Less (but more intense) workouts = Better Health. That was the title of the forwarded email I received a couple weeks ago from a good friend. The email had been sent to her from a public relations consultant at IU Health, in regards to a new research finding: weekend warriors who cram 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity into one or two days a week lower their risk of mortality just as much as people who go to the gym five days a week. Of course, my friend thought of Exercise Inc when she read the email.
The study was a pooled analysis of 64,000 adults. The researchers looked at data on middle-aged adults who responded to a government-sponsored household survey conducted from 1994 to 2012. The survey included questions about health history and fitness habits. The researchers then cross-referenced this information with health department death records.
They found the risk of death from all causes was about 30 percent lower for weekend warriors, compared with adults who maintained a sedentary lifestyle. They also found that those who reported exercising once or twice a week had a 40 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death and an 18 percent lower risk for cancer-related death. The mortality rates of those who exercised once or twice a week were roughly the same as those who claimed to exercise more than two days a week.
This study didn’t classify the type of exercise, so the participants could have been doing anything—mountain biking, skiing, running, or lifting weights. The important fact about the study is that folks who exercised once or twice a week had the same reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer as people who exercised 3 to 7 times a week.
This is great news for us at Exercise Inc! Our recommended exercise schedule is a 20-minute workout once a week and 20 to 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. We know many of our clients don’t get their 5 days of walking in, but that has not prevented them from making changes in their blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.
The more we learn about exercise, the more we understand that intensity is the key. And at Exercise Inc, we make sure the intensity is where it needs to be for our clients to change many of their medical biomarkers. The great thing about our program is it’s safe enough for your grandmother, but we can make it intense enough to bring anyone to their knees. (Yes, we’ve done it.)
So as the title suggested, less can be more, especially when the less is 20 minutes of high intensity strength training.
What a year 2016 turned out to be for Exercise Inc, thanks to incredible clients and friends like you! As we look back on what we've accomplished during the past 12 months, we can't help but get excited for what 2017 has in store for us. Thank you for letting us serve you!
We concluded the year with a lofty goal—to raise over $7,500 for charities in our local communities. In the past, we've raised a total of almost $25,000 for these charities. This year, we surpassed our goal and raised more money than we ever have before!
We raised $8,530 for local charities!
Thank you for helping us pay forward our mission to help people enjoy life. Because of our clients' generosity, folks in our communities will have a brighter start to the New Year!
Along with our fundraising, we offered the chance for one client at each gym to win 12 free sessions. Here are the winners of three months of personal training:
Avon - Jane Page
Brownsburg - Mike Hartley
Greenwood - Sonny Maddux
Zionsville - Mary Johnson
Thank you again for helping us make our 2016 Charity Campaign the most successful yet!
We wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy 2017.
If you’re like most people, your work Christmas party is right around the corner. And, of course, we’ve all heard the stories about the guy who drank too much, or the girl who made a fool of herself, and maybe even got fired as a result. Christmas parties create an opportunity for most folks to eat too many addictive sugary foods that can start a cascade of indulgence that continues through the New Year. Since most people gain about a pound of fat during the holidays, it’s a good idea to be proactive about what and how you will eat during Christmas parties and family gatherings. So here are a few tips to keep in mind as we get into the thick (pun intended) of the holiday season.
1. Stay Hydrated. Drinking water is the first Healthy Habit we ask our clients to adopt. At a minimum, women should drink 8 glasses (64 oz.), and men should drink 12 glasses (128 oz.) of water every day. Drinking plenty of water will keep your stomach from being empty. But more importantly it will keep your brain and your liver functioning properly. Your liver helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Water is necessary for glycogen in your liver to be hydrolyzed and released as glucose in your blood. When you are dehydrated, this process can be sabotaged, resulting in a craving for sweets. Drink plenty of water before and during any holiday party or gathering. Also, if you’re drinking alcohol, always drink water with it. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, which can quickly dehydrate you, possibly resulting in a hangover.
2. Put All Your Hors d’oeuvres On a Plate. “One, two, three, oh heck, I forget how many of those bacon wrapped dates I just had. But wow, look at the cheese ball!” Before the meal starts, you could easily woof down a couple thousand calories in appetizers. When the Hors d’oeuvres come out, put them on a small plate. When you’re finished with your plate, set it down and forget about the appetizers.
3. Stay Away From the Punch Bowl. Even if the host says there’s not much alcohol in it, most punches are really sweet. The sugar makes it almost impossible to gauge how much alcohol you’ve actually consumed. In no time, you can be drunk and buzzing on sugar and alcohol, not a good combination.
4. Pick Your Poison. It’s okay to have dessert at a holiday party, but if you’re going to have desert, make good choices about everything else you eat. Just choose one indulgence, not three or four. If you’re planning on having bread pudding, don’t eat deep fried wings, bread, and mac and cheese before the dessert.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep. Rest up the night before by getting at least 7 hours of sleep. A recent study found that after a short night’s sleep, adults ate about 300 extra calories and tended to choose higher-fat, higher-calorie foods. When women lose sleep they often feel less full after eating, while men tend to have an increased appetite. I know the holiday season places a demanding schedule on most of us, but try to do everything you can to get plenty of sleep between gatherings.
6. Take Smaller Bites. Take smaller sips or bites to trick your brain into eating 30 percent fewer calories. A recent study found that when you take nibbles, chew your food longer (at least 9 seconds), and eat slower, your brain thinks you’ve eaten more. So if you’re eating Crème Brule at Ruth’s Chris (680 calories) don’t woof it down: by taking smaller bites and eating slower, you could save about 204 calories by not eating the whole desert.
Hopefully some or all of these tips will help you get through the Christmas parties and the holiday gatherings without putting on extra pounds. Who knows, you may even lose a couple of pounds following this advise.
And remember to stay away from the photocopier!
Hope Everyone Has a Great Holiday Season!
As we approach another Holiday season, we can all agree that we have a lot to be thankful for. Here at Exercise Inc, we are truly blessed! We are serving more clients than ever before, we are approaching 850 training sessions each week, our staff continues to grow, and we're working more collaboratively between all of our gyms to improve what we do every day in our mission to help people become stronger, healthier and more energetic so they can enjoy life.
Giving back has always been important for us at Exercise Inc, and we LOVE the opportunity the Holiday season provides to do that. Thanks to our amazing clients, during the last four years we raised over $24,000 to help local organizations serve needy families!
We want the fifth anniversary of this tradition to be the BEST EVER. That's why we've set a goal to raise more than $7,500 to help these organizations serve others in our communities!
Suzie’s Place in Avon
Habit of the Heart in Brownsburg
The Refuge in Greenwood
The Lebanon Welfare League in Zionsville
To help us raise as much money as possible, we will also be giving away 48 FREE sessions!
We are giving away 3 months of personal training! At EACH location!
There are 2 ways you can help us raise money, and each will earn you a chance to win 3 months of training:
- You can purchase a gift certificate for a friend or loved one. For every $90 gift certificate you purchase for a friend or family member who is not already a client, we will donate $20 to the charitable organization in your community, AND enter your name in the drawing to win 3 months of personal training.
- You can also give by making a donation to one of these organizations through Exercise Inc. For ever $20 donation you make, your name will be entered into a drawing to win 3 months of personal training. Just give your trainer cash or write a check.
Oh, and there's still one more way YOU can benefit from all of this: You will also earn yourself a FREE session if the loved one you purchased the gift certificate for becomes a client!
So let’s do this! Help us raise money to give back to others this holiday season.
Everyone knows we’re supposed to get 10,000 steps a day, right? We’ve heard it so much it must be true. If you have an activity monitor like a Fitbit, each day begins with a goal of 10,000 steps. That’s a lot of steps for someone who might normally walk 3,000 steps per day.
Here’s what you may not know. The 10,000 step-per-day mantra didn’t begin as a scientific recommendation. It began in Japan in the 1960s when pedometers were sold under the name “10,000 steps meter.” Soon Japanese walking clubs formed with a goal of walking 10,000 steps per day, and the goal became a business slogan more than 30 years ago.
Walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation of any major health organization. In fact, major health organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention adhere to the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommends 150 minutes of moderately intense physical activity every week. That’s about 30 minutes a day, five days a week, which is what we’ve been recommending to our clients for a long time.
The average American walks 5,117 steps per day. To reach the CDC’s goal, you would have to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. Most people walk at a pace of three miles per hour, so in 30 minutes the average person would walk about a mile and a half. It takes most people 2,000 steps to walk a mile, so a mile and a half would be about 3,000 extra steps per day. That’s about 8,000 steps for most of us.
If you’re into counting steps and you want to improve, it’s important to start where you are and gradually improve from there. Add 1,000 steps a day for a week, working your way up to 8,000 steps over several weeks. And if that doesn’t work, then find what does work for you. Remember the most important thing is to increase your activity beyond your current level, and set a final goal of at least 8,000 steps a day.
So what about 10,000 steps? When it comes to moderately intense physical activity, more can definitely be better. You might not have the time for 10,000 steps a day; if that’s the case, just shoot for 8,000. But if you have the time, go for 10,000 or more. Studies have suggested that people who increase their steps to 10,000 a day experience health benefits. One study found that women who increased their step count to 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.
One recent study prosed an index of step counts based on currently available information:
- Sedentary - less than 5000 steps/day
- Low Active - 5000-7499 steps/day
- Somewhat Active - 7500-9999 steps/day
- Active - >10000 steps/day
- Highly Active - >12500 steps/day
Do you have to count steps? Not at all, but it seems like almost everyone these days has a smart phone or an activity monitor. If you’re not interested in counting steps, just focus on getting at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week. You should be able to carry on a conversation during the activity for it to qualify as moderate. Also, if you can’t get in a continuous 30 minutes, shoot for several sessions of 10 minutes or more.
The weather is perfect for walking right now, so get outside and get after it.