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Choosing The Right Boot Camp For You

If you’re fairly involved in the fitness and workout scene, chances are you’ve heard of or participated in a boot camp workout before. Boot camp classes are the newest, hottest trend in fitness right now because they really challenge the body in new and innovative ways, without ever causing you to become bored.

Fortunately, there are also a number of different varieties of boot camp classes around so you can be sure to find one that matches your lifestyle and needs just perfectly.

Before you rush off to join the first boot camp you find, it’s vital to take in a few considerations.  This will help ensure that you’re choosing the best class that is going to help you reach your end goals.

Let’s have a look at what you should know to choose the best boot camp for you.

What Fitness Level Are You At? IMG 0967 e1282878559665 Choosing The Right Boot Camp For You

The very first thing that you’ll want to assess is what your current fitness level is.  If you’re someone who is brand spanking new to exercise, it’s important that you don’t place yourself in an advanced boot camp workout class. 

These workouts are quite demanding on the body in the first place so if you’re new to exercise, you must seek out a beginner’s class.  Not only will you find you’re a whole lot more comfortable in such a class but you’ll also find that you’re progressing along faster since the exercises targeted are all at your level.

Do You Have Any Special Needs?

Second, also consider whether you have any special needs.  For instance, if you happen to be pregnant, you’ll want to find a boot camp that specializes just in working with pregnant women. These classes will reduce back on the overall intensity level so that you can feel confident you’re staying in shape but not overdoing things.

Likewise, if you are someone who is a bit older, you may want to think about an older adult boot camp class.  These workouts will include less high-impact types of movements so that you aren’t putting as much stress on your joints. 

Or, if you’re a teenager who is looking to get into shape, consider a boot camp workout for teens.  Since you’ll be there with others your own age you’ll find you relate to the group that much better and this enables you to maintain higher overall levels of motivation.

What Are Your Goals For The Program?

The final thing to consider when you choose your boot camp workout class is what your goals are that you hope to accomplish.

Are you primarily looking to get stronger or are you focused on shedding those last few pounds?  While most boot camp classes will target a number of aspects of your overall fitness level, some classes are more specifically focused on certain goals so by matching this up to your own physic or performance goal set, you guarantee you’re doing everything you possibly can to gain that sense of accomplishment.

So there you have a few of the most important things to think about before you join a boot camp.  There are plenty of options in Calgary to get started so contact a good personal trainer to get some guidance if you’re still unsure.

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Heart-Healthy Eating

Is your diet lending your heart a helping hand or kicking it to the curb?

When it comes to body parts your body can’t do without, the heart is king. But if you’re like many people, you may be treating your beloved heart like an ignored servant. How can you make sure your heart receives a kingly welcome? By eating right.

health2 Heart Healthy EatingThe Basics

First, it’s a good idea to know what heart-healthy eating actually is. Contrary to popular belief, a diet that is heart healthy isn’t going to keep you from eating anything with flavor. You’re not going to be miserable while on a heart-healthy diet. Actually, you shouldn’t go on a heart-healthy diet – at least not one that lasts for a few months and fades away with your New Year’s resolutions.

Rather, you should maintain heart-healthy eating habits every day of the year.
The simplest recipe for heart-healthy eating habits is to go natural. Most foods you find in nature and eat in their raw or cooked forms are very good for you and many of them actively work to strengthen your heart. On the other hand, manmade foods that are highly processed or infused with ingredients that add flavor and fat often put your heart in harm’s way.

The Battles

Fats and cholesterol can be very dangerous to your heart health. Hence why you should avoid them as much as possible. However, since it’s nearly impossible to rid your diet entirely of all types of fats and cholesterol, you’ll need to choose your battles wisely.

Battles worth fighting in the fat realm are those battles against saturated fat and trans fat. By carefully reading food labels and reducing the amount of butter and other fatty products you eat on a regular basis, you can sidestep the majority of these dangerous fats. Instead of saturated and trans fats, look for foods that contain monounsaturated fats or polyunsaturated fats. Believe it or not, these fats may actually help lower your cholesterol.

Reading food labels will also help you manage the amount of cholesterol you consume. Ideally, a healthy adult will consume no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day. For even better health, try to get no more than 150 or 200 milligrams on a daily basis.

The Salt

A third battle that is often overlooked is the ongoing battle against salt. Though it adds immediate flavor to anything you’re eating, salt also adds to your risk for high blood pressure. As high blood pressure is a key risk factor for heart disease, you ought to pay careful attention to how much salt you eat each day.

According to the American Heart Association, you should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of salt each day. One of the best ways to avoid going over the recommended limit is to resist the temptation to flavor your food with salt until you take a bite of the food. Some foods are naturally salty and have no need for you to add salt from the shaker. Taking a bite before adding salt may even help you enjoy the natural flavor of the food you’re eating. Over time, your saltshaker may be collecting dust in the pantry!

Living the Life

In addition to eating heart-healthy foods, your heart gains extra protection against disease through regular exercise. The minimum amount of exercise for good health is 30 minutes five times a week. Don’t be afraid to mix it up a little, be sure to get in some resistance training along with aerobic training.

To keep your heart pumping strong, you could try jogging around your neighborhood, swimming laps in the pool, or riding your bicycle through the woods. For added protection, don’t smoke, avoid breathing secondhand smoke, and stay in contact with your physician to ensure the steps you are taking for a heart-healthy life are working.

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Going Green (and Blue, Red, and Orange) Every Day

A few reasons why you should build your daily diet around salad.

diet4 Going Green (and Blue, Red, and Orange) Every DayEating a healthy diet is no easy task. With health nuts and health professionals coming up with new regulations and recommendations nearly every day, it can be tiring to try to keep up with the latest advice. Well, here is some advice that will pass the test of time: eat more salads. According to health professionals, you should begin eating a salad every day in addition to an apple if you want to keep the doctor away. Here’s why you should make a point to add some green, leafy goodness to your meals.

They’re Easy

You need a quick snack, a great side dish to complement your meal, or a light and tasty dinner. Where do you turn? Salad! Available in various sizes and shapes at practically every restaurant (including quite a few fast-food restaurants), salads give you a healthy base to your meal. And if you’re staying home for a home-cooked meal, a salad is an easy addition to your routine.

Not into cutting up lettuce? Don’t think that gets you out of your salad obligation, because it doesn’t. In an effort to increase convenience and reduce excuses for not eating salads, there are now a number of pre-made salads that are bagged up and ready to be eaten at home. All you have to do is grab a bag of salad at the store. When you get home, simply open the bag, pour the salad on your plate, add a little salad dressing, and enjoy!

They’re Tasty

Gone are the days of boring lettuce-only salads. Today’s palates demand much more than a little bit of iceberg lettuce and some everyday salad dressing. Modern salad eaters demand different textures, flavors, and colors, and the salad world has blossomed as a result.

When it comes to a great salad, the only limits to how far you can take a salad are your imagination and taste buds. Give your salad an instant flavor boost by adding feta cheese, blueberries, nuts, strawberries, pickles, croutons, carrots, mandarin oranges, and spinach. Take it to the next level by adding grilled chicken and some light raspberry vinaigrette and you may never eat anything but salad again.

They’re Healthy

Once you add in all your favorite fruits and vegetables, your salad becomes one of the healthiest items on the table. Not only are you eating something low in fat, cholesterol, and calories, but you’re also getting plenty of fruits and vegetables at the same time. As long as your chicken pieces are lean, you’ll get the added benefit of an instant boost of protein without any of the negatives associated with fatty meats.

Filled with fiber, good fats (not saturated or trans-fats), and vitamins and minerals, a well-made salad isn’t a good idea. It’s a great idea, and an easy way to improve your health each day. Salad tastes great, is easy to make, is healthy, and helps fill you up before digging into those not-so-healthy calories. Now that you know why salads are so great for you, start building your diet around this wonderful dish!

Dressing It Up

Like cream cheese icing on a low-fat cake, the wrong salad dressing can ruin an otherwise wonderful salad. Choosing a flavor is up to your taste buds, but picking a healthy choice that will complement your healthy choice of salad is up to you.

When you’re ready to pick up some new salad dressing, there is one guideline that will help you pick out a dressing worthy of your healthy masterpiece: go with vinegar. Dressings made with vinegar are typically light and healthy, and according to research out of Japan, vinegar may help you get rid of fat and defend your body from obesity. And you thought vinegar-based dressings only tasted good!

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Can Exercise Be Fun?

Or are kids the only ones who get to smile while getting fit?

Everybody wants to have fun. It’s relaxing, stimulating, and downright well…fun! So what is it about exercise that seems to make adults stand up straight and pull out their serious faces? Shouldn’t exercise be fun for you just like it is for your kids? Yes, it should. And yes, it can. Here’s how.

Grab a Friend

body4 Can Exercise Be Fun?To some extent, exercise is a very individual endeavor. Each time you lift a weight, sprint down the court, or swim a lap, you’re improving your body and no one else’s. However, if you’re interested in keeping up your routine and having some fun while you’re at it, nothing makes it easier than having a friend by your side.

While choosing a workout partner, look for someone whose goals are the same as yours. You don’t want someone who is going to back out three weeks into your new exercise relationship. You should look for someone with a good sense of humor and a dedication to getting plenty of time in the gym every week. If possible, find someone who is used to working out more regularly than you. This way, you’ll be challenged to get to the gym more often, knowing your workout partner will be there to cheer you on.

Pump up the Jams

Feel your work out drags on forever? Watch the clock in great anticipation of when your 30 minutes on the treadmill is over? Stop doing soundless exercises. Instead, go home and build a soundtrack for your workout routine. With MP3 players now available, you can carry an entire library of music in the palm of your hand, transforming your workout from dull and lifeless to something inspirational that also happens to have a great beat.

To make sure your routine goes as rockin’ as planned, only put great songs on your MP3 – songs that have a driving beat and make you want to push yourself a little bit harder for a little bit longer. If you’d like to work your brain while working your body, you can download audio books or tune into a variety of podcasts on practically any topic you choose. Whether you want to catch up on politics, sports, comic books, or antiques, you can find a podcast with expert opinion to keep your mind moving at the speed of exercise.

Try Different Things

As a kid, everything you did was new and exciting: every tree you climbed, every game of hide-and-seek, every game of basketball. You were constantly trying out new ways to do old activities, adding mystery and learning to what would otherwise be a dull and unmemorable event. When you became an adult, the idea of trying new things became tedious. You stopped having time to learn new things, and as long as things worked as they are, you saw no reason to change.

But this “don’t-fix-it-unless-it’s-broken” attitude can damage your exercise routine. Instead of getting in a stagnant regiment without flexibility, actively seek out new exercises that could stretch your limits and your imagination. Doing this will bring new excitement to your exercise routine that you haven’t had in years. Before you know it, you’ll be anxious to hit the gym once again.

Let the Fun Begin!

In recent years, a number of people have been leading a movement toward exercise disguised as childhood fun. For these people, walking on the treadmill and lifting heavy barbells and dumbbells isn’t appealing. However, they still want to stay in shape, so they’ve modified their routines to be nothing but fun.

If you’re one of these people, you’re not alone! And you don’t have to go far to find likeminded people. In fact, you probably live and work with some of them. To get some exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise, ask your family members and friends if they’d like to get in on a kickball game, an afternoon of kayaking in a local lake, or a day of hiking and tree climbing. After one afternoon of exercise fun, you’ll probably want to mix in your new fun routine with a more strenuous and focused work out in the gym, and your overall good health will reap the rewards!

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Bad Breakfast Foods

A fattening, unhealthy look at some of the worst foods you can eat for breakfast.

diet1 Bad Breakfast FoodsMama always told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But if you breakfast is brimming with butter, lard, and sugar, you may be putting your body at a disadvantage. Which breakfast foods are stuck to the bottom of the barrel for nutrition? Read on to find out.

Doughnuts

You knew it was coming, so may as well get it over with. Whether glazed, powdered, or cream-filled, doughnuts were made to be delicious ways to begin or interrupt your day. What they were not created for was to be a healthy way to get your day started right. Many companies have made it their mission to create the ultimate healthy doughnut, but every attempt has come off less tasty than the original. Instead of settling for something that tastes less than the best, leave doughnuts of all shapes, sizes, and health on the shelf.

Kids’ Cereals

You never want to grow up. You love your big-kid toys and your big-kid video games, and you’re still eating the same cereal you were when you were in elementary school. Unfortunately, those brightly colored, sugary sweet cereals have not become any healthier over the years. In fact, researchers from Yale University state that these kid-friendly cereals that are full of sugar and artificial flavors are usually less healthy than any cereals made for adults. So if your kids are eating the same colorful cereals as you, you’ll all need to change. Instead, look for something with four grams of fiber and less than four grams of sugar per serving.

Energy Bars

They’re crammed full of protein and go-get-em, and they fit in the palm of your hand. So what’s the problem? The problem is that alongside all that energy-boosting protein, there is also a lot of fat and calories. If you don’t spend adequate time each day to get rid of these extra fats and calories, your whole body is going to feel the extra pounds piling on. Instead of grabbing an energy bar for breakfast, only eat them right before or after an intense workout. That way you’re keeping your body fueled properly, but you’re also burning off most of the stuff you don’t want stuck to your hips.

Front Seat Foods

The mother of all bad breakfast foods is breakfast on the go. While fast-food breakfast is convenient and relatively inexpensive, it is also one of the worst ways to fill your stomach in the morning. Some of the most common options are sausage or chicken biscuits; biscuits and gravy; or bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits. Make any of these items at home and you’ll be on the border of unhealthy. Pick them up at a fast-food restaurant and you’re guaranteed a dose of artery-slowing, fat-producing food, served in a Styrofoam carton with a side of orange juice. And no, the 100% natural orange juice doesn’t magically turn gravy into a harmless or healthy substance.

Runners Up

Think your breakfast doesn’t need a facelift just because your favorite fattening breakfast treat snuck by without making the list? Think again. Here are a few other fattening breakfast foods to avoid.

  • Sausage: Just as high in fat as it is in flavor, sausage can put a hurting on your good health.
  • Pancakes: Whole-wheat pancakes aren’t too unhealthy, but out-of-the-box pancakes doused in syrup is anything but healthy. In fact, anything doused in syrup is a bad idea.
  • Ham: For all the reasons to avoid bacon and sausage, keep your salivating mouth away from ham. Tastes great, more filling for your waistline.
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