By the numbers….

the world is my track  Not really a numbers person.  However, my profession is all about evidence based practice.  So for me, as trainer and registered nurse, it has to add up.

http://www.howtobefit.com/five-heart-rate-zones.htm

If you aren’t getting the results you desire, take a look at this.  I have always believed in the “it takes a village” mentality.  Raising children aside, I’ve found from personal experience as well as working with clients, exercise is a science.  May not be an exact one, true enough.  There will always be variables.  But my idea of the village means it all must add up; even if the equation doesn’t balance.

Let me illustrate.

I specialize in “jump starting” clients.  The 4 weeks I spend with them entails nutrition counseling, exercise routine, journaling, as well as return demos.  Yes, it’s an intense 4 weeks.  However when they finish, they’ve actually learned something.  They are not relying on a trainer who wants to keep them by their side, to ensure a paycheck.  Also, the grunt, squat, and fart repeat is not part of my repertoire.  Trainers abound who do that.  So what if they appear to be doing everything right, and the scale isn’t moving?  The answer is in the numbers.  Remember I said it all must add up, even if the equation doesn’t balance.

Perhaps for one, this means we work on more cardio.  For another, it may mean a field trip–to the grocery store.  By the time we part ways, I want my clients to become stakeholders and master assessors.  I want them to look in the mirror, listen to what they’re body is saying, and then decipher if it’s a cardio, PILATES, strength training (and there are many types of strength training), or rest day.

No the equation is not equal for everyone.  As in life, there are those of us who must work harder on one thing, to achieve the same results as another.

The equalizer?  Knowing your numbers.  Heart rate, max heart rate, and calorie counts are a great start.  If you haven’t worked out in a while, or on medication, checking out your baseline vitals with a healthcare professional, should be your jumpstart.

Your life, your well-being, you own.  No one else can take the responsibility for it.  Realizing what your individual numbers, body, and lifestyle are saying to you, adds up.  Does it mean you may have to exercise longer, eat less, and skip that extra piece of pecan pie, while your girlfriend doesn’t?  It might.  And on second thought, it probably will.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Just “HELP ME!”  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Get bored easily? So do I….

reflecting in chair  Going to keep this one short and sweet.

If you’re familiar with most of my workout suggestions, you know I like mixing things up.  I enjoy fusing routines–a little INSANITY here, followed by 15 minutes of PILATES there, ESSENTRICS or even URBAN REBOUNDER work.   My finishing touch though, is always something ballet, PILATES, or yoga inspired.  It cools me down, and hopefully, takes the bite out of my appetite.

However, if you don’t have the time to figure this out, here’s some help.

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Get-Fit-2015-36297771?utm_source=popsugar.com&utm_medium=ad&utm_campaign=GetFit2015_button

These workouts are tough.  You change routines constantly.  More importantly, this will enable you to figure out what works for you.  And in the greater scheme of things, isn’t that what matters?

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

Diversify your portfolio…it works for finances, why not your body?

B. Lee  We’ve all heard when it comes to 401K’s, DIVERSIFY.  How about applying this principle to your workout?  Sounds simple enough, but I’ve found not many do it.   Why?  Well, there are lots of reasons.  I’ll share a personal sense of this.

A WAY OF LIFE

Running was the only “go to” for me, for many moons–and suns.  I passed this trait onto my son, who now runs cross-country and track.  He seems to have taken his vows at the monastery of running.  He’s true to it, and will do little else, unless it is a cross training day at school.  The only other exceptions are INSANITY dvds, or the SPARTACUS workout.  Otherwise, he’s running celibate.   I get it.  I was there myself.  However, when I couldn’t put in the mileage I once did, my weight started to escalate.  Enter INSANITY.

At first, I was hooked.  And to an extent still am.  But I soon found I was having the same problem with this workout, as I was with running.  Only now, working out six days a week, my weight which once plummeted, now started to pick up.  Why?  What was I doing wrong?  As I look back, a couple of things; really more than a couple.

EATING YOUR WAY PAST YOUR WORKOUT

This workout was so intense, it made me extremely hungry.  I was probably consuming 3000-4500 calories/day.  All of the weight I lost in the beginning, now came back.  Again, I had to ask “what am I doing wrong?”

I’VE FOUND LESS IS SOMETIMES MORE

We’re all familiar with the “less is more” mantra.  This may hold true for more than just clutter, make-up, and accessories.  I emphasize the “sometimes,” because I still believe revving up the old metabolism takes heat–and for weight loss, a lot of it.  BUT heat means energy expenditure, and requires fuel.  Sure you get the weight loss initially, but then what?  Again fuel is now in demand.  So how do you strike a balance?  Enter in your combo platter–and no, that doesn’t mean the enchilada, tostada, and taco plate.  It means getting enough exercise to burn off what you don’t want, without increasing your appetite.  What I do want, and I believe you do too, is permanent sustained weight loss.  How to do it?  For me, it means diversifying your exercise portfolio.

CHANGE IT UP; EVEN DIVIDE IT UP

We’ve all heard change is good, or even for the better.  Have you ever thought of changing your workout, during your workout?  Let me explain.  I may start off with an INSANITY dvd.  Twenty minutes into it, I switch it out for ESSENTRICS, perhaps BALLET BOOTCAMP.  Ten minutes of this, and I switch again.  Finish off with a PILATES dvd.  You get the idea.  I may perform an hour to 90 minutes of exercise, but rarely is it the same exercise.

Newer thought believes in the benefit of dividing up your workout, throughout the day.  This may mean you start your day with 20 minutes of exercise, get in a walk at lunch, then squeeze in 20-30 minutes after work.  I realize for many, this appears unrealistic.  Commute, mingled with daycare pick-ups, dinner to prepare, make this more of a pipe dream.  However, dividing up your fitness routine throughout the day, keeps your metabolism in peak burning mode.  Think about it.  If you’re a morning person, you could do 20-30 minutes of cardio.  Weather permitting and job as well, go for a walk at lunch.  Now, if you can possibly squeeze in a 15 minute total body routine after work, you would witness a definite shift.  This wouldn’t just be in your appearance, I can assure you.  It would spill over into how you eat, what you eat, and the dreaded how much.

As with anything, I don’t expect you to take my word for it.  How mindful are you now of your eating habits?  Do you eat out of boredom?  Snack on food better off left on the shelves?  If the answer to any of these is yes (and for most, myself included, it is) dividing up your exercise routine can help.  You see now, you have to watch what you eat, as well as when.  If this is just totally out of reach, then consider changing up your workout the way I do.  The benefit here is, muscles which are overused in one particular setting, get a break. Those underused, must now step up to the plate.  And if have a favorite as with my son, you will find new subtleties in your performance.  Perhaps it’ll be a longer stride, maybe an extra 2 minutes on the trail or treadmill, you couldn’t possibly do a few weeks earlier.  It’s hard to say.

Yes, it’s true not every exercise is for everybody.  Not every food is for everybody either.  But if you’re struggling, and can’t understand why you can’t tip the scale in your favor, literally–it’s time for a change.  And it shouldn’t equate to the spare you throw in your glass jar or cup either.  You don’t build a financial portfolio with leftovers.  It takes planning and decisive action, to get where you want to be.  If you want a strong, working body to accompany you on that journey, then carve out the time, and make the commitment.  Unlike lottery or stocks, it’s not a gamble or risk.  It’s a sound investment.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.

Questions?  Comments?  Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com

 

Healthy fats don’t count…or do they?

facing the scale  I once had a client tell me this.  “Avocados don’t count.  They’re a healthy fat.  Kind of a freebie.”  My response?  “Freebie? Last time I checked, there was no such thing as a freebie.”  Free to me, always implies strings. Usually more like steel cords.  Freebie huh?”  Can you recall the last time something you desired was truly free?  Not trying to get philosophical, but think for a moment.  Free lessons.  Free trip.  Free to be me.  None of the above are really free. You may disagree with the “free to be me” part.  Yet when was the last time you were free to be yourself, all of the time?  At work?  At social gatherings?  With in-laws?  In-laws more like outlaws? I digress.  You get the idea.

HEALTHY FATS; YES THEY COUNT

Calories.  Calories add up, and the “healthy fats” are usually loaded with them.  Not condemning, just stating the facts.  My favorite?  Nuts–especially cashews.  They pack 140 calories per quarter cup.  You could eat 3-4 whole ones and consume that!  Not let’s talk that green slime, AKA avocados.  And that other tofu like spreadable stuff–humus.  Have you checked the calorie count on either?  If you’re struggling to lose weight, and these are part of your healthier living regime, take a moment; and a deep breath.  Good for you doesn’t mean go all out.  But don’t take my word for it.  Take a client’s.

As a school teacher Jan 5th meant back to school, but more importantly back on schedule. I had been able to keep the weight gain to a minimum. Then the cold came and school was closed for two days, so I spent a lot of time in the health club knocking off the two pounds I gained since Dec. 15th. A lot of cardio usually does the trick. Once back in school, I eat much better, salad or soup for lunch and some kind of chicken for dinner. I stay away from pasta, but have splurged here or there. Just have to keep portion control. Two foods I have stayed away from is humus and avocado’s, I really do believe they were a problem with weight management for me.  Read the label on humus; ever try to eat just a tablespoon of humus?

This is an excerpt from his food journal, which he wanted to share.  Food journals for anyone losing weight, I feel, are a must.  If you write down, (yes write down) what you eat, and go the extra mile as to why, you will gain some unique insight.  Intertwine with intermittent fasting (if you are able), and you’ll probably change more than bad habits.  You’ll change your mind.  The way you relate to food shouldn’t be swept under the carpet like dirt your vacuum can’t pick up.  What it means to you, how hungry are you when you eat, feelings which incite you to feast or fast, are things most personal trainers won’t delve into with you.  Yet if you’re looking at permanent sustainable weight loss–lift, squat, lunge, repeat won’t get you there.

Exercise isn’t a stand alone.  It’s a tool–one of many which should be in your toolbox.

What else should be there?  What about who else?  Another lesson for another day.  Or at least, another post.

All for now.  Keep up and keep at it.  Questions?  Comments?

Contact me at serrenity.c@gmail.com