Monday, November 7, 2011

The Battle Of The Holiday Bulge

It’s that time of year again. Halloween has come and gone but what lies ahead are Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s this time of year when people typically arguably pack on more pounds than any other 4-5 weeks combined. However, it may surprise you that the weight isn’t just because of the great food you have waiting for you. The majority of the weight gain that creeps on people is because of their inactivity. It’s easy to put your fitness on the backburner while you’re organizing and attending holiday events. Here are some things to consider in helping you and your waistline survive the rest of the year:
-Make time for cardio. Whether you walk, run, swim, or spin don’t forget that it may help your stress levels to burn a few extra calories this holiday season.
-Grab a friend! Have someone share in the workload with you by making a commitment to help each other exercise for half an hour to an hour whenever you can. You’ll both benefit from it and it will help with accountability.
-Keep a calorie cheat sheet in mind. Here are some of the most popular holiday foods you’ll come across and an approximate reminder of what could be on your plate before it hits your belly:
-Turkey: 200 calories (6 oz.)
-Ham: 300 calories (6 oz.)
- Green Bean Casserole: 275 calories (1 cup)
-Cranberry Sauce: 200 calories (1/2 cup)
-Stuffing: 200 calories (1/2 cup)
-Mashed Potatoes: 200 calories (1 cup)
-Pumpkin Pie: 300 calories (1 slice)
Sound familiar? Try to keep portion sizes moderate and resist the urge for second and third helpings!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

When Food Can't Cure It All

It would be nice to have the luxury of eating whenever you need to for maximum benefit all day long. There would never be any surprises, portions would be perfect, your ideal combination of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients would be achieved. Unfortunately, this couldn't be further from reality for most people. Each individual has to determine where their diet is lacking and learn how to add what's missing. For some, this may mean taking multi-vitamins, fish oil supplements, or probiotics. For others it may take drinking their calories in the form of protein shakes or smoothies. Either way, it's important to understand that food isn't always the most practical option for making sure your body gets everything it needs. We can help you fill in the gaps to maximize how your body should behave and function for you. Make supplements more of the rule and less of the exception for your body.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Relationships You Nurture

Take a look at your marriage/intimate relationship. Now, where it applies, take a look at the relationship you have with your children. Both of these relationships have some striking similarities: they both take time, hard work, and they have their share of obstacles making either relationship a challenge. Making a commitment to your personal health is no different. Whether you decide to train with a friend, family member, or you elect to hire a trainer, you're embarking on another relationship that will share many of the same obstacles. If you want results, it will take effort and for many of you, that means working it in between time with family and time at work. I frequently find people who just aren't ready to make that type of commitment and honestly, that's okay too. When you're mentally ready to focus on yourself, find the support system that serves you best and move forward. Until you're ready to make the mental commitment, you may only be setting yourself up for failure. Focusing on yourself as it pertains to your health is rarely a selfish act. It is simply taking great care of the person who takes great care of others.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Know When To Push The Envelope

Exercise can be a tricky endeavor. Many people get trapped in a rut of the same exercises over and over again. A great number of those people may gravitate toward the same circuit of machines, same speed on a treadmill, same ridiculous number of crunches. The problem that so many people fall into is allowing their body to dictate fatigue under any circumstance without pushing to new limits. For instance, if you go to the gym and always do the same number of curls with the same weight you're always going to fatigue at roughly the same spot. That fatigue becomes your gauge for whether or not you worked the muscles well enough. The problem is: you never really make progress. Too many other factors come into play. Maybe you aren't mentally "into" your workout that day, maybe it's hot and stuffy where you work out, maybe you're afraid that you might hurt yourself going heavier. These are all very real factors that can hinder a workout. Consider that you'll have very few "perfect" workouts. Your back might be tired but your chest might feel good. Your legs might feel strong but your shoulders might be weak. Your body will let you know when to take it easy on certain muscles and that's normal. If you really want to see things change, try heavier weights with fewer reps. Let your body get acclimated to new levels of resistance. Push yourself at greater intensities during cardio work but for shorter bouts of time until your body can handle greater duration. The absolute worst thing you can do is become sedentary and remove the variety from your workout program. Push harder, for longer and get out of your comfort zone for good.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Unpredictable Is Your Workout?

At some point in your life, you may have heard the saying "variety is the spice of life". One place where this cannot be better applied is in your workout routine. Generally speaking, your body will adjust to your workout routine well before your mind does. Find ways to add variety to everything you do. If you've only ever used strength training machines, try using dumbbells and barbells as a substitute. If you typically start your workout with a moderate walk on a treadmill, try varying your speeds and levels of inclination instead. Whether you're trying to lose, gain, or maintain weight it pays to throw your body off of its normal routine so complacency never becomes an issue.