Thursday, March 31, 2011

Got excuses? Here are tips to eliminate the excuses and be on your way to better health!

Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges

Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy. Get practical tips for overcoming common barriers.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Sticking to a regular exercise schedule isn't easy. After all, there are plenty of potential hindrances — time, boredom, injuries, self-confidence. But these issues don't need to stand in your way. Consider practical strategies for overcoming common barriers to fitness.

Barrier No. 1: I don't have enough time to exercise

Setting aside time to exercise can be a challenge. Use a little creativity to get the most out of your time.
  • Squeeze in short walks throughout the day. If you don't have time for a full workout, don't sweat it. Shorter spurts of exercise, such as 10 minutes of walking spaced throughout the day, offer benefits too.
  • Get up earlier. If your days are packed and the evening hours are just as hectic, get up 30 minutes earlier twice a week to exercise. Once you've adjusted to early-morning workouts, add another day or two to the routine.
  • Drive less, walk more. Park in the back row of the parking lot or even a few blocks away and walk to your destination.
  • Revamp your rituals. Your weekly Saturday matinee with the kids or your best friend could be reborn as your weekly Saturday bike ride, rock-climbing lesson or trip to the pool.

Barrier No. 2: I think exercise is boring

It's natural to grow weary of a repetitive workout day after day, especially when you're going it alone. But exercise doesn't have to be boring.
  • Choose activities you enjoy. You'll be more likely to stay interested. Remember, anything that gets you moving counts.
  • Vary the routine. Rotate among several activities — such as walking, swimming and cycling — to keep you on your toes while conditioning different muscle groups.
  • Join forces. Exercise with friends, relatives, neighbors or co-workers. You'll enjoy the camaraderie and the encouragement of the group.
  • Explore new options. Learn new skills while getting in a workout. Check out exercise classes or sports leagues at a recreation center or health club.

Barrier No. 3: I'm self-conscious about how I look

Don't get down on yourself! Remind yourself what a great favor you're doing for your cardiovascular health, or focus on how much stronger you feel after a workout.
  • Avoid the crowd. If you're uncomfortable exercising around others, go solo at first. Try an exercise video or an activity-oriented video game. Or consider investing in a stationary bicycle, treadmill, stair-climbing machine or other piece of home exercise equipment.
  • Focus on the future. Praise yourself for making a commitment to your health. And remember that as you become fitter and more comfortable exercising, your self-confidence is likely to improve as well.

Barrier No. 4: I'm too tired to exercise after work

No energy to exercise? Without exercise, you'll have no energy. It's a vicious cycle. But breaking the cycle with physical activity is one of the best gifts you can give yourself.
  • Try a morning dose of exercise. Remember the suggestion to get up 30 minutes earlier to exercise? Hop on the treadmill or stationary bicycle while you listen to the radio or watch the morning news. Or step outside for a brisk walk.
  • Make lunchtime count. Keep a pair of walking shoes at your desk, and take a brisk walk during your lunch break.
  • Be prepared. Put workout clothes on top of your dresser, socks and all. Keep a full water bottle in the fridge. Have an exercise video queued up and ready to go when you get home at night.
  • Hit the hay earlier. Running on empty is no way to face a full day. Go to bed earlier to make sure you're getting enough sleep.

Barrier No. 5: I'm too lazy to exercise

If the mere thought of a morning jog makes you tired, try these thoughts on for size:
  • Set realistic expectations. If your mental bar is too high, you might give up without even trying. Start with a walk around the block. Don't give up if you feel worn out. Take another walk around the block tomorrow. Keep it up, and eventually you'll no longer feel worn out.
  • Work with your nature, not against it. Plan physical activity for times of the day when you tend to feel more energetic — or at least not quite so lazy.
  • Schedule exercise as you would schedule an important appointment. Block off times for physical activity, and make sure your friends and family are aware of your commitment. Ask for their encouragement and support.
  • Barrier No. 6: I'm not athletic

    Natural athletic ability isn't a prerequisite to physical activity.
    • Keep it simple. Try something basic, such as a daily walk.
    • Start a team. Join up with friends who are in the same boat. And have fun while helping each other work out.
    • Forget the competition. Don't worry about becoming a superstar athlete or joining the hard-bodied athletes at the fitness club. Simply focus on the positive changes you're making to your body and mind.

    Barrier No. 7: I've tried to exercise in the past and failed

    Don't throw in the towel. You can't see it when you lower your cholesterol or reduce your risk of diabetes, but that doesn't mean you aren't doing yourself a great favor. Re-evaluate what went wrong, and learn from your mistakes.
    • Pace yourself. Start small and build up to more-intense workouts later, when your body is ready.
    • Set realistic goals. Don't promise yourself you're going to work out for an hour every day, and then get down on yourself when you fall short. Stick with goals you can more easily achieve, such as exercising 20 minutes a day, three days a week for the first month.
    • Remember why you're exercising. Use your personal fitness goals as motivation — and reward yourself as you meet your goals.

    Barrier No. 8: I can't afford health club fees

    You don't need a membership at an elite gym to get a great workout. Consider common-sense alternatives.
    • Do strengthening exercises at home. Use inexpensive resistance bands — lengths of elastic tubing that come in varying strengths — in place of weights. Lift plastic milk jugs partially filled with water or sand. Do push-ups or squats using your body weight.
    • Watch an exercise video. Try videos on dance aerobics, cardio-kickboxing, yoga or tai chi. For variety, trade exercise videos with a friend.
    • Start a walking group. Round up friends, neighbors or co-workers for regular group walks. Plan routes through your neighborhood or near your workplace, along local parks and trails, or in a nearby shopping mall.
    • Take the stairs. Skip the elevator when you can. Better yet, make climbing stairs a workout in itself.
    • Try your community center. Exercise classes offered through a local recreation department or community education group might fit your budget better than an annual gym membership.

    Barrier No. 9: I'm afraid I'll hurt myself if I exercise

    If you're nervous about injuring yourself, start off on the right foot.
    • Take it slow. Start with a simple walking program. As you become more confident in your abilities, add new activities to your routine.
    • Try an exercise class for beginners. You'll learn the basics by starting from scratch.
    • Get professional help. Get a fitness tutorial from a certified expert, who can monitor your movements and point you in the right direction. If you've had a previous injury, you may want to first see a sports medicine physician, who can evaluate you and recommend specific treatment, such as physical therapy.
    • (this is my addition) ~ Hire a personal trainer to help show you how to exercise properly and put together a sound fitness program customized to your fitness abilities.

    Barrier No. 10: My family doesn't support my efforts

    Remind those close to you of the benefits of regular exercise — and then bring them along for the ride.
    • Get your kicks with your kids. Sign up for a parent-child exercise class. Pack a picnic lunch and take your family to the park for a game of tag or kickball. Splash with the kids in the pool instead of watching from your chair.
    • Propose a new adventure. Instead of suggesting a workout at the gym, invite a friend to go to an indoor climbing wall or rent a tandem bicycle for the weekend.
    • Do double duty. Volunteer to drive your teens to the mall, and then walk laps inside while you wait for the shoppers. Try the same trick at your child's school during lessons, practices or rehearsals.
    If necessary, have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones. If they don't share your fitness ambitions, ask them to at least respect your desire to get fit.
Another barrier I hear alot are I have children. Here are my suggestions to help!
   1. Find a gym that has childcare options. most gyms nowadays have free childcare with your membership where your children are cared for while you exercise.
 2.  Get out and play with your children- do you remember the days of hide and seek? dodgeball? catch a boy kiss a boy (lol)? jumping rope? those games all involved physical activity and most of all were fun. Why not "exercise" and have fun with your children at the same time!
 3. Here is another opportunity to invest in home equipment. That way you can exercise in the safety of your home and babysitting is not necessary ;o)

I tell all of my clients to try everything, keep doing the things you enjoy and ditch the things you don't!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Low-carb protein banana nut bread....

Here is a recipe I put together a few days ago for a low carb protein banana nut bread...that is so delicious i had to share!

1 2/3 cup almond flour
1 scoop banana protein powder ( i used gaspari myofusion banana perfection)
1 tsp baking baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup ideal (zero calorie) brown sugar sweetener
2 egg whites
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon banana extract
2 tablespoons plain, greek yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cups chopped walnuts


*preheat oven to 350 degrees. spray loaf pan with calorie free non-stick spray
*In large bowl mix all ingredients together (put nuts in last)
*Pour into pan and back 45 mins to 1 hour, until toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pan briefly, and then turn out onto cooling rack
*Enjoy!! (to me tastes better warm..reheats nicely)

If you try it let me know what you think!!

Cleaner, less calorie treats such as this bread helps me to stay on track with my fat loss goals.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Another yummy dinner recipe!!

This recipe comes courtesy Cooking light magazine. I love this magazine for their great tasting, easy to put together recipes!

Orange Beef and Broccoli

1 (12 ounce) package refrigerated broccoli florets
1/3 cup fat- free, less sodium beef broth
1/3 cup low-sugar orange marmalade
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (1 pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut into thin slices
cooking spray

1. Microwave broccoli according to package directions
2. While broccoli cooks, combine broth and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside
3. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. dredge steak in cornstarch
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. coat pan with cooking spray. Add steak to pan; saute 5 mins or until browned on all sides. Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 min or until thick. Stir in broccoli. Serve immediately

**Can add brown rice if so desired

Yield 4 servings

This dish takes only minutes and the entire family will enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leg day love...

So today is leg for me (2nd of the week). Legs are my problem area so i give them alot of love and attention ;o) I already hold alot of muscle in my legs so right now it's about definition , strength and leaning out my legs!

Today i will complete the following:

Exercise                                          Reps              Weight
Stiff leg deadlifts                               15                    35lb DB
Jumpsquats                                      15                     n/a
Seated leg curl                                 15                      70lbs
Step ups w/ butt kickback               10 ea. leg            no weight
seated band abduction                     20     as seen here
  i wrap the yellow band around my legs twice

 Treadmill Incline (15%) walking lunges    20 ea. leg
*Rest 30 - 45 secs
** Repeat 4 x's (complete 5 rounds)

Talk about legs burning, quivering and hobbling around all day ;o)

I dread leg day but i love the results!!

Try it and let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Letter from a client!!

Imagining waking up to this in your inbox ;o)

Thank you DeeDee---the best birthday I've ever had--because my body and my life feel like my own, at 32!!! I thought i'd be fat forever--I thought I'd never be able to get a body back to make my husband say "WOW" to get on the scale and not happy--it means so much to me.  I went to bed at 3am every day, sometimes 5am...and stay in bed until 11am. I wasn't emotionally giving my babies and my husband the  the emotional love-- I was detached and wallowing in a dark dark place. My eating-I would go literally 1-2 days w/o eating and binge. I let myself go, I blocked friends out of my life,
My life is so different--it's not just losing weight-- I eat like a human being now, I sit down to dinner with my family. Even my grief is lifted. I'm alive again!!! I play with my kids, my marriage is better, so much better! I'm nurturing, I'm happy. I go to bed at 9, 9:30. I don't drink 4 lattes a day to get myself moving.
You've done more than train my body and give me tools-- you've inspired me to LIVE again, and it feels amazing. I still crave comfort food once in awhile, but it's not a crutch. My panic attacks are gone, I have energy and I smile, I laugh, I enjoy what God has blessed me with-instead of wallowing in self pity on everything that's been taken away. I look forward to my 1 hour a day of being at the gym to make ME feel better. It's the best gift I have ever been given. Please, know, how thankful I am. You've given me my life back. I'm the parent & wife I used to be and strive to do better. I'm a long way from my goal, but I know I can get there now. My body and mind feel capable and strong and I feel AMAZING. You've been so supportive, so motivating...I enjoy our sessions and your blog so much. I told you the other day, my life is 360 degrees different. And I'm so appreciative of how you push me and are there for me, inspiring me off the clock, even.
Thank you DeeDee, truly thank you. My body looks so much better, even as far out as I am from where I need to be, I'm confident I'll get there and I know I can do it! You are an amazing woman, and an incredible hero in my heart. I can't imagine the energy and time you devote to your clients, and balance your fitness and your family, and being a rockstar mom. I'm just so blessed, and so very thankful, for everything you've done for me. The excercise has done tremendous things to me, that self medicating never touched. You have uplifted my spirit and given me the tools to ensure my body and mind can be sound if I put in the effort--and you make me WANT it! You are one motivating, incredibly special lady. I just needed to tell you that. I brag about you to everyone!! I just wanted you to know how very grateful I am and totally indebted to the time you give me each week--and now inspiring my husband to get his happy back. I can't say enough wonderful things about you, and I'm just truly blessed, to have your sister rec you to me. I love the path I'm on, you are the best birthday present ever! Thank you for all the encouragement and inspiration. I hope someday I can repay you, or that God will bless you 3 fold, for saving me. I look up to you so very much,
Ok, I'll end the novel, I didn't intend to ramble, I just wanted to say thank you, for all the 'above and beyond' just a trainer. You are a positive, inspiring, totally real and totally motivating woman. Thank you!!!

This is why I do what i do! I love my work, life and my clients. They inspire me ;o)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Great new recipe!!

Healthy fish recipe....
4 12" squares of aluminum foil
4 fillets (6 oz each) sea bass, halibut, or another firm white fish
12 asparagus spears, woody ends removed
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin (sweetened rice wine) or sake
Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It:
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lay the foil pieces on a counter and place a fillet in the middle of each one. Scatter the asparagus, mushrooms, and ginger on top of the fish.

2 Drizzle each fillet with soy sauce and mirin and season with a small pinch of salt and black pepper.

3 Fold the foil over the ingredients and crimp the edges to seal. Place the packets on a large baking sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

Makes 4 servings
Per Serving: 254 calories, 42 grams (g) protein, 7 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber), 5 g fat, 417 milligrams (mg) sodium
This is a recipe sent to me by a client of mine! I love when my clients think out of the box and come up with great healthy proud of you Gretchen!


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back from the Arnold and ready to share another great article!

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

You know exercise is good for you — but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Want to feel better, have more energy and perhaps even live longer? Look no further than old-fashioned exercise.
The merits of regular physical activity — from preventing chronic health conditions to promoting weight loss and better sleep — are hard to ignore. And the benefits are yours for the taking, regardless of age, sex or physical ability. Need more convincing? Check out seven specific ways exercise can improve your life.

1. Exercise improves your mood.

Need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A workout at the gym or a brisk 30-minute walk can help you calm down.
Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed than you were before you worked out. You'll also look better and feel better when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem. Regular physical activity can even help prevent depression.

2. Exercise combats chronic diseases.

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent osteoporosis? Physical activity might be the ticket.
Regular physical activity can help you prevent — or manage — high blood pressure. Your cholesterol will benefit, too. Regular physical activity boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol while decreasing triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly by lowering the buildup of plaques in your arteries.
And there's more. Regular physical activity can help you prevent type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.

3. Exercise helps you manage your weight.

Want to drop those excess pounds? Trade some couch time for walking or other physical activities.
This one's a no-brainer. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn — and the easier it is to keep your weight under control. You don't even need to set aside major chunks of time for working out. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk during your lunch break. Do jumping jacks during commercials. Better yet, turn off the TV and take a brisk walk. Dedicated workouts are great, but physical activity you accumulate throughout the day helps you burn calories, too.

4. Exercise boosts your energy level.

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Don't throw in the towel. Regular physical activity can leave you breathing easier.
Physical activity delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. In fact, regular physical activity helps your entire cardiovascular system — the circulation of blood through your heart and blood vessels — work more efficiently. Big deal? You bet! When your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you'll have more energy to do the things you enjoy.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep.

Struggling to fall asleep? Or stay asleep? It might help to boost your physical activity during the day.
A good night's sleep can improve your concentration, productivity and mood. And you guessed it — physical activity is sometimes the key to better sleep. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. There's a caveat, however. If you exercise too close to bedtime, you may be too energized to fall asleep. If you're having trouble sleeping, you might want to exercise earlier in the day.

6. Exercise can put the spark back into your sex life.

Are you too tired to have sex? Or feeling too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Physical activity to the rescue.
Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women, and men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise — especially as they get older.

7. Exercise can be — gasp — fun!

Wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Looking for an activity that suits the entire family? Get physical!
Physical activity doesn't have to be drudgery. Take a ballroom dancing class. Check out a local climbing wall or hiking trail. Push your kids on the swings or climb with them on the jungle gym. Plan a neighborhood kickball or touch football game. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and go for it. If you get bored, try something new. If you're moving, it counts!

Are you convinced? Good. Start reaping the benefits of regular physical activity today!