Martial Arts for Life

On A Quest To Be The Best!

After The Holidays…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

The six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is perhaps the most challenging part of the year to stay consistent with a workout plan and maintain a healthy diet. Many folks simply stop trying during this time of year and pledge they will get back to exercising and eating right “after the holidays.”

If you choose to take a break, do not underestimate the physical and mental output required to make a 180 degree turn when the season ends. It is incredibly difficult to switch from practicing minimal self-discipline to working out regularly and eating a proper diet. Every January many people’s resolution to exercise and eat right end up failing because of the tremendous effort required.

Slacking off on your workout routine is especially dangerous if you are new to the fitness game. It is very easy to slip out of your routine and lose the results you have worked hard for. In addition, when you decide to get back on track, you will lack the stamina and fitness level needed to exercise with the same intensity. In fact, it is estimated that after four to five weeks without exercise your fitness level may decreases by as much as fifty-percent!

However, the fact remains that the holiday season is a tough time. There are more temptations than usual with office parties, holiday dinners, and family gatherings. Holiday shopping and visits make scheduling workouts difficult. Your goal should be to take a balanced approach that allows you to keep the gains you have worked hard for and also indulge in some holiday cheer.

Here are 5 ways to find balance this Holiday Season:

1.) Decide In Advance. Decide in advance to exercise moderation when it comes to food and drink. Before attending holiday celebrations, make a decision to limit yourself to one slice of pumpkin pie instead of two – or two cocktails instead of three. Many holiday dishes and treats are high in calories. For example, one cup of egg nog contains nearly 350 calories and a slice of pumpkin pie has about 320 calories and 17 grams of fat!

2.) Avoid An All Or Nothing Approach. Even if you cannot maintain your regular workout schedule, you should still stay physically active. Remember the concept “to maintain is to gain.” If you are able to maintain your current fitness level (or a portion of it), that is an achievement in and of itself. Even small things like walking more or taking the stairs is helpful.

3.) Eat Before You Go. Consider eating a lean, high-protein meal and/or drinking plenty of water before attending a holiday event. This strategy will help curb your hunger and prevent you from completely overindulging.

4.) Observe the 70/30 Rule. During the holiday season, eat healthfully and avoid excess sugar, alcohol and fatty foods seventy percent of the time. The other thirty percent of the time allow yourself to enjoy your holiday favorites (without going completely overboard).

5.) Get Enough Rest. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger. Proper rest also helps you to deal with the stressors that often accompany a hectic holiday season.

If all else fails, be sure to get back on track as soon as possible. Try to follow a simple rule: If you eat more, exercise more.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

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November 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Safety Training: Awareness & Distance

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

Special thanks to S.A. Arrango for his research.

According to recent data provided by the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation:

Every 22.2 seconds – a violent crime occurs
Every 30.9 minutes – a murder occurs
Every 1.2 minutes – a robbery occurs
Every 36.6 seconds – an aggravated assault occurs
Every 3.2 seconds – a property crime occurs
Every 14.4 seconds – a burglary occurs
Every 4.8 seconds – a larceny-theft occurs
Every 26.4 seconds – a motor vehicle theft occurs

In any crime situation, the victim will fall into one of two categories: he or she will either have some idea of what to do to in order to survive and escape or no idea whatsoever – which category would you rather be in?

Awareness and distance are our two most important safety skills. People young and old can learn to be more aware and how to create distance from potential danger.

-Walk purposefully, communicate calm and confidence. Protect your personal safe zone and trust your instincts. Re-alert yourself as you pass through doorways and entrances/exits. Practice using peripheral vision.

-Develop a habit of raising your awareness and being sure you have full use of your hands and feet when moving in or out of a secure area. Have your faculties about you and focus your attention briefly on being in a safe and aware state of mind.

-Evaluate entry areas to your home and garage. Consider locations that could hide an intruder from your view while entering or leaving your home. Consider removing shrubbery or lighting any location than could conceal an attacker. Use motion sensor lighting near doors or driveway access points.

-Keep garage doors closed and locked. Remove remote door openers from vehicles regularly parked in your driveway. 

-Teach children the importance of Safe People and Safe Places. Show your children common safe places and how to recognize them – a policeman, a store clerk at the checkout counter, a Mom with children. Teach children how to recognize a safe place if they feel threatened – the checkout at a store, a group of well dressed adults.

-Try not to carry a purse, if you must, carry it securely under your arm. Never wrap the strap around your arm or enter a tug-of-war if a thief grabs your purse. You could be seriously injured.

-Adults and children alike should avoid walking alone and stay away from dark walkways, stairwells and alleys. Learn to avoid short-cuts that take you from the public view. Teach children how to say “No” to adults asking them for help. Adults should ask other adults, not children, for directions, help with packages or for other assistance.

-Consider your return approach when you park your car. Pass up parking spaces in corners and without a clear view from several angles. Stalkers generally attack on your return to the car when you are distracted, your arms are full and they have evaluated you as a target.

-Learn and teach loved ones the importance of maintaining a safe distance in any situation. Experts teach three primary safe zones – about 20 feet, about 10 feet and reaching distance. At each of these distances we can develop effective safety responses to danger or aggression.

-Have a “safety drill” rehearsed with your children to escape danger or safely lock them in the car if you are threatened. Practice this drill just as you would practice a fire drill in a school or business. Teach loved ones there is always a safer place to be if danger presents itself.

-Glance into your backseat and floorboards before entering your car. Always lock your doors whether you are in or out of your vehicle, or home. Keep windows at least partially rolled up to avoid someone reaching in to unlock and open your door.

-Keep your purse, wallet or briefcase on the floor or under the seat at all times. Do not leave any packages, packs or bags in your parked and locked car even if they don’t contain valuables.

-If you are bumped from behind by another vehicle, do not immediately exit your car. ASSESS THE SITUATION. If you feel uneasy, remain in your vehicle until police arrive. If the other party leaves the scene note vehicle description and tag – do not follow.

-If someone threatens you with a weapon, give your vehicle up immediately after you collect your children. DO NOT FIGHT OR ARGUE. Your life is more important than your car.

-If your car breaks down, raise the hood to signal for help. If possible remain in your car. If someone stops to assist you, have them call for help. Do not allow strangers inside your vehicle and do not accept a ride from them.

Remember, awareness and distance remain the two most important safety skills for people of all ages!

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

July 10, 2012 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Simple Plan: Control Your Calories!

A Simple Plan…

According to The Calorie Control Council (www.caloriecontrol.org) the average woman, who has a moderate level of physical activity needs an estimated 2,160 calories each day to maintain her weight. The average man (assuming the same level of physical activity) requires about 2,349 calories. Remember, this is for weight maintenance, not weight loss. Research by the Department of Agriculture tells us that the average American consumes around 2,700 calories per day. Consuming an extra 350 and 540 calories each day is one reason why many folks are deemed overweight.

Most health care professionals recommend gradual weight loss (up to one pound per week) for the best long term results. In order to lose one pound, a person must burn 3,500 calories more than are consumed (500 calories per day over the course of a week). This can be accomplished each day by eliminating 500 calories, burning an additional 500 calories or any combination of the two. For example, one could reduce calories by 300 per day and increase daily activity in order to burn 200 additional calories per day which adds up to the 500 necessary calories.

This is definitely not rocket science; however in my experience most folks grossly under-estimate the amount of calories in the foods they consume and at the same time over-estimate the amount of calories burned by physical activity.

Let’s start with the caloric value of some common snacks and drinks*:

Breakfast items:

(1) glazed doughnut: 350 calories

(1) plain 3 oz. bagel with cream cheese: 450 calories

(1) bacon, egg & cheese biscuit sandwich: 430 calories

(1) 12 oz. (tall) blended mocha cappuccino drink: 208 calories

(2) pancakes with butter & syrup: 520 calories

Beverages:

(1) 12 oz. can of cola: 150 calories

(1) 12 oz. serving of whole milk: 220 calories

(1) 12 oz. energy drink: 160 calories

(1) 12 oz. bottle of sweetened tea: 129 calories

Snacks

(3) Pre-packaged chocolate chip cookies: 160 calories

(4) chocolate / vanilla sandwich cookies: 180 calories

(1) average size candy bar: 275 to 450 calories

(12) potato chips: 160 calories

(1) cup of chocolate soft serve ice cream: 300 calories

*Caloric values courtesy of WebMD, Food-o-meter, fitwatch.com, livestrong.com, & calorieking.com

By the way, if you consume mixed drinks you should be aware of the extremely high caloric value of most of cocktails. A study by Forbes revealed the following cocktails as some of the most fattening: Long Island iced tea (780 calories), margarita (740 calories), pina colada (644 calories), gin/vodka & tonic (200 calories).

“Ok, no problem, I’ll just exercise a bit more to burn off those additional calories,” you say. Not so fast, my friend!

Here is a list of the average calories burned for physical activities (assuming a 150 lb. person). For accurate calories burned specific to your body weight use the free calculator at Healthstatus.com:

30 minutes of high impact aerobics: 238 calories burned

30 minutes of walking (3 mph pace): 148 calories burned

30 minutes of yoga: 297 calories

30 minutes of running (6 mph): 342 calories

30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting: 207 calories

30 minutes of cycling (12 to 14 mph): 297 calories

30 minutes of spinning (moderate): 238 calories

You can see it’s going to take about 30 minutes of walking just to burn off the can of soda you drank with lunch! The better option is to have a bottle of water and eliminate the calories from your diet rather than trying to burn them off every day.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, healthy adults should participate in 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activities each week.  So, assuming you spend 150 minutes each week running, you will burn 1,710 calories. Remember, we need to subtract or burn off an additional 3,500 calories to lose one pound. This means the other 1,790 calories must come from eliminating calories from your diet (around 255 calories per day).

If you spend 150 minutes each week walking at a brisk pace, you will burn 740 calories. Simple math tells us that you now need to eliminate another 2,760 calories from your diet that week to lose one pound!

There is a very small percentage of the population that exercises enough to burn an additional 3,500 calories each week. A healthy sustainable diet is always going to trump exercise when it comes to weight loss. You simply cannot gain weight from calories that you don’t eat! Exercise is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle, however you cannot out train bad nutrition.

A Simple Plan

Many people can eliminate over 500 calories by simply adjusting their beverage consumption. For example if you consume:

Breakfast: medium café latte with whole milk (265 calories)

Lunchtime: 20 oz. bottle of non-diet cola (240 calories)

Dinner: 1 bottle of sweetened lemon iced tea (180 calories)

Assuming no other beverages, you are consuming 685 calories each day without eating any solid food!

By substituting a small café latte with fat free milk (125 calories) for breakfast and drinking water with lemon or seltzer water for lunch and dinner you can eliminate 560 calories from your diet each day (more than enough to drop one pound per week). Alternatively, you can run for 30 minutes and follow that up with 30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting every day to burn around the same amount of calories. Which seems easier and more doable to you?

Eliminating just one fast food meal per week can easily eliminate several hundred calories from your weekly total! A recent article by Jeannine Stein of the L.A. times indicates that over 34% of the people that eat at fast food restaurants order combo meals that average 1,000 calories of more!

Eat a little smarter, don’t drink your calories, exercise a little bit of self discipline and you will be well on your way to shedding a few unwanted pounds.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

June 25, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Eat Healthy, Away From Home…

By M. Hemmelgran (originally featured in Natural Awakenings magazine)

Health-conscious and sustainably minded folks know how challenging it can be to eat well on the road. Most restaurants dotting interstates and interstates and airports offer super-sized portions of soulless, processed foods, devoid of satisfying whole-food goodness or regional flair. They’re more like a drive-by shoot up of fat, sodium and sweeteners.

Yet it is possible to find healthy foods while traveling, given a little pre-planning that can add fun and excitement to the adventure. Whatever the mode of transportation, follow these tips from seasoned registered dietitians to feel fit, trim and happy while out and about for business or pleasure.

Bring Food: Number One Rule of the Road

Once we feel hunger pangs, we’re more likely to eat whatever’s within arm’s reach, so for driving trips, take a cooler of healthy options that are kind to the hips. and waistline. If flying, pack non-perishable snacks in a carry-on bag. Diana Dyer, an Ann Arbor, Michigan-based dietitian and organic farmer has logged thousands of miles traveling and speaking about “food as medicine.” Her secret: “I carry dried organic fruits and vegetables, organic granola bars, organic nuts and organic peanut butter.” Before arriving at her hotel, she’ll ask the cab driver to take her to a local food co-op to pick up organic fresh fruits, juice and yogurt. Dyer is adamant about organic food, no matter where she goes, because she doesn’t want to consume hormones, antibiotics and agricultural chemical residues, many of which contribute to weight gain, especially in combination with typically high-fat Western diets.

Dyer rejects hotel breakfast buffets too, which typically offer low-fiber, highly processed fare. Instead, she packs her own organic rolled oats, dried fruits, nuts and green tea. Then, all she needs is the hotel’s hot water to stir up a fortifying, satisfying, health-protecting breakfast. Hotel rooms with mini-refrigerators make it easy to store perishable items. If a fridge is unavailable, use the in-room ice bucket to keep milk, yogurt and cheese at a safe temperature.

Roadside rest areas and community parks provide free access to picnic tables, clean restrooms, and a place to romp and stretch (read: burn calories). Plus, Mother Nature’s entertainment surely beats a potentially dirty, plastic, fast-food play space.

When it’s time to restock supplies, ask for directions to the closest supermarket, food co-op, natural foods grocery store or farmer’s market. Most are located close to major highways.

Melinda Hemmelgran is a registered dietitian and awar-winning writer and radio host.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one family at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

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June 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment