Introducing JUMP START

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Are you wanting to start a fitness journey but don’t know where to begin?

Jump Start Circuit Training is a full-body resistance and strength training workout with a mix of cardio. Perfect for every fitness level that uses light to moderate weights with detailed movements to tone and shape your body, and cardio steps for beginners to advance people. With Circuit Training, you will get a full body workout & cardio done in just 30 minutes. You will leave feeling motivated and ready to come back for more!

Meet your new best friend & Fitness Instructor

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Naquan "Nate" Smith is certified personal trainer, Triangle Sports Performance coach, and the creator and Fitness Instructor of JUMP START here at our facility. He attended Grambling State University in Grambling, LA, where he received a scholarship to play football. While there he acquired a Bachelors degree in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sports Management and also a Masters degree in Sports Administration. Naquan exemplifies himself as being a motivator and great coach. When you come in contact with Naquan he will make sure you push yourself to get the very best out of you to the point where success is at the end.

This is a FREE class open to all members and non-members. Jump Start will begin on August 29th, classes will be on Tuesdays @ 5:30pm & Fridays @ 12pm.

 

 

 

 

About George ....

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George is the fuel and fire behind some of our specialized program: Medical Exercise & the Head Coach for the Sports Performance program. He performs obesity consultations, personal training, an instructor at one of our Tabata classes & tribal leader of the T.R.I.B.E. program with a FREE trial on May 1st through the 12th & the classes start on May 15.

He has a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science, a certified Personal Trainer (CPT),  certified Functional Movement Specialist (FMT), TRX certified & Medical Exercise Specialist (MES) among other things. Aside from his vast knowledge & expertise, he is truly passionate about helping, motivating & inspiring people to pursue and achieve a life of health & fitness.

"My favorite thing to do is to motivate & energize . It's a blessing to have the opportunity to guide  someone's journey in achieving health & fitness.” --- George

Come meet George at Beyond!

 

5 Reasons Why Our Sports Performance Program is Different

Hello folks! We can't believe it but 2017 is here & yes, the 3rd Training session for our Sports Performance Program is just around the corner, it starts January 9! We have helped many kids in the past two training sessions & we are more passionate than ever to help more kids & young adults in our community achieve their highest level as an athlete. Now we know you have a choice as to where to send your kids for Athletic Training or a Sports Program; but hear us out as to why we are different!

1/ Our program is designed & overseen by healthcare professionals & movement specialists.

Allow us to toot our own horns a bit but our program is designed and overseen by a highly qualified Doctor of Physical Therapy and fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists, facilitated by a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist & the program is backed by Triangle Therapeutics, the best Outpatient Physical Therapy facility in Southeast Texas {Reader's Choice 3 years in a row!}. Now we know, credentials are not everything but when it comes to athletic & sports training, minimizing the risk of injury & laying a foundation of the proper way to play is at it's core and because of that, experience & knowledge matters.

2/ We screen for Movement Impairments & Biomechanical Errors.

Big words we know & sorry but simply; Movement Impairments are movement that is diminished, weakened or damaged & Biomechanical Errors is the analysis of issues within the forces that affects the body & it's structures. While other programs may give you a cookie-cutter approach to improve your performance, we look at each specific client to determine the issues that is hampering their performance & may put them at a high risk for injury. We ensure we take this into account & tailor their program respectively to address these issues.

3/ We use specific measurement tools and outcome measures.

We don't just tell you that your kids are better, we show you! At the start of the program, we perform tests to establish their baseline function & track their progress accordingly. In Sports, it's all about objective results and we will perform and deliver!

4/ We provide a safe environment.

Let's circle back to #1 shall we? As healthcare professionals, we ensure our environment is safe & our clients truly cared for.

5/ Our crew is fun, friendly & approachable.

While credentials matter, passion, integrity & service is still at the heart of our Company & every program we make. Our crew is the best {well, second only to our amazing members & clients}! If you haven't met Dustin, George & Garret, you are in for a real treat! You can approach & ask them questions anytime, they are truly concerned about you & your progress, they are amazing motivators and they sure make this sometimes grueling program oh-so-fun!

E-mails:  DustinC@TriangleTherapeutics.com, George.Beyond@TriangleTherapeutics.com, Garret.Beyond@TriangleTherapeutics.com

Remember the 3rd Training Session is starting soon! Click here for more information.

Post Content by Dr. Dustin Craver PT, DPT, FAAOMPT, CSCS

Why Cardio is Better on Your Body Post Weight Training

Although cardio is essential to any workout routine, there are times when it's better for you to do it so that you can obtain maximum results. Cardio after weight training is one way that you can accomplish this. Ultimately, this could end up being a lot safer for you and that is what is most important to us.

Why?

Weight training is all about form. Correct form not only helps you in the long run, but it also prevents you from having major muscle pain or even worse, hurting yourself to a great extent. Hurting yourself would ultimately land you next door at our physical therapy clinic. As much as we would love to see you over there, we would rather it be under better circumstances. :)

If you do your full cardio workout before, you will use up all of your energy then and not have a whole lot to give when you weight train afterwards, therefore compromising your form. Because you don't have a lot of energy, you may not be able to lift/squat as heavy as you would normally.

Essentially, a lot of your muscle growth comes from those last 2-3 reps that you do in the last set when you are struggling, sweating and grunting (sound familiar?). With more energy, you could easily power through that with little problem. Without the energy that you would have used up in the cardio session, you would have either A) given up or B) decreased your weights for the last set, which would not benefit you as much as the other sets with a high resistance would.

Now for women, it's a little different. Most women don't want to gain a whole lot of muscle mass, we are just looking for some definition. Ya know, a just little lift to the lower portion and a little toning to the upper. ;) So, if you are a woman and don't lift or squat with a whole lot of weight, then it's perfectly fine to get some cardio in before your weight training.

Like we said, we like to have patients next door at Triangle Therapeutics, but if the injury can be prevented in the first place, we try everything we can to educate you, like in these blogs. Stay tuned every other week for more topic discussion! Have a topic you want us to cover? Let us know in the comments!

Click here for more tips on when to do cardio training!

Happy Training!

-Lauren

Healthy Ice Cream in Honor of National Ice Cream Day!

This past Sunday, July 17th, was National Ice Cream Day! What better way to celebrate (even though a little late) than with a simple, healthy ice cream recipe. It's 100% dairy free and 100% DELISH! Try it out at your next pool party to help cool you off in this sweltering Texas heat!  

Healthy Chocolate Banana Ice Cream

What You'll Need: - 3 Frozen Bananas - 1/4 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (if you really want that extra chocolatey flavor. Otherwise, get regular unsweetened) - 1 TBS of almond butter or peanut butter - 1/2 TBS of cocoa powder - 1/2TBS of mini chocolate chips (optional)

What You Do:

Place bananas, almond milk, almond butter and cocoa powder into a food processor.

Pulse/process until smooth and creamy. You may need to turn off the motor and stir the mixture a couple times while processing.

Add in cacao nibs or chocolate chips (if using) and pulse once more. Freeze for about an hour or so. Scoop/spoon ice cream in to a bowl and enjoy!

Serving size: ½ of recipe Calories: 240 | Fat: 7g | Carbohydrates: 47g | Sugar: 24g |Fiber: 7g | Protein: 5g

 

Enjoy!

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Water Workouts for the Summer

When you live in our area of the country, the weather is HOT this time of year. If you are someone who isn’t able to go to a gym or if you would rather resort to outdoor activity for exercise, it’s hard to find the motivation to go running or do bleachers when the heat index is 105 degrees (or higher) with 100% humidity. If you have access to a pool, chances are you are going to be in it all the time during our hot summer seasons. Why not make your swim time productive and turn it in to a workout session? You stay cool, you avoid the crowd at the gym, it’s an easy way to get some exercise in and - BONUS – you can even get a tan while you do it! Or a burn, like me.

Being in the water actually makes your workout a little more advantageous because of the resistance in the water. You have to try a little harder to get those moves down all the way because the water is constantly trying to push you back.

So, time to dive in and get started!

 

  1. Side Burpees

Targets abs, obliques, hips, and legs

  •  Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  •  In deep end, hold on to edge of pool with right hand so that body is perpendicular to edge; tuck knees into chest to place both feet flat (right stacked above left) against side wall of pool as high as possible.
  •  Maintaining hand grip throughout, jump feet off wall and extend legs as you engage abs to bring body as parallel to surface as possible in a side-plank position (left hip now stacked above right). Return to tuck and continue for 1 minute.
  •  Switch sides and repeat for 1 minute.

 

  1. Deck Dips

Targets triceps, abs, and obliques

  •  Begin with your back facing side wall of pool and place palms on edge behind you, fingertips facing forward; bend left knee to place left foot flat against wall and raise straight right leg to hip height in front of you.
  •  Straighten arms to lift out of water; lower to start.
  •  Do 10 reps; switch legs and repeat.
  •  MAKE IT EASIER: Keep both knees bent and both feet flat on wall. (If booty scrapes the edge, you can also do this in corner of pool.)

 

  1. Aqua Teaser

Targets shoulders, arms, abs, and hips

  •  Standing in shallow end, simultaneously sit back into water, treading with hands out to sides, and lift both legs together so that you fold at hips to create a wide V shape, with head and toes just above surface.
  •  Quickly bring knees to chest — or bring legs as straight as you can toward chest to make V less wide — then extend legs to return to V position.
  •  Do 15 to 20 reps. Continue treading with hands for 1 minute.
  •  MAKE IT EASIER: Skip knee tuck and simply hold V position for 1 minute.

 

  1. Water Taxi

Targets back, shoulders, arms, chest, and abs

  •  Sit on kickboard with knees together, legs dangling or skimming bottom of pool.
  • Extend arms in front of you, palms facing away from each other, then sweep arms out to sides (as if doing a breaststroke).
  • Continue stroking across pool for 30 seconds, then switch stroke to go in opposite direction: Bring arms out to sides with palms facing forward, elbows slightly bent, then sweep arms together in front of you. Continue for 30 seconds, squeezing shoulder blades as you push forward and back.

 

  1. Tombstone Kick

Targets back, arms, abs, butt, and legs

  •  With your back to edge of pool, hold kickboard with both hands so that it's vertical (rounded edge up) and half of it is below surface of water.
  •  Push off wall with feet, holding kickboard in tombstone position, and kick as hard as you can toward opposite side of pool.
  •  Continue for 1 minute.
  •  MAKE IT HARDER: Hold kickboard horizontally and completely submerged.

 

 

Happy swimming, folks! If you think of any other effective pool exercises, let us know all about them! We would love to hear from you!

Why Run?

We're talking about running today in honor of National Running Day earlier this month!

It’s been said that exercise is a form of medicine. That’s definitely no joke! Simply 30 minutes of activity a day can do more for your body than you probably realize. Studies have shown that running can help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and so much more. So, is that it? Of course not! Running can not only help you physically, but mentally and emotionally.

 

1. Joint problems? Running helps strengthen you bones and promotes overall joint health, especially with knee pain. We know what you are thinking – running is bad for your knees though, right? Not necessarily. Studies have shown that people with bad knee problems do not usually have a history of running, where as those who don’t have knee pain at all do. The best thing you can do for yourself is find the right pair of shoes and make sure you are running correctly. Form is everything!

 

2. Running can help you in your weight loss journey. Everyone knows that cardio burns the most calories, even after your session – it’s called the “after burn.” You don’t even have to be running quickly to achieve this either! Run at a little faster than your slowest pace, but not quite as quick as your fastest.

 

3. Running improves happiness and overall mood. You have heard of “runners high.” Studies have shown that just simply those 30 active minutes a day can immediately improve your mood and the more you do it, the effects will soon become long-term.

 

4. Running will add years to your life and keep your mind sharp as you age. It’s plain and simple – a healthier body leads to a longer living body. Regular activity also regular exercise helps defeat age-related mental decline, particularly functions like task switching, selective attention, and working memory.

 

So there you have it, folks! Running is probably one of the best things you can do to your body. Not much of a runner yet but want to improve? Couch to 5K workout plans are good options. Remember to find a good pair of running shoes as well. For those of you in our area, our friends at On the Run in the Colonnade will be glad to help you find the running shoe fit for your needs!

Now get out there and hit the trails!

Is it OK for Young Athletes to Start Training?

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With the launch of our new Triangle Sports Performance Summer Program, we want to talk about the benefits of sports training for young athletes.

So, the answer is OF COURSE!

Young children are encouraged to get out and participate in physical activity, especially in this technology driven generation where cell phones, video games and TV shows pull us inside and on the couch. Physical activity can easily be obtained through PE classes and through any kind of sport that they might play.

However, young athletes that are serious about their sport need a different kind of training as they continue to develop and grow in the developing young stages of their lives. The specific training is targeted around the developmental stages that the athletes are going through and aims to lessen/prevent injury during practice or a game.

Training usually consists of a combination of resistance training and strength training. Not only does strength training help promote bone and muscle growth, it also helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, cholesterol level and weight. The last benefits may not be super beneficial for them now, but they will definitely be thankful for it when they get older.

The internal effects are just as important as the external. What are the external, you ask? Training can easily boost a young athletes confidence and self-esteem. Think of your child scoring that touchdown or goal during the soccer game and having a crowd cheer for them. Can you imagine the smile on their face as their team high fives them?

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During our program at +BEYOND Fitness, our goal is to help our athletes reach their performance goals, gain a competitive edge and minimize their risk of injury. Our coaches have a passion for helping athletes to achieve their goals and love to see their students excel and get stronger and better. The classes start on May 2nd and last through July 22nd and will be on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6PM at BEYOND Fitness. During a special free trial, we have already seen fantastic results in our athletes and we can't wait to see what kind of results that the summer program will bring us!

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Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.21.44 AM

Do you think your young athlete would be a good candidate for our program? Contact the TSP Program Developer and +BEYOND's Health and Fitness Director, Dustin Craver, at dustinc@triangletherapeutics.com

Want to take a look at our facility and see what +BEYOND Fitness is all about before you try it? Come on by for a tour from one of our Fitness Associates! We are open Monday thru Friday 5AM-10PM and Saturday &  Sunday 7AM-7PM.

Lastly, don't forget to like our Facebook pages so that you can receive exclusive updates! +BEYOND FitnessTriangle Sports PerformanceTriangle Therapeutics

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

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With the holidays coming around, it's hard to eat healthy. One of the ways that you can take care of your body through the enormous amounts of carbs and sugar (and alcohol), is by drinking water.

So, how much should you drink?

Water is so important to incorporate into your daily lifestyle.In fact, the US Department of Agriculture recommends different amounts of water based on age, sex and health status. The specific recommendations are based on the amount of water lost on a daily basis through perspiration, respiration, urination and metabolism.

Up to 80 percent of your body weight is water. Muscle tissue is comprised of mostly water and protein. Your body also needs water to help digestion, to stay cool, repair or regenerate cells,keep blood pumping through your veins and to help flush toxins out of your body. Your body uses different amounts of water for these activities every day, and even more in hot, humid weather or during exercise. Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.

So, in closing, this means that you should be drinking at least half of your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should be drinking around 60 ounces of water daily! If you are not able to drink that much water, try starting out with drinking about 3-5 ounces per day. You can even add low-calorie flavoring to your water like Crystal Light or Mio Energy to make it a little more tasteful and exciting.

Happy Holidays!

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Tis the Season for Running!

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fall-running

Fall is a prime time in our area when running events start to happen almost every weekend. Have you been inspired lately to run in a 5K or 10K but are not much of a runner or haven't ran in a while? We have some awesome tips to get you started or to help get you back on the track!

1. Warm Up.

If you happen to be a faster runner with a goal pace significantly quicker than your training pace, do no more than 10 minutes of light jogging and finish 15 minutes before you start. Precede to follow your jog with stretching (see stretching suggestions below).

2. Start Slow.

Run the first two to three miles with 10-15 seconds per mile slower than your goal pace. This preserves precious glycogen stores for later in the race so you can finish strong.

3. Drink early, drink often.

Take a sports drink to the first aid station and every one after. Taking in carbohydrates and fluid early will help postpone or prevent serious dehydration or carbohydrate depletion later, so you'll be a lot more likely to maintain your pace.

4. Eat breakfast.

As you sleep, your brain was active and using the glycogen (stored carbohydrate) from your liver. Breakfast restocks those stores, so you will be less likely to run out of fuel. Aim for a few hundred calories, such as a bagel and banana or toast and a sports bar.

Stretchin

1. IT Band Stretch

Recovery Rules and 9 Post-Workout Foods

The difference between an elite-level athlete and an average one can often be tied to recovery. The best athletes know and understand that the physiological adaptations they want to get stronger, faster and fitter also come through recovery -- not from just the work itself. What you eat and drink post-workout plays a key role, but many athletes don’t pay enough attention it. Here are the rules of recovery and the top nine most recommended post-workout foods with easy tips and recipes on how to enjoy them.Performance studies measuring recovery conclude that rehydrating is most important, followed by replenishing depleted carbohydrate stores (glycogen) and getting enough amino acids from protein to stimulate muscle-protein synthesis. The recommended combination includes: 15 to 25 grams of quality protein with 0.5 to 0.75 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight post-exercise. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends carbohydrates within the first 30 minutes of stopping exercise to optimize the update of glucose and amino acids into muscles, but other research suggests that the body is primed for recovery for the first few hours after exercise.

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Post-Workout Food #1: Beets |  This uncommon crimson produce pick provides unique compounds -- nitrates and betalains, which can help the body transfer oxygen to muscles more efficiently, aid muscle contraction, lower blood pressure and act as potent antioxidants. Studies show that beetroot juice as well as cooked beets can improve performance when eaten pre-exercise, but they also have post-exercise benefits too. How to enjoy: Beets are quite versatile and can be enjoyed baked, roasted, juiced, pickled or grated into your favorite dishes. Consider pairing earthy beets with goat cheese and arugula for a colorful salad, or enjoy them simply roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper. They’re also great blended into recovery smoothies.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.14.04 AM

Post-Workout Food #2: Eggs | Nutrient-packed eggs are considered a “perfect protein,” meaning that the protein found in eggs is of the highest biological value and serves as the gold standard against which all other proteins are measured. Since eggs provide all nine essential amino acids, eating a meal with eggs post-exercise can aid in repair of body tissues and in muscle-strength gains. Indeed, studies show that the protein in eggs promotes a significant increase in resistance muscle strength among athletes. One large egg provides 70 calories, six grams of high-quality protein, five grams of total fat and a wide variety of important vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin D, zinc and choline. How to enjoy: Whether over easy, scrambled, hardboiled or sunny side up, eggs are delicious regardless of the preparation. Partner with a high-quality carb like whole-grain bread or fresh berries, or combine them with a banana to create protein pancakes.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.15.24 AM

Post-Workout Food #3: Greek Yogurt | With a whopping 14 grams of protein and just 100 calories per six-ounce serving, plain Greek yogurt boasts an ideal protein-to-calorie ratio, which makes it a great post-workout treat. Greek yogurt is an easy, portable snack you can enjoy after working out or use to make great recovery drinks. Keep in mind that you’ll want to stay away from sugary “fruit on the bottom” varieties, as these are loaded with refined sugar and unnecessary calories. How to enjoy: Instead, it’s best to add natural sugar from fresh fruit for that optimal protein-to-carbohydrate combination that is so beneficial for exercise and muscle growth. If you want a change of pace from yogurt and berries, oats or Grape Nuts are great options.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.19.45 AM

Post-Workout Food #4: Watermelon | It’s no surprise that watermelon slices are at the end of most endurance events. The sweet fruit is 92 percent water, making it the perfect choice to help rehydrate. Two cups of watermelon have just 80 calories and is a good source of vitamin C, lycopene, potassium and vitamin A. What’s more, an amino acid in watermelon, L-citrulline, has been shown to help maintain healthy blood vessels, increase nitric oxide and improve blood flow. In a small study, athletes who consumed watermelon juice experienced up to 40 percent less muscle soreness 24 hours after exercise compared with athletes who didn’t consume watermelon juice. How to enjoy: It’s perfect on it’s own or blended into a smoothie. Just blend two cups of watermelon chunks, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon of mint leaves, six ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt and a dash of cinnamon. This smoothie provides approximately 28 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of protein, zero grams of fat and 190 calories.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.21.21 AM

Post-Workout Food #5: Salmon | Salmon is best known for being an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, omega-3s have been shown to help improve glucose tolerance and promote lean body mass. While fat often gets a bad rap, good fats, like the ones found in salmon, play an essential role in hormone production (think testosterone and growth hormones) and can thus aid in muscle growth and strength gains. Further, the “good” fat found in lean protein can elevate your metabolic rate, which helps you to shed additional fat and build lean muscle mass. Its high protein content -- about 17 grams per three-ounce serving -- provides essential amino acids to help rebuild muscle tissue. How to enjoy: Salmon is delicious when served grilled over a colorful salad or broiled in the oven with lemon and thyme.

Post-Workout Food #6: Berries |Berries are rich in immune-boosting, disease-fighting antioxidants, which can help squash the oxidative stress the body endures after intense bouts of exercise. The antioxidants in berries help mitigate the high level of oxidative stress (which leads to further muscle-tissue damage) associated with exhaustive exercise. Fortunately, by increasing intake of antioxidant-rich foods like berries exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation caused by free radicals is diminished. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, berries provide a substantial amount of carbohydrates, which helps replenish muscle glycogen stores. One cup of fresh berries provides around 20 grams of carbohydrates, making them a good place to start when you need to amp up the amount of carbs in your diet. How to enjoy: Berries are delicious when paired with a protein-rich snack like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese or a handful of nuts. You can also incorporate them into a smoothie with a protein powder of your choice.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.28.22 AM

Post-Workout Food #7: Quinoa |This delicious ancient grain has more protein than most other grains (four grams per half-cup serving) and is rich in iron and fiber. It’s considered a complete protein, meaning it provides all of the nine essential amino acids the body needs to function properly. The benefit of consuming a complete protein post-exercise has been well documented, and studies show a link between protein-rich foods and increases in physical performance, training session recovery, lean body mass, muscle hypertrophy and strength. An additional perk of this trendy superfood? It’s also gluten-free. How to enjoy: Quinoa makes for a great hot breakfast cereal and is especially delicious when flavored with nutmeg or cinnamon and garnished with fresh fruit. This nutritious, muscle-enhancing food is also quite tasty in salads or paired with dried cranberries and slivered almonds.

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Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 9.29.35 AM

Post-Workout Food #8: Turkey |The Thanksgiving star is often overlooked for the rest of the year, but it shouldn’t be if you’re an athlete. Turkey is an affordable source of high-quality protein to provide the essential amino acids your body needs to recovery after a workout. Protein requirements vary by sport and how long you’ve been training. But as a general rule, endurance athletes need about 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram of body weight, and serious strength athletes need 1.6 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. What’s more, for athletes trying to maintain a lower body weight, a higher-protein diet may help retain muscle mass while keeping body fat levels low. How to enjoy: Roll turkey slices in lettuce and enjoy in wraps with spicy mustard, or place turkey in a whole-wheat pita and garnish with avocado and tomato salsa. Turkey dinner? Whip up a batch of turkey meatballs and serve over whole-grain pasta.

Post-Workout Food #9: Peanut Butter |Peanut butter is a favorite among many all-star athletes. It’s a good source of plant-based protein and healthy good-for-you fats. Plus, it’s much more affordable than other nut butters. A tablespoon of peanut butter packs about 95 calories, four grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and 3.5 grams of hunger-squashing protein. Peanut butter is loaded with vitamin E, magnesium and the necessary B vitamins needed to convert food into energy. In fact, vitamin E plays an essential role in helping to prevent free-radical damage after heavy workouts so you can recover more quickly. Whenever possible, opt for an all-natural brand of peanut butter with no added sugars or oils. How to enjoy: Try peanut butter sandwiches on a toasted whole-grain bagel or on top of waffles or pancakes. It also goes well with fruit like bananas, apples or pears, or add it to your recovery smoothies.

What do you guys think? Are you concerned about what you eat after you exercise? If so, what types of foods do you focus on? Are there any tips or tricks that you can share? Let us know in the comments below.

Gains, gains, gains!

Most guys spend their entire life going to gyms, following a diet, performing endless reps and sets, and NEVER gain more than a few pounds of muscle. Yes, you may become very healthy, but if you are like me, you also want to see results. Many men start to think "maybe my genes just aren't made for size." Let's change that mindset.

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Rule #1: To gain the weight and mass that you would like you have to eat and lift big. It may seem obvious but the first rul is that you have to eat more calories than you burn. If you are struggling to gain weight, it's usually that you just simply aren't eating enough. Make sure to take in the right amount of protein and carbs each day. Carbs are very important when trying to gain weight.

Rule #2: Double or triple your protein intake. A good rule I like to follow is you should take a gram of protein for each pound of your body weight. If there is a type of food you want to eat more of, your top choice should be something full of protein.

Rule #3: Simple - lift heavier weights! There is a time and place for high rep counts but when trying to gain mass, it is NOT the time. Why? Focusing on heavier weights increases your strength and you will slowly start using more weight for more reps. As your total work capacity increases (amount of weight used times the number of reps you perform), you will start to add more mass.

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snoring-zzz-793557

Rule #4: The most simple and enjoyable of all of the rules. Get a lot of sleep! Getting enough sleep helps your body grow and repair itself. Not getting enough sleep will keep your muscles from growing and you will feel sore longer. When you are getting enough sleep, your growth hormone levels will continue to increase. Your goal should be to prioritize your rest just as much as your meals and workout.

Following these rules and just simply putting in the work needed will help you put on the mass that you desire and get you one step closer to your fitness goals!

Stay strong my fitness friends! - Garrett

New School Year = Busy Schedules.

With the upcoming school year approaching, a lot of lives are about to get really, really busy. However, that doesn't mean that your healthy routine needs to come to and end! We know it will be tempting to indulge in sweet teacher treats from parents and you will indeed get to the point to where you are so busy with helping your children out with sports and homework that you will have no motivation to work out and fast food sounds so good because it's, well, fast.

We are here to give our teachers and busy parents some tips on how to stay healthy and active during the upcoming school year.

1. Commit to a specific schedule. Set aside some time from your busy schedule and choose two mornings/afternoons during the week when you can maybe squeeze in a small workout or cook a healthy meal for your family.

2. Utilize the weekend. We know teachers and parents are very busy during the week with waking up early, staying up late preparing for the next class day or grading papers. The weekend is a perfect time to squeeze in a good workout (even just one!). Sundays are a great day to meal prep!

3. Keep your workouts at a high priority. When you set a goal for yourself. Make workouts a high priority, even if it's a 30 minute walk after dinner. The key is to ALWAYS stay active. Write down your plan ahead of time before the week starts and stay committed to it!

4. Don't beat yourself up. It's okay if you miss a couple of days! We all know you are busy and other priorities are high, but we want to make sure that you are taking care of yourself and squeezing in time for YOU and your health.

Stay active, teachers!

- George Orebe

If You Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.

In our everyday lives, our attention and time are always centered on something we are doing. Hopefully that something includes your health and overall well-being. I found an interesting article from men’s fitness that focuses on males and females on the subject of meal preps and the difference between those who succeed and those that fail. Meal prepping is a crucial step for individuals who are serious about weight loss. Like all other things, its definitely a process. You might not get it completely right on the first try but there is always room for improvement!

It only takes a few hours Sunday afternoon to make a quick trip to the grocery store and then to come home and prepare everything for the week. It's so easy and so much better than running out and getting fast food on your lunch break or stopping at McDonalds for breakfast in the morning. If you have everything prepared beforehand, you can have extra time in the morning to get ready for your day. Running late? No problem! Grab it out of the fridge or freezer and be on your way!

How much time do you spend making your meals every day?

"If you fail to plan, plan to fail," suggests new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. In the study, 1,319 adults were asked about the amount of time they spent preparing, cooking, and cleaning up after meals. Of the respondents:

16% said that they spent less than 1 hour on food prep

43% said they prepped for 1 to 2 hours

41% said that they prepped for 2 hours a day or more.

Not surprisingly, spending less than 1 hour a day preparing food at home is associated with eating more fast food, while spending more time on meal prep is linked to better dietary habits, like eating more fruits and vegetables. Also, those who worked outside of the home spent less time prepping meals.

So, if you are on a serious weight loss journey, remember to set aside some time to meal prep!

 

Happy prepping! -Lorence

The Importance of Active Senior Citizens

Several months ago, +BEYOND Fitness introduced a new program at our facility called SilverSneakers. What is SilverSneakers, you ask? Silver Sneakers is the nation’s leading exercise program designed exclusively for Medicare-eligible adults. SilverSneakers offers physical activity, health education and social events to help reduce health care costs driven by the physical and mental effects of aging and physician and hospital visits.

So, in light of us introducing this new program, I have decided to right about how important it is for senior citizens to stay physically active the older that they get.

Studies show that over 60% of senior citizens who are inactive. If you think about it, the number is probably even higher when you think about those in assisted living homes. Many older people might not realize what inactivity can do in their lives as they age.

1. Have you ever thought of exercise as a social activity?

Community walking groups and exercise classes targeted for older folks such as water aerobics all offer a chance for seniors to connect with other people their age and allows them to talk about the latest social news. Being around others with the same goal (staying active, losing weight) allows them to become more motivated and engaged in a healthier lifestyle.

2. A healthier active life leads to a healthier mood. 

Think about how you feel after you exercise, be it anything from a 30-minute after dinner walk with you spouse and dog to a full workout at the gym. You feel pretty good afterwards, right? Have you ever experienced that "runners high?" It's proven that no matter what your age, any amount of activity is not only good for your body but it's AMAZING for your mood! Older people often start to experience depression and mood swings as they age. Their children move away, sometimes illness affects a spouse and they pass away and as a result, they often feel alone. If you know of someone who could benefit from being more active, help them out!

3. Like anyone else, consistent exercise strengthens mobility and strength. 

We all know that muscles deteriorate over time, so it is important to keep that in mind as you get older. When senior citizens don't let muscles do their job, they start to experience problems like an unsteady gait, poor blood flow, and difficulty breathing and walking. An active life can help greatly with these issues and means fewer doctor visits!

4. Healthy physical activity = healthy mental activity. 

Mental health declines as he get older, and it's been proven that physical activity slows that decline. A more active lifestyle increases blood flow which in turn encourages cell growth. All of this leads to better mental health and cognitive functioning.

 

So see, promoting a healthy physical lifestyle in your senior benefits them in every way! If you think you know a senior that might benefit from more physical activity, have them stop by or call us at +BEYOND Fitness. The SilverSneakers and Prime Fitness programs that we offer not only allow those with Medicare to have free/discounted gym memberships, but those with other insurances as well.

If you would like to find out if your insurance qualifies, please call us at 409.347.8373 or come by for a tour at 2990 Laurel Avenue Ste. B in Beaumont!

Proper Form & its Arch Enemies

One of the most common mistakes people make in the gym is to use improper form. This will hinder your results and puts you at risk for major injuries, the most common of which are back problems. Back injuries are particularly troublesome as they often take months to heal and can even create issues for the rest of your life if they’re not taken care of correctly. Proper form is something you always have to be aware of; slipping back into old habits is easy to do if you don’t monitor yourself.

Why it’s important

1. Prevents injuries

One of the most important reasons for maintaining proper form is to prevent injuries. If you are lifting a lot of weight, your body is likely to become slightly misaligned, which can place your muscles, joints and tendons in awkward positions that could potentially cause strains or tears. It is best to ease up on the weight if it means you are better able to maintain proper form.

2. Ensures correct muscle targeting

Since many weightlifting exercises are targeted toward specific muscle groups, a lack of good form can cause you to work out a completely different muscle or to strain the muscle you were targeting. Proper form, on the other hand, ensures optimal results in the correct muscle group.

3. Helps maintain proper breathing

Proper breathing is essential in resistance training exercises because it helps you generate more force and reduces the chance of heart problems or severe increases in blood pressure. When you use correct form, you will find it easier to move the air in and out of your lungs, which will also help you focus your attention on the task at hand.

4. Enables you to lift more weight

In order for you to lift the maximum possible weight, your muscles need to be in the ideal position to generate force. When you begin to move out of alignment, you place your muscles at unnatural angles, decreasing their functional capability. By maintain proper form, you will be able to lift a larger amount of weight, which will translate into more visible results in a shorter period of time.

5. Reduces unnecessary stabilizing actions

When you use bad form, a number of muscles — predominately those in your core — must work overtime to stabilize your body and try to prevent an injury from occurring. All these actions eat up available energy and significantly reduce the effectiveness of your exercises. That means more work with less results — not and ideal situation.

Common form mistakes and solutions

1. Arching your back during a military press

How to fix this: Think of squeezing your glute muscles while you are lifting the weight over your head. This should help bring your back into alignment and prevent what is commonly called a “sway back” position.

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2. Not aligning your feet over your knees during squats

How to fix this: This is a problem that can result in serious knee issues. A good way to prevent this is to always perform your squats in front of a mirror to ensure that you are placing your knees directly over your toes. You must only go down as far as is comfortable for you; if you try to go lower than your joints will allow you, your knees will move out of alignment.

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3. Lifting your back off the bench during a bench press

How to fix this: Whenever you lift a large amount of weight, it is a natural action to arch your back, as it feels like it helps you generate more force. While you may feel like you’re stronger, the increased risk of injury is significant. To prevent this from occurring, think of pressing the small of your back against the bench. If you can fit more than the width of your flat hand under your back, you need to lighten the weight. In addition, it is always a good idea to use a spotter for safety precautions during this exercise.

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4. Arching your back during bent-over rows

How to fix this: Look up while performing the exercise; this will help keep your spine in alignment. Also, if you perform it in front of a mirror, you can ensure that a “hump” doesn’t form in your back. Instead, it should resemble a tabletop.

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5. Using momentum during bicep curls

How to fix this: This is a very common mistake. Many people try to use the momentum generated by swaying their bodies to help hoist the weights up toward their shoulders. This creates a lot of stress on the shoulder girdle, and if the weight is heavy enough, it can even knock you off balance. You will benefit more if you lift a lighter weight and isolate the bicep muscle. To reduce your chances of using momentum, perform the exercise while sitting on a bench or standing with your back against a wall.

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Be proper

If you have been experiencing any unusual pain lately, you might want to take a good look at your form during your weightlifting exercises; there is a good chance that you are falling out of proper alignment.

Meal Prepping 101

Do you want to start meal prepping for the week but are not sure where to begin? It's all about planning and staying on track! We know it's hard when the boss has Mexican food catered on Thursday (just when you have been doing so well all week!) or decides to bring in some yummy cupcakes for an afternoon sugar pick-me-up to get you through the rest of your Friday workday.It's especially hard if you are like me and have a HUGE sweet tooth (this is why I stay away from the break room and keep dark chocolate in my desk drawer). :)

I have finally decided that next week I'm going to FINALLY start meal prepping so I won't be so tempted to get off track or to go out for lunch or dinner during the week.

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Here are a few tips that I have compiled from various fitness blogs and advice that friends have given me.

1. Plan & Shop. The best advice would be to do this on a Sunday. You are most likely going to be off all (if not, most) of the day. Research healthy recipes that are simple and easy to make on Pinterest or fitness blogs. Also, choose ones that would be easy to freeze and thaw out later if you need to. Make a list of what you need and the quantities. Now it's time to go shopping! Locally, I like to go to Kroger or HEB for any of my grocery shopping. There is a wider selection of healthy snacks (for mid-morning and -afternoon) and their fruits and veggies are far more fresh than any other grocery store, in my opinion. If you are meal prepping for more than just you, I would suggest going to Sam's or Costco and buying things in bulk! Want to shop more locally? Visit the Farmer's Market! They have recently started up again for the summer. Also, on my list is tupperware that is sectioned off to make measuring your portions a lot easier!

2. Time to cook and prepare! When coming back from the store, if you ahve anything frozen that you are about to prepare like chicken or fish, keep it out and let it thaw while you are laying out the other food items and prepping them (cutting veggies, etc). Start with breakfast and work your way through each day and then through the week! To start off, make a few of your breakfast meals simple so you are not overwhelmed. Start off with something quick like a protein shake that you can just throw into a Blender bottle and a banana. Or perhaps have ingredients for a smoothie already in a bag in the freezer and just pop it into the blender before you leave for work in the morning!

3. Put it all away! Now it's time to put it all in the fridge and have it ready for your work week! Put it all in tuppleware containers along with a couple of bags of salad and you are all set to grab it out of the fridge on your way out the door! Have any extra meat or frozen items? Be sure to stick them back in the freezer for later! :)

I hope these tips help you with the meal prepping portion of your fitness journey! If you have any tips as well that are not listed above, feel free to leave a comment below for others to see!

 

Happy Healthy Eating, friends! - Lauren

The Difference Between Women's & Men's Fitness

Exercise is great for the body and makes us feel better as we continue improving our level of fitness.  When it comes to the question on how exercise or the level of fitness compares to a male versus a female there are a lot of things that are different. Both male and female can become fit but when it comes to the physical anatomy and various things that differ between the two that is the ultimate reason as to how our level of fitness can vary in some areas:  I was reading an article I think you might find interesting that goes in depth as to, “How Women’s Fitness Differs From Men’s.”

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Where Men & Women Differ: 

Testosterone. Men have higher levels of testosterone than women, and women have higher levels of estrogen than men. Testosterone is the hormone that helps the human body to pack on muscle, while estrogen leads to the growth of fat cells, along with all of the other markers of female sexuality. Women have a harder time packing on the muscle due to higher levels of estrogen and lower levels of testosterone.

Weight Loss. What is the most effective way to burn fat and lose weight? Build muscle! The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you will burn every day and the faster your metabolism will run. Seeing as men have an easier time building larger, more active muscle, it stands to reason that men will have an easier time losing weight as well. The same quality and amount of workout will often yield better results in men than in women.

Flexibility. This is one area where women always take the cake. Women are naturally more flexible than men, as their bones are shorter and have less pronounced corners. The female body tends to be more rounded, and the bones around the pelvis are more flexible than men's pelvic bones.

Muscle Mass. Men naturally pack on more muscle mass than women, due simply to their higher testosterone levels. If you measured the body mass index of the average man against an average woman of the same weight, the man will usually have a lower body mass index (indicating greater muscle mass).

BMI (Body Mass Index). The BMI determines the ratio of fat to total body weight. Women tend to have a higher body mass index (meaning more fat), but a "healthy" BMI for women is about 5% higher than for men. This is because the fat on a woman's body is important for healthy reproductive function.

Basically, it means that men have a slightly easier time getting in shape than women do. Men can build muscle more easily, which will in turn help them to lose weight and get in shape. Men also have more strength than women, and they can handle heavier loads more quickly.

That doesn't mean that women can't get in shape as well. It just means that they need to find a workout program that plays to their strengths, and they shouldn't try to compete with their fellow man. If you're not seeing the same amounts of gain as your boyfriend/husband/male friend, don't worry about it! Your bodies are designed differently, and what is "fit" to you is not the same as his definition of "fitness".

- Lorence

Train Like a Champ!

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Did you know that June is National Running Month?

At +BEYOND Fitness, we want to encourage everyone to get out there and run!

Maybe you are already out there and running and training for your next 5K, half-marathon or marathon. Maybe you have already ran one and are training for the next.

Do you want to win your next marathon or finish with a time you have been dreaming about? There is always room for progress when it comes to training for anything. I’m here to give you a few awesome training tips for marathon training!

  • When training for a marathon you want to find your right running technique. The perfect stride that can help you go the distance and accomplish your goal. Choppy strides will waste your energy and only cover less distance. Over reaching stride on the other hand will fatigue your muscles.
  • Training for a marathon requires a lot of running, therefore practice running but running shouldn’t be the only thing you do while traing for your marathon. Cross train to improve your overall fitness level, most importantly give your bones and joints some rest from running so much. Examples of cross – training workouts ae, yoga, weight training, swimming and cycling.
  • Have a traing plan, wear a heart rate monitor, and a really good watch. Keep notes of your mile splits. Watch your body improve over time, watch your time get better and faster, Set goals and work toward them, stay accountable to yourself.
  • Train with style, tunes, and hydrate, wear the perfect running shoes and gear for training. Listen to the best tunes that makes you excited. Also drink plenty of fluids, water, Gatorade. Bad shoes = injury. Lack of hydration = Fatigue, and dehydration.

 

When running your next marathon, run like you’ve trained. Don’t think about the distance. Just GO.

Happy training!

-George

Debunking Myths About Women's Fitness

Don’t lift or do lift? Will I bulk up too quickly and look scary? How much protein should I obtain? What supplements should I take? Women’s fitness is so different than men’s fitness in many different aspects. I’m here to debunk those crazy myths for you!

 

Myth #1: Lots of reps and little weight.

You have probably all said it at least once when you start to work out. “I don’t want to go to the weight section at all because I’m going to bulk up. I’ll just jump on the treadmill for 45 minutes.” The truth is, you would have to have a lot of testosterone in your body or inject yourself with steroids, you won’t bulk up and look scary big. Don’t be afraid of gaining more muscle.

 

Myth #2: Cardio is more important for fat loss than weight lifting.

A big concern with weight loss is also muscle loss. Not many people know this but less muscle equals lower metabolism. So, essentially, when you incorporate more cardio into your workouts instead of equal parts weight training and cardio, you will find it harder to lose weight, no matter how well you eat.

 

Myth #3: If I workout more, I’ll lose more weight.

This is partially true, but there are many people think that weight loss ONLY comes from the gym or through whatever workout they are doing. It all boils down to the age-old quote that EVERYONE needs to live by: “Abs are made in the kitchen.” Eating right and putting healthy things into your body are just as important as your workouts. If you know you are working your hardest in the gym, take as much initiative at the grocery store when you are shopping for food for the upcoming week. Research good food prep and take a Sunday afternoon to buy healthy items from the store and to cook and prep it into separate containers so they are ready to go. Make sure you have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

You have no excuse if you are in a hurry and running out the door if it’s all ready to go!

 

Myth #4: Protein will make you fat.

Men say it all the time that they need protein to bulk up. Some women hear this and make sure they steer clear of anything that has an ounce of protein in it. The truth is, protein is just as important for women as it is for men in the sense that for women, it helps us burn fat. Protein supports muscle and tissue growth, so it is essential for the development of lean muscle mass, which elevates metabolism. Women who are active need more protein even if their goals are to lose weight and body fat. Protein will also help you feel fuller and not as hungry, leading you to eating fewer calories. Your body takes a longer time to digest protein.

There you have it! Just a few of the many myths about female fitness that everyone needs to know have been officially debunked. No more avoiding the weight section or protein!

 

Happy training, ladies!

-Lauren