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Cardio Boosts Your Health

cardio boosts your health

Cardiovascular exercise boosts your health in many ways. Regular aerobic activity makes everyday tasks like taking the stairs and playing with your kids a lot easier. You will also lower your risk of contracting diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Chances are you’ll have a lot of fun doing it as well.

CARDIO IMPROVES YOUR BODY

A Stronger Heart and Lungs

Your heart is a muscle. Like all muscles, it becomes stronger with exercise. Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart, lungs and blood vessels. Cardiovascular fitness is your body’s ability to take in and use oxygen. Being fit makes it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body.

Reduced Risk of Disease

Cardiovascular exercise reduces your risk of many diseases including heart disease and diabetes. 30 minutes or more of moderate aerobic exercise, five times (or more) a week is recommended for good health. If you are a beginner, you can work up to that gradually.

Stronger Immune System

Cardiovascular exercise strengthens your immune system and can help fight off infections. It reduces stress and inflammation, increases blood flow and strengthens antibodies. Cardio increases the activity of immune cells in the bloodstream looking for viruses.

CARDIO IMPROVES YOUR MIND

Reduce depression, anxiety and stress

Cardio can reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, it works as well as antidepressants. It can also lower your risk of developing depression in the future.

Cardio releases endorphins which improve your sense of well-being and elevates your mood. This reduces stress and anxiety, and improves your self-esteem.

Improves Sleep

Aerobic exercise helps you fall asleep faster and improves the quality of your sleep. It’s important to complete your workout more than two hours before bedtime.

Improves Thinking Skills and Memory

A good cardio session improves your focus, clarity and positive outlook. Regular aerobic exercise boosts your memory and thinking skills.

CARDIO HELPS YOU MANAGE YOUR WEIGHT

Burn Lots of  Calories

You can burn a lot of calories doing cardio. Switching up short bouts of high intensity with longer steady-state workouts is the way to go.

Boost Your Metabolism

Aerobic exercise boosts your metabolism so you will burn more calories daily.

Reduce Belly Fat

Cardio is one of the best ways to reduce belly fat.

BEGINNING YOUR CARDIO REGIMEN

If you are new to exercise, you can start small and build up from there. A five minute walk, ideally first thing in the morning can do wonders for your mood. Gradually work up to a more brisk walk for a longer duration.

At home you can try cardio moves like mountain climbers, jumping jacks, jump roping or high knees.

BOOSTING YOUR CARDIO REGIMEN

The best way to get your cardio fix is to mix it up. You want to vary the frequency, duration and intensity of your workouts. This prevents boredom and overtraining certain muscles. Start with an activity that you enjoy, such as jogging, dancing, cycling or roller skating.

High Intensity Interval Training

On days you are super motivated and/or short on time you can try HIIT, or high intensity interval training. These workouts are for people who are already conditioned. You’re going to work out for close to maximum effort for short bursts, followed by periods of low intensity or rest.

If you want to try a Tabata workout, you will work hard for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. Do this eight times through for 4 minutes, repeating for the desired number of cycles.

You could also do 30 seconds of intense activity followed by 30 seconds of easy activity. Once you’ve mastered that, work up to a 60/60 second split. If you are a well conditioned runner, cyclist or rower try a quarter mile hard, and then a quarter mile easy. You can work up to a mile hard, a mile easy.

Steady State Cardio

It’s good to alternate high-intensity or interval days with steady state workouts. If you recently did sprints or HIIT, go for a long steady run at a moderate pace.

Working at a lower intensity for an extended period of time is also great for beginners. It releases endorphins and boosts your endurance while requiring less effort.

High Intensity Strength Training

You can get cardio benefits from your strength training workouts as well. In fact, if you want to lose fat fast, strength training with an elevated heart rate is your ticket. You need to have a good athletic foundation for this type of workout. Perform fast intense circuits, targeting different muscle groups back to back. You could also do short sets of heavy weights.

Better Body Conditioning

The ideal program to improve body composition includes both cardio and strength training.

This is exactly what I do in my Better Body Conditioning class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10:30am.

You can join us in the Golden Home Fitness studio at 30 School Street in North Andover.

The classes are also streamed live on YouTube. [search “Golden Home Fitness”: Better Body Conditioning Class with Coach Laura”].

This is a fun, quick and simple way to get your cardio in!

RECOVERY

Regardless of how you incorporate cardio into your life, proper recovery is key. Listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night. Fortunately, doing lots of cardio can help you sleep like a baby!

TAKE AWAY

Cardio boosts your health. It lowers your risk of contracting many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. Aerobic exercise makes your heart, lungs and blood vessels stronger. It also boosts your immune system.

Cardiovascular exercise lowers stress, anxiety and depression, and helps you sleep better. Fitting cardio into your days may also improve your thinking and memory.

Aerobic exercise is great for weight management. You will burn lots of calories, boost your metabolism and fight belly fat.

If you are new to exercise, start slow and build up your endurance gradually. Walking is a great place to begin.

For more seasoned athletes, mixing it up is ideal. Try High Intensity Interval Training and alternate it with some steady state cardio. You can train without overworking certain muscles, getting bored or getting injured.

Cardiovascular exercise is fun and exhilarating. It improves your physical and mental wellbeing in countless ways. But be forewarned – I know from personal experience, that aerobic exercise can be very habit forming!
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Military.com; health.harvard.edu; healthline.com; medicalnewstoday.com; wikihow.com; livestrong.com; xtremefitstpete.com; insider.com; runnersworld.com; dignityhealth.org; hopkinsmedicine.org

cardio boosts your health

Healthy Snow Day Strategies

A snow day is a great opportunity to bond with your family and relieve stress. Ideally it allows you to leave your regular schedule behind and have some fun.  Here are lots of healthy snow day strategies.

Many people stock up on all their favorite foods for a snow day. It’s fun to share a special treat like hot maple syrup on fresh snow, or hot chocolate with marshmallows. But food does not need to be the main focus of the day. Purchasing nutritious foods, and avoiding too many temptations is a healthy snow day strategy.

Exercise Your Mind

Why not hold a Family Book Club Meeting on your next snow day? You can read a chapter of a family favorite and then discuss it. Or each person can read a chapter of their favorite book and then give the family a recap. Reading is a great way to de-stress and exercise your mind.

Exercise Your Body

Speaking of exercise, working out with your family is a healthy snow day strategy.  As parents you will be modeling good behavior and showing your children how fun exercise can be. If you don’t have weights at home, you can do bodyweight exercises, or use soup cans as your dumbbells.  You can also purchase 5 pound and 10 pound weights and lots of other equipment at goldenhomefitness.com.

Moves like squats, lunges, bicep curls, pushups, tricep dips, bridges and planks can be part of a great family workout. Two sets of 10 reps each is a good place to start. You can provide some friendly competition with a final ‘Push up or Plank challenge’ and hand out medals for different awards.

There are many ways to get a good workout in, even during a snowstorm or Pandemic.  One of the best is to work out with a Golden Home Fitness Personal Trainer in the comfort of your own home.  All you need is our Golden Home Fitness app and your phone, tablet or laptop.  For your free Golden Home Fitness in-person or virtual workout click here.

Shoveling may not always be optional, but it can be a good workout.  Be sure to bend your knees and not to overextend yourself.  A shoveling contest is a great way to get everyone involved.

You could also go sledding, create a fort, snowshoe, have a snowball fight or build a snowman or snow woman.

Why not have a relay race or set up a circuit with jumping jacks, high knees, jump squats and snow angels? Working out together is a great way to bond, feel energized and de-stress.  It is one of our favorite healthy snow day strategies.

Reward Yourself and Relax

A post-workout reward routine is also an awesome tradition to start. Stretching, listening to your favorite music, or taking a warm bubble bath will feel like bliss. You can create a Snow Day Family Spa where you massage each other’s shoulders and paint each other’s nails.

Get Creative

Getting creative can make snow days a lot of fun. Why not create the grand opening of your own Family Museum? You can make play dough statues, watercolor masterpieces or origami butterflies. Each member of the family can opt to write a poem or short story and read it to the group.

Nourish Your Body and Soul

Snow days are a great time to get out of your normal routine. You can have breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. Treats are great but having too many of them diminishes them, and doesn’t do us any favors in the long run.

Why not come up with a new family soup recipe? Each person can prepare and add his or her favorite ingredient to the pot. Homemade soup will taste even better after an active day, especially if you’ve worked out in the cold. Reading “Stone Soup” together would make this dinner extra special and memorable.  It is a European folk story about the value of sharing.

The next time a snow day rolls around, remember that creativity, physical activity and nourishing meals are healthy snow day strategies. The right combination of activities will help you truly bond and enjoy each other’s company. We hope your next snow day is lots of fun, whatever combination of controlled chaos you come up with!

Alcohol and Your Weight

After ringing in the new year with a champagne toast, let’s get the skinny on alcohol. Drinking too much leads to high blood pressure, insulin resistance and a host of diseases. Yet having a glass of red wine can be beneficial. The compounds in red wine have disease-fighting and anti-aging properties.  Drinking red wine in moderation can boost gut, brain and heart health.


For those of us who drink, how much we drink is key. A moderate amount for women is thought to be one glass a day, while two a day is moderate for men. It is possible to maintain a healthy weight while drinking alcohol. But if you are struggling with your weight, avoiding alcohol can make all the difference. Here are all the reasons why.

 

How Alcohol Affects Your Weight


While many people think that alcohol calories don’t count, that is not the case. Alcohol is high in calories and so are most mixers. One fancy drink can have as many calories as a meal. Did you know that a pint of lager can have as many calories as a slice of pizza? Believe it or not, your frozen margarita might have as many calories as a cheeseburger!


Not only does alcohol have lots of calories but in many cases those are empty calories. Instead of ingesting very little or no nutrients, you could have a healthy filling meal.


Alcohol can have lots of empty calories and it also stimulates your appetite. When your body takes in empty calories, it searches for the nutrients it expected but did not receive. This affects your hormones and triggers hunger signals.


Not only can alcohol make you feel hungry, but it also lowers your inhibitions. This can lead to two issues: excessive eating and drinking, and poor food choices.


When you have a drink, your body burns off the alcohol first because it cannot be stored. The calories from your previous meal are subsequently stored as fat.

Alcohol interferes with how efficiently your body burns fat. Hormones, including testosterone, are affected by alcohol consumption. This can harm your capacity for burning fat and forming muscle.


Your digestive system has to work extra hard to get rid of the alcohol you consume. This leads to poor digestion, and you may not absorb as many nutrients from your diet. Extra stress is put on your intestines, stomach and organs when you drink.


Drinking too much can have a negative effect on your organs, particularly the liver. The liver’s job is to filter foreign substances from your body. If you develop alcoholic fatty liver, your body has a hard time metabolizing carbs and fats. This makes weight loss very difficult.


Alcohol can cause excess belly fat, particularly in men which is why many men are said to have “beer bellies.”  


Alcohol consumption not only causes belly fat, but it can also affect your sleep. You’re likely to wake up a lot and feel less rested in the morning after drinking. Your hormones which control satiety, hunger and energy storage can become unbalanced.


Drinking alcohol affects your mindset, as well as your sleep. You are much less likely to have the motivation and energy to be active or productive, to workout or to eat right after drinking.

 

Tips for Managing Your Weight


If you want to maintain or lose weight while still drinking in moderation, here are some tips. Try drinking only on the weekend or on certain days. If you are following a diet, make sure you include all drink calories in your daily count. Use a smaller glass (or shorter pour). Alternate your alcoholic beverages with a tall glass of water.

Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.  Veggies, fruit, popcorn and hummus are all good accompaniments.  Having food in your stomach helps you absorb the alcohol more slowly. This might help you make better choices. 

Switch to red wine. It is thought to be the healthiest choice and has anti-aging properties.  

If you are struggling to maintain a healthy weight, cutting out alcohol may be your answer. You are 30 percent less likely to become overweight if you don’t drink, or are a light to moderate drinker. Alcohol can contain lots of empty calories, makes you hungry and leads to poor food choices.  Alcohol also impacts your digestion, fat burning capacity, mindset and sleep. When it comes to weight loss and good health, avocado toast trumps tequila shots any night of the week!

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Betterhealth.vic.gov.au; www.health.com; healthline.com; newstoday.com; medlineplus.gov; theguardian.com

Better Body Conditioning Class

Golden Home Fitness is Offering a Better Body Conditioning Class at 30 School Street in North Andover starting on January 1, 2022 at 10:00am

Better Body Conditioning Class

Are you excited to start a brand new year off right? Here’s the perfect opportunity! Golden Home Fitness is offering a Better Body Conditioning class starting on Saturday, January 1, 2022 at 10:00am. The class will take place in our beautiful new studio at 30 School Street and Main in North Andover (across from Town Hall). It will be offered every week at 10:00am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Better Body Conditioning is geared for beginners to intermediate athletes. If you have been carrying a few extra pounds…if the Pandemic has messed with your fitness routine…if you want to tone up and not feel so blah…or if you are finally ready to escape the virtual-only world, this class is for you.
Improving your conditioning is a great way to reduce health risks, improve your muscle tone and endurance and to feel better. We will increase your strength and endurance, working all your major muscle groups. The workout will also include core training and stretching for a complete workout.
Improving your conditioning will increase your lean muscle mass and metabolism which will help you burn more calories on a regular basis. This is a great way to begin or accelerate your weight loss journey, or to get back in the fitness game.
We will use a variety of exercise techniques, focusing on learning the correct form of fundamental conditioning exercises. The class will evolve with you so you don’t have to worry about it being too challenging at first, or not challenging enough as you progress.
Energetic and uplifting music will motivate us, and so will your instructor and classmates. As a matter of fact, I will be your instructor and I could not be more excited to get to know you and to build a new community of athletes right here in downtown North Andover. I have enjoyed empowering clients to live healthier lives as a Personal Trainer for the past nine years. As a local Mom of two, I know the challenges we face, particularly in terms of trying to find the time and motivation to exercise. Working out together makes it so much more do-able and enjoyable.
So what do you say — are you in? What do you have to lose? Let’s make 2022 an amazing year!
 

Check out the new Class Here!

 

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