Fitness & Wellness

Have A Guilt Free Thanksgiving

%image_alt%You don’t have to give up all the pleasures of the holidays just because you’re dieting. You can have a guilt free Thanksgiving and enjoy the bounty that this holiday is best known. Eating healthy doesn’t mean starving yourself. In fact, it’s far from that. Most people that opt for a program of healthy eating find they’re eating more, enjoying it more and feeling great when they see the pounds come off and their energy level rising. There are some things you can do to stay on track and still celebrate with the family, enjoying every minute of the holiday. You’ll be thankful you did.

Learn to eat some foods in moderation.

You can still have a slice of pie or a serving of mashed potatoes, but in moderation. Learning which foods spell trouble for your waistline can help you choose alternatives that are bound to be at the table and nobody will be the wiser. Be aware of the best choices if you have several selections. Pumpkin pie may be a better choice than pecan pie for calorie savings and choosing a small dab of whipped cream or none at all may be a better choice. Even though whipped cream is far higher in calories, whipped topping contains some dubious ingredients that have negative effects on the body. There’s approximately 75 extra calories for whipped cream, but it may end up worth the extra 75 calories.

Make your contribution lower in calories and higher in nutrition.

Most family get-togethers are potluck style, where everyone brings a dish. You can make a healthy contribution by using a recipe that’s good for you, lower in calories and tastes delicious. You may even end up being a trendsetter, helping your whole family to enjoy healthier food. Change the way you make your favorite dish, such as using a lower calorie crust for pies or adding less butter to the mashed potatoes and making it butter from grass fed cows.

Learn what to eat more of and what to barely sample.

Everyone notices when people shun the dish they brought, which may be the food you love the most! Rather than giving up your favorite marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole that Aunt Meg makes, fill your plate with healthier options and put a spoonful prominently in view. Take fewer marshmallows and more sweet potatoes in the process. She’ll notice you took some but be way to busy to notice how much. You’ll have the pleasure of eating your favorite food, but in far more moderation.

Stick with the least processed foods and fill up on whole foods at the veggie tray. Bring a low calorie healthy dip as an extra dish for the family to sample. Let them know it’s a new recipe you just had to try, but not that it’s a lower calorie healthier version.

If you’ve tried your hardest, but still ended up gobbling everything in sight, it shouldn’t end your program of healthy eating. Even the fittest, trimmest people gorge themselves on high calorie foods, but then go back to old eating habits.

Make sure the turkey is roasted on a rack so the fat can drip down and if deep frying it is a new family tradition, you use the right oil and a high temperature that seals the skin to avoid absorption of fat.

Start your Thanksgiving off right. After you start the turkey, go for a walk or a run. Exercise inside if walking or running isn’t an option and get at least a half hour of it. Exercise helps relieve the stress and can make you feel less hungry.


Favorite Cheat Meal

cheat-mealEveryone has a favorite cheat meal that is loaded with calories and provides far less nutrients per calorie consumed. If you’re already familiar with the concept of eating healthy, you already know that you don’t have to give that food up entirely, just eat it far less frequently. Instead of once a day or once a week, wean yourself to less frequently and also choose smaller portions. Let’s face it, portion control is part of the whole healthy eating program so eating an entire pie, even once in a while, can be disastrous. However, a smaller slice occasionally will barely be noticed. One more thing, those small slices occasionally shouldn’t include a small slice at 10:00 am, then another at noon and finally two more later in the afternoon and evening.

Find a great alternative.

As you make your way into the world of healthy foods, you’re bound to find several foods you really like. Keep searching if you haven’t found it already. It can be a little less “dangerous” than your favorite cheat food, but that means you can eat a little more of it. The lower the calorie count and the higher in nutrition it is, the more you can consume. Learn to use this as your celebration food or comfort food. Texture counts, particularly when it comes to comfort food. If you’re a cruncher and eat food to eliminate anger, (remember exercise does that too!) find a crunchy food. If you love a smooth creamy comfort from dishes like mashed potatoes, find a smooth creamy alternative. Exercise also helps lift your spirits, so try that first.

Fill up before you eat it.

Savor the experience before you gobble up that cheat food and fill your belly with healthy food in the process. You won’t be as tempted to eat the whole bag of cookies if you’ve just filled up on a large meal and will be able to stop eating those chips quicker. You may even find you don’t really want them anymore once you’re full.

Learn to make your food differently.

Cheat foods can become part of your diet again if you learn to make them healthier. Love that pizza? You don’t have to give it up entirely, just learn to make it healthier and with fewer calories. A cauliflower crust is healthier and tastes extremely good, while healthy toppings add to the enjoyment. Modifying recipes for healthy eating can be fun and an adventure you’ll probably enjoy. It also allows you to stick to healthy eating and savor the foods that used to mean cheating.

Don’t throw in the towel if you cheat a little. Get back on the healthier path of eating as soon as possible. Even a week of eating unhealthy doesn’t mean you should forget the whole thing. It’s just a tiny detour.

Don’t forget to exercise. That stress you’re feeling can be helped far better by exercise rather than eating. Feeling blue, take a brisk walk, run or workout hard and you’ll soon find you’re spirits rising.

Experiment with new foods and make new associations. If you try something new every day for a while, you’re bound to find a recipe that you absolutely love or a food that fits perfectly in place of the cheat food.

Water is your best friend. When out for drinks with friends, a glass of water can take the place of the calorie laden alcohol selections. Find a lower calorie drink if you must and follow it with water chasers.


Halloween Havoc

Halloween Havoc

Don’t be subject to Halloween havoc on your weight loss program. Be prepared for the holiday and have healthy snacks on board. If you’re like me and most people I know, at one time or other, you’ve purchased Halloween candy only to have to repurchase more before it was time for trick-or-treaters to come to your door. Goblins didn’t take it and the dog didn’t steal it, you opened the bag for just one sampling and before you know it the whole thing was gone, one treat at a time. That’s a sure way to slow a weight loss program down, but you can do some things to change that right from the start.

Switch to healthy snacks for trick-or-treaters.

Who said you had to give out sugary treats? Sure, giving the trick-or-treaters rice cakes would end up getting a lot of grumbling and may”tricks,” too, but there are some great alternatives that are also healthy and yummy. Give out small individual bags of popcorn, fresh fruit or even small boxes of raisins. For a little more, individual sized roasted almonds are a good choice. Consider cutting out candy entirely and giving small novelty items like those packaged for Halloween party treats. That helps remove some of the temptation from the house and keeps the kids a bit healthier.

Burn more energy by dressing up and getting active.

Become a costumed Halloween trickster or throw a party and have active games. You’ll be getting exercise and have a lot of fun in the process. Don’t pass up any opportunities to be more active during this season. Walk with your kids if they’re trick or treating in the neighborhood. Join the kids by volunteering to help out the school’s or town’s Halloween party and take any job that keeps you active and moving.

Don’t despair if you couldn’t help eating some of the kids Halloween candy.

One of the nice things about choosing healthy eating over dieting is that it never ends, even if you ate a few or many of the kids’ treats. All it means is…well…you ate them, but not that everything is ruined. Get back on track the next day and eat smarter. Take the steps at work, walk from the furthest parking spot to the store or spend a few extra minutes exercising for a week or so and you’ll be back on track. Eating healthy and losing weight means changing your lifestyle and eating habits, one small slip shouldn’t change them back.

Halloween or not, always have healthy snacks ready. You can take them to work for mid-morning and afternoon snacks and have some in the fridge for those cravings in the evening.

Stay active. Plan some Halloween activities that are both fun and active. Going dancing, hiking to see the fall colors and even some outside activities with the children can keep you healthier while having fun.

Put joy into the season. Halloween is a fun semi-holiday, where everyone can have fun. If you hate the thought of trick-or-treaters, costumes and all the holiday glitz, try changing your attitude and get more involved. You may even look forward to it next year.

If you seriously worry about “falling off the wagon” and not being able to get back on track, talk to me or one of the other members of the team. We support you in your effort.


Fall Into Fitness

Runner

As the seasons change and fall comes upon us, it’s time to make this new season one devoted to fitness. Everything changes and you can too. No matter how out of shape you are, you can turn it around and the time to start is now. If you’re not already working out, start by using one of our specials or a boot camp to kick off your new healthier season. By the time it’s New Year’s eve, you’ll be a whole new person, healthier and with lots more energy.

Don’t put off the change until the New Year.

Too many people wait to make a New Year’s resolution of fitness. I say there’s no better time than today to “fall into fitness.” In fact, by starting now you’ll not only be looking great for the holidays and have a wealth of nutritional knowledge to know exactly what foods to choose for a yummy, yet healthy Thanksgiving meal, you’ll also have all the energy you need for the preparation for those wonderful family get-togethers.

Stay healthier as winter approaches.

The winter season is the cold and flu season, but you can help protect yourself from serious illness by starting a program of healthy eating and exercise today. Both healthy eating and exercise help boost your immune system. Healthy eating provides many nutrients and phytonutrients that add protection right down to the cellular level. Exercise also stimulates the brain to create antioxidants and the body doesn’t stop manufacturing them when you end your exercise session but keeps on producing these cell saving protectors.

You’ll be burning off the hormones of stress.

Nobody can stop stress in their life, no matter how hard they try. It’s just part of living. A traffic jam, crying baby or angry boss can trigger it. It’s beneficial if you’re running from real danger, but in normal situations it makes changes to your body that can create health problems and even cause abdominal fat. Exercise burns off those hormones and gets you back to normal.

Exercise not only burns off hormones created by stress, it also stimulates the brain to create ones that make you feel fantastic. You’ll be getting a double dose of happy when you workout regularly.

You’ll look and feel years younger when you exercise on a regular basis. Exercise improves circulation and sends nutrient and oxygen laden blood to all parts of your body.

Fitness includes both healthy eating and regular exercise. Healthy eating isn’t dieting, but instead making smarter choices when it comes to food. You’ll never feel deprived.

Every minute you exercise adds seven healthy active minutes to your life. You’ll not only add more years to your life, you’ll add more life to those years.


Want To Be Faster?

be-fasterYou have no limitations when it comes to fitness. You can be faster, stronger and healthier than you’ve ever been, but you have to believe in yourself enough to stick with your goals. Up until 1954, everyone thought that breaking the four minute mile barrier was impossible. That’s until Roger Bannister, an Englishman, ran the mile on the Iffley Road Track at Oxford in four minutes. Only a few months later, both he and John Landy ran the mile in under four minutes in a Vancouver competition. Since then, many athletes have proven it was a not just a possibility, but they could run even faster. That’s because they now believed it possible because of Bannister and learned ways to make it happen.

If you believe you can achieve.

There’s no magic in the power of belief, although it may seem like it. The magic comes when you believe strongly enough you’ll push yourself past limitations and make the right decisions to get you to your goals. Those decisions are more than just how much to train. They’re also about getting the appropriate help to make you reach your goals.

As a personal trainer, I can help you learn the best training techniques.

I also can help you break your goals down into smaller, more easily achievable goals to help boost your confidence and believe in you until you can fully believe in yourself. Every person is capable of greatness, he or she just doesn’t always know it. Awakening to that fact can come with the help of someone who sees the talent you have and also knows how to bring it majestically to the surface.

The power of goal setting, belief, good training and tenacity can help you achieve any goals.

Most people enjoy sports but sometimes fail to see the lessons that can be learned while participating. It’s not all about winning and beating others, although winning is nice, your biggest competitor is yourself. Learning to set goals to improve your performance translates to all walks of life, so what you learned on the race track will someday help you in the boardroom.

While any type of training helps you stay fit and sometimes improve, the right type of training will prepare your muscles and body for excellence.

One of my biggest pleasures as a personal trainer is to see the difference I make in people’s lives. They come in defeated and a few months later, I see a new, more confident person emerge from that shell of defeat.

What you eat is important to your overall health, well being and sports performance. I’ll help you learn how to eat healthier.

I’ll help you learn the most efficient exercise methods that get results fastest to shorten the time to your goal, but you have to do the work and believe the results will come. That’s what makes an excellent athlete.


Let The Journey Begin

the Journey

When you set any goal the road to it is the journey that can be as much fun as seeing the final results. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to realize the same exercise you could barely do just a few weeks ago is now simple and almost easy. You’ll also love the fact that what you once thought was impossible you know do with ease. Watching the changes is just part of the enjoyment when you set a fitness, or any other goal. It’s part of the enjoyment of the journey.

The road to fitness doesn’t have to be lonely, in fact it should be fun.

Working out with others may seem intimidating at first, but it really becomes addictive. You’ll make friends that will soon become your support team, just as you will become theirs. One thing is certain when you try to change, not everyone wants to see it happen. They aren’t being mean, they just hate anything that changes the status quo or worry that you’ll leave them behind. That’s one reason it’s important to workout with others and have friends striving toward the similar fitness goals. Not only do they make it more fun, they give you the feedback you need to achieve.

Achieving fitness goals gives you confidence while improving your overall health.

Lots of times people give the credit to their new found confidence to the good feeling they get when they see themselves in the mirror. That’s only part of the picture. When you achieve a goal that took hard work and perseverance, you change. You start to see other areas where you can achieve more and begin to believe you can do it. Setting and achieving a goal, no matter how small, gives you self esteem and that provides the belief you can do almost anything.

You’ll become a warrior.

Becoming a warrior doesn’t mean you’ll be vicious or attack and fight others. It means you’ll face any challenge with confidence and assurance, knowing that if you want to achieve it, you can. It’s taking your future in your own hands and not leaving it to chance or others. You’ll be facing each problem as a new opportunity, rather than worry and dismay.

Part of the reason for the many changes is the success you’ll experience, but exercising on a regular basis can also burn off the hormones of stress and trigger the release of those that make you feel good.

You’ll have more energy than you thought possible. That extra energy can carry you through even the toughest days, helping you get more done in less time.

You’ll be amazed at how much regular exercise and a healthy diet can clear your head and help you concentrate better. Studies show that regular exercise improves cognitive functioning.

You’ll be setting an example for others, especially your family, who often thought about tackling a difficult goal, but never had the courage to do it.


Unlimited Motivation

%image_alt%Are you looking for a source of unlimited motivation? Try working out in a group led by a personal trainer. There’s nothing better than working with other people to help you build your resolve and push yourself toward the your maximum potential. It’s amazing that people often achieve their best when they’re in a group. I was watching the Olympic bike races and was saddened by the American biker that lost in the last few seconds of the race. She had led all the way. Once announcer may have pegged it right when it said part of the problem was she was unaware of the others behind her, so she didn’t pick up her pace. Working out with others makes you aware of what can be accomplished and pushes you toward greatness.

Working in a group is more than just stirring up competitive juices.

Even though everyone has his or her own personal agenda, sometimes there is competition among the individuals in a group, albeit friendly competition. However, group workouts also provide the empathy of the group. You’ll often find encouraging words from others, particularly since they know how hard it is to achieve personal goals. Group workouts led by personal trainers also provide the accountability and motivation of the trainer. You’ll be amazed at how much you can achieved when you actually believe you can and work toward that goal.

You don’t have to workout in a group to work with a personal trainer and see great results.

Trainers provide individual workout programs that not only track your progress to keep you accountable, while adding a boost of motivation. You may not realize how much you’ve achieved because the changes aren’t overnight. Improved endurance, strength, flexibility and balance are all tracked by trainers, just as weight and inches are. The trainer tracks these changes for a reason. He or she uses that information to know when to adjust your fitness program. Normally, it’s when you reach one fitness goal and are ready for bigger challenges.

Success is the ultimate motivation.

If you start a fitness program, you obviously have a motivating reason, but unfortunately for most people, it’s a short lived focus that may not last a week. However, when you work with a personal trainer, he or she can help fill the gap until you see success, which by the way, is the most powerful motivator. You’ll also see success faster with a trainer and if you’re like most people, it will improve your level of resolve and drive you forward at each step.

If you want to track your own success and create powerful motivators, start noting how long you last working at top speed and track it. After a few weeks, measure that time again. You’ll see substantial improvement.

For those that want to lose weight, clothing size is a motivator. Try on an jeans or other article of clothing that should be slightly snug. Workout for four weeks and try on the same item, you’ll probably find it’s either loose or you need a smaller size. PURE MOTIVATION!

If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t weigh every day. Instead, pick a time of day one day a week to weigh. There are some weight fluctuations throughout a day and week that don’t indicate actual weight gain, but can shatter your motivation.

Judge by your energy and inches not your pounds. You can actually lose inches without ever losing a pound. That’s because muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat does, so one pound requires a smaller container.


Are You Ready To Change Your Life

%image_alt%If you want to change your life, but aren’t sure where to start, you’re not alone. Thousands of people want to improve their lives, but don’t know where to start. It doesn’t matter what your goal, becoming healthier and fitter is a great starting point. That means improved nutritional habits and getting moving. Almost every study on health points in the direction of exercise. Even people with physical limitations will find exercise can help them feel better and improve their health. That’s not to say a person with a heart condition should ever attempt to run a marathon, but instead, use guided exercise designed specifically for their fitness level, needs and goals. That’s why using a personal trainer has become so important.

Think clearer when you exercise more.

Not only does exercise increase circulation, bringing more nutrients to the brain, it also helps slow age related and increases the level of serotonin in the brain. Increased serotonin levels can improve cognitive functioning and the older you are, the better results you’ll see. Exercise is also a stress buster. Stress creates the fight or flight response. While that response was important for early man, and still is in some instances, it also can cause health issues and foggy brain syndrome when you don’t run or fight to burn off the hormones. Many stresses today don’t require fighting or running, neither of which is appropriate when confronting a traffic jam, angry boss or crying baby. You’ll sleep better at night when you exercise regularly.

You’ll build your strength and endurance.

Nothing is harder than trying to make changes when you’re too tired to think or move. Exercise builds your stamina so you have the energy to make your life better, try new things and enjoy life in general. You’ll also find depression melts away after exercising, which adds to the confidence working out provides.

If you don’t know where to start or have health issues, get the advice of a professional.

Before you start any program of exercise, particularly if you have health issues, always get the okay from your primary health care professional. In most instances, he or she will not only give you the okay, but also encourage it. Starting out on your own can be scary, particularly if you have physical limitations, but you can change all that by using a personal trainer to help you. The trainer assesses your overall fitness, while considering physical limitations. He or she may even work with your doctor. Short sessions lead to longer sessions of exercise. Light weights lead to heavier lifting, which also increases bone density. You don’t have to accept limitations, but you do have to work with them until your body becomes stronger.

You’ll build self-confidence when you exercise and self-image as you see the changes. The longer you stick with a program, the more you’ll have.

Exercise stimulates the production of hormones that make you feel good and give a sense of peace.

Exercise slims and trims your body, while building more muscle tissue. It also gives you a sense of presence to others.

As you experience the achievements in fitness goals, you’ll start believing in yourself and attempt other goals in life because you’ll realize anything is possible.


It’s Not Too Late

It's Not Too Late

If you want to feel great and look fantastic, but feel like you’re too old and old of shape to do it, you’re wrong. It’s not too late! While it might be tougher getting into shape and becoming fitter, all you have to do is start. In fact, you might be surprised to find that Ernestine Shepherd, a 74 year old body builder, didn’t start body building until the age of 56. Today, at 80 she still looks fantastic. You don’t have to wait until you’re in your 50s to get started, but it’s a great reminder that anything is possible when you put your mind to it and have the knowledge to help you achieve your goals.

You can lose weight, while you tone your body.

Losing weight doesn’t seem like it should be tough. It’s a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn. Even though the concept is easy, that doesn’t make the task that easy, but it’s doable and can even be fun. You don’t have to go on a strict diet. In fact, strict diets are often counterproductive because they leave you feeling deprived, hungry and if the calorie count is too low, can put your body into starvation mode, making it even harder to lose weight. The key to weight loss is to eat healthier and combine that healthy eating with exercise. You’ll be toning your body, while shedding pounds.

I believe that any progress is a step in the right direction.

Maybe you can only do a little today, but if you push yourself and increase your level of difficulty or workout time, even by just a minute, each day, you’ll be making progress. Progress, when it comes to getting fitter, isn’t achieved by the mile but the inch initially. After a few weeks, you’ll see an amazing difference from the first time you worked out and feel fantastic. Losing weight and looking great is just a small part of the benefits. Feeling fantastic, healthy and having the energy to achieve more is the real blessing.

It’s not all about sweating and shedding pounds.

Of course, you started to workout to lose some weight and get into shape, but it’s more than that. It’s about achieving your goal and becoming more confident. Feeling healthy and energetic is part of the benefit you get when you exercise on a regular basis. The confidence you gain as you see yourself getting closer to your goal each day flows over to other areas of your life. When you start to believe in yourself, nothing is impossible.

You’ll be amazed at how much healthier you’ll feel and be when you workout and eat nutritious meals. Many people find that old ailments and pains start to disappear. One woman said that her vision even improved!

You’ll blast away stress hormones when you work out. Stress hormones, such as cortisol, not only make you feel horrible, they also affect your body. In fact, cortisol is linked to abdominal fat, too.

You’ll realize that nothing is out of your reach when you accomplish your fitness goals. Even if you’re incredibly out of shape or older, watching your body trim and slim can help inspire you to great achievements.

You’ll have fun. It may be tough, but it’s fun too. There’s plenty of comradery at workouts and a friendly social atmosphere.