Fitness & Wellness

Have You Tried Low Carb Noodles?

Have You Tried Low Carb Noodles?

Are you trying to cut back on carbohydrates or following a keto diet, but you hate to give up some of the foods you love, like pasta? Now there’s an abundance of low carb options that you can buy in a store or create at home. Some of these alternative low carb noodles include zucchini noodles—zoodles—which are spiralized, shirataki noodles that are made from konjac yam from Japan and spaghetti squash noodles, which are from the flesh of the spaghetti squash. Other options include cheesy noodles you can make at home with melted cheddar and egg.

Spaghetti squash is the original, natural no carb substitute.

If you haven’t tried spaghetti squash, do. It’s a treat and tastes delicious. You can fix it several ways, whether baking it whole after puncturing it with a fork, cutting it in half and baking it on a tray or in a microwave or boiling it, it’s delicious and super low in carbohydrates. Spaghetti squash has only about 20% of the carbs as the same serving size of regular pasta, but far more vitamin A, C, E, K and B complex.

Other vegetable pasta substitutes are also nutritious

Whether you opt for spiralizing your own noodles or simply slice eggplant and use it as lasagna, it’s lower in carbs, nutritious and exceptionally good. The most popular vegetables for spiralized noodles are zucchini, turnips and carrots, but beets also make an excellent choice and are considered a superfood. Not only are these lower carb options, they’re also higher in nutrition and fiber than traditional noodles. Sliced eggplant also provides more fiber, vitamins and minerals without the high carb count of the traditional pasta option.

One simple vegetable alternative doesn’t require special equipment to make.

Cabbage is one of the most versatile vegetables to use as an alternative for noodles. If you want to make noodles, chop the cabbage in thin strips and boil. To make lasagna noodles, just use whole cabbage leaves. Cabbage provides vitamin K, vitamin C and has lots of fiber, which can also help you lose weight. It only takes about tow minutes to cook the noodles in boiling water until a fork can easily go through it. For those larger lasagna leaves, boil them for two minutes until they’re soft. They’re easy-peasy to make.

  • Cauliflower can be combined with cheese to make noodles or simply use it as couscous. It’s a nutritious alternative to traditional pasta.
  • You can buy factory made low carb noodles. Many are made from powdered vegetables and additives. You’re far better off making them from fresh vegetables and saving money in the process.
  • Do you love gnocchi, but hate the carbs from the potatoes? It’s time to make a switch and use cooked and mashed cauliflower to create the gnocchi. It has no carbs, but still that delicious flavor.
  • Choosing no carb noodle options is also another way to include more vegetables into your diet, while still enjoying all the satisfying foods you love.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness


Workouts That Improve Your Mood

Workouts That Improve Your Mood

At Prime Performance in Totowa, New Jersey, we work hard to keep up with the latest studies on health and fitness. One area that’s increasing popularity is using exercise as an adjunct treatment. It’s been know for years that exercise can improve your mental attitude as it improves your overall health. Mental health care professionals first suggested it because it burned off stress hormones and boosted the hormones that make you feel good. Exercise also increases oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain. Here are a few workouts that improve your mood that are easy to do when you need them most.

No matter where you are, you can walk.

Walking and running are the most accessible exercises available. You’ll get your heart pounding and boost your circulation when you run. If you’re not dressed for a run, in a place you can run or simply too out of shape to run very far, walking is still a good option to enhance your mood. You can walk anywhere, even if you’re indoors. Create a path around your house or apartment if walking outside isn’t possible. One study found that just 30 minutes of walking every day could help lift mild depression without medication.

Strength training can also relieve stress and make you smile.

While running or walking is good, so is strength training. While some studies show that walking or running can help bring relief from bad moods or even mild depression, others show that strength training can do the same. A study of stroke survivors found that when the subjects did strength training for ten weeks, it reduced the symptoms of depression. Part of the reason is the physical changes and release of hormones in the body, but part of it is the sense of accomplishment the person gets as he or she builds strength.

You don’t have to sweat to get relief from depression.

Whether it’s the gentle moves of tai chi or the poses of yoga, you’ll get huge benefits. While gentle tai chi may look easy, it’s far harder than you think, just as yoga is. However, you’ll improve your mindfulness, strength and flexibility with both. That laser focus on breathing and precise movements can block your negative thoughts for a while and even help with major depression, especially for seniors.

  • Go to the playground and take your kids. Enjoy playing on the equipment with them and feeling young again. You’ll not only feel better, but build memories with the kids.
  • Exercise outside if weather permits. If you have grass, go barefoot and do grounding as you workout. Not only will the exercise do you good, walking on the grass barefooted in the sunshine will also improve your mood.
  • Sometimes, the cause of anxiety, depression or just a foul mood comes from lack of sleep. When you workout regularly, you’ll get sounder and better quality sleep.
  • It doesn’t matter what exercise you choose, a healthier lifestyle with a program of exercise and healthy eating habits will make you look and feel your best. That’s bound to improve your mood.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness


How To Lose Body Fat And Preserve Muscle?

How To Lose Body Fat And Preserve Muscle?

One of the biggest problems when people try to lose weight is that they often sabotage themselves. They either use the wrong type of exercise or don’t exercise at all. You don’t always lose fat when you lose weight, you often lose both fat and muscle mass. If you want lose body fat, while you preserve muscle, you need the right diet and exercise program.

Losing fat starts in the kitchen.

No matter how much you workout, if you’re overeating, you won’t lose weight. You simply can’t out exercise a bad diet. If you’re complaining about weight loss over a burger and fries, you need to rethink a few things. You have to have a healthy diet with adequate protein for building muscle tissue and timed carbs and protein to help your workout better. The amount of protein you need is based on your weight, it’s approximately 1.5 grams per pound of body weight. It varies by sex and activity level. You also need healthy fat, which should be about 20% of your diet. Healthy fat comes from food like avocados and nuts.

What type of workouts are you doing?

If you’re doing only cardio, like running, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Yes, running burns tons of calories, but those calories come from both fat and lean muscle mass. You want the most lean muscle mass possible, since it burns more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. That means the more you have, the higher your metabolism will be. Instead of just doing cardio, focus on compound strength building exercises. It burns the most fat, while building muscles in the process. Do strength building interval training for cardio and strength building benefits.

Watch out for overworking your body.

If you think that more is always better, rethink that position when it comes to strength training. Your body needs 48 to 72 hours for those micro tears in the muscles to heal. Doing strength training every day can actually decrease the benefits you receive, especially if you’re doing intense strength building. Over-training or eating a diet too low in calories means your body won’t have the glycogen needed to rebuild muscles. Strength training three times a week while building muscle mass is the right way to go.

  • When you eat makes a difference. If you eat carbs earlier in the day, you’ll have time to burn them off, so they aren’t stored as fat when you sleep. A light meal three hours before you workout or a snack an hour or so before that has protein and carbs can make your workout more effective.
  • Don’t get discouraged if you’ve exercised for months and still don’t have that ripped look. You actually may, but it’s hiding under a layer of fat. You have to lose the weight for people to see it.
  • Stay hydrated. Often thirst masks itself as hunger, so if you’re even mildly dehydrated you’ll want to eat. If you’re adequately hydrated, you’ll have more energy to burn more calories, too.
  • Don’t skip sleep. When you lack sleep, the body creates more of the hunger hormone and less of the hormone that makes you feel full. Your body also needs sleep to repair muscle tissue, and build them bigger.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness


What Is The Best Day To Meal Prep?

What Is The Best Day To Meal Prep?

At Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey we work hard to ensure you have the best possible advice on weight loss and living healthier. One of those recommendations to both good health and the perfect weight is meal planning and prep. Losing weight and being your healthiest starts in the kitchen and extends to the gym. To make it simpler, planning your weekly menu, shopping for it and preparing it all in one day can get you on the right track to a healthier lifestyle. You should prepare all the meals on one day, but which day is the best day to meal prep?

It doesn’t have to be just one day.

Some people do meal prep over the weekend, taking Saturday and Sunday to do it. During the week they focus on creating the menu and the shopping list. When there’s the most benefit for savings, they go shopping, but only after they’ve eaten supper. That way they don’t load up the cart with junk food. If they work during the week, the weekend is the perfect time to do the cooking, since they cook while you do other things around the house.

If you don’t have the typical Monday through Friday job, you choose what’s best for you.

Everyone has a different schedule and different days off, so the weekend isn’t always the best option. People who work ten-hour shifts four days a week have time off that varies. If that describes you, then you’ll have to adjust your prep time based on your weekly or monthly schedule. Find the hours and days that work best for you.

Why meal plan?

When you have meals ready and waiting to heat and eat, you’re less likely to stop at a drive through or opt for a bag of chips or cheezies for dinner. In fact, it’s often quicker to heat the meal you precooked, than to sit in a drive-through line. Meal planning works because you’re planning healthy meals when you’re not hungry, they’re easy to heat and serve.

  • When you’re planning meals, don’t forget about snacks, too. A citrus salad with fresh oranges and grapefruit or veggies and dip ready to eat can be delicious and curb your appetite, helping to shed pounds and boost your health, too.
  • Once you get into the meal plan and meal prep routine, you’ll find you’ll save money and time. Many people often double recipes and stash the extra for future weeks, taking a weekend off or saving it for emergencies.
  • Meal prep helps you stay within your caloric perimeters. Everything is premeasured in serving sizes, so there’s no guess work at the table.
  • When you prep your meals all at once, you’ll use some of the leftovers for other meals. Extra chicken can be used in salads. Leftover veggies can go into soups. You’ll avoid leftovers and save money.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness


Best Barbell Workout

Best Barbell Workout

It’s not easy to identify the best barbell workout for everyone. That’s because each person has his or her own goals, is at a different level of fitness and has differences in strength of certain groups of muscles. If your goal is to build muscle strength, rather than building muscle tissue, you’ll do a different set of exercises. For those that want to shed weight, the workout will also vary. While some of the moves will be in all workouts, some are specific for certain problem areas or goals.

Burn fat as you build muscle tissue.

You can boost your metabolism by building muscle tissue and take off those pesky pounds by burning calories with this group of exercises. Always warm up before you start to avoid injury. Combine five exercises to create a circuit, then do the circuit as many times as possible in a 30 to 45 minute period. Always rest between circuits and always give yourself at least a day of rest between these workouts. Combinations that will burn fat include a barbell deadlift, a military press, an upright row, a frontal squat holding the barbell and finally, using the barbell as a prop to jump at the end of a burpee.

You normally think of barbell lifts as strength builders and you’d be right.

Most people use weights to build strength or muscle, and this combination will build plenty of strength. It all depends on how you workout when you use these. Do you separate your workout to upper body/lower body or do you emphasize the five basic body moves, push, pull, hip-hinge, squat or plank? If you’re working upper body/lower body, use barbell back squat or lunge with a deadlift or power clean for the whole body. You can combine the bench press or overhead press for an upper body and again, use a deadlift or power clean for the whole body.

Recreating the movements of your body to build strength.

You can build muscles and bulk up with barbells. You have to make several adjustments, like lifting at approximately 70% of your one repetition maximum or pushing yourself toward failure. Your workout should include five to eight different exercises targeting specific muscle groups and best if they’re compound workouts. Our personal trainers can create a workout designed specifically for you to build the muscle.

  • When working on building muscle tissue, make sure you rest longer between sessions than you otherwise would. That helps you avoid over-training that can negatively affect building muscle.
  • A bench press is a great exercise to improve the push muscle groups. You can also use a push press to work your muscles that way. Barbell squats improve the muscles used for squatting.
  • Pulling actions should be also emphasized in your workout. The barbell bent over row can provide that type of workout, so does a bench-supported row. A deadlift is a great move for the hip-hinge.
  • No matter what your need or goal, our trainers can design a program using barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and/or bodyweight workouts. Book a free consultation today.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness!


Are Pre-Workouts Bad For You?

Are Pre-Workouts Bad For You?

Clients come to Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey, and want guidance with their exercise program, diet and whether supplements like pre-workouts are good for you. Why use pre-workouts and what are they exactly? They’re a combination of carbs and protein you consume before you workout that helps provide the nutrients and calories to give you the energy you need to build muscle tissue and provide the calories for energy. Of course, a combination of protein and carbs, like fruit and yogurt, will provide the same benefits as a pre-workout food.

It’s all about convenience.

Making sure you have the right combination of carbs to protein is important for a great workout. That’s what pre-workouts do and you don’t even have to think about it. Even though they’re created to add ease and make sure you get the energy boost, you still have to read the label. Some contain more than just macro nutrients and calories, which can include everything from caffeine or vitamins, like B-complex. Both can help metabolism and energy. Some, however, can contain chemicals and/or sugar, so read your label and avoid those.

Reading the label can help you make the decision.

Are you lactose intolerant? Avoid those pre-workouts that have lactose. If you have IBS, you need to avoid many of the supplements that contain creatine, carnitine, inulin and artificial sweeteners. They can irritate your problem and cause diarrhea, gas, nausea and stomach pain. There’s nothing worse than trying to do a press, jumping jacks or other exercise with a belly full of gas and a potential for explosive diarrhea.

Some pre-workouts are better than others.

Some contain superfoods, such as dehydrated beets or beet juice. That can boost your body’s nitric acid production. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate and increases the blood flow to all parts of the body. Dilated blood vessels can boost your endurance and take some of the stress off your heart. Some contain creatine, which is in all muscle tissue. The creatine helps improve strength and build muscle tissue, plus improves your performance.

  • Pre-workouts aren’t regulated by the FDA, so make sure you get what you’re paying for. Organizations like NSF or Informed-Choice are third party groups that rate the quality of the supplement and then places certification on the label.
  • If you have high blood pressure or a fast heart rate, avoid products with creatine or caffeine. Both can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate, plus can cause stomach distress and dehydration.
  • One study showed that using pre-workouts did boost strength by as much as eight percent. Supplements with caffeine were the ones that increased it the most.
  • You can save money and make your own snack at home. A PB&J on whole wheat bread is a good combination that can be made ahead, takes very little time to make and costs pennies.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness!


Do Workouts Increase Testosterone?

Do Workouts Increase Testosterone?

Whether its from aging, diabetes, obesity, sudden weight loss or illness, low testosterone can occur. Most testosterone loss occurs after the age of 45 and is a natural occurrence, but it can be delayed. Low testosterone levels affect how much muscle mass you have, sex drive and even mental health. Men can increase testosterone levels with workouts specifically created to help. Not all exercise is alike, some are better at building testosterone levels.

When you build your muscles, you boost your testosterone.

If you have more muscle mass, you have a higher testosterone level. Weight lifting is one way to do that. As you build your muscles, your testosterone levels increase, which can start to reverse the loss from aging. Just doing a couple of sets with three to five reps at 95% of your maximum potential two to three times a week, targeting larger muscles, such as quadriceps or the chest, can be a great way to start and help boost your testosterone levels. A personal trainer can create a 30 to 45 minute program that’s based on your fitness level and goals.

Do HIIT—high intensity interval training.

Several studies show that doing HIIT on those days you don’t do strength training, like weight lifting, can also help boost your testosterone levels. HIIT are not specific exercises, but a way of training. It starts you off slowly for a few minutes, then switches to maximum effort for the same length of time or less, moving back to the recovery intensity level. Combining the two provides both cardio and strength training. Be sure to include flexibility training in the mix to avoid injury.

While you might think of barbells and dumbbells for strength-training, there are other tools that help.

A kettlebell workout can combine HIIT training with strength-training to get maximum benefit. One study on kettlebells showed that doing twelve sets that included 30-seconds of work, then 30 seconds of rest could increase both human growth hormone and testosterone levels in the body. That not only helps build muscle tissue, it helps burn fat.

  • Obesity can lead to decreased testosterone levels and that can lead to eating more, gaining more weight and a lower energy level. It’s a vicious circle, but one that starting an exercise program can often change.
  • If you want to boost your testosterone levels, try working out in the afternoon. It’s the best for boosting testosterone. If you want to boost your metabolism, morning is the best time.
  • Don’t wait until you’re so run-down that just going to the gym sounds like it’s too hard. Lack of exercise makes low testosterone levels even worse.
  • If you love running, long hours of cycling or other high-endurance exercises and have low testosterone levels, consider switching your workout for a while. These types of exercises have been shown to break down muscle tissue and lower testosterone level.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness


Best Lower Ab Workouts

Best Lower Ab Workouts

So many people come to Prime Fitness Studio in Totowa, New Jersey, wanting help to flatten their stomach and get great abs. They often want lower ab workouts. There is just one called the Rectus Abdominis muscle. That muscle runs the full length of the abdomen and splits into the left side and right side, but isn’t upper or lower. They’re crossed over by the Linea Alba, those are the muscles that make you look like you have a six-pack. So to get lower abs strong, you have to get the Rectus Abdominis strong. In other words, you have to strengthen your abs.

Get a great ab workout and full body workout with kettlebells.

You’ll work all the muscles in your body, especially your abs, with the right kettlebell exercises. Because of their center of gravity is outside your hand, unlike dumbbells, it changes as you move and forces your core muscles to work to keep you stable. That means almost all kettlebell workouts indirectly work your abs. However, some will directly make them stronger, such as kettlebell windmills, the kettlebell Turkish get up, sit and press, straight arm sit and lateral swings. We provide instruction with kettlebells that will help make your workout safer.

Bodyweight workouts can get you a six-pack.

Whether you’re doing a plank, a bridge or bicycle crunches, they all help you get a flatter stomach. A reverse plank is one exercise that gets you into shape fast. It works the muscles deep inside your stomach. Lay on your back with both arms and legs fully extended. Tighten your abs, then raise your hands and feet off the floor and hold for twenty seconds. Lower both back to the floor.

No matter what exercises you do, if you are overweight, nobody will see those tight muscles.

One of the biggest problems faced by people that want a flat stomach and great abs is that they won’t ever get them unless they lose weight. No matter how long you workout, if you have a layer of fat hiding that muscle, nobody will ever know it and your stomach won’t be flat. It will still be flabby. Eat healthy and lose weight if you’re overweight. It’s the only way to have the great abs you want.

  • You can use a regular plank and modify it to work muscles on all planes. Try a side plank, plank with a kick out and plank with a leg raise. If you’re new to working out, a traditional plank on your forearms is the best place to start.
  • Just tightening your muscles using isometrics helps. Stand tall, inhale and then pull your stomach in like you want to touch your backbone as you exhale. Hold that position as long as you can. Do it frequently throughout the day.
  • Traditional leg lifts and modified ones that include scissoring your legs after you raise them or bicycling your legs work your abs.
  • If you’re just starting a workout program, we can help. We’ll create a program designed for you to help you achieve your goals.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness


Hydration Is Key

It doesn’t have to be summer or even hot outside to get dehydrated. It can happen easier in the winter since you aren’t as thirsty and not thinking about the problem. In order to look and feel your best, hydration is key. When you’re working out, staying hydrated is important for both your body and maximizing the benefits of your workout. If you’re feeling tired, try a bottle of cold water, first. You’ll probably find it’s better than even a cup of coffee as a picker-upper.

Do you have a headache or are you feeling brain fog?

There might be a reason for this. You might be dehydrated. Your brain is approximately 75% water. Water is necessary for the electrical energy your brain requires. It needs twice as much energy as other cells, which adequate hydration requires. Your brain requires water to remove toxins and carry nutrition for the brain. If your body drops a mere two percent of its water, you could experience fuzzy memory, focusing problems, and difficulty with simple math problems. Dehydration is often mistaken for dementia in seniors, accounts for low blood pressure and rapid heart rate.

Sipping on water throughout the day can help you lose weight.

Water can become your best friend when you’re working on weight loss. It can keep you feeling full and help you eat less at a meal if you drink an eight-ounce glass before that meal. Mild dehydration often masks itself as hunger. You know those times when you know you want something and the juicer it is, the better it sounds. If you think you’re hungry, drink a bottle of water first. You might just find you were just thirsty and save yourself some calories.

Increase the amount of water you drink and make it a healthy habit.

Increase the amount of water you drink, not just the amount of liquid. If you’re big on soft drinks or even sports drinks, switch out for a tall bottle of water. Drinks like Gatorade and soft drinks contain a lot of sugar. They aren’t as good for your body as plain ole’ water. If you’ve worked out less than an hour that day or had an hour workout that wasn’t strenuous, you won’t need to replenish your electrolytes. Plain water is the best route to go.

  • If you’re experiencing side effects of dehydration, such as headaches or brain fog, drink a glass of water and within 20 minutes the symptoms will reverse. All this time, you thought the aspirin you were taking cured the headache, it may have just been the water you drank to wash it down.
  • As you age, you become more prone to dehydration. As an adult, it’s at its worse when you’re a senior. Not only do many seniors fail to recognize they’re thirsty and drink less, but they also dehydrate quicker.
  • Who doesn’t want to look at his or her best? You can do it with the miracle of water. Not only does spritzing water on your face keeps your skin moist, but drinking does also too. It also helps keep your skin free of blemishes.
  • At Prime Fitness, we want you to stay your fittest and healthiest. We can help you with exercise and tips on healthy eating. Don’t forget to make this small change today and drink more water. Your body will thank you.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness


The Benefits Of Walking

The Benefits Of Walking

As everyone knows too well, sometimes, it’s impossible to come to Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey. For those days, finding an easy alternative is important. While working out at home is one option, an easier one could be taking a daily walk. Getting out in the fresh air and enjoying Mother Nature on a walk in a park or wooded area is best. You’ll get the peace and serenity it offers. There are, however, benefits of walking, no matter where you walk, whether it’s in the city or countryside.

Are you out of shape and want a way to ease into fitness?

There’s nothing better than walking to get you out of a sedentary lifestyle and into one of fitness. You may not be able to start off running or feel fit enough to go to the gym, no matter how we scale down your workout to your fitness level. Start a program of walking. Some studies show it’s actually better for you than running. As you get fitter, you need to add other types of workouts to address strength, flexibility and balance or even boost your cardio health.

You might be surprised at all the health benefits walking provides.

Do you want to lower your risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension? If you already have one of those conditions, do you want to control it better? Walking can help you do that. You do need to make the pace brisk, but you don’t have to run. In fact, a brisk walk provides more benefits than a run does. Walking is good to help prevent bone density loss and aids in building muscle strength and balance. For weight loss, working out in the gym is still better, but in a pinch, walking is a good alternative if you have no other option.

Walking more every day is important for fitness but doesn’t solve all problems.

Walking won’t make your arms stronger or give you flexibility. It won’t build muscles in all areas of your body or provide all the benefits that a complete fitness program will do, but it’s a great place to begin. It builds your endurance and there’s an easy way to measure intensity, just walk further in the same amount of time. Walking is low impact and won’t hurt the joints. It works the upper and lower legs, and the hip flexors. While it won’t provide a complete workout, it’s an excellent supplement.

  • Walking in wooded or natural settings also provides more than just beautiful scenery to see. It brings a feeling of relaxation and makes your experience more than just good exercise.
  • Try to find ways to increase the amount you walk every day. Walk to places that are close. If you live near a grocery, get your own personal cart and walk to do your grocery shopping. Park further from the store when you shop.
  • If you want to lose weight or get a sculpted look, walking won’t provide those benefits. It will help you lose weight, so when you do build your abs and other muscles, they won’t be hidden by a layer of fat.
  • You need a program that offers all types of exercise, total body workouts and toning. We offer that at Prime Fitness with our group and personal training. If you want an effective and quick workout, you’ll love our kettlebell and PRIMEHIT programs.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Fitness