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Yes, There’s a Right Way to Walk

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Walking is more than just a personal mode of transportation. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), walking is the most popular aerobic physical activity, with more than 145 million adults including it as a key part of their active lifestyle.

With all of those steps being racked up, you’d think we all are doing it correctly. Well, we are here to tell you that you might be walking the wrong way — and it definitely matters.

Having poor posture doesn’t mean you’re lazy; it actually could mean there is an underlying cause such as underdeveloped muscles. According to Harvard Medical School, it may be a sign of overly tight muscles or a weak core. Focusing on correct posture while walking will not only build strength in weak muscles, but it will also increase the benefits your entire body gets from the exercise.

“When walking with improper poor form, we are not capitalizing on our time invested in improving our overall health,” explains Dr. Michael Gleiber, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon. “Not only is walking extremely beneficial from a cardiovascular standpoint, it’s highly beneficial for our musculoskeletal system.”

Poor posture isn’t simply a result of an imbalance in the body; it can actually cause health issues in the future. The American Posture Institute notes that poor posture puts additional strain on the body and leads to issues like spinal degeneration and diffuse pain. More than making walking easier, your posture has a large impact on your overall health and well-being.

Maintaining proper posture isn’t about standing stiffly upright; according to Dr. Gleiber, it is in fact the opposite. He stresses that proper body mechanics are actually achieved when you stay relaxed, especially as it relates to the spine.

“This technique begins by keeping one’s head and neck in proper alignment so that the head is centered over the torso, and the eyes are looking forward to the distant horizon,” Gleiber says. “By avoiding excessive flexion or hyperextension — bending forward or backwards — at the head and neck junction, undue pressure on our intervertebral discs is avoided.”

He notes that our body follows our head’s position; if the head is slumped forward, the rest of the body will follow. By staying relaxed — especially in the shoulders — you can prevent a lot of postural pain.

Back pain is so common that, according to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time. In fact, it found most cases of back pain are not caused by an underlying condition. This is why your posture while walking is more important than you may realize; it’s not just about following the old adage to “walk tall.”

Dr. Gleiber reminds us that walking isn’t all about elongating our spine and keeping the shoulders neutral. Paying attention to the movement of our arms and legs is also a key part of proper walking technique.

“Our arms will ideally be at our sides with the elbows flexed about 45–60 degrees,” he adds. “Our arms assist our legs in propelling us forward with our left arm moving forward as our right leg is in stride (and vice versa). The key point here is to stay relaxed and let your arms and legs flow into a synchronous rhythm.”

Finally, paying attention to stride length is a key to avoiding injury. Dr. Gleiber shares that the pelvis should be facing forward and hips should be parallel. While stepping in this position, keeping your stride natural and avoiding steps that are too long will help prevent overuse injuries.

With your stride length in mind, you want to be aware of your gait. Once you’ve aligned your body, paying attention to how your feet interact with the ground is the final piece of the puzzle. Dr. Gleiber says there are three stages to the gait cycle that involve the heel, midfoot and toes. Understanding the difference between these three helps you propel yourself forward in the most efficient — and safest — way.

“We must make sure that we strike the ground with our heel first; this aids in absorbing the shock impact through our other joints, mainly the knee,” Dr. Gleiber explains. “When we strike the ground with our knees in a slight degree of flexion, a healthy meniscus can properly absorb this shock. If we strike the ground with the midfoot — in a slapped gait pattern — we are transmitting excessive force through our lower extremity joints and placing them at risk for injury.”

Once your heel has hit the ground, Dr. Gleiber notes your foot should roll smoothly from the heel to the midfoot. From there, you “toe off using the toe flexors” to send your foot and leg forward before starting all over again with the other foot.

We know this is a lot to consider all the way from your head down to your toes for an activity we do everyday without much thought. However, by taking just a few minutes each day to be aware of your posture and work toward making any corrections needed, you can keep your body healthy — and mobile — for as long as possible.

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What Makes a Person Successful at Achieving Their Goals?

In 2006, Carol S. Dweck, PhD, published 30 years of her research answering the question: What makes someone suc­cessful? She theorized people contain two mindsets: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Choosing one over the other alters the success you find in life.

Fixed Mindset

This is the belief we are born with a set of abilities and intel­ligences and we cannot move beyond what is inherent within us. People who choose the fixed mindset avoid taking risks, lose out on life’s adventures and look at failures as endings rather than opportunities to learn and try again.

Growth Mindset

This is the belief hard work and determination can provide you with endless opportunities. No one ever reaches their full potential because you can always keep learning and growing. People who choose a growth mindset take risks and never mind making mistakes. Rather, they view mistakes as positives because those mistakes are a gateway to growth.

5 ACTION AREAS OF THE MINDSETS

To explain further, Dweck identified five action areas in which the two mindsets diverge: challenges, criticism, success, effort and obstacles.

Here are examples of each mindset. Think of what sounds most like you. Are you someone who thinks with a fixed or growth mindset? If you are in a fixed mindset, it is time to start switching your thought process.  

Challenges  
Fixed mindset – avoids failure: “I will not sign up for a full marathon because I don’t think I can do anything longer than a half-marathon.”
Growth mindset – sees failure as opportunity: “I did not finish the full marathon and had to stop. But I’ll try again because I love the idea of challenging my body and pushing it to its limits.”

Criticism      
Fixed mindset – rejects feedback: “My coach is wrong. I know what is best for me.”    
Growth mindset – learns from feedback: “I will ask my coach questions during and after our training sessions and take notes to remember what I am told.”

Success of Others   
Fixed mindset – gets insecure: “I am jealous of my friend who qualified for the Boston Marathon.”  
Growth mindset – gets motivated: “I need to spend time doing speed work to qualify for Boston like my friend did. To do this, I will hire coach who can help me get faster and stronger.”

Effort  
Fixed mindset – thinks trying means you are no good: “I am already a good cyclist. I don’t need anyone to help me get better.”      
Growth mindset – puts in the work: “I’m up at 6 a.m. to train. I can always get a little stronger.”

Obstacles    
Fixed mindset – gives up: “I could never run a marathon. I am not a runner.”    
Growth mindset – tries: “I think I could run a marathon. Today I will look up running groups in my area and join them for their next session.”

Fully switching from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can take years, if not a lifetime. But you should practice training yourself to have a growth mindset every day, like you practice your sport every day — it will be worth it. You will view endurance sports not as something so data and results driven but instead as something in which you enjoy the journey.

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The Muscle-Building Staple You Need To Cut Back On To Live A Longer Life

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The task of eating for muscle growth has just gotten a little more problematic, with new research linking meat consumption to an increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

The findings suggest that if your desire to live a long life is stronger than your yearning for shirt-splitting brawn, then your best play would be replace at least some of the meat you devour daily with nuts and seeds.

While lacking the heartiness and aroma of a sizzling steak, nuts and seeds actually protect your heart, according the new study, published this week in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

“Protein-based factor analysis showed that a high contribution of protein from meat increased risk of CVD mortality, whereas a high contribution of protein from nuts and seeds is protective,” the study says.

S and French researchers presented their findings after examining the dietary habits of more than 80,000 men and women from the Adventist Health Study-2.

Noting that many of the Adventists, for religious reasons, either did not eat meat or restricted the type and quantity of the meat they did eat, the study authors observed that consumption of animal proteins increased CVD risk. In contrast, plant-based proteins lowered CVD risk before the onset of old age.

“Our results suggest that healthy choices can be advocated based on protein sources, specifically preferring diets low in meat intake and with a higher intake of plant proteins from nuts and seeds,” they wrote.

The findings are a blow to advocates of the Paleo Diet, which elevates meat-eating at the expense of grains like rice and oats, as well as legumes such as beans and chickpeas.

Going vegan on the basis of this study would be premature, however, given that leading health authorities, such as Australia’s NHMRC, see a place for meat (rich in protein, iron, zinc and B-group vitamins) in a healthy diet.

Experts have long been at pains to distinguish between processed meats (like salami, ham and bacon), which have been conclusively linked with an increased cancer risk, and lean, skinless, fresh meats (especially white varieties, including fish), which haven’t been.

The NHMRC’s Dietary Guidelines recommend a maximum of seven serves of lean red meat per week. A serve is not a plate-sized slice of cow, however. It’s 65 grams, or roughly the size of your palm.

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7 HIGH-PROTEIN DESSERT RECIPES THAT TASTE AMAZING

No matter what your fitness goals are—whether you’re hitting the gym to get toned, build strength, or lean out—consuming higher amounts of protein is essential to your success.

Your body requires protein in order to repair and rebuild muscle fibers broken down during high -intensity workouts. This helps you gain lean body mass and shed excess body fat. Additionally, protein helps you feel satisfied longer, reduce your unhealthy food cravings, and stabilize your blood sugar.

As important as it is to consume protein, many people seriously struggle with knowing where to incorporate it into their diet. Eat more egg whites, add extra chicken, drink another protein shake…that gets boring quickly!

Working toward your fitness goals requires you to develop healthy eating habits. This may leave you forcing down foods you know to be healthy, but you don’t exactly enjoy eating. So you chomped on a protein bar that tasted like cardboard instead of reaching for a gooey chocolatey brownie. While that is amazing discipline, and we applaud you, you most likely are feeling deprived of the foods you love most.

What if getting more protein was simple and delicious? And, what if clean eating included the foods you love?

With our favorite healthy protein dessert recipes, you will never be bored again!

These are the best protein-packed dessert recipes that will allow you to indulge in dessert guilt-free! Not only are they packed with protein, but they contain zero processed sugar, are made of whole food ingredients, and are extremely delicious! Quit depriving yourself, quit sabotaging your hard work with sugar-filled foods, and try out our favorite healthy protein dessert recipes now.

CINNAMON ROLL MUG CAKE

Cinnamon rolls no longer have to be a special treat with this high protein dessert recipe! With a whopping 32g of protein and taking only 60 seconds to whip up, this high-protein dessert is a perfect choice for breakfast, or post-workout snack, on the go. Get excited about waking up in the morning or crushing your workout with this cinnamon roll mug cake, inspired by The Big Man’s World.

Ingredients (Single Serving):

  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tbsp. coconut flour
  • ¼ cup egg whites
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey or stevia to taste
  • Glaze: 1 tbsp. coconut butter & a pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Spray a microwavable mug with cooking spray (we love coconut oil spray). Stir protein powder, baking powder, coconut flour, cinnamon, sweetener of choice together until evenly combined.

Add egg whites, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Add more almond milk if needed (a thick batter is the desired consistency). Microwave for 60 seconds, or until the center is cooked (microwave time varies depending on microwave).

Make the glaze by melting coconut butter with a pinch of cinnamon and drizzle over top.

Calories: 312   |   Fat: 12g   |   Carbs: 10g   |   Sugar: 4g   |   Protein: 32g

*Did you know the majority of conventional honey sold on the grocery store shelves isn’t real? According to Food Safety News, a mere 24% is true honey. The other 76% have been turned into syrups filled with sugar. Be sure to buy your honey at local health food stores, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s to ensure you are purchasing the real deal. Always look for pure, unpasteurized, unfiltered honey. Unfortunately, you won’t find an organic choice as the USDA does not have an organic honey certification.

Our favorite brand is Wee Bee Honey Naturally. Very different than your normal honey “syrup,” their honey still contains the bee pollen, propolis, and honeycomb, and has a delicious frosting-like consistency!

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN MOCHA

Is Does your morning routine include swinging by Starbucks to pick up a caffe mocha to jump-start your day? Sorry to disappoint, but you are technically indulging in dessert for breakfast! A grande Starbucks caffe mocha made with 2% milk, contains 42g of carbs and 34g of sugar. Hmmm…probably not the best way to start your day. With our extra chocolatey, super creamy, high -protein mocha dessert recipe, you won’t struggle to make the switch. Plus, a high-protein breakfast helps curb your hunger and food cravings throughout your entire day!

Ingredients (Single Serving):

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ¼ cup organic coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder – optional for a more chocolatey flavor!
  • Stevia to sweeten
  • Optional: Use almond milk instead of coffee

Directions:

Stir all ingredients together in a microwavable mug. Microwave until hot. Enjoy!

Calories: 257   |   Fat: 15g   |   Carbs: 11g   |   Sugar: 2g   |   Protein: 22g

*Full-fat coconut milk: Are you wondering about the difference between boxed coconut milk and full-fat coconut milk? Full fat coconut milk has a much higher content of coconut than water, making it thicker and creamier than boxed coconut milk (that’s why we love it!).

While coconut milk contains naturally occurring sugar, many non-organic brands love to add extra sugar. Double check the ingredients before purchasing!

Depending on the coconut milk, the cream will have separated from the water. Be sure to stir well before adding to your recipe. To prevent the separation, choose a coconut cream that contains guar gum. According to Dr. Josh Axe, popular wellness physician, this additive is perfectly healthy in small amounts such as this.

With no separation, extra creaminess and a twist off cap to easily store for later, our go-to choice is So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk Original. Also enjoy it in coffee, sauces and soups.

PEANUT BUTTER PUDDING

Is it just us, or is it extremely satisfying eating peanut butter straight out of the jar? Unfortunately, eating a few heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter can quickly rack up your calorie and fat intake! Thankfully we discovered peanut butter powder. We love mixing it with a metabolism boosting fat like avocado and chia seeds, making us feel full and nourished. This amazing protein dessert recipe provides you with not only 18g of protein but gives you a full cup of peanut butter you can dive into, guilt-free!

Ingredients (Single Serving):

  • 6 tbsp. peanut butter powder
  • ½ cup avocado
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • Optional: Add cacao powder or buy chocolate peanut butter powder for a “Nutella”-like dessert!

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a cup or small bowl. Slowly add water and stir. Continue to add water until a pudding consistency is reached.

Calories: 327   |   Fat: 19g   |   Carbs: 25g   |   Sugar: 0g   |   Protein: 18g

*Stevia is an awesome plant-based alternative to processed sugar and artificial sweeteners but, you must beware of the brand you select. The trend these days is for brands to add toxic additives to their products, and stevia is no exception. Watch out for brands selling stevia containing dextrose, xylitol, glycerin, inulin, erythritol, and maltodextrin. Many times there is more of these toxic chemicals than there is actual stevia. These ingredients may cause abnormal digestion, along with many other harmful side effects. Try out Sweetleaf Natural Stevia for a chemical-free natural sweetener!

PROTEIN COOKIE DOUGH

What are your macro goals? At Burn Boot Camp, 45% of our daily caloric intake comes from carbohydrates, 35% from fat and 20% from protein. With chickpeas, almond butter, and protein powder, this healthy protein recipe, inspired by Eating Bird Food, contains the perfect balance of carbs, fat and protein to easily meet your macro goals. Made only from safe plant-based ingredients, you can enjoy scoop after scoop of this uncooked cookie dough worry free!

Ingredients (Serves 6):

  • 1 15 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp. almond or cashew butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ¼ cup cacao nibs
  • Add more honey or stevia for a sweeter taste

Directions:

Add chickpeas to a food processor and process until smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides if needed. Add protein powder, almond/cashew butter, honey, and vanilla extract. Process until a ball of dough forms. Scape down the sides again. Add cacao nibs and pulse 3 times.

Serving size: ¼ cup   |   Calories: 160   |   Fat: 6g   |   Carbs: 19g   |   Sugar: 4g   |   Protein: 9g

*Consuming any sort of nut butter, such as almond or cashew, does wonders for your health. These healthy fats helps you burn more fat, add more protein to your diet, and decrease your appetite. But, it is crucial to choose nut butters that contain zero added ingredients. Most brands love to include unneeded ingredients such as oils and sugar. If you are buying almond butter, the only ingredient should be almonds, and cashew butter should only contain cashews. This is also something to be mindful of when buying any sort of nuts or seeds. Our go-to place to purchase healthy nut butters is Trader Joe’s. Don’t have one near you? Check out Kevala Premium Natural Cashew Butter.

PUMPKIN PROTEIN BREAD

Everyone loves a delicious loaf of home-baked bread… unfortunately, it does not always love us back! If you are striving to build muscle, get toned, or lose weight, baked goods packed with fattening ingredients are your enemy and help contribute to excess weight gain. Make them your best friend by trying out this extremely moist and satisfying high -protein dessert recipe, inspired by Protein Pow. Made with only gluten-free ingredients (yes, buckwheat is gluten free!), low calorie, low carb, high in protein, and incredibly delicious, why wouldn’t you bake this nutritious pumpkin protein bread?

Ingredients (Serves 8):

  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup protein powder (chocolate, vanilla or cinnamon)
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour (or gluten-free oat flour)
  • ½ egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. organic pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • Instructions:

Preheat oven to 330F. Using a high-speed blender, food processor, or handheld mixer, blend all ingredients together. Pour mixture into a bread pan (ours was 6.5 x 3) and bake for 60 minutes. Poke with toothpick and continue to bake until toothpick pulls out clean.

Make your own gluten-free oat flour by blending rolled oats in a high-speed blender or food processor until it turns into flour.

Serving size: 1 slice   |   Calories: 75   |   Fat: 1g   |   Carbs: 9g   |   Sugar: 2g   |   Protein: 7g

**Maple syrup nourishes you with vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and helps improve your digestion. Most likely, you are actually consuming pancake syrup, not maple syrup, which is simply a big sugar bomb. Maple syrup is naturally sweet and delicious, so why do brands destroy it by adding processed sugar and other undesirable ingredients? Who knows! What we do know is that in order to gain the health benefits of maple syrup, you must select 100% pure organic maple syrup.

Regardless of being a natural sweetener, maple syrup remains a form of sugar and should be consumed in moderation.

FUDGY BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

Finally you can say goodbye to your sugar -filled, highly processed protein bars that taste like cardboard and say hello to fudgey, chocolatey bliss! You won’t be able to get enough of these brownies, and that’s okay! This protein-dessert recipe, inspired by Minimalist Baker, contains only vitalizing whole food ingredients that will help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Ingredients (12 Brownies):

  • 1 15 oz. can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 egg whites or flax eggs*
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • ¾ cup cacao powder (or cocoa)
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. organic pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder

Optional toppings: Pecans, walnuts, cacao nibs

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Using a food processor, high-speed blender, or handheld mixer, combine all ingredients together until smooth (excluding optional toppings). Consistency should be similar to chocolate frosting.

Add a tablespoon of water if needed, but avoid making the batter runny. Transfer batter into a nonstick muffin pan. Optional to top with nuts or cacao nibs. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the edges of the muffins begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Allow brownies to cool for 30 minutes.

Flax eggs: To make one flax egg, combine 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds with 2 tbsp. of water in a small bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes before adding to recipe.

Serving size: 1 brownie   |   Calories: 140   |   Fat: 6g   |   Carbs: 22g   |   Sugar: 2g   |   Protein: 5g

(Nutritional information based on the use of flax eggs)

*Cacao. What is this funny word? Cacao is chocolate in its natural state, raw and much less processed. While cacao is packed with plentiful health benefits, when processed and turned into cocoa, the nutrient content is severely altered. If you want to boost your energy, enhance your mood, increase your fat burning, and stabilize your blood sugar, choose cacao! Our go-to choice is Health Works cacao powder and cacao nibs. Enjoy the rich dark chocolate taste and reap the benefits. Also give it a try in oatmeal, smoothies, and greek yogurt.

PROTEIN FROYO (WITH GREENS!)

Self-serve FroYo has swept the nation! With shops popping up everywhere, it’s hard to keep your personal discipline and stay away, are we right? Stop depriving yourself and keep up with the trend by indulging in this high-protein dessert recipe, inspired by the Pancake Princess. You won’t even realize you are upping your protein, fruit and vegetable intake with this big bowl of creamy goodness!

Ingredients (Serves 6):

  • 2 cups unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • 2 cups spinach (½ cup frozen spinach)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or chocolate)
  • 3 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Stevia to taste
  • Directions:

In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together. It is best to add the yogurt first, followed by the banana, spinach, and then protein powder for easier blending. Transfer into an ice cube tray and freeze. When ready to eat, simply blend frozen ice cubes together to form ice cream consistency.

Serving size: ½ cup   |   Calories: 127   |   Fat: 8g   |   Carbs: 9g   |   Sugar: 7g   |   Protein: 7g

*Many “health” food items are actually packed with sugar, including Greek yogurt. Steer clear of flavored yogurt, as the majority contain around 25g of sugar per serving. You might as well just eat a few spoonfuls of sugar. We fell in love with Chobani’s Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt.

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Got Tech Neck?

More people than ever are suffering from "tech neck," a term used to describe neck pain directly attributed to technology use, according to the New York Post. Left unattended, tech neck can turn into serious problems like debilitating chronic pain or even a permanent change in your skeleton.

Luckily, you don’t have to swear off screens forever to avoid unsightly and painful skeletal changes. We talked to an expert about a few simple exercises you can easily add to your daily routine to combat the serious strain technology puts on our necks.

Why We Get "Tech Neck"

"The body adapts to the stresses and strains what we put on it," says Michael Post, PT, DPT at NYU Langone Health. "We know from a biological standpoint that holding a stretch for longer than 20 minutes can cause that area to lose some extensibility and flexibility."

According to Post, those prolonged periods of hunching over our screens are slowly causing our necks to "get stuck" in a more forward position, because those strained tissues lose their their pliability. This can cause a lot of pain and dysfunction.

"Think of it like this," Post explained. "If you wrapped a rubber band around a bunch of pencils and left it there for a few years, the rubber band [would dry] out, become brittle, and lose its stretch."

How to Reverse "Tech Neck"

The bad news? "Tech neck" can lead to some serious and permanent neck complications down the road. The good news? There’s something most of us can do to alleviate and even reverse symptoms right now.

"Unless there’s been a structural change to the skeleton, which you primarily see with the elder population, the patient should be able to abort the resting posture and move in the other direction," Post said. In other words, it's possible to train your neck back to the beautiful, upright status it was at before you even knew cell phones existed.

Besides making an effort to get away from your screen every 20 to 30 minutes, try adding these easy exercises into your routine. Post recommends doing 10 reps of each exercise, at least once a day.

1. SLOUCH TO OVER-CORRECT

Over-emphasize a slouched posture, rolling your shoulders forward and bending your neck forward. Then over-correct the position, rolling your shoulders behind you and bringing your chin up toward the ceiling.

2. CHIN TUCKS

Tuck your chin down toward the middle of your neck, as if you were trying to make a double-chin. Then slowly raise your chin back up to neutral.

3. OVERHEAD REACHES

Sit or stand with your eyes facing forward and your shoulders pulled down and back from your ears. Slowly raise your arms all the way overhead, reaching toward the ceiling. Slowly return your arms back down to your sides.

4. SCAPULAR RETRACTIONS

Sit or stand with your eyes facing forward and your shoulders pulled down and back from your ears. Without letting your shoulders raise up, squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you, then relax.

 

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The Most Dangerous Fat Is the Easiest to Lose

It’s every weight loss enthusiast’s dream to zap belly fat but, far from pure vanity, there’s actually a reason why having a lot of fat in the abdominal region can be dangerous. Fat is stored all over our body, but how does an expanding waistline grow your risk for chronic illness?

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Your body’s fat impacts your health differently depending on where it’s stored. While most fat found on other parts of our bodies (think arms, legs, buttocks) are considered “subcutaneous fat,” belly fat is more likely to be “visceral.”

PINCHABLE VERSUS PRESSABLE

“Subcutaneous fat” is the pinchable, squishy fat right between your skin and muscle that helps keep you warm, cushions you against shock, and stores extra calories. “Visceral fat” stores calories too, but isn’t as pinchable because it is located in and around your organs. It’s hidden deep within the belly region, which is what makes it firm (rather than squishy) when you press it.

PROXIMITY

Fat doesn’t just store calories—it’s a living tissue capable of producing and releasing hormones that affect your other organs. Because visceral fat sits near our organs, its release of these chemicals is poorly situated. Having more visceral fat can raise your LDL (a.k.a. “bad” cholesterol) and blood pressure. Visceral fat can also make you less sensitive to insulin, which increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

TELLING BAD BELLY FAT APART

Even if you’re thin, you can still have visceral fat around the abdominal region—being “skinny” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There’s no sure-fire way to tell visceral from subcutaneous fat short of an expensive CT scan, but it’s important for you to get a rough idea of what your visceral stores are. Here are a few tricks to figure out where your belly stands:

APPLES AND PEARS

You’re probably wondering, “What does fruit have to do with it?” These two fruits give a quick visual of where most of your fat is stored on the body. Pears tend to store fat in the lower extremities (hips, thighs, buttocks) as subcutaneous fat while apples tend to store fat in the upper region (belly, chest) as visceral fat. It takes a quick inspection, but this is an imperfect way to tell these two fats apart.

WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE (WC)

Feel for the top of your hip bone (it’s at the same level as the top of your belly button) and circle a tape measure around this point. Remember to relax and don’t suck in your gut (be honest!). Take 2-3 measurements and figure out the average. Men should have a WC of less than 40 inches (102 cm) and women should have a WC of less than 35 inches (89 cm).

WAIST-TO-HIP RATIO

The waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) takes the circumference of your waist (see above) and divides it by the circumference of your hips. To measure your hips, stand in front of a mirror then figure out the widest part of your butt and measure that circumference. Then use this formula:
WHR = (Waist circumference) / (Hip circumference).
Men should have a WHR of less than 1 while women should have a WHR of less than 0.8.

KNOW YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY HISTORY

If your parents or siblings have insulin resistance, heart disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver, you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat. Keeping an eye on your visceral fat may be beneficial, but know that the causes of these chronic diseases are complex. If you’re in doubt, it’s best to speak with your healthcare provider.

BANISHING VISCERAL FAT

If you fall in the normal range for WC and WHR, that’s great! Keep working at your weight goals as you see fit. If you’re not there, don’t despair. Because of its proximity to the liver, visceral fat is usually the easier fat to burn. It’s the less risky subcutaneous fat that likes to stick around.

Unfortunately, you can’t forcefully spot reduce fat around your belly no matter how many crunches you do. The next best thing is to live a healthy lifestyle:

  • Go beyond weight tracking. You can track your waist, hip and even neck circumference in the app. Use this feature to see how your measurements change over time as you lose weight.
  • Sweat for 30-60 minutes each day. Visceral fat responds well to regular endurance exercises, such as running, biking, rowing, swimming, that elevate your heart rate. As your body uses fat to fuel exercise, it’ll start using up your visceral stores.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein with calories set for gradual weight loss (e.g. about 1-2 pounds per week). Cut way back on added sugars and alcohol since these nutrients will more likely end up as visceral fat.
  • Sleep more, stress less. It’s easier said than done, but in order to take care of your physical body, you have to take care of your mental state. Sleep loss and stress can sabotage your health and fitness goals, so learn more about getting a quality night’s rest and use meditation or yoga to calm your mind. Remember, it’s not just about your health; it’s about your happiness, too.

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What Should I Do On My Off Days?

What Should I Do On My Off Days?

We get this question all the time here at Burg Fitness. Since we advise most people to train 3-4 days per week with full body & strength training routines, many Clients have a few off days each week.

When you complete a full body workout routine, or do lots of compound movements like squats, push-ups, overhead presses or deadlifts, our muscles get broken down. Then, over the next 24-48 hours hours, those muscles get rebuilt a tiny bit stronger. That’s why it doesn’t benefit us to work out every day; we don’t want to destroy our muscles without giving them a chance to grow back stronger.

That then begs the question: what are we supposed to do on those days? How can we keep up the habit of exercise and not let a day of non-training derail our progress?

Are there things we CAN do on our off days? That’s why I’m here, my dear #NoLimits friends - and the answer is a resounding YES!

Plan Your Off Days Like a Training Day

The biggest problem most people have with off days is that they become cheat days! Because they’re not training, they’re not thinking about being fit and it’s much easier to slack off and lose momentum.

This is bad news.

Remember, exercise is probably 10-20% of the equation: how we eat and rest is the other 80-90%!

So plan your off days deliberately! They’re not off days, they’re rest days, and they serve a vital role in building an antifragile kickass body capable of climbing daily mountains, fighting crime (or roughhousing with your kids in the backyard).

Whether it’s scheduling one of the activities below at the same time you normally train every day, or deliberately adding a morning mobility/stretching routine to your day, doing SOMETHING every day is a great way to remind ourselves “I am changing my life and I exercise daily.”

Personally, I know I am far less likely to eat poorly when I’m doing some active recovery than when I’m not doing anything deliberately. On days when I’m not training, I try to block off a similar amount of time to work on myself in some way to maintain momentum, and I encourage you to do the same if you struggle with losing momentum if even taking one day off.

It could be flexibility training, mobility training, meal prep, and more. I’ll cover these below! Whatever it is, do SOMETHING every day, even if it’s for just five minutes, to remind yourself that you are making progress towards your new life goals.

Let’s dive in to your off-day options!

We’ve all felt that soreness the day after (or two days after) training at Burg – our muscles have been broken down and are incredibly tight from lifting and other functional movements.

For that reason, one of the best things you can do on an off day is to work on your flexibility and mobility. After all, what good is strength if we can’t move our body properly to utilize it! Dynamic stretching and mobility work helps prepare our body for the rigors of strength training and keeps us injury free!

Regardless of whether or not you have a training day scheduled, start each morning with a mobility warm-up: a series of dynamic movements that gets your body activated and wakes up your muscles, joints, and tendons. If you live in an apartment or are just getting started, feel free to leave out the jumping jacks:

Try any of these out:

  • 2-3 minutes Jump Rope
  • 50 Jumping Jacks
  • 20 Air Squats
  • 10 Lunges (5L/5R)
  • 10 Hip Extensions
  • 10 Knee curls each leg (5L/5R)
  • 20 Straight-leg swings (5L/5R)
  • 20 Side leg swings (5L/5R)
  • 10-20 Push ups
  • 20 Spideys (10L/10R)

Do a Fun Activity

We are genetically designed to move, not sit on our asses for 60+ hours a week. Not only that, but we are genetically designed to have fun doing so too! Which means we can spend time on our off days working on our happiness AND stay active at the same time.

This fun activity can mean something different for everybody:

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Go for a run around your neighborhood
  • Play kickball in a city league
  • Play softball
  • Swim
  • Go for a walk with your significant other
  • Go rock climbing
  • Take a dance class
  • Roll down a hill and run back up it

I honestly don’t care WHAT you do, as long as it’s something you truly enjoy doing – it puts a smile on your face, it gets your heart pumping. Exercise does not need to be exhausting or miserable. If you haven’t found an activity you enjoy yet, you haven’t tried enough new things. The point is to get outside, remember it’s a damn good day to be alive, and that we are built to move.

Intervals, Sprints, Or Walking

“But, I really am trying to lose as much weight as possible.”

Okay okay, I hear you – if that’s the case, then 90% of the battle is going to be with your diet, but there are SOME things you can do on your off days that can help you burn more calories:

1) Interval Training –  In interval training, you’ll be varying your running pace. This means you may switch between jogging and walking, or walking and sprinting (there are few different methods of interval training). This training style can help speed up your metabolism for the hours after you finish.

2) Sprinting – If you like the idea of burning extra calories and building explosive power and speed, find a hill, sprint up it, walk down, and repeat the process for 10-20 minutes. No need to overthink it!

3) Long walks – Walking is a low-impact activity that burns extra calories and doesn’t overly tax your body. What a “long walk” will be is different for everybody based on their level of fitness, but walking is one of the best things you can do for yourself!

If you want to take a more active recovery day, the most important thing is to listen to your body. Destroying ourselves for 6+ days a week can really wear us down, causing long term problems if we’re not careful.

Now get out there and have some fun on your off days!

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Keto Fast Snacks

If you haven't heard about the ketogenic (keto) diet, suffice it to say that it's all over the map nowadays, gaining popularity around the world for one simple reason: It works. As a "diet," per se, it's important to know that in this sense it is simply an approach to eating.

While we all have to eat, eating healthily, and making it possible for your family to do the same, is important to optimize your body and mind, and lowers your risk of such disorders as insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. The simple explanation is that it calls for foods that are:

  • High in healthy fats
  • Moderate in proteins
  • Low in net carbs (net carbs are defined as total carbs minus fiber)

Healthy fats burn more efficiently than carbohydrates. When glucose is the fuel consumed to gain energy, the result is insufficient mitochondrial support, leaving your body open to degenerative diseases. As your mitochondria start to deteriorate and malfunction, a major overhaul is required to restore them to proper function.

For those used to eating what's known as the Western diet, one way to characterize it is a failure to differentiate fats, such as equating olive oil and vegetable shortening (there's a vast dissimilarity) or choosing processed (aka trans fats) over whole foods.

An excess use of grains such as wheat and corn, which can be a major carb source, e.g., the slice (or two) of bread many people eat with every meal, is problematic due to the food processing methods, gluten, contaminates and the high amounts of starch they contain and our inability to digest them. There's also the unfortunate reality of pesticides, such as glyphosate-laden Roundup, sprayed on wheat and other crops.

This toxic substance, residues of which have been found in bread, bagels, oatmeal and more, has been linked to major health issues, including inflammation and other chronic diseases. Without question, a new way of eating is a dire need.

Some of the best keto-friendly foods include:

  • Avocados
  • Pastured, organic meats
  • Raw cacao butter
  • Dark chocolate
  • Organic, pastured eggs
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies and sardines
  • Raw nuts and seeds (macadamia nuts and chia seeds)
  • Olives and olive oil

What Does It Mean to Follow a Ketogenic Approach to Eating?

If you're tired of falling "victim" to every convenience food and processed fare designed for comfort and taste, but that also gets you hooked on sugar and incorporates every type of food manufacturing trick ever devised to keep you eating, a keto diet may be right for you.

The purpose of the keto diet is to shift your body into a state where it uses fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel, as the latter actually inhibits your body's ability to access and burn body fat — the opposite of what you want if you're interested in maintaining your health. There are plenty of good foods to eat to put your body in a fat-burning state, but there are many more offerings on store shelves and restaurant menus that you'd do well to steer clear of. Those include:

  • Foods with high amounts of sugar or starch
  • Processed foods
  • Trans fats / refined polyunsaturated vegetable oils
  • Unfermented soy products, including soy milk and tofu
  • Carbonated beverages and fruit juices
  • Fruits with high amounts of fructose
  • High amounts of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats
  • Meat or products from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs)

Diets come and go, and many usually mean deprivation and, sometimes, angst. The keto approach to eating offers something else entirely — it's a lifestyle that puts your body into a fat-burning state that not only results in lost pounds, but lower blood sugar levels, better mental clarity and, all things considered, longevity.

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7 High-Protein Snacks That Will Help You Build Muscle

If you want stronger muscles, lifting weights is a good place to start—but your diet makes a huge impact on your gains, too. That's where protein comes in: the essential macronutrient helps repair the tiny tears strength training creates in your muscles, helping them grow faster.

But while loading up on eggs at breakfast and chowing down on hunks of chicken at lunch and dinner can definitely help, spacing out your protein is equally important. That's where snacking comes in.

“Since our body can only use about 25 to 30 grams of protein at a time, dosing it throughout the day into several meals and snacks paired with fiber-containing carbs and healthy fats is your best bet towards optimally utilizing nutrients,” says certified exercise physiologist Jim White, R.D..

Snacking also helps you feel fuller for longer, explains Marie Spano, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., sports nutritionist for the Atlanta Hawks. This will prevent you from overindulging during your bigger meals, she adds. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can snack on whatever you want, whenever you want. Aim for 200 to 300 calories and 10 to 20 grams of protein per snack.

Both Spano and White agree that two to three snacks a day hits the sweet spot without overdoing it. “Try a snack between breakfast and lunch, and between lunch and dinner,” Spano suggests.

So what the heck should you munch on? There are plenty of options that don't include protein bars (even though we love them). Here are seven smart snacks that help you build muscle. Say hello to the gainz.

THE ULTIMATE TRIO

Pack together 1 oz raw almonds (roughly 22 almonds), one hard-boiled egg, and one small apple for when you're on the go, suggests White. In addition to your protein fix, this combo includes a good dose of filling fiber, thanks to the apple, and healthy fats, courtesy of the almonds.

EGGS IN A MUG

Simplify your egg game, suggests Spano. Spray a mug with cooking spray, add 2 eggs, a dash of salt and pepper, 1/4 cup chopped bell peppers and 1 Tbsp light shredded cheese. Scramble mix with a fork. Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 60 seconds.

LOADED TOAST

White's take on toast is anything but bland. Top sliced whole wheat toast with 1/4 of an avocado (sliced or mashed) and 3 oz low-sodium deli meat, like turkey, or approximately 2 slices.

PROTEIN SHAKE

White's protein shake recipe is about as easy as it gets. Drink it as is, or add in your favorite flavors with extra fruit, cocoa powder, or peanut butter. You can also use one of these 20 healthy, protein-packed smoothies as inspiration when you want to mix things up.

Blend this:

  • 8 oz cow's milk*
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (try our Bone Broth Protein offered at the gym)
  • 1/2 small banana, frozen

*You can use a sugar-free dairy alternative if necessary, but keep in that most nut milks typically contain less protein. Soy milk is a good, higher-protein dairy-free option.

YOGURT PARFAIT

A great option for that snack between breakfast and lunch is a yogurt parfait. White advises plain yogurt, but if that's too tart, look for a flavored yogurt with less than 12 grams of sugar. (We recommend Siggi's Skyr Vanilla Icelandic Style Yogurt.) Don't forget that the addition of fiber-packed berries might help sweeten it up, too.

  • Top 1 cup of Greek or Icelandic yogurt with 1/2 cup berries and 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed or chia seeds.

COTTAGE CHEESE + FRUIT

"If you haven’t loved cottage cheese in the past, buy a whipped version," says Spano.

  • Top 1 cup cottage cheese with 1/4 cup fresh nutrient-packed pineapple or pineapple canned in its own juice.

CUCUMBER SALAD

Spano's simple salad is just what you need to get over that mid-afternoon slump. Mix 1-1/2 cup cucumber salad (chopped cucumbers and tomatoes), 3 slices natural turkey, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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A High-fat Diet May Facilitate Weight Loss: 6 Reasons Why You Must Start Having Fats Today

The study has identified a pathway to prevent fat cell fat cells from growing larger, which can further prevent weight gain and obesity.

In a bid to lose weight many of us fall for several myths and assumption along the way. One of them is avoiding fats. Did you know? Fats are one of the three macronutrients which is essential to sustain a healthy life. Fats helps developing nerve sheath coating, human tissues are made up of fat, hence ruling out fats completely from the diet can never be a good idea. According to a latest study, a high-fat diet may also aid healthy weight loss. The study has identified a pathway to prevent fat cell fat cells from growing larger that leads to weight gain and obesity.

According to the U.S based study published in journal e life, conducted by Washington University in St. Louis U.S; by activating Hedgehog pathway in fat cells in mice- you could feed the animals a high –fat diet without making them overweight. 

According to the researchers, the pathway discovered by the team may act as a new therapeutic target for treating obesity. The researchers explained that the fat accumulation is mainly due increased fat cell size and each fat cell grows bigger so that it can hold larger fat droplets
When the fat cells begin to expand, that is when the person tends to gain weight- as opposed to having more fat cells. The team focused on the so-called Hedgehog protein pathway that is active in many tissues in the body.

For the animal study, the group of researchers engineered mice with genes that activated the Hedgehog pathway in fat cells when those animals ate a high-fat diet. The findings revealed that after about eight weeks of eating the high-fat diet, control animals whose Hedgehog pathways had not been activated became obese.  On the other hand, mice that had been engineered with genes to activate the pathway were fine in terms of their weight gain. They did not gain any more weight than those control animals that consumed normal diets.

The researchers believe that the Hedgehog pathway could have prevented obesity by inhibiting the size of the fat cells and prevented them from collecting and storing fat droplets
 

Here is a list of benefits that you could derive from eating good fats derived from nuts, lean meat, fish, avocados and ghee. 

  1. A high fat diet is extremely satiating and also keeps your blood sugar level stable. When you embark on a low fat diet in an attempt to lose weight, you may end up hungry and dissatisfied, thus ending up craving for sugary snacks.
  2. Increased fat intake promotes a healthy gut too. Healthy fats work with your gut bacteria to protect the gut barrier that works hard to regulate your immune response and flush out all the toxins and chemicals.
  3. Good fats are good for brain health; our brain is composed of omega-3 fatty acids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). A deficiency of fats can lead to stress, anxiety and other mood disorders. So, feel good about adding good fats to your diet and vice versa!
  4. Eating good fats will not make you fat. If you choose to eat healthier fats, in controlled portions, your body will eventually learn to burn fat, instead of sugars, further inducing weight loss. A high-fat diet can also curb hunger and cravings that mostly leads to overeating.
  5. Fat is a crucial element for your body's absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. Adding fats to your diet will help boost the absorption of vitamins that further help in strengthening your bones, boosting your immune system and protecting your heart health.
  6. A high fat diet benefit includes boosting energy levels. Good fats keep you on your toes throughout the day without having to feel hungry. If you eat a diet centered on carbohydrates, you will experience raises in insulin levels. This rise and then subsequent drop in insulin levels will make you feel tired and lethargic.

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The Most Revealing Fitness Test

The Most Revealing Fitness Test

By Coach Dan MIller

At Burg Fitness we are constantly testing you. There are workouts to test our overall strength, our aerobic capacity, our flexibility and our technical skills. But as a coach and athlete, there is one test in particular that I hold in the highest regard. This test is given nearly every day we walk in the gym – it reveals mindset and character. The test is simple…

What does an Member do when their workout is over?

Scenario 1 – The Individual Mindset

This behavior is generally executed in the following way:

  • The Member finishes their workout and may roll on the floor for a few minutes.
  • Upon collecting themselves, the Member may go check their text messages, social media alerts or email.
  • The Member then proceeds to clean up their equipment – navigating in and out of fellow Member’s spaces who may still be working.
  • Sometimes this mindset manifests itself in Members pooling together in groups sitting on the floor and talking about how tough the workout was and discussing their day.

Scenario 2 – The Group Mindset Result

This behavior is generally executed the following way:

  • The Member finishes their workout and may roll on the floor for a few minutes.
  • Upon collecting themselves, that Member gravitates towards other members that are still in progress of the workout. The Member cheers them on (whether they know them or not).
  • The finished Member may clap, give words of encouragement, and move between groups of Members who are still working.
  • Upon other Members’ completion of the work, high fives and pats on the back are exchanged.
  • Workout equipment is put away together as a group.

Your Workout is Done When Everyone is Finished

Why did you join Burg Fitness? Is accountability, group sessions, friends or community part of your answer? If so, then consider this…the workout is not done when you finish.

The workout is done when everyone is finished. As a fitness coach, facilitating a sense of community is part of my job. I played soccer, a team sport, so this comes naturally to me. But it can be scary for others to reach out to someone they don’t know well and encourage them. Often people think “who am I to cheer them on? To tell them they can do it?”

If you came to Burg Fitness to be part of a community or for the “push of others” to keep your intensity high when working out, then consider this – you owe it to give back to that community. Consider it part of your social contract with our gym. You can keep your end of the deal by supporting every last member of your class to the finish line of each workout.

A Coach’s Challenge to You

At the start of every class, look around. Every single person who came to that class is now part of your tribe. You should take personal satisfaction in seeing to it that each individual is supported and no one “finishes alone”. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a founding member or this is class #1; it doesn't matter if you're a competitive athlete, a new mom getting back into the swing of things, or a middle-ager ready to tack control over your body.   For that hour, we are one group with a common goal – self improvement through shared suffering. Make sure no one suffers alone.

 

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Burg Fitness Sponsors Boston Children's Hospital & Children's Miracle Network

Burg Fitness is excited to announce our sponsorship of Boston Children's Hospital & Children's Miracle Network via Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity's Get on the Ball event.

Get on the Ball" was started by the brothers of Zeta Beta Tau (Beta Zeta Epsilon Chapter) at the University of Maryland – College Park. Designed to create a fun, worthwhile way of raising funds for charity, this event quickly became not only a chapter favorite, but also something that the campus community looked forward to each year.

At the summer 2002 meeting of the Zeta Beta Tau Supreme Council, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® was named an official adopted philanthropy of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity.

Children's Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children's hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it's needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children's Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of our mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

 

For more information see: http://www.zbtgetontheball.com

 

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Burg Fitness Supports Our Local Community Charities

Just what is ALS?

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Join us in supporting the Florida Chapter of The ALS Association

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Community Driven Workouts Push Members to New Heights

At Burg Fitness, they place a focus on community. While they strive to encourage safe, healthy workouts, they aim to do so through unity -- a sense of commune which motivates, pushes, and advances your physical training while creating relationships you otherwise wouldn't have

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Concept 5 Rowing Technique

We love our Concept 5 Rowers for everything from warm-ups to WODs. Rowing provides us with a low-impact, full-body workout that can benefit all athletes.  Rowing is a very natural motion and most people pick it up quickly.  We often get questions about proper rowing technique, so have a look at the below video for tips from the experts.

 

 

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Couples & Buddy Fitness - Burg Fitness

FUN but tough personal trainers lead workouts for couples & best buds to meet fitness goals & build connections!  

BurgFItness has compassionate, motivated trainers that truly care about you! It’s our passion to help clients with health & wellness while building stronger connections with a workout buddy. Get amazing workouts that change your body, challenge your core and…it’s always more fun with a friend!

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Healthy Dinner for Three

Fun dinner consisting of organic turkey-burgers on from the grill, baked sweet potatoes, farm-fresh tomatoes and a beautiful green salad with balsamic vinaigrette!

 

What did you have? Comment below...

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How to Make Time for Fitness

I can’t find the time to exercise” is a commonly cited reason why a vast majority of people lead sedentary lives. In truth, waiting to find that extra time to exercise will likely result in little change in one’s physical activity level. The notion of finding time for fitness is more proactively accomplished by actually making time for fitness. Thankfully, physical activity doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate, or even require a gym membership, for that matter. The key is planning activities that can be easily integrated into your existing lifestyle. 

Work Within Your Environment

Perhaps the easiest form of exercise to incorporate into a healthy lifestyle is walking, which doesn’t require any equipment or special skills and can be done just about anywhere. Break times at work, for example, offer a great opportunity to take a brisk walk around the block or around the office building. 

Need to get a message to a co-worker? Instead of sending an email, try getting out of your seat and relaying the message in person. 

Planning an office meeting? Instead of sitting around a conference room table, consider a walking meeting. The fresh air and change of scenery may help the group come up with new and creative solutions to work issues. 

Routine tasks can also be accomplished with incorporated activity. Many of us are familiar with the notion of parking a little farther away or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. But what happens when we find ourselves stuck on a long call? Try standing or walking around your office instead of sitting during the call. This small change will help you burn at least twice the amount of calories during that telephone call. 

Need to run a quick errand such as a trip to the bank, grocery store or mailbox? Instead of getting in the car to drive a few blocks, take a quick walk to tackle those nearby errands. You’ll not only get in some physical activity, you’ll save money on gasoline as well. With little effort, exercise can easily become a part of the tasks we normally do within our daily environment. 

Work With What You Enjoy

Another key step toward making time for physical activity is by changing the way we view exercise. We begin this process by making sure we plan activities around things we enjoy. 

Find Your Passion

Finding enjoyable ways to move more each day can be a very important factor in a healthy lifestyle. Most of us are unwilling to do things we dislike. Therefore, it’s imperative we find activities that are enjoyable because we’ll be much more likely to work them into our busy schedule. 

Seek Opportunities

Adventure hike vacations, family-oriented activities such as an afternoon at a roller (or ice) rink, miniature golf or an early stroll around a mall before the stores actually open are all fun ways the entire family can stay active. Find the ones that work for you and your family and inspire you to be active together. 

Our lives are often filled with “must do’s” and deadlines that can take the focus off our own health and wellbeing. Proactively making time for fitness by incorporating it into our normal, everyday routines will likely result in a greater willingness to stick with it over the long term.  

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St. Petersburg, FL 33705