Friday, February 25, 2011

Let's Shake Things Up!

It was only 4 weeks ago that I first heard about Whole Body Vibration (WBV).  I received an email from Dr. Mercola's website where he gave information on it and fully endorsed this "accelerated training".  What I read was interesting but I kinda dismissed it as too "out there".  However, something told me to look into it and I am so glad I did!  WBV has a 50 year history of use from Russian cosmonauts and Olympians to US pro sports teams and athletes, medical rehabilitation and therapy, chiropractors and high-profile celebrities.  There have been over 600 published medical reports on WBV that show the increases in body strength, bone density, human growth hormones, blood circulation and lymphatic drainage.

I knew this equipment would be ideal for the women here at Trim Up.  To be able to increase muscle without stress on joints and do it in 10 minutes vs one hour is remarkable.  As we age, it becomes more
difficult to build and maintain muscle mass, boost metabolism, keep weight off, especially around the waist,and fight the aging process with declining hormones.  WBV will accelerate our efforts in exercise so that we can see faster and more results without having to risk injury or aggravate achy joints with longer or more intense workouts.

WBV can be found in a few gyms out in California and Florida but I had little success in finding anywhere nearby.  The company I was purchasing my equipment from referred me to some of their customers in Canada who have had their machines for several years.  These clubs only have the vibration machines along with other spa-type detoxifying treatments. They have regular customers who have seen amazing results with vibration training.  In only a few weeks they are seeing noticeable changes in their bodies with more muscle, less fat, better sense of well-being and energy, more mobility and flexibility and smoother skin with less cellulite.  I was sold!

So it has been a week since we received our machine and I have used it every other day for a strength workout lasting about 10 minutes and every day for stretching and leg  massage.  The first thing I noticed was that I could move my usually stiff neck more freely from side to side.  My arms, legs and butt also feel tighter....and less "lumpy"!  I also kept up my usual fitness routine of 3-4 cardio/strength workouts. And I have been sleeping a little better - not waking up so much....probably from the decrease in cortisol, the stress hormone. At first the vibration felt odd but each time I become more accustomed to it and now I think it feels good! Afterwards, I feel like I just had a massage!

I know this sounds too good to be true but WBV has so much documented, proven success and has been used for many years in Europe that I know eventually it will become standard fitness equipment for Americans.  It can so beneficial for the inactive, older population or those with injuries who can't exercise normally.  With its time-efficient 15 minute workouts, WBV can make regular exercise possible for those with overly busy schedules.  And let's face many people just don't like to exercise so this is a way to get the health benefits of blood circulation, bone density, muscle  mass, weight loss and lymphatic drainage with little exertion, sweat or time.

This is so exciting that Trim Up is a pioneer in this new, revolutionary method of accelerated training.  I hope all of my members will try it and experience it for themselves.  Some  of the more adventurous ladies are ready and willing to give it a try while others are holding back, until they see what others think.
So, stayed tuned and we'll see how it all "shakes out"!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Weight Train for Weight Loss

Hard to believe the Saturday before I was bouncing with energy, anxious to get outside and enjoy the 70 degree weather. Feeling like I just came out of hibernation, I went out to lunch and then took our dog for a nice long walk. Without even a sweater on. Heaven.
Fast forward to this past Saturday afternoon with its gloomy skies and
50 degrees. I was back inside, in my favorite spot next to the fireplace,
with a warm throw and reading material. I hate cold weather!
One of my favorite magazines had just arrived, Women's Health. They have
great articles and the one on weightlifting was very well written, highlighting the reasons why it is so important for women. In a nutshell:

12 Reasons women shouldn't live another day without weight training(WT):

1. You'll lose 40% more fat.
If you diet without WT, you will lose about 25% from muscle, which
may drop your scale weight but makes you more likely to gain back
the fat you lost. However, if you WT as you diet, you'll protect
your hard-earned muscle AND burn more fat.

2. Your clothes will fit better.
Between the ages of 30 and 50, you'll likely lose 10% of your body's
total muscle, and it's likely to be replaced by fat over time. One
pound of fat takes up 20% more space than one pound of muscle.

3. You'll burn more calories.
WT burns more calories during and after a workout than just cardio.
Muscles need more energy to repair the breakdown during WT which
raises metabolism for up to 2 days afterward.

4. Your diet will improve.
Exercise helps your brain stick to a diet plan, reminding you to
stay on track.

5. You'll handle stress better.
Fit people are shown to have lower levels of stress hormones than
those least fit. And under a stressful situation, blood pressure
of people with the most muscle returned to normal faster than the
levels of those with the least muscle.

6. You'll build stronger bones.
Just 16 weeks of WT can increase hip bone density and elevated
blood levels of osteocalcin (a marker of bone growth) by 19%.

7. You'll get into shape faster.
Circuit training with weights raises your heart rate 15 bpm higher
than if you ran at 60-70% of your max heart rate. This type of
workout can strengthen muscle while getting cardiovascular benefit.

8. Your heart will be healthier.
Regular total body weight workouts can lower blood pressure enough
to reduce the risk of stroke by 40% and chance of heart attack 15%.

9. You'll be more productive.
Workers are shown to be 15% more productive on days they exercised.

10. You'll live longer.
Total body strength is linked to lower risks of death from
cardiovascular disease and cancer. And scientists found that being
strong during middle age is associated with "exceptional survival",
defined as living to the age of 85 without developing a major disease.

11. You'll be happier.
Researchers found that people who did 3 weight workouts a week for
6 months significantly improved their scores on measures of anger
and overall mood.

12. You'll be even smarter.
Muscles strengthen your body AND mind by enhancing cognitive
function. Regular WT results in better short- and long-term memory,
improved verbal reasoning and a longer attention span.

Only about a fifth of females strength train 2 or more times a week. I
know how much fun Zumba classes are, and how easy it is to throw on Nikes
and walk through the neighborhood. But weight training is needed too and
as you can see is well worth the effort!