these potential “side effects” of weight loss, but we didn’t want them to take you by surprise, either! Keep in mind that most people notice only mild versions of these problems, and some people don’t experience them at all. The benefits of weight loss still far outweigh any temporary effects, but give us a call if anything is bothering you. We can help you adjust your nutrition plan or pursue cosmetic treatments that help you look and feel your best.

How Your Diet Affects Sleep

In our blogs, we often mention the importance of sleep within a healthy lifestyle and/or weight loss plan. Sleep affects your energy levels and metabolism, and obviously impacts your ability to carry out all the tasks on your to-do list (including exercise). Inadequate sleep can trigger weight gain, cravings, and problems at work. How you spend one third of your life really does matter!

On the other hand, we all have issues in our lives that can affect the amount or quality of sleep that we’re getting. As you pursue a healthier diet or weight loss plan, keep these dietary tips in mind – not just for your waistline, but for your sleep habits and overall health. Read more

5 Unhealthy Habits to Break

As you renovate your health, especially if you’re following a weight loss plan, you will be faced with some challenges. If you’re less healthy than you could be (and most of us are), chances are good that certain habits are to blame. So, in order to get healthier, you will be confronted with the task of breaking those habits. The road to better health is always paved with better choices. Read more

Reducing Blood Sugar Levels Can Help Prevent Disease

For patients with diabetes, their blood sugar levels are a daily concern. But the rest of us rarely (or ever) even consider it. That might be a mistake.

Your blood sugar levels can consistently run on the high side, even if you aren’t diabetic. The problem with this is that over time, high blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance, which can lead to diabetes. Over time, hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can also damage your nerves, organs, and blood vessels. Read more

The 15-Minute Workout

Ask 100 people why they don’t work out regularly, and you will receive a variety of answers.  However, one reason will probably be more common than all the rest:  many people will tell you that they simply don’t have time for exercise.

When we think of “exercise” most of us picture long jogs, a minimum of an hour spent in the gym, or fitness classes that don’t always (or ever) work with our schedules. The truth is that you can actually cram a workout into just 15 minutes! Read more

Build a Better Workout

At some point during your fitness and weight loss plan, you might feel that your workout just isn’t… working. Or, perhaps you’re just getting started and want to design a regimen that’s just right for you. Whether you’re a newbie or want better results from exercise, follow these tips to build a better workout. Read more

Should You Tweak Your Strength Training Workout?

If you’ve added strength training to your workout routine, we’re happy to hear it. Building lean muscles is one of the best ways to boost metabolism and weight loss, and also benefit your health overall.

However, it’s possible that you’re making a common mistake. Many weight training newbies set up a prescribed workout (such as one recommended by a friend or featured in a magazine) and then they never change that workout. This is a mistake, because over time your muscles will get stronger. They need more of a challenge, and you’re probably getting bored as well. Read more

Sneaky Ways to Boost Your Fiber Intake

Whether you’re trying to eat a healthier diet and prevent disease, or you’re actively pursuing a weight loss plan, adding more fiber to your diet should be one of the cornerstones of your strategy. Most people eating a typical American diet aren’t consuming nearly enough fiber, and it’s important for several reasons: Read more

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**Please Note: Although we always try to accommodate walk ins, we do require you to be seen by our Provider in order to start any medical weight loss program. Please give us a call to check availability.


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