Parents ARE the biggest Influencers!

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In the United States, obesity in children is definitely on the rise!  It is now estimated that 1 in 3 American kids are considered either overweight or obese.

It’s shocking isn’t it?  I remember back when I was at school, and it was rare to see a child who was overweight.  All the kids seemed to be really skinny back then, and little wonder.  We ate healthy and instead of sitting in front of a computer playing games, or sitting down playing on the Xbox, we were outside playing cowboys and Indians and running around.

The way kids live has changed and it is reflected in their growing size.

And sadly, if the trend continues, for the first time ever, we will see a younger generation die before their parents – as a normal thing.

So, the question is:

Who is INFLUENCING these kids and making them fat?

The biggest influencers of children are their parents.  And that shouldn’t come as any surprise.  Take a look at American adults and you’ll find that – according to Wikipedia – 64% of adults are overweight or obese, and 26% are obese.  Wikipedia cites the source of those statistics to be “Obesity Statistics: U.S. Obesity Trends” published in 2006.  So the statistics are probably worse now, given the rising rate of obesity.

Parents often, are working fulltime, and it results in them taking shortcuts when it comes to diet.  Instead of cooking healthy foods at home, many parents turn to drive-thru alternatives and poor quality “heat and eat” options from supermarkets. 

And the prevalence of computers, the internet and gaming consoles means kids aren’t playing outside so much anymore.  They are sitting in front of a computer – and often eating junk foods while they’re playing games.  And working parents, who are often time poor – allow their kids to do this.

It makes for a dangerous mix.  A bad diet and sedentary lifestyle.  Put simply: kids are getting old before their time.  And they are getting lifestyle diseases as well – Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint problems, breathing problems, some cancers – even strokes and heart disease.

Parents are working hard.  Don’t get me wrong.  But they – and their children – are paying for it with their health.

 

How to change things

To change things, parents have to take ownership of the problem.  They need to see themselves as the major influencers of their children, and then take action to change it. 

These things can help:

  • Set aside family time each day to do something active – it only has to be half an hour – and make it fun!
  • Take the time to prepare healthy meals – if you are time poor, try cooking healthy things that you can store in your freezer, and simply heat and eat on busy nights!
  • Keep computer game time to a minimum – set a ceiling limit and encourage your kids to play in the backyard or sign up for a sport.
  • Actively encourage your kids to participate in sports and other active interests – save money on takeaway food and use that money to enlist your kids in a sport that will help them get active.
  • Be active yourself and eat healthy – you are to be an example to your kids.
  • Don’t give your kids unhealthy foods for lunches and snacks – you have to set the rules.

Remember, it may seem like hard work in the beginning, but it only takes 30 days for a new action to become a habit.  So work hard at creating these healthy habits.

Your kids will thank you for it in the future!

Age IS just a number…but Generation Y are old before their time!

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As discussed in the previous articles, the baby boomers – those born between 1946 and 1964 – are actually turning back the clock!  They are becoming more youthful as they age, and not letting the year and date on their birth certificates govern the way they live, look and feel.

They are improving their lifestyles and discovering the closest thing to a fountain of youth.

But what about their offspring?  Can the same be said for them?

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the children of the baby boomer generations and their grandchildren.

The fact is…

…The younger generations are old before their time!

The world may be getting faster, and the boomer generation may be getting off the couch and into a healthier lifestyle.  But their children – the Generation X and Y’s aren’t doing enough.  They are experiencing climbing obesity and an increase in lifestyle attributed diseases like heart disease, diabetes and asthma.

More scary still though is the prognosis for Generation Z – children born in the year 2000 and after.

According to Dr. David Katz of the Yale Preventive Medicine Research Centre, “Children born in the year 2000 or later are not expected to outlive their parents.”  He attributed this shocking revelation to poor diet.

Dr. Katz went on to say that a, “poor diet in kids is more dangerous than alcohol, drugs and tobacco combined!”  He quoted this in a Wall Street Journal article in March 2005.

Now, as a personal trainer, I was totally shocked, yet unsurprised by this statement.  Sure, we all know that people really need to lift the quality of their lifestyles, but to be told that our children and grandchildren won’t outlive us is nothing short of confronting.

It’s time for action – no excuses!

If the younger generation dying before their time disturbs you, then it’s time to take action and stop this from happening.

The power is in our hands.  I implore you to do the following and encourage everybody you know to do them as well:

   Reduce your alcohol consumption (if you are of age of course!)

   Stop smoking completely (again, if you are of age)

   Cut down on excessive sleeping or under sleeping. 

   Enjoy a balanced diet

   Exercise for half an hour per day, at least 3 times per week

    Do things for your wellbeing – do things that make you feel happy

    Meditate for 20 minutes each day to refresh and revive

    Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of drive

These are simple things you can start doing today to feel better and increase your longevity.  Do these things and you will notice a difference in how you look and feel – in next to no time!

And remember, you’re actually getting younger when you do this! Make it a habit and really benefit!

Determining your REAL age

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If somebody was to ask you for your age, you would automatically think of the year you were born.  And you would be forgiven for thinking that.  After all, that’s the way the great majority of people determine their age.

But what if I was to tell you that your real age is actually different to that?

Each one of us has a birthday, but we also have a body age.  And the good thing about body age is that we have quite a bit of control over what age it is.

It boils down to our lifestyle!

In determining your true body age, assessments take into consideration how many hours a day you sleep, whether you ride a motorbike to work, if you wear a seatbelt when you are in a car, if you ever drink drive or travel with somebody who does, how many hours per week you exercise, what sort of diet you have, if you grew up in a nuclear family or broken home, if you have a lot of family support, if you are married or single, etc.

All of these things are taken into consideration when it comes to determing your true body age.

Our true body age takes into account the following main areas:

  • Diet;
  • Physical fitness;
  • Health; and
  • Wellbeing.

How to find out your true body age

There are plenty of tests you can take online that will reveal to you your true body age.  I’ve had the pleasure of investigating quite a few of them, and the one I recommend is found at http://realage.com.  The test will probably take you around 20 minutes or so to do from memory, and it will give you a fairly good, indicative body age.

Just answer the questions and submit your answers for the revelation of your body age.

What if I get a disappointing result?

Don’t worry!  Many people get a result that indicates their true body age to be older than their real birthday age.  That’s because so many people need to improve their lifestyles.  They need to improve their diet, lift their physical fitness, address health issues and do things to improve their overall wellbeing.

And the thing is, doing this isn’t really that hard at all.  You have so much more control over your true body age, than you do over your birthday age.  After all, you cannot change the date and year you were born.

Age really is a lifestyle thing at the end of the day.  And by making improvements to your lifestyle,  you really can increase your longevity and hang round a lot longer!

How 60 is the New 50 and 50 is the New 40!

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If you think today’s 60 year olds are looking more 50 than 60, and you think today’s 50 year olds look more 40 than 50, you’d be right!

The baby boomer generation – those people born between the years 1946 and 1964 – are a lot younger than those of generations before them.  And it’s because they are very conscious of living well.  The baby boomers want to enjoy life to the max, and that’s why they embrace things that make them look good and feel good.

And the same goes for doing things that make them appear more youthful.

Let’s focus our attention on…

…Celebrity Boomers!

In recent years, we saw former US Presidents George W Bush and Bill Clinton turn 60.  Actress Demi Moore also turned 47 late last year.  But you simply wouldn’t know it!  Demi looks ever youthful, and the former presidents are hard to keep up with, when it comes to how active they are.

Bush is an active lover of fitness – running on average about three miles, four times each week.  It’s also been noted that he is a routine cross-trainer with an elliptical trainer, free weights and swimming.  In 2001, according to website Doctor Zebra, he could run a mile in about 7-8 minutes.  His own physicians put him in the top 2 per cent of men his own age, when it comes to cardio fitness.  He’s in great shape.

And take a look at Madonna!  She is into her 52nd year and has an incredible fitness and nutrition regime.  She consumes a macrobiotic diet (vegetables and protein-rich foods) and works out not just once a day – but all throughout the day.  Exercise for her may include cycling, swimming or martial arts.  In addition, she practices Ashtanga Yoga and will do Pilates daily as well. 

It’s really hard to believe these celebrities are in fact the ages they are, because they certainly do not look it!

And you don’t have to be a celebrity to make yourself younger!

According to Dr. Robert Butler of the International Longevity Center, there are things we can do today to be more youthful.  He recommends stopping smoking completely, cutting down on alcohol, paying attention to portion control and exercise.

And he knows a thing or two about this, given that he is a doctor, but also because he is now into his 80’s, yet works 60+ hours a week, exercises daily, has a very active family life and still sees patients who insist on seeing him.

“I love what I’m doing and I just can’t imagine being retired,” he was quoted as saying on Agingresearch.org.  “There’s too much to do.”

So if becoming younger is something you’re keen on doing, be sure to read the articles I have coming up.  We’re focusing on ageing and how you can reverse the trend to live your life to the full – no matter what year you were born!

My Top Tips for Weight Loss Eating

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Often in my work as a personal trainer, I hear about the diet frustrations that many of my weight loss clients contend with.  Up there with the best of them is the frustration surrounding the foods they really love, but feel they cannot enjoy because those food are ‘naughty’ or ‘bad’.

One of the things I am always happy to share with these clients is that there are so many substitutes out there that will keep you from going crazy from “yum deprivation”. 

Dieting doesn’t have to mean living on lettuce and cardboard at all.  This is what too many people believe, and it’s why too many people crash diet.  They cannot keep up with the strictness of the nutritional plan they are following.

Healthy eating is something we need to make a lifestyle thing and here are my healthy and delicious alternatives to those foods we find yummy:

  • Drink diet soft drinks instead of regular sugar ones:  Soft drinks and sodas are to blame for so much weight gain, and it’s not looking like slowing down any time soon.  Just because you’re trying to lose weight though doesn’t mean you have to cut soft drink out of your life altogether.  There are plenty of diet soft drinks out there that are sugar free, and you can enjoy them without feeling any guilt, anytime you wish to reach for a soda.
  • Wholegrain bread instead of white bread:  It’s a lie that you need to cut bread out of your diet altogether if you’re looking to lose weight.  Instead of eating white bread which is full of unnecessary calories, opt for wholegrain bread.  It has fewer calories, less fat and it’s rich with the nutrients that your body really craves.  This wholegrain recommendation also applies to bagels and bread rolls.  You don’t have to cut them out altogether!
  • Low fat cookies and cakes instead of the calorie-rich ones:  Many people get that 3pm lull towards the end of the day when the afternoon is winding down.  During this time you may be used to enjoying a cake or cookie, and the good news is you can still do this.  Just go for the low fat bakery options.  They do exist – you just need to spot them in your cake and cookie aisle at the grocery store.
  • Vegetable burgers instead of hamburgers:  Sometimes you just feel the need to wolf down a hamburger, and thanks to low-fat veggie burger alternatives, you can – guilt-free!  They take a little getting used to, I must admit, but it’s well worth trying them out.  Be sure to add a nice serve of salad to your burger for an enjoyable, healthier hamburger alternative.
  • “Fake butter” instead of real butter:  Sure it tastes a little different, but it’s worth switching from the fatty version to the fake.  The big companies producing butter are now creating fat-free versions, so you don’t have to forgo butter after all if you get the urge to enjoy it!

Take these handy tips into consideration within the context of a healthy, balanced diet, and you’re on your way to making a healthy lifestyle, your lifestyle!

To get advanced strategies go see you local 24 hour fitness trainer.

This site is dedicated to you and your continued success.  Feel free to leave you thoughts and questions so we can get you answers to your burining questions.

Top Tips for Eating Out

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Think you need to stay at home and make your own meals in order to stay on track with your weight loss goals?  Think again!  You’re on a weight loss journey, not a “no fun EVER” journey!

This said though, you’d definitely be forgiven for thinking that a night out at a restaurant would break every diet rule.  After all, check out those cooking shows with the star chefs.  They never hold back when it comes to including butters, oils and other fatty, flavor-enhancing ingredients in their menus.

As daunting as eating out whilst dieting may seem, all hope is not lost.  You can enjoy a restaurant meal without blowing your calorie intake, if you follow these tips for eating out the healthy way:

  • Plan the event in advance if you can:  Accept that by eating out, you’ll probably be consuming more calories than you would if you cooked yourself and ate at home.  Keep this in mind and cut down a little – when it comes to calories – in the days leading up to the event.
  • Avoid eating all the extras:  Restaurants are famous for their flavored oils and bread rolls with butter.  As tempting as these and the marinated olives or side order of fries may be, avoid all of these extras.  It’s well worth it because you really can save a lot of calories by doing this.
  • Avoid pastries, rich sauces, deep-fried meals, creams and cheese:  This stuff is full of fat and calories.  You don’t need them!
  • Ask for the dish to be adapted:  When ordering, it’s okay for you to ask for the chef to adapt the dish to suit you!  Don’t be afraid to ask.  I recommend you request things like extra vegetables, no potatoes, grilling your meat instead of pan-frying it, asking for salad dressing or sauce to be served in a pot so you can add as little as you want to your meal or requesting no dressing on your salad.
  • Don’t feel pressured into eating three courses:  A main meal is enough, or alternatively, two serves of the starter.
  • Avoid fatty desserts:  A great option for dessert if you’re on the quest to lose weight is fresh fruit salad or sorbets.  Avoid pastries, cheeses and creams when it comes time to order dessert.
  • Avoid sugary soft drinks:  Instead opt for water, mineral water or diet drinks that have zero sugar.

If you don’t have time to prepare (by eating less) for your dining out experience, don’t stress out about it!  Simply cut down on calories a day or two following, or do a little more exercise.  It’s really that easy and it certainly doesn’t mean the world’s going to end.

Eating out whilst dieting doesn’t have to mean punishing yourself at all.  There almost always is a healthy alternative to substitute an ingredient, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Bon appetite!

Meet with your local 24hr fitness trainer to put together an action plan on how you can eat when your out!!

The Winning Mindset for Weight Loss

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During my career as a personal trainer, there’s something that really stands out to me when it comes to my weight loss clients.  There are two types of people who come to me for help with weight loss:

  1. Those who see weight loss – the diet and exercise habits required for weight loss – as easy and enjoyable; and
  2. Those who see the weight loss process as one that is difficult and painful.

Guess which group gets the results?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure it out.  The way we think and the way we feel determines the actions we take and the outcomes we’re going to get.

When you are positive about the weight loss journey and you believe in the great outcomes that will result in you eating right and exercising, you’ll do it!

On the other hand, if you have a negative view about it all, you will end up hating the weight loss journey altogether and drop the ball before you see any results. You’ll feel overwhelmed.

The key to succeeding when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals is to make a conscious decision to lose weight and feel happy and excited about all of it:

  • The process of losing weight – the healthy diet you will come to love and the regular exercise you’ll feel energized by!
  • The results of reaching your goals – the great way you will look, the great way you will feel!
  • The prospect of a long, healthy and happy future – a future where you will continue to look and feel great – and exude health and wellbeing!

Forget the false promises the dieting industry makes about instant or near instant, overnight results.  The only way to lose weight is to change your lifestyle, so make the decision to change your lifestyle and love it!

Healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean regimenting your life and making it difficult.  There are so many ways you can start eating well and exercising regularly with results – and you can fit these in to suit your likes, your lifestyle and your goals.

See the weight loss journey as a positive one.  Know that your body, your mind and your spirit crave health and wellbeing.  Understand that when you give your body the healthy food it wants and exercise regularly the way your body wants, you will become a person who enjoys success, happiness and fulfillment on every level.

Go meet with your local 24 hour fitness.  Find a trainer that can help you develop a winning midset!!

This site is dedicated to you and your continued success.  Feel free to leave you thoughts and questions so we can get you answers to your burining questions.

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer for Weight Loss

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Now that you understand just how worthwhile it is for you to hire a personal trainer to help you lose weight, it’s important to find a good one.  But how does one find a good personal trainer, when there are so many out there?

Make no mistake about it.  It can be a real mine field out there, working your way through telephone directories and Google listings for good personal trainers local to you.  In helping you find the right trainer for your weight loss and health goals, here are a few handy tips that will help you hire the right one:

  • Check out the personal trainer’s qualifications and certification:  Good personal trainers will have qualifications in either health promotion, physiology, athletic training, kinesiology or fields like this.  In addition they should have certification in first aid and CPR.  Check out any professional memberships and certifications they may have as well.  It certainly adds to the credibility factor.  This information should be on the trainer’s website.
  • Read client testimonials:  You will find these on a personal trainer’s website.  Read up and see what past and present clients have to say. 
  • Google the personal trainer:  Find out what mentions there are online of the personal trainer you are considering.  This will give you an insight into that personal trainer’s reputation.
  • Ensure they have liability insurance:  A personal trainer should always have liability insurance.
  • Find out how the personal trainer works:  This is information you’re likely to find on their website.  I’m talking here about things including the services they offer, costs, cancellation policy, contract information (if there are contracts) and of course, any emergency procedures they may have. 
  • Ask if they require a medical clearance form from you before working with you:  A good personal trainer will require this, to ensure that you are in reasonably good health before any training commences.  This covers you both.
  • Call the trainer or meet them to see how you get along:  It’s important that your personal trainer is somebody you can get along well with.  After all, we’re talking here about your weight loss and overall health goals.

Keep these tips in mind when you start researching potential personal trainers to work with, and you’re well on your way to making the right decision.

Happy personal trainer hunting!

To find some of the best personal trainers around go checkout your local 24hour fitness in your area.

Top Reasons Why a Personal Trainer is a Good Idea!

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With the world’s population getting fatter and fatter, it comes as no surprise that the demand for personal trainers is on the rise.  People have had enough of carrying excess weight and the downsides that come with it.

Even though the demand for personal trainers is high, people still often ask the question, “Why would I even need a personal trainer?”  So in an attempt to help explain why it’s a great idea to work with a personal trainer, here are my top reasons why it’s worth hiring a personal trainer for weight loss:

  • They keep you on track and motivated:  What’s the reason why people often give up on their weight loss journey? It’s because they run out of motivation and just throw in the towel.  A personal trainer will keep you working towards your weight loss goals.
  • They develop a tailored fitness plan just for you:  A good personal trainer will take YOU into consideration – your health and weight loss goals, your lifestyle, your strengths, your weaknesses, your likes and your dislikes.  Any medical conditions are also taken into consideration by your personal trainer.  Your personal trainer will then develop a fitness plan to suit all of these things – increasing the likelihood of you sticking to the plan.
  • They show you the most efficient ways to exercise:  The personal trainer develops a plan for you, taking into consideration your goals.  They will then recommend for you the most efficient exercises to help you achieve your goals. You won’t waste time or energy doing the things that don’t help you reach your goals.
  • They will introduce you to exercise if you’re new to it:  Your personal trainer will introduce you to exercise – even if you’ve never really done any form of fitness before.  A soft introduction to exercise will help you to get fit and stay active.
  • They show you how to exercise on your own:  Even when you’re not training with your personal trainer, the techniques your trainer will show you will allow you to go it alone between sessions. 
  • They show you how to exercise safely:  Too often people injure themselves when exercising – even if they have the best intentions.  A personal trainer will teach you how to exercise safely.

The rewards you will get by working with a personal trainer will far outweigh any costs associated with hiring a personal trainer.  I always encourage people to view the cost of personal training as an investment, rather than an expense.

After all, you cannot put a high enough price on health and wellbeing.  When you reach your goals by working with a personal trainer, you’ll be enjoying life and living it to the max!

Getting Down to the Nutrition Basics: My Tips for Weight Loss

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Because I’m a personal trainer, you may be half expecting me to harp on about why physical exercise is the most important part of losing weight.  The fact is, it’s not.  Diet and exercise are both equally important when it comes to losing weight and keeping it off for life.

Even if you were to work with me an hour each day for a year and eat whatever you wanted, you wouldn’t be in optimum health.  You need a healthy, balanced diet for this as well.

A balanced diet will do so much in helping you achieve the body and the waistline you want – and it will go a long way in helping you to enjoy optimum health.

As you already know from my blog, it takes just 30 days for you to replace old unhealthy habits, with healthy ones that will keep you looking and feeling great for life.  I’ve already told you what nutritional changes you need to start implementing when you start out on that lifestyle change road.

Further to this though, I have a number of basics you also need to bear in mind when it comes to nutrition.  Here they are:

  • Keep an eye on your calorie intake:  For weight loss as a general rule, experts recommend a calorie intake no less than 1200 calories per day for women and no less than 1800 calories per day for men.  You generally need to reduce your daily intake of calories by 15-20%.
  • Watch your portion sizes:  Aim to eat at least 5-6 servings of fruit and vegetables per day, because the fiber they contain helps you to lose weight.  Smaller portions are the key, and it is also good to eat slowly.  By eating smaller portions, you are consuming fewer calories and by eating slowly, you will notice that you are full sooner. 
  • Do not skip meals:  This is a big one!  People think that by skipping meals, they’re helping themselves lose weight.  By eating the 5-6 small meals per day, you will keep your blood sugar levels right which helps you to lose weight and stay healthy.  Most importantly, it keeps your metabolism going, so you will burn more calories throughout the course of the day.
  • Avoid sugars you don’t need:  Don’t drink juices or soft drinks which are responsible for weight gain.  Instead, aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.  Often that feeling of hunger is actually due to thirst, so drink up and you won’t be eating anything extra.  And if you feel like soft drink, opt for diet soft drink instead.
  • Don’t forget to treat yourself:  It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.  Treats may include chocolates, sweets, chips or ice cream.  If you deprive yourself completely of treats, you’re more likely to fall off the healthy eating bandwagon altogether.

Stick to these general rules – and don’t forget to exercise!  Weight loss is inevitable under these circumstances.