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Can Exercise Cancel Out A Bad Diet?

Can exercise cancel out a bad diet? Perhaps that’s the wrong question to ask.

Theoretically, you should try to eat a healthy diet either way. That means eating more fiber, less sugar and less saturated fat. In other words, you have to fight the food around you.

The so-called “western diet” consists of sugary foods and drinks, low fiber intake and high levels of saturated fat. Contrast that with an approach like that Mediterranean Diet, which is high in fiber, low in sugar and low in saturated fat.

These are the three things you need to watch out for if you want to lower your risk of heart disease (the #1 cause of death in the US and worldwide). However, the role of exercise in keeping you healthy might be severely undervalued.

was just published in the Journal of Physiology. Researchers gave mice workout equipment, like a wheel, and let them workout as much as they wanted. They fed one group of mice a western diet and one group a healthier diet.

As it turns out, mice that exercised regularly were able to protect their arteries from the damage caused by a western diet. That means what they ate didn’t have an effect on their heart health. That’s a big deal!

There are a few important things to keep in mind when reading this article. The study was performed in male mice, which means the results may not carry over exactly in humans (although we’re physiologically very similar to mice). The mice that exercised walked the equivalent of 3-5 miles per day (that’s a lot for a little creature). This is also just one study, and research needs to be repeated to be validated.

This isn’t an excuse to eat what you want, but it follows a current trend in research: exercise is medicine. If this research pans out in humans, it means that exercise is as powerful (if not moreso) than following a proper diet. For the record, you should focus on both to see the best results.

-Coach Henry Halse

Don’t Be SAD, Workout Like Mad!

Seasonal depression is a real thing, especially in New York. Maybe that’s why you see so many people dressed in black and grey!

At this time of year, we’re close to the winter solstice, which is the shortest (darkest) day of the year. Normally we have a raucous holiday season to offset the doom and gloom, but this year will likely be different. Many of us will be isolated from family and friends or stuck with a small group of local people who could also be suffering from seasonal depression (fellow New Yorkers).

Some people get obnoxiously bright lights to cure SAD and sit in front of them for an hour or so each day. While that might work, we have a better solution: exercise!

Before you roll your eyes at another suggestion from us to hit the gym, consider this study published in 2017 in Frontiers in Pharmacology. The researchers found that exercise was just as good at curing depression as antidepressants. This might seem like a bold claim, but there are other studies out there that show similar results.

This isn’t a recommendation to quit taking medication or skip therapy, but remember that when you get SAD, exercise is just as good as medicine. Whether it’s a HIIT class, weight training workout or just a stroll around the park, anything will do!

Coach Henry Halse

With virtual personal training becoming a huge trend due to the pandemic, setting up your home for a personalized workout is key for a great experience.  Our coaches have become experts in providing virtual training from our studio and homes in New York City.  We currently have 80+ clients doing sessions with us and over 150 sessions per week. 

How To Setup Your Home For A Virtual Training Session

Making sure you have enough space so that your trainer can coach you in the best way possible.  The camera should be set up at least 8 ft away and with 8 ft of width.  This will allow your trainer to see you both vertically and horizontally when exercising.  

How To Position Yourself During A Virtual Training Session

When doing standing movements, it is best to stand at a 45-degree angle to the camera so your trainer can see the width and depth of your exercises such as deadlifts and squats.  When doing floor exercises, it is best to be turned 90 degrees to the camera for exercises such as planks and pushups

If space is sparse in your New York City apartment, you may want to quickly change the orientation of the camera to vertical when doing standing exercises and horizontal when doing floor exercises. 

What's The Best Camera Angle?

The angle of the camera is also important. Having the camera close to the floor gives you the best use of your area.  The camera should be angled between 30- 45 degrees but that can vary depending on how much space you have. 

Getting a stand for your phone or laptop is very helpful as it allows you to adjust the angles as needed. 

Know Your Learning Style

Are you a visual person or are you an audible learner? Do you need the coach to demonstrate exercises or are you someone who can follow verbal instructions on how to do an exercise properly?  That is something important to communicate with your trainer.  

Using these tips can help you get that most out of your virtual personal training workout.  Succe

How To Order Compound Exercises

There are many benefits of incorporating compound exercises into your routine.

It seems like a no-brainer that you should add these exercises to your program. Our fitness trainers have already done that for you with your workouts at TS Fitness. However, if you want to know why we do it or how to write a workout on your own, we should talk about exercise order.

How To Order Your Workout

There’s a specific system that we use to order the exercises, which helps reduce the risk of injury and increase the benefit of each movement.

Here’s a generalized breakdown:
1. Speed and power exercises
2. Bilateral strength exercises
3. Unilateral strength exercises

Speed and Power Exercises

Speed and power comes first, since these exercises require the most coordination. Kettlebell swings, kettlebell cleans, and squat jumps are all examples of compound movements that use speed and power. Since the moves are so quick, there’s an increased risk for injury. For example, on a kettlebell swing, if you mess up the technique or your lower back gets tired, you can injure yourself. If we do this exercise last, you won’t be able to use heavy weight. Your muscles will be tired and your focus drained, making it hard to keep your form precise. That’s why speed and power exercises come first.

Bilateral Strength Exercises

Next are the big strength exercises. These include deadlifts, squats and the dumbbell bench press. These movements use heavy weights, which means your muscles should be warmed up but not exhausted. While the heavy weight makes these exercises risky, they’re not as dangerous as speed and power exercises, because they require less coordination. The weights tend to move slowly on these exercises, giving you more control.

Now that you’ve done your speed and big strength exercises, you’re probably pretty tired. That’s why the next step in your workout is unilateral strength exercises. Lunges and split squats are examples of unilateral movements, which simply means that you’re using one limb at a time.

Isolation Exercises

Since you’re lifting the weight with one limb instead of two, you naturally can’t use as much weight. While these exercises are challenging, they don’t use as much weight as the bigger strength exercises, making them safer.

If you decide you want to add isolation exercises, like curls, into your program, try to do them at the end. Isolation exercises target one muscle group and tire it out. Even though they may not feel as difficult as compound movements, they still fatigue the muscle you’re targeting.

Doing an isolation exercise before a compound movement can be dangerous, depending on the muscle you work. For example, if you do an exercise that targets your lower back, you shouldn’t do it before a compound movement like the deadlift. That’s because you need your lower back muscles to properly perform a deadlift. However, you could do bicep curls before a deadlift, because it doesn’t really work your biceps. If you’re not sure what muscles you’re using, a good rule of thumb is to just save your isolation exercises for the end of the workout.

Tips to Stay Healthy as the Seasons Change

As the weather starts to change, many of our clients start getting sick. Since we like our classes full and our community healthy, we wanted to share a few of our favorite tips for avoiding the flu and other seasonal colds.  

Doctors recommend that the best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot but good health habits can stop the spread of germs and keep you healthy.

Practice Good Hygiene

No, we don’t mean that showering will keep you from getting sick but washing your hands will. Clean your hands for 15 seconds with soap, warm water, and vigorous rubbing. If you sneeze or cough, you should wash your hands as not to spread germs. Germs can be spread when people touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. Hand sanitizer is great for when you’re on the go and grab that subway pole.

Hand washing is very beneficial but you don’t have to go crazy. If you wash your hands too much, you can actually dry out your skin and remove healthy bacteria, leading to cracks that may allow viruses to enter your body.

Avoid Close Contact with Sick People

Stand far away from that dude on the bus who is hacking up a lung. If you do get sick, stay home. No one wants to share.

Get Sleep!

Sleep is extremely important and studies have shown that sleeping at least 7 hours a night will help you fight off colds. Sleep also has plenty of benefits that can help your workout.

The lack of sleep can undo all the hard work you do in the gym. One study showed that sleep deprived participants burned more muscle than fat compared to a group of athletes who got enough sleep.  If you are not sleeping well, your body produces releases the stress hormone cortisol, which slows down the production of growth hormone, ultimately affecting your muscle development.

Stay Active

New research shows that working out and staying physically active may better your body’s immune system so keep your regular schedule of HIIT and GPT classes during the winter months.

You Are What You Eat

What you put into your body also helps protect it. In looking to avoid the flu or colds, make sure to eat your veggies!! Vegetables, fruit and whole grains are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Antioxidants may reduce the risk of stroke and enhance immune defense while phytonutrients are linked to increased immunity and faster healing.

Vitamin D is crucial to the immune system so incorporate foods like eggs, wild salmon, and mushroom in your diet as well. You can also get Vitamin D from sunlight. If you are low in the Vitamin D, you can also take supplements, which may be particularly helpful during the winter months.

Zinc is often used to boost the immune system, treating recurrent ear infections, and preventing lower respiratory infections. You can find zinc in meat, oysters, turnips, peas, oats, peanuts, almonds, whole-wheat grain, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, and pecan nuts. We like using zinc lozenges when we feel a cold coming on.


We often discuss the importance of staying hydrated. Drink your water! Since outdoor air is drier in cold weather and your heated apartment is likely also dry, drinking water helps your body keep your mucous membranes soft and moist, preventing small cracks that can allow viruses to enter your body.

Exercising While Sick

It usually safe to workout if you have a cold but listen to your body. Be aware that some cold medicines can increase your heart rate so working out while taking them may make your heart pump very hard and make you short of breath.

If your cold comes with a fever, exercise may increase the stress to your body even more, so you should wait a few days to get back to your regular exercise routine.

TS Fitness is providing this information for your convenience and we are not doctors. Always consult your doctor to provide you the best medical advice for you!

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