Incorporate A Stability Ball In Your Life

Incorporate A Stability Ball In Your Life

What’s a stability ball and how does it help boost your fitness? A stability ball works the core muscles that help maintain balance. Just sitting on the ball can increase the effort of the core muscles. Since the ball rolls, it’s harder to maintain stability and creates a workout that’s second to none. Some people use large stability balls as seating when they work at their desks for extended periods. It works the abs and can prevent back pain as you work.

Besides forcing the muscles to work harder, you’ll change position more frequently.

If you use a stability ball as a chair it helps your posture in several ways. First, it builds the core muscles that contribute to good posture and help relieve back pain. You also move more frequently when you use a stability ball as a chair. Changing position more frequently can help prevent stressed muscles and strains. It can eliminate the injuries caused by remaining in the same position too long and increase circulation.

If you want great abs, look no further.

Are washboard abs your goal? You’ll be amazed at how a little effort using the stability ball can help you reach your desired outcome. You can boost the power of crunches and other ab workouts by incorporating it into your session or just use it as a backup to sit on it and let nature take its course. You’ll feel the difference after just a few minutes. People who use the stability ball for the first time often incorporate it into their workout since they can feel the difference immediately.

No matter how you use it, it burns extra calories.

Losing weight can be an incredibly long journey. It seems to take forever to lose just one pound. That’s why anything that can help make it go faster is a benefit. Using a stability ball, whether sitting on it at the computer or using it during a workout, can burn extra calories and help weight loss occur quicker. The muscles put out extra effort that can burn an additional 350 calories a day. That’s an extra pound in just ten days. It won’t replace a traditional workout program or healthy diet but it will provide a bonus you might otherwise miss.

  • Getting up and moving for five minutes every hour is recommended to be your healthiest. When you’re using a stability ball as a chair, you’ll be more apt to do it.
  • People sit on stability balls to relieve back pain. Several exercises with this equipment can diminish tight muscles quickly and leave you feeling great.
  • Besides building abdominal muscles, you’ll improve your balance by exercising with a stability ball. It can help improve your overall grace and prevent unnecessary falls.
  • Using a stability ball frequently can help improve your circulation. Improved circulation helps all parts of the body from the skin to the heart.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Should You Worry About Hormones In Food?

Should You Worry About Hormones In Food?

Today’s society is further from their source of food than ever. When people raised their food, they knew what those animals ate and didn’t use chemicals to boost productivity. Today, food might as well be grown on a different planet. A lot happens at factory farms that were never part of farming. Farmers give hormones to animals so they grow bigger or mature faster. There are hormones given to cows to produce 15% more milk, and beef cows get shots to grow to full size 20% faster. Even fish are given hormones to mature twice as fast. We’re eating the treated animals, so does that mean we’re also getting the treatment? Are there hormones in food we should worry about?

Organic pastured beef has become popular.

The FDA has tested the food and agrees that there is no harm in eating the meat from animals given hormones. The limited research results don’t indicate whether it is a problem. One widely used hormone is rBGH—recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. It boosts milk production in cows. Do these pass on to people consuming animal products? It’s no wonder people are choosing a more natural option for their food, organically grown meat and milk from pastured cattle.

rBGH is in the milk.

The biggest concern about hormones occurs with milk production. Does drinking milk from animals using rBGH increase IGF-1—growth hormone levels? What are the effects of that increase? Does it increase the risk of cancer? Animals given rBGH tend to have more udder infections, causing farmers to give antibiotics. Does the increased use of antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

rBGH does trigger the production of IGF-1.

rBGH won’t hurt you, but it does trigger the release of IGF-1—insulin like growth factor that may affect your health. The human body produces it, as do cows. The question is whether the rBGH increases it beyond normal levels and whether that can affect humans. There is a link between prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer and high levels of IGF-1 in the blood. Although there’s a link, scientists still don’t understand what that means for health.

  • Some evidence indicates that pasteurization does not deactivate the IGF-1 in milk and whether it’s absorbed through the digestive tract. One study suggested that the increase would only be 0.09% of normal daily production.
  • Another study identified that even if an infant drank 1.5 liters of milk with IGF-1 protein, it would be less than a 1% increase of the child’s normal daily production and have no effect.
  • Concern grew enough to create an outcry in the market. Today you’ll find products labeled rBGH or rBST-free. It doesn’t mean they didn’t use other synthetic hormones raising the animals.
  • Large companies like Kraft have now started using milk from cows raised without the use of rBGH in their Natural Cheese product, even though they found no significant difference between the milk from treated or untreated cows.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?

Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?

Many people in Honolulu, HI, take their good health for granted. They believe they’re healthier than they are. Most won’t visit the doctor and have the appropriate tests to prove they’re healthy or if they have a chronic underlying issue that needs to be addressed. These silent chronic illnesses are more dangerous or just as dangerous as any virus that spikes a fever or sends you to bed.

Do you have problems with chronic inflammation?

Inflammation is like fire. It’s beneficial in most cases unless it gets out of hand. It’s the body’s way of eliminating pathogens, damaged cells, and other irritants. It causes fevers that help destroy viruses and bacteria, preventing further damage. It helps speed the healing of wounds. Like fire, it can get out of control. Then the inflammation goes from acute to chronic. It is low-grade and can lead to serious conditions like cancer. Checking inflammation levels can identify problems earlier.

Are your belly bugs in balance?

Your gut microbiome controls more than just digestion. It plays a role in your overall health, including your mental health. Your microbiome is easier to control than several other issues in the body. Making lifestyle changes can help. The food you eat, medications, stress level, and weight can make a difference between a healthy microbiome and an unhealthy one. If your microbiome is off kilter, it can cause weight gain and other problems. If you’re chronically bloated and gassy, check with a doctor.

Are you getting the benefits of all the necessary minerals, vitamins, and nutrients?

Having a blood test can pinpoint any nutrient deficiencies, whether it’s vitamin D, iron, or other important nutrient. Having a blood profile can look at all the body’s nutrient levels and pinpoint areas where an improved diet could help. It also can show places where absorption isn’t adequate or some other health condition exists.

  • Your eyes can show when there’s an internal problem and so can your skin. Rashes, eczema, acne, and other skin problems indicate you may have an underlying health condition. Skin problems can also indicate digestive issues.
  • Are you getting a good night’s sleep without waking up several times throughout the night? If you sleep through the night and wake up refreshed, it’s a sign of a healthy lifestyle. Waking up tired is an indicator there’s a problem.
  • You don’t need a doctor to tell you that you’re getting winded doing simple tasks and that’s not good. If loading groceries into your car makes you want to sit and rest, talk to your doctor. You may need to increase your daily exercise, lose weight, or have a health issue that needs addressing.
  • Is your blood sugar stable? Do you go through super lows where your personality changes or you are ready to drop? Do you suffer from cravings that may indicate stress, hormonal imbalances, or instability of blood sugar?

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

The Top Benefits Of Walking For Fitness

The Top Benefits Of Walking For Fitness

It’s so beautiful in Honolulu, HI, that it’s amazing more people aren’t walking to their destinations but using their cars instead. There are so many benefits for overall fitness, physical and mental. Walking may be inconvenient if your errand involves bulky boxes or is at a distance, but for short distances, it saves gas and improves your fitness. Barring physical limitations, it’s an easy exercise almost everyone can do, providing cardio and weight-bearing benefits.

Walking is an excellent supplement to a traditional exercise program.

Exercise is all about being more active. If you’re already pursuing a scheduled workout program, you can supplement it with walking. It increases cardiovascular efficiency, extends endurance, and boosts leg strength. Walking is also a good recovery activity. If you’ve overworked your body doing traditional workouts, resting the next day is advised. That doesn’t mean laying on the couch. It does mean doing light activity that stimulates circulation to speed recovery. That’s the perfect description of walking.

Walking can help prevent osteoporosis and slow or reverse it once it starts.

Weight-bearing exercises like walking can help prevent the bone-thinning of osteoporosis. Exercise causes muscles to tug on the bone. That tugging causes the bone to uptake calcium for strength to resist the tugging. If there’s no exercise, there’s no tugging. Calcium is leached from the bone causing bone thinning and osteoporosis. Walking builds muscle tissue to prevent osteopenia, the loss of muscle tissue that precedes osteoporosis.

You’ll reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes when you walk.

Making your heart work a little harder is a good thing. If you don’t increase its efforts periodically, it becomes inefficient. Just like any muscle that you don’t use, it gets weaker. Walking keeps the heart pumping harder, boosting its strength. It also helps lower blood pressure by working large muscles in the legs. They produce nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to expand, making it easier for blood to flow and lowering blood pressure. It reduces bad cholesterol levels, helps you lose weight, and helps reduce the risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

  • Walking improves circulation, sending oxygen and nutrient-laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. Research shows that daily exercise like walking reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, improves dementia, and lessens the symptoms of depression.
  • Make your walking more effective by turning it into a HIIT—high intensity interval training—session. Just alternate the pace between peak intensity and recovery to do that. It burns more calories and gets faster results.
  • For people who are overweight or those with joint issues, walking is superior to running. It’s a low-impact exercise so there’s no pounding motion.
  • Walking also boosts your digestion, improves immune response, and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. You can increase benefits by adding arm and leg weights when you walk.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Most Effective Core Workouts For A Stronger Body

Most Effective Core Workouts For A Stronger Body

Your posture, digestion, and even your entire body are affected by the strength of your core muscles. That’s why workouts focusing on the core are so valuable. Every movement you make uses core muscles in one way or another. These muscles include the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abs. The abs and back muscles work together to keep you in balance, in an upright position. If one group is weak, it makes the other group work harder. It can force the back muscles to pick up the slack when the abs are weak. They must do extra work to maintain good posture. That can cause back issues and pain. It also affects your posture and makes you look heavier.

One of the best core workouts is the plank.

You’ll find a variety of plank modifications, but the basic plank is the most used for building abdominal and other core muscles. It’s simple enough. Get on the floor, lifting your body until your weight is on your forearms and toes. Keep your body straight, your arms bent at the elbow, and your upper arms at a 90-degree angle to the shoulders. That’s a low plank. For a high plank, continue lifting your body until your arms are straight and your weight is on your toes and the palms of your hands. Hold that position as long as possible, attempting to increase it as you get stronger.

Improve your core muscles by riding a bike and focusing on posture as you walk.

While it won’t give you flat abs immediately, riding a bicycle can work your abs and improve your core strength. The action of pedaling requires the use of several core muscles, but the real workout comes from balancing your body on the bike, especially during turns. You’ll only get that workout from riding a traditional bike, not the stationary bike in the gym. Combining bicycling as an aerobic exercise with ab workouts like the mountain climber provides the most benefits.

Do a glute bridge or burpees to build core strength.

A glute bridge starts by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You lift your buttocks, holding your abs and glutes tight until your body creates a straight line from your knees to your head. Hold that position as you squeeze your core muscles as tightly as possible, then slowly lower your body.

  • Consider doing walking lunges to improve your core muscles. Take a long stride forward as you lower your body into the lunge position. Raise your hands over your head to increase the effort to balance and work the core muscles more.
  • Walking and focusing on good posture can build core strength. Your head should be level with the floor, your shoulders should be back, and you should pull your abdomen in tightly.
  • Jump rope or use a hula hoop. You don’t have to have expensive equipment to improve core strength. Doing boxer jumps or high knee jumps can help.
  • We can create a workout program that increases strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. It will improve overall strength and include the best core strength exercises that get fast results.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

The Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

The Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

If you want to burn more fat, you have to burn more calories. One way to do that is by using HIIT, workouts. HIIT is an acronym for high intensity interval training. It’s not a specific workout but a way of doing any workout. It modifies the intensity throughout the workout by alternating between high-intensity to a recovery pace throughout the exercise period. The high intensity session can’t be achieved for long periods, by alternating between it and a recovery pace, you can exercise at peak intensity longer.

Using HIIT for running burns more calories, but does it burn more fat?

While you’ll burn tons of calories when you run, not all those calories come from fat. Some come from burning lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the easier it is to lose weight. How do you ensure that you’re burning more fat than muscle, whether you’re doing HIIT workouts or steady-state workouts? Do strength training.

Using HIIT to do strength training can ensure you’ll burn fat while you build muscle tissue.

One of the easiest ways to change a strength-building workout to a HIIT workout is to shorten the rest periods. It prevents the heart rate from dropping down to resting mode and keeps it moderately high at a recovery rate. It increases heart efficiency, burns fat, builds muscle tissue, and improves your endurance. You can also use cardio between sets as the recovery exercise. Pumping iron for a minute and switching to jumping rope for a minute is an example of a HIIT workout using strength-building.

Add weight to your HIIT workout.

Wearing weighted vests, wrist weights or ankle weights can burn extra calories and more fat when you do cardio HIIT workouts. Adding kettlebells to your workout program is another example of increasing cardiac fitness as you burn fat. Several kettlebell movements combine intensity and strength-building. You can also add movement to your dumbbell or barbell workouts. The combination of movement and strength-building makes it perfect for HIIT.

  • Alternating between push-pull exercises is similar to HIIT and burns fat. You’ll burn extra calories from compound workouts. When the pressing muscles work, the pulling muscles rest. That keeps your heart rate high.
  • Add weights to calisthenics. Do lunges holding barbells, going as fast as possible, then slowing to a recovery pace. Doing goblet squats holding a kettlebell or dumbbells also can be an effective HIIT workout.
  • Modifying any strength-building or cardio workout by three sets at peak intensity for one minute, moving quickly from one to another, then taking a one-minute break and starting the cycle again.
  • The amount of time spent at peak performance and recovery pace varies for each person. Get your heart rate high for as long as possible and switch back to recovery. Modify the time you spend at a recovery pace by how you feel.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Should You Be Stretching More?

Should You Be Stretching More?

When people in Honolulu, HI, start a workout program, they often begin with calisthenics or take up bicycling or running. Some venture into lifting weights. One area often overlooked is stretching. You can stretch to increase flexibility or use it as warm-up and cool-down exercises. Before a workout, stretching boosts circulation and warms the muscles to prepare the muscles for the task ahead. Stretching at the end of a workout acts as a cool-down exercise and also increases the range of motion while the muscles are warm and more flexible.

Stretching when you first wake up prepares your body for the day’s activities.

When you sleep, your body temperature drops. Your muscles relax completely. The first thing in the morning, you may yawn and stretch. It’s a natural reaction. The stretching warms the muscles and prepares them for use, and the yawn increases the oxygen intake in preparation for the activity. Stretching does the same thing for muscles before intense exercise. Circulation increases and sends adequate nutrients and oxygen. The muscles are more relaxed to help you perform the exercise and prevent muscle injury.

Stretching helps prevent muscle injuries.

If you don’t prepare your muscles before a workout, it can result in injury. The increased circulation increases the oxygen flow. If there isn’t an increase in oxygen, lactic acid can build up in the muscles. When you have a mild workout, the build-up is minor and clears quickly. That’s not what happens if the workout is intense or you’re out of shape. It builds to the point where the body can’t remove it quickly. If you stretch before working out and afterward, it helps with the process. When too much lactic acid builds, lactic acidosis occurs. It causes a pH imbalance that makes moving painful and increases recovery time.

Stretching can be done without other exercises to improve posture and reduce injury.

If your muscles are tight, doing simple activities like bending to tie your shoes or picking up a package can trigger pain, making every move unbearable. It can also cause bad posture that leads to difficulty breathing, constipation, heartburn, and incontinence. TMJ, a disorder of the muscles and joint in the jaw, can be caused by poor posture. It loosens the muscles and helps the body realign. Combine it with strength-building exercises to align the body and relieve many problems caused by poor posture.

  • You’ll prepare the heart for more strenuous exercise. The mild increase in circulation slowly builds the effort of the heart so it doesn’t suddenly have to go from resting to maximum effort, which can spike blood pressure.
  • Dynamic and static stretching are warm-up and cool-down exercises. Static is a cool-down exercise. It’s a stretch-and-hold exercise like toe-touching done after exercise when the muscles are warm. Dynamic exercise warms the muscles and involves movement, like lunges.
  • Stretching before doing strength-building workouts can speed the process of muscle-building. It increases the range of motion so there is fuller muscle extension and lets you work the muscles on all planes.
  • People with a desk job or sedentary lifestyle should stretch and move about once an hour. It helps prevent back pain and improves overall health.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Best Pre-Workout Foods

Best Pre-Workout Foods

Pre-workout foods can fuel your body through a grueling workout so you don’t hit a wall mid-session. You have to time the snack or meal properly to ensure it doesn’t upset your stomach. It takes a combination of protein and carbs to fuel your body through the session. The carbs replenish the glycogen stores and keep you fueled throughout the workout. It can improve your performance. The protein helps jumpstart your recovery by providing the necessary amino acids.

The snack should be between 100 to 200 calories unless you eat a full meal 2 to 3 hours earlier.

If you have a meal or snack, it should contain 60% carbohydrates. Snacks can be anything from apple slices with a spoon of peanut butter to a cup of Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. A slice of whole wheat bread spread with peanut butter and topped with some bananas or fruit puree is another good option. You can slice a pitted date and put nut butter in it. A broiled chicken breast, salad, vegetables, and fresh fruit can be a good pre-workout meal. Avoid any heavy gravies and excess butter. Too much fat can make you feel sick.

The quick fuel provided by the carbs is the key.

The protein starts the recovery process early, but the carbs are why you need a pre-workout snack. Make it healthy carbs. Simple carbs like sugar or sugary treats can leave you feeling shaky. Fruit is different. It contains fiber that slows the absorption of sugar and keeps your blood sugar level. On hot days, freeze banana slices, blend them, and top them with nuts for an ice cream-like treat that feels almost decadent.

Smoothies are a great option.

You can make a smoothie at home and drink it right before you leave for the gym. Include nuts, protein powder, or milk products like yogurt for the protein. The fruits and vegetables in smoothies provide the natural sugar to provide the necessary energy. You’ll also get health benefits from the phytonutrients in the fruits and vegetables. A hard-boiled egg with avocado toast. The avocado spread can be made from mashed avocados, some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, or other ingredients such as garlic.

  • Veggies and dip can be a good pre-workout snack. Make hummus from chickpeas as the dip or use yogurt as the base. You can even make cucumber slices topped with halved cherry tomatoes, chopped parsley, or olives.
  • Overnight oats or a cup of oatmeal make a good pre-workout snack. You can sweeten it with sweet berries as the carb. Since the oats are high in fiber, it slows glucose absorption. Adding a little honey for sweetness won’t give you the shakes. Just don’t add too much.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate when you eat your pre-workout snack. Staying hydrated during your workout is as important as the snack itself.
  • Chicken breast on whole wheat toast is another good pre-workout snack. A small omelet with some broccoli, red pepper, and cheese can also boost your energy in the gym.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

The Benefits Of Group Fitness

The Benefits Of Group Fitness

There’s no denying the benefits of private training with a personal trainer. You have a plan designed specifically for your needs, someone who holds you accountable, and watches to ensure you do every exercise correctly. Personal trainers also provide information to help you learn how to make dietary changes and eat healthier. Joining a group fitness class directed by a personal trainer can also bring those same benefits and add a few different ones.

Personal trainers still provide individualized programs for each member of the group.

It may look like everyone is doing the same thing in a group session, but that’s not necessarily true. While everyone may be doing push-ups, each person will have a different number of repetitions. Some may be doing modified forms of the push-up, such as bent-knee push-ups that are easier and better for beginners who lack strength. Others might be doing traditional push-ups or if they’re extremely fit, one-arm push-ups. Each person will work toward their maximum abilities, but still safely within their range.

Group workouts can save money without skimping on benefits.

You’ll get the same benefits as private training, but it won’t cost as much as a private session. Some trainers provide nutrition training that is also personalized. You’ll learn how to cook healthier and make dietary changes with consideration of food allergies, intolerance, and preference. The benefits may be the same, but it costs far less since everyone in the group shares the cost of the trainer’s time. Getting fit is far less expensive in group sessions.

Group sessions can be fun.

There’s a lot of comradery and even some competition in group classes. People often cheer each other on to new personal victories or challenge each other to improve. Sharing your journey toward fitness can be invigorating and confirming. The others keep you accountable and know when you don’t show up or are not putting in full effort. Working out with others can make it more fun.

  • Working in a group can help you create new friends. Unlike working out in a gym, where it’s impersonal with few people talking. People in a group class share the same goal to live a healthier lifestyle and often learn more about each other.
  • Getting help with nutrition can be even better when you’re learning it with a group. People can share ideas and recipes. They even can identify the foods that taste the best and their family loves.
  • You’ll still get individualized attention. The trainer first shows you how to do an exercise and then watches to ensure you do every movement correctly. Doing an exercise incorrectly minimizes the benefits and can lead to injury.
  • Group sessions can build long-lasting friendships. The friends you make also help you maintain your fitness long after the classes end.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!