Tag Archives: exercise

Walking vs. Running


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

I get this question a lot.  “Should I walk for my workout or run for my workout? Which one is better for you?”  Which one you should do for your workout depends on the person; there isn’t a better or worse, just different.  Walkers will tell you running is bad for you, runners will tell you walking isn’t really a workout. Both are right and both are wrong.  Here are three ways to know which you should be doing. 

1.  Are you overweight? Check out the weight chart on my website to find out for certain. If you are overweight by 20lbs or more, running is a bad idea.  Why?  Because of the pressure it puts on your knees.  Excess weight and bouncing up and down is terrible for your joints.  If you are not overweight and have never run before, start off with light jogging it will really benefit your cardiovascular endurance. 

2.  What is your age?  If you are under 35 and have no serious injuries, then walking is unacceptable as a form of cardio.  You are just too young to do the same workout as my grandmother.  I’m sorry but all those people who are hitting the trail with “big mamma” walking, you need to pick it up and I’m not talking about a sandwich. 

3.  Do you have time?  If you only have 30 minutes on your lunch break, then you obviously can’t run 3 miles because you have to get back to work.  But if you have 30 minutes after work then you need to run.  If you run for 20 minutes or walk for 50 minutes, you end up burning about the same amount of calories.  But if you walk for 20 minutes or run for 20 minutes, running will create the biggest calorie deficit. 

Calories burned based on speed and weight per mile:

Speed/Pounds 100 lb 120 lb 140 lb 160 lb 180 lb 200 lb 220 lb 250 lb 275 lb 300 lb
2.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
2.5mph 55 65 76 87 98 109 120 136 150 164
3.0mph 53 64 74 85 95 106 117 133 146 159
3.5mph 52 62 73 83 94 104 114 130 143 156
4.0mph 57 68 80 91 102 114 125 142 156 170
4.5mph 64 76 89 102 115 127 140 159 175 191
5.0mph 73 87 102 116 131 145 160 182 200 218
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Holiday Health Tips


By Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

Ok so we are embarking on yet another Thanksgiving holiday. This is the time of the year where all my clients seem to fall completely off! But this year can be different for you if you follow the Chicago Fit 4 Life holiday health tips. I gave you the secret to getting a six pack   so trust me when I say you can still enjoy this time of year without putting on 5-10lbs that will take you all next year to work off.

CF4L Holiday Health Tips 

Tip #1:  Fasting – Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner is usually eaten earlier in the day because we typically are not going into work on these days. Why not just take the day completely off? By that I mean, no eating the entire day until you sit down for your holiday meal. Drink a lot of water during the day. The body can process about 700 calories at once. Excess calories tend to be stored and can turn to fat rather quickly.

Tip #2: Alcohol – Most of the time holidays fall on a weekday and we don’t have to work the next day, so we tend to indulge ourselves with that extra glass of wine or a cocktail. Wrong! Alcohol consumption quickly adds extra calories, offers little health benefits, and will leave you with unwanted pounds that will take all year to get off. Alcohol suppresses the central nervous system. When alcohol is added to a meal, less fat is burned on average which causes more fat to be stored by the body.

Tip #3: Be Active – Be active on the holiday. Start the day off with a 30 min. walk, then after dinner do another 30 min walk. This will give you one hour of cardio which can burn anywhere from 200-500 calories. It will help you offset at least your dessert for that day.

Tip #4: Holiday not Holi-month! – Just eat one dinner, one day and move on. Too many times we try to re-live Thanksgiving all the way up until Christmas. We bring Thanksgiving dinner for lunch, then go home and eat the dinner again and do this day after day until all the food has been consumed. What we don’t realize is the effect this has on our body. Thanksgiving dinner is on average 3,000 calories and 300 grams of fat. So consider cooking less food this year to cut down on the obligatory “left over” eating.

Siddiqu is a personal trainer & founder of Chicago Fit 4 Life

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The Secret to Getting a Six Pack


blkwoman exercisingBy Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”

Knowledge is the key to everything. So if you want a six pack, it’s important that you know the most effective and healthy ways to make it happen. A six pack is nothing more than the highlight of your stomach muscle groups, it’s just a look. Nevertheless, there are a few key tips you can incorporate into your routine to give your stomach that “six pack look”:

Water/Protein

The human body is approximately 75% water. The more water you drink the more defined your muscles will become. The rest of your muscles are protein. To get a six pack, you need to increase your protein along with your water intake. How much protein you ask? It depends on your level of day-to-day activity. If you are a couch potato then an 8 ounce glass of milk, two cups of oatmeal and a serving of canned tuna daily are appropriate. If you workout during the week, try 2 cups of low-fat yogurt, half a cup of almonds, and a serving of chicken breast daily. Lastly, if you are going really hard in the gym and training like an athlete then try a cup of low-fat cottage cheese, a cup of chickpeas and walnuts, and a serving of lean beef or lamb per day.

Frequency

Work your abs every day. Even if you don’t go to the gym, do some ab exercises. In a span of 10mins you can get in over 200 repetitions of different ab exercises. Getting a six pack is a numbers game. I recommend 200 reps for your abs 5 days a week. Space them out if you have to.

Stress

Relax your way to a flat stomach. Being angry, always on the go, and disorganized, all add excess stress to ones life. Excess stress adds inches to ones stomach, real talk. A study conducted at Yale University (The Stress-Fat Connection) found that of the 160 female participants, the ones who reported the highest levels of chronic stress had the biggest waistlines.

Intense Cardio

Cardio is one of the best ways to get rid of that fat layer and develop a six pack. Try to do as much hard cardio and fast cardio as you can. Activities like sprinting, jumping rope, biking up hill, etc. are all great examples. Intense cardio increases ones metabolic rate, which burns up excess fat on your mid-section.

Got a question for Siddiqu “The Personal Trainer”? Post it in the comments section below.

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Bikram Yoga: Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot!


Bathing suit season is right around the corner. If you’re generally happy with your body but looking to get svelte for the summer, we’ve got a workout for you! It’s called Bikram Yoga. Like other forms of yoga, Bikram yoga takes you through a series of poses designed to build strength and flexibility. The difference between this form of yoga and others is that Bikram yoga is done in a room where the temperature is approximately 105 degrees! The inventor of this method, living yoga master Bikram Choudhury, designed this series of 26 poses sometime in 1974 when he founded the Yoga College of India in Beverly Hills. As you can imagine the heat of the room coupled with the sheer strength needed to perform the poses burns maximum calories and detoxifies your body. What’s also cool about this form of yoga (and I don’t mean literally!) is that the heat allows you to increase your flexibility faster. There are Bikram studios nationwide, many of which offer affordable specials for first timers. The only draw back for us black women is the hair issue. Due to the ridiculous amount of sweat you will undoubtedly produce, we suggest any or all of the following: 1) wear your hair natural, 2) don’t go right after a perm and 3) don’t go before an event unless you plan time to wash your hair. Here are a few Bikram and Bikram-like studios in some of our favorite cities. Let us know what you think!

Sunstone Yoga (Dallas, TX)
Bikram Yoga Harlem (Harlem, NY)
Bikram Yoga Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Bikram Yoga Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA)

Photo courtesy of sovereignstate.wordpress.com.

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