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Weekly Training Tasks

Up to a healthier lifestyle or new resolution? Meet your "WEEKLY TASK"(to be done daily)
Virtual Personal Trainer's tip of the week
It has been shown that, besides boosting weight loss, aerobic activities can help you to balance your levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), that reducing accumulated stress.

We already heard many times how routinely enrolling on physical activities can boost weight loss. But this is not all: A simple 30 mins walk (equivalent to 15-20 mins of running) 3 to 5 times a week can also greatly help you to reduce your level of accumulated stress throughout the week.

Read more about another non-well-known advantage of walking or running here.

    Week 4 (Nov)

We have proven that tracking what you eat (and move) can boost your weight loss as well as other health goals.

If you are intending to lose weight or simply improve your health, logging what you eat (and move) every day, can truly help you to achieve amazing results.

Regular activity- and food-logging, together with breaking down your calorie intake into carbs, fat and protein has been proven to be key for long-term weight loss and maintenance.

Read more about the advantages of regular food- and activity-logging here.
    Week 3 (Nov)

Regular exercise can not only help with weight loss and other health benefits but also improve the quality of your beauty sleep and collateral effects.

Studies show that regular exercise can not only boost weight loss, decrease anxiety, stress, and the chances of contracting any heart disease, but also can help you to fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up less, which can, in turn, boost your productivity throughout the day.

Night exercise is ok, but experts suggest about 30 to 60 minutes of waiting period before going to sleep.

These easy to do fitness routines will only take 10-20 minutes.
    Week 2 (Nov)

Slow synchronize movements and breathing, such as yoga moves or meditation, can help you to release accumulated pounds, stress, and produce relaxation.

Research shows that practising slow mindfulness moves, such as yoga, and/or slow breathing can tame sympathetic activity and balance the nervous system, which helps the body to relax and ease stress. When we practise slow movements / breathing, the parasympathetic nervous system slows the heart and sends a relaxing message to the nerves.

Studies show that simply practising 30 seconds of slow movements/breathing can help to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

Practising slow movements can also help to tone muscles, and weight loss. Studies show that regular yoga can help overweight people to lose weight, including abdominal fat.

    Week 1 (Nov)

Regular exercise helps weight loss while strengthening the heart and lowering the heart rate over time, which dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease.

Our studies show that regular exercise not only helps weight loss but also contributes to achieving a consistent reduction of heart rate, by enrolling on regular aerobic exercise routines such as running or walking at a pace.

Our results clearly show a very positive impact of regular exercise over 3 different types of Heart Rates (HR), and we show how this trend can be maintained over time. We conclude that enrolling on routinary aerobic exercise routines can positively contribute to decreasing HR, which in turn help to increase life expectancy.

HR reduction also has a very important impact on people mindsets, contributing to the maintenance of a healthy HR over time. The implementation of effective regular aerobic exercise routines may contribute to the reduction in all-cause mortality in the population.

Read more about regular exercise and its effect on weight loss and heart rate here.
    Week 4 (Oct)

Bedroom ambience could impact sleep quality, which could, in turn, affect daily performance as well as weight loss.

Things like putting lights off, a warm temperature (62-70 F)(17-21 C), no noise, and phone off will help you to sleep peacefully, boost performance, and help your weight loss goals.

Sleeping well is fundamental for weight loss and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Read more about the relationship between sleeping and healthy weight here.
    Week 3 (Oct)

Experts recommend a daily fiber target of 25 gr for women, and 38 gr for men.

As a general rule to follow, the more natural (unprocessed) the food is, the higher its fiber content.

Foods with a high-fiber content include:

  • Grains, cereals, bread, pasta, and tortillas.
  • Legumes.
  • Veggies.
  • Nuts.
  • And fruits.

For example, eating a cup of: lentils contains about 16 g of fiber, bulgur 8 g, or blackberries about 8g of fiber.

Fiber is good for the heart, helps to balance the intestinal flora, and produces a greater feeling of satiety, which helps to lose weight.

Read more about fiber enriched foods here.
    Week 2 (Oct)

Studies show that a lack of sleep is related to Ghrelin increase (the hunger hormone).

Sleep loss seems to affect the regulation of energy homeostasis which may lead to weight gain and obesity. It has been found that a lack of sleep increases the levels of ghrelin and decreases the levels of leptin, which leads to increase hunger and appetite.

It's a good practice to get enough sleep, not only if you are aiming for weight loss, but also for health matters.

Read more about the many benefits of getting enough sleep here.
    Week 1 (Oct)

It is well-known that repetitive physical activities can help and speed your weight loss goals. But there are many other benefits behind a regular exercise practice.

Exercise is known to improve general health but also strength, enhance endurance, and increase flexibility, at a muscular level. But repetitive exercise also improves our neuromuscular system and can help to generate ideas, solve problems and relax.

If you are trying to lose weight and/or feel mentally stuck or stressed, try to engage in some regular aerobic activities such as walking fast, running, cycling, or swimming for at least 30-45 mins and 3-5 times a week, the more the better.

Read more about the unknown benefits of aerobic exercise here.
    Week 5 (Sep)

Everyone's physical activity level varies but, in general, a very good goal to aim for is to walk 10,000 steps per day.

10,000 steps equate approx. 5 miles (~8 km), around 1 hour and 40 minutes walking, depending on your stride length and walking speed.

Walking 10,000 steps a day usually burns about 2000-3500 calories every week. One pound (~ 1/2 kg) of body fat equals approx. 3500 calories, so depending on your weight and exercise intensity, you could lose around 1 lb (~ 1/2 kg) weekly by simply routinely walk about 10,000 steps a day.

Enrolling such a daily routine will dramatically reduce your risk of suffering illness as well as improve both your mental and physical health.

Read more about the benefits of aiming 10,000 steps a day here.
    Week 4 (Sep)

Research shows that exercise and mood are related. Even a little exercise, like 30 mins walk or 10 mins of calisthenic, can boost your mood.

Furthermore, according to the latest studies, short-time workouts such as running 15 minutes per day or walking for an hour can not only help weight loss but also dramatically reduce the risk of depression.

The scientists were able to register a 26% decrease in the probability of becoming depressed for each increase in physical activity.

You can start by trying 30 mins walk or 10 mins of calisthenic to stay away from stress and anxiety and boost your mood, especially during difficult times.

Read more about exercise and mood here.
    Week 3 (Sep)

If you want to feel more full and satisfied after eating, try 25-30 grams of protein per meal.

Studies have shown that protein-intake generally increases satiety, even more than carbohydrate or fat consumption, thus facilitating a reduction in energy consumption.

For example, a piece of chicken or a cup of beans with quinoa will provide the 25-30 grams of proteins required for satisfaction.

Planning ahead the amount of protein-intake to eat can help weight loss.

Find out how to break down your recommended calorie-intake into protein needs here.
    Week 2 (Sep)

Lack of sleep can increase the chances of experiencing weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and even memory loss.

Sleep gives the body enough time to restore and recharge, playing a very important role in many aspects of physical health.

A lack of or fragmented sleep can raise the chance of suffering health problems related to blood pressure such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke.

Importantly, people who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and overweight/obesity than people who get 7-8 hours of sleep at night. Furthermore, a lack of sleep has also been correlated to memory loss.

Read more about the importance of a beauty sleep here
    Week 1 (Sep)

Are you trying to lose weight? if so, it is better to avoid having snacks before going to rest / bed.

Experts recommend waiting at least 2 hours, after you have eaten, to rest / going to bed. This gives your body enough time to digest your food so that you are not going to bed with an upset stomach, indigestion or heartburn.

Keeping food away from your bedroom, teeth brushing, chewing sugar-free gum, or an after-dinner walk can help you to stay away from cravings before going to rest.

A glass of water, sugar-free liquid, hot non-caffeinated tea, or one piece of fruit could also help if you feel extremely hungry.

    Week 4 (Aug)

Summer is still here, so is dehydration. Dehydration can severely affect your mood and focus, while being a cause of fatigue throughout the day. Keep a big glass of water near you all the time to help you remember drink water regularly.

Dehydration is a typical summer condition. Hot and humid weather can lead to body dehydration. Dehydration occurs if there is a water unbalance and the amount of water leaving the body is higher than the amount of water coming in.

Specially during summer season, keep drinking enough water. Apart from water, certain fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water in addition to healthful nutrients. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and pineapples have high water content. Water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes.

Furthermore, being well-hydrated will keep you full more time so in turn helping you to lose or maintaining your weight, improve your mood and keep you focused.


Read more
    Week 3 (Aug)

Studies show that eating three servings of whole grains a day is linked to weight loss and lower body weight.

Whole grain-rich diets have a variety of health benefits, including a favorable role in body weight regulation. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that higher intakes of whole grains are associated with lower BMI and/or reduced risk of obesity.

Aim for 3 meals of whole grain a day, such as brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, whole-wheat bread, or pasta or crackers.

Read more about the importance of whole grain and other healthy carbs here.
    Week 2 (Aug)

Only adding two minutes of standing / walking every one hour can increase your lifespan, according to research.

Research shows that complementing sitting with light physical activities (even only two minutes for each hour of sitting) is associated with a 33% lower chance of dying. The study clearly shows that only walking two minutes each hour may dramatically reduce all the negative effects of sitting too long.

The study suggests that engaging in low-intensity activities such as standing can offset the health hazards of sitting for long. But adding two minutes of more intensive activities such as walking each hour should be much better.

Try to walk 2-3 minutes very hour of inactivity, which is equivalent to 250 steps approx.

    Week 1 (Aug)

A regular bedtime and wake-up routine can help you not only to feel more rested, energetic, and focused throughout the day, but also can help weight loss.

Aim for a consistent regular sleep schedule. Studies show that people who stick to a regular sleep routine have a lower body fat % than those who keep irregular sleeping hours.

But a healthier body weight and a good daily performance are just a couple of the many aspects of your health that a regular sleeping routine benefits. Other studies also show that a good sleeping pattern help to detox the brain, thus helping to get rid of some proteins known to be involved in Alzheimer's and dementia. A beauty sleep can also boost immunity and lower the risk of stroke.


Read more about the importance of sleeping well here.
    Week 5 (Jul)

Fiber- and protein-rich afternoon snacks can not only boost metabolism but hold you over till dinner, preventing carbs and sugar cravings and, in return, helping your weight loss journey.

So, if you have eaten some carbohydrates at lunch, a protein- and fiber-rich afternoon snack may keep you away from sleeping, thus keeping you active. And since both fibers and proteins help to keep you feeling full longer, the afternoon snack might help you better than any sugary snack and keep you away from cravings and snacking too much throughout all the afternoon till dinner.

Include both proteins (nuts, cheese, yogurt) and fibers (fruits, veggies, whole grains) in your afternoon snacks for a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Having a good circadian rhythm can not only improve sleep quality, but also regulate hormone release, body temperature, and boosting weight loss.

Circadian rhythm is the body's kind of 24-hour clock that regulates the sleep/wake body´s cycle in response to changes such as light and darkness. This body's rhythm translates into physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. This circadian clock enables us to adapt and anticipate changes in temperature, radiation, and the availability of food. Research suggests that it may play a role in weight homeostasis.

Research suggests that eating time may impact the success of weight loss plans. It has been found that late meals may desynchronize the internal body clock, that causing unexpected weight changes.

    Week 3 (Jul)
Research shows that only 15-30 minutes of low to moderately intensive exercise (3-4 times a week), can significantly reduce anxiety and stress, something especially important during this time of pandemics.

In addition to building physical strength, boosting health, and weight loss, interestingly, the effects of low-to-moderately intensive exercise can last even after a single session.

Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins (natural painkillers produced in the brain), which in turn improve sleeping time, thus helping to reduce the accumulated stress. Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic types of exercise help to decrease the overall levels of stress and tensions, elevating and stabilizing mood, and improving self-esteem. Only 5 minutes of intensive aerobic exercise is necessary to start noticing a notable decrease in anxiety.


Read more about intensive exercise here.
    Week 2 (Jul)

Studies have shown that in addition to building strength, physical activity can help you boost self-confidence, and release anxiety and stress.


In addition to building physical strength, exercise can improve mental health. Exercise has also been shown to reduce depression, anxiety, and bad mood as well as alleviating low self-esteem, lack of confidence, and social withdrawal. However, practicing regular exercise can dramatically boost self-esteem and cognitive function.

More and more studies are showing that exercise is highly beneficial for mental health. One area that has been widely studied is its impact on self-esteem, self-efficacy, and self-perceptions. Exercise is strongly associated with ‘the self’ improvement.


Try now.
    Week 1 (Jul)

Summer is here, so it is dehydration. Dehydration can be a major cause of fatigue throughout the day, especially if you are exposed to very hot weather. If you feel unenergetic, start by having a big glass of water.


Dehydration is a typical summer condition. Hot and humid weather can lead to body dehydration due to several reasons. Dehydration occurs if there is a mismatch and the amount of water leaving the body is higher than the amount of water being taken in.

Always drink enough water or eat water-rich fruits and vegetables. Apart from water, certain fruits and vegetables contain plenty of water in addition to healthful nutrients. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, and pineapples have high water content. Water-rich vegetables include cucumbers, leafy greens, radishes, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes.

Furthermore, being well-hydrated will keep you full more time so in turn helping you to lose or maintaining your weight.


Read more
Consuming alcohol near bedtime not only may disrupt your sleeping time and productivity the day after but might also interfere with weight loss and maintenance goals.

Alcohol is high in non-nutritious calories, so-called empty calories, and may interfere with weight loss/maintenance.

While stopping, cutting down, or not drinking alcohol at all might not necessarily translate into an immediate weight loss, it can definitely be a great first step. Alternatives are: drinking wine, unmixed spirits, or low-calorie / low-alcohol drinks or beers in moderate quantities.

It has been shown that people who are involved in regular aerobic exercise, not only can lose weight but also tend to be more creative.

It is well known that regular aerobic exercise such as running or brisk walk promotes weight loss and health. But exercise also seems to act as a cognitive enhancer promoting creativity.

In addition to creativity, exercise enhances brain function by helping nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the molecular basis for learning new things. For example, for kids with behavioral disorders like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and Asperger Syndrome, exercise has become essential for helping with appropriate development.

Read more
Studies show that sleep quality correlates to Body Mass Index (BMI). People who sleep an average of 7-8 hours of sleep have a lower BMI than those who sleep fewer hours.

A night of good sleep seems to be one of the keys to good health, and may also be key for maintaining a healthy weight. People who get too little sleep have a higher risk of weight gain and overweight/obesity than people who get 7-8 hours of sleep at night.

Back in 1998, 35 % of American adults were getting about 8 hours of sleep a night, but by 2005 the percentage dropped to 26 %. Studies conclude that a lack of sleep could be a major contributor to the current obesity epidemic in the U.S.


Read more
Healthy carbs, such as vegetables, fruit, pulses, legumes, unsweetened dairy products, and 100% whole grains, like brown rice, quinoa, wheat, and oat, can help you to lose weight.

If you are intenging to get energy for physical activity, simple carbs such as pasta, white bread, and processed cereals work well. But if you are intending to manage your weight, you should chose high-fiber carbohydrates.

Why is this happening? Those carbohydrates foods with high content of fiber take longer to break down. The rate at which this happens it is called the glycemic index. These foods also provide a wide variety of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, which are beneficial to health. The high content of fibre in these foods can help keep your bowel healthy and adds bulk to your meal, thus helping you to feel full longer and helping weight loss.


Read more
Studies show that people who eat breakfast are more prone to maintain weight loss. So, if you are trying to lose weight, better do not miss it!

The reason being, breakfast kick-starts metabolism, helping to burn calories throughout the day. Breakfast also provides the energy needed to get things done and help to focus on your activities. Those are just a few reasons why breakfast is probably the most important meal of the day.

Studies have found that people who eat breakfast are thinner than those who do not. The reason could be that eating foods enriched in protein and fiber in the morning can help to keep your appetite in check for the rest of the day. However, this does not guarantee that you will be fitting into any skinny jeans. You will still need to follow basic healthy habits guidelines.


Read more.
Listening to music can help exercise and increase speed. Music songs of 120-140 beats per minute seem to have the most motivating effect and produce the best performance.

Studies show that faster-paced music improves athletic performance when a person engages in low-to-moderate level exercise, either by increasing distance traveled, pace, or repetitions. The effects of music lead to high levels of endurance, power, productivity, or strength.

Choosing the music that you enjoy the most and that better fits your exercise routine can help to get more out of your exercise experience. Since everyone has a different ideal workout pace and intensity, determining exactly what tempo works for you may be a trial-and-error process, but studies show that 120-140 beats per minute produce the best results.


Learn more
Tracking what you eat (and move) can help you to reach your health goals. Try to log what you eat (and move) every day and you will see amazing results.

Regular self-monitoring can help you reach your health goals due to: 1) the positive reinforcement of making healthy choices, and 2) the positive benefits of creating a new habit. Virtual Personal Trainer's studies show that the choice of healthy meals and the consequent improvement of health is highly rewarding, increasing the probability of maintaining health-choice practices over time.

In other words, daily food (and exercise) logging by app (self-monitoring) allows us to see more clearly the right choices we are making, quickly correct wrong decisions and making smarter choices in the future.

Learn more.
Are you trying to lose weight? Studies show that good sleep can positively affect the numbers on the scale.

If you want to lose weight, experts say you need to get enough sleep. Specifically, researchers have shown that women who sleep less than 5 hours / night generally weigh more than women who sleep 7 hours / night. As for men, studies also have shown that a lack of sleep may affect the body’s regulation of neurotransmitters. So, men who only got 4 hours of sleep had increased ghrelin and decreased leptin compared to those who got 10 hours of sleep. The dysregulation of ghrelin / leptin may lead to increased appetite and diminished feelings of fullness in people who are sleep deprived, thus raising the chances of weight gain.

If you want to lose weight, make sure that you are getting sufficient sleep in addition to following a healthy diet and workout program. In other words, you will need approx. 7-8 hours of sleep / night.

Learn more.
Fiber-enriched foods can help weight loss by making you feel full longer, while improving your gut health. Eat legumes, grains, vegetable, fruits and nuts.

Experts recommend a daily target of 25 gr. of fiber for women, and 38 gr. for men.

High-fiber sources include:

  • Grains: barley, oatmeal, wheat, rice, and other cereals. Also, bread, pasta, grits, and tortillas.
  • Legumes: beans, chickpeas, and green peas.
  • Veggies: carrots, beets, broccoli, collard greens, swiss chard and artichoke.
  • Nuts: almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts, macadamias, and brazil nuts.
  • Fruits: apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.

Foods can contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Generally speaking, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher the content of fiber. Meat, dairy, and sugar ingredients do not contain fiber.

Protein-enriched breakfast can boost your metabolism for the day and can prevent carbs and sugar cravings, helping you to lose weight. Aim for at least 20 grams of high-protein meals for breakfast or afternoon snack.

You can easily get 20 grams of protein from some of these meals:

  • Crack Eggs.
  • Yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein Powder
  • Cheese
  • Tofu
  • Chili
  • Egg
  • Cereals
  • Tuna
  • Chia Pudding
  • Toast
  • Lettuce wrap
  • Avocado
  • Almonds
  • Roeasted Chicken
  • Quesadillas
  • Green beans
  • Brown rice
Not all fats are bad fats, there are also good fats such as the ones present in avocados, nuts and olive oil. These fats are beneficial for your health so Virtual Personal Trainer recommends you incorporate into your diet 5-6 spoons of healthy fats a day.

Good fats can be found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fish. Healthy fats become liquid at room temperature. There are 2 categories of good fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

Monounsaturated fats
Sources of monounsaturated fats are olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, most nuts, and high-oleic safflower and sunflower oils.

Polyunsaturated fats
There are 2 main types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids, both beneficial for health. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola oil, and unhydrogenated soybean oil. Foods rich in linoleic acid and other omega-6 fatty acids are vegetable oils such as safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut, and corn oils.

Late night caffeinated drinks like hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or cold drinks like cola or energy drinks can disrupt your beauty sleep affecting your performance the day after. As caffeine can take up to 10 hours to completely clear from bloodstream, better limit these drinks as you are getting closer to bed time.
Recent studies showed that High Intensity Training (HIIT) can be recognized from a safe and effective dose–response perspective as a promising approach for the improvement of the immune system and consequently for the prevention of respiratory diseases, includig Covid-19.
A regular bedtime and wake up routine will help you to feel more rested, energetic and focused throughout the day. Aim for a consistent sleep schedule for a better daily performance.
Aerobic activities help to balance the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone). Aim at least for a 30 mins walk or jogging during the day to keep stress away [ Read more]
Studies show that lack of sleep can increase the chances of weight gain, diabetes, heart disease and memory loss. Make sure you are having enough sleep (Adults ~ 7-9 hours; Babies, young children, and teens need more hours; People over 65 ~ 7-8 hous).
Experts recommend eating three servings of whole grains a day, such as brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, whole-wheat bread, pasta or crackers, as it is linked to weight loss and lower body weight.
Research shows that regular exercise not only help to lose weight, reduce anxiety, stress and the chance of heart disease, but also help to sleep faster, longer and wake up less, making your days way more productive. These easy to do fitness routines will only take 10-20 minutes.
When practicing intensive workout, leave a few hours (3-4) before bedtime. Studies show that vigorous exercise right before going to bed may release alertnness hormones and disrupt your beauty sleep.
The USDA recommends eating at least 2-3 cups of vegetable a day. Add a salad or any fresh or boiled veggies to your main meals, such as omelettes, soups, rice or pasta. Vegetables will make you feel full and help you to lose / maintain weight. Read more
During winter, people tend to get 15 mins more sleep, in average, compared to summer time. Longer winter nights allow more time for sleep, rest and rebuild, improving quality of living.
Long periods of uncertainty, such as current, can affect our emotional stability in the form of stress, which in turn can produce weight gain. It´s well known that exercise increases the overall health but also direct benefits over stress. Read more.
Studies showed that only 20 minutes of streng training, such as calisthenics, can boost self-confidence, which may also help release anxiety. Try now.
As a new year resolution, it is time now to getting rid of the extra pounds with four simple steps.
Try now.
After the storm, comes the calm. Being healthy minded is key to lose the accumulated pounds and get back in track. Read more.

2021

Temperatures around 20 C (68-69 F) are the best for a beauty sleep. Calibrate your bedding, heating and pijama choices to find out the best combination for a perfect sleep, body resting and recovering.
Do not let Xmas to ruin the hard work you have been doing through out the year. It´s time for action!!!. Find out more.
Research shows that only 15-30 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise, at least 3 times a week, can significantly reduce anxiety and stress, something specially important during Coronavirus time. And, interestingly, the effects can last even after a single session.
Research shows that regular exercise strengthens the heart and lower the resting heart rate over time, thus dramatically reducing the chance of suffering heart disease.
Studies show that even a little exercise can boost your mood. Try 30 mins walk or 10 mins of calisthenic to stay away for stress and anxiety specially during difficult times. Read more.
Reading and understanding food labels can help you to lose and maintain weight in a long run. Find out how here.
A lack of proper hydration during and after exercise can make you moody and lose focus throughout the day. Try to keep a bottle of water near you while working out. Read more.
Planning ahead what you eat can help you to reach your weight loss goals. Find out how to break down in calories, carbs, fats and proteins here.
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