There is a continuous debate as to the fat burning effects of strength training versus a Cardio rich workout and some studies may be changing the general perspective. Picking up a set of dumbbells doesn’t have to mean you are in the gym to “bulk up” or aim for the infamous Arnold Schwarzenegger physique. If you rely solely on cardio as your workout of choice, it might be worth considering mixing it up as there are some great benefits to adding some weight training to your workouts.

In actuality, you need to use both techniques for the most effective caloric burn. The great thing about cardio is that it is continuous repetition, at an increased heart rate, with a high percentage of Oxygen intake. Strength training, on the other hand, requires bursts of energy for short periods of time with rest in between exercises. According to the Washington Post and Miriam Nelson, author of “Strong Women Stay Slim” and director of the John Hancock Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Tufts University. “You are probably burning more calories when you are actually moving a heavy weight than when you are doing aerobic exercise. But you are taking breaks, so over 30 minutes the actual number of calories burned doing strength training will be less.”

Another key attribute to strength training is that your muscles require rest for recovery. To put it shortly, if you want bigger biceps, doing curls everyday could actually have a negative effect. In strength training, the muscle fibers go through small tears and then are rebuilt. Proper nutrition and hydration can aid immensely in this recovery process. According to the Post, ‘Lance Berger, head trainer at Mint Fitness in Northwest Washington, he would recommend “circuit-style strength training” because it keeps the heart rate elevated, increases caloric after-burn and builds muscle. The exercises can be all strength exercises (switching muscle groups from chest to back or arms to legs) or a combination of strength and cardio exercises (a set of pull-downs followed by a lap around the track or three minutes on a bike).’ Calorie after-burn is your body’s ability to continue to burn calories long after your workout. Exercise scientists call this “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption,” or EPOC. Studies vary as to the length of this process but it could continue in excess of 36 hours. One of the great benefits of strength training is that it seems to push this a little longer than that of a constant cardio workout.

Burning calories is part of the weight loss equation but monitoring calorie intake is a crucial step as well. Have you ever gone for a long swim or run and finished incredibly hungry? The body responds to calorie output with the desire for replenishing the expensed nutrients. Making sure you are managing a proper amount of caloric intake is crucial any exercise program. As with any exercise program, it is important to consult your physician to determine the best methods to reach your goals. A nutritionist can be a great resource in helping you to structure a reasonable diet. We are here to help as well.

Washington Post

Women’s Health

Adventure Sports

We are here to help make your life a little easier and give you more time for the things you love. With that, Chef By Request will be running a Twitter sweepstakes to set you up with some free food! The sweepstakes will select one random winner each day from April 30th to May 5th.

Here’s how it works:

-Follow @MyChefByRequest on Twitter

-Retweet the tweet;

#Win awesome prizes from Chef By Request. Just follow @MyChefByRequest and retweet.

Good luck to all!

For official rules and restrictions go to: Official Rules.

Green Health

April 28, 2010

With this month’s focus on the environment, and preserving its integrity, I thought I would touch on some ways you can maintain a health conscious attitude while focusing on the health of the environment as well.

Eating Local

Locally grown food can provide fresh produce while avoiding some of the shipping costs associated with importing goods over long distances. With the shorter distances, less people are handling the food throughout the transportation process and there seems to be more of a focus on quality and freshness over ease of production and transport. If you are cooking larger meals, and your doorstep delivery won’t fit the bill, try checking out a local farmer’s market for some high quality meats and produce. (You could even ride a bike to save some energy and get your exercise in the process)

The New Oxford American Dictionary selected their word of the year for 2007 to encompass these concepts of eating locally with; locavore. The Oxford University Press states, ““Locavore” was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Other regional movements have emerged since then, though some groups refer to themselves as “localvores” rather than “locavores.” However it’s spelled, it’s a word to watch.” If you are short on time and are not able to make it to your local farmer’s market, Chef By Request is here to help. Let us do some shopping for you!

According to Sue Nicholson Butkus, PHD, RD, director of Cornell University’s Farmers Market Nutrition Program, “The reality is that if you get tomatoes right out of the field, the vitamin C content is higher, as well as other nutrients. And I would believe that would hold true for other produce, too” If you have the time, and resources, growing some produce at home can be a great way to save some energy. Plants inside the house can provide food, supply additional oxygen and air purification, and have been known to psychologically affect your attitude in a positive way.

Use your own energy for exercise

Exercising occassionally without the use of a gym can also lower your total energy consumption. Getting outside for a run, or bike ride, will still allow for some serious calorie burn without having to plug in a treadmill or power the overhead lights. If you are not a runner, or don’t have  a bike at your disposal, try just going for a walk. Especially if you are short on time, an uphill walk can burn more calories than a run in some cases. Although, there are many benefits of the local gym workout like personal training, or the various weight programs, so if you live close enough to your local workout facility; try running or cycling to the gym for a solid warm up.

-Karl

Oxford University Press

Planet Green

American Diabetes Association

“Seventy-five to ninety percent of physician visits are related to stress and, according to the American Institute of Stress, the cost to industry has been estimated at $200 billion-$300 billion a year.” Many Americans lead their lives in the pursuit of stability and progression and in the process sacrifices are made. Time to relax with family and kids, spend time with family, travel, or take the necessary time to grow personally is becoming more and more sparse.

Health risk is another aspect of a high stress environment and as time becomes inevitably more valuable, less time is spent preparing quality food. As mentioned in a previous post, Stress relief can be aided through proper nutrition and avoiding some of those quick fixes on the way home from the office. We will dive into fast food on another day but there are healthy alternatives to some of these high calorie “meals”. Fruits and vegetables are great temporary solutions for hunger and to increase energy. When it comes time to prepare that full meal, you can spend over an hour with shopping and cooking to ensure all the proper food groups are in place. There is an alternative where you can avoid sacrificing convenience and still maintain a proper diet. The best part is it can be delivered fresh to your doorstep daily.

What would you do with the time you save from not having to cook? Or better yet, if you are already enjoying the benefits of Chef By Request’s service, what are you doing with that time?

If you have suggestions on topics you would like to discuss pertaining to health or nutrition, let me know! I would love your feedback.

-Karl

Power of Water

April 1, 2010

What if you could lose weight just by drinking more water? The human body is made up of about 60% water according to Guyton’s Textbook of Medical Physiology. So how important is hydration in the interest of health and losing weight? Whether you are aggressive in your exercise plan or are just hoping to manage your weight, water can help.

According to Mara Z. Vitolins, assistant professor of public health sciences, and Science Daily, it can be hard to distinguish between being thirsty and hungry and when many people turn to their favorite soda or cup of copy to quench thirst, you can actually be taking a step backwards. Many sodas contain a high content of sodium and operate as a diuretic through caffeine content and can further dehydrate the body.

As a recommendation from Vitolins, try replacing these high calorie beverages with a glass of plain water. Not only will you decrease your calorie and fat intake but you could save some money in the process.

Drinking water has additional benefits for the human body including the removal of waste products, carrying vital nutrients, and regulating body temperature. A good way to ensure your body is receiving these vital nutrients is a well balanced diet like Chef by Requests zone inspired program.

The next question is how much water?

The amount of water to be consumed by an individual is a little subjective, and you should consultant a medical professional when making drastic changes to diet or fluid consumption, but Vitolins has a quick calculation to get you an idea. Take your body weight and divide it by two. This number is the amount of daily water consumption in ounces.

If you have suggestions on how to optimize your water intake, let us know! We would love to hear from you.

-Karl