Dance Your Weight Off

Whatever your age, athletic ability or weight, you can benefit from aerobic activity. The wonderful thing about aerobic exercise is that as your body grows accustomed to the activity, you will get fitter, stronger and have a greater ability to work out at a higher intensity — amplifying the benefits!

Besides keeping excess weight at bay, aerobic exercise:

But not everyone likes the treadmill, stair stepper or elliptical, and walking or running outdoors may just not be your thing. Maybe that $60 per month gym membership is beyond your budget, or you are shy and would rather work out in the privacy of your own home.

  • Helps to increase your stamina
  • Wards off illness
  • Reduces a whole host of health risks
  • Helps manage chronic health conditions
  • Strengthens your heart
  • Boosts your mood
  • Helps you stay independent and active as you age

Don’t despair. You can have fun and burn calories right in your living room by dancing your butt off. That is right. A rhythmic Latin or Bollywood sequence can burn up to 221 calories in just 30 minutes.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a few tips:

  1. Download a workout’s worth of your favorite upbeat tunes or just plug in your favorite dance CD.
  2. Start with something fun and somewhat upbeat like “Walk Like an Egyptian,” by The Bangles or “Jungle Boogie,” by Kool and the Gang, and move on to faster beats like “Hey Ya!” by Outcast or “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” by Wham!.
  3. Slow the beat down toward the end of your workout to cool down, and don’t forget to include stretching.

If you would rather do a workout led by an instructor, here are a few great instructor-led dance workouts to get you started!

Fat Burning Cardio Dance Workout: Jane Fonda


Fat-Burning Cardio Dance Workout: Denise Austin

 

Pump It Up Ultimate Dance

 

Zumba Fitness Dance Workout- Star Fit

 

Club Hip Hop: Heel Glide Swag With Bryan Tanaka

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Build Your Exercise Arsenal

Every year magazines and online article libraries publish the best ways to “beat the holiday bulge,” but we are proposing you use this time of the year to build your exercise arsenal to set yourself up for success for the coming year.

Most of us are planning to take some time off during the holidays to spend time with loved ones or get some much-needed rest and recuperation in. Extra time off is no reason to lose momentum or let yourself fall out of your routine. In fact, extra time off can be one of the best ways to reinforce eating and exercise routines so that you go back to “everyday life” rested and even healthier than you were before.

Like always, we want to give you some tools to help you succeed. Here are some exercises you can easily add to your normal regimen that are effective and will help you build muscle in typical “problem areas.”

Legs and glutes

Your legs are home to the biggest muscle groups in your body, which means effectively strengthening and developing them will give you a healthy boost in overall body strength and athleticism and it will give your metabolism a boost too. Here are some of our favorite legs and glutes exercises, which research has found effective to strengthen and develop your glutes.

Quadruped bent-knee hip extension
You can do this easy exercise just about anywhere and it can be an effective solution for people who have trouble performing other standing glute exercises or those with knee issues.

 

Forward lunge
Easy to execute at the gym or at home, this exercise will both help you shape your backside as well as help you better perform your day-to-day activities.

 

Dumbbell step ups

 

Leg glute bridge

 

Core

You core is your body’s trunk of stability. Here are some great strength-building exercises for your core that that will help you strengthen the muscles of your mid-section and help focus on improving low-back stability.

Plank with arm reach
The front plank will help you build muscular endurance while targeting your abdominal muscles. Beginners can start by doing this exercise for 5-10 seconds, then progress to holding the plank for 30 seconds and upwards of 1 minute.

 

Lateral bridge with abduction hold
This exercise will activate a combination of muscles, which ensure spine stability.

 

Quadruped opposites
The quadruped opposite, a.k.a. “bird-dog” helps to train muscles that are the key to stabilizing the lower back. Avoid holding this movement pattern for long periods. Instead, try to increase the number of repetitions you do.

Upper arms

Upper arms get a lot of attention when you are wearing a sleeveless shirt or a cute holiday dress. Minimize the upper-arm jiggle by strengthening and toning your triceps with these exercises.

Triangle pushups
If you are new to pushups, consider doing this exercise with your knees bent and then progressing to the full plank position as you become more advanced.

 

Tricep bench dips
Be sure to focus on proper form when doing this exercise as, if done improperly, it can put stress on your shoulder joint.

 

Tricep kickbacks
You can use dumbbells to do this exercise, but a jug of water or large canned good will also do the trick. This is another exercise where proper form is crucial.

 

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Exercise for Bariatric Surgery Patients

Exercise is a vital key to achieving your weight loss goals after bariatric surgery. The surgery itself is just the first part, starting a gradual exercise program will be a crucial part of your success. In fact, in an ideal situation you should start aan exercise program before surgery and resume as soon as your doctor allows you to after your weight loss surgery.*

Why should I exercise after bariatric surgery?

A consistent exercise program will help you reach and maintain your optimal weight. Plus, by getting at least 30 minutes of exercise or physical activity daily, in addition to your normal daily activities, you will be helping yourself to:

  • Feel better
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Decrease your risk of cardiac disease
  • Boost your metabolism
  • Tighten loose skin caused by rapid weight loss
  • Increase energy
  • Tone and strengthen muscles

If you are overwhelmed and want a little more information, here is a video that talks about setting weight loss goals, creating timelines and the benefits of exercise.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

 

*Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. Any exercise program should be closely supervised by a physician.

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How to Get Started With Exercise: Video

Weight loss surgery is not a cure for obesity; it is a tool that will help you control your obesity in conjunction with exercise and a healthy diet. But even people who have made exercise part of their daily ritual their whole lives can get stuck in a rut.

Whether you are new to exercise or are simply stuck in a rut, getting started (or re-started) with exercise can be a challenge. This video will help you jumpstart your exercise routine and make it a part of your daily ritual.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Weight Loss Surgery in Medford, MA

Are you considering weight loss surgery as a way to manage your obesity? Here is a video about our weight management and weight loss surgery programs at Hallmark Health Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery in Medford, Massachusetts.

You can find out more at one of our FREE weight loss surgery seminars. We hold one every month — reserve your spot by calling (781) 306-6166 or watch the seminar online by scrolling to the bottom of the page here.

 

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Healthy Menu Planning for Families

Healthy family meals don’t have to be a headache. In fact, planning ahead can actually save you time and money. And, when you get your children involved with planning and cooking, not only will you be setting them up for success to grow into healthy adults with healthy habits, you might be surprised at how much fun they have. Below is a list of quick tips and recipes to get started.

Tips

  • Sit down as a family and plan your weekly menu. Have everyone make suggestions for the shopping list and then stick to it. Kids and adults are more willing to try new meals when they help plan and pick them.
  • Don’t forget to plan breakfasts. Besides being a healthy way to start the day, having a healthy breakfast can help prevent overeating and binging later on in the day. Healthy kid-friendly breakfast choices include: whole grain cereals with skim milk; low-fat granola and fat-free yogurt topped with sliced fruit; toast with peanut butter/sliced bananas and vegetable omelets.
  • Cut back on sugary drinks. If your family loves flavored drinks, try flavored sparkling waters, low-fat milk or diluted 100 percent fruit juice.
  • Start with small servings. If kids are still hungry, they can have seconds of vegetables. Knowing when servings are larger than needed helps to teach children to eat only what they need during meal times. The more you and your family pay attention to portion sizes, the healthier you will be.
  • Eat as a family. When families eat together, children are more likely to make better choices.

Quick healthy recipes

Easy grilled chicken teriyaki

Mushroom and wild rice frittata

Chili chicken

Chickpea burgers and tahini sauce

Baked honey mustard chicken

Grilled peanut chicken

Curried tofu salad

6 easy egg recipes

Ginger glazed salmon

Chicken kabobs

Roasted asparagus and mushrooms

Mock tuna salad

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Getting Your Family On-Board for Weight Loss Success

Your family can be your biggest motivation to help you achieve your weight loss goals and asking your loved ones to become committed with you will help you stay committed to your weight loss journey. Below are a few ways you can get your family on-board to help you achieve your goal.

  • Let your family know what your goal is and how you plan on achieving it.
  • Don’t be shy! Tell them how much it means to you when they encourage you every now and then.
  • Plan regular activities for the whole family.
  • Make a weight chart and post it in a place where everyone can see it and appreciate your excellent progress.
  • Clean out your cupboards and make a rule that junk food has to be stored somewhere “out of your reach.”
  • Share your successes!
  • Plan a diet-friendly menu with the whole family, ahead of time.
  • Ask your family to help you by not offering you foods that are not on your diet — even if it used to be one of your favorite foods.
  • Give everyone in your family the opportunity to choose their favorite healthy foods at the grocery store.
  • Learn about healthy portion control.
  • Cut down on sugary drinks and sodas and replace them with sugar-free flavored waters and sparkling waters.

Remember, losing weight is not a short-term diet but a permanent change of lifestyle. Make sure your family understands and supports you in that. Be supportive of each other and try to avoid making the process competitive. One person’s accomplishment is the whole family’s accomplishment. Conversely, if one person is struggling, find out how everyone can help overcome their challenge.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Five Activities for Your Whole Family’s Health

Making physical activity a part of your family’s routine will not only help them develop good habits and stay healthy, but as a bariatric surgery patient it will also help you to stay motivated and on track long term. Here are a few tips to help you actually get out and be active with your family.

Set family goals.

When the family establishes goals they can achieve together, everyone will be more committed. While you might not meet every goal at first, if you stick with it, physical activity will eventually become part of the family routine.

Make sure the goals are achievable and specific. For example, instead of saying “Let’s exercise more,” set a goal more like “We will each walk 30 minutes daily, at least four times a week.”

Schedule activities.

One of the best ways to increase your family’s activity level is to pen it into your schedule. Choose times and days during the week when everyone is most likely to stick to the schedule.

Showcase your achievements.

Post your family calendar on the refrigerator or another place where the whole family can see it and track progress. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements!

Be flexible.

Instead of canceling activities that conflict with your schedules, reschedule. Find new times and replace the activity that you missed.

Getting started.

There are multitudes of ways to be active as a family. Below are a few ways you can get started.

  • Swim
  • Play tag
  • Four square
  • Jump rope
  • Dance
  • Hula-hoop
  • Walk the dog
  • Jog
  • Ride bikes
  • Hiking
  • Volleyball
  • Frisbee golf
  • Soccer
  • Gardening
  • Yard work
  • Train for a charity run or walk

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Good-Mood Foods

Are you often cranky or feel like you have a short fuse? Do you reach for caffeine during the day to get a jolt of energy or stress-relief? It is a little-recognized fact that mood swings can be caused by malnutrition and hunger. On the other hand, some foods can put you in a better mood when you are feeling stressed or blue. If you want to mood-proof your diet then read on.

Eat for energy, not stimulation. Eating breakfast every morning and following it with regular snacks and meals is the cornerstone of a healthy outlook. Eating the following foods can impact your mood for the better and may be some of the best weapons you have at your disposal to help cure your crankiness

Omega-3 fats

Omega-3 fats are one of the most important nutrient building blocks available and there is growing evidence correlating low levels of omega-3 fatty acids with poor moods and depression.

While salmon is one of the best places to find this special kind of fat, you can also find omega-3s in chia seeds, edamame, wild rice, walnuts, canola oil, flax seed and beans.

Tart cherries

As you age, your body loses its ability to produce melatonin, which is a natural sleep aid that helps improve your quality of sleep. Tart cherries contain melatonin as well as antioxidants. Mix these two qualities together and you have a recipe for brain chemistry that is optimized for good moods.

Amaranth

This whole grain is loaded with iron, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. Because this grain is high in fiber, it helps keep blood sugar stable; keeping your blood sugar from dips and spikes will help you to avoid the associated fatigue and crankiness.

Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

In just one 1-ounce serving, these super seeds pack in 150 mg of magnesium — a mineral that studies show helps to combat anxiety.

For more fantastic “good mood” foods, check out this video with Jaimee Zanzinger, Special Projects Director of Woman’s Day Magazine, and Erica Hill from CBS.

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

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Nine Home Exercises for Great Legs

Don’t feel like packing all of your gear and heading to the gym, but you still want a good workout? Working your legs might seem impossible without weights or an elliptical machine, but you don’t need fancy equipment to get a good leg workout.

Here are nine videos showing awesome leg workouts you can do at home (without equipment!) that will burn calories and help shape and strengthen your calves, thighs and butt.

1. Bodyweight squats

 

2. Alternating lunges

 

3. Side lunges

 

4. Single-leg calf raises

 

5. Lateral leg lifts

 

6. Kneeling leg lifts

 

7. Fire hydrant kicks

 

8. Single-leg glute bridge

 

9. Wall sit

Hallmark Health System’s Center for Weight Management and Weight Loss Surgery is here for you every step of the way on your weight-loss journey. Follow us and talk to our community on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll get healthy recipes, weight loss tips and tricks and encouragement from our healthy, supportive community.

*Remember to always check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

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