Gym Hygiene Fends Off Germs!

With cold and flu season in our midst, we all need to take extra precautions to stay healthy. Because fitness centers can be fertile ground for germs, we recommend following a few simple steps to protect yourself and others whenever you head to the gym for a workout:

  1. Wipe down equipment before AND after use. The most effective preventive measure is to use the gym wipes provided at most fitness centers to clean off the equipment before and after using it. This includes dumbbells and mats, as well as the machines. Even if you bring your own yoga or stretching mat, be sure to clean that as well because it can pick up germs simply by being carried and placed on the gym floor.
  2. Wash up! Be sure to wash your hands, or at least use hand sanitizer, before and after completing your workout. If you have the time, shower immediately after a workout and change into clean, dry clothes. Sitting in sweaty clothes will only increase your exposure to potentially harmful pathogen.
  3. Be defensive.
    • Wear sandals when walking and showering in the locker rooms, and around pool decks. Bacteria-causing infections, such as athlete’s foot, tend to linger in warm and damp environments.
    • Shower before entering the pool and after exiting. The shower will not only wash away dirt and oil, but also any bad bacteria or germs that attached to your body.
    • If you have an open wound, avoid all contact with the pool until it’s fully healed. When using equipment, cover the wound with a bandage while exercising to reduce the chance of contracting any germs via the wound as well as to prevent secretion from the wound spreading to others.
    • Avoid touching your face until after you’ve washed your hands. The eyes, nose, and mouth easily transmit viruses and bacteria to the body.
  4. Allow your body the rest and recovery time it needs. If you’re feeling under the weather, take a rest day from the gym! Coughing and sneezing around the equipment will expedite the spread of germs that can cause a cold, norovirus, and influenza. Your body will appreciate the break – and so will your fellow gym goers.
  5. The Golden Rule: Treat your Fitness Center the way you wish others to treat it. Wipe down your equipment and be a courteous and clean workout neighbor, and others will follow suit.

Don’t let a fear of germs be your reason not to exercise! Studies have shown exercise improves your overall fitness, which can help boost your immune system. In fact, ‘moderate intensity’ exercise may reduce the number of colds you get. So, grab a gym wipe and get on that treadmill!

 

Author: Kasey Jenkins, HealthEase Fitness Center Site Manager

 

 

Strengthen Your Legs!

 

This workout strengthens the legs – especially the glutes and hamstrings – along with the abs!  It includes several compound movements (working multiple muscle groups) for maximum effectiveness.  More muscle mass also means a faster metabolism – so get your glutes in the gym and try this routine!

 

*When using weights, be sure the resistance makes it a challenge to complete the last two reps while keeping proper form. Click links to learn how to do each movement.

 

Set 1 (Complete 4 sets):

Barbell OR Dumbbell Squats – 8-12 reps

 

Superset 1 (Complete 3 sets):

Barbell OR Dumbbell Hip Thrusts – 10-15 reps

Straight Leg Reverse Crunches – 15 reps

 

Superset 2 (Complete 3 sets):

Curtsy Lunges – 10 reps each leg

Stiff Leg Deadlifts – 10-12 reps

 

Tri-set (Complete 3 sets):

Single Leg Glute Bridges – 10 reps each leg

Frog Hip Ups – 15 reps

Knee to Elbow Plank – 10 reps each leg

 

Be sure to stretch afterwards and have a healthy carbohydrate and protein-rich post-workout snack or meal!

 

Author: Amanda Giorno, HealthEase Site Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Weight Loss Resolutions – NEVER GIVE UP!

It’s still early January and you have already broken your promise to give up sweets and empty carbs – UGH. Should you ditch your resolution? NEVER! Just because you caved in last night and ate a slice of cake doesn’t mean your desire to lose 10 pounds is a pipe dream. Practicing healthy habits is a moment-by-moment opportunity that builds momentum the more you try. It’s possible to reach your goals in small increments, even when one backward step follows two forward ones.

It’s important to pursue accomplishments that are realistic for you and maintainable in the long run. Below are helpful pointers to follow all year long:

• Take a long view of health & wellness. Forget short term/yo-yo and fad dieting. “Dieting” implies a short-term approach while making smart choices works for a lifetime.
• Make progress; let go of perfection. If you are easily discouraged when your goals aren’t met exactly as you envisioned, you may lose the motivation to keep trying. Motivation helps drive success and small accomplishments help keep us motivated. Stop the ‘all or nothing’ mentality that derails your determination! If you gave into temptation and ate a donut at work, be sure to eat a healthy dinner at home. When you expect to achieve PROGRESS instead of perfection, you set yourself up for MORE success in the short and long run.
• Enjoy eating. The diet that forbids your favorite foods or severely limits calories or eliminates entire food groups may result in weight loss but is that diet enjoyable? Is it a realistic way to live and maintain results? Find healthy recipes that are delicious and satisfying. Practice portion control. Learn how to establish a good balance of protein, fat and carbs. Savor each bite!
• Plan to succeed. Planning and scheduling tend to keep us organized and remind us to complete a specific task. Planning also makes the task a priority, that’s why it’s smart to plan your meals and snacks. Keep pre-portioned snack options and schedule time during the weekend to prepare meals for the week.
• Look beyond food. Other lifestyle factors can influence what and when we eat. Stress and how we cope with it, work-life balance, movement and exercise, support systems, self-care, love, and fulfillment all play a part in our relationship with food. What can you change in your environment and your mindset that will better support your resolutions?

Author:
Rachel Hudes, MS, RD, LDN
Your Fuel Registered Dietitian
To ask Rachel about Your Fuel Nutrition Counseling by HealthEase, call: 215.264.2574

Easy Guidelines for Healthier Grocery Shopping

Start the new year right by following these simple tips for making healthier choices at the grocery store.

 

Buy less-processed foods and more whole fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and simple dairy products. Fresh and frozen produce is nutrient dense and low in calories. When you do purchase foods with a label, follow these guidelines: 

  • Less than or equal to 10 grams of sugar
  • Greater than or equal to 3 grams of fiber
  • Less than or equal to 250 mg of sodium
  • No trans fats and minimal saturated fats (Avoid “hydrogenated oil” and “partially hydrogenated oil”)

Author: Nicole Bergoine, RD, Your Fuel registered dietitian. Ask HealthEase about Your Fuel nutrition counseling for your workplace at info@healtheasefitness.com. Visit Nicole’s site at: http://www.nicolemarierd.com.