We all notice it, that one person on the elliptical sweating their face off looking like they might fall off at any moment, and could probably use a drink of cold water. Thinking either, “Wow that person is killing it” or “Is it raining outside?” And then there’s the person next to them who’s working just as hard and for the sake of this article has been on the elliptical for just as long, yet looks like they have a cold breeze blowing in their face. Is one better than the other? “If I’m not sweating does it mean I’m not working hard enough?”
First off, when we sweat it’s simply our bodies attempt to cool us down as our body temperature rises. Whether it’s a hot and humid day outside here in sunny Florida and the AC in your car is broke (God forbid I know, I’ve been there), or you’ve been on the treadmill for 30 minutes walking on an incline, your body is going to react the same. Each individual’s body is different though, we know that. It comes down to a couple of things as to why some people sweat more easily and why some don’t. Some people just naturally have more sweat glands than others just like naturally some people like to talk more than to workout :). People in better physical shape tend to take a bit longer to raise their body temperature, causing them not to sweat as much. Sweating, though yes is a small indicator of having a good workout it’s not what you want to be looking for. Remember the main goal is to burn calories and to lose fat. And for best results you need to try to have your heart rate in what is called the “Fat Burning Zone”. Which leads me to why I wrote this article in the first place.
Now this is where it gets a little tough, but please keep reading! To really get the most out of your workouts and to really know if you’re working hard enough, you need to make sure your heart rate is in your THR (Target Heart Rate) zone for at least 20min. But you also need to make sure you know your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate), which is the most beats your heart can handle in one minute. Sounds like a lot of work I know, but It’s easier to figure out than it sounds. First to get your MHR simply subtract 220 from your age. So for example, if you’re 40 your MHR would be 180. This number is important to know because it tells you the hardest you should be working out. If you ever do get to your maximum zone it’s okay. Don’t dive off the treadmill, just slow down and catch your breath. Now that you know your MHR you can figure out what your Target Heart Rate is. The general rule is you want to be working out at 60 to 80% of your MHR. This is just as easy to figure out, you just have to take your maximum HR, let’s stay with 180, and multiply it by 80%. That gives you 144 beats per minute, so that’s your ideal target zone. So if you were in a consultation with me I would give you a range from 120 to about 165 to try to stay in throughout your cardio workout. But if you can maintain 144 for the entire workout, that’s perfect. You would be well in the “Fat Burning Zone!” Exciting stuff I know, but it really is very important to understand this. Some people just have to look at the elliptical to start sweating , 🙂 so its not always the best sign of a good workout. Use this information to make sure you’re getting the most out of your workouts every single time.
That’s it for now. Enjoy the day and remember “you’re only one workout away from a good mood!”
Posted: March 17, 2013 in Healthy Choices
Im going to give you just a basic list I found of these 3 food groups that has helped a lot of my clients throw a healthy meal together. I get asked the question a lot about what foods are healthy and what you should be eating. So here’s a list of healthy proteins, carbs, and veggies you can add to your “healthy choice list”. Sorry no pizza, chocolate, or ice cream. 🙂
Just pick and choose one from each catogory to make a meal, easy as that. Thousands of different choices for you!! If you have any to add, please do.
|Lean Ground Turkey
||Steamed Brown Rice
||Steamed Wild Rice
||Whole Wheat Pasta
|Top Round Steak
|Top Sirloin Steak
|Lean Ground Beef
|Egg, Whites or Substitutes
|Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
Ive been training for a little while now and I talk to lot of different people everyday. So I have heard pretty much every question out there. From “How do I rid of the jiggly wiggleys on the back of my arms?..(which is a close second question) ,or “I want to tone up but how can I do it without looking like a man?”,and “How do I get rid of these love handels”. Which by all means are valid questions but the question I get the most and has the biggest misconception at first is…”Which of these ab machines should I use to get a six pack and a flatter stomach”…..Most likely some people have this idea because of all the info commercials promising 20 pack abs if you use their products and all the shredded men and women who use it. Believe me though if you are wanting a flatter stomach you can do all the crunches you want but unfourtally you will be waisting a lot of your time. Yes you will be strengthening your abs somewhat and you dont want to completlety neglect your abs but when it comes to actually seeing your ab muscles it all comes down to your body fat %.
So basicly keep doing what your doing with your cardio routine (30-45min) no more than an hour, while keeping your heartrate in your fat burning zone (ill will be going over that in another post). Of Course keeping your diet in check and making healthy choices… But like I explained in another post, strength training is just as important. Try to keep it at 30-45min of Cardio and 30-45min of strength training. No reason to be at the gym for more than an hour and half. Instead of doing tons of crunches focus on doing core workouts like planks to end you workout session. In fact, researchers at the University of Virginia found that it takes 250,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of fat… that’s 100 crunches a day for 7 years!
The easy answer is VERY important! You know by now how important doing cardio is for your heart,burning calories and losing weight. And its great for the first month or so to be just focussing on that for your exercise. But what you might not know is strength training is just as important and in my opinion more important than cardio in helping you keep off your weight loss. Some women I talk to about this are TERRIFIED of this idea and all they can picture is getting “bulky” and or “looking like a man”. This is far from the truth and if your goal is to look fit and toned its a MUST.
Here are a list of some of the benefits by adding strength training to your workouts:
- The most important one is its going to make you feel like a new person! The confidence and energy you will feel after a workout (and yes maybe some soreness).. 🙂 is alone worth it.
- You will start to build LEAN MUSCLE. Simply the more lean muscle you have the more calories you will burn at rest (sitting on the couch, watching tv, reading this blog or even sleeping). Muscle burns 3x the calories that fat does. To keep it simple the more muscle mass you have (remember, you wont look like a bodybuilder) the faster your metabolism will be and the more calories and fat you will burn throughout the day!
- Slows the loss of muscle mass and bone density as we age. As early as our mid 20’s our muscles start to slowly deteriorate if we remain inactive. But especially if you are in your 40’s and 50’s does regular strength training become very important. 2-4 days a week of moderate strength training will do the trick and help you feel and look young!
- Everyday life will become easier. Mindless activities like carrying groceries (able to do it in one trip!), picking up around the house, laundry, picking up your kids and everything else that might seem difficult will soon change and make you feel like you’re some kind of super hero 🙂 .
It might be a little intimidating at first I know, but once you start you will never look back. Start slowly with just the strength machines at your gym or even start doing body weight exercises at home. Whichever it might be the best advise I can give you is to be consistent in your workouts and everything else will fall into place.
Posted: March 9, 2013 in Healthy Choices
Tags: breakfast, breakfast snack, diet, DIY, fitness, Food, health, healthy-living, new to fitness, nutrition, Training
This is going to be the hard part sometimes. There are to many convenient and easy choices that we all know to well. The trick is to start slow and give yourself a break and just begin to make better choices. Every healthy choice you make is one step closer to creating new habits and breaking the old. Yes you will have slip ups here and there and order that supersized #2 :(… but as long as you keep in mind where you want to be in 6 months you will move on from it and continue on.
Here are some tips to start doing if you havent already started:
- Eat Breakfast. I know most of the people I sit down and talk to have no time for this. You wake up, have a cup of coffee and you’re out the door. Even if its small at first, a banana, apple, yogurt, bowl of cereal, whatever it is for you to get used to eating in the morning. A healthy breakfast will kickstart your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day as well as giving you more energy.
- Smaller Portions and Eating More Often. The eating more often part sounds crazy I know but this is really important. The less you have on your plate and the more frequent you eat the less calories you will take in and the higher your metabolism will be throughout the day. Kinda simple as that, but I know it’s not. The main goal is to try to eat 4-6 meals. Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner. Do your best and just keep this in mind.
- Late Night Snacking. This is what gets a lot of people I know in trouble. The general rule if you are looking to lose weight is try not to eat past 7pm. This is not always going to work out I know, but the later it is the slower our bodies get and the slower you’re going to burn calories. So the late night snack that probably isn’t very healthy will most likely go straight where you don’t want it. If you are feeling a craving try to have some fruit around to snack on. I know it doesn’t sound as good as that left over pizza but you will thank me for it later.
- REMEMBER this isn’t going to be a quick fix. Focus on these start-up tips for now and don’t make it too complicated. Be patient, be healthy, be positive and good things WILL come.
- So as most of you know if you really are serious about losing weight and working on becoming a better you, you have to start making some different choices when it comes to your eating habits. Theres no getting around it. But it doesn’t nessasaraly mean you have to go on that ugly word…a diet. There are tons of fad diets that you see and hear about everyday. The truth is going on these fad diets are only temporary fixes. Most likley as soon as you go off the diet and go back to your normal habits you WILL gain back all of the weight you lost and sometimes more. Im not saying diets are a terrible thing but I do think overtime that word has been over used and when people hear it they tend to cringe and picture themselves eating salads with no dressing for every meal. Obvisolouly thats not the case but you get my point.
- So in other words without saying that ugly word, when you are just starting off you simply just need to make healthier choices. Dont worry about counting calories or beating yourself up if you had a slip up and went through a drive thru. The main thing right now is just knowing that you need to start making better choices and be aware of what you put in your body. If you’re working out 3-5 times a week you’re not going to want to ruin your hard work with a #5 from some fast food resturant. It might be the hardest part when you start, but slowly but surely you will form new habits and see big changes not only how you look but also how you feel. The best diet is not going on a diet at all. Rather changing habits over time,exercising, living a healthy lifestyle and enjoying your life!
Posted: March 7, 2013 in Healthy Choices
Tags: diet, fitness, fitness diet health, health
It’s never going to be easy or even the right time to start your fitness life. Whether its your first time in the gym or you got lost along the way and have found your way back, you are already one step closer than you were yesterday. First things first you have to realize its all about YOU. Most likely you have been taking care of other people for a long time or have been distracted by school, work, ect. and somewhere down that road you have left yourself behind. So in three words I’m going to give you your new motto. TREAT.YOUR.SELF.
For you Parks and Rec. fans you have heard that before and for those of you who don’t watch this hilarious show it means put yourself FIRST for a little while. It doesn’t have to be just in the gym but in every aspect..(as long as you’re not FIRST in line at Wendys) All kidding aside you owe it to yourself. So if your just starting out and for now are just looking to lose weight im going to give you just TWO things to focus on and I promise you if you do just these two things you will quickly begin to lose weight.
#1. ONLY drink water for your liquid consumption. Yes you can have your morning coffee , I wouldn’t dare take that away from you. but besides that ONLY water. You will cut out sooooo many calories just by doing this. Yes you will be using the restroom quite often, but think of it as a cleanse. Flushing (no pun atended….well maybe) all of those old habits out of your system.
#2. CARDIO. If you don’t have a gym membership that’s ok! The main idea right now is to just start moving. Try to commit yourself to 3-5 days 30-45 minutes of moderately walking outside, riding your bike, walking your dog, chasing your kids….whatever it is to start burning more calories than you are used to. I promise you it doesn’t have to be hard or complex if you are just starting. Make it easy on yourself for now. Try to form new habits and give yourself a chance. And always remember to TREAT.YOUR.SELF.