Shari Duncan

Motivation

Put some FUN into your workout with “FUN”CTIONAL Training!
Shari

by on Nov.17, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation, Strength and Agility Training

Train your body to handle real-life situations.

Functional fitness focuses on building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting a certain amount of weight in a restrictive posture created by a gym machine. The key to functional exercise is integration. The primary goal of functional training is to transfer the improvements in strength achieved in one movement to enhancing the performance of another movement by affecting the entire neuromuscular system.  It’s about teaching all the muscles to work together rather than isolating them to work independently as conventional weight training does..  Functional strength training is not just done to improve your appearance, but to help improve performance in everyday activities. Exercises that

Train your whole body to improve performance in everyday life

Train your whole body to improve performance in everyday life

isolate joints and muscles are training muscles, not movements; which results in less functional improvement. For example, squats will have a greater transfer effect on improving an

individual’s ability to rise from a sofa than knee extension.

Train movements instead of muscles.  If you’re training the movement, the muscle will follow.!

Functional strength training (FST) is becoming more popular because it is so practical and is an ideal way to help maximize sports performance. The goal of FST is to develop athleticism. Athletic movements like running, jumping, throwing and lifting are enhanced. Sound technique and optimum speed with movements that are within the context of your sport are further developed. Functional movements offer an effective method in improving balance, coordination, and stability as well as agility, speed, power and strength.  FST should supplement traditional weight lifting and is not intended to replace it.  It provides variety and additional benefits that directly transfer to common sport movements. And because movements are neuromuscular in that they require the power of both your brain and your brawn, the best exercises to increase functional strength simply involve practicing the movement or motion you want to get better at.  Basically, exercises should mimic the movements of the sport while working against resistance. Weight training for strength may not enhance the endurance or strength required for a golfer. A golfer needs to work on core strength, and training involving swinging.  A runner, on the other hand, should enhance local muscular endurance.

Standard resistance training machines are of limited use for functional training – their fixed patterns rarely mimic natural movements, and they focus the effort on a single muscle group, rather than engaging the stabilizers and peripheral muscles.

Functional Equipment:

Tools of the Trade

"Tools of the Trade"

  • Dumbbells
  • Kettlebells
  • Body Weight
  • Resistance Bands and Loops
  • Sandbags
  • Cable Machines (Pulleys)
  • Exercise Balls
  • Medicine Balls

Strength training isn’t just about improving your physique. Incorporating Functional Strength Training can enhance overall well-being and help you achieve your potential, no matter the overall fitness goal.

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Bands, Balls, Bells….. No Gym Required
Shari

by on Aug.04, 2010, under Fitness, General HEALTH, Motivation, Strength and Agility Training

Get fit. Lose the excuses…and those membership dues.


No money.  No time. No babysitter. Too busy. Too self conscious. These are the reasons given for NOT joining a gym.  But we all WANT to be fit and healthy. Guess what?  You don’t need a gym to get an amazing workout. And you don’t need to fight crowds to wait for fancy, expensive equipment.  You can get fit and healthy….at home!

Exercise should be made convenient and not made to rule your life… With a few simple, inexpensive aides, you will be on your way to a better you.  These aides will add versatility to your at home training sessions. Adding variety to your workouts will keep you engaged and interested, and keeps your muscles guessing and challenged so that you will make progress.

So swing by your local Wal-mart or Target and pick up one or all of the following:

Get back to basics with the 3 B’s…..

Resistance Bands:

Bands offer constant tension on the muscle, both in the positive and the negative part of the movement. Bands incorporate more stabilizer muscles to keep the band in alignmentthroughout each exercise, adding a different dynamic to the same old moves. This helps with coordination and balance as you engage more muscle groups. They also offer more variety than cables for example because you can create resistance from all directions – overhead, below, sideways, etc.

  • You can perform the same exercises as you do with free weights–the difference lies in positioning the band. For example, stand on the band and grip the handles for bicep curls or overhead presses. Or attach it to a door and do lat pulldowns or tricep pushdowns. The possibilities are endless and you’ll find there are a multitude of exercises available to you.
  • Bands range from $6 – $20, depending on how many you buy. Most bands are color coded, according to tension level. (It’s best to get at least 3, as different muscle groups require different levels of resistance).
  • And, they are easily packed away in a suitcase so that you can get your workout in even when traveling.
  • http://exercise.about.com/cs/exerciseworkouts/l/blbandworkout.htm

Stability Balls:

Exercise balls challenge you by placing your body in an unstable environment.  They are among the most versatile (and my favorite) exercise aides in that they help to improve core strength as well as strengthen abs and back.  When you lie or sit on the ball, your legs and abs immediately contract to keep you from falling off. Add an exercise to that (like a cheststability exercise ball or shoulder press or crunch), and you’ve just increased the intensity of the movement.

Use the stability ball as your “weight bench”.  This adds difficulty to the movement as well as engages the legs, butt and abs.

Before you buy a ball, make sure it’s the right size for your height. To test it, sit on the ball and make sure your hips are level or just slightly higher than the knees.  Again, you can find a stability ball for under $20.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/gear/equipment/best-stability-ball-exercises/?page=1

**When shopping for fitness balls, you may also consider purchasing a medicine ball.  A medicine ball is a weighted, hollow ball that varies in size from the size of a volley ball (lighter) to a basketball (heavier).

Dumbells:

You don’t need a whole rack of weights to supplement your home workouts. 2 -3 sets of dumbbells will enable you to get in a full body workout; especially if used in conjunction with a stability ball and/or bands.   For every exercise you can do with a traditional barbell, you can do a similar exercise (and more) with a  set of dumbbells. Use the heavier set for exercises in which you can manage more weight — squats and lunges for example; and lighter weight for exercises that work best with comparatively lighter weights — raises, rows, curls, etc.

For the exercise suggestions that follow, remember that many times the stability ball can replace a weight bench.

http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/dumbbellexercises.html

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“Spot Training” Will not Whittle your Middle Away
Shari

by on Jul.18, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation, Natural Bodybuilding, Weight Loss

All of those ab crunches you’ve been doing will make your abdominal muscles stronger. But they will not whittle away belly fat.

Our hormones determine where we will store fat in our bodies.  Fat is lost in a pattern dependent upon genetics, sex and age. Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area.

We all have our trouble spots. For women this is typically in the hips and buttocks; the tummy; and/or the upper arms. Unfortunately, the first place we store fat is also the last place it leaves when we begin to diet and exercise.

But training one particular area of your body to reduce fat (also known as spot training) does not work.  So if you have a large tummy, then simply doing ab crunches and leg raises will not result in a flat stomach. Here is why. Fat loss occurs in the body as a whole. Unfortunately, the fat in a particular area isn’t governed by the muscles in that same area. So if you want to lose belly fat for example, you have to have a fat loss strategy that burns fat throughout your body.

Lose the OVERALL body fat to reduce fat in those trouble areas

Lose OVERALL body fat and you will reduce fat in those trouble areas


You must always treat your body as a whole which means changing your diet to a whole food diet (healthy eating) and exercising your whole body.

The answer is to combine weighted compound exercises that work all of the major muscle groups (like squats, rows, and presses to name a few) with high intensity cardio.

High intensity cardio releases fat burning hormones, and revs up the metabolism in a way that slow, steady state, and long duration cardio does not. Cardio raises the heart rate and determines how many calories are burned.  Strength training also helps to raise the metabolism, as well as build strong muscles. The more muscle you have, the more calories will be burned.  This is why strength and cardio exercise should be a part of your regimen to achieve the maximum fat burning results.
And if you’re serious about reducing your overall body fat percentage; you must incorporate a healthy and well balanced diet. This is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts and grains.  This does NOT mean to starve yourself. If you deprive yourself of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) you will be counterproductive in your efforts to lose weight and body fat.  Essentially, you’ll end up slowing down your metabolism and stopping your fat loss before it even starts.

So, if you are ready to lose that excess fat, you can’t spot reduce it away. Spot training does not work. Instead,  focus on fat loss in the body as a whole.  The best way to lose fat from one particular area is to lose fat overall, then concentrate on toning individual parts of your body

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Commit to be Fit. Why Motivation isn’t Enough
Shari

by on Jun.06, 2010, under Fitness, General HEALTH, Motivation

Sure you’re motivated, but are you committed… I mean really committed to making the changes in yourself that you want?

The reality is that we are well intentioned. We don’t want to be overweight, deconditioned, or lethargic all the time.  Who among us doesn’t wish for optimum health and energy?

So motivation gets us started.  It comes from a source outside of us. It drives us to establish goals when we are contemplating changing a behavior…like weight loss, increased activity, or a healthier, leaner body.  But being motivated is a fleeting feeling. Motivation waxes and wanes.  It’s easy to skip a workout, go home and raid the fridge and overindulge on pizza or ice cream after a hard, stressful day of work.   It is easy to come up with reasons (excuses) to deviate from the goal.

Seeing it through:

" I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday. "

This is where commitment enters.  Commitment is an action. It comes from a source inside of us. The commitment to accomplishing the goal is the key to success.  So no matter what, we hit the gym and opt for the grilled chicken on whole wheat tortilla instead of the ice cream with fudge sauce.  That is commitment.

Those who are successful in reaching goals make a commitment to giving their best at all times. They strive to capitalize on strengths and work on improving weaknesses. They overcome obstacles and view them as challenges instead of making excuses. On days when motivation lacks, they push harder.  They dig deep going to a place where they can visualize their goal…. And they keep going. Not always an easy task.

If you want to be committed to your own personal health, fitness or life goal… you must take the words “should” and “maybe” out of your vocabulary.   Replace them with “I will” and “I can”.  Act with certainty and confidence.   Don’t allow outside influences, situations and circumstances to get in the way. Because the reality is, these interruptions and distractions happen every single day to every one of us to potentially throw us off course.  This type of self discipline is not easy.  There are many powerful forces that will distract you from your goal.  Be courageous and face the difficulties.  As you accumulate small victories, your self confidence will grow. Just set out to do your very best every day.

“Commitment is what
Transforms the promise into reality.
It is the words that speak
Boldly of your intentions.
And the actions which speak
Louder than the words.
It is making the time
When there is none.
Coming through time
After time after time,
Year after year after year.
Commitment is the stuff
Character is made of;
The power to change
The face of things.
It is the daily triumph
Of integrity over skepticism”

Most things worth accomplishing aren’t easy. So set the bar… set it high and go for it. After all, if it were easy, everyone would do it.

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Balance, Shape, or Transform your Life.
Shari

by on May.18, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Motivation, Supplementation, Weight Loss

Every now and again a product line crosses my path that makes me take pause. And ALOT of products cross my path.  Visalus and Body by Vi Challenge made me stop…look…. believe.

Weight loss and nutrition programs are plentiful, over rated and most often over priced.   If you need help getting all of your nutrition needs met each and every day and are serious about achieving your health or weight loss goals at a price that is truly affordable… please read on.  And after you read this brief overview, feel free to contact me with any questions  here or at www.sharipronatural.bodybyvi.com/ .

Join the 90 day challenge and change your health...maybe your life!

Join the 90 day challenge and change your health...maybe your life!

THIS STUFF IS THAT GOOD!  ViSalus Science delivers quality nutrition AND real results!

What is Body by Vi?
ViSalus Body by Vi is an innovative solution to getting into better shape, no matter if you want to slim down, tone up or build muscle. Combining unique and life transforming products along with online and offline support tools, no other program is as comprehensive, or as easy!

No one else can offer the same comprehensive program that includes a simple nutritional program with recipes, menu plans, exercise videos and programs, and online community support. If you’d rather not get weighed in public, eat expensive foods, or watch endless exercise videos that aren’t targeted to your specific needs, then this is the program for you

The Science

ViSalus Sciences is committed to offering the highest quality health and wellness products, delivered with the assurance to uphold maximum safety and quality standards. We believe that science and research are the foundation on which we can satisfy our consumers’ needs for better nutrition. Our Scientific Advisory Board is dedicated to creating innovative, science-based nutraceuticals, backed by rigorous research to ensure you get the greatest nutritional health and wellness benefits for your everyday lifestyle.

Body By Vi.   Quality Nutrition Supplements... to your door.

Body By Vi. Quality Nutrition Supplements... to your door.

ViSalus Sciences® Body by Vi™ – 90 Day Challenge

The Body by Vi™ Challenge is not another fad diet. The program is based on nutrition that helps you burn fat and keep lean muscle, boosts your metabolism and helps control hunger.  The patented ingredients and formulas help you achieve your goals, on your terms with guaranteed results. Included in our program are nutrition guides, fitness tips and plans, and downloadable tracking tools.

The ViSalus Sciences Body by Vi Challenge is geared to help you reach your goals, no matter what they are. From simply losing a few pounds, to getting fit and toned, we have the tools, the products, and the community of supportive people to celebrate your success. The Body by Vi program is easy, fun, and guarantees results.

The program is based on nutrition that helps you burn fat and keep lean muscle, boosts your metabolism and helps control hunger. The patented ingredients and formulas help you achieve your goals, on your terms with guaranteed results. Included in our program are nutrition guides, fitness tips and plans, and downloadable tracking tools.

ViSalus offers a line of innovative wellness products developed by a world class Scientific Advisory Board and backed by some of the most advanced scientific technology available.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  Submit your questions or place orders directly at:

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Hit a Plateau? Repair a Stalled Metabolism with Diet
Shari

by on Apr.25, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Motivation, Weight Loss

Knowing your body’s daily caloric needs is an important step in adopting a realistic diet and exercise plan that will help you reach and maintain your desired healthy weight.

To determine your energy needs specific to your age, weight and activity level, click on the attached link to calculate your daily calories.  This is a basic guideline…   Remember, no two individuals’ body composition are identical and activity levels vary for each person.   But this number will provide an important starting point.

http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/caloriesneed.htm

You now have a baseline number of calories to maintain your current weight.  Next, determine how many calories you are taking in. This must be done before you modify or make adjustments towards your desired weight goal.   Keeping a food journal or logging on to a web based calorie tracker such as www.fitday.com can assist in this task.  I suggest you

You have to know where you are before you make a plan for success

STOP GUESSING! You have to know where you are before you make a plan.

track your calories for at least one week.  Write everything down, including sodas and alcohol.  Many people are surprised when they compare the numbers.  They are surprised to find they are not taking in enough nutrition for their body.  As a result, their metabolism has slowed and the weight loss has stopped.  If you find that your total caloric intake is too low for your current weight, you must gradually up your intake some before you begin to cut again.  This alone will jumpstart your metabolism.

This might sound scary, but you will have to eat more, to burn more….

And you will need to exercise (especially weight bearing  to increase lean muscle).  By restricting calories too much, the body responds by holding on… or going into “starvation mode” and will lock up from fat burning mode.  It will store as much adipose (fat) tissue as possible .

It is not just enough to eat the proper foods, but nutrient timing is key to revving a stalled metabolism. To keep “the furnace” burning, it is optimal to eat small frequent meals (every three hours).  By “fueling” up frequently with “Clean” and nutritious foods, you will prime your body to build lean muscle and in the process lose the unwanted fat. You also will not feel deprived because you will have something in your stomach all day long, which in turn will make it less likely for you to binge on unhealthy snacks.

Be sure that every meal contains quality protein, as proteins are more satiating than other foods and by increasing protein, you will decease you daily consumption of carbohydrates and fats, which are more readily converted to fat.   Research shows that escalating protein levels in your diet results in weight loss.

So what percentage of total calories should be protein?

I hesitate here, again because we are all different.  0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight is often recommended. For a 150lb person this equates to 120 grams of protein every day.  Others prefer a macronutrient breakdown based on total caloric intake instead of body weight:  -40% protein-40% carbohydrate & 20% fat or  a 40-30-30 distribution of total calories for example.  For the same 150lb person eating 1600 calories, this equates to 160 grams of protein a day.    You get the picture.  This is something you will have to experiment with to assess your response and make adjustments.

Macronutrient Tracking.

Macronutrient Tracking

Once your metabolism is moving again & if your goal is weight loss, you will need to GRADUALLY and safely create a caloric deficit. This is done by a combination of eating fewer calories and increasing activity levels.  Again, accountability comes into play.  You need to track your progress.  Stop guessing and measure everything that you want to improve.

  • Keep a nutrition AND training journal
  • Weigh and measure food and track your progress – weekly weights and body fat composition
  • Take photographs

Finally, revisit and re-establish your calorie deficit.  What worked for you before is no longer working, so it is time for a new strategy.  Calorie needs and metabolism changes with weight loss.  The trick to avoid plateaus is to adjust your food intake (calories in) and your exercise/activity (calories out)
each week to reconcile the difference between hypothetical (on paper) calorie needs and
actual (real world) calorie needs.

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Weight Training Injury?…. Key to Recovery, Keep Active
Shari

by on Apr.21, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation, Natural Bodybuilding

No need to turn into a couch potato if you get injured.  Look for alternatives, get back out there and keep fit!

Injuries are an unwelcome reality when involved in sports.  As we train, over train and push through plateaus, we’re bound to stumble across some injuries. They come in all shapes and sizes, and range from muscle tears to tendonitis. Failure to warm up, sudden cooling off, overload, improper movement and poor nutrition all contribute to weight training injuries. It is important to learn how to differentiate the positive pain of deep muscular burn from the warning pain of injury.

Many small injuries can be managed by Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (R.I.C.E.) Also elevating the limb helps restore blood flow to the injured area.

R I C E.... Remember this to treat minor sports injuries

R I C E.... Remember this to treat minor sports injuries

No matter the type of injury you have, there are usually alternative exercises that can be done while still resting the injured area   For example, if you cannot perform weight bearing activities during the initial rehab phase, try doing upper body interval workouts, and / or stationary cycling. What’s important is to remain physically active and maintain some level of fitness so when the recovery period is complete you are ready to return to action as soon as possible.

If the injury is serious and not responding to first aid measures, medical intervention is recommended.

When time is lost in the gym, it not only limits you physically but also affects you psychologically .  The challenge is to keep as safely active as possible. Physical rehabilitation  not only helps the body recover and regain strength but just as importantly helps in alleviating frustration and in keeping a peaceful frame of mind.

Be sure that medical clearance has been given before resuming activity in the weight room. Most physicians and training coaches believe in resuming activity as soon as possible. Depending upon the nature and severity of the injury, it is vitally important to maintain some degree of the pre-existing fitness level. Take it slow, gradually working back to your routine, focusing on getting blood flow back into the injured area.

The best way to prevent any sport or gym related injury is to stretch properly and execute the exercises with strict form.

Train Smart! You can do several things to minimize injury at home or in the gym:

  • Don’t lift weights that are too heavy for your stage of training,
  • Do use a spotter or buddy to help whenever you are lifting heavy.
  • Do lift with appropriate technique for the exercise, and
  • Don’t utilize potentially dangerous exercises unless you are sure you can handle them
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Avoiding Exercise….What’s your Excuse?
Shari

by on Apr.10, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation

Becoming more physically active is about making YOU and your health a priority. Don’t let excuses control you and prevent you from achieving your goals.

People give all sorts of reasons for not participating in a regular exercise program.  Most excuses are not valid reasons for not working out; they are defense mechanisms for avoiding an activity they perceive as unpleasant or difficult and therefore approach it with apprehension.  Our bodies were designed for motion.  Exercise is the body in motion and should feel good.

So I ask, what is your reason  (excuse) for not making exercise part of your lifestyle??

1) NO TIME:

GET ACTIVE: Do what you find fun & include friends. Even if it is TIRE FLIPPING?

GET ACTIVE: Do what you find fun with others that share your interests. TIRE FLIPPING ANYONE?

Work, school, family, church….there is always something taking up your time. But taking some time out each day for yourself will not only benefit your health physically but also mentally.  There are many programs out there that enable even the busiest of folks to fit in exercise.

http://www.ehow.com/way_5209100_15-minute-exercise-routine.html

http://www.ehow.com/how_5166950_perform-minute-total-body-workout.html

Inactive people are just as busy as those who find time to exercise… you have got to get rid of this excuse.  Here are a few more pointers to help you manage fitness into your daily routine:

Schedule workout time –  break exercise time into 15 minute segments:

ü  Get up a few minutes earlier & go for a brisk walk

ü  Use 15 miutes of your lunch break to walk stairs and/or

ü  Lift weights for 15 minutes after work.

2) NO MONEY:

Exercising is one of the most inexpensive activities around.  It is not a sport for only the rich.  All you need is a good pair of shoes.  A regular exercise routine can transform you from a couch potato to a more energetic and healthier individual.

Think about the money you spend on coffee, cigarettes or beer. Think about packing a lunch instead of eating out even just one day a week.  You may just have enough for that gym membership.

3) TOO TIRED:

Exercise generates Energy…  Let me say that again: EXERCISE GENERATES ENERGY …dramatically..  Sometimes life gets hectic with all we have to do, but once you establish a routine and begin to get healthy, you will find a renewed sense of vitality.  And the more energy you have, the more you will be able to accomplish in a day.

Fitness Magazines and DVDs are excellent resources for beginners

Fitness Magazines and DVD's are excellent resources for beginners

4) DON’T KNOW HOW.

There is all sorts of information about exercising and fitness programs.  Pick up a book, DVD or fitness magazine to help you. Everybody has to start somewhere. Start with what you know and what you are comfortable with and gradually introduce new exercises or activities.  Go to the gym with a friend or colleague who can show you some exercises. Take a group fitness class or set an appointment with a personal trainer to help you get on a program that is specific to your health goals.

5) HATE EXERCISE – really.

Exercise does not have to be this dreadful chore you perceive it to be.  Keep looking until you find something you like to do.  Experiment with different activities until you “connect” with something. Keep going back and don’t give up. The more you participate and practice, the better you will become at it.  As time goes by, your confidence will improve and you will find that you actually are having fun at your “sport”!

And the best part: your body in the process will become healthier and fit.

Exercise is timeless.  It benefits all people of all ages, shapes and sizes. You are never too old (or too young), too fat, too busy, too inexperienced, or too broke to start exercising.

It is time to ditch all of these excuses and start moving in the direction to be in the best shape of your life. … Instead of moving in the direction of regret for not making YOU a top priority!

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CHOOSING and STICKING to a Healthy Eating Plan
Shari

by on Feb.17, 2010, under General HEALTH, General Nutrition, Motivation, Weight Loss

Are you controlling your diet or is your diet taking control of you?

To be successful in anything, including eating to lose weight, the process need not be too extreme or complicated. You will never stick with a diet plan that is not reasonable for you or your lifestyle. Strict diets and resolutions may seem good in theory, but they have a huge flaw built into them. More often, these fad diets will only set you up for failure. If your diet seems like some form of torture and the foods you eat give you no pleasure, you will not be successful.  Rather than trying to follow the exact rules of a particular diet, use sensible guidelines to point you in the right direction.

Add variety and Color to you menu

Add lots of variety and Color to you menu

HAVE LOTS OF FOOD CHOICES:

  • Don’t limit yourself to 5 or 6 foods.  This makes absolutely no sense.  Eat from all food groups. There are unlimited nutritious foods available to you and variety will keep you from straying.  “Grapefruit” or “cabbage soup” diets may take weight off temporarily but they will not work for the long term.
  • Shop around the edge of the grocery store. These tend to be the fresher, less processed items. You’ll have better nutritional options in those areas. Fresh produce, whole grains, dairy, meats, fish and poultry are found around the perimeter of the store. Sticking to the basics also keeps it simple.  Preparing and eating healthy need not be complicated.
  • Choose whole grains whenever possible.  Bright colors over white.  Wheat for white breads and pastas.  Brown for white rice. Sweet potatos instead of white,  etc.  Make a habit of preparing extra portions so leftovers can be placed in reusable containers for the next days meals.
  • Bake, broil, grill, sauté but do not deep fry.  It is more about HOW you prepare the food.  Use healthy oils like olive oil or non-stick sprays and experiment freely with herbs and spices for different flavors.  Stay away from butter, cream sauces, and added sugars.
  • Do not forget about the value of water.  Staying well hydrated is not only vital to good health but drinking at least 8–10 glasses of water daily will also help you feel full.  Add fresh lemon or lime.

Take Part in Regular Snacking

Eating more frequently with sensible portions will keep you from getting too hungry between meals and will keep your mind off of food.   There is a common misconception that snacking is wrong and that it is what puts most people’s weight on. However, the truth is that snacking actually benefits the body by accelerating the metabolism; it is what you are snacking on that matters!

Snacking stops the body from becoming hungry. It is unhealthy to leave the body without food for a long period of time and so snacking helps to bridge the gap before meal times. Just ensure that you are snacking on the right foods and you should be ok.

Some good snack choices include: low fat air popped popcorn, fresh fruit and veggies,  cottage cheese, greek or low sugar yogurt, cereal bars, protein bars or  nutrition shakes and smoothies, rice cakes with peanut butter, whole grain crackers with hummus, boiled eggs, turkey roll-ups,  low fat cheese, nuts or seeds.

Have a realistic approach. Healthy weight loss is about 2 lbs a week.   If you’re losing only 1 or 2 pounds a week, you shouldn’t experience tremendous hunger. Not if you plan your meals and snacks correctly.

Go ahead, dine out.

Dining out is easy when you know how and what to order

Dining out is easy when you know how and what to order

Eating out is fine if you know how to order. You do not need to socially isolate yourself or avoid going out with family or friends…

Don’t be timid to ask your server to prepare the food a certain way.  Here are a couple of things to remember:

. avoid fried entries and those made with cream sauces. Baked or grilled poultry or fish are best options.
. ask for steamed veggies or fresh fruit as sides.
. salads – ALWAYS order dressing on the side (vinagrette much better than ranch)
. if you order an appetizer,  order a broth based soup and skip the rolls!
. Drink Water with lemon or lime.

When you know you will be going out to eat, DO NOT starve yourself all day. BAD IDEA! Continue to eat your smaller size meals through the day so you will not be FAMISHED by the time you get to the restaurant. When you get too hungry, you tend to not only overeat but also make bad choices.

Participate in some form of exercise program.

Just like your meal plan, exercise should not be another form of torture.  Find an activity you enjoy or find a partner to work out with you to make it more fun.  If you are not self motivated or uncertain about what to do once you get to the gym, join in a group fitness class.  Match the activity to your interest and you will be more likely to stick with it.  Group classes also add the element of accountability.  Think of it as a weekly appointment that you cannot miss.  Open your mind up to try something new; you may surprise yourself at what you can do.

REMEMBER THIS, one of the many benefits of working out is that it builds lean muscle.  And the more muscle you build, the more you continue to burn the fat!

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Interval Training
Shari

by on Jan.28, 2010, under Fitness, Motivation, Weight Loss

The WHAT, HOW,  and WHY’s of intervals.


When you want to shake up your workouts and burn more calories without adding time in the gym, it is time to take a closer look at interval training.

WHAT IT IS:

Interval training is basically exercise which consists of activity at high intensityfor a period of time, followed by low intensity exercise for a period of time. Workouts are repeated for a  predetermined number of sets or overall time.

The high intensity portion of the exercise are called sprint intervals and is measured by time or by distance.  The periods of recovery are called rest intervals and involves the activity performed at a low intensity. The time of the recovery period is determined by general fitness level or by the type of sprint interval.

Examples of interval training are:

Timed sets of sprints and recovery are one example of interval training

Timed sets of sprints and recovery are one example of interval training

  • Stair Climbing/running
  • Plyometrics
  • 30 second sprint drills
  • Boot Camp Workouts
  • Speed and / or Agility drills
  • Jump Rope Workouts

A proper interval training routine involves  just enough rest to be able to push hard for the next intense effort…and you should be breathing pretty hard when the whole series is finished!!

HOW IT WORKS:

The “how” of interval training is all about INTENSITY…. or how hard you push during the sprint interval.  Intensity is usually measured on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being no effort whatsoever while 10 represents the maximum effort possible. This is a very subjective scale based on the individual’s fitness level and the type of activity.  A ‘10’ would then be  the maximum amount of effort a person can safely expend for that particular interval.  The rest or relief interval allows the bodies high energy systems to regenerate and get ready for another round of oncoming high intensity work.

WHY INTERVALS?

High Intensity Interval Training works because it is highly adaptable and can be tailored for anyone from novice to trained athletes.   And most importantly it produces results.

1) Saves time. Most intervals last about 20 minutes in comparison to an hour or more on the treadmill with traditional cardio exercise.

2) Stimulates a greater release of growth hormone. Studies have shown that intense interval training produces growth hormone which build lean muscle mass.

3) Better for your joints. There is less exposure on the joints because it takes less time to complete.

4) Metabolic disturbance. Interval training increases metabolism and post-exercise oxygen consumption which has been shown to burn fat for 24 hours after the interval session.

5) Variety. Interval training can be done with body weight exercises, on exercise machines, with medicine balls, with weights, and outdoors. Interval training is an effective method that has many tools.  This is important because workouts will never become stale or boring!

AND … more calories are typically burned during interval training than in lower-intensity exercise. By adjusting the intensity with bursts of movement throughout the workout,  the body is able to work  harder for a longer period of time than with moderate sustained aerobic exercises.

Interval training will improve conditioning and performance quickly, usually in just a few weeks.

As conditioning improves,  heart rate will be lower at both the work and active-recovery interval.  When that happens,  gradually increase the work ratio by 15 seconds to up to a full minute and decrease the active-recovery interval.

IMPORTANT: You should be out of breath and sweaty during the work interval to make it work but not so hard that you put yourself at risk for injury

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