vadimstudio.com Blog

December 11, 2010

Keeping your New Year’s resolution

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 3:13 pm

vadim_bw.jpg    Vadim Vilensky

 Every New Year, millions of Americans make a resolution to “get in shape.” Sure, they’ve done it before, but this year they really mean it. Many people join fitness clubs, which are so crowded in January that they have to wait nearly an hour for the next available treadmill. Some buy exercise videos and equipment sold on TV. Others promise to jog or walk every day, or to start using equipment that was stored in their basements and garages for years.

Unfortunately, statistics show that by March only a few of those people are still exercising. Over 90% will face another broken self-promise to get in shape.

Here are few tips, which may help you avoid becoming a part of this statistic:

  1. Do not repeat last year’s mistakes – try something different. Make your exercise more fun by trying a variety of activities. Attempt to find “your thing”, something you like to do. If you hate treadmills, don’t think that if you push yourself to run on it for a month you will “learn to like it”. You will hate it more and will start looking for excuses to skip a workout. Many fitness clubs offer a variety of classes such as spinning, tai chi, jazz dance, etc. Try them all until you find the one that you like and feel that you can stick with it.
  2. Set reasonable short and long-term goals. Goals should be measurable and specific. Assess your progress regularly. Don’t wait a whole year just to realize that you are still in the same shape you were in when you started. If you feel your present routine doesn’t work for you – change it. Find an exercise program that delivers measurable and visible results. When people see results they are motivated to continue working out.
  3. Change your behavior. I often see people coming to a fitness club, taking an elevator to the second floor, spending 30 minutes climbing a stairmaster, and then taking the elevator back to the first floor. Just showing up to the gym 3 times per week for an hour will not compensate for a sedentary lifestyle. You have to become physically active during your day: at work, at home, during your leisure time. The U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention have suggested that adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. These activities may include: leisure biking, walking, raking a lawn, house painting, or cleaning gutters. While many people do not enjoy formal exercise, these forms of activities can be just as beneficial.
  4. Choose an exercise program that helps you do the things you like to do. In other words, exercise should help people to perform activities of daily living with ease. That’s why an exercise program should be specific to an individual’s needs. If you are trying to improve your golf swing, or lift up your grandchildren from the floor without getting pain in your lower back, your program should emphasize exercises which will help you to do that. A bodybuilding approach or dance aerobics class may not help you in this case. Just like for every sport there is a specific conditioning program that helps athletes to perform better at their game, you should have a customized exercise program that helps you to deal with the things you have to do or like to do in your life.
  5. Get professional help. Personal training can be expensive, but it gives you a better chance to succeed. A good trainer will make your workout more fun, add motivation, set goals, track your progress, help you get results faster, avoid injuries, and make the whole process more comfortable and convenient. For people who have a history of breaking their fitness self-promises, or for those still waiting for the right moment to start, maybe it’s time for them to make an investment in their bodies by hiring a professional trainer.

    Finally, don’t let unexpected setbacks end your fitness program. Many people overreact when something doesn’t work the way they expected. Improving your body is a long-term commitment, and you have to be prepared to meet some obstacles and to cope with them. While there are many potential barriers, lack of time and inconvenience are cited as the most common. Try to divide an activity into shorter bouts and do it more often, exercising at home or on your way to work. Finding activities that fit your lifestyle and interests are key to maintaining regular exercise over a lifetime.

     

February 25, 2010

Inspiring Healthy Behavior by Example

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 12:00 am

Modeling the behaviors of those around you is an often subconscious practice commonly associated with poor health habits such as smoking, overeating, binge drinking, and drug use. Overeating studies, for example, have shown that people tend to eat at the pace and volume of the person at the table who eats the fastest and consumes the most.

Hence, although most people would suspect overeating is a consequence of poor self-control, an internal function, there may actually be underlying external cues that encourage people to have that second helping. Recently, researchers at the University of Georgia set out to determine whether, and if so, how or how much positive social influences affect self-control compared to negative social influences.

They designed five independent studies. In one study the participants were asked to simply think of a friend who they believed to have good or bad self-control. Those who thought about someone with good self-control had improved performance on a physical test of self-control.

In a second study, participants simply watched other people make a choice to eat a carrot or a cookie. Following this experience, performance was either positively or negatively influenced by watching someone eat a carrot or a cookie, respectively.

The other experiments showed that simply thinking about a friend with good self-control improves your self-control, and that thoughts of discipline, effort, and achievement are commonly associated with thoughts about friends who have good self-control. In total, the authors convey that these studies demonstrate the infectious nature of self-control.

Interestingly, successful entrepreneurs have a saying that states “you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with most frequently.” Now, science confirms that this effect corresponds not just to success in business, but to positive lifestyle change as well. In other words, it’s important for people who struggle with self-control to surround themselves with people who will set a frequent positive example for eating well and exercising regularly.

Michelle R. vanDellen, and Rick H. Hoyle (2010) Regulatory Accessibility and Social Influences on State Self-Control. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 36: 251-263

January 31, 2010

Vinyasa Ashtanga Yoga

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 4:48 pm

Vinyasa Ashtanga Yoga

@ Vadim Fitness Studio, Ltd.

Christina Patierno teaches Vinyasa Ashtanga Yoga, which implies a powerful, flowing practice. The class is introspective, flowing, alignment-based, and graceful. 

lunging backbend

This style of yoga is characterized by a focus on dynamic connecting postures which create a flow between the more static traditional yoga postures. Vinyasa translates as linking and the system also implies the linking of the movement to the breath. Unlike some Hatha yoga styles, attention is also placed on the journey between the postures not just the postures themselves.

It improves flexibility and balance, as well as tendon and muscle strength, allowing the student to practice advanced āsanas with reduced risk of injury.

In 2008 Christina Patierno completed a 200 hour certification in the field of Yoga referred to as “Vinyasa”. In addition to this formal study, Christina also studies with teachers from various traditions, including Classical, Ashtanga, Anusara, and Iyengar Yoga. 

Call us for a free 30-min introductory class @725-9553.

 

January 24, 2010

Valentine’s Day Special

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 4:43 pm

Valentine’s Day Special:

Share the Love!

Bring a friend and both of you will get 50% off your next personal or group training session.

Dump that chocolate!

Offer good until February 15th 2010.

www.VadimStudio.com        914-725-9553

495 Central Park Ave., Suite 207, Scarsdale, NY 10583 

December 11, 2008

Keeping your New Year’s Resolution

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 1:00 pm

vadim_bw.jpg    Vadim Vilensky

 Every New Year, millions of Americans make a resolution to “get in shape.” Sure, they’ve done it before, but this year they really mean it. Many people join fitness clubs, which are so crowded in January that they have to wait nearly an hour for the next available treadmill. Some buy exercise videos and equipment sold on TV. Others promise to jog or walk every day, or to start using equipment that was stored in their basements and garages for years.

Unfortunately, statistics show that by March only a few of those people are still exercising. Over 90% will face another broken self-promise to get in shape.

Here are few tips, which may help you avoid becoming a part of this statistic:

  1. Do not repeat last year’s mistakes – try something different. Make your exercise more fun by trying a variety of activities. Attempt to find “your thing”, something you like to do. If you hate treadmills, don’t think that if you push yourself to run on it for a month you will “learn to like it”. You will hate it more and will start looking for excuses to skip a workout. Many fitness clubs offer a variety of classes such as spinning, tai chi, jazz dance, etc. Try them all until you find the one that you like and feel that you can stick with it.
  2. Set reasonable short and long-term goals. Goals should be measurable and specific. Assess your progress regularly. Don’t wait a whole year just to realize that you are still in the same shape you were in when you started. If you feel your present routine doesn’t work for you – change it. Find an exercise program that delivers measurable and visible results. When people see results they are motivated to continue working out.
  3. Change your behavior. I often see people coming to a fitness club, taking an elevator to the second floor, spending 30 minutes climbing a stairmaster, and then taking the elevator back to the first floor. Just showing up to the gym 3 times per week for an hour will not compensate for a sedentary lifestyle. You have to become physically active during your day: at work, at home, during your leisure time. The U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention have suggested that adults accumulate at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week. These activities may include: leisure biking, walking, raking a lawn, house painting, or cleaning gutters. While many people do not enjoy formal exercise, these forms of activities can be just as beneficial.
  4. Choose an exercise program that helps you do the things you like to do. In other words, exercise should help people to perform activities of daily living with ease. That’s why an exercise program should be specific to an individual’s needs. If you are trying to improve your golf swing, or lift up your grandchildren from the floor without getting pain in your lower back, your program should emphasize exercises which will help you to do that. A bodybuilding approach or dance aerobics class may not help you in this case. Just like for every sport there is a specific conditioning program that helps athletes to perform better at their game, you should have a customized exercise program that helps you to deal with the things you have to do or like to do in your life.
  5. Get professional help. Personal training can be expensive, but it gives you a better chance to succeed. A good trainer will make your workout more fun, add motivation, set goals, track your progress, help you get results faster, avoid injuries, and make the whole process more comfortable and convenient. For people who have a history of breaking their fitness self-promises, or for those still waiting for the right moment to start, maybe it’s time for them to make an investment in their bodies by hiring a professional trainer.

    Finally, don’t let unexpected setbacks end your fitness program. Many people overreact when something doesn’t work the way they expected. Improving your body is a long-term commitment, and you have to be prepared to meet some obstacles and to cope with them. While there are many potential barriers, lack of time and inconvenience are cited as the most common. Try to divide an activity into shorter bouts and do it more often, exercising at home or on your way to work. Finding activities that fit your lifestyle and interests are key to maintaining regular exercise over a lifetime.

     

March 6, 2008

More Steps – Less Meds!

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 8:35 pm

  Vadim Vilensky

A recent study published in Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise assessed the relationship between walking distance, frequency, and intensity and the pervasiveness of the use of medications by patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


There were 40,795 participants involved in the study – 32,683 were women and 8112 men.  All of the subjects were taking medications to treat conditions related to diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. The study documented the distance that the participants walked each week, as well as the intensity and frequency of those walks.

The results of this study demonstrated that there is an inverse relationship between the distance and intensity walked and the amount of medications needed to control high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol. These results support the hypothesis that the amount of medication needed to control these diseases may be reduced substantially by increasing the distance and intensity walked each week.
For more information read “10000 Steps to a Better Health”

 

 

 

February 8, 2008

Exercise and Osteoporosis

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 9:03 pm

  Vadim Vilensky

Human bone is a dynamic organ, which has many functions in our body. As calcium is removed or added, our bones change and remodel every minute of the day, in order to maintain strength. The excessive loss of calcium, usually associated with aging, is called osteoporosis. The bone becomes too fragile to withstand the ordinary stresses of activities of daily living, and can fracture. Osteoporosis is a major health issue, with about twenty-five million Americans being affected. Osteoporosis causes over one million fractures yearly. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons estimates that one-third of women and one-fifth of men living to age eighty-five will experience a fracture of the hip due to osteoporosis. 


The good news is that there is growing evidence that exercise can prevent, or even reverse, age associated loss of bone density.  A group of scientists from the University of Florida found that six months of high intensity resistance exercise was successful in improving bone mineral density in healthy elderly individuals. 
In another study, researchers from Spain also concluded that strength training increased bone mineral density (BMD).  Their study involved older individuals (average age 70.9 years) who had osteoporosis. The subjects worked out three times a week for 24 weeks, completing three circuits with 10 multiple-joint exercises.


Among my clients, there are several women who have achieved a significant improvement in BMD after a few years of heavy resistance training, without taking any medications.  One client, who is post-menopausal, showed a marked increase in BMD over a four year period by doing heavy resistance training.  In 2005, after one year of resistance training, her Bone Densitometry showed a 4.9% increase in the density of her AP Spine over the previous test done in 2003, but also revealed mild osteopenia.  A Bone Densitometry completed in December of 2007 showed that her AP Spine age increased another 2.4%, her LAT Spine improved 19%, and the osteopenia no longer exists.  Statistical comparisons show the AP Spine total value is 116%, the LAT Spine value is 118%, and the L. Hip (neck) value is 88% compared to a 30 year old woman.  When compared to other 59 year old women the results are 135%, 159%, and 105% respectively.  These results prompted her physician to say that this 59 year old woman has “the bones of a 30 year old.” 

 

If you think you are at a high risk for osteoporosis (i.e. female, over 50), or just want healthier bones, here are some suggestions to get your resistance training program started (consult your physician first):
  

   

   

  1. Perform eight to twelve different resistance exercises that train the major muscle groups. Bones improve in the area where you apply the load. To build density in your legs, do squats, lunges or leg presses.   For the arms, do bench presses or push ups.  For the spine, do squats with weights or deadlifts.
  2. Start with a minimum of one set of 8 to 10 repetitions of each exercise to the point of volitional fatigue. If you can do more than 12 repetitions, increase your lifting weight. The higher the load (lifted weight) the more effective it is to increase BMD. Beginners should start with lighter weights, and gradually increase load and volume.
  3. Use a variety of exercises for each muscle group. Changing your program will create a better response from your body, and will keep you from getting bored of the same routine.
  4. Perform each exercise through a full range of motion, with both the lifting and lowering portion in a controlled manner. Keep a good posture.
  5. Combine strength training with balance and stability exercises on some days. Balance is essential in preventing falls during the activities of daily life. When lifting weights on an unstable surface, reduce the amount of weight.
  6. If possible, exercise with a training partner or a personal trainer who will be able to provide feedback, assistance, motivation, and make it more fun.

 

  

   

 

January 31, 2008

Exercise and Sex

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 12:50 am

  Vadim Vilensky

…or Exercise for Sex, or Exercise for better Sex. Before you talk to your doctor about Viagra, talk to your trainer about exercise. Pills may work for the short term, but exercise will work for the long term – and without any risks or side effects.

Erectile dysfunction affects 20 million Americans. Losing sexual function with age is accepted as a natural part of aging.  A study published in The Annals of Internal Medicine may prove that that doesn’t have to be the case.  This study showed that men over 50, who kept physically active, had a 30% lower risk of impotence than men who were inactive. The study also showed that exercise can keep men going significantly longer.This study surveyed more then 31,000 men between the ages of 53 and 90. The results demonstrated that the more physically fit the men were, the better the erection.  Furthermore, the more vigorous and frequent the exercise, the greater the benefits.

Another study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) involved obese Italian men with erectile dysfunction. These men adopted a healthy lifestyle that included moderately intense exercise such as brisk walking. About one third of these obese men regained their sexual function during the two years of the study.Testosterone level among men in their 70s may be 40% lower than for men in their 20s. A low level of testosterone in men has been associated with decreased sexual function, loss of muscle mass and strength, osteoporosis, declining cognitive function, and a poorer quality of life.

 A recently published study in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE) showed that a moderate to vigorously intense exercise program can increase serum sex hormones in men. The twelve month study involved over 100 men ages 40-75, randomly divided into exercise intervention and a control group. According to measurements taken after a 3 month period and a 12 month period, the exercise group showed a significant elevation of sex hormones.

 There were significant trends towards increasing sex hormones with increased aerobic fitness. Results of this study suggest that the age related decline in testosterone may be at least partially reversed with exercise.       

  

 

 

January 22, 2008

“No Time to Stretch!”

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 6:52 pm

 Vadim Vilensky

Flexibility is probably the most neglected aspect of fitness. Observations show that even people who exercise on a regular basis are not stretching enough. By definition, flexibility is the ability of the joint or series of joints to move through their full range of motion.

Flexibility is important in sports (gymnastics, golf) and the performing arts (ballet), as well as in the ability to carry out the activities of daily living. Aging and inactivity contribute to the loss of flexibility over time. Reductions in the joint’s range of motion affect our mobility and balance, which impacts our routine physical functioning status. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it is important to maintain flexibility in the lower back and posterior thigh regions. Lack of flexibility in these areas may be associated with an increased risk of developing chronic lower back pain.

 

 

Decreased flexibility can also lead to postural changes such as shortened pectoral muscles (chest), which pulls the shoulders in and down leading to a round-shouldered condition.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the need for adults to perform flexibility exercises, preferably daily. There are a few ways to stretch. Perhaps the simplest one is a static stretch. With this technique the risk of injury is low, and it requires little time and assistance. It is performed in a slow, sustained manner, holding the stretch at a point of mild discomfort for 30 seconds. The stretch should be felt in the muscle, not the joint.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation stretching (PNF) involves a combination of alternating the contraction and relaxation of opposite muscles through a series of motions. Research has suggested that PNF stretching produces the greatest improvements in flexibility. These stretches usually require a partner trained in the technique. Ideally, they should be done with your coach or personal trainer.

 

 

Ballistic stretching uses the momentum created by repetitive bouncing movements to produce muscle stretch. This type of stretch can result in muscle soreness or injury if the forces generated by the ballistic movements are too great.

Yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi movements may also be used to improve flexibility.

It is a general recommendation to warm up muscles before stretching them. A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by a group of scientists from the University of Texas demonstrated that the best time to stretch for improved flexibility is right after a workout. PNF stretching after exercise significantly improved hamstring flexibility in a group of college athletes who participated in this study.

Flexibility training should be balanced with strength training to prevent connective tissues from becoming too loose and weak, subjecting them to damage through overstretching, or sudden, powerful muscle contractions.

Very often fitness instructors and coaches incorporate static stretches into a warm up routine. However, there are a number of studies that show that static stretches before exercise or competition can DECREASE performance and INCREASE the risk of injuries. There are numerous studies that demonstrated negative impact of static stretching on jumping and running performance, and even reaction time and balance.

Post-exercise stretching helps to relax and can create the sense of rejuvenation. Dr. Michael Yessis states that after completing a workout, the nervous system continues to contract muscles, and does not allow them to completely relax. Stretching will help to relax the muscle and accelerate recovery.

There is one study published in October 2007 involved 38 sedentary adults. The subjects in this study were performing static stretches for all major muscle groups of lower extremities.  They were stretching 40 minutes 3 times per week. There were no other exercises performed by any participants. After 10 weeks all participants gained strength and endurance in legs muscles they were stretching. These results suggest that people who are not able to participate in traditional strength training activities may be able to gain strength and endurance through stretching, which make them able to transition into more traditional exercise program.

 

 

 

January 16, 2008

Exercise and HIV

Filed under: By Vadim Vilensky — Administrator @ 2:14 pm

  Vadim Vilensky

Medical studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of exercise in patients with HIV. Documented benefits include improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, the ability to perform activities of daily living, muscular strength, lean body mass, mood, and coping behaviors. Decreases in anxiety, fatigue, and depression have also been observed.

There are conflicting reports about the effect of exercise training on immune function. Some clinical trials demonstrated improvement in immunologic function, while others have not shown a change. However, one study published in 1999 in “Annals of Epidemiology” observed delayed disease progression and reduced risk of developing AIDS in a trial group of 156 homosexual men with HIV. More studies are needed to better explain the immunologic response to exercise, but it is safe to say that exercise has no detrimental effect on immune system function.

For people with HIV, it is probably best to start a fitness program with exercise testing. Fatigue and neuromuscular complications are common during the advanced stage of HIV. Fitness tests can provide valuable information for an exercise prescription based on an individual’s exercise tolerance, balance, and coordination levels. Due to HIV related muscle wasting, a body composition analysis may be desirable.

Patients with HIV can benefit from both cardiorespiratory and progressive resistance training programs. Resistance training increases lean body weight, and improves physical appearance. It offers an effective treatment modality that may halt, and potentially reverse, the muscle catabolism due to drug therapy and the later stages of AIDS. A group of scientists in California studied the effects of resistance exercise, combined with testosterone supplementation, in 61 HIV-infected men with low testosterone level and weight loss. A report published in the “Journal of American Medical Association” found that resistance exercise promoted significant increase in muscle mass and strength.

Exercise training represents an important adjunctive therapy for people with HIV. The emphasis should be on proper technique and a consistent training schedule. Different modalities can be utilized, incorporating exercises for strength, balance, control, and coordination. Getting professional help can add motivation, track your progress more effectively, make your workout safer and more fun, and make the whole process more comfortable and convenient. Don’t let setbacks end your fitness program. Medication side effects, acute infections, and fatigue can influence your ability to exercise on any given day. Don’t overreact when something doesn’t work the way you expected. Fitness is a long-term commitment and you have to be prepared to meet some obstacles and to cope with them.

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