Fitness Blog

Osteoporosis and Fitness: Reduce Your Risk

By: Kathryn Pontius, Certified Personal Trainer

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As women, we are at a higher risk than men for developing the age-related bone density disorder, Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes our bones to become thinner and more porous. This makes us less able to support our own body weight. Osteoporosis can affect our quality of life as well as limit our ability to be independent. Bone density loss happens rapidly after menopause, and by the age of 50, about half of all women and men will break a bone because of Osteoporosis.

Don’t worry, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your risk of developing Osteoporosis. A diet full of calcium and vitamin D is helpful, as well as participating in physical activity. Studies show weight bearing exercises not only prevent bone density loss but also encourage bone growth. Shoulder, wrist, and hip joints as well as your spine are common sites where bone density loss occurs. These are great areas to strengthen through exercise.

If you have Osteoporosis, consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. If you are hoping to reduce your risk, be sure to start slow and work with someone who can show you the proper way to work out.

An ideal work out would include aerobic weight bearing exercises, resistance training, and flexibility exercises. It is important to note that these exercises should be done to improve muscle strength, therefore conserving bone mass, and should not generate joint pain. Exercises should be performed at low to moderate intensities.

If you have any questions or want to start reducing your risk of Osteoporosis, call and make an appointment with one of our fitness specialists today!

Spring Clean Your Workout

Spring has finally arrived and it is the perfect time to spring clean your workout routine. After the long winter months, this time of year is great to reevaluate and revitalize your workout! Here are some of the best and easiest ways to make sure you are getting the most out of your routine.

1.     Footwear: First and foremost, make sure you are wearing the proper footwear for your workout. Depending on your goals, there are many sneakers to choose from nowadays. The best choices are lightweight and flexible. Make sure you are not wearing a shoe that is too heavy as  it will tire you out and slow you down a lot sooner than a lightweight shoe selection. You should also purchase your workout sneakers at least ½ size larger than your regular shoe size as this will allow you to have more flexibility and decrease any strain on your toes.

2.     Plan your workouts: One of the main reasons people give up on working out is due to lack of planning. Each week you should draw up what your workout for the entire week will look like. Be sure to plan at least 3-4 days of cardio lasting for 30-45 minutes during each session. Incorporating weights is key. Strength training helps to build lean muscle and boosts your resting metabolic rate so that you will burn calories for hours after your workout!

3.     Incorporate Interval Training: If you don’t already, you should incorporate interval training into your routine. By alternating your speed every few minutes helps to build cardiovascular endurance, improves speed and burns tons of calories. Before trying interval training, be sure to speak to your physician about the benefits and risks of this workout regimen.

4.     Stop Spot Training: Exercising a specific area of the body with the expectation to eliminate fat in that particular location is almost impossible. Every person is an individual and has different genetics. To attack problem areas, many factors need to be considered including hormonal imbalances as well as diet. In order to properly tackle those problem areas, you must use a total body approach. You need to assess your exercise routine as well as nutritional intake and genetics. The more you know about these 3 things, the more you will see a change in those problem areas.

5.     Cool Down: After a long workout the last thing most people want to do is a cool down. Cooling down your body is very important. It helps to bring your heart rate down and relax your muscles. It also helps to alleviate feeling sick afterwards. Be sure to stretch! Stretching also relaxes muscles but also helps to speed circulation to your joints.  

Get Moving...In the Workplace!

In today’s day and age most of us hold a position within a company where we are mostly sedentary the entire day and sit in front of a computer screen. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American typically works more than 40 hours per week. Let’s think about that: most of us are sitting for 8-9 hours per day without much movement! In order to break this vicious cycle of the sedentary work life, here are some daily exercises that can be done in the office to get moving!

1.     Morning Commute: Each morning we usually take public transportation or drive into the office. In order to burn some early morning calories, park a few blocks away from the office so that you can get in a quick walk. Bike to work if you are in biking distance and if you take public transportation, get off at an earlier stop than usual and walk the remainder of the commute.

2.     Glute Seat Squeeze: While sitting at your desk, you are able to get in a silent glute workout in without anyone even noticing! To start, simply squeeze the buttock, hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat 3-4 times. This one is a lot harder than expected!

3.     Triple “T”: Tone Those Thighs: If you are looking to tone your inner thighs, grab an extra ream of paper lying around the office, place between the inner thighs and squeeze in for 30-60 seconds and release. This office exercise will have those inner thighs in shape in no time!

4.     The Rolling Stone: During those winter months, it is very hard to get outside and walk around during your lunch break. Until then, take a break every 2 hours or so and walk around the office. Catch up with a team member in person rather than sending that long email you had written or walk over to a  new employee and welcome them to the office.

5.     Lunch time Crunch Time: Right as your lunch break starts, you have plenty of time to work on some desk crunches. Yes, I said it: desk crunches. It’s possible, believe me. Place both elbows on your thighs and curl your chest in towards your legs but be sure to resist with the arms. Hold for at least 10-15 seconds, release and repeat 8-10 times.

Exercise, Immunity and You!

The cold and flu season is in full swing and you’re doing everything in your power to ward off pesky viruses but you still don't feel 100%. You have been getting plenty of sleep, eating healthier, and received your annual flu shot. However, have you been exercising regularly? Recent studies have shown that moderate exercise can help boost your immune system. 

Exercise: An Immune Booster

Your immune system is the body’s natural defense against infection. It helps fight viruses and diseases that you are exposed to regularly.  Exercising for 30 to 45 minutes a day can improve your chances of warding off viruses such as colds and may lower your risk of developing heart disease and certain types of cancer. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, exercising regularly can help to flush bacteria from the lungs.

For example, during moderate exercise, the body increases the amount of macrophages, which are the cells that attack bacteria, temporarily. During exercise, the body also circulates immune cells throughout your system more efficiently. After exercise, the immune system returns to normal, but habitual exercise may be able to make these changes long lasting.

Everything in Moderation

Working out at an intense level (such as marathon running or intense gym training) is okay from time to time, but is not recommended for daily practice.  Intense training may cause a decrease in the amount of white blood cells circulating in the body which in turn will make you more vulnerable to contracting a cold or virus. Remember, the body needs a period of time to recover from workout routines.

Exercising when you are sick is okay if your symptoms are mild, but pushing too much can be dangerous especially if your symptoms are more severe.  Be sure to always consult with your primary care provider to learn what level of activity is safe.

Let’s Get Moving

To improve you’re immune system and decrease your chances of getting sick it’s important to incorporate the right amount of exercise into your daily routine. Light to moderate exercise a few times a week can be useful, while intense workouts can be detrimental. Talk to your doctor about what level of physical activity is right for you, especially if you are feeling under the weather.

Now, let’s get moving!

Avoid a Winter Workout Slump

With the arrival of winter, most of us are guilty of allowing our workout routines to hibernate. Our specialists here at RWWC composed this list of tips on how to avoid that winter workout slump.

1.     Get a flu shot – The flu is a surefire way to immediately put your workout on the backburner. It is far worse than the common everyday winter’s cold and with symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough, you can almost guarantee you will throw off that perfect schedule you have been dedicated to the past few months. Once your routine has been sidetracked, we all know how hard it is to get back into your daily grind. If you are looking to keep your exercise routine on track this winter, get a flu shot so that you can avoid being out of commission for a week (or longer).

2.     Try something indoors – Winter is not an easy time to exercise outdoors. If you prefer to workout indoors during the winter try out that new DVD you have been eyeing up on Amazon, check out the class schedule at your local gym or the Bikram (Hot Yoga) class you have been putting off for the past few months. Trying something new and exciting that you enjoy will definitely keep you more motivated!

3.     Try something fun outdoors – Running outdoors during the winter can be a recipe for disaster if you are not accustomed to it. There are many winter activities that can torch those holiday calories quickly. Ice skating is notorious for burning major calories. One full hour of moderate ice skating can burn up to 500 calories! Why not bring your significant other with you to the new Dilworth Plaza Skating Rink for a fun night out on the town with the added benefits of exercise?! If you are more adventurous and like to go skiing or snowboarding, this can burn anywhere from 500-630 calories per hour and you will get to workout those muscles you often forget about.  

Workout Motivation Tips

There are a number of completely legitimate reasons you lost motivation to exercise. Work, family/friends, or maybe you just don’t feel like it. Whatever the case, there are numerous ways to combat the temptations that keep you from reaching your fitness goals. Here are some tips to stay motivated to workout. 

Keep your fitness gear in sight

You know the old saying, out of sight, out of mind? Well, if your yoga mat is tossed in the back of your closet, then you’re less likely to attend class, right? Simple visual cues can serve as a reminder to keep fitness a priority. Try placing your gym clothes next to your bed or weights close to your door.

Recall a positive memory

Remember the time you ran that extra mile, nailed your core workout, or logged in an extra hour at the gym? Positive memories can be utilized to boost your motivation levels. Studies have shown that individuals who recall positive memories are more likely to exercise than those who don’t. So the next time you’re on the verge of skipping a day at the gym, take a stroll down memory lane.

Keep track of your progress

One of the most discouraging aspects about exercising is you don’t physically notice the results right away. Keep a fitness calendar or journal to track your progress. This way you can actually see the work you’re putting into each routine.

 And remember to always reward yourself!

Outdoor Exercise Tips for Fall

Summer has come to a close and we now welcome the Fall season with open arms! This is a great time of year to exercise outdoors during those brisk, chilly mornings on Kelly Drive. In order to prepare for your new fall fitness routine, follow  these tips from our fitness specialists.

1. Dress Appropriately: The fall can be a finicky season with some mornings cooler than others. You want to make sure that you are wearing the proper attire. You want to be warm enough for the conditions but wear breathable clothes such as Under Armour's outdoor gear to help release the heat your body is producing during your workout.

2. Exercise Early: You just woke up from your 8 hours and you should feel refreshed and ready to face the day. Energy is known to be highest in the morning for most people but exercise is also known to boost energy levels for hours after your workout. Wake up, work out and you should be completely ready to tackle you day. 

3. Avoid Severe Weather: We all hate missing a workout when we are on a consecutive schedule whether it be 3 or 5 days a week but please be mindful when there is snow, ice or freezing rain outside. Once the roads clear, then you should go outside or hit the gym for the day. 

4. Hydrate: Even though you are outside during the cool months working out, it is still very important to remain hydrated. During the summer months, the temperature is a lot warmer which makes you reach for that water bottle but as the temperature drops so does your thirst. Please be sure even if you are not overheated to remain hydrated so that your body can function properly.  

5. Workout with a Friend: Once we set our clocks back one hour, it becomes darker earlier. If you are going to exercise outside, make sure to bring a friend along. This way, you can motivate each other but it is also a great safety precaution! 

3 Exercises to Tone Your Glutes

By: Ashley Greenblatt, Certified Personal Trainer

The days of stick-figure physiques are a thing of the past. Strong is the new sexy and your backside is taking center stage. There are songs dedicated to it, Kardashian empires built upon it — no ifs, ands or butts about it, a shapely posterior is what women want and men desire. So, pick up your phones and deflated derrieres ladies and gents, because we are dialing in a bun burner booty call. If your caboose has taken a backseat in your workout routine, you can channel your inner Brazilian beach babe with this tushie-torching workout:

Step It Up. Elevation is key when it comes to toning your tail. To perform a proper step-up, aim for a height that allows the knee to bend at a 90-degree angle. This allows the glutes to achieve a strong contraction during the step up phase of the exercise. Protect your knees by placing your body weight onto the heel of the working leg, rather than on the ball of your foot. This concept is important to practice during any glute exercise, as it is a common mistake that leads to many knee-related injuries. Practice this exercise several times until you achieve a steady, consistent balance. When ready, further the intensity by adding free-weights to the routine.

Pop a Squat. Looking to add a little junk to your trunk? Squatting is the all-star of glute exercises because it gets the job done by zoning in on the muscles necessary to plump your posterior. There is no excuse for skimping on this exercise because it can be done virtually anywhere, and further allows for a myriad of progressions to keep your glutes guessing.

The easiest way to squat with proper form is to mimic the motion of your body as you lower yourself into a chair. As a Personal Trainer, I always have my clients practice the sit-down/stand-up sequence prior to beginning a squatting routine. It is essential to first have good form before adding weights into the mix. As previously stated, you’ll want to place your weight in the heels of your feet to activate your posterior muscles (doing so will prevent shear-force on the knee caps, which will cause knee joint damage over time). Maintain a shoulder width distance in your stance, sit back on your heels, and keep your core activated with your chest up-right. Congratulations, you just did one squat.

Kick Butt. Hip extensions, also known as Donkey Kicks, exclusively target the glute muscles and cause your bum to burn baby, burn. Take a load off and drop down onto all fours (you will need a mat or carpeted floor for this). Align your hands beneath your shoulders and extend one leg behind you to hip-height, then lower your knee until it hovers about an inch from the floor. As always, keep that core engaged and your back strong. Complete 10-15 reps and switch legs.
Amplifying your ass(ets) doesn’t have to be a pain in the butt. Implement these three simple, yet effective exercises into your weekly workout routine to transform your bum from jello to J. Lo.

Staying Healthy While on Vacation

By: Kathryn Pontius, Certified Personal Trainer

The last thing anyone wants to do while on vacation is think about working out. You are on vacation to take a break from the stresses in your life. You want a little rest without the work phone calls and constant stream of emails. You want some relaxation without feeling guilty about the gym membership you aren’t using or all the calories you just consumed in your Pina Colada. But you also don’t want to come back from vacation only to find your getaway added inches to your waist! It is possible to stay healthy and enjoy your vacation with a few helpful hints!

1.       Moderation- Don’t deny yourself the fruity cocktails by the pool or the all you can eat fresh seafood dinners. But do each in moderation. Limit yourself to one or two sugar filled cocktails before switching to something less caloric. Pack a lunch to bring to the beach if you know you are going to have a decadent dinner. Try to eat local and fresh fruits and vegetables to experience the cuisine and stay healthy.

2.       Walk more- explore your surroundings by foot. Walk to the local market or to the restaurant for dinner. Take a stroll on the beach looking for shells. Find a beautiful mountain hike to take to get a picturesque view of the sunset. It’s not only a great way to see more of the destination but it’s also a great way to exercise!

3.      Try a local activity- Go snorkeling. Take kayaks out on the lake. Rent bikes and go for an evening bike ride around town. Take a surfing lesson. Try stand-up paddle boarding. No matter what type of vacation you are on, there are bound to be new and exciting things to try that will keep you active while you have fun!  

Enjoy the rest of your summer! It’s not too late to start working toward your fitness goals. We would love you help you! Call RWWC today! 

Summer Workout Mistakes to Avoid

By: Kathryn Pontius, Certified Personal Trainer

It is no secret this summer is gearing up to be a hot one! After such a brutal winter, it is wonderful to finally be able to exercise outdoors. But with this comes added risks like dehydration, sunburn, or chafing. Here are a few common mistakes to prevent unhealthy or uncomfortable workout sessions.

1.     Drinking coffee before a work out

Coffee can actually dehydrate you. Stick to water to hydrate pre-workout

2.     Sleeping in

While it is tempting in the hot summer months to stay up a little later, since it stays light later, don’t let that keep you from your morning workout. Temperatures rise earlier in the day in the summer, putting off your workout, even by an hour, can cause overheating. Try to work out early or in the evening once the temperatures have fallen.

3.     Wearing Dark or loose fitting clothing

Dark clothes absorb heat and put you at risk for overheating. While some people don’t like form fitting clothes or think tight clothes don’t allow for ventilation, loose clothes combined with sweat can make for some very uncomfortable workouts.

4.     Not re-fueling post workout

Both water and food need to be replenished within 30 minutes of a workout session. When it’s hot, people tend not to want to eat big meals, but try something small and nutrient rich.  

5.     Not bringing water to a pool workout

Your body loses water during a pool workout just like it does on land and it is easy to forget that. Staying hydrated is just as important at the pool as anywhere else.

6.     Only hydrating during your workout

It is very important to pre hydrate and post hydrate as well!

Enjoy the warm weather and summer freedom, but stay smart and healthy by not making these common mistakes. For more help with your personal fitness goals make an appointment to see a fitness specialist at RWWC today!

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