Tag Archives: fitness

5 Reasons to Consider Nighttime Workouts

There is nothing wrong with a hearty a.m. workout routine if you’re a born morning person, but what about those of us who’d rather fall in a nice, deep hole than get up extra early for a pre-workday run? If you aren’t a morning person, fear no more. The theory that it is better to workout in the morning has recently been debunked, apparently both morning and nighttime workouts have their respective benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the pros to sweating it with the moon instead of the sun:

  1. Your metabolism is better prepared for the ridestudies have found increased endocrine levels and lower blood glucose levels in subjects who exercised later in the day than in the morning, meaning their metabolisms were working more in their favor for the workout. This can make a difference in the long run for those on a weight loss journey.
  2. It makes for a good de-stress after a long day – Wouldn’t it be great to have a productive outlet for the stresses that build up during a day at the office? Well, look no further than a nightly exercise routine to help you shake off the tension of the day while also working on enhancing your bod. So, hit the treadmill, gym or dance studio for an evening fitness session and just watch as your stress rolls off your back (along with the sweat).
  3. You may be more alert and ready to rumble – as you go about the day, you’re gaining nutrients from your meals and most likely picking up more steam than you had in the morning. Because of this, you may be more ready to really hit that workout harder.
  4. It may help you catch some zzz’s – Recent studies refute the theory that nighttime workouts may hinder sleep (unless you’re an insomniac). It appears that generally, working out a couple hours before bed won’t make a difference to your sleep. Doing activities like yoga may actually help induce a deeper, more satisfying sleep.
  5. You’ll have more sleep time in the morning – Few can argue that a major pro to getting your workout done in the evening is that you’re saving yourself precious morning moments for more sleep. If you’re someone who dreads having too many items on your a.m. to-do list, why not cross off working out by saving it for later?

Regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy overall lifestyle and lower disease risks. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when you workout as long as you do. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity a week. Thanks for visiting DocChat!



9 Reasons to Walk Every Day

We all know regular exercise is essential to a healthy body, but you don’t have to rush for a gym membership or buy an expensive machine; a simple daily walk will do wonders for your body and mind. If you make a point of taking a brisk walk every day, you may reap the following health benefits:

  1. Lower your risk of disease – the CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week to help avoid obesity and reduce your risks of developing such health conditions as heart disease, type 2 diabetes. A daily 30-45 minute walk would put you well on your way to a more optimistic health forecast.
  2. Promote a healthy heart – During a brisk walk, your heart becomes more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients around the body. Regular walking can also help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure.
  3. Strengthen your body – regular exercise can help strengthen your bones and muscles, helping slow or help prevent osteoporosis.
  4. Stave off stress (and the blues) – Having a particularly stressful or sad day? Try taking a walk around the block. It will help get those endorphins flowing, naturally lowering your stress levels, energizing your mind and body, as well as boosting your blue mood.
  5. Condition your lungs – Routine exercise can help increase your lung capacity. If you’ve been sedentary for a long time or have a lung condition, you should start off slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your walk, in turn you will be increasing your lung capacity as well.
  6. Improve your self esteem – Once you get walking regularly and see some of the benefits take shape, a boost in your self esteem won’t be far behind.
  7. Trim your waistline – You can burn over 150 calories in one 30-minute walk. To burn a nice 300 a day, simply go for a longer trot, or break it into 2 walks daily. A few weeks into your walking routine you should see those inches start to drop off, providing that you are also maintaining a healthy diet as well.
  8. Get some you time or friend time ­– For those of you who are introverts, time to yourself can be a valuable (and sometimes scarce) commodity. Why not take a solitary stroll to recharge your batteries? If you are an extrovert on the other hand, why not call your best exercise buddy and go for a little social time while you exercise!
  9. Vitamin D – if you are taking your walks outside, you get the added benefit of working toward your recommended daily vitamin D quota – just be sure to put on sunscreen first!

We hope you start your new daily walking routine soon to start realizing these benefits! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

Tips for Exercising Safely in Winter

Winter can be a beautiful and refreshing season to pursue outdoors exercise and activity, but can also be the most treacherous time to do so if you don’t take the proper precautions. Let’s take a look at some essential safety tips for winter fitness:

  • Listen to your body – if you are feeling uncomfortable or out of the ordinary in any way while exercising outdoors, stop and head back inside to see what may be going on. You could be dehydrated, sick or even on your way to frostbite or hypothermia. You know your body best, so listen to its signals.
  • Avoid extreme cold – it is better not to exercise in extreme temperatures as the body has a difficult time adapting to the conditions and can more easily overheat, under-heat or overexert which can result in health problems such as fainting or even heart or respiratory issues, so avoid outdoor activity in extreme cold.
  • Try to avoid getting stuck in the dark – It starts getting dark much earlier during the winter months, so be sure to time your exercise so you catch the daylight. The last thing you want is to be stuck on some backwoods road on snowshoes surrounded by darkness (and who knows what else).
  • Practice extra caution if you have a heart or lung condition – The cold air can constrict the airways which is bad news for those with asthma or COPD, plus exertion can also bring on an asthma attack, so that could be a double whammy. Similarly, those with heart conditions should beware that the cold puts even more strain on your system than just regular exercise and tends to increase blood pressure.
  • Always take your phone or a buddy – In case you slip on the ice while walking, get lost or need assistance for any other reason, it is a good idea to take your phone with you whenever you exercise outdoors so you can call for help if needed. Exercising with a buddy is also a good plan in case of trouble.
  • Don’t venture away from the path – It is smart to map out your exercise route beforehand and to try not to veer off your predetermined course. More can go wrong in cold winter conditions, so don’t take any chances just for adventure’s sake.
  • Warm up and cool down properly – When exercising in cold or hot climates it is more important than ever to properly warm up and cool down to give your body time to acclimatize in the extreme conditions.
  • Invest in ice-gripping shoe tracks ­– A bad fall could cause heavy bruising, broken bones or a coma or death if you hit your head. Who wants to take that chance? Luckily, you can invest in ice-gripping tracks to go on your winter footwear to help prevent falls.
  • Wear layers – it is important to dress appropriately for the cold. Not only should you layer up (so you can take a layer off if you work up a sweat), but you should also make sure you wear mittens or gloves as well as warm socks and a hat if required. The CDC suggests an inner layer of wool or polypropylene to help draw sweat away from your body.
  • Check the forecast – Always check the weather before heading out to exercise in winter. If the wind chill is not ideal, temperatures are too cold, or there is bad weather on the way it is best not to tempt fate. Know when to opt for an indoors workout instead.

So, there you have our winter exercise safety tips! We hope they help you stay healthy and safe this winter. Thanks for visiting DocChat!

Ways to Stay Active During the Winter Months

While seasonal weather changes don’t affect routine gym-goers as much as those who prefer outdoors exercise, many people across the board feel unmotivated to work out in the colder, darker winter months. However, if you fall into the category of those who fall out of sync with their usually dedicated fitness routines in winter, there are many ways to keep that fitness candle burning brightly all through the season.

7 Great Ways to Exercise in Winter

  1. Skating – Skating is an excellent winter workout. It can be a competitive event or just for fun. You can figure skate, speed skate, skate in winter sports like hockey, or just for leisure! It can be a great winter fitness activity for the whole family. So, find a safe iced-over pond or outdoors rink, grab your helmet and lace up for one of the most enjoyable ways to workout in winter!
  2. Pond hockey – While similar to the well-known sport ice hockey, pond hockey has less rules and regulations and can take place on any (safely) iced-over body of water. Hockey is a vigorous workout that utilizes most of the muscle groups in your body. All you need is warm clothes, skates, a puck, a couple make-shift nets, a group of friends and you’re off to the races.
  3. SnowshoeingLooking for a wonderful workout that really works those leg and core muscles? Look no further than snowshoeing. It is scenic, peaceful and can easily be an activity you do with friends. Snowshoes range from very affordable to high-end. You can also find some lightly used ones in your local buy-and-sell.
  4. Skiing – Potentially one of the more dangerous winter activities on the list, skiing can be lots of fun (and an amazing workout) when practiced safely. Cross-country skiing is much less risky than downhill skiing, but both types have their merits.
  5. Shoveling snow – This one may sound silly (and perhaps more like a chore than activity), but the fact of the matter is that you can burn nearly 400 calories in just 1 hour of shoveling snow – sign me up today!
  6. Tobogganing – One of the most exhilarating winter sports around is tobogganing (and it’s not just for kids, either)! Sure, you won’t burn many calories on the way down the hill but every walk back up to the top of the steep incline will surely work that bod. Again, it is important to practice sledding safety while tobogganing such as only doing so on a safe, certified hill where there are no obstacles, debris or trees that can hinder your ride.
  7. Or you can take the party indoors: Simply not a fan of the cold? There are plenty of great indoors options that can keep you fit year-round:
  • Invest in a personal exercise machine like a stationary bike or elliptical (you can always find half-off sales if you browse enough flyers, or just buy a used one online for fraction of the price).
  • Bite the bullet and join a local gym until it warms up outside.
  • Hit up your local indoor swimming pool on the regular.
  • Purchase a yoga or Pilates workout DVD or invest in an interactive sports game like Wii Fit.

Stay tuned next for some tips to exercise safely in the cold! Thanks for visiting DocChat! Remember, our board-certified physicians are standing by 24/7/365 to help with any health inquiries you may have!

How to Reach Your Fitness #Goals (Part 2)

It is no secret that carrying extra weight can be damaging to your health but it can be difficult to stay motivated while trying to shift those extra pounds. In Part 1, we looked at some tips and tricks to help make your fitness journey a success in, now for a few more:

Choose a Healthy Lifestyle Over a “Diet”

Those who participate in the latest weight loss trends and diet programs to no avail may be looking at weight loss from the wrong angle. It shouldn’t be all about shedding weight fast for bikini season or an  for an event. Set your sights on the long-term and aim for a healthier overall lifestyle that involves nutritious eating and regular exercise. By thinking in the “diet mindset”, you will likely continue to struggle with losing weight only to put it back on (the phenomenon known as ‘yo-yo dieting’). However, by thinking “healthy living”, you will continue down a path to better health only to keep seeing positive results along the way.

Redefine Your Reward System

If you usually go to junk food as a reward, that might be a problem as you continue toward your fitness goals. It is one thing to reward yourself occasionally with a tasty treat but for day-to-day rewards, it may help if you start allotting yourself other enjoyable things such as a new movie, a relaxing drive in your car, some time for art or adult coloring or a massage.

Be Your Own Cheerleader Instead of Your Own Critic

Most of us are our own worst critics, ready to harp on all our little missteps instead of celebrating our successes. You can turn yourself off of fitness by being too hard on yourself and associating exercise with self-reprimanding thoughts. If you miss a workout day or fall off the cookie-free wagon, don’t be so quick to berate yourself. Instead, simply get back on track as soon as you can and continue toward your goals. If you lose even a pound or two at your weigh-ins, pat yourself on the back. This stuff is hard work, so give yourself props when due! By believing you will reach your goals, you are much more likely to do so than if you convince yourself that you can’t.

Surround Yourself With Supporters, Not Haters 

Some people work out better with a pal, so if you have a friend who supports or shares your desire to shape up, try for a routine of exercising together. Adversely, if there are people who bring you down or hinder your health goals with negative comments, try to avoid or block them out. No one needs flack from the peanut gallery! By learning to focus on compliments people give you while filtering out negative comments, you’ll be in a better head space to continue your weight loss journey for you.

Health Should Be a Prime Motivator  

Forget about the mirror for a second. Being obese or overweight can directly contribute to such life-threatening illnesses as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. So, if you are overweight, give yourself the gift of a healthier future by shedding those extra pounds. If you lose weight just to look good for others, it likely won’t stay off. Make your fitness goals for the right reasons. Intrinsic motivating factors such as wanting to be healthier and live a longer life or look better for yourself, will give you a much better shot at success than if you are only losing weight to impress or please other people. Remember, it’s not about looking good to others, it’s about feeling good for you!

Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope our tips can help you reach your fitness #goals!





How to Reach Your Fitness #Goals (Part 1)

We all start with good intentions when it comes to getting in shape, but it can be tricky to stay motivated and see your weight loss goal through to the end. Because reaching a healthy weight is so important for good health, we wanted to take a look at some tips and tricks that may help you stay the course:

Attitude Matters

Your attitude along your weight loss journey can make or break your chances of success. Negative thoughts can be self-perpetuating and can block you from reaching your goals. A positive ‘can-do’ outlook, on the other hand, can set you up for triumph.

Make Goals More Tangible By Writing Them Down

Writing down your weight loss goals can actually make you more accountable to yourself. By committing your aspirations to the page, you are creating a material contract to yourself. Tracking your progress in a journal or on your phone can also help you stay on track and tweak your habits along the way.

Keep Your Goals Attainable

You’ve probably heard this one mentioned in regard to weight loss before but it is so important to keep your goals reasonable so they are within your reach. If you set an unrealistic goal like losing 100 pounds in 2 months, you will be setting yourself up for frustration and shortcoming. By starting smaller, it will help give yourself the confidence and motivation to continue increasing your goals bit by bit until you are where you want to be.

Don’t Get Hung up on The Scale

Yes, the numbers are important when you’re trying to nix those extra pounds but there are other ways of assessing your progress. A couple good progress tracking methods are to: measuring your weight loss in inches instead of pounds, or just weigh in once a month so you don’t get disappointed or thrown off by daily fluctuations.

Make Your Technology Work For You

There are so many great digital weight loss and health resources in our technological world such as activity tracking apps, wearable fitness tools and interactive fitness games such as Wii Fit. Many apps and wearables also give you access to a supportive community of others in pursuit of their own weight loss goals who may help you stay motivated as well.

That concludes part 1 of our motivational tips for reaching weight loss goals, stay tuned for part 2 next! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we always love to have you!

40 Healthy New Year’s Resolution Ideas

With the new year quickly approaching, we decided to compile a list of potential New Year’s resolutions to give you some inspiration for your own goals for 2017:

  1. Lose those extra Lbs (if you have them) for your health
  2. Take the stairs all year
  3. Try to pass on unhealthy snacks
  4. Do 50 daily squats, push-ups or sit-ups
  5. Cut out chips for a year
  6. Floss every day
  7. Eat more omega-3 fatty acids (in fish, nuts and seeds)
  8. Have a salad lunch 3 times every week
  9. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones
  10. Stop complaining and take action
  11. Reduce take-out meals to once monthly
  12. Spend more time with your family
  13. Spend less time looking at screens
  14. Spend more time outdoors
  15. Limit (non-work) screen time to 1 or 2 hours daily
  16. Cook with and snack on produce as much as possible
  17. Try to nix snap judgements
  18. Take at least 45 minutes out for yourself each day
  19. Bring that stress level down
  20. Organize your whole house one room at a time
  21. Find ways to laugh more
  22. Get out for a short daily walk with your partner or friend
  23. Eat more fiber
  24. Drink more water (try it with lemon for a zing)
  25. Keep alcoholic beverages down to 1 daily
  26. Quit smoking if you do it – your whole body will thank you
  27. Try something new that challenges you
  28. Try to better manage your time
  29. Learn deep breathing exercises and do them
  30. Start doing Kegels (they are good for men too)
  31. Carve out a designated exercise space in your home
  32. Take up a new hobby or learn a new skill
  33. Try to stop procrastinating
  34. Quit biting your nails (if you do)
  35. Take better care of your skin (moisturize!)
  36. Take initiative of your healthcare and do what needs to be done
  37. Smile more
  38. Try to eat healthy 6 days a week (cheat days will be even sweeter then)
  39. Try a new fitness activity or class every week or month
  40. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly

Have more ideas? Feel free to let us know on twitter! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll be back again soon.

15 Health Benefits Cycling Provides

All exercise is good exercise, but stationary and outdoor cycling has recently gained quite the reputation for being an extra healthful mode of fitness. Let’s check out just what proof is in the pudding:

  1. Biking is a low-impact cardiovascular exercise alternative.
  2. It works out many of the major muscle groups.
  3. It can improve stamina of the lungs and body.
  4. It is a highly adaptable activity. You can modify the speed and intensity according to your fitness level – you can even handcycle if you are handicapped!
  5. You can move it inside – with a stationary bike.
  6. Cycling helps build and firm muscles.
  7. Regular cycling can help lower stress levels and decrease anxiety.
  8. Regular cycling can help improve posture and balance as well as strengthen bones.
  9. It can improve joint health, and is a safe exercise choice for those with arthritis.
  10. Regular cycling can trim the fat – you can burn over 300 calories per hour session!
  11. Several studies conducted show a correlation between regular cycling and lower risk of cardiovascular disease. One particular Danish study surmised that 45,000 adults who regularly cycled had up to an 18% fewer heart attacks over a 20-year period than those who did not.
  12. Routine aerobic exercise like cycling can help lower your chances of developing various diseases such as bowel cancer and diabetes.
  13. Studies show it can help with many conditions, including mental health conditions such as ADHD.
  14. Studies show that cycling can actually help improve certain injuries and conditions, including knee injuries.
  15. While exercise in itself will help increase chances of a longer, healthier life, a specific study done on Tour De France riders showed an 17% increase in lifespan over the average 73.5 years!

So all in all, there are plenty of reasons to give cycling a shot if you’re looking for a new, adventurous way to workout! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope to see you again soon.


15 Ways to Workout at the Office

Are you often too tired to workout after a long day at work and not enough of a “morning person” to workout before your job begins? How about these quick and easy exercises you can do while at work! Let’s check them out:

  1. Get a balance ball chair to work your core all day while you sit
  2. Take the stairs every time you have to change floors (whether its twice or 20 times a day)
  3. Do leg and foot exercises under the desk, like toe taps or leg lifts
  4. Keep lightweights at and use them for 5 minutes every hour
  5. Do kegels at your desk (they can benefit men too!)
  6. Do glute squeezes every time you’re standing
  7. Fit in calf raises while waiting for the copier
  8. Take a break from the computer and see how long you can do a wall sit
  9. On a break, pop outside and run around the building a couple times
  10. Hold a ream of paper straight up over your head and bend your arms behind your head
  11. Challenge your workmates to a fitness competition
  12. Eat quick and go to the gym on your lunch break
  13. Lift a ream of paper with your feet intermittently under your desk while working
  14. Try doing your work while standing
  15. Work your obliques with these great office chair workouts

So there you have it, workout while you work! Thanks for visiting DocChat, check back soon!

Is There a Healthier Sub-type of Obesity?

The concept of ‘metabolically healthy obesity’ (MHO) has recently been circulating through the medical community, causing a few ripples as it goes. It refers to individuals who fall into the ‘obese’ body mass index (BMI) category, but according to a few criteria, may not be at the same heightened risk of disease that most obese people are.

What Criteria Define Metabolically Healthy Obesity?

There is little consensus on the exact details of MHO, however, Dr. Hu of Harvard Health maintains that obesity is not a homogenous category of people. He has outlined the following criteria to help better define MHO:

  • A waist less than 40 inches for a man or 35 for a woman
  • Good overall fitness
  • Normal sensitivity to insulin
  • Normal blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol

The Concept is Highly Debated

Many medical professionals argue that just because a ‘metabolically healthy’ obese person exercises frequently or doesn’t currently have any indicators of ill health doesn’t mean they soon won’t develop issues. There is such a vast sea of research and scientific proof linking obesity to hundreds of medical conditions that suggests an obese person who is active and shows no current signs of insulin resistance or heart problems is still at a higher than average risk of developing future complications because of his or her weight.

The Bottom Line About Obesity

Weight isn’t always a perfect indicator of health or disease risk. Skinny people often develop heart disease or high cholesterol if they don’t lead a healthy lifestyle and sometimes those who are obese don’t develop many health issues and can be overall healthier than smaller people. Thus, there very well may be a MHO phenotype that can help stave off illness for longer. However, scientifically speaking, people who are obese (with a BMI of over 30) are at elevated risk of developing many diseases such as some types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other troublesome conditions. So, just because someone who is excessively overweight doesn’t have health problems in the present won’t guarantee them immunity from obesity-related risks in the future. The best way to lower the risk of obesity-related conditions is not only to exercise routinely, but also to eat a healthy diet that is high in produce and low in animal fats, saturated fats and simple carbohydrates and to attend medical checkups regularly.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Please check back again in the future.