Fitness & Wellness

Start Now To Get Ready For Summer

Start Now To Get Ready For Summer

Don’t throw away your opportunity to have the summer fun you deserve. Don’t let being out of shape, tired or feeling frumpy stop you from getting that tan, enjoying the sun and enjoying every minute of summer. How can you do that? You can get ready for summer, starting today. In just a couple of short months, you can make a huge difference in how you look and feel and by the end of summer, look forward to even more enjoyment over the fall and winter holidays.

In just two months, you can lose 20-pounds or more safely.

Not only will you lose weight by eating healthy, you’ll even look thinner by adding exercise to your daily routine. Exercise builds muscles and muscles burn more calories than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism, burning more calories 24/7. When you exercise, it makes you look trimmer. One pound of muscle tissue takes up less space than a pound of fat. It’s similar to comparing the size of container for exactly a pound of feathers and a pound of steel. The one with the feathers will be a lot bigger. Even though you might lose 20-pounds, you’ll look like you lost a lot more.

Boost your energy while you build your strength and endurance.

Not only does strength training build muscles, when you combine it with endurance training it burns off the pounds quickly and builds your energy level. If the beach isn’t your destination, but a trip to the zoo with the kids is, having more energy may be just what you’re hoping to get. The more energy you have, the more active you’ll be and that increases the amount of energy you’ll have tomorrow. It snowballs.

Healthy eating should be a key priority.

Healthy eating isn’t dieting. Instead, it’s about making smarter choices when you eat. Most trainers agree that a great body starts in the kitchen. Your diet also affects your energy level and mood, so getting the most out of life also starts with diet. You’ll be amazed at how delicious healthy foods can taste. Don’t worry, you still can have a favorite treat occasionally, just keep portion control in mind and don’t make it too often.

  • You don’t have to want to lose weight to benefit when you workout. You might want to tone all parts of your body. A toned derriere looks far better than a droopy one, and toned arms are better than batwings.
  • Working out helps hide cellulite, just as a healthy diet does. Losing weight and building muscle tissue takes a lot of the pucker out of cottage cheese lumpy thighs.
  • Don’t forget flexibility training. Your walk will be improved and so will your agility, but most of all, flexibility training can protect you from injury that can ruin a summer of fun.
  • Make a bucket list of things you’d like to do this summer that are outside, active or show off your new energy or body. Make it a goal to check off at least five things this summer.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Best Treats You Can Have In Moderation

We help you be your best with a nutrition program and a program that will get you fit quickly. At TeamWorX Fitness in Alexandria, VA, we don’t give you a diet but provide a map to help you learn how to eat healthier. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the foods you love. There are treats you can have in moderation. You still have to pay attention to portion size and not consume a family box of sugary treats in one setting, so it requires control, but limiting your treat to one daily treat that has between 100 and 200 calories might slow the weight loss down a bit, but not by much.

Break down snacks to 100-200 calorie portions.

If you have the discipline, which only you can say, buy a family size bag of chips, nuts or taco chips and a box of plastic baggies. Break down the bag into individual 100 or 200 calorie portions. If there’s cake, cookies or other treats available, know what size portion fits your calorie requirement of 100-200 calories. Be prepared with the information ahead of time if you’re going to a party or family dinner.

Eat fresh fruit or veggies as your treat.

A medium sliced apple with two tablespoons of peanut butter is 283 calories, but it’s more than just a treat, it’s good for you. If you want to save calories, eat half the apple with a meal and eat the other half apple with peanut butter as a snack for a little over 140 calories. Grapes, pears, black cherries and other fruit make a sweet treat that’s healthy.

One slice of angel food cake is only 72 calories.

Now top that angel food cake with 8 large, sliced strawberries for about 66 calories and 2 TBSP of non-fat topping for another 25 calories. That’s 163 calories and it’s a dessert that’s made for a queen or king. Mix a ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt—72 calories—with ½ cup frozen sliced black cherries—50 calories, a half banana—50 calories and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts, which is another 53 calories. Mix it and divide it in half. It one half immediately and freeze the other to eat like you would ice cream. It’s about 113 calories a serving.

  • What could be better than dipping strawberries into rich dark chocolate. This sweet treat will fill you up, but you have to make sure you use dark chocolate chips or a square of dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao.
  • Make your own microwave popcorn for a treat. Just put 1 ½ TBSP of popcorn in a brown paper lunch bag, fold the edge over and microwave it for a minute or two. It’s about 72 calories for 3-cups. Top it with a tsp of unsalted butter and a tsp of ranch dressing mix for another 50 calories.
  • Make your own trail mix. Mix your favorite nuts, dried fruit and bits of chocolate, then bag the mix into individual serving sizes. As you mix the big batch calculate the calories and then divide it up into 100 to 200 calorie bags.
  • Try grilling your favorite fruits for a sweet treat. Grilled pineapple, with a maraschino cherry or two topping the finished product or a grilled banana, papaya or peach is delicious and super low in calories.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Best Workouts For Toning Arms

We’re headed for warmer weather and lighter clothing. You know, they type that shows all your arms, not just your hands. If you have a problem with arm jiggle or bat wings, then it’s time to start workouts for toning arms. Not only will you look better, you’ll feel better two and be able to have more strength in your arms, which can mean having more fun in the summer months without getting sore and tired. These exercises are excellent for people who recently lost weight, but still have the excess skin left.

Strength training is the key to having toned arms.

That flabby extra skin under your arm, often called bat wings, is easier to get rid of when you do strength training, especially with dumbbells. Forearm wrist curls, palm up and palm down wrist curls and bicep curls can help tone the muscle. Do tricep kickbacks or overhead extensions, too. If you’re doing these at home and don’t have weights, don’t worry. You can create a substitute dumbbell with a water bottle or soup can. Hold it in both hands, one on top of the other, over your head, bend your arms at the elbow as you slowly lower it behind your head at a 90 degree angle. Lift back to starting position and repeat.

You can do arm exercises at work.

If you have your own cubicle and a chair that doesn’t have rollers, you’re ready for a quick workout that can also be a good break. Do a chair dip. If you don’t know what that is, it’s simple. Sit on the edge of a chair with your heels touching and legs extended straight. Grab the side of the chair you’re sitting in and lift yourself forward. Once your bottom passes the edge of the chair, lower your body slowly until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and your elbow is bent at a 90 degree angle. Lift back up to seated position and repeat.

You can tone your arms as you watch TV.

Bodyweight exercises are great for toning arms. Push-ups or modified push-ups are a start. The standard push-up is excellent for toning arms, even if you’re doing the modified knee push-up version for beginners. You can work different muscle groups by just adjusting the placement of your hands either close together or further apart. If you’re watching your favorite television show, do a plank during commercials. Not only will a plank help tone your arms, but it also builds core strength, too.

  • If you have access to dumbbells, do a bent dumbbell row. Bend at the waist pushing shoulder blades together and keeping your back flat. Your arms are straight down in starting position, then they lift the dumbbells to your chest and lower them again.
  • Don’t forget the importance of a healthy diet when you’re toning your muscles. Your body needs the nutrition to build muscle tissue. Make sure your duet has plenty of protein, especially collagen, to improve skin elasticity.
  • If you’re working out at home and want to take the workout a step further, but don’t have a lot of money for fancy equipment, get resistance bands. They’re inexpensive and store easily, but provide great muscle-toning benefits.
  • Towel curls are also great arm exercises that use common items in your home. If you want a personalized program to get results faster, we’re ready to help you at Team Worx Fitness.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Why Do Men Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

One of the biggest complaints I hear from women at Team Worx Fitness in Alexandria, VA is that they’ve changed their diet and create healthier meals and their husbands, who aren’t working out, seem to lose more weight than they do. It’s true, men lose weight faster than women, but there are reasons that this happens and ways to make the effort more equitable. It all starts by noting the differences in male and female body structure.

Men require more calories than women.

Men have more lean muscle mass than women. The more muscles you have, the more calories you require. That’s because it takes more calories to maintain muscle mass than it does to maintain fat. Women actually need more body fat for survival. It’s necessary for the reproductive system and if a woman’s body gets too low, she’ll suffer from athletic amenorrhea—lack of periods. While men need about 2 to 5%, women require 10 to 13%. The average fit woman has about 76 to 86% lean muscle mass, while the average fit man has 83 to 94%

Men’s bodies are normally larger.

There are definitely women that are taller than some men, but on the average, men tend to be larger boned and taller than women. That means they also should weigh more. The more you weigh, the more effort it takes just walking around and the more calories you burn. Society has dictated many of the manual chores to the males of the family, which means they burn more calories, but that’s changed a lot the last few years. If you check a calorie chart to find out how many calories are necessary to lose weight for your height, weight and activity level, you’ll find it also differs by gender. That shows men simply burn more calories each day, making it easier for them to lose weight.

You can close the gap and should close it.

While men tend to burn more calories, you can increase the calories you burn by making a few changes. The first is to get active. The more active you are, the more calories you burn. Part of your workout should be in strength-building. It puts on more lean muscle mass that revs your metabolism. It’s also important for women who want to avoid the potential of osteoporosis. Studies show that weight bearing exercises on a regular basis can slow or reverse bone loss as well as some medications. The only side effect is looking years younger and fabulous.

  • Not only will a sedentary lifestyle make it harder to lose weight, it also takes its toll on your body. Exercise can help prevent serious conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • It is discouraging to work hard at the gym and stick with a healthy eating plan only to lose less weight than a spouse, who eats more. That’s why each person should judge their progress based on their own personalized goals and progress.
  • A woman’s body is programmed to store fat for survival. Higher levels of estrogen cause women to store fat in the pelvis, buttocks, breasts and thighs. It also means less lean muscle mass.
  • If you’re working out hard on your own and dieting, but not making any progress, come into Team Worx Fitness. We can help. You’ll get a personalized workout and a nutrition plan that will help you reach your weight loss goal faster.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Foods That Relieve Stress

What’s the first thing you reach for when you feel under stress? If it’s a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream or a bowl of mashed potatoes, you’re probably focusing on comfort foods. However, to truly relieve stress you need to focus on certain healthy foods, focus on getting more sleep and getting adequate exercise. All these things can lower your cortisol levels and cortisol is the primary hormone of stress. It’s key in the fight-or-flight response, but when you get too much, for too long, it can create stress, which increases your blood pressure and causes inflammation.

Lower cortisol by eating an anti-inflammatory diet, starting with foods high in vitamin B.

If you want to boost the vitamin B levels in your diet, look for whole grains that are fortified with vitamin B or opt for animal products like beef, chicken, eggs, organ meat or nutritional yeast. Look for foods highest in B12, such as organ meats, clams, sardines and tuna. B12 helps metabolize cortisol. B12 also helps support normal functions of nerve cells, and can boost your energy level, improve your memory and help reduce the potential for heart disease.

Omega3 fatty acids can help mellow you out.

Your body cannot make the essential fatty acids, which includes omega-3 and omega-6. You have to get them from food. You need both, but in a specific ratio. It should be a three to one ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Unfortunately, today people eat 25 times more omega-6 compared to omega-3. Studies show that boosting the omega-3 and reducing the omega-6 back to the point where you have three times more omega-6 in the diet, can also reduce violent behavior, reduce inflammation and bring more peace of mind. Sources of omega-3 fatty acid include fatty fish like salmon, avocados, chia seeds, flax seeds, oysters and walnuts.

Eat foods rich in magnesium.

Avocados, bananas, broccoli, spinach, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate and spinach are foods that contain magnesium. It also helps metabolize cortisol, reduces inflammation and helps relax both the body and mind. Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters. They’re the messengers that travel throughout the nervous system and brain. It’s also anti-inflammatory, reduces PMS and provides a host of other benefits.

  • You need to balance your blood sugar levels to reduce stress, a spike in blood sugar can create stress. Food’s high in protein, like meat, fish, beans and legumes, are good to reduce stress.
  • A lot of your immune system is based in your gut and the microbiome. In fact, those friendly microbes also affect your mood. Eating fermented foods help balance blood sugar, which is another aid, while it boosts your mood. Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are good sources.
  • If you need a quick fix to reduce stress, try a few pumpkin seeds or some dark chocolate that’s at least 90% cacao. They contain magnesium that will help you relax quickly.
  • If you’re under stress, don’t make it worse. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, are simple carbs, soft drinks, food high in caffeine and alcoholic drinks.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

What Are The Healthiest Berries?

Everyone interested in their health probably knows that fruits and vegetables are healthy. Not all fruits or vegetables are equal when it comes to good health. For instance, berries are healthy, but what are the healthiest berries? At TeamWorX in Alexandria, VA, we help you improve your diet, and providing that kind of information is important. I won’t use the botanical definition of a berry, because that would include bananas, peppers, eggplant, watermelon, oranges, pumpkins, avocados tomatoes, kiwis and cucumbers. Botanically these are all fruits and berries, but not considered that by most people, and the list wouldn’t include strawberries, black raspberries and raspberries, which are botanically fruit but not berries.

Cranberries are tart, but really good for UTIs—urinary tract infections.

Besides containing a lot of vitamin C, fiber and manganese, cranberries contain an antioxidant called polyphenols and substances that prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract, bladder wall and stomach wall. Their slick surface powers stop the E. coli from getting firm footing in the bladder to create a UTI and H. pylori from sticking to the stomach wall to cause an ulcer. They also help keep arteries more flexible, lower blood pressure, prevent oxidative stress and reduce high cholesterol levels.

The Resveratrol that makes red wine heart healthy comes from the skin of the grapes.

Not only do dark skinned grapes contain resveratrol, but they also contain anthocyanins. In fact, it’s what makes them a deep blue or purple. Both are beneficial for the heart and help prevent other degenerative diseases. While white grapes are still good for you, purple and red have the highest antioxidant benefits. Grapes are high in fiber, vitamin C and K. Eating grapes at least three times a week can also help lower your risk of diabetes. Consuming them can reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower oxidative stress. Other studies show that drinking a cup and a half of Concord grape juice for three months can also help improve your memory.

Another blue berry brimming with anthocyanin is the blueberry.

When you see a fruit or vegetable that’s blue or deep purple, it probably contains anthocyanins. Blueberries are good for the brain and can help reduce cognitive impairment that occurs as you age. It also can help improve artery functioning and lower the bad cholesterol. Insulin resistance is a precursor to diabetes and including blueberries in your diet can reduce it by as much as 26%. They’re also packed with manganese, vitamin C, K and fiber.

  • Even though strawberries aren’t true berries, they’re consumed like berries and help reduce the risk of heart disease, aid in preventing diabetes and lower inflammation that’s responsible for many serious conditions.
  • Another non-berry berry that’s super healthy is the raspberry. All raspberries contain antioxidants and black raspberries in particular can help reduce inflammation, which helps lower the risk of heart disease.
  • One berry that’s been labeled a superfood by some is the goji berry. It boosts antioxidants in the blood and contains vitamins A, C, fiber and iron.
  • Another berry dubbed as a superfood by some is the acai berry. It’s beneficial for reducing blood sugar levels and the amount of insulin released. It also can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

He Who Indulges – Bulges

I’ve worked with people who eat for emotional reasons. It’s easy to do. If you’ve had a bad day, you deserve a treat, so you pile up ice cream in a dish and drizzle with chocolate to make everything better. Before you know it, every day is a bad day. If your feelings have been hurt, you go to a donut for solace or rejoice with a cupcake or two. It’s time to imprint in your memory the phrase, “He who indulges – bulges.” Remember it the next time you reach for your favorite happy, comfort or angry food.

Just this one time won’t cut it either.

Sure, you’ve been faithful to your healthy eating for almost two days, so it’s okay to have a milk shake “just this one time.” Before you know it, just this one time happens at least once a day or more. When you’re learning to eat healthier, it’s all about changing old unhealthy eating habits. It’s hard to stick with at first if you’re giving yourself a pass every few hours. While healthy eating is versatile, focus on sticking strictly with the program for at least thirty to sixty days until you’ve formed some new habits.

I’ll exercise twice as much tomorrow.

Do you want to skip a day of exercise and double up the next day? It doesn’t work that way. You have to be consistent to get results. Not only will you lose some ground, if you double up, you face the potential of overdoing your workout and facing injury. Speaking of injury, always check with your doctor before starting any fitness program. Schedule your workout every day and keep it as you would any appointment. Whether you’re working out online or in person, developing a habit of fitness is the goal.

I messed up already so why bother trying?

Everyone has setbacks, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost the battle. When Thomas Edison was asked about the 10,000 failures he had trying to create a long burning light bulb, he said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You won’t have to have 10,000 setbacks to find the right way to look and feel your best. Just be a winner and stick with the program.

  • Everyone goes through problems when they want to give up. That’s why I created Team Worx Fitness, because I’ve gone through those problems myself. We’re always here to encourage and believe in you, even when you can’t believe in yourself.
  • You’ll be surprised at how good you feel the longer you workout. That increased energy level is a powerful driving force.
  • Food will taste different the longer you eat healthy. Food with added sugar blunts your taste buds, so you have to eat more sugar to get the sweet taste. When you eliminate food with added sugar, your taste buds recover and fruit will taste deliciously sweet. It boosts your enjoyment of other healthy food, too.
  • If you want to feel and look your best, but still aren’t unsure, dip your toe in the water of fitness and try our five days for $5 option. It’s an easy way to get started. Every journey starts with the first step.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Become Your Best YOU This Year

Do you want to make this year different, one where you really take charge and change your life for the better? We can help you do that at TeamWorx Fitness in Alexandria, VA. We will show you the steps to take to become your best you, the version of yourself that you see in your head. It’s possible, but only you can do it. We’re a team, which is why we’re called TeamWorx Fitness. We provide the information, help and encouragement and you provide the effort.

Start by learning to eat healthier.

Eating healthier isn’t dieting. It’s making smarter choices when you select your food. Maybe you’ve tried diets before and failed. Most people have. That’s because they always leave you feeling deprived and hungry. Even worse, they always end, sometimes successfully with pounds lost and sometimes with a shake, fries and a double burger with cheese and bacon. Learning to make smarter choices, like eating brown rice instead of white rice, can save calories and boost nutrition. Once you start making better food choices, it becomes part of your lifestyle and never ends.

It’s time to get your body moving.

Do you ever envy those people that seem to have unlimited energy and are born with great bodies. That could be you, but not without an effort. We’re here for you every step of the way to encourage you to reach your goals, but we can’t do it for you. You have to get up and get your body moving and conquer your issues one exercise at a time. The more you workout, the more you’ll amaze yourself at just how much you can do.

A new you, the best version of yourself is always changing and doesn’t happen overnight.

Once you get on the road to fitness, you’ll be surprised at just how much you CAN do. While it takes true commitment initially, once you see the changes, you’ll want to make even more. You’ll feel how great it is to be strong and flexible and enjoy activities without having to stop to catch your breath. You’ll also see inches melt away and that fat replaced with toned, lean muscle tissue. Your success is what makes it all worthwhile for both of us.

  • Eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean you never get to have another piece of birthday cake or an order of fries. It just means you won’t eat them very often and will stick with portion control.
  • You can dip your toe into the fitness water by giving us a try. For just $5, you’ll get five days of workouts, meal plans with a grocery list and recipes, accountability coaching and more. It could change your life forever.
  • Don’t worry if you’re out of shape. It doesn’t matter where you start. The only thing that’s important is getting started.
  • After just a few weeks, people will start to notice the difference, even if you haven’t lost one pound. You’ll walk taller and look more confident. That comes from improved posture and improved self-esteem.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx

Are Certain Workouts Better During Menopause?

No matter what type of workouts you do, they all can help during menopause. The key is to get 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise. It can be cardio workouts like jogging, riding a bike, swimming or just walking or you can use the time for strength training. If you’re doing cardio, it boosts your heart rate, burns calories and improves circulation. Just getting exercise is regularly is what is important.

Strength training, especially weig0our body makes changes and estrogen levels drop.

The estrogen helped the body maintain bone strength. It’s estimated that 10% of the bone mass is lost during menopause and if the person is inactive or has other risk factors, it can be as high as 20%. When you do strength training, your muscles tug on the bone and that sets into motion the absorption of calcium to deal with the added force and prevent the bones from breaking when muscles tug on them. People tend to gain weight during menopause and strength training can help burn fat and build muscle tissue, which requires more calories for maintenance, so you’ll boost your metabolism.

Flexibility and relaxation training, like yoga and tai chi can help with hot flashes.

Each person going through menopause has different symptoms. Some have hot flashes, while others think they have no symptoms at all, until they realize that insomnia is one of those. Exercise of all types can help the insomnia, since you sleep better at night after working out. There are also poses in yoga that can help relieve the fatigue, irritability and hot flashes of menopause.

Do something you enjoy.

If you want to relieve some of the irritability of menopause, then do something you enjoy. Having fun and staying active is what it’s all about. Maybe you love playing tennis. It’s a good cardio workout and also improves flexibility. Dancing is another exercise that can improve overall body fitness. It builds strength, flexibility and endurance, too. It can be regular dancing like you’d do on an evening out on the town or take special classes in jazz, ballet or even belly dancing. The key is to enjoy it, not necessarily to prepare yourself for a chorus line.

  • You can use a StairMaster or take the frugal route and simply climb stairs regularly. I know someone that runs up and down their stairs at home as part of their workout. As your estrogen levels drop, your risk of coronary problems increase, so getting this type of cardio can keep you heart healthy.
  • If you don’t have time to workout, you can combine exercise with household duties. Just do your jobs with more speed and vigor. Washing windows, doing yardwork and scrubbing the tub can actually be quite a workout when you do it that way.
  • The food you eat also makes a difference in the severity of your symptoms. Eating healthy with plenty of greens, healthy fats and lean protein sources are important. Green tea, flax and oatmeal have also been shown to help relieve symptoms.
  • If you’re finding it hard to stick with a program or simply aren’t sure where to start, we can help. We’ll help you create realistic goals that are realistic, specific and attainable. At The Worx, we create personalized programs for you.

For more information, contact us today at The Worx by Maia