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Finished my workout...now what? Guest blogger alert!


Hey Circuit Works blog lovers! We are excited to announce we have a new guest blogger joining the team! This new spot is Called HealthFx with Erica! If you workout at Circuit Works you most likely already know Erica Plastino! Erica is one of our awesome group fitness instructors with a background in sports and sports nutrition. She will be sharing her knowledge with you here on the blog once a month! We know you'll love it!

Eat, workout, and be happy. A blog to guide you through health, fitness, and emotional badassness.

Her first blog is a common question and topic we all NEED to know about! Post Workout Nutrition....keep reading to learn more.


Erica blog 1



Post Workout Nutrition: The Perfect Storm!

We are constantly telling our clients that there is a discreet period of time after a workout that you need to use to replenish the calories burned during your workout and boost recovery. If you miss this window you are missing an amazing opportunity to improve fitness and ensure you build lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism.

The best time to give nutrition to your bodies after a workout is :30 – 2 hours following a workout. This is because the body is extra responsive nutrition at this point in time.

Exercise creates the following “perfect nutrition storm” for your body:

It loads muscles and liver with stored energy (glycogen) It triggers activation of the enzyme that stimulates the production of glycogen, the stored form of glucose that is used during intense exercise.
Nutrients flow into muscle membranes more readily because they are more permeable.
Body cells become more sensitive to insulin, the key that unlocks the door to allow glucose to enter.
There are two main reasons why recovery nutrition is important. First, it replaces energy and nutrients needed to maintain performance levels during subsequent workouts. Second, it provides nutritional building blocks required to repair and build body tissue after your most recent workout.

Who Should Care about Post Workout Nutrition?

It’s vitally important for athletes who train at a vigorous level, including endurance athletes to make sure to eat following a workout. Others who can benefit include those who exercise hard for at least an hour or more, those looking to improve their body composition through challenging resistance training and anyone having a difficult time keeping their weight up while exercising. Also, as we age we lose the ability to maintain lean muscle – research has shown that post working nutrition will help to offset this issue!

So, What Can I Eat After a Workout?

Combining carbohydrates and protein is has been proven to be the best way to maximize the benefits of nutrition. Carbohydrates help replace energy and accelerate protein synthesis in the muscle, while protein provides amino acids to repair and rebuild tissue throughout the body.

You can consume carbohydrates and protein together in a variety of ways. Whole foods are always a great choice, but supplements are convenient. If you use supplements regularly, mix in whole foods as often as possible to offer your body a wide array of nutrients.

Here are some suggestions:

1 cup low-fat chocolate milk
1 cup Greek yogurt with a serving of fruit
Nutrition bar containing both carbs and protein (sugar free/raw ideal)
Smoothie with fruit and source of protein (plant based is ideal)
1/2 cup cottage cheese with 1 cup fruit
3 ounces lox (smoked salmon) on 1 piece sprouted grain bread
As a general rule, try 3 - 5 g carbohydrates per lb of body weight, starting with 15–25 g of protein.

Good luck out there! We are here to help in any way to make sure you are successful!

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Does exercise really get you high?


The rumors are true. Working out can get you high....but don't worry, you wont fail a drug test from this kind of high.
katie_copy


When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Clever right?

Endorphins also trigger positive feelings in the body, strangely similar to morphine. Have you heard of the term "Runners High"? It's derived from feelings that often follow a run or a workout. Some people describe it as a euphoric feeling, and can be accompanied by a more positive and energized outlook on life. 

According to webmd.com endorphins act as analgesics, which means they diminish the perception of pain. They also act as sedatives. They are manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. The neuron receptors endorphins bind to are the same ones that bind some pain medicines. However, unlike with morphine, the activation of these receptors by the body's endorphins does not lead to addiction or dependence.

Raphael class

So when you tell people Circuit Works is your drug...its kinda true. And we fully support your indulgence. Exercise is the best kind of drug. Its recommended by most health professionals and in addition to improving your overall mood and quality of life, exercise also helps to strengthen your heart, reduce stress, improve sleep, and reduce body fat.

Pretty great right?!

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Benefits of music during workouts!


treads

We obviously believe music and workouts go hand and hand. After doing a little digging we found out how!

Music is a good distraction. In fact, some studies show that working out with music made participants less aware of their exertion... This type of distraction can benefit athletic performance by up to 15 percent!

A 2010 study found that cyclists actually worked harder when listening to faster music as compared to music at a slower tempo. But too fast is no good, either. Songs between 120 and 140 beats per minute (bpm) have the maximum effect on moderate exercisers.

Everyone has that "Go to song" The song that just gets you in the zone! Apparently there is a bit of since behind this. We associate certain songs with memories and emotions. Think about the Rocky theme song or Run the world by Beyonce.... These might trigger feelings or memories that motivate you! Studies have shown this to improve physical performance.

musicandworkingout

An August 2013 analysis found that people often listen to music as a way to change their mood and find self-awareness. Study participants said that listening to music allowed them to think about themselves, who they wanted to be and give them an escape from the present. No matter what happened an hour ago, you can use your tunes to help you escape negativity and power you through your workout — and you know you’ll feel great when it’s over.

Music literally makes you want to move. Researchers found that when music possesses “high-groove” qualities, the brain gets excited and induces movement in the listener. Sometimes you may not reel like getting it in, but you turn on that song and you just cant help yourself.

You get the picture. You know when you're in class, and your jam comes on, and suddenly you are motivated to run a little faster, or lift a little heavier?! Now you know why!
This is also why we have a variety of trainers with a variety of musical tastes. Music inspires us to move. In our opinion, its a key ingredient to a successful fitness journey! 

katie

Sources:

PMC

huffingtonpost

Green Power Smoothie Recipe!


After some experimentation...we found a super green smoothie recipe that doesn't taste like grass!


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Here's what you need

-Cucumber.....
Don't let cucumbers fool you! In a smoothie you can barely taste them, but they are packed with vitamins, flush out toxins, improve skin, hydrate, and reduce the risk of cancer. Chop them up and add them to the blender


-Apple
Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants and dietary fiber. These red treats also help keep cholesterol in check.


-Spinach
This healthy green is full of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Spinach has an extremely high nutritional value and is rich in antioxidants. It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. Guess that's why they call it a super food!


-1/2 Banana
This ingredient is great for the texture of your smoothie and the added sweetness! Not to mention the potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. On top of that they help with digestion!.


-Ginger
Ginger is among the healthiest (and most delicious) spices on the planet.
It is loaded with nutrients and bioactive compounds that have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Ginger is known to work as an anti-inflammatory, helps improve brain function, fights infection, and for you ladies...it can reduce menstrual pain ;)  


-Protein powder 
This is definitely beneficial but optional. Vanilla flavor is the best for this mix!



Add some ice and water (or almond milk) blend and drink up the benefits. 

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Feel free to share your favorite smoothie recipe in the comments or on our facebook blog post!

Cheers!

#eatcleantraindirty





Sticking to your fitness resolutions!

NY goals

"I'm going to open a gym called Resolutions. Its a gym for the first 3 weeks and then it turns into a bar for the rest of the year."

Don't fall into the norm. You CAN stick to your fitness goals year round! We have a few tips that will help!

Tip #1

Write your goals down! Be specific. "I want to loose 10lbs over the next 6 weeks." or "I want to cook for myself 5 days a week"

Tip #2

Make realistic and attainable goals. This is key. If you haven't ran in years, setting a goal to run 5 miles a day 5 days a week would not be advisable. Set an attainable goal and then you can set a new goal once you've achieved it. For example, set a goal to run 2 or 3 miles 3 days a week. After several weeks of this, set a new goal to run 3-4 miles a day 4 days a week. So on and so forth. You get the pictures.

Tip #3

Reward yourself for hitting goals. Preferably not with food...but with a spa day, a weekend trip, or a shopping spree for new Nikes. For example, If I loose 10 lbs in 6 weeks I will treat myself to a mani-pedi. 

Tip #4

Find yourself a workout buddy. They will also be your accountability partner. If you and "Sam" have a gym date or you signed up for the same class you will be much less likely to bail. You could also create a pot where you and your friend are required to donate X amount of money ever time you cancel. At the end of every month you can donate your cancellation money to a charity.

Tip #5

Schedule your workout into your day and treat it like an important work meeting. Having a pre-planned chunk of time carved out of your day for fitness will have a much better success rate than just winging it.

Tip #6

Make it fun! If your ultimate goal is to burn calories then it doesn't need to be a formal workout. You can take classes, go dancing, hike, swim, the options are endless. If you absolutely hate running then don't! You will be more likely to reach your fitness goals if you actually enjoy the process!

The last thing to keep in mind is to take it easy on yourself. Slip ups happen. We all stumble. This never means throw in the towel! Always pick yourself up, brush off the dust, and get back at it! Even if you digress at times, its easier to catch up then to start over!






Holiday gift guide for fitness fanatics!

Holidays are around the corner and we've got you covered!

The perfect gifts for your fitness loving friends and family!

Starting with the best and most obvious....who wouldn't be THRILLED to receive a Circuit Works membership in their stocking?! A Giftcard would work as well!

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Also, you know you can never go wrong with a sick pair of sneakers. Nike, New Balance, Under Armour, Puma, you name it. You may have to do a little sneaky research to find their size! Keep the receipt in the event that they do not fit. Either way, every fitspo loves a new pair of kicks...we promise.

Sneakers for christmas

Another great gift idea is a cool looking, BPA free, dishwasher safe water bottle! You can pick their favorite color, slap a bow on it, and boom....the gift of hydration. All fitness fanatics know how important it is to drink a lot of water. Everyone who's ever stepped foot in a Circuit Works class knows to bring a water with them. This is a gift that will certainly be utilized and appreciated.

water bottle christmas

A clever gift idea is a subscription to a healthy snack box! Yep...its a thing. Some examples are Love with foodNature box, and Urthbox. There are a dozen more. These are great for health and fitness freaks. New healthy snacks to try at your door once a month! 

urthbox

Another clever gift idea is the camelback! This is great for the outdoorsy friend who enjoys hiking and biking and whatnot. If you're not familiar, its a nifty backpack with a built in water container. Very popular in the hiking community. Truth be told, you're probably gonna want one for yourself now.

camelbak christmas

Last gift idea we have for you...since the holidays coincide with winter...your fit friends could always use extra layers to keep warm while working out. This is also helpful because people are more prone to injury during the cold months. Not only are you making them stylish, but also helping them to prevent injury. What a good friend you are!

jacket christmas

There you have it. These are just a few holiday gift ideas for your fitness loving friends and family. There are many more so do your own research as well! If you are interested in a "Holiday gift guide under $25" let us know on twitter and we can make that happen for you!

Happy holidays!






Home made pumpkin seeds





pumpkin seeds

We are feeling festive! Plus we have pumpkins lying around from Halloween. So why not make pumpkin seeds!!!

Not gonna lie, its quite a bit of work. Invite some friends over for a chill autumn night full of wine and baking so you can do it together!

So here is what you'll need:

  • Pumpkins (obvi)
  • Salt - pepper- sugar- garlic- Whatever you want to season them with really
  • Coconut oil

Here is what you should do:

  • Cut that pumpkin open!
  • Pull out the seeds
  • Rinse well....no goey pumpkin guts
  • Soak in salt water for 10 minutes
  • Remove from water and pat dry...does not need to be bone dry but do the best you can
  • Spread on pan sprayed with coconut oil
  • Season to your liking
  • Preheat oven at 300

Bake for 10 minutes, stir, bake another 10 minutes. Check on your seeds, they should start to golden a bit. Pop one open and see if its ready. If not stir and give it another 5 minutes.

pumpkin seeds on pan
Let your seeds cool a bit and then pour them in a bowl or mason jar and enjoy! You can absolutely add more seasoning if needed!

Before you go! We also wanted you to be aware of the amazing health benefits of pumpkin seeds.

  • Pumpkin seeds contain L-tryptophan, which helps promote sleep and fight depression. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin and niacin, which aids in sleeping.
  • Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Pumpkin seeds are filled with lots of minerals including phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, iron and copper.
  • They are a good source of vitamin K.
  • High in zinc, pumpkin seeds are a natural protector against osteoporosis, since zinc deficiencies can lead to higher rates of osteoporosis. In a study of almost 400 men (age from 45-92) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found a correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
  • Pumpkin seeds are a good source vitamin E; they contain about 35.10 mg of tocopherol per 100 g.
  • They are the most alkaline-forming seed.
  • Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of vitamin B group (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folates).
  • 100 g of pumpkin seeds contains about 30 grams of protein
pumpkin seeds jar

Sources:
Ohsheglows.com
Care2.com









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Cold weather and muscles...


Fall leaves

As the weather changes, so does our flexibility. Our muscles will tighten and our mobility will decrease. If you love to be active this is a serious matter! Keep reading to learn how to safely ease into your workouts.

Warm up!

Cold tight muscles are more prone to injury. The cold tightens up your muscles and they tend to react slower than normal. This makes pulling and straining a serious concern.  Imagine trying to stretch a rubber band over a very big box. If you pull it hard and fast, it’ll snap in half. Slowly warm it up, and it will stretch to take the force of your pull. Now imagine putting that rubber band in the freezer for a while first. That’s your muscles in the winter. Flash-frozen rubber bands.

Therefor a gentle warm-up is key to preventing injury. Warming up will loosen your muscles and increase your range of motion.

For example, you can start with a light jog, squats, light jumping jacks, and ice-skaters to loosen up the hips. Repeat these exercises for about 10-15 minutes.

Runner

Stretch!

In case this is not obvious, warm up before you stretch.

A few great stretched once you're nice and warm would be:

Cat-Cow stretch- On your hands and knees, arch your back so that your belly is moving towards the ground and look up, and then slowly transition the arch and tuck your tail bone looking towards your belly button. Go through this motion 4-6 times.

Bridge stretch: Laying supine, with your knees bent, lift your hips up to the sky pushing the ground  with your heels. Keep your core engaged and breathe. Count to 5 and then reset. Repeat this 4-6 times.

Stretch your quads with a standing quad stretch. Standing on one foot (you can hold something for balance) Take your right foot into your right hand and keep you knees side by side. Hold for 20 seconds and then switch.

These are just a few stretches to get you going. When it comes to stretching, the more the merrier!

STRETCH 

Our last piece of advice or you this season is to layer up!

Dress warm to start your workout. You will get the most out of your warm up by doing this. Then you can peel off a layer when its time to stretch, and maybe even another layer when you are ready to get your sweat on! 

warm clothing

Stay warm!




Sources: JaimieLeeFit, https://breakingmuscle.com/










Have a HEALTHY Halloween! Here's how...




Halloween is a great holiday! You can dress up, watch scary movies, go to haunted house, drink, and eat junk food and candy! Who doesn't want all of that! 

Well I know our clients and fitspos may be a bit nervous about the last part. We are not here to stop you from a good time....We are going to give you a few tips on how to keep control of your splurging.
Moms, some of these can apply to the kiddos also.






HAlloween






Tip # 1

The most obvious.... Be conscious of your calories. 
Limit yourself to a certain amount of candy a day post Holiday. 2-4 pieces. Plan this in advance. Stick to your guns!

Tip #2

Procrastinate on buying halloween candy if you plan on passing out! This will prevent you from snacking on the days prior.






Halloween 1






Tip #3

You can always buy fun things for trick or treaters aside from candy. Bubbles, stickers, bouncy balls, temporary tattoos, or nuts and raisins. This will help you and your spooky visitors.

Tip #4

For trick or treaters, or adult party goers...Eat a healthy meal before you go out. Do not skip a healthy meal because you think you will splurge on candy instead. If you're hungry you'll have less willpower.  

Tip #5

Workout in the AM! Of all the times to make sure you get it in, Halloween is a sure bet! Burning off some calories in the AM may give you a little wiggle room and you won't feel as guilty. It will also put you in the right mindset to make healthier choices. You should sign up for your class the week prior!

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Tip #6 

Last tip for party goers...keep your hands busy to avoid mindless nibbling. Its Halloween. Maybe you have a prop to carry. Or if you are female, holding a purse in one and and a water in the other will help you avoid grazing the buffet or opening little candy wrappers....Give it a try.

Have a blast this Halloween! Don't be greedy....share this article with friends so we can all stay healthy together!






Halloween 1

Trick or Treat!











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Weight loss MYTHS

All calories are created equal. 

Not quite...

Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and can have vastly different effects on hunger and the hormones that regulate body weight.

For example, a protein calorie is not the same as a fat calorie or a carbohydrate calorie.

Replacing carbs and fat with protein can boost metabolism, reduce appetite and cravings, while optimizing the function of some weight-regulating hormones.

Also, calories from whole foods (like fruit) tend to be much more filling than calories from refined foods (like candy).

Fats make you fat.

This isn't necessarily true. Fat calories are slightly higher than calories from carbs or protein...however, if you had a low fat diet but consumed thousands of calories from carbohydrates you could still gain weight. Its all about balance. Healthy carbs, healthy fats, and plenty of protein will help you stay in shape. 

As long as calories are within range, fat does not make you fat. Additionally, diets that are high in fat (but low in carbs) have been shown to cause weight loss in numerous studies.

Weight loss diets work.
The truth is, studies show that dieting almost never works in the long-term. 85% of people end up gaining the weight back within a year.

Additionally, studies show that people who go on a diet are actually the ones most likely to gain weight in the future.

In reality, dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain – not loss.

The truth is that you probably shouldn’t approach weight loss with a dieting mindset. Instead, make it a goal to change your lifestyle and become a healthier, happier and fitter person.

If you manage to increase your activity levels, eat healthier and sleep better, then you should lose weight as a natural side effect. Going on a diet and starving yourself probably won’t work in the long-term.

Eat more 'Diet foods" to loose weight.

Please don't. 

There are a lot of crappy foods labeled "healthy" or "diet"

Examples include low-fat foods, fat-free foods, processed gluten-free foods and disguised high-sugar beverages like Vitaminwater.

However, you really can NOT trust these foods. The labels and health claims are usually put there to deceive, not inform..

A good rule of thumb: If the packaging of a food tells you that it is healthy, then it’s probably bad for you. Most of the foods that are actually healthy are not packaged and labeled. They are on the perimeter of the grocery stores. 

We hope this will helps.  Always remember to do your research. 










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