4 Benefits of Training With Your Significant Other

By Gage Livingston, Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Couples Personal TrainingDo you and your significant other want to try something new together? Do you want to improve your relationship? I was just reading an article from Ace Fitness that was discussing the benefits of couples that participate in a personal training program together. I thought it was excellent and I would like to share some of the highlights with you.

The article mentioned a number of key benefits to training with your partner.

  1. The chances of sticking with a fitness program are greatly increased when you train with your partner – a little peer pressure is always good for staying on track.
  2. You will both benefit from a customized workout from a personal trainer.
  3. Personal training together allows you both to benefit from an opportunity to support each other’s goals in a very focused way.
  4. Personal training with your partner will enhance your fitness level and your relationship. It will give you something new to talk about, laugh about, and enjoy.

So, go get your honey off the sofa and get to the gym!

Get started with a customized personal training program today, we offer couples rates! Haven’t been to an Elite Sports Club yet? Schedule a tour to check out our fitness & training facilities.

Do you work out with your significant other? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!

Using Rates of Perceived Exertion to Help You Determine Your Exercise Zones

Everyone is unique when they exercise and the use of standardized formulas to determine your target heart rate zones can often lead you to exercise at either higher or lower than your actual effective rate. By combining the “Rate of Perceived Exertion Scale” with “Target Heart Rate Zones” you can more effectively estimate how hard your heart should be working while you are exercising.

Exercise can be divided into three different intensity zones:

  • Zone 1 Light Intensity Zone (heart beating at 60 to 70% of Heart Rate Max)
    Helps in weight control, improves endurance, and improves aerobic fitness.
  • Zone 2 Moderate Intensity Zone (70 to 80% of Heart Rate Max)
    Improves aerobic fitness, improves endurance, helps in weight control, accustoms your body to exercising at a faster pace, and begins to raise the speed that you can maintain without building up lactic acid.
  • Zone 3 Hard Intensity Zone (80 to 90% of Heart Rate Max)
    Increases muscles’ tolerance to lactic acid and improves hard, short effort ability.

There are tests available that can accurately determine your heart rate ranges but they can be beyond the reach of many people. So, how can you start to figure out your heart rate ranges and then begin to vary your workouts to achieve the results you want?

While you are exercising, picture a scale from 0 to 10 and ask yourself “how hard am I working?” Use the following descriptions to figure out how hard you are working and then convert that number to a %. For example, if you choose level 6 it roughly corresponds to 60% of your heart rate max. Measure your heart rate at that point and plug your number into the ranges above. It’s a start at heart rate training.

If your answer is 0 to 5 you may not be working hard enough to accomplish your goals or you are just beginning an exercise program.

Perceived Exertion Chart

Level 6: This is the feeling you might get when you are walking somewhere and are very late for an appointment. You know you can maintain this level for your exercise session. Your breathing is somewhat deep and you are aware of it.

Level 7: You are exercising vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue, but you are quite sure you can maintain this level through your exercise session. Your breathing is deep. You can carry on a conversation but you would probably prefer not to.

Level 8: You are exercising very vigorously. There is a definite feeling of fatigue. You think you can maintain this pace for your exercise session but you are not completely sure. You can carry on a conversation but you definitely don’t want to.

Level 9: You are exercising very, very vigorously. You can’t maintain this level for a whole exercise session. Your breathing is labored and you can’t carry on a conversation. Be cautious before trying this level and have a significant aerobic training base.

Use these ranges as a guideline and get to know YOUR BODY and YOUR HEART as you workout. If you need additional help measuring your ranges, or would just like some advice on exercises for each zone, visit us in the Fitness Center! One of our certified personal trainers would be happy to give you advice on how to use the fitness center equipment or our training services to better reach your goals.

Prepared by Anne Tremel
Certified Personal Trainer
Exercise Is Medicine Program Director
Elite Sports Clubs-Brookfield
www.eliteclubs.com

Official Guidelines for Physical Activity

Beginning an exercise program has become one of the most important public health issues of today.

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently met with combined support from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) and released jointly published physical activity recommendations. These separate guidelines collectively and effectively support each other and are all based on the most relevant science available that links physical activity to improved health and wellness.

  • ACSM/AHA guidelines focus on 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity five days a week.
  • HHS guidelines call for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, an amount most reasonable on five days a week at a duration of 30 minutes.

The associations note that the core recommendation as it relates to health gains of physical activity are highly consistent.  These recommendations conclude that relatively modest amounts of physical activity will improve the health and cardio-respiratory fitness of inactive persons, while expanded health gains, such as weight loss or weight maintenance, require more than the minimum 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.

“Guidelines for physical activity have long been based on research demonstrating that even relatively moderate amounts of physical activity will have positive benefits on health,” said William Haskell, Ph.D., FACSM, lead author of the ACSM/AHA guidelines.  “A very important idea, especially for people who are inactive, is that health and physical activity are closely linked.  The more days a week that you can be active or accumulate some activity, the higher the significance for your health and wellness.”

“Numerous studies now suggest that if we can simply move people out of the lowest levels of cardio-respiratory fitness, it can have a profound (and beneficial) impact on public health”, says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, national American Heart Association spokesperson and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital.

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults & Older Adults

Strong Evidence:

  • Lower risk of:
    Early death
    Heart disease
    Stroke
    Type 2 diabetes
    High blood pressure
    Adverse blood lipid profile
    Metabolic syndrome
    Colon and breast cancers
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Weight loss when combined with diet
  • Improved cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduced depression
  • Better cognitive function (older adults)

Moderate to Strong Evidence:

  • Better functional health older adults
  • Reduced abdominal obesity

Moderate Evidence:

  • Weight maintenance
  • Lower risk of hip fracture
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lower risk of lung and endometrial cancers

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Children & Adolescents

Strong Evidence:

  • Improved cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular fitness
  • Favorable body composition
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers
  • Moderate Evidence
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

In summary, the investment in a daily 30 minute or more exercise regiment betters your quality of life, delays diseases and reduces the medical expenses regardless of your age or your current condition. There is no time sooner than the present to invest your time and energy in a professionally developed and administrated physical fitness program.

Choosing the Right Goal & Finding Success

Everyone works out for different reasons.  Whether it is to lose weight, get stronger, to lean up and tone the body, help prevent health issues or fight against family history, it is important that whatever your reason or objective is that you first define your goal and make sure that it is right for you to help you find success.  Setting a goal that is unrealistic or purely based on an urge, no matter how well intentioned it may be, is only going to set you up for failure and ultimately lead you to stop working out.  So when you decide that you want to get started in an exercise program or start leading a healthy lifestyle, there are six simple steps that you can take to make sure that your goal is right for you.

The first step that you need to take is to make the goal personal and share it with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.  If you aren’t starting an exercise program for yourself, whether it’s to look better, feel better or to get healthy, there isn’t anything binding you to it.  We always know that there is an out.  When we make the goal about us and it is something that we feel passionately about and when someone else knows about it, we are going to do anything and everything we can to make sure that we succeed.

The second step in making sure that your goal is right for you and a success is to make it specific.  Losing weight is the number one goal that I hear.  And while that is a worthy goal, it isn’t specific enough to make you feel satisfied.  A one pound weight deficit is still losing weight, but I doubt that was your goal.  So the questions is, how much weight do you want to lose?

The next step is to make sure that the goal is measurable.  To get healthier is a very commendable goal, but how can you tell if you are reaching your goal?  You want the goal to be measurable so that you can get baseline numbers that can be compared against throughout your training.  What was your initial weight?  What was your initial blood pressure and resting heart rate?  Where are you starting at with your aerobic capacity?  All of these factors can be measured so that 3 months, 6 months, 12 months down the road, you can go back and check them to determine your progress and if no progress is being made, to make adjustments so that you can.

The fourth step to deciding the appropriate goal is to make it action oriented.  This means to determine a plan that is going to get you to reach your goal in the safest, most efficient way possible.  Often, the best way to go about this is to set up an appointment with a personal trainer or physician to have them set up a program for you.  You want to make sure that you are working at the proper intensities based upon your current fitness level and then progress your workout at the proper moment to maximize your results.  It is important that this program works within your everyday lifestyle so that adherence to the program is easier where it can be scheduled into your day so that there aren’t any excuses.

The fifth step is to make your goal realistic.  This may sound simple enough but more often than not, perception and reality don’t match.  Again, if weight loss is your goal, determining how much weight you can expect to lose or is a healthy amount to lose is not an easy task, but is also crucial in determining your success and eventual happiness.  Again, here is another time with this particular goal that making an appointment with a personal trainer or physician is an integral part of the process.  These individuals will be able to determine your current body composition, factor in any health risks, and determine what is realistic and safe and then help guide you through the process.

The sixth and final step is to make your goal timed.  This means simply when do you want to achieve your goal by?  Putting an end date to your goal gives you something to work toward, as opposed to leaving it open ended where there is no real rush to achieving it.
So by following these steps, not only will you find success in achieving your goal, but you will also know that it is truly the right goal for you.  And when that happens, you feel better about yourself, you are happier, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and are more likely to keep exercise a part of your life!

Sincerely,
Luke Lewitzke
A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Clubs
(262) 241-4250

Recreational Sports: The forgotten cardio workout

Can recreational sports be a supplementary part of your cardio workouts? I seem to be asking myself this question on a regular basis as I try to decide whether clients, and myself, should only participate in a workout designed for the fitness center. Would playing basketball three days a week be a good replacement for running on the treadmill?

As a sports junkie it is hard for me to continually run on a treadmill because it gets very monotonous with no chance of any of the conditions changing as I keep pounding away on that belt on the treadmill. Wouldn’t one rather take part in a sport during which the conditions constantly change, and still get the needed workout for your goals?

I am definitely an enthusiast for recreational sports as a part of your workout. It keeps one coming to the gym because they never know what will happen in a game of volleyball, basketball or even soccer at the club. Running on a treadmill or even using an elliptical would be great workouts as well, but as a “sports person” I can’t bring myself to participate in these activities on a regular basis.

If you are an individual that has been a sports enthusiast for much of your life it would make sense that you have trouble transitioning your workouts into a fitness center as you bypass your high school, and collegiate days on the courts. A typical fitness center or health club in general isn’t designed well for a former competitive athlete because everyone is there doing their own individual workouts. As athletes we are used to being a part of team workouts, or even competitions that bring us all closer together.

The best way we can get that feeling from our clubs is by participating in the recreational sports that our respective club may offer or even a group exercise class. For Elite Sports Clubs this could range all the way in the spectrum of sports from swimming, tennis, basketball, and volleyball to even indoor soccer in one of our Milwaukee Wave clinics. If one is used to the competitive spirit of sports then these recreational sports can at least help you offset your desire for competition. It is also a great way to get a workout in if you are an individual who only worked out because of sports in high school or college.

Men playing basketball photo

Playing basketball for an hour is an aerobic activity that can easily help offset running on a treadmill or using an elliptical machine. So, if you are someone who is looking for workouts that will not only challenge you physically, but also mentally then my club, Elite Sports Clubs, like many others offer opportunities to compete against others in a recreational sport of your choice.

Do you prefer machines for cardio or recreational sports? Does your health club offer recreational sports? How do you change up your treadmill runs, stationary bike rides or elliptical workouts to keep it new? Please share your comments.

Plus check out the recreational sports offered at Elite Sports Clubs.

Thank you,

Kyle Krogmann
Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Club-Mequon