Category Archives: Blog

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What Happens to Your Body When You Workout

By | Blog, Exercise, Fit Tip, Weight Loss | No Comments

Whether you’ve been exercising all your life or just begun, there have always been myths and fads surrounding the fitness world. Crash diets, the ability to lose weight quickly or what foods to eat are examples of ways popular media has shaped fitness.

But really, the main reason many people exercise is to lose weight. However, many people go in blind without exactly knowing what will happen to their body. The following are things most likely to happen when you start a workout routine.

You’ll want to diet – Don’t do this.

You would think, “I’m starting to exercise, so I should go on a diet too!” It’s true that you should always try to eat healthy no matter what, but there is a distinct difference between “eating healthy” and “diet.”

Many diets include cutting out foods altogether like sugar and carbs. According to Brent Brookbush, certified personal trainer with degrees in Health and Wellness as well as a master’s in Exercise Science says, Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Excess calories are your enemy, not carbs! Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body.

Image Source: HypeScience.com

When you start exercising, your body uses sugar as energy because fat cannot be broken down fast enough to fuel high intensity activities. So, to burn the fat, the body needs more carbs to help burn it. Carbs are essential for a healthy diet and should be 45-60% of your daily calories. (Examples of good carbs would be beans, sweet potatoes and spinach. Complex carbs like multi-grain bread and rice in small quantities.)

You’ll want to eat more – Do this.

This does not mean get a second helping at dinner, it means to eat one or two healthy snacks throughout the day. As stated in the last section, your body needs more energy to burn fat. In those crash diets and instant weight loss programs they claim you can “lose 10 pounds in a week” or another outrageous number. But, those 10 pounds are not fat.

Image Source: ShareDiets.com

The weight loss during crash diets and low carb diets comes from muscle sugar depletion, relative dehydration and the breakdown of proteins in the muscles and liver. And it all comes down to carbs!

If you don’t consume enough carbs, your body has to find new ways to make sugar. Because of this new need, your body targets the storage in your muscles, not fat, to make sugar. Don’t detour your body’s new need to eat more when you start an exercise routine, make it up with lots of consumption of leafy greens, good carbohydrates and protein!

Your body might want to exercise – This is great!

You’ve most likely heard of “runner’s high” or the release of endorphins through the brain when a person exercises. But according to HowStuffWorks.com, researchers have found that light-to-moderate weight training or cardiovascular exercise doesn’t produce endorphins, only heavy weights or training that incorporates sprinting or other anaerobic exertion.

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When your body crosses over from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly operating without enough oxygen to satisfy the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs.

Though the sudden need for that euphoric feeling won’t get you addicted to exercising, you may start to notice you are more alert, have more energy and just want to get up and run around!

Every person is different, so when formulating an exercise routine for yourself, find your limits and find what works for you!

 

Ask the trainers at Powerlady to help you with your exercise routine!

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Creatures of Habit

By | Blog, Exercise, Fit Challenge, Fit Community, Fit Tip | No Comments

Colin Powell, a retired U.S. army general said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” Whether it’s a 4-star general or the little voice inside your head urging you to “keep moving forward,” developing a habit, a ritual, for your workout routine will mean all the difference.

According to Healthline, it takes six to eight weeks for your body to adapt to a workout routine, both physically and mentally. Though it is important to diversify your workout, as explained here, maintaining a healthy workout regimen is the first step.

Habits

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In recent years, as technology has grown, we are becoming more adapt to instant gratification. Food, movies, education and communication has become faster, direct and more frequent. In fitness, there are exercise crazes, fad diets and new weight loss pills all claiming to make you “instantly lose weight.”

People will start working out, see no results and either change it up or quit. But, we are far from instant creatures…we love habits. It’s true that growth and change are crucial for our lives, but it’s our routines that keep us functioning. After making that “I’m going to lose weight” New Years resolution three months in, we are picking up cake from the grocery store right next to our gyms.

Image Source: Mapmyfitness.com

Don’t treat fitness like that “new thing” or “something I’m going to start when I have time,” treat it like brushing your teeth or putting on make-up. It’s something you do frequently in your life to make yourself look and feel better. By developing your exercise habits, not only will you see results physically, you’ll feel results mentally.

Six to eight weeks…are you up for the challenge? The Poker Chip Challenge has helped our members start their routine! Ask how Powerlady Fitness can help you with your exercise routine. Need somewhere to start? Here’s a daily workout from darebee.com to try.

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Workout Not Working? Diversify your Workout

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So, you’ve finally mastered that workout you do on a daily basis and that 8-pound weight isn’t as hard to lift anymore. You’re finally getting better at working out and reaching your goals right? …yes and no. According to Healthline, when your body performs the same exercises repeatedly your muscles and body adjust. Even though your workout is more comfortable, your body is no longer being challenged.

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for your body to adapt to an exercise routine. If the routine stays the same, your fitness level will plateau. It’s important to add diversity to your exercise routine. The best way to do this is cover three areas of fitness: cardio, strength and stretch.

Cardio

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is any activity that increases your heart rate. When your heart rate reaches a certain level, the body begins to burn calories. This applies to any cardio exercise like running, dancing and aerobics.

 

Image Source: Renew.com

The best ways to vary your cardio workouts are changing pace, distance and intensity. Using a higher incline on a treadmill or changing your 2-mile daily walk to 20 minutes of jogging.

Strength

It’s very hard to build muscle without changing up strength or weight training; this is any exercise using weights and resistance. Once the muscles have adapted to a strength exercise, they will continue to need exposure to more challenging exercises to build muscle.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Remember to change up the weight. The best way to improve strength is to vary exercises for each body part. Many people may stick to bicep curls and push ups, but also remember the back, shoulders and triceps during your weight training.

Stretch

Improving your flexibility will not only improve your overall fitness, but it will give you more options and range for other workouts. Stretching routines like yoga at least 3 times a week will add to a well-rounded exercise routine. If stretching on your own remember to hit the major parts of the body like arms, legs, neck, shoulders and back.

Image Source: Huffington Post

 

Are you up for a new challenge? Try the Powerlady Poker Chip Challenge. Diversify your workout and put your name in for prizes and recognition! 

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5 Misconceptions About Yoga

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Stemming from spiritual origins, Yoga is a common practice performed by over 20 million Americans each year. Many people go into yoga wanting to improve flexibility, balance and overall mental health, yet there are still some common misconceptions when it comes to the mental and physical exercise.

#5 – You have to be flexible.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Yoga beginners typically go into a class thinking “I have to be flexible,” but that isn’t true. Though practicing over time can improve flexibility, it is not the main goal of yoga. In fact, the less flexible you are initially, the more you have to gain.

#4 – You have to wear yoga pants.

 

Image Source: L’chaim Center

Over the past few years, the “yoga pants” fad has swept across college campuses and even the desk of Montana politicians that want to ban them in the public eye. They are flexible, form-fitting pants designed for activities that involve a lot of movement including dancing, martial arts, aerobics and yoga. Though very fashionable, yoga pants aren’t needed. Any clothes you are comfortable in can be worn for yoga.

#3 – There is only one style of yoga.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Depending on the instructor, yoga can be stretch oriented, therapeutic or spiritual. There is not just one practice of yoga. According to the yoga alliance, there are 8 common types of yoga practice:

  • Gentle yoga classes are typically calming, relaxing, and less physically demanding than other classes. They may also use props to aid students in their practice.
  • Spiritually-oriented yoga classes often include meditation in addition to asana practice. They might also emphasize yoga philosophy, chanting, mantra, or cultivating spiritual growth.
  • Flow yoga classes are typically invigorating, and they often include aerobic elements. Each posture is usually held only for a short time before moving to the next posture.
  • Alignment-oriented yoga classes give particular attention to precision bodily placement, often with longer holds of asanas. Classes might use props to help students attain the desired alignment.
  • Fitness yoga primarily emphasizes the physical dimensions of yoga practice. Typical objectives might include aerobic conditioning, gaining strength, or building stamina.
  • Hot yoga classes involve practicing in heated rooms (varying in temperature, potentially up to 110°F). The postures themselves may or may not be physically demanding.
  • Therapeutic yoga adapts yoga techniques to help those facing health challenges to manage their condition, reduce symptoms, increase vitality, and/or improve mental outlook.
  • Specialty yoga classes often customize yoga for particular groups, such as seniors, children, expectant mothers, and those facing serious health conditions. Specialized training is important for teachers who work with these groups.

 

#2 – You have to be young.

 

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Many people, ages 16 to 80 perform yoga. You are never too old! In a way, yoga is beyond age as it helps to stabilize the body and mind.

#1 – It’s easy.

 

Image Source: Doctorul Zilei

Yoga is a combination of strength, balance and flexibility. Often regarded as a practice for women, Yoga was developed by men for meditation and spiritual enlightenment. It requires focus, stability and determination. Depending on the type of yoga you want to practice, it takes time and diligence to master and perform daily, but the pay off is worthwhile!

 

Come check out our amazing yoga instructors at PowerLady!

Member Success Story of Sarah F.

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What kept you going consistently?

I would plan in the beginning of the week when I planned to come to the gym. I packed my bag and put it in the car. The people at the front desk helped too-when will we see you again? The e-mails helped too…. helped hold accountable. very supportive. seeing changes in myself was also motivation for me to keep going. Coming and getting started was the hardest part. Once I did that it felt easier. Even though I was tired some days I made myself do it and always felt better when I was leaving.
-Sarah F., Member since 2014

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Cross Training and the Benefits for Women

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What is Cross Training and what are the Benefits for Women?

Cross Training is an exercise regimen that includes using different forms of exercise to improve overall performance – in your chosen sport or in your favorite class.  Cross training will improve your body by keeping various muscle groups fresh and fit, while variety in the workout routine helps to prevent overuse injuries.

When you only do one kind of fitness activity – such as running or weight lifting, and you only work on the muscles involved in that sport, you will usually be in great shape for that specific endeavor. Plus, when you restrict yourself to one type of exercise, you will eventually reach a point where you will maintain your level of fitness rather than improving it. Conversely, cross training will help build balanced, physical proficiency, thereby increasing your overall level of fitness and preparing you for a wide range of activities.

Benefits of Cross Training

  • works different muscle groups
  • reduces the risk of injury
  • lessens the chance of boredom
  • improves skill, agility and balance
  • helps break weight loss plateausgroupofwomen

Halloween Candy Tips

By | Blog, Nutrition | No Comments

Enjoy Halloween candy, the right way!

Americans buy almost 600 MILLION POUNDS of candy every Halloween! That’s a lot of candy!

Your child’s trick-or-treat bag can possibly contain 4,800 calories and around 3 cups of sugar, if they do it right!

Do you (when you sneak and eat the candy) and your child a favor by giving them better options.

Not So Good Choices:

  • 1 full size Babe Ruth candy bar has 280 That’s equal to a single-patty hamburger!
  • 1 fun size Kit-Kat has 210
  • 1 fun size Twix is 125
  • A Halloween favorite Candy Corn has 150 calories per ounce!
  • 1 ounce of Twizzlers is 101
  • 3 Jolly Ranchers are 70 calories all together!
  • 1 Dum-Dum pop is 27
  • 1 roll of Smarties is 25
  • 1 Hershey Kiss is 22
  • 1 Starburst (just one, not the pack) is 20

*Hard candies are a good choice because they take longer to consume which makes it less likely that you will consume a lot of them.

**Also, fruit leathers are a good choice if you want to go a healthier route.hardcandy

Miriam’s Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle

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At Power Lady Fitness we are more than just your typical workout gym. We focus on each members goals from exercise to healthy eating. This post is a success story from one of our happy members.

What did you do for health and fitness before coming to Powerlady Fitness?

powerlady fitness success storyI was an athlete all through high school playing all sports my school had to offer. In college things started to slow down, I was used to being in such good shape I didn’t think I would gain too much weight.  Boy was I wrong! I had horrible eating habits, eating two plates of food at meals and lots of snacks. I slowly but surely gained 30-60 pounds. I was definitely watching my weight, but I wasn’t really doing too much to take care of it. Before I got married I did manage to lose some weight but shortly after the wedding, I gained all the weight back.

What was your light bulb moment-the reason you started exercising? 

I have always been working out, but on and off. Since high school I didn’t have a consistent routine not that it’s an excuse haha.  I had to move every semester with my husband so having a routine was hard for me to get into.  Moving back home and starting my business made me feel accomplished, so I wanted to continue those feelings.

What was or has been the most challenging thing with your fitness journey?

Loving myself-

I was on a long journey to getting back in shape. I first had to learn to love myself mind, body and soul. I needed to be in the right mindset (example not to stressed out, organize my thoughts) everything would be fine. I needed to accept that I didn’t NEED to be a Size 0 like I was in high school or like the super models in the Victoria’s Secret magazines.  Most of my exercise was for my appearance, making sure I looked skinny. I now love my body no matter what shape it’s in (accepting that my weight is going to fluctuate). The next step was to stay healthy and tone up.

Is there anything you are doing now that you never thought you would? 

Being under control-

Portion control was a big step for me. I love Food! I would just go back for seconds because the food was so good. I now stop after one plate of smaller portions and sit for a few minutes to see if I am truly still hungry.  I try not to snack (junk food) during the day. Now that I have started my business ‘Past Present Production’ I have stayed busy. I try to have little meals throughout the day or healthy snacks (hard boiled eggs, cheese, granola bars and fruit).  My husband loves junk food (but he stays skinny and doctors say he’s healthy so I can’t argue with him) I have felt very accomplished turning down his snack foods and that is one way I have felt major self-control!

 

What was your key to success?

Setting goals-

I needed to set long term goals. Better eating habits, going to the gym 2-3 days a week, drinking more water during the day and cleansing my mind at the end of every day (not stressing over things I cannot control). It definitely helps to have a work out partner to help get you to the gym and to do the same for her.  My mother has been my work out partner since I moved back to Atlanta. I have found that we both need a push a times, but have helped out each other for the better.

How has losing weight/being healthier and fit changed your life?

Patience-

I would say I am a pretty patient person. But one of my biggest problems before was expecting results sooner than later. I would work out every day, eat less and I kept looking in the mirror for results to happen immediately. Because the results didn’t come as quick as I wanted I would get discouraged and think that I wasn’t going to lose the weight. I would really put myself down (again that would be an unhealthy mind-set).  It’s hard for most people to notice a change in their weight when they see themselves every day. So I just had to learn to take my time with a healthy routine and be patient with my body. I feel way more in tune with my body like I did when I was younger, but I have a way healthier mind-set to go with it.  I think being a graphic designer I am constantly reminded that most models don’t look like they do in the magazines or on the web.  Unfortunately young girls and most women don’t see that side, they are aware of the airbrushing and editing but they forget when all the ads are shoved in their faces every day.  I think it’s important for mothers, fathers, siblings and friends to help others stay positive and motivated. To love themselves and to know they can do it if they set their minds to it.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start a workout program?

Expectations-

Now that I have Self-love, Goals, and better control I have to lower my expectations. I don’t want to get to ahead of myself. It is great that I have been working on all of these steps, but I can’t expect too much of myself. I still want to keep a healthy mind-set I expect to word hard on my goals but if I slip up (eating my husband’s junk food or eating too much at one meal) I don’t “punish” myself.  I just accept it and expect that it may delay me a little with my progress. It’s never the end of the world and I just keep pushing forward.

With the Time Change what else can you Change?

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Your challenge is to try a new class this week.  Or, if you have tried them all what can you do a little different?  How can you challenge yourself to go a little bit further?  Is it an extra 10 seconds holding a yoga pose?  Spending a few extra minutes on the treadmill?  Pushing your jog time to be a little faster for 30 seconds?

Change is as Good as Rest

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The term cross training refers to an exercise routine involving several different forms of exercise. For most people cross training will help them reach and or maintain a high level of overall fitness. It’s a great way to condition different muscle groups and develop a new set of skills.

After months of the same exercise not only does the same old workout routine become boring but your body becomes extremely efficient in adapting to these movements. It automatically fires up the right amount of energy, muscles and fibers so that the exercise becomes or seems easy. That’s a great accomplishment for you but it limits the amount of the overall challenge you’re actually getting. So instead of continuing to improve your fitness, you’re simply maintaining.

Cross training keeps it interesting and engages different muscles all the time. This builds overall muscle strength and reduces the chance of injury from repetitive strain or overuse.

The benefits to cross training are countless…from conditioning the entire body and not just specific muscle groups, to improving your skill, agility and balance. Try a new class or form of exercise this week. Mix and match your sports and change your routine on a regular basis.

If you want to see an improvement in your cardio, stronger bones, muscles and joints, reduced body fat and improved flexibility, better balance and coordination, get started on a cross training exercise routine today!

You have One Million Reasons not to Work Out. And One Great Reason to Start Now: YOU. Contact us!