Trainer’s Tip #9: Use Short, Effective Workouts Through the Holidays

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Trainer’s Tip #9: The holidays…so much to do, so little time.  However, if you have 10 to 20 minutes you can still fit a good workout in–But don’t do just any workout.  Do interval training and compound moves for the best results.

Remember: Every minute adds up.  A 20 minute workout, if done correctly, will help you maintain through the holiday hustle and bustle.  Don’t even have 20 minutes?  Break it into two 10 minute workouts.

Here are two examples of effective, but quick, workouts:

6 Moves, One Full-Body, Fat-Torching Workout

20 Minute Get-You-Through-The Holidays Workout

Bonus:  Most of these moves are travel-friendly!

Trainer’s Tip #8: Take a Daily Dose of Gratitude.

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Trainer’s Tip #8:  Count your blessings instead of your hardships.

Not just tomorrow when you carve the turkey, but every day.  Too simplistic, you say?  Studies show that doing so will improve your level of happiness and your health.  They show that people who keep a gratitude journal exercise more regularly, take better care of themselves and are more optimistic about life.  Gratitude is a stress-buster and helps the immune system.

When your eyes open in the morning, or before they close at night, write down something you’re grateful for.  Or just think it in your head.  What do you take for granted?  What do you love about yourself?  Create positive mantras, and repeat them in your head while you work out.  “I’m strong.  I’m empowered.”

Try it.  You may be grateful you did.

 

Trainer’s Tip #7: Try the Assisted Pull-Up

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Trainer’s Tip of the Day #7:  Try the Assisted Pull-Up

If you like machines, but are pressed for time, don’t think you have to fit in every single one to get a full-body workout.  Focus on the machines that target large muscle groups of the upper and lower body.  These machines work the most muscles at once, giving you the most bang for your buck.  The assisted pull-up is of my favorite gym machines because it does just that.

This machine allows people who can’t lift their body weight (ie, most people) to recieve the benefits of the pull-up, which actively engages roughly 20 muscles.  Stabilizing muscles, such as those in your core, are also engaged.  I like to do a wide-grip pull-up on this machine, but you can also reverse your grip, with your palms facing toward you.

Trainer’s Tip of the Day #6: Ditch the Trendy Diet

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Trainer’s Tip #6:  Ditch diets that cut out whole food groups.

I love this article, written by a registered dietitian, which expresses the downside of the Whole30 diet perfectly.  My favorite line:  “Any diet that bans nutritious whole grains like quinoa and millet, but allows you to survive exclusively off of bacon and Larabars, should make you question the legitimacy of its health claims.”

I know there’s disagreement here.  I know that some of these diets have helped people lose weight, and if they educate people about the health risks of eating too much sugar and processed foods, that’s all good.  But research shows that they are not the best way to get in shape, and stay in shape for the long haul.  Let’s look at the facts:

1.) Many of the pounds lost on fad diets are made of water.   Dehydrating yourself is not sustainable for the long term.

2) Weight lost is the result of drastic calorie reduction, not the elimination of so-called bad foods.  Furthermore, usually muscle is broken down and burned, not fat.  Less muscle=lower metabolism.

3)  When off the diet, studies show the weight comes back easily because people are unable to stick to the drastic eating regimen for the rest of their lives.  Hence, a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

4) Many of these diets do not place importance on physical activity, which is necessary in maintaining a healthy weight and body composition.

5) Many of these diets are created by unqualified people who publish books that have little scientific weight to stand on.  Someone who has passed a test in nutrition is not a registered dietician.   What do the creators of the Paleo diet think about this bit of knowledge?  I’d be interested to know.

 

 

I hereby commit to posting extremely brief tidbits of useful wisdom, termed “Trainers Tips,” on a regular basis.  You may ponder, ignore, or do as you wish with them as you go about your day.

Info about what?  Well…fitness.  Exercise tips, motivational tips, nutrition tips, health and well-being tips.  Maybe mind-blowing, maybe obvious but perhaps overlooked.  Tips to help you in your quest to become the happiest, healthiest you ever, one day at a time.

How often?  Most days.  Okay, I may get super busy or lazy one day.  Or two.  Don’t hold it against me.

Where?  Here.  On this site.  And my Facebook page and google+ page.

Why?  Because they’re short and sweet and force me to post to my blog regularly.  And because I love helping my readers in any small way I can, of course.

 

Trainer’s Tip of the Day #5: Stand Up!

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Trainer’s Tip #5: Stand up! (as opposed to sitting)

This one may seem a little obvious, but hear me out.  Sitting for long periods over the course of a day is hazardous to your health, even if you exercise regularly.  According to research, too much sitting likely increases your risk for metabolic syndrome and your risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

If you have a desk job, take frequent walk breaks.  Sit on a stability ball or push for a standing desk.  When you’re on the phone or eating lunch, stand up.  Pick the farthest parking spot on purpose.  Walk wherever you can.  Be more active in general.  Every little minute counts, and this cumulative effect can make a profound difference in your health and well-being.

 

Trainer’s Tip of The Day #4: Beware the “All or Nothing” Trap

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Tip #4:  Forgo the “all or nothing” mindset.

By this, I mean, don’t obsess over calories consumed and calories burned when you’re trying to get in shape.  A continual state of anxiety over exercise and food is no way to live.  This doesn’t mean don’t pay attention at all to this.  But if you screw up and eat a cookie, don’t give up on it all.  One cookie is not going to derail the healthy lifestyle you’re trying to build.

And that, after all, is what matters most:  What you’re building in the long-term.  Not the cookie you ate today.  Too often when we screw up, we think “I messed up so I might as well eat this pizza too.  I’ll try again next time.”  But then next time keeps getting postponed, week after week, year after year.  My advice:  Follow the 80/20 rule.  Try to eat clean at least 80 percent of the time.  Studies show that if we feel too deprived when we’re trying to eat healthy, we don’t stick to it.  If you really want a cookie one day, eat the damn cookie.  Savor it.  And then move on.

I hereby commit to posting extremely brief tidbits of useful wisdom, termed “Trainers Tips,” on a regular basis.  You may ponder, ignore, or do as you wish with them as you go about your day.

Info about what?  Well…fitness.  Exercise tips, motivational tips, nutrition tips, health and well-being tips.  Maybe mind-blowing, maybe obvious but perhaps overlooked.  Tips to help you in your quest to become the happiest, healthiest you ever, one day at a time.

How often?  Most days.  Okay, I may get super busy or lazy one day.  Or two.  Don’t hold it against me.

Where?  Here.  On this site.  And my Facebook page and google+ page.

Why?  Because they’re short and sweet and force me to post to my blog regularly.  And because I love helping my readers in any small way I can, of course.

Trainer’s Tip of the Day #3: Give HIIT a Shot

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Tip #3:  Try HIIT (high intensity interval training)

I’m not necessarily recommending that you kill yourself every day with Shaun T. and his Insanity workouts.  Those definitely aren’t for everyone.  But try adding intervals to your runs or strength workouts a couple of times a week.  It could be just the jolt you need to get better results.

HIIT is really hot right now in the fitness world.  And it’s one trend I actually do recommend trying.  Why?  There’s positive research to back it up.  Alternating heartrate-elevating intervals with recovery intervals burns fat faster, and helps you keep burning fat even after your workout.  You can add intervals to most types of exercise to fit your taste.

Learn more about it here.  Happy HIITing!

A 6 Minute Anywhere-Workout to do With Your Kids!

Busy moms and dads, listen up!  Can’t fit in your workout today?  Finding it hard to get the kiddos away from their screens?

Help your kids reach their recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily activity, and get your workout in too.  Do this short workout one, two, three times in one day.  Every minute adds up!

Remember to keep it light-hearted and fun.  Shut off the TV, move your couch (or step outside), and get moving!

Trainer’s Tip of The Day #2

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Tip #2:  Eat a nice, big breakfast.

Recent studies show that making breakfast your biggest meal of the day promotes weight loss and reduces your risk for diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.

I’m not giving you a license to pile on the syrupy pancakes and greasy sausage (sorry!).  Choose unprocessed foods like oatmeal, whole grains, eggs, lean meat, nuts, seeds, and of course, fruits and veggies.  A good low-sugar mix of protein, fiber and complex carbs will keep you full, and energized, longer.

A couple examples: two eggs with whole grain toast and avocado slices; low-sugar oatmeal or cereal with milk and fruit; a smoothie including things like plain yogurt, a banana, flax/chia seeds, kale…get creative!

I hereby commit to posting extremely brief tidbits of useful wisdom, termed “Trainers Tips,” on a regular basis.  You may ponder, ignore, or do as you wish with them as you go about your day.

Info about what?  Well…fitness.  Exercise tips, motivational tips, nutrition tips, health and well-being tips.  Maybe mind-blowing, maybe obvious but perhaps overlooked.  Tips to help you in your quest to become the happiest, healthiest you ever, one day at a time.

How often?  Most days.  Okay, I may get super busy or lazy one day.  Or two.  Don’t hold it against me.

Where?  Here.  On this site.  And my Facebook page and google+ page.

Why?  Because they’re short and sweet and force me to post to my blog regularly.  And because I love helping my readers in any small way I can, of course.

Trainer’s Tip of the Day #1

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Tip #1:

Lift heavy.

There’s your very first tip.  Try lifting heavy instead of light weights.  It doesn’t have to be part of every single workout.  But if you are a mostly cardio or light-weights kind of person, you need to try this.  You could see major results….a) because it will increase your metabolism and burn more fat, even after your workout…b) because it will increase your strength and improve your muscle composition, giving you a firm, lean look.  It will improve your overall health and well-being.  Go as heavy as you can for 8-12 reps.  If, after 12 reps, you feel you can go longer, try increasing the weight a bit more.  And ladies, you won’t bulk up.  You just won’t.  Bonus:  With less reps, your workouts will be shorter!

Today I hereby commit to posting extremely brief tidbits of useful wisdom, termed “Trainers Tips,” on a regular basis.  You may ponder, ignore, or do as you wish with them as you go about your day.

Info about what?  Well…fitness.  Exercise tips, motivational tips, nutrition tips, health and well-being tips.  Maybe mind-blowing, maybe obvious but perhaps overlooked.  Tips to help you in your quest to become the happiest, healthiest you ever, one day at a time.

How often?  Most days.  Okay, I may get super busy or lazy one day.  Or two.  Don’t hold it against me.

Where?  Here.  On this site.  And my Facebook page and google+ page.

Why?  Because they’re short and sweet and force me to post to my blog regularly.  And because I love helping my readers in any small way I can, of course.