Tagged as: Denver Fitness

Are you using your Peloton the right way?

I thought I was. I remember when I first bought it, I was so excited to have a cycle instructor lead me through the vigorous workouts. I was sweating my butt off, out of breath and thoroughly whipped. I was initially rewarded for my hard work. I noticed after about 8 weeks of rigorous, daily cycling, I lost some of the back fat I had gained with my 2nd pregnancy at 42 years old. I was so excited because nothing was working on that stubborn back fat. But then, I noticed my weight loss was leveling off. I tried longer classes. Harder classes. Hill climbs, HIIT, even Tabata–still, I was maintaining, not losing. It reminded me of, 20 years ago, when I used to run for miles and miles with no noticeable results. I started running more and more, but I was gaining weight not losing. It wasn’t until 2005, when I met Jason Stone of Icelandic Fitness and Recovery, and Denver Golf Performance (and in 2007, married him), and he introduced weight training into my workouts –that I started seeing noticeable results. Back then, flabby arms and saddlebags were my biggest issues.

That was an Aha! moment for me with my Peloton, and luckily around the same I started plateauing with cycling (2018), Peloton introduced boot camps, and strength training. I started doing one day of cycling, the next day a combo of running and strength (a warmup run, followed by 30 minutes of weights), then the next day –a 45 minute bootcamp, which is 1/2 running, 1/2 strength, the next day–cycling again, and so on and so on.  That’s when my Peloton workouts really started paying off. I lost 8 pounds from where I really needed it most–my back fat and tummy.

I really think taking advantage of the variety of workouts Peloton offers is the key to using it the “right way,” especially if you are over 40 and battling the middle weight, as so many of us women do. I am about to turn 49, and I’m feeling better about my body than I have in a long time.

 

Heidi Hemmat

 

Heidi Hemmat 2019

Heidi Hemmat 2019

Heidi Hemmat 2017 before Peloton

Heidi Hemmat 2016 before Peloton, one year after the birth of my second child

Expert Neil Wolkodoff shares his research on the Effectiveness of Walking during Covid-19

Walking During Covid

With the COVID restrictions in place, and local gyms/facilities closed, people are walking outside. But are you getting the same workout that you would at your facility?

The answer is maybe, but likely not. Let’s look at the variables and data to make some sense of how to do outdoor walking to equal what you would do at the gym. Mentally, walking outside has psychological benefits, yet how you adjust the variables determines if you gain physical benefits and changes.

First, energy expenditure is based upon horizontal and vertical distance traveled. Go to Washington Park in Denver, the 2.5-mile loop is relatively flat, so you don’t get the extra benefit of walking up a hill. In general, when you add 1/10 of mph, that is going to have only 10-20% of the effect of adding a percent to the grade. The average person walking for 45 minutes for 3 miles at a flat will probably expend 300-375 kcal. Add 6% grade to the equation, and that number jumps to 550-594 kcal. That is quite a bit of difference with just a little bit of grade. Hills win from an energy expenditure perspective. So, if you were walking indoors on a treadmill at grade, you will either have to go faster or find hills to equal your gym workout.

Ideally, all forms of exercise should combine for an total expenditure of around 4,000 kcal per week. For most people a vigorous workout at the gym counts for 500 kcal per session. So, five days per week and you have quite a bit covered (2500 kcal). Combine with walking around the house or office more, and you can hit that 4K goal. This is the metric where health, fitness and weight maintenance combine.

As you get older, comfortable walking speed declines, which impacts energy burned. At age 30, it was probably 3.4 mph; at age 60, it is 2.6 mph. Most people are walking as couples or families, and that tends to take the speed down another notch or two. Since the goal is 30 minutes of walking per day according to the popular press is what many people are doing, they probably are not going fast enough as well as not long enough.

Another set of factors is muscle strength and the condition of your joints. The less power you have, especially in the legs, the more you slow down during your walk. Simply put, you can’t brake effectively in the de-acceleration phase when you land. The same is true for bad joints, whether it be knees, hips, or feet. People notice the joint (S) and do slow down accordingly.

 

The exercise bottom line is relatively simple. 30 minutes of walking is not going to be near as good as 30 minutes of treadmill walking at a grade.

Walking for 30 minutes is better than nothing. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the same as 45 minutes of “cardio” at a brisk pace at your former facility. Add time or add grade to get closer to what you need!

 

Neil Wolkodoff

References

Cunha FA, Catalão RP, Midgley AW, Gurgel J, Porto F, Farinatti PT. Do the speeds defined by the American College of Sports Medicine metabolic equation for running produce target energy expenditures during isocaloric exercise bouts?. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012;112(8):3019–3026.

Franz JR, Kram R. The effects of grade and speed on leg muscle activations during walking. Gait Posture. 2012;35(1):143–147.

Hall C, Figueroa A, Fernhall B, Kanaley JA. Energy expenditure of walking and running: comparison with prediction equations. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2004;36(12):2128–2134.

Horiuchi M, Endo J, Horiuchi Y, Abe D. Comparisons of energy cost and economical walking speed at various gradients in healthy, active younger and older adults. J Exerc Sci Fit. 2015;13(2):79–85.

Lam YY, Ravussin E. Analysis of energy metabolism in humans: A review of methodologies. Mol Metab. 2016;5(11):1057–1071.

Minetti AE, Moia C, Roi GS, Susta D, Ferretti G. Energy cost of walking and running at extreme uphill and downhill slopes. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002;93(3):1039–1046.

Nagano, H., James, L., Sparrow, W.A. et al. Effects of walking-induced fatigue on gait function and tripping risks in older adults. J NeuroEngineering Rehabil 2014:(11), 155.

Roberts D, Hillstrom H, Kim JH. Instantaneous Metabolic Cost of Walking: Joint-Space Dynamic Model with Subject-Specific Heat Rate. PLoS One. 2016;11(12).

PS, walking the dog is barely good exercise for the dog. Don’t be fooled into thinking that qualifies as “cardio” exercise for you!

You’re Sick – Should You Work Out or Not?

 

We’re smack in the middle of cold and flu season. And one of the questions my clients are asking – should I work out, even though I’m feeling under the weather?

The answer – it depends.

 

Just a couple of weeks ago, I was diagnosed with the flu, and believe me, it hit hard. I was out for a good week and certainly did not feel like doing much. It set me back a bit and I’m just now getting back into my regular workout routine.

 

So if you’re sick and wondering about working out – one of the first things to consider is – what are your symptoms? Most viruses make themselves known with a combination of things – fatigue, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, fever; maybe even nausea and vomiting. Obviously, with the more severe symptoms, you’re not going to feel like doing much. But, with the lesser symptoms, if you have the energy, then go ahead.

 

That being said, keep these things in mind: if your nose and ears are stuffed up, your balance may be off and it will obviously be harder to breathe. If you have a fever, you will be more prone to dehydration.

 

The bottom line – take it easy and rest if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • Fever over 99-100 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Severe muscle fatigue and extreme tiredness
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Feelings of dizziness or faintness when you stand

 

If you are feeling just a bit off, it’s probably safe to proceed with your workout but it’s a good idea to lower the intensity. This is really a time to listen to what your body is saying.

 

Some trainers suggest that you do what’s called a “neck check.” Basically, are your symptoms above the neck – are you sneezing, do you have a sore throat, a runny nose? If so, then it’s probably okay to work out. Keeping in mind that you probably can’t do your regular workout. Remember – it’s going to be hard to breathe.

 

If your symptoms are below the neck – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea – it would be better to take it easy. Rest. Recuperate. Take a few days off. Get well.

 

Regular exercise can do wonders for your immune system, but, when you’re sick, working out can make you feel worse and slow down your recovery.

 

Just listen to your body and know that if you decide to rest, you can get right back to it when you’re well.

Jason Stone

Icelandic Fitness

Prioritize Your Fitness

5 Reasons Why You Should Think About Yourself First

 

Of course you want to work out. But, it’s hard to make time, what with work, the family, summer activities – you get the picture. It’s difficult to keep that promise to yourself to do something for yourself. Everyday.

 

There are legitimate excuses – you’re sick, a family emergency, or a huge project with a tight deadline at work. The problem is, if you look around long enough, there are plenty of excuses to keep you from ever working up a sweat. I’m here to tell you that you really need to think about yourself for a change.

 

We all want to look our best and exercise and a good diet are the keys to achieving that goal. But, exercise is important in other ways. It makes you feel better and improves your performance at work and at home. So, all those things you need to do everyday? Exercise can help you get them done.

 

Top 5 reasons to exercise:

  • Exercise increases energy. It improves your muscle strength, increases endurance and helps your lungs and heart work more efficiently. That gives you more energy.
  • Exercise reduces stress. Whether you’re just overwhelmed with a work project, or a family “crisis” (like a two year old’s public meltdown), a quick workout can help relieve stress.
  • Exercise helps you sleep better. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Just don’t do it close to bedtime.
  • Exercise can put some spice back in your sex life. Ok- increased energy, reduced stress, more sleep. Add to that, a better self-image. That equals more couple time.
  • Exercise improves your mood. Again, reduced stress, increased energy, better sleep and more sex. That would put most folks in a good mood.

 

So, WHY aren’t you exercising? Here’s what my clients tell me:

 

  • No time.
  • No energy.

 

Let’s talk about time. While it’s understandable that each day brings up unforeseen problems or situations, when you make something a priority, you find the time.

 

The energy problem. It stands to reason that sitting at a desk all day, coupled with work and family stress can drag you down. Remember, regular exercise will GIVE you energy. Just push yourself a little to get the ball rolling.

 

 

How to make exercise a priority? Even I struggle with this sometimes. But, I make it a point to fit a daily workout into my lifestyle. I have to say that I always feel better after a few minutes of cardio or weights. Or, even a hike on the weekend.

 

Here are a few things to consider:

 

  • Be realistic and start slow. You’re not going to be able to fit unrealistic goals into your lifestyle. Exercise needs to fit as seamlessly as possible into your life. If you have to adjust everything to fit in a workout, you probably will continue to make excuses why you just can’t do it. So, start out with two to three days a week. Then, add another day, another workout.
  • Put exercise on your calendar. Seriously. Block out the time. Let your family and your co-workers know. It’s harder to ignore if it’s on your calendar.
  • Be prepared. Plan ahead. If you know you’re doing cardio at lunch, be sure to have your workout clothes. If you forget, it’s an easy out, an easy excuse.
  • Get the family involved. There are going to be times, especially for busy parents, that you just can’t do your planned workout. So, be creative. Take the kids and the dog for a walk. Or, go to the park or a local school. While they play in the infield, you can jog around the track.

 

The key is to make that commitment to yourself. You will look better, feel better and, guess what, you’ll be a much better person to be around. Your family and your co-workers will thank you for that.

Jason Stone

Icelandic Fitness, Denver, CO