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Physical Fitness + Personal Trainer = Success

August 26th, 2013 3:38 am

Whether you are just beginning a new exercise routine or you are trying to kick your current fitness plan up a notch, a personal trainer can be a great way to improve the quality and longevity of your workouts. While the economy may not be booming, there are affordable trainers who will work with you on a sliding scale. Working on a personal trainer can be gentle on your pocketbook, while incredibly beneficial for your health!
Some of the benefits that you can experience from hiring a personal trainer are:
• Structure: A personal trainer will add structure to your workout and will help you stick to your fitness plans. Having someone to answer to who creates goals and expects results from you gives you a built-in motivation that you might otherwise not have.
• Monitoring: An effective personal trainer will also help monitor your body composition as you go through your training program. This is especially useful if weight loss and muscle building are your goals. The trainer will regularly measure and test your body fat and muscle mass, and this will help you adjust your fitness regime as needed.
• Cardio-Input: Your personal trainer can offer you the best prescription for the type of cardiovascular workout you need to achieve your fitness goals. If your goal is to shed extra pounds, the trainer will determine your target heart rate and adjust your workout to make sure you are hitting that target rate. The trainer will then set your aerobic activities up, and these could range from moderate swimming or walking to long-distance running.
• Goal-Setting: A qualified trainer will help you set realistic and achievable personal goals to which you can stick. The trainer will not put you on a crash diet and guarantee results in two weeks. Instead, he will help you meet your goals in a reasonable time frame that is healthy for your body.
• Record-Keeping: Your trainer will keep a record of your workouts. This way, you can look at how well you are doing, how soon you achieve your goals, and what it took to get to the pot of gold at the end of your fitness rainbow.
• Variety: Working out alone can often be a tedious exercise and that probably explains why so many people start an exercise regimen and quit it before they ever achieve their goals. Having a personal trainer work with you almost guarantees that you will add variety and even fun to your workout routine.

With effort, commitment and dedication, working out with a personal trainer can help you achieve your fitness goals. So long as you are willing to put in the time and rise to the demands of training, this kind of investment is worth your while. With these facts in mind, consider hiring someone to help you with your workout goals and succeed this time around!

Is It Safe to Drink Coffee During Pregnancy?

June 24th, 2013 6:36 am

Women should consider giving up coffee in pregnancy. Though you may be hesitant to give up your morning cup of coffee, caffeine has been associated with a number of prenatal risks. When consumed in high doses, caffeine has even been linked with increased rates of miscarriage. The main concern with coffee is its caffeine content. If you regularly have more than 200mg of caffeine while you’re pregnant, you are more at risk of miscarriage or having a baby with a low birth weight.

Plus, as it does in adults, caffeine can increase a baby’s heart rate. Also, because a fetus’ immature liver can’t rid itself of the caffeine as quickly as an adult liver, the caffeine may remain in the fetus’ bloodstream longer, and at higher levels. A further caution is that caffeine has similar metabolic effects as the stress hormone adrenaline; both can theoretically reduce blood flow to the uterus. Recent studies have focused on the effects of coffee intake during pregnancy. A large-scale Danish study polled more than 80,000 pregnant women regarding their coffee intake. This study found that women who drank large amounts of coffee during pregnancy were more likely to experience a miscarriage. Women who drank more than 2 cups of coffee a day had a slightly increased risk of miscarriage, while those that drank 8 or more cups experienced a 59% increase. This is why it is so important to watch your caffeine intake during pregnancy.

Interestingly, this Danish study found that this considerably greater risk of miscarriage was specific to coffee. Other caffeinated beverages and foods did not present the same significant increase, leading researchers to believe that other chemicals contained in coffee could possibly play a role in causing miscarriage.

Besides being harmful for your developing baby, caffeine in coffee — at least in high doses — could be harmful to you. Research suggests that pregnant women detoxify caffeine at a slower rate while pregnant, allowing the caffeine to build up to higher levels in the bloodstream and remain in the system longer, compounding its effects. Caffeine also has a diuretic effect, which can increase the frequency of urination (increasing your already- frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom) and can possibly lead to dehydration. Also, it can lessen the absorption of iron from foods in your diet during pregnancy.

Just as quitting smoking and drinking can be difficult, it can also be hard to eliminate caffeine from your daily diet. After all, caffeine is an addictive drug. Here are some tips on how to reduce your caffeine intake and ensure that you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.

• Cut back on your caffeine intake slowly. Going cold turkey can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms, like headaches and nausea.

• Try replacing your caffeinated beverages with non-caffeinated ones, like decaf coffee.

• Exercise regularly to help combat any withdrawal symptoms and to stay energized.

• Stay hydrated. Drinking lots of water will help you manage cravings and fatigue.