The Skinny on Scales that Measure Body Fat

               Ever want to know more about bathroom scales that measure your body fat?  Here is the information you need to know before you spend the money. HOW BODY FAT SCALES WORK: -These scales work using technology known as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).  Basically a harmless electrical current runs from your foot up your leg, […]

scale with feet (3)               Ever want to know more about bathroom scales that measure your body fat?  Here is the information you need to know before you spend the money.

HOW BODY FAT SCALES WORK:

-These scales work using technology known as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA).  Basically a harmless electrical current runs from your foot up your leg, across your pelvis, and back down the other leg.  Muscle contains more water than fat so it is more conductive.  The longer it takes the current to run back to the sensor the denser your body is.  Once body density is determined, the scale puts this information into a formula and percent body fat is calculated.       

ARE THEY ACCURATE?

-The short answer is no, but if you use the scale as a tool to monitor trends, it can at least give you an idea as to whether you are moving in the right direction or not.  In order to make these devices as accurate as they can be, use them consistently.  Always weigh at the same time of day, don’t exercise before you use the scale, make sure the room temperature is consistent, be equally hydrated each time you weigh, and remember, you get what you pay for so the more expensive scales are going to be more reliable than the cheaper ones.  With that being said, it should be noted that these products are no longer being tested by Consumer Reports due to their inaccuracies.

Other FACTORS THAT EFFECT YOUR NUMBERS:

Hydration levels

-Calloused, wet, sweaty or dirty feet

-Wet foot sensors

-Age (elderly and children are less accurate)

-Being an athlete

-Having osteoporosis

-Body temperature

              The bottom line: For the price, these scales are probably not worth it.  Instead, hire a personal trainer who specializes in using skin fold calipers to measure body fat for a more accurate picture of your health.

 

Sophie Pratola
704-604-1518
Personally Trained By Sophie

 

 

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The Power of Planning; For a Healthy You

              If you fail to plan, plan to fail.  Jillian Michaels hit the nail on the head when she said this during an episode of Biggest Loser.  The fact of the matter is planning is 60% of the battle; the other 40% is actually following thru with your plan.  So what do you need […]

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            If you fail to plan, plan to fail.  Jillian Michaels hit the nail on the head when she said this during an episode of Biggest Loser.  The fact of the matter is planning is 60% of the battle; the other 40% is actually following thru with your plan.  So what do you need to plan?  Here is a little list that ought to help.

-Plan your meals for the week.  Know what you are eating for dinner and take the meat out of the freezer and put it into the fridge the night before so it will be mostly defrosted when you are ready to use it.  Plan a meal with a lean protein source and a veggie.  Skip the starchy side, you won’t miss it.

-Plan your day’s worth of food (breakfast, lunch and snacks) and make sure you have all the ingredients on hand so you don’t have to run to the store unexpectedly.

-Plan for the unexpected.  Plan on getting stuck in traffic or in a line somewhere.  Keep a bottle of water and a 100 calorie snack such as almonds with you either in your purse or car.

-Plan your workouts for the week.  Know what days you are working out and what days you are resting.  Also, know what times you are working out that will work with your schedule.

-Plan your workout before you start it.  Know what your plan is for the day in the gym.

-Plan for active time on your rest days.

-Plan on having days where it all goes south and then realize it’s OK because tomorrow is a new day with a new plan.

Finally, once you have your plan in place follow through!  A plan is useless if you don’t use it.

  

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

 

 

 

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Exercise and Illness: When to Workout and When to Rest

With it being cold and flu season there is a lot of misinformation about when it is and when it isn’t safe to workout.  Sometimes working out with a cold can make you feel better because it can open your nasal passages.  If you aren’t sure whether to hit the gym or not, follow these […]

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With it being cold and flu season there is a lot of misinformation about when it is and when it isn’t safe to workout.  Sometimes working out with a cold can make you feel better because it can open your nasal passages.  If you aren’t sure whether to hit the gym or not, follow these general rules of thumb to help you make the decision.  Also, as a gym courtesy, be sure to wipe down any equipment you may have touched during your workout to ensure others remain healthy.

WHEN NOT TO WORKOUT:

                                   If you have a fever

                                   If your symptoms are below the neck (hacking cough, chest congestion, or an upset stomach)

                                   If you have body aches or fatigue

WHEN TO STOP YOUR WORKOUT:

                                   If you become dizzy, lightheaded, or have a loss of balance

                                   If you find your chest tightening

                                   If you are having trouble breathing

WHEN IT IS OK TO WORKOUT:

                                   If your symptoms are above the neck (stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or a minor sore throat)

 

There are a few things to consider when working out while under the weather.  The first is that decongestants and other cold medicines can affect your heart rate and make your heart race.  The second is to be aware of how you feel.  If what you are doing makes you feel worse then you should stop.  Finally, remember to decrease your intensity and possibly shorten your duration of your workout.  However, with that being said, remember that working out regularly reduces the number of colds you get because it increases your body’s immune system.  The best way to feel better from a cold is to never get one!

 

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

 

Getting back on the Exercise Wagon and Stay Healthy

We’ve all had times where we fall off the exercise wagon.  When life throws obstacles at you, you have to figure out how to work around them to stay focused on your goals.  It’s easy to say,” forget it, I give up”. However, this is the wrong attitude. Get back on the wagon and keep […]

We’ve all had times where we fall off the exercise wagon.  When life throws obstacles at you, you have to figure out how to work around them to stay focused on your goals.  It’s easy to say,” forget it, I give up”. However, this is the wrong attitude. Get back on the wagon and keep chugging. For those of you who have lost your way, let me offer you some tips to getting back on track:

1. START SLOW! Don’t overdo it and assume that you can pick back up where you left off. You lose your cardio gains in as little as a week’s time and you lose strength gains in about two weeks.  But don’t despair; you regain those losses much faster if you have been conditioned in the past.

2. Make daily fitness and diet goals such as today I am going to log my food. Or, you can say, today I am going to get 10 extra minutes of exercise.

3. Try to recruit help! It is much easier if you aren’t in it alone. Get a friend (perhaps someone else who has fallen off of the wagon) to help you get back on track.

4. Pick a new long term goal. Try to not make it about a number on a scale. Maybe think about a vacation you are planning and how you want to FEEL or look when you go on it.

5. Be patient. It takes time to see results. Stay with it and you will become a little healthier each day. I hope that with these five hints you can get back on track. Whatever you do DON’T GIVE UP!

If you need help getting back on the wagon contact me.

Sophie Pratola

_MG_8298704.604.1518

sophie.pratola@yahoo.com

Personallytrainedbysophie.com

The Benefits of Tabata Training

                Looking for a way to intensify your workout?  You need to try Tabata training!  Tabatas are designed to provide an intense workout in a short amount of time.  The protocol involves picking one exercise that targets a large muscle group, or an exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at the same time.  […]

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            Looking for a way to intensify your workout?  You need to try Tabata training!  Tabatas are designed to provide an intense workout in a short amount of time.  The protocol involves picking one exercise that targets a large muscle group, or an exercise that targets multiple muscle groups at the same time.  Some examples of great exercise choices for doing a Tabata may include but are not limited to the following: pushups, lunges (regular or jumping), squat jumps, planks, or a squat with a medicine ball slam down.  To perform the Tabata, you pick one exercise and do that exercise for 20 seconds.  Then rest for 10 seconds.  You repeat the 20/10 second cycle 8 times total.  While Tabata training, it is ok to do several different exercise sets.  Recently, I did 4 different Tabatas back to back and was sorer than I am from one of my usual 90 minute workouts.  So you can see 16 minutes vs. 90 minutes can really save you time AND be highly effective.

            According to September 2013’s issue of IDEA Fitness Journal, a study of 12 women and 3 men was conducted where they measured each of their caloric expenditure before, during, and 30 minutes post Tabata training.  What they found was that during the workout the participants burned 13.5 calories per minute, and 30 minutes after the workout they were still burning double the calories they were burning before doing the Tabata.  They concluded “it would take five times the amount of typical cardio to shed the same number of calories burned in one 4-minute Tabata”.  However, the authors cautioned people wanting to try this method of training to warm up sufficiently, and work up to all 8 sets if necessary.

 

            Have additional questions on Tabata training or want to try it? Contact me.

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Sophie.pratola@yahoo.com

Personally Trained By Sophie