Skinny Does Not Equal Healthy

Americans tend to define ‘healthy’ based on the look and weight of somebody. Being skinny does not equal being fit. Staying within the lines of true fitness is about having the freedom and enjoyment of looking the best you can. But you have to find the boundary line of skinny verses fat and that comes from your Body Composition.

What is Body Composition?

Body composition is made up of your bodies muscle, fat and bone. Most often, the measure between lean tissue and fatty tissue is what makes up your body composition. There are a number of ‘skinny’ people out there who have more fatty tissue then lean tissue. This means that their body fat is too high while their lean muscle is too low.

Exercise and diet is the best way to lose extra body fat. But if you are skinny, yet not healthy, then gaining muscle is more important the losing weight.

Eat, Eat, Eat

Gaining muscle requires that you eat more calories than you burn. Try a few of these suggestions to add more calories to your daily intake.

Eat granola, bagels, avocados, olives, corn, meat, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt and cheeses

Add powdered milk into casseroles

Mix beans, meat or cheese into pasta

Use milk in soups instead of water

The trick is to add calories without adding too much fat.

Lift, Lift, Lift

Once you’ve got yourself eating enough calories, start building those muscles! The best way to gain muscle mass is by lifting heavy objects.

Lift heavier then you think you can handle. It should be difficult for you to do the lifts. Six to seven reps should be the max and the last ones should be extremely hard.

Use spotters to avoid injury

Do cardio workouts a couple days a week to keep your heart in good shape

We all know that muscle weighs more than fat, so for those who are on a diet, you may get frustrated when they don’t see your weight decrease.

Don’t judge how well you are doing based on your weight, go more by how you look and feel.

Recharge Tip #1: Sleep

For the next three articles I’m going to concentrate on three really great tips to help you to recharge. Now as you know, your body needs time to rest, rejuvenate and recharge. It’s absolutely essential – even when you are eating a healthy balanced diet and getting a good dose of physical exercise.

That’s because when you rest and recharge, your body gets to work to keep healthy. Cells are replaced, viruses and infections are flushed out and your body almost becomes new again.

The first important recharge tip that I will discuss here in this article is sleep.

Why is sleep so important?
Sleep is of critical importance to our physical health and wellbeing and it’s for the following reasons:

When we sleep, our brain recharges: During this time neurons are repaired.
Parts of the brain reset: A fine tuning of synaptic connections happens and the brain will sort information and discard information not needed. It stops us from overloading ourselves.
Our heart and lungs relax: There is a reduction in blood pressure and our heart rate drops.
It gives the body a chance to repair: The body will replace chemicals and repair other parts of the body that need it – muscles, tissues, aging or dead cells.
It can strengthen the immune system
Growth hormone is released during sleep: For children and young adults still growing, the growth hormone is released during sleep.

On the whole, a good quality sleep for the right amount of time refreshes us. We wake up energetic in the morning and ready for action. We also function on all cylinders after a good night sleep.

If we don’t get enough sleep:

We can experience memory loss, slower reaction time, greater stress and irritability.
By losing only one hour of sleep, our chances of having a car accident increase 7-8%.
If we lose 15 minutes of quality sleep, we can lose 15% of efficiency.
Our wellbeing plummets because of greater stress and depression associated with that.

At least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, with around 60 per cent of adults in America having sleep problems several nights each week.

That’s compared to 69 per cent of children suffering from sleep problems several nights each week.

How to sleep well
Because sleep is so important to our health and wellbeing, I recommend:

Getting into a sleep routine: Do this every day. The same bed time and get up time every day. Even on weekends.
Have a dark room: Light can interrupt your sleep.
Don’t go to bed too hungry or too full: This will stop you from getting the sleep you need. Wait at least three hours after dinner, before sleep.
Make sure you’re comfortable: Make sure your neck and back are comfortable for sleep.
Make sure you maintain your mattress: Turn it over every few months and aim to replace after 5-7 years of using it regularly. Make sure your mattress is comfortable – no sore necks or backs or it might be time to replace it.
Exercise: If you are too sedentary and don’t exercise enough, chances are it’s interfering with your sleep. Regular exercise – at least 3 days per week – will help you have a better quality sleep. Don’t exercise just before bed though!

So there you have it! Tips to help you sleep better and feel much better for it!

In my next article I’ll share my second recharge tip for you.

The Anti-Aging Benefits of Yoga

Our body is like a machine that requires maintenance, care and attention to remain at its working best. Sure, we do age in life, but what determines how well we age is that maintenance, care and attention.

In recent years, the baby boomer generation has climbed onboard the Yoga bandwagon…with remarkable results. More and more people are taking up the activity well beyond the age of 50 and many of these people claim to feel better beyond the age of 50, than when they did in their twenties!

So why is Yoga creating such amazing results for people? Why are seniors taking it up in increasing numbers, with remarkable results?

To find out, we need to take a careful look at what Yoga is all about.

Yoga 101…in 60 seconds
We could go on and on about what Yoga is, but for the purpose of this article I’ll keep it should and practical. Yoga means “union” in the Sanskrit language of ancient India, but Yoga as we know it today refers to the Sanskrit word “asana” – the practice of physical poses or postures.

Yoga focuses on creating body balance through the development of strength and flexibility. And you know from my prior articles just how important strength and flexibility are for our overall health and wellbeing as we age.

The great thing about Yoga is that it improves our mind, spirit and body and can be started by people of all ages. You just need to have the desire to do it and the willingness to learn.

The benefits of Yoga
So, what is it about Yoga that makes it so great for older people? How does it make older people feel so much better than they felt when they were younger?

To shed some light on this, the easiest way to do it is list for you the known benefits of Yoga:

It helps the body to attain greater flexibility
It helps the body to return to good health
It has proven to be a great exercise to prevent Osteoporosis
It helps seniors to feel more energetic, resulting in an increase in their wellbeing
It relieves joint pain

There are more and more Yoga classes cropping up everywhere for people over the age of 50, and Yoga instructors insist that even seniors who have the most sedentary lifestyle can enjoy the benefits.

There have been many cases where older people with limited flexibility and strength have discovered renewed strength and flexibility through Yoga. Don’t be scared off by the television shows and videos of Yoga masters striking some unbelievable poses! Anybody can start and benefit from Yoga – there are so many positions you can practice and benefit from.

Renewed energy, flexibility, vibrancy, health and wellbeing can become a reality for any senior who wants it.

So find out how your life can change for the better today and get in touch with a local Yoga group. There is so much to gain by trying it, so take action today!

Create your OWN Healthy Habits

Smiling couple preparing salad together in kitchen

In my last article, I referred to how obesity can run in families.  Maybe you know of somebody who battles with their weight, and they will discount it and say, “Oh, I just have

fat genes. My parents and siblings are like that – everybody in my family is.”

It’s so easy to just write obesity or weight problems off like that, but really, it’s not doing you or anybody saying it any favors at all.  In fact, it’s like writing yourself off and resigning yourself to a lifetime of obesity and the lifestyle-related problems that come with it.

At the end of the day, nobody wants to be sentenced to a lifetime of obesity.  And the only way you can spare yourself of it is to take full and 100% responsibility for YOU!

It is entirely up to you to make the changes

Nobody is going to wake up one morning and make it their life mission to help you lose weight.  Only you can do it.

You can watch as many healthy lifestyle programs relating to fitness and healthy diet…but at the end of the day, you need to implement what you learn to reap the benefits.

You have to stop talking about it, and start doing it.

The weight will not just fall off on its own.  You have to take action to lose the weight and get back to health.

Now, I know you may have struggled with this before.  You may have tried diets.  You may have tried doing a very strict fitness regime.

And even so – even with the best of intentions – you found yourself giving up because it was too hard.

But today is a NEW day!

Just because you may have failed in the past, doesn’t mean you will fail this time.  The past is the past.  And the future is whatever you want it to be – whatever you create it to be.

And when it comes to losing weight and getting yourself back to health, it’s all about creating new habits.

Now, new habits doesn’t mean pain and suffering.  It doesn’t mean you’re going to have a hard time and miss out on good things.  In fact, new, healthy habits means you are gaining so much.  You are getting on track to getting the healthy body you want and the healthy mind you want.

When you have a healthy body, you have a healthy mind.

And it all boils down to habits.

Here are some things to know about creating healthy habits:

It only takes 30 days to create a new habit: replace an old habit that isn’t healthy, with a healthy habit.  Do it for 30 days and it becomes second nature.  It’s no longer such a struggle to do it, because you naturally DO it!

By adopting healthy habits, you will relieve yourself of stress: it’s amazing how a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise can relieve you of stress.  You can manage stress a whole lot easier when you are living a healthy lifestyle.

And here are a few habits you can adopt TODAY

It’s really not that hard.  See these are surefire steps to your optimum health and wellbeing:

Start walking: You always feel better after a walk.  Try making time each day – or at least 3 days a week – to walk at least 30 minutes.  Try shaking up the pace of your walking with bursts of fast walking, then normal walking.  Also, you can try jogging for say one minute every 5 minutes.  Shake your body up and your metabolism is turbocharged…so it will burn fat for a lot longer – for hours after you stop exercising.

When hungry, snack on nuts: It doesn’t take long for you to fill up when you snack on nuts.  The hunger will go away pretty fast…and nuts are an essential food you should eat every day for optimum health.  Nuts are good for you!

Don’t make excuses: Remember it is up to YOU to take 100% responsibility for your health.  Don’t skip health checks and don’t skip your exercise or healthy eating.  You can add variety so you keep on the right path.

Plan to eat well: Create a meal plan and buy food you can store in your freezer.  It spares you the temptation of eating unhealthy take away foods.

Remember to relax: People give up because they push themselves too hard.  Afford yourself relaxation from your fitness routine – a couple of days per week of rest is fine.  And if you want to treat yourself to the occasional chocolate, you can.  Just stick to healthy basics every other time.

Thirty days and you’re there!  Start today!

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!

In it for the long haul!

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Just recently I read a really inspirational story about an ordinary lady by the name of Linda Pottinger.  Linda’s story featured on the USA Today website, and like you, she too is in the process of dropping weight.

Already she has gone from 178 pounds down to 158 pounds – and her approach has been simple.  She has made lifestyle changes, and she is dedicated to sticking to it.

In the past, like many people, Linda found that she just wasn’t getting anywhere in her mission to lose weight.  That’s because she expected immediate results.

Immediate results to drop the pounds is what the diet industry has promised decade after decade.  All of these promises of losing weight without having to make changes to diet and fitness is what the diet industry has churned out, in an effort to suck people in!  Everybody wants a quick fix without too much effort – and that’s why the diet industry makes such outrageous promises!

As a personal trainer, I know just how crazy this belief is.  There just isn’t a magic pill to losing weight loss and there never will be.  You have to put the effort in and change your lifestyle.  There’s just no other way to do it.

So how do you actually do it?

Linda does what I recommend my clients do, and this is all there is to it:

  • Create a calorie deficit:  You need to ensure that you burn more calories than you consume.  For weight loss, experts typically say 1500 calories per day is fine.  By exercising 30-45 minutes per day, doing exercise that gets you sweating will help you to drop about 0.5-1 pound per week.
  • Keep a food log:  Keep track of how many calories you consume per day by creating a food log.  Record what you eat and how many calories you consume in one day.
  • Keep active:  Do at least 30-45 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, to burn calories and create that calorie deficit.
  • Have a real purpose for weight loss:  Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and what it will mean for you to lose the weight.  Focus on the reasons first thing in the morning and the last thing you do before going to bed.  Keep your purposes fresh in your mind and remind yourself of them when you feel lacking in motivation.
  • Ensure you stick to your healthy schedule even when you’re away:  Linda travels a lot with her work, but she always ensures she fills her days with plenty of extra exercise walking around the airport and eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.  It’s really not that hard to stick to this once you make the decision to lose the weight.

Remember, once you make the decision to lose weight you must stick to it.  There is no other way around it.  Make it fun and see the healthy diet and exercise as something to enjoy – not something to struggle and endure.  It’s all about lifestyle change and making the most of your downsizing experience.

As soon as you really understand and accept the fact that there is no quick fix to weight loss, you will set out to make changes to your lifestyle.  All it takes is 30 days for you to replace bad habits with healthy ones – and that goes for diet and exercise.

So if you get started today, in about one month’s time you should be well on track to achieving a healthy lifestyle for life!

Staying safe and keeping your pride while working out!

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Be afraid, be very afraid!  I say that with the intention to humor you mostly, but also to alert you to a very real and present fact: people are doing themselves – not to mention their pride – injuries in their quest to get fit.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  It’s great to throw yourself (not literally!) into a healthy lifestyle of regular fitness.  But if you haven’t worked out for a long time – maybe several months or years – you’re going to have to heed a few warnings from a personal trainer.

Of which I am one!

Over the course of my personal training career, I’ve seen my fair share of injuries to both body and pride for many a client.  In fact, just recently, I read an article on the internet that revealed to me these very alarming facts:

http://rss.msnbc.msn.com/id/35127528/ns/health-fitness/

  • Last year in this country, there were more than 50,000 people treated in the ER for fitness equipment injuries!
  • Treadmills are the most dangerous pieces of fitness equipment!
  • People often injure themselves whilst checking their iPhones or iPods, the equipment computers or watching the TV or others working out!
  • The biggest causes of injury on fitness equipment: lack of attention and not knowing how to use the equipment properly.

In short, these injuries are 100% preventable and personal trainers can help you avoid injury to both body and pride!

Imagine having to face your gym colleagues again after cart wheeling off a treadmill. Don’t laugh – it’s happened more than once!  And unfortunately, injuries like this which involve bone fractures and sprains keep even the most determined health-kicker out of action for weeks!

Even the most accident-prone, clumsy person can master fitness machines with the expert assistance of a personal trainer.  It’s always rewarding for me to introduce somebody completely new to fitness, to equipment that gets results.  Once they are properly taught how to use the equipment, it’s always great to see the individual bask in the satisfaction of real results!

Once you know how to use fitness equipment the right way, you will never forget.  It’s like riding a bike!  You’ll be well on your way to adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, conducive to good health and wellbeing.  Your local gym will have 24 hour fitness trainers on hand ready to show you the ropes, without the risk of injury.  Trial and error definitely can come with pain in this game!

It’s really worth working with a personal trainer from day one, because you avoid silly injuries like the ankle sprains and leg breaks from pushing yourself too hard on a treadmill or falling off a stepping machine.

We don’t just teach people how to use exercise equipment – we also help every individual we work with to start slow in the beginning.  How many times have you decided to really throw your efforts into getting fit?

Perhaps you’ve bitten off more than you can chew with the weights machine and done your shoulder or back?

Maybe you’ve torn muscles by running on a treadmill without adequate warm up?

It’s painful to your body, and definitely to your pride.

Getting fit takes time.  It will take you at least three months to really get your body fit.  There are no overnight fixes.  No magic pills.

A good personal trainer will get you on track to achieving your fitness and health goals from day one.  No more trial and error.  No more falling off the wagon because you’re losing motivation.

If you’re 100% serious about achieving your goals when it comes to fitness, talk to a qualified personal trainer today.  Save yourself an injury to your body and to your pride – and get well on your way to your goals today!

Check out the local 24 hour fitness trainers in your area!  You won’t regret it, and you’ll get fit without all of those silly injuries to body and pride!