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Just Make Exercise Fun

Just Make Exercise Fun

One way to improve your attitude toward your workout is to make exercise fun. While many people think only of working out at the gym when they think of exercising, but there’s more than one way to get into shape. Working out on specifics at the gym can be part of it, but not the only part. One way to make it more enjoyable even at the gym is to workout with friends. There are group classes that build comradery, while still providing a great workout. Another benefit is the improved motivation the workout provides.

Try something new and different at the gym.

Don’t stick with the same old program of going from machine to machine. It’s no wonder you look at working out as the bitter pill you have to take for your health. There are great workouts that are different and exciting. It’s one of the things that make people look forward to coming to The Worx. Whether you’re doing strength training or testing yourself in HIIT training, it’s always exciting and fun.

Spend a night dancing or a day hiking.

Getting out and socializing doesn’t mean you have to sit all evening. It can be an active evening or day together. Whether you go out dancing, hike a trail and end the day around a campfire or try rock climbing indoors, you’ll be getting the exercise you need and have fun at the same time. Besides, that’s what all the hard time at the gym is for, to give you the energy to have a great time having fun!

Get outside and enjoy Mother Nature and fresh air.

If you have children, it’s time to have fun with them and go to a zoo. There’s plenty of walking and maybe even some lifting to help the kids see the animals better. Riding a bike can lead you to adventure when you take the roads less traveled. Pack a picnic lunch and eat along the route. Make sure you have reflectors or get back home before dark, as well as the proper safety equipment.

  • Learn some healthy recipes and celebrate with friends when you’ve reached a fitness goal. You’ll probably have them begging you for the recipe.
  • Try something fun that you did as a child. Go to the playground and swing, skip rope, hula hoop or jump on a Pogo stick. They’ll all give you a good workout.
  • Sign up for a weekend sports group. Whether they play hockey, shoot hoops or any other physical activity, you’ll even have more energy because of your workout and enjoy the workout with your group.
  • Try kettlebells. These are a blast to work with and can make each workout more fun.

How Healthy Are You Really?

How Healthy Are You Really?

How healthy are you really? There are a number of tests your doctor can take to assess your overall health. These involve levels of important nutrients in the body, tests for illnesses to catch them early and blood pressure tests. While these may judge your physical state of health at the present, projecting whether you have an illness or deficiency, they don’t project where you’ll be in the future or assess your overall lifestyle and whether it’s aimed at continued fitness. Some people have the benefit of genetic predisposition to good health, but if they don’t follow a healthy lifestyle, that good health can quickly disappear.

Do you eat in a healthy manner and are the foods healthy?

One of the lifestyle changes that can affect you the most is how and what you eat. I know most of the time we focus on the foods you put into your mouth, but the way you eat is also important. Do you eat slowly, savoring every bite or woof down your food just to fill your belly. It makes a difference. People who eat slower and masticate each bite into a slurry, not just bite once or twice and swallow. Taking more time will help you feel full before the end of the meal and digest your food better, getting more nutrients. You probably already know that junk food and a poor diet lead you down the path to poor health, so I don’t need to reiterate that point.

Do you get enough exercise to stay fit and live an active lifestyle?

Working out in the gym isn’t enough, but it is the means to the ultimate goal. The goal is to be fit enough to live a long active life. The ability to stay active in life and enjoy every minute is the true goal. It’s not how great you look at the gym or how hard you workout, that’s just vehicle to reach your goal. What are you doing with that extra energy and fitness? Are you enjoying your favorite pastime that was too strenous before you began the program? Whether you choose to expend that energy doing home improvement, dancing the night away or skiing down the slopes, you should enjoy the new energy level you have.

Are you happy?

That’s often a tough question for people to answer, after all, how do you define happy? Is it accumulating “things” because others think they’re important or living the way you want, which may or may not include the accumulation of the trappings of success? Are experiencing things you believe are life-enriching or just going through the motions of life? Each minute of life is precious. Learn what makes you happy. You’ll often be surprised at what it is. Many times, it’s helping others find their true happiness and reach their goals in life. I know that’s one of the things that makes me happiest.

  • Do you have a good social life? Studies show that people who are more social, live longer and healthier.
  • Do you get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your body and your mind. Even if you have tons of work, you need to get adequate sleep. You’ll get your work done faster and more efficiently when you’re physically and mentally refreshed with sleep.
  • Do you drink enough water throughout the day. Your body is 60% water and brain approximately 80%. If you’re dehydrated, nothing functions well.
  • Do you abuse alcohol, nicotine or drugs? This often relates back to happiness in life. Do what it takes to free yourself from these habits.

A Little Attitude Makes A Big Difference

A Little Attitude Makes A Big Difference

A little attitude makes a big difference if you want to get the best results from your workout. Consider the way you felt the first day at the gym. You were probably a bit intimidated. You gingerly walked through each exercise, sometimes looking like you were trying, but in reality, there was part of you holding back and not giving it your all. As you built your confidence, you became more adept at each exercise, but are you giving it your all? Dig deep into your thoughts and you’ll probably see that the effort you put into the workout is good, but definitely not your all.

What is holding you back?

Lots of things can prevent someone giving less than their best. One of those things is intimidation. The intimidation comes from the concern that if total effort is put forth and the results aren’t as good as expected, you’ve failed. Nothing could be further from the truth. First, results will come and they grow exponentially based on the effort you put into the program. Don’t worry about failure, it’s not an option unless you allow it to become one.

A sassy “can-do” attitude will get you further.

Sure, you have to listen, you have to take instruction on the movements and follow the program outlined, but it doesn’t mean you have to be humble or timid. Digging deep inside yourself and finding the courage to develop the confidence to believe you’re capable of anything you set your mind to doing helps. If you need to make noise while you’re doing each move, give out a good, loud “Hoooha” or “Argh!” You need to do what it takes and never worry about what anyone else thinks….that’s pure attitude.

Ignore negative advice in your everyday world beyond the gym.

Whether it’s learning to eat healthy, working out or just getting self-confidence, there are always people in your close circle of friends and family that won’t be able to handle the change you’re making. They’re either jealous or worried that you’ll start looking and feeling so good that you’ll leave them. Get your attitude on and ignore the toxic people and reassure those you care about that you’re not going anywhere. In fact, reach out and invite them to your new world.

  • There are so many different attitudes about what you should do with your life, but the only one that counts is what you want.
  • It’s not selfish to spend time getting fit. In fact, quite the contrary. People who are out of shape can’t handle the demands of everyday life and accomplish far less. They often get sick quickly and require others to take care of them.
  • Desiring to look good isn’t vain anymore than working hard to get a promotion at work is. When you get fit and look great, it’s an accomplishment you should be proud of.
  • A confident attitude can help you in every part of your life, not just in the gym.

Should You Avoid Acidic Foods?

Should You Avoid Acidic Foods?

There are people who swear by the alkaline diet, saying it makes them healthier and can even be a cure for cancer. To add to this, many any people are confused on the subject of acidic foods. Should you avoid acidic foods or should they be included in your diet? Before that question is answered, you have to know exactly what acidic foods are. You might think a lemon is acidic…and you’d be right and yet wrong at the same time. While lemons are high in acid, they actually leave an alkaline ash in the urine. Sugary products, on the other hand, may taste sweet and have no sign of acidity when you eat them, leave an acidic ash in the urine. According to the myth of alkaline and acid forming foods, the foods actually change the blood pH, which is untrue. They only change the pH of the urine because of the ash left behind.

Acid forming foods leave your body acidic and forced to work harder to normalize.

Water is neutral with a pH value of 7.0. Below 7.0 is acidic and above it is alkaline. The body needs blood to be at a pH of approximately 7.3 to 7.45. When you eat food, it doesn’t remain the same pH. It goes into the stomach that has highly acidic stomach acid. When all is said and done, the residue of the food, the ash, evacuates the body in the urine. That’s why testing urine can show alkalinity or acidity.

Fruits and vegetables leave an alkaline ash.

While the diet may be based on bad science, since the ash doesn’t change the blood in any manner, it’s actually very healthy. Foods that leave the highest alkalinity are often plant based, those leaving ash that’s higher in acidity are often processed. While the basic theory for the diet is a bit flawed, the foods it recommends are actually very healthy. They tend to be primarily fruits, sprouts and vegetables. These are included in healthy eating.

Acid forming foods are often highly processed foods and normally not part of a healthy diet.

While there are some healthy foods on the acidic list, there are also many foods you would want to avoid or limit on any type of diet. You are allowed to have some of these foods, but focus mainly on alkaline ones, like greens. Meat, dairy, legumes, nuts and eggs should be eaten in moderation according to proponents, with alcohol, refined sugar products and refined white flour products avoided. It sounds like a healthy diet plan to me.

– Does the alkaline diet make the body healthier? The answer is yes, but not for the reasons given by proponents. It provides foods that boost the body’s immune system and improves overall health, as long as it’s not adhered to rigidly—omitted important sources of protein.

– What are some of the claims of the alkaline diet? The diet has claimed to cure everything from kidney problems to cancer. While there is research that identifies that the foods you eat play a huge role in your overall good health, there are no studies showing this diet does that. It’s healthy and does give the body a fighting chance to heal itself.

– The alkaline diet requires you to test your body’s urine with a pH strip to find its alkalinity. Instead, you’re simply measuring the alkalinity of the waste products from your body.

– Those who strictly adhere to the diet, leave out important sources of protein necessary to for a healthy diet. This can actually create health problems.


Healthy Foods That Can Make You Fat

Healthy Foods That Can Make You Fat

Everyone who is concerned about their weight and overall good health knows that to be healthy and fit, you need to eat healthy. Eating healthy is important in weight loss too, but there are healthy foods that can make you fat if you make them the star of your diet and consume too much. While you’ll never get fat no matter how much celery you eat every day, these healthy foods should be consumed with more caution because of their effect on your weight.

Is your granola or trail mix snack packed with nutrients or calories.

A healthy snack is important and two of the easiest snacks to carry and munch on in the afternoon are granola and trail mix. The fruit and nuts of the trail mix provide nutrition and energy to help you make it through until supper time, curbing your appetite in the process. The problem occurs with ingredients and portion size. Many of the commercially made mixes contain honey to make it more palatable, dried fruit and even chocolate. The serving size is about four tablespoons or a quarter cup. If you stick to one serving and check the ingredients, it’s not a problem. Most people don’t and wonder why this healthy snack is making them fat.

Are protein bars your nemesis or friend?

Again, manufacturers have taken a good thing and run with it to the far end of the field. Most protein bars are loaded with sugar or they would otherwise taste…well…healthy. In this case, it’s not a good adjective. Before you grab a box off the shelf as your go to snack, read the label. Does it provide as many nutrients as it should for the amount of calories you’re consuming or is it just a glorified candy bar? In many cases, a piece of fresh fruit would be lower in calories, be more filling and have more nutrition.

That healthy avocado should be eaten in moderation.

The avocado has come into its own in the world of healthy eating. It’s packed with healthy fats that keep your heart in better shape by lowering cholesterol levels. It can improve your skin, reduce the risk of cancer and help prevent diabetes. So, what’s not to love about this amazing superfood? It’s high in fat. Even though it’s loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals, it’s also loaded with fat. No matter how healthy the fat is, it’s still loaded with calories and when weight loss is important, lowering caloric intake is the goal. You can eat them, but sparingly.

– Dried fruit provides nutrients packaged in a smaller wrap than its fresh counterpart and that’s the problem. While it’s healthy, it’s less filling than fresh fruit and easy to eat more calories than you should. It’s also loaded with sugar that can play havoc with blood sugar levels.

– If you’re going gluten free because you think it’s healthier, not because of celiac disease, be aware that many gluten free products are calorie dense and more fattening than the gluten containing products they replace.

– Yogurt is good for you and a great addition to a diet, unless it’s flavored yogurt. The manufacturer sweetens the taste with sugar and fruit. You can create a healthier version by adding your own fresh fruit to plain yogurt.

– Tofu may be a healthy alternative, but it can also add pounds if it’s fried. It’s a sponge for the oil and soaks up calories to pass on to you.


From Heavy To Healthy

From Heavy To Healthy

Going from heavy to healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, it can be both fun and revitalizing. Anyone can do it, but they have to be willing to pay the price. The price is hard work, healthy eating and determination. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it will all be work. When you use boxing as one of the vehicles to get fit, you get lots of bonuses. No, you don’t have to spar with large cuts of beef or get up at the crack of dawn to run around town like Rocky Balboa, but you will have to stick with a program designed to get you to your goal.

Where you do it, how you do it and who you do it with makes a difference.

While getting fit isn’t easy, it’s far easier when you have a supportive environment than it is doing it on your own. It’s just to easy when you’re on your own to slip back into old habits and skip today’s workout, until there’s no workout at all. If you’re like most people I’ve trained who wanted to shed pounds, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A supportive friendly environment is one where you share common goals with others. They care about your success as much as their own and you feel a sense of belonging.

Setting a goal necessary.

You can have several goals at once. That’s right. While your primary goal may be weight loss and fitness, another goal will be improved performance. One reason people love boxing is that they tend to forget about losing weight and focus on getting better at boxing. Getting better at boxing means getting fitter, stronger and losing weight in most cases, by focusing on footwork, form, strength, reflexes and more. It’s all exercise, but you quit thinking of it as exercise and the drive to get better keeps you going so there’s no “bored out of your mind” waiting to finish reps or watching the clock intently to get done as soon as possible.

You won’t be fit if you use the wrong fuel.

Nutrition plays a huge role in getting fit and slimming. There are no top-notch boxers that earned titles while eating fries and burgers during training. Having the right nutrition does not mean dieting. It means eating healthy. There’s no starvation, no hunger and definitely no junk food. Sure, you can occasionally indulge, but only occasionally. Once you get into the spirit of boxing, you won’t even want do that. You’ll want to find all the ways to become your best and win, not only in the ring, but in life.

– The mental side of boxing is ultra important and accounts for the successful weight loss of most participants. It teaches mental toughness and the drive to succeed.

– Whether male or female, you’ll find you have a whole new confidence about yourself. You’ll know you can handle anything and even defend yourself in a tough situation.

– You’ll notice the pounds coming off, but the real victory will be in the boost of energy, improvement of strength, newly gained flexibility and agility.

– You’ll make friends who are also hungry for victory against excess weight. They’ll not only provide motivation to continue, they’ll often share experiences and even some healthy recipes that they’ve learned on their journey.


Questions You Should Ask Before Starting A New Workout Routine

Questions You Should Ask Before Starting A New Workout Routine

If you finally decided to get up off the couch and start a new workout routine, you need to start with one important question. How is my health? While you need exercise to maintain good health, overdoing it if you have a health condition already can be disastrous. Get a check-up first to determine if you need to approach any areas with caution. High blood pressure, diabetes, joint problems and risk factors for stroke or heart disease need to be considered when creating a plan. I want to know about your special needs and adjust for them, but if you don’t know, you can’t tell me. Check with your health care specialist first.

Is this the best workout for me?

You may have read about the workout all the celebrities do or the latest craze at the gyms and decided to try it. Because something is popular, it doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. One of my clients is almost 70 and while she needs a lot of work on cardiovascular exercises, she’s stronger than women in their 40s and far more flexible than most women in their 20s. Her workout is not what normal women her age require. Everyone is different and that’s why personal trainers take the time to assess each person individually.

Am I overdoing or slacking off when I do this routine?

That question is one of the reasons many people choose to work with a personal trainer. Judging your own fitness level can be difficult. Some people push well beyond their ability and make two potential mistakes. They either are too sore to continue the routine for a week or two or injure themselves because their form suffers when trying to do more than their body can handle. On the other end of the spectrum are the people who pamper themselves and quit just before the exercise is most effective. Again, this is why a personal trainer is important and can help provide the guidance necessary to get the results you desire.

Is this routine going to be the best to help me achieve my goals?

If your goal is to shed weight, but you don’t have any strength building exercises, it will help you reach your goal, but not as much as if you included strength building. Anyone who needs to improve endurance, still needs some flexibility, strength and balance exercises, but not as their primary focus. As a trainer, I want to know your goals first, before I create your program. It’s part of the process to achieve the best workout for your needs.

– Am I going to have time to do this type of workout? If you’re planning a two hour a day regimen and only have a half hour a day, you won’t achieve your goals. Tone it down and get realistic.

– Does my schedule accommodate this workout routine. This is different from having time to do the routine. If you choose a gym that only is open while you’re at work, you’ve eliminated five possibly six days when you can exercise.

– Am I motivated to stick with the program? If you’re exercising on your own and decide running is the way to get fit, but you hate running, you’ll fail. Switch to something you like, such as biking.

– Can my budget afford it? I do believe that exercise is so important, but not if it jeopardizes putting food on the table or paying a mortgage. That’s why I have so many different types of classes and even some free ones. There’s even one that’s slightly more than $2 a day. Reduce your stress and keep fitness workouts affordable.


Undo the Weekend (48 hour recovery)

Undo the Weekend (48 hour recovery)

What a weekend that was! You went out, you ate and drank and had a blast! And now the fun is over and the consequences are setting in…you feel terrible. You woke up with a headache, an overall feeling of bloating and a sluggishness that you can’t shake.

It’s time to undo the damage brought on from that epic weekend. Here’s how…

  1. No More Junk! It may sound obvious, but the first step to recovering from all that fun you had is to stop the damage. No more naughty foods. No more alcohol.

When you are vacationing or partying it’s easy to remove your mindful eating and drinking mechanism, and to replace it with the anything-goes mindset. This makes sense for party-mode, but once you come back home and get back to real life it’s important to firmly put an end to the junk food and calorie-laden beverages. If you don’t then your weekend diet may continue into your week, resulting in tons of extra calories that quickly add up in unwanted pounds.

  1. Flush Your System. For the next 48 hours your main mission is to drink as much water as possible.

All of those poor food and drink choices result in dehydration, which manifests in a pounding headache and a feeling of sluggishness. Plan to sip on water throughout the next two days, adding in fresh sliced fruit, cucumbers, mint or basil to add a refreshing and rewarding flavor.

  1. Get Some Rest. End the party or vaycay Sunday afternoon so that you can get into bed early in preparation for the week ahead.

It may not sound super exciting to plan an early-to-bed night at the end of your weekend but, come Monday morning, you will be functioning much better with a little rest under your belt. Plan to get to bed early the next couple of days as well, and fit in a nap if possible.

  1. Eat Cleansing Foods. You’ve stopped eating junk, now fill your diet with small light meals consisting of fiber and a serving of protein. Stick with only whole foods for the next 48 hours.

Fruits and fresh veggies should make up the bulk of your calories as you recover. Asparagus, leafy greens, citrus fruits, and raw veggies are all wonderful items to enjoy in addition to high quality, low fat protein.

  1. Avoid Going Extreme. Yes, you ate and drank a LOT this weekend, but swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction isn’t actually going to help. Overcompensation is rarely a winning idea.

Fight the urge to skip meals or to over-exercise in response to your indulgences. Going from one extreme to the other creates a bad cycle that leaves you feeling even more tired. In addition, taking your body from feast to famine will actually make you more prone for fat storage.

Getting and staying in great shape will not only help you bounce back from the weekend faster, it will also help you achieve healthy habits that will stick with you even as you party and vacation.

My programs are designed with your overall lifestyle in mind and I’m here to get you (and keep you) in your best shape ever!

Call or email me now to get started on a fitness program that’s specially designed for you. Let’s do this!

www.theworxbymaia.com


What You Should Teach Your Kids About Nutrition

What You Should Teach Your Kids About Nutrition

kids nutritionAnyone that’s struggled with extra pounds often found out the problem came from poor eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. As a mom, I want my children to get the best start in life that’s possible and I know most of my clients that are mothers feel the same. Knowing what to teach your kids about nutrition is often one of the problems parents face. But it’s one that’s easily solved.

Set a good example for the kids.

Kids learn to eat by what they’re served at home. Sure you’ve always got the picky eater who won’t touch the broccoli and tries to feed his or her Brussels sprouts to the dog, but with so many healthy recipes and healthy choices, you’re bound to find something that fits their palate as well as yours and is low in calories and high in nutrition. We tend to eat what we know, so make sure all snacks and meals are healthy and they’ll not only get a healthy start, it will probably continue the rest of their life.

Make it a rainbow and unicorn meal.

Okay, maybe unicorns aren’t part of the meal—especially not the meat part! The plates can be filled with a rainbow of color that will provide a wealth of nutrition. Choosing a fruits and vegetables in a wide variety of colors is a simple way to not only create a great looking plate of food, but one that’s packed with loads of different vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Make eating healthy a game.

You can make it like a scavenger hunt, collecting and eating different vegetables and fruit. Keep a scoreboard listing the different vegetables each child that ate during the week and/or day. Creating fun displays like a whale from a watermelon stuffed with a mix of watermelon and other fresh fruit in its mouth. A pineapple porcupine and vegetable flowers make eating healthy more fun.

Have healthy snacks ready and in the refrigerator. It’s easier to eat healthy when there’s no effort involved. If it’s all ready to eat, the kids will help themselves.

Have them help you cook and make healthy meals. There are some simple tasks that don’t require knives or have anything to do with fire that young children can do. Older children can even find recipes and help create new delights for the meal.

Grow a garden. Even if you don’t have yard space, many vegetables can be grown in pots. Those will be more desirable to eat than store bought food. Find a U-pick and take the kids along if you’re just getting started and a garden is out of the question.

Take the kids to the grocery to help you shop. Show them how to pick healthy food. Teach them to read labels for ingredients and if they can’t pronounce the words or it sounds like a bad science experiment, it’s time to find something else to eat.


Fruits That Are A Sweet Treat

Fruits That Are A Sweet Treat

sweat treat fruitOnce you develop the habit of eating healthy, you’ll look forward to fruits that are a sweet treat, rather than the baked goods composed mostly of sugar and lard. They leave you more refreshed and actually have flavor, unlike some of the cardboard tasting treats you were used to eating. When you need a boost in the afternoon and a sweet snack sounds like it would hit the spot, try a medjool date stuffed with a teaspoon of organic unsalted almond butter. Medjool dates are large and super sweet. The combination will boost your energy level without spiking it, then suddenly dropping.

Get a cool summer frozen treat that’s both healthy and yummy.

How does a frozen chocolate banana sound? Pretty delicious, but also pretty fattening. Don’t worry these are made with dark chocolate, and each one is less than 100 calories. These are the perfect summer snack and made by cutting a banana in half. On the cut side, slip a Popsicle stick into the center to create your banana pop and freeze. When it’s frozen, it’s time to melt mini dark chocolate chips. Hold the banana over the bowl and spoon two teaspoons on each banana half. It should harden immediately and create this delicious treat you’ll want to have ready when hunger hits.

Fruit is getting a bad rap.

You hear lots of celebrities talk about cutting out the fruit from their diet because of the sugar, but it’s still a great diet choice in my book. You’ll be more apt to eat an apple rather than celery if you’re hungry for a candy bar and find it fills the bill. A sugary sweet slice of watermelon will keep your sweet tooth satisfied. While it’s true, there’s sugar in fruit, it comes in a package that contains other benefits, such as fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients. Blueberries contain anthocyanins to help prevent colon cancer and mangoes have a substance that prevents, slows and stops the growth of both breast and colon cancer cells.

Fruit is great for a snack before working out.

You’ll get plenty of fuel and energize your body when you have a fruit snack before you exercise. A study that compared sports drinks to eating a banana before cycling at top speed, found the banana superior in several ways. It triggered the release of dopamine faster and provided far more nutrition than the sports drink. Raisins, the grandmother of grapes—actually, it’s more like the reverse, but grapes are so shriveled!—did just as well as bananas, but had even more minerals and the prebiotic inulin.

Just because fruit is good for you, it doesn’t mean you can go overboard. Try to stick with just two servings a day, but when you have a huge work load that requires a little more energy, one more piece of won’t hurt and may really help.

You’ll get antioxidants from fruit that can keep your skin looking younger and keep you healthier by protecting the cells from damage, including sun exposure and pollution.

If you’re counting carbs, the number vary from fruit to fruit. Bananas and grapes are on the high end with cantaloupe and berries on the low side.

The best way to have fruit is whole fruit. Juice doesn’t fill you as much and has less fiber. A cup of juice has far more calories than a cup of the fruit it came from.