Staying Active While Socially Distancing

Staying Active While Socially Distancing

The people of Totowa, NJ, have valiantly followed the rules and regulations to help prevent the spread of the virus and staying active is part of that fight, but staying active, while also social distancing. We are proud of how the people of our area have handled this time of crisis and vowed to do our part to ensure success. Staying healthy and fit is a key component in that struggle. That’s why we’ve offered a number of ways to help clients do that. It’s also why we’ve taken special measures to make sure that the gym is clean, at reduced capacity and people are safely spaced apart.

Private sessions are a safe way to go and easy to control.

It makes sense that if you want to follow social distancing dictates, private training sessions would be the best way to do it. While it gives you the benefit of a smaller potential of exposure to others, it also provides more benefits. Working one-on-one with a trainer is the ultimate training experience and one of the best ways to social distance. The trainer creates a program designed specifically for your needs and can identify more clearly areas where you need extra help, while also checking your form.

Working out in a group, but keeping a safe distance.

Group workouts may seem difficult to social distance, but it’s far easier than it is in a retail store. I’m proud to say that, while it seems hard to workout in a group and keep people at the same time, we tackled the problem and found the solution. Smaller and fewer groups at one time, so people can stay safe distances from one another. It’s actually easier to maintain that social distance in the gym than it is in the grocery or other retail store. It’s a smaller group of people and ones who are more aware of taking care of their health.

We have a cleaning strategy in place and instructions on maintaining social distancing.

Ensuring that Prime Fitness is a clean and well-maintained gym has always been part of our mission, but more focus has been placed on immediately cleaning equipment and the area, since Covid-19. We focus on small groups and individual workouts, until it’s safe. Part of avoiding the ravages of the virus is staying healthy and we can help you reach that with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

  • Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable deaths and Covid-19 has made us all more aware of the dangers. All studies show that obesity and the diseases it causes, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, increase the risk of mortality from this virus.
  • To maintain social distancing, we limit the number of people in our classes. Please call ahead to ensure there’s a spot for you.
  • Create your own group session by coming with immediate family members, caretakers, household members or your significant other. It limits the exposure from people outside your family.
  • High touch areas are sanitized frequently for your safety.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

Do You Need a 7-Day Sugar Detox

Do You Need a 7-Day Sugar Detox

Sugar seems to be added to almost all foods. In fact, if you grab for that low fat yogurt, thinking it’s a healthy option, read the label first. It probably contains sugar to make it more palatable. Barbecue, soft drinks, fruit juice, ketchup and even protein bars and granola all contain hidden sugar. Too much sugar in your diet has a detrimental affect on your health, so to combat those problems and reset your taste buds, a 7-day sugar detox could be right for you.

What are the problems you face with a seven-day sugar detox?

Depending on your normal eating habits, giving up added sugar can be difficult. It seems like sugar is in everything that’s processed, so it requires more cooking from scratch, so you can control the ingredients. Sugar is also addictive and you’ll find you crave sugary treats, especially after a meal of for a snack. Some people experience depression, anxiety, difficulty sleeping and even the inability to focus. Others may experience dizziness, nausea and fatigue. It all depends on how much sugar you normally consume.

While it isn’t a traditional detox with a strict menu, it does require planning your menus.

The only way to ensure the food doesn’t contain added sugar is to read packages and plan meals ahead. There are at least 65 different names for sugar, and even more if you count artificial sweeteners, which also need to be banned, so unless you know them all, stick with homemade and simple ingredients. Avoid tortilla shells and make a lettuce wrap taco instead. Yes, they contain sugar. Make your own salad dressing and avoid bottled dressing, since it has added sugar. Make your own vinaigrette and use fruit in the salad to sweeten it.

Don’t give up fruit, but limit the intake.

Fruit is naturally sweet, but that doesn’t help you kick the sugar habit if you eat too much. Luckily, sugar also contains fiber, so it doesn’t cause a spike in your blood sugar level. You can use fresh fruit as a snack but limit the amount or mix small amounts in a salad for flavor. If you are having severe withdrawal symptoms, an apple or mashed frozen or fresh fruit with nuts in yogurt is a good dessert to help you get past the craving. It becomes easier and easier the longer you cut out sugar. Eat a higher amount of fat and protein. Nuts are the greatest for snacks and contain absolutely no sugar. So are fresh veggies and hummus.

  • Fruit juice often has added sugar and those that don’t still have a high amount of natural sugar. You’re better off eating the fruit that has fiber, to slow the absorption of sugar and the sugar high.
  • You also have to watch more than just what you eat. What you drink is important, too, which includes soft drinks and performance drinks.
  • Focus on simple meals. A salad with homemade dressing, baked fish, Buddha bowls from leftovers and soups are easy dishes. There are so many recipes without added sweetener, your choice is almost unlimited.
  • You’ll be amazed at how much your taste seems to change after just a week. Natural fruit tastes sweet and food with added sugar tastes too sweet. After a strict week of no sugar, you may find you like the flavor of natural foods.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

What Is Gut Health?

What Is Gut Health?

Besides getting adequate nutrition and reducing calories, eating healthy improves gut health. At Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey, we focus on working out, which actually improves gut health, but also helps you boost your endurance, strength and flexibility. Gut health involves having the right balance of microbes with beneficial bacteria and microbes that aid in digestion and fight off those detrimental to the body.

Getting your microbiome—all the microbes in your body and gut—balanced is important.

When you stop and think about it, it’s a bit creepy to think you have trillions of living organisms inside you. These microorganisms are important, however. The right balance helps maintain bodily functions and can prevent an overtake of harmful organisms that are detrimental to your body. Estimates on the number of microbes are as high as 100 trillion with as many different types as 1000. There are between 30 and 40 more common types found. All these microbes only weigh a pound or two, but play a significant role in your health. If you didn’t have any microbes, you’d die of malnutrition, since they aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients.

The food you eat affects your microbiome.

You affect the balance of beneficial microbes and harmful ones. Too much sugar increases fungi, such as yeast and other pathogens. The bigger the colony, the more sugar you’ll crave and the more weight you’ll gain. You’d be amazed at how many diseases are linked to a bad mix of microbes in your gut. Besides malnutrition, an unhealthy gut can cause mood disorders, mental health issues, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions and some forms of cancer.

You can improve your gut health.

Eating probiotic foods, such as fermented food, can improve your gut health, which then improves your overall health. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir and live-culture yogurt are examples of these. Increasing the fiber in your diet helps by providing prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria in the large intestines and can boost the number of healthy microbes. Food that are prebiotic are asparagus, garlic, onions, bananas, Jerusalem artichoke, and dandelion greens.

  • If you take an antibiotic, you could be disrupting your gut health. Not only does frequent use create antibiotic-resistant germs, but they also kill off the good bacteria in your gut. Eat probiotic foods when you take antibiotics.
  • Sleep is extremely important to gut health. Adequate hydration is also important. They both help improve the number of healthy bacteria while providing other benefits for the body.
  • While friendly bacteria and microbes do help digest your food, so does chewing your food better. Chewing food longer increases the digestion taking place in your mouth, putting less burden on the digestive system.
  • Processed food and even non-organic food that have pesticides can disrupt your microbiome. Both contain chemicals that can poison your healthy microbes and your body and omit the necessary fiber to keep healthy microbes alive.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

The Benefits Of Regular Exercise

It may sound hokey saying that exercise puts more years on your life and life to those years, but it’s absolutely true. Not only does exercise help you live longer, it makes those extra years a blessing, allowing you to live on your own and function fully. There are benefits of regular exercise besides longevity. For instance, it can help you deal with giving up bad habits like drinking too much, quitting smoking and even drug addiction. The stress from quitting those things is reduced and you’ll get a high from the workout to replace the stimulation from the addictive substances.

Most people consider exercise as a way to aid weight loss.

That’s very true. It does help you control your weight. Not only does exercise help increase the calories you burn, it also can permanently boost your metabolism. You’ll build muscle tissue when you workout and muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. That means it boosts your resting metabolic rate, burning more calories around the clock, even when you don’t exercise.

You’ll increase your heart health and help manage diabetes with regular exercise.

Exercise gets your blood pumping and makes your heart work more. Just like any muscle, it gets stronger. That extra effort improves circulation, which increases the oxygen levels in the body. Exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, regulates cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke and a heart attack. Exercise also reduces insulin resistance, a precursor of diabetes. In fact, one of the treatments for insulin resistance is to switch to a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

You’ll improve your attitude and reduce stress with exercise.

Stress kills. It causes the brain to send chemical messengers, hormones, to parts of the body to make changes to prepare it for fighting or running. When you don’t, those changes actually affect your health if they’re not burned off with exercise. Studies show that exercise can also be beneficial in reducing anxiety and depression. In fact, mental health specialists often use it as a complementary therapy. It also increases circulation, sending nutrients to the brain and stimulates the body to increase the release the chemicals and proteins that improve brain structure and functioning.

  • Osteoporosis causes weaker bones, particularly in seniors. Exercise helps improve muscles that tug on the bone and make the bone uptake calcium to strengthen it, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and even reversing some of the effect.
  • You can reduce your risk of some types of cancer when you exercise. These include breast cancer, uterine cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.
  • Sleep is important for heart health and mental health. A program of regular exercise can help you sleep at night and get a higher quality of sleep.
  • If you want to be better in the bedroom, consider exercising regularly. It can help reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction in men and improves sexual arousal in women.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

Home Workouts That Burn The Most Calories

Home Workouts That Burn The Most Calories

We love working with our clients at Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey, but also know that sometimes coming to the gym isn’t possible. For those times, I put together a few home workouts that burn the most calories, to help for those days. While working out at home doesn’t provide the benefits of working with a personal trainer, it’s a good way to stay fit and stick with your workout schedule if you can’t come into the gym.

Make your workout HIIT—high intensity interval training.

HIIT focuses on the process rather than the actual exercise. Any exercise can become a HIIT workout. HIIT is all about varying the speed and intensity of the exercise. If running is your favorite, just adjust the speed. Run at a moderate pace for a few minutes and then kick it up to high gear, maxing your heart rate for a minute or two and back to the recovery pace for up to twice as long. Continue the top speed, recovery cycle for the rest of the run. It burns tons of calories and gets you into shape faster than any steady state run could ever do. A study in Quebec, Canada identified that HIIT running was far more effective than steady-state running for fat loss by eight times as much.

Kettlebells can burn 200 calories in ten minutes.

If you’re working out with kettlebells, remember, you need to have good instruction and proper form in order to use them safely. If you already have experience, then it’s a great workout that can keep you in shape and burn fat quickly. The off-center nature works core muscles and provides a total body workout, helping strength, endurance, flexibility and balance. 1. Start with the swing. 2. Go for the one arm swing. 3. Follow with the Turkish get up. 4. A one arm squat will challenge you. 5. The final move is a wind mill.

Circuit training will sizzle calories.

When you minimize resting time, you boost the amount of calories you burn. That’s why circuit training can be quite effective in helping you burn calories and lose weight. While almost any exercise will do, working out with weights will get a huge return. You don’t need a full set of weights, just ones that let you do only 10 to 12 with comfort. You’ll burn 30 percent more calories making the workout circuit training than you would leaving it a regular workout and get more benefits than you would with a cardio. With this workout, you need steps. 1. Warm up. 2. Do as many step ups as possible in two minutes. 3. Do 12 dumbbells curls on each side in 90 seconds. 4. Do 10 dumbbell twist lunges on each side in 90 seconds. 5. Step ups. 6. Dumbbell squats, 20 in two minutes. Rest two minutes and repeat.

  • Keep it simple. Run in place or around the backyard with high knee running. It burns between 240 and 300 calories per half hour.
  • Butt kicks are also great calorie burners. They also burn between 240 to 300 calories per half hour.
  • Go to the pool and enjoy a swim. It’s perfect if you have joint problems and is a low impact way to build muscle strength and burn calories.
  • Bicycling, jumping rope, calisthenics, hiking and dancing the night away are also great calorie burners.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness

Do You Need Weights To Workout?

Do You Need Weights To Workout?

If you think you need a lot of equipment to create the perfect, healthy body, you’d be wrong. You don’t need any extra equipment, like weights to workout. People have been building fitness and muscle for years without added equipment. Weights, kettlebells and other exercise equipment just add variety to the workout and provide a few other benefits.

Think bodyweight exercises.

You carry weights with you. It’s the weight of your body. Upper body exercises using bodyweight include push-ups, pull-ups, rope climb, dips and muscle-ups, to name a few more popular ones. You do need a bar or rope to do these, but a tree limb or go to the playground and use the monkey bars.

Lower body bodyweight exercises work the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. All types of squats, mountain climbers, high knee runs, donkey kicks, bridges and planks are examples that will get you fit and build muscle, too.

If you want to maintain strength without equipment, try isometrics.

You may not build muscles or added strength with isometrics, but you can maintain your strength. While they can build muscle tissue, they aren’t the most effective way to do it. You don’t move during isometrics, so you’ll only build strength when the muscles are in that particular position. The good news is that there are a variety of isometric workouts to do and you can do them almost anywhere. Stomach suction and planks are good examples.

Make your workout a non-workout.

It’s amazing how much exercise you can get when you throw your whole self into something. Consider daily tasks as a workout, but instead of using your same normal slower way, throw your whole self into the job. Scrub the floor with vigor. Wash the windows enthusiastically. Run through each task if you can and if you’re doing something in place, keep your feet moving to music. Tidy the room with music and dance your way through it. Enjoy every movement and marvel at how magnificent the body is.

  • Make your own equipment and do your workout. If you don’t have weights, fill milk jugs or laundry liquid bottles with sand until you get weights that challenge you. Use soup cans for dumbbells.
  • Swim. It’s harder to move your body against the resistance of the water. That means you’ll build strength and burn calories, while making it easier on joints.
  • Try this circuit workout you can do anywhere. Do 10 body-weight squats, 10 supermans, 10 push-ups, and 20 crunches one following the other. Take a short breather and start the circuit again. Do the rounds up to ten times.
  • Take the stairs and go as many flights as you can. Just taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you get fit, without going to the gym. Climbing eight flights of stairs a day lowers mortality by 33%.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

Chronic Cardio - Are You Wasting Your Time?

Chronic Cardio – Are You Wasting Your Time?

If your workout consists of only cardio, are you wasting your time? First, doing any type of exercise is not a waste of time, but it is not necessarily the best way to get the results you want. Clients at Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey, know that we emphasize a well rounded workout program. You do need cardio for heart health and to boost endurance, but you also need strength training, flexibility training and balance training. In fact, doing too much cardio and avoiding other types of exercise may be sabotaging your efforts for weight loss.

Are you trying to burn the most calories?

The more you exercise, the more calories you burn. If you’ve read that cardio burns a lot of calories, you’d be right. The problem occurs when you consider the source of those calories. Calories are a source of energy and cardio workouts don’t just derive that energy from fat, it takes it from muscle tissue, too. When you do cardio exclusively, you’re breaking down both and the less muscle tissue you have, the lower your metabolism will be. However, combining cardio with strength training, like HIIT, not only burns a lot of calories, it builds muscle tissue at the same time, so you’ll burn more calories around the clock.

If you’re only doing cardio, particularly only one type of cardio, you may be sabotaging weight loss.

I’ve had people come in extremely frustrated because they run regularly and still can’t shed weight. There’s nothing wrong with running, as I said before, but when you use just one type of exercise, specifically if it’s just one exercise, like running, your body becomes efficient. That means it becomes good at making those movements and burns fewer calories. The longer you do it, the fewer calories you’ll burn. The more variety you have in your workout, the less potential there will be for developing caloric efficiency.

Cardio as part of an HIIT workout rather than steady state cardio brings more benefits.

If you’ve ever participated in HIIT, you know that part of the workout is to get your heart pumping with short bursts of high intensity, followed by a recovery period. That is cardio, but so much more. HIIT can be used to build strength and increase flexibility, based on the exercises you do. The same is true for using kettlebells, which combine all types of exercise. Both types not only burn calories when you do it, but continue for hours after the workout with afterburn, called EPOC.

  • If you vary your speed when you do cardio, it’s the most effective. You’ll get more benefit in a short time frame by doing that.
  • Cardio trains the body to be as efficient as possible and ultimately use the least amount of oxygen and calories as possible. While it’s important for heart health, it’s not nearly as important for weight loss.
  • You will always need cardio of some type in your workout to make your heart and breathing strong, but never to the exclusion of other types of workouts.
  • If you include cardio with HIIT training or part of a kettlebell workout, you’ll save time. You’ll get a full body workout and more benefit in less time. The American Heart Association suggests a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate exercise—steady state cardio—or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise—HIIT.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness NJ

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

Is weight loss your goal? Do you want to build muscle? Maybe you want to lose fat. You can do all three things at the same time. It all starts with a healthy diet, no matter what your goal. A healthy diet can help you lose weight, lose fat and gain muscle. In the gym, it’s time to turn to the right type of exercises. While building muscle mass may be your focus, for weight loss, you want a workout that burns the most calories, while preserving muscle mass. The same is true for burning fat.

How do you start eating healthier.

The simplest way to improve your diet is to cut out sugar, refined or processed food and eat more whole foods, such as fresh and colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meat and whole grains. Simply cutting out food with added sugar and other refined carbohydrates like processed grains. Limit saturated fats and omit trans fats from your diet. What you drink makes a big difference, make it water, unsweetened tea or black coffee.

It’s all about working out and the right type of workout.

Again, any type of exercise you do is good—as long as you’re doing it correctly. However, you’ll see quicker progress when you do specific types of workouts. Workouts that provide full body exercise and high intensity interval training—HIIT—provide the most benefit in the shortest time frame. Kettlebells are full body exercises and HIIT can be full body ones. You won’t get the benefit you want from just doing aerobic workouts. While you will burn fat, you’ll also burn muscle tissue, too.

You’ll build more muscle tissue when you shorten your workout.

Working out harder and at a faster pace, taking short breaks between exercises, not only burns more calories and sheds fat, it also boosts muscle development, too. You can increase the number of reps in a specific time or increase the weight you lift. Building muscle and burning fat isn’t all about the number of hours you spend, but how you spend those hours. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to building muscles and burning fat.

  • Never underestimate the power of sleep. Adequate sleep can boost your energy level, so you’ll burn more calories and help keep your hunger and satiety hormones balanced so you won’t overeat.
  • Make water your best friend. Staying hydrated is important for a number of reasons. It helps you stay fuller so you don’t over eat, while also ensuring you are working at peak energy levels to burn more calories.
  • Eat adequate protein and healthy fat. Both healthy fat and protein are important for weight loss. Protein is important for building muscles and both are necessary for the body to function at peak performance.
  • If you’re trying to lose fat, remember, it’s not all about weight loss. Fat loss is more about losing inches than checking the numbers on the scale. Even if you don’t shed a pound, the more muscle you have, the thinner you’ll look.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness NJ

How To Start Meal Planning

How To Start Meal Planning

Exercise is important, but it’s only one of the lifestyle changes that can make a difference. In the world of fitness, the saying, “you can’t out exercise a bad diet” is frequently said, because it’s true. That’s where a healthy diet comes into play. One of the easiest ways to stick with a program of healthy eating is to ensure you have meals ready to go, so you opt for fast food or junk food options. That’s where meal planning shines. It not only helps you stick with a diet, but also can make life simpler once you’re started and save you money, too.

How do you start a meal planning program?

You plan your meals for the week! You can start by pulling up recipes first and creating a shopping list or check all the coupons for the week and the sales, then plan a healthy menu based on that information. The next step is creating a shopping list and buying everything at once. If you don’t have meal sized freezer containers, you need those, too. Shop on Friday, or right before your day off if you aren’t on a Monday-Friday work schedule, after a meal.

Why would you shop all at once?

Doing your shopping all in one day helps avoid frequent shopping, where there’s more opportunity for unplanned purchases, like bags of donuts, cookies and chips. When you plan your shopping trip after a dinner, you’ll also reduce the potential for those pesky items to jump in your shopping cart as you move through the aisles. It also prevents checking out empty cookie containers or half eaten bags of chips.

On your day or days off, you’ll cook all the meals for the week.

When you cook and freeze all your meals for the week on the weekend, you’ll just have to heat and serve during the week. That’s faster than a drive-through dinner. When you’re cooking all your meals at once, you can use many of the same ingredients for several meals, so you’ll have less waste. It’s just as easy to chop vegetables for several meals as it is for one, so you’ll save time, too. Cook and package the meals for the freezer and when it’s time to eat, just add your salad or fresh fruit.

  • When you package food for meals, you measure out the exact serving size. That helps with portion control that can help you stick to your weight loss plan. It also saves money by eliminating waste.
  • Plan for snacks. When you’re chopping vegetables for recipes, chop a few extras and make some dip. Prepare fruit ahead the same way. If it’s ready, people will eat it. Create individual serving size bags of nuts.
  • You’ll be able to take advantage of coupons and sales. If you have paper coupons, sort them before you leave to make check out easier and faster.
  • When you’re cooking ahead, double the recipes, so you have enough for another week. Before you know it, you can skip a week of cooking or make fewer meals on the weekend.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness

Quick and Easy Workouts That Can Be Done During Your Lunch Break

Quick and Easy Workouts That Can Be Done During Your Lunch Break

With everyone trying to pick up speed and get more done during the day, I have a lot of clients at Prime Fitness in Totowa, NJ, asking for some quick and easy workouts to use on those days when there’s more work than hours left to do it. It happens and as I always say, “something is better than nothing, even though a complete workout is best.” If you don’t have the time for that complete workout, here are some exercises you can do when you’re rushed.

You don’t have to do everything at once.

Is your workout 30 minutes or longer? Break it down to several sessions throughout the day. Studies show that doing three 10 minute workouts are as beneficial as one 30 minute session. In fact, there was a study that put people into four groups. One group didn’t exercise. One group did a half hour a day all at once. The third group broke their routine down to two sessions of 15 minutes each and finally, the last group broke it down to three 10-minute sessions. Three of the four groups had the same benefits for weight lost and improved endurance. The group that didn’t exercise was the only one that didn’t benefit. Use smaller windows of time and get the same benefits.

Boost your intensity or weight to make workouts shorter.

You can cut your workout time when you increase your intensity. You can make it harder on yourself and workout less. By increasing your pace and/or amount of weight you lift, you cut your workout time. In fact, it’s imperative that you do to avoid overworking muscles. Pushing yourself to the max means workout time is shorter. Reducing the rest time between sets on interval training is another way to get more for your exercise time.

Do the four-minute nitric oxide dump.

What is nitric oxide? Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. That means it helps to increase the blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels, causing them to widen. That lowers blood pressure. Nitric oxide is boosted by exercise, and there’s a specific four-minute workout that you can do several times a day to help. It’s perfect when you just have a few minutes. Do it three times a day. It was created by Dr. Zach Bush and includes four simple moves, squats, arm swings, arm circles and overhead presses. If you’re trying to lower your blood pressure, combine it with your regular routine.

  • Compound moves ensure you workout more of your body in far less time. Compound moves involve several muscles and joints and can be just one exercise, like a basic squat or a combination of exercises done together, a lunge combined with a tricep extension.
  • Whether you’re breaking up your workout into sections or just trying to cut back time, writing the workout on paper so you have it in front of you is one way to do it.
  • Turn your chores into a workout. Speed up your workout. Do it with vigor. Exaggerate the workout to get more movement into it. Do deep knee bends as you’re washing the wall or march in place when doing dishes.
  • If you still don’t have the time, make sure your day is more active by taking the stairs, walking to lunch or parking further from the store to walk more.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness