4 Small Exercise Tweaks that Lead to Big Results

Are you just not seeing results from the fitness program you’re doing? Whatever your particular situation is, it might be time to look at the way in which you are performing the important exercises in your plan. Very often, all it takes is one small tweak to that movement to get you seeing results again.

Let’s walk you through some of the common errors that many people often make with their exercises so that you can see for certain how to adjust them in your workout plan.

1. The Full Squat

Of all the moves you do in your workout program, perhaps the full squat is the most important. Squats work multiple muscle groups at once, boost your heart rate, and will enhance your balance and agility.

The biggest error made with this movement is not going all the way down to the ground. Remember, if you move halfway through an exercise, you’ll see half the results. By going all the way down to the ground in the squat, you’ll get greater glute activation, meaning better butt building results. If you want that round, curved backside, squatting as low down to the ground as possible is a necessity.

2. The Bent Over Row

Now we come to the bent over row. The biggest mistake here is letting momentum take over the exercise.

As you bend over, you want to really think of squeezing the shoulder blades back and together as you lift the bar up towards the chest. Never swing the weight upward or you’ll have very little muscle activation and put yourself at risk for lower back pain. Keep the back as stationary as possible and that too will help ensure it’s only muscular power driving this movement.

3. The Crunch

The front crunch is another commonly performed exercise that will help build muscular strength and endurance throughout the core – if you perform it correctly.

This move is all about the mind-muscle connection. You need to really focus on just squeezing those abs as you let the upper body rise up into the crunch position and then lower it back down again. Never pull on the back of your head with your hands or swing the body upward using momentum in this movement as well. Slow, controlled, and steady – that needs to be how this exercise is performed.

4. The Push-Up

Finally, when doing push-ups, make sure that you don’t short yourself here like you may have been doing on your squats.

Go all the way down to the ground so that your chest is just inches from touching. Half push-ups will do very little to build muscular strength. If anything, they’ll just put excess stress on your shoulder and elbow joints as you bounce up and down through the movement. Lower down on a three count, pause at the bottom for a one count, and then press up over a two count. This will really have you feeling the muscles you’re targeting.

Clean up these four exercises in your workout program and you’ll be amazed at the results that you start to see.


Shannon Clark
Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark is an AFLCA certified personal trainer with a degree in exercise science. She has written on the topics of health, fitness, and nutrition for nearly a decade, and her thoughts and advice are regularly published on Bodybuilding.com, shannonclarkfitness.com, and FitRated.com, a leading fitness equipment review site offering fitness insights on equipment, workout plans, and weight loss strategies.

 

Original Post on My FitnessPal.com

12 Amazing Exercise Benefits That Aren’t About Weight Loss

While most of us are aiming for max calorie burn at the gym, there are numerous other physical and psychological benefits of exercise. Before getting into those amazing benefits of exercise, it’s important to understand how much of it is needed. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least:

  • Aerobic activity: 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity (brisk walking, swimming, mowing the lawn) OR 75 minutes per week of vigorous activity (running, aerobic dancing), and…
  • Strength training: At least two sessions per week of strength training (heavy gardening, rock climbing, lifting weights).

When losing weight, calories out (from exercise and metabolism) must be greater than calories in (food consumed). While it’s important to understand calories and portions in food, it can be discouraging to focus on how few calories are burned through exercise. The good news for you is that the benefits of exercise go beyond the calorie burn:

1. Relieves Stress & Anxiety. Exercise releases norepinephrine, which can regulate and reduce your stress response. It can also improve overall mood and alleviate depression through endorphins that provide feelings of euphoria. Yoga and Pilates also focus on proper breathing, which can be a coping mechanism for short- and long-term stress.

2. Improves Learning & Memory. Working out stimulates new neural growth patterns in the brain. Exercise causes the brain to release chemicals that may prevent the breakdown of the hippocampus, which is thought to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

3. Improves Self-Esteem & Body Image. “You never regret a workout” is a popular motivational saying, and it’s quite true! The endorphin boost and sense of accomplishment attained post-workout improves self-worth. A combination of our physical gains (Think: more pronounced muscles, less body fat) and improved mood helps us feel better about ourselves.

4. Strengthens the Heart. Our cardiovascular system contains one of the most important muscles in the body, the heart. Just like the other muscles in the body, exercise improves the heart’s overall function and efficacy. When the cardiovascular system works efficiently, it provides more oxygen, nutrients and energy to your body throughout the day. If you’re feeling low in the middle of the workday, take a brief walk to get the heart pumping and blood flowing to boost your energy and performance. According to the CDC, aerobic activity can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, increase “good” cholesterol (HDL), decrease triglycerides and lower blood pressure.

5. Builds Stronger Bones. Our bones thin as we age, putting us at greater risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures that can reduce our quality of life. Weight-bearing (high- or low-impact) and muscle-strengthening exercises build and strengthen the bones as well as the muscles that surround them. Nonimpact exercises like yoga or tai chi can improve balance, posture and flexibility, which may reduce exercise-related injuries.

6. Promotes Quality Zzz’s. Exercise has been shown to reset the circadian rhythm. After a workout, the body’s internal temperature returns to baseline and signals the brain that it’s time for sleep. Try to give yourself at least an hour or two to wind down post-exercise, otherwise those endorphins can keep you going!

7. Provides a Bonding Experience with Loved Ones. With everyone buried in technology these days, it’s nice to have a reason to get out and enjoy the real world with friends and family. Take a class, walk your dogs, play a sport or go for a jog with your workout partner. Having a network of friends also helps keep you on track. It’s much easier to come up with excuses when you only have yourself to rely on.

8. Improves Mood. Exercising outdoors can help ensure adequate production of vitamin D. This vitamin has been linked to cognitive function, and inadequate levels have been linked to mood swings. Catching a few rays while exercising (with sun protection) may actually lessen depressive symptoms.

9. Increases Metabolism. Working out can burn calories, but did you know it can also help burn them while you’re sleeping? Muscle cells require more energy (calories) in comparison to fat cells at every point throughout the day. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn. As we age, we lose muscle mass and become less efficient at protein metabolism. This is why strength training is so important for older adults.

10. Improves Digestion. Exercise can relieve constipation and help those with digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease and liver disease. It can also decrease the risk for colon cancer and ulcers. Stress is another contributor to digestive issues, which can be reduced with regular exercise.

11. Reduces Disease Risk. Exercise can actually help prevent diseases like prevent Type 2 diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome and even some forms of cancer. Because exercise burns energy (or calories), it makes the body more efficient at using glucose (a type of sugar) and clearing it from the blood. If you already have diabetes or prediabetes, exercise can help regulate blood sugar levels. It’s just another benefit of taking a stroll after dinner!

12. Decreases Appetite. For many, exercise can be an appetite suppressant. While this may be a physical result for some, it can also be mental. After torching all those calories in the workout, exercise may actually encourage smarter food choices.

There are so many options out there for fitness. If a crowded gym isn’t your thing, try boot camp, yoga, Pilates, cardio dance, aerial silks, rock climbing, kickboxing, CrossFit, Spinning or join a group that trains for half-marathons if running is more your speed.

Don’t have time to fit in a full workout? Incorporate fitness into your daily activities. Take the stairs, walk during your lunch break, walk and talk on those long phone calls, stretch on the floor while you type away, park in the farthest spot at the grocery store and bicep curl those grocery bags. My favorite way to kill some time is to do some squats with a kid, dog, cat, husband or whatever you can find while waiting for those veggies to steam.

And remember the benefits of regular exercise go far beyond the calorie burn!

**Before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician or health-care professional.

Kristina LaRue
Kristina LaRue

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD, LDN is a sports dietitian in Orlando, FL and co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. She writes the food and nutrition blog, Love & Zest, where she shares recipes, life, and nutrition. Connect with her outside of the blog on Pinterest,  Twitter and Instagram.

Original Post on My Fitness Pal.com

3 BR Condo in Newark (UNDER CONTRACT)

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions | 609-474-0360

3 BR Condo in Newark (UNDER CONTRACT)

334 Littleton Ave, Newark, NJ 07103

$95,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 1989
Sq Footage: 1232 sqft.
Bedrooms: 3 Beds
Bathrooms: 1.5 Baths
Property Type: Condo

DESCRIPTION


3 BR, 1.5 bath condo in Newark. HUD Home being sold “as is”

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions
609-474-0360

Great Home in Newark

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions LLC | 609-474-0360

Great Home in Newark

301 Dr Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Newark, NJ 07102

$80,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 1887
Bedrooms: 9+ Beds
Bathrooms: 2 Baths
Floors: 2
Lot Size: 2052 Square Feet
Property Type: Single Family House

DESCRIPTION


HUD Home being sold “as is”. Buyer is responsible for all inspections and certifications.

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions LLC
609-474-0360

10 Weight-Loss Myths You Should Stop Believing

If only figuring out how to lose weight were an open and shut case. But if slimming down happens to be a goal of yours, you may have experienced the struggle of parsing through conflicting weight-loss advice. Should you go high-protein or high-fat? Cut the dairy, or make Greek yogurt a snacking staple? Here, experts explain the truth behind 10 popular misguided pieces of weight-loss information. Self

1. Myth: carbs will make you gain pounds, period.
Some people equate carbohydrates with weight gain because they bind water and can lead to bloating. You’re not truly getting bigger, but it can sure feel like it. The other reason people may see carbs as a nutritional adversary is because they can be so easy to overeat, which actually can lead to added pounds. To avoid that sneaky trap, fill your diet with complex carbohydrates like vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. “They often contain fiber and many vitamins and minerals, unlike simple carbohydrates found in white rice, refined sugar, sodas, and candy,” Ashvini Mashru, R.D., author of Small Steps to Slim, and owner of Wellness Nutrition Concepts LLC, tells SELF.

2. Myth: indulging is off-limits.
The fact is that humans have increasingly long lifespans. Can you honestly imagine never touching your favorite food again for decades? It’s just not sustainable, which is why experts don’t advocate swearing off your most-loved treats altogether. “I strongly believe through personal and professional experience that all foods can fit into a healthy diet,” Samantha Finkelstein, R.D., founder of Nerdy Girl Nutrition, tells SELF. “If you’re really hungry for something, sit down with it, savor it, enjoy it, and move on.”

3. Myth: going gluten-free is clutch for dropping pounds.
If you don’t have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, adopting a gluten-free diet probably won’t do much in the way of lasting weight loss. You might see a change in the beginning because you’ll cut back on things like pasta, bagels, and pizza, but it’s likely not sustainable. “Over time, most people find ways to reintroduce these calories into their diets by way of ‘gluten-free’ products,” says Mashru. Those foods have what experts call a “health halo,” meaning they seem healthier than they really are thanks to a few well-placed buzzwords.

4. Myth: the number on the scale is the best marker of health.
So not true! “Weight may be one way your doctor or dietitian lets you know if you’re at risk for certain lifestyle-associated diseases, but even then it’s not always the most reliable indicator,” says Finkelstein. Someone who’s technically outside of the “normal” range weight-wise but has healthy habits can be less at risk for things like heart disease than someone in the “normal” weight range who doesn’t eat well or exercise.

5. Myth: low-fat and fat-free foods are automatically better for you.
“Many processed low-fat or fat-free foods have just as many calories as the full-fat versions, or even more,” says Mashru. To compensate for the loss of flavor and texture that occurs when you take away fat, they may also have added sugar, flour, salt, or other additives. “Read the nutrition facts on a food package to find out how many calories are in a serving, and also check the serving size to see if it’s less than you’re used to eating,” says Mashru.

6. Myth: exercise needs to be hardcore to count.
Working out comes in many forms, and not all of them will leave you breathless and drenched in sweat. “Exercise doesn’t have to be spending an hour at the gym. Just get moving,” says Finkelstein. “Take a dance class, go for a hike, walk the dog, or vacuum your house. It all counts!” So, yes, those late-night solo dance parties where you pretend you’re Beyoncé are well worth it.

7. Myth: there’s nothing wrong with cutting out entire food groups or nutrients.
While some people have issues like lactose intolerance that require eliminating food groups or nutrients, most people don’t need to go to those lengths. “A healthy diet is marked by variety, balance, and moderation,” says Finkelstein. “Your body requires fat, protein, and carbohydrates to function. Removing one of these components may lead to nutrient deficiencies, and may even hinder weight loss, as your body lacks what it needs.”

8. Myth: skipping meals is a great way to lose weight.
Eating less equals less calories, which equals weight loss, right? Even though that seems logical, that’s generally not how the human body works. “People who skip meals tend to feel hungrier later on and eat more than they normally would,” says Mashru. She recommends eating small meals throughout the day to keep your energy up, maintain stable blood sugar levels, and stay satiated so you don’t make impulsive food choices.

9. Myth: artificial sweeteners are the brilliant answer to your sugar cravings.
A healthy sugar substitute for zero calories sounds too good to be true, so of course it is. “A sugar craving is a biochemical reaction, and it turns out your brain can tell the difference between real sugar and the fake stuff even when your taste buds can’t,” says Finkelstein. So when you try to tame a nagging sweet tooth with artificial sweeteners, you might actually eat more of the treat because your craving isn’t getting satisfied. “It’s also important to remember that just because something is sweetened with artificial sweeteners doesn’t mean it’s calorie-free,” says Finkelstein.

10. Myth: you can eat whatever as long as you exercise.
It’s all about balance. “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet, and you can’t out-diet a lack of exercise,” says Finkelstein. “Maintaining a healthy body is about leading a healthy lifestyle that is fed by real food and prioritizes physical activity.” Refer back to number three and remember: that includes room for indulging!

—By Zahra Barnes

Original Post on My Fitness Pal.com

 

2 BR, 1 Bath Home in Linden

Contact info:
Robert George | RTG Property Solutions LLC | 609-474-0360

2 BR, 1 Bath Home in Linden

840 Middlesex St, Linden, NJ 07036

$84,000

KEY FEATURES
Year Built: 1954
Sq Footage: 853 sqft.
Bedrooms: 2 Beds
Bathrooms: 1 Bath
Parking: None
Lot Size: 2178 Square Feet
Property Type: Single Family House

DESCRIPTION


2 BR, 1 Bath Home in Linden. HUD Home being sold "as is". Buyer responsible for all inspections and certifications.

Contact info:
Robert George
RTG Property Solutions LLC
609-474-0360