Sunday, September 2, 2012

The CrossFit Craze

You may have heard of CrossFit lately. CrossFit is "preparing the body not only for the known, but also the unknown." It is currently one of the fastest growing strength and conditioning programs.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that is used by many police, tactical operations teams, the military and professional athletes around the world. CrossFit describes its program as "constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement." Types of activities range from lifting sand bags to jumping rope and gymnastics to kettlebells.

CrossFit combines strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, body weight exercises, Olympic and power lifting, and endurance exercises. CrossFit targets cardiorespiratory fitness, stamina, muscular strength and endurance, power, flexibility, speed, balance, agility, coordination and accuracy. Training requires you to workout 3-5 times a week. The workouts are short, but very intense. The exercises are usually done in a circuit format and involve the whole body.

There are CrossFit games that have been held for several years, with participation increasing rapidly with the program's spread of popularity. The CrossFit games are used to determine who is "The Fittest on Earth." The games include men and women each person that comes in first place gets $250,000. In these games, athletes learn the workouts only a few hours before and sometimes surprise elements are thrown in. The games are composed of a broad range of functional movements.

The CrossFit program or CrossFit-style classes are offered at many gyms. So if you are healthy and can endure a grueling workout, see what the CrossFit craze it all about!

Esco, Michael PhD, HFS, CSCS. "CrossFit Review." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 02 Sept. 2012.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Motivation Monday!

I love this quote. Complaining about things won't make them any better. This quote applies to every part of your life. If you are sitting on the couch eating ice cream out of the carton, don't complain that you are overweight! Get up and go do something about it.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why is it Easier For Men to Lose Weight Faster Than Women?

Man Holding Woman On His BackWe've all heard a story about a couple that sets off to lose weight together. All the man does is cut out a late night bowl of ice cream and loses 15 pounds in a month, while the woman exercises an hour everyday and counts calories and loses 5 pounds in a month. Doesn't seem fair does it?

The results aren't always this drastic and each individual is different. In general, it is easier for men to lose weight than women. There are several reasons for this.

Muscle Mass Differences
One of the main reasons that men lose weight faster than women is because they have more lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass one has, the more calories they burn, even at rest. Since men have more calorie-burning muscle, they lose weight faster.

Hormonal Differences
Men and women have different hormones. Women are "programmed" to store and retain fat. Women have higher levels of estrogen, a hormone that keeps fat on the body so it is easier to get pregnant.

Men have higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone than women do. These hormones have a large impact on rate and efficiency of the body's metabolism. Growth hormone and testosterone also has a huge impact on the rate and speed of fat loss. Higher levels of these 2 hormones are associated with increased muscle mass, which leads to an increased metabolism therefore greater body fat loss.

Body Surface Area
In general, men are taller, bigger and longer than women which means that they have a greater surface area to lose body heat from. The loss of heat results in an increase in a man's metabolism because their body has to work harder to regulate their body temperature. The metabolic spike related to body heat loss is another reason why it is easier for men to lose weight than women.

Losing weight for women (and men) can be very frustrating. So women, when you are frustrated that your man is losing weight faster than you, remember that you have many odds against you.

It is important to remember that it is not a competition. Losing weight is about lifestyle choices and not how fast you get there. Don't compare yourself to others and remember that everybody loses weight at a different rate.


Harms, Craig; Rosenkranz, Sara. Sex Differences in Pulmonary Function during Exercise. Med Sci Sports & Exerc. 40(4):664-668, April 2008. Tarnopolsky, Mark A. Sex Differences in Exercise Metabolism and the Role of 17-Beta Estradiol. Med Sci Sports & Exerc. 40(4):648-654, April 2008.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Motivation Monday

Everyone feels great after a workout. That's because exercise releases endorphins, which are the 'feel good' chemical in the brain! So get your heart pounding to get yourself feeling great!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Top Reasons to Smile

Photo Courtesy of:

Feeling down in the dumps? A simple solution is to smile! Yeah, it's not going to completely solve all of your problems, but it will help you feel better and offer health benefits.

Boost Your Mood
When you are in a bad mood, smiling may seem like the last thing you want to do. But studies show that even just making an effort to smile can improve your mood. Researcher Dr. Michael Lewis, PhD, of Cardiff University says that "emotions are felt through the whole body, not just in the brain." A study led by Dr. Lewis looked at participants who recently had botox injections. The participants were physically unable to frown due to the injections. They reported feeling happier and having less anxiety, probably due to their inability to frown. Smiling can trick your body into helping change your mood.

Makes You Look Younger
You don't need to waste your money on a face lift, just crack a smile! The muscles that are used to smile lift the face, which makes you look younger.

A recent study that was published in the journal of Psychology and Aging in which researchers asked people to guess the age of adult strangers in pictures.  People underestimated the age of the people who had a happy expression. Their age was more likely to be guessed of those who had a neutral expression on their face.

People Who Smile Are More Successful
Research has shown that people who smile may be more successful in the workplace and in relationships. People who smile appear more confident, are more likely to be promoted and are more approachable. When you smile, you will see that people act differently toward you. People are most likely to be successful due to their happiness.

Smiles Are Contagious
Our brains look for and respond to smiling faces, before we are even aware that we have responded. When someone smiles at you, you most likely always smile back. The opposite is also true, people usually distance themselves from people that frown or are unhappy.

Be Unforgettable
If you want to make a lasting impression, smile! The journal of Neuropsychologia published a study that shows that our brains are programmed to pay attention to people that are smiling.

Smiling Makes Us More Attractive
A study published in the journal of Emotion proved that a smiling face is more appealing, at least for women. Participants were shown pictures of face with many emotions and the smiling women were consistently rated more attractive. It is thought that smiling women appear to be more feminine, increasing attractiveness. Another thought is that smiling makes women appear more receptive, sexually.

On the flip side, smiley men do not have the same effect on women. Females were more drawn to the serious, brooding type of man. Either way, a smile draws people in.

Relieve Stress
When we are stressed, it shows in our faces. Smiling can help you from looking tired, worn out, and overwhelmed. So if you are stressed try to put on a smile, you should notice that your stress level is reduced.

Smiling Is A Natural Drug
Studies show that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. The three of these will leave you feeling very good.

Stibich, Mark. "Top 10 Reasons To Smile." Longevity. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2012.

Vann, Madeline. "10 Healthy Reasons to Get Your Smile On." N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Aug. 2012. <>.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Motivation Monday!

Just because you spend some time in the gym doesn't mean that you can eat/do whatever you want for the rest of the day. A healthy lifestyle is important at every hour of the day!