Aug 132012
 

We all, at one time or another, make a promise to get in shape, stay in shape & feel good about ourselves. But the truth is, more often than not, working out and exercising turns out to be a drag. It shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be that way when it can be challenging, exciting and interesting.  When was the last time you were done your workout and you felt like you accomplished something – not just happy to be done!  If you have trouble with the answer to that question the culprits are most likely inconsistency and boredom, two of the biggest factors and reasons why people don’t reach their fitness potential.

Have you ever watched people come in the gym and do the same routine day in and day out, the same exercises in the same order over and over and over again?  You probably do not see them for long because boredom sets in and unfortunately they are not seeing any fitness success, despite their hard work.  So how do we fix that, you know what they say about variety. Over the years I have learned a lot from my clients, and number 1 on the list is the more I vary their workouts the more they enjoy it, the better they feel and the quicker they see success. The focus and goal remains the same but their workouts always have something new in them; challenging them both physically and mentally.  It is really quite simple to vary your workout!  Try using a stability ball instead of an exercise bench, if you do your back exercises with a high cable use a low cable, if you usually work on machines try dumbbells or barbells.  Finally, one of my favorite ways to vary workouts is to do the exercises in the reverse order. Believe me, for the effort you put in to varying your workouts and challenging yourself, the rewards come back many times over. Variety is the spice of life and truly of exercising too!

Another important thing you can do to achieve your fitness success is to be consistent in working out. Consistency, by the way, comes in 2 parts.  First and most obviously is in scheduling.  It is a good idea to realistically assess how much time you can dedicate to your fitness goals – then schedule it in your day planner – in Pen!  Think of it as a non negotiable event; be as consistent as you can with days of the week and times of day. Since you are going to spice up your routines, no more boredom remember, your regular workout schedule can become a treasured part of your week.  Part two in consistency involves the exercise specifics for your goal.  In order to achieve fitness success, you need to consistently follow the appropriate protocols including the number of reps, sets and rest time for your specific personal goal.  An example of proper protocol would be if you want to loss weight, be consistent with 2 to 3 days per week of strength training and 5 to 6 days per week of cardio training.  When you are strength training complete 1 to 3 sets of each exercise with 12 to 20 repetitions in each set and limit your rest time to 15 to 30 seconds in between sets.

I have talked about variety and consistency in planning your exercise program which brings me to this last point.  How do you combine different kinds of exercises into your workout routine.  Specifically, exercise types like cardio, strength training and flexibility, Yoga or Pilates.  Believe it or not there is actually a proper order, exercise protocol, for what type of exercise you should do 1st, 2nd or 3rd and that is because of the effect that the exercise types have on your body.  Accepted protocol is as follows: after a warm up strength training comes first because you always want your body the freshest and strongest when lifting weights.  Cardio should always follow strength training because it is tiring and wears you out.  Last should be flexibility, Yoga or Pilates because they stretch out your muscles.  Remember to always end your workouts with and an easy stretch routine and a cool down!  Use as many different types of exercises as you can in your workouts, but remember the proper order so you get the best benefit!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy! ~ Tanya

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Nov 152011
 

holiday dinnerWe are fast approaching the holiday season and statistics show that the typical American consumes on average an additional 400 to 500 calories per day from Thanksgiving to New Years Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and all that goes with them; great times, good food, parties and celebrations, but think about this, an extra 3,500 calories equals 1 extra pound. So if you are not careful you could gain more than 5 pounds in just a short period of time. As a personal trainer I encourage my clients to simply maintain this time of year, nothing fancy just hold on to the progress that you have already made. Even with all the holiday temptations simply incorporate a few of these tips into your holiday season and you will find that it is easy to maintain and not gain as well as stay fit & healthy!

• Eat slowly – it takes your brain approximately 20 minutes to register that you are full

• Stick to only 1 plate of food

• For Turkey; go skinless & remember white meat has half the fat of dark meat

• Check out the menu and then eat only what is special – you can have rolls or corn any time

• Wear snug pants (one of my favorites!)

• Move! After meals help clear the table, do the dishes, put everything away or play with the kids

• Leave the left over’s

• Eat normal meals throughout the day, if you are starving you are more likely to over eat and make poor food choices

• Scope out the buffet table first to see what is available then stick to just a few items, studies show that the more different tastes & flavors of food you have the more likely you will be to over eat

• Sit or stand as far away from the food as you can – what you can’t see won’t be as tempting

• As far as specialty drinks; they can contain a lot of calories, so be careful you may want to opt for a lighter beverage such as a light beer or white wine. It is also a good idea to alternate a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage

• Here is my favorite for the ladies; when you are going to a holiday party, carry a clutch purse because it is difficult to juggle, a drink, a plate of food and your purse

Working out is so very important this time of year, lets face it, the holidays are hectic. Keeping up with your fitness routine will not only help you burn some of those extra calories but it will also help you stay focused & keep the stress down! Keep in mind some exercise is better than no exercise at all! Use these tips to make the most of the time that you have for fitness.

• Use circuit training; do each exercise in your workout back to back without stopping, take a short break and repeat the circuit 1 or 2 times

• Break up your cardio sessions into mini workouts throughout the day; 10, 15 or 20 minute blocks are great

• Combine cardio and strength training sessions

• Get a quick half hour workout in during your lunch break

• Burn calories whenever you can: park as far away from store entrances as possible, walk at a brisk pace whenever you’re out & about, always take the steps & instead of using the drive throughs, park your car and walk in!

One more fun fact: Shopping on Black Friday for 2 hours burns approximately 300 calories? It’s easy… simply maintain… enjoy the holiday season… and then get right back into your fitness groove!

Happy Holidays!

Be Fit, Be Healthy, Be Happy!  Tanya

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