The Pros and Cons of Hiring A Personal Trainer

Many people consider hiring a personal trainer when they decide to get serious about their health. One of the major problems that people face shortly after they join a gym is that they just don’t know how to get fit. All the different weight racks, cardio machines, running tracks and exercise mats can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to begin.

While it is possible to do your own research and learn about a variety of workout plans, many people don’t have the time to devote to this. It is often faster and easier to hire a personal trainer. Some people choose to utilize a personal trainer for only their first 4-10 weeks at the gym, but others find that the long-term benefits of maintaining a relationship with their personal trainer is worth the ongoing costs. Like anything, this strategy has its own set of pros and cons.

Pro: The personal trainer has extensive knowledge and experience.

Personal trainers have made a career out of learning how to maximize people’s workouts, helping them to make a personalized plan in order to help them reach their fitness goals. However, every personal trainer has their own personality that comes with a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. If the first personal trainer you meet doesn’t click with you, it might be worth trying a couple of others before throwing in the towel.

Pro: You will be given a personalized fitness plan.

Everyone has different goals, so working with someone who understands your goals and limitations can help you make the most out of every workout session.

Pro: You will have a built in source of motivation.

Many people struggle to stay motivated when they do not see immediate results. Everyone has days that they do not want to go to the gym, but having a standing appointment with your personal trainer can help motivate you to get off the couch and into the gym. Once you get there, your personal trainer will help push you through your workout, leaving you feeling accomplished by the end of the session.

Con: It is expensive.

One of the biggest cons about hiring a personal trainer is the ongoing cost. Personal trainers can be expensive, and many people might not feel that the value they receive from working with a personal trainer are worth the cost.

Con: You might have to shop around.

The first personal trainer you meet might not be a good fit for your personality, so you may have to shop around for one that fits your lifestyle. This can be expensive and time consuming since it will take a few sessions to decide whether or not your trainer is a good fit.

While hiring a personal trainer has definite drawbacks, overall it is a great decision for a lot of people. A good compromise can be hiring a personal trainer for an 8 to 10 week session. If you would like more information on hiring a personal trainer contact me for some excellent recommendations.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved

Traveling? Stay Fit With These 5 Tips

No one would argue with you if you skipped a day of your exercise routine or had a cheat meal. Everyone knows how busy you are, but is that a good enough excuse for you? If you’re really serious about staying fit, traveling shouldn’t stop you. Granted, it’s not always easy.

If you’re traveling for business, you can hardly skip the cocktail hour mixer or the catered dinner with your colleagues. What you can do is make smarter food and drink choices while still sticking to your diet and workout routine even when you are traveling.

1. Eat breakfast and drink water

If you don’t eat a good breakfast or you let yourself get dehydrated, you are not going to feel like working out. And even if you do muster the strength to drag yourself to the gym, it will be ten times harder than if you’d had a balanced breakfast and drank water throughout the day.

Make sure you get a healthy breakfast, even if it’s the hotel’s continental breakfast. Make sure you fit in all your basic food groups to give yourself the energy you need to make it through the day. If you don’t have a water bottle, purchase one that you can carry with you all day long.

2. New rule – “I will use the stairs when going up or down three flights or less.”

Just by taking the stairs, you can get a good 30-minute workout in every day. When you are traveling and your hotel room is on the 30th floor, taking the stairs is not an option. But if your meeting is on the second floor, it will take an extra 10 seconds to skip the elevator and hoof it up and down those stairs.

3. Stock your hotel room mini-fridge with real food

You will have an easier time staying on track with your diet if you have healthy food options at your disposal. Stop at the grocery store to pick up some sliced turkey or roast beef and bread. Grab some veggies and stock your hotel room fridge with foods that fit in with your diet plan.

4. New rule – “I will walk if the destination is five blocks or less (in a safe neighborhood…during the day).”

If you are staying at a hotel that is just a few blocks from your conference center, why not walk it? It will get your heart rate up, plus you’ll get to explore a new place while taking in some fresh air.

Make sure you walk briskly, no sauntering. And as you walk, tighten your muscles and flex your feet so that you get some muscle toning in too.

5. Shorten your usual workout routine to 15 minutes (and do it in the A.M.)

Vacation is not the time to spend two hours at the gym and if you’re traveling for work, you probably don’t have that kind of time. Instead, abbreviate your workout with these easy exercises you can do in your room:

  • Lunges – Alternate legs lunging for one minute. Walk in place for 30 seconds and repeat three more times.
  • Bicep Curls – Your work bag, briefcase or carry-on make good weights for bicep curls. Curl for one minute. Shake your arms out and stretch them. Repeat three more times.
  • Standing Leg Lifts – Hold onto the edge of a table or the dresser if need be. Stand up straight and alternate lifting your legs waist high. Walk in place for 30 seconds and repeat three more times.
  • Push-Ups – You can do knee push-ups or plank push-ups but get 15 – 25 in to give yourself a good core and upper body workout.

Don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout. If once isn’t enough, do this again before you go to bed.

If you’re looking for more ways to stay on track with your diet and exercise plan while you’re traveling, give me a call today.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved

6 Foods That Help Boost Your Metabolism

Everyone wants to boost their metabolism, whether they are looking to lose weight or gain muscle. While engaging in regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost your metabolism, there are several nutritious foods that can do this work too and keep your body running smoothly.

1. Blueberries

Blueberries are a tasty snack and filled with antioxidants, but what does this actually mean? Oxidation occurs when your body is under stress. This process breaks down certain chemicals, causing free radicals to build up in your body. These can cause long-term harm, but antioxidants can drastically reduce the occurrence of oxidation, keeping your cells healthier and your muscles lean.

2. Whey Protein

Whey protein is a popular way to increase your protein intake. This supplement can help your body produce muscle building amino acids as well as give your immune system a boost. It can be mixed with oatmeal or many other breakfast foods to give you a great, healthy start to your morning.

3. Spinach

Green vegetables such as spinach are filled with important vitamins and nutrients that can help prevent heart disease, osteoporosis and arthritis in addition to improving brain function and motor skills. Spinach is a great addition to a meal of healthy grains and lean protein or can be mixed into a tasty green smoothie.

4. Almonds

Almonds are one of the most nutritionally dense nuts, including high levels of vitamin E, fiber, protein and lots of good fats. This makes a handful of almonds a great snack that will keep you full for a surprisingly long time.

5. Salmon

Fish is often included in lists of healthy foods because of its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are great for your cardiovascular health, decreasing the occurrence of stroke, heart attack and arrhythmias. Cold water fish, such as salmon, are particularly high in omega-3s. Salmon also has a particularly high concentration of selenium, vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorous and magnesium. Baked salmon can be a great addition to your lunch or dinner.

6. Oatmeal

While sugary instant oatmeal is not a particularly nutritious choice, slow cooked rolled oats are high in fiber and other nutrients. This food is full of important vitamins and minerals such as copper, iron, vitamin E, zinc, manganese, selenium and magnesium. When eaten regularly, oatmeal can help to lower your cholesterol and even out your insulin levels. This is because oatmeal slows the digestion of starchy foods, helping to keep your blood sugar levels more consistent – a huge benefit for diabetics. Eating oatmeal for breakfast has also been proven to decrease your risk for heart disease.

Including these foods in your weekly meal plan can help to ensure that you are filling your plate with nutritious foods that will boost your metabolism and help you achieve your fitness goals.

Do you have any healthy lifestyle tips to share?

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved

Getting Started With Juicing: Choosing The Right Juicer

Plants truly do heal and by juicing to remove the pulp before you consume them, you receive an instant infusion of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your bloodstream.

On average, a 16oz serving of juice is equivalent to 2 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables.  For most of us, the likelihood of drinking one glass of juice is much higher than the likelihood of sitting down to a 2-pound plate of vegetables.  This is where the power lies.

To get started on your juicing journey, it helps to understand the two main types of juicers.

1.  Centrifugal

Centrifugal juicers are great for those just starting out.  They use centrifugal force to extract juice and are fast, fairly easy to clean and because they have a large feed tube, most produce can be juiced whole which eliminates the need for pre-chopping.

These juicers are also among the most affordable, basic models from Cuisinart and Breville can run as low as $75-$150.

One disadvantage of the centrifugal juicer is oxidation.  When juice is expelled through centrifugal force it is exposed to oxygen which leaves it vulnerable to rapid nutrient loss.  Consider how quickly an apple turns brown when exposed to air, it’s the same concept.

Again, if you are just starting out this type of juicer will serve you just fine as you beign to experiment with different recipes and learn to incorporate juicing into your regular routine.

2.  Masticating or Cold Press

This next type of juicer is for those who have committed to regular juicing and are looking to retain more nutritional value than found with a centrifugal model.  While cold press juicers can require a bit more of an investment upfront,  you’ll find that they are well worth it.

Rather than extracting juice through centrifugal force, masticating juicers use a blade to first grind the produce into a pulp before pressing it through a strainer.  The juice and pulp are expelled separately and the juice is less vulnerable to oxidation.

These types of juicers also produce less waste, which is important if you’re spending money on high quality, organic produce.  You’ll want to use this method to ensure you squeeze every bit of nutrients from your pulp.

On the downside, masticating or press juicers is require a little more prep time.  The feed tube is typically smaller and requires the produce to be chopped before juicing.

They can also be on the pricier side.  A good masticating juicer will run $250-300, but if cared for properly it will serve you for years to come.  I personally have a Champion juicer, which has been running solid for over 10 years.

When bottled properly, the juice from a press model can stay fresh for up to 3 days. Many of the juice bars selling bottled juice are using commercial grade cold press juicers, which offers a great convenience for cleansing and enjoying the benefits of juice on the go.

If you do buy juice instead of making your own, look for an unpasteurized product. One quick check you can make: If the shelf life is longer than 3 days, it has been pasteurized. Pasteurization kills all the good stuff in the juice and you will be left with little more than flavored water.

Whichever way you choose, getting started is the first step.  It takes time to incorporate juicing in to your schedule, but you’ll find in time, the process will become easier and more convenient to maintain.

The result is worth the effort.  Once you experience the increased energy and health benefits of juicing, you’ll wonder how you got by without it.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved

Should You Go Grain Free?

You probably have at least one friend that has decided to eliminate wheat and/or other grains for health reasons. Maybe you’ve considered doing the same yourself, but are unsure if it is the right decision. While grain-free diets work for some people, it is also possible to live a healthy lifestyle that includes grains. Keep reading to learn more about what a grain-free diet actually means.

Medical Issues 

Several health problems can make it difficult or even dangerous for individuals with these conditions to include wheat or other grains in their diet.

The most commonly discussed grain allergy is celiac disease. This condition entails a severe allergy to wheat, one that can cause long term damage to the digestive system if wheat is consumed, even in small doses. However, there are many other people with less serious wheat sensitivity who may only need to reduce their consumption of grains to feel their best.

While cutting out wheat eliminates a lot of commonly consumed foods, there are lots of other grains that are safe, such as quinoa, millet, teff, buckwheat and amaranth.

Alternatives to Wheat

Due to its relatively high protein content, quinoa is commonly touted as one of the healthiest grains. In fact, it is quickly becoming known as a superfood. It is typically grown organically, making it a popular choice for other health conscious individuals. This grain is also high in fiber and contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, lysine, manganese and B2. While this grain originated in South America, it is so easy to grow and cook that it is now eaten all over the world.

Paleo Diets

Many individuals choose to follow diets that restrict or eliminate their consumption of grains. One such example of this is the paleo diet. These diets are meant to mimic the diets of early hunters and gatherers. As such, they are heavy in vegetables and animal proteins and light in sugars and other processed foods.

Many people experience success in following a grain-free diet while trying to lose weight. A grain-free diet eliminates most of the processed foods that commonly line the pantry. Cutting out these processed foods has huge health benefits, lowering most people’s sodium intake and cutting back on the amount of refined sugars that they consume.

If you are interested in adopting a healthier diet, try going grain-free. You will be pleasantly surprised by the multitude of results from weight loss to improved levels of vitamins and nutrients in your body.

Heidi Logan is a real estate agent in Center City Philadelphia.
Copyright© 2017 / All Rights Reserved