Posts Tagged ‘workout’

Sugar and Weight Gain

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
 
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

 

I am angry, angry at sugar! 

Due to an injury, I have been very limited in my workouts for about 11 weeks now.  Being a trainer, I know that when something like this happens, it is imperative that my diet be as flawless as possible (which is extremely hard for a girl who loves to eat).  This is where my hatred of sugar comes into play.

I dislike yogurt, but I thought I would give it another shot (for about the 50th time).  I found a few flavors that looked like they may taste ok.  First one was great.  Second one was great as well.  I started thinking something must be wrong with this yogurt if I actually like it.  For some reason, I didn’t bother to turn this little yummy of cup of goodness around to view the nutrition facts, which I typically do before I purchase any food.  It’s low fat = great. It’s low calorie = great.  Then I see it and mid bite I throw the half eaten yogurt in the trash.  Out of the 25 grams of Carbohydrates 22 grams of them are SUGAR!  WHAT?!?!  I could not believe it.  Well, actually, I could have believed it if I would have been thinking straight.  I blame it on the lack of exercise :)  

This led me to start thinking about all my clients who are struggling with their diet and weight loss.  Low fat and low calorie does not mean the product is good for you.  I found a great article that explains what sugar does in the body and why it causes people to gain weight. 

“Isn’t she sweet?” “Rose are Red, Violets are Blue, Sugar is sweet and so are You.” “Visions of sugar plums danced in their head.” “Come on over here, Sugar.” It is everywhere. Sugar, which used to be a rare treat, is in almost every home today. It has woven its way into the fabric of our society. Grandma’s cookies, birthday cakes, Christmas candy, Valentine’s chocolates, the pies and pastries at every celebration feast. Sugar is everywhere.

So, if it is that prominent it can’t be that bad can it? Well, look at the rise in popularity, and availability, of sugar and you will see a similar rise in obesity rates. The research is still out on the different types of naturally occurring sugars and all of the sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners, so we will focus on refined sugar. This includes white, cane sugar and brown sugar.

First, let’s take a look at what sugar does. Glucose is used by the body for energy. The muscles and organs use it to supply the energy they need to perform their regular functions. In order for the glucose to get to the cells that need it there needs to be a transporter. This is where insulin comes in. It transports the glucose to the cells with the open receptors. Once all receptor sites in the brain, other organs, and muscles are closed the insulin then takes the glucose to storage sites (fat stores.) Most foods can be broken down into glucose for energy but it takes time through the digestive process.

Refined sugar is rapidly converted to glucose in the body. That is why you get a buzz or sugar “high” right after you eat sugar. The problem is that because there is so much sugar in the system after a sugary snack the body cannot utilize all of the glucose so the body releases more insulin to rapidly get the glucose out of the system. The easiest way for the body to do that is to shuffle the excess into fat stores quickly. Then you crash. The body now wants the extra energy, but the energy has been stored away so your energy levels drop to the floor.

So, as you can see the influx of sugar causes the body to quickly take all of the excess energy flowing through the blood stream and put it in fat stores. Not a positive situation for a dieter. Since they are trying to lose fat, not gain it.

So, it’s easy then, just don’t add sugar to my foods and drinks, right? That is only a small piece of it. While this will help, it is not the complete solution. Sugar is hidden in many of our foods. One place people are surprised to find so much sugar is in the low-fat and no-fat foods. To make up for the taste lost by eliminating the fat, food manufacturers dump in extra sugar. A fat free cake may have almost twice as much sugar as the regular alternative. Drinks are another area of concern. Look at soft drinks, they are almost completely sugar, with almost 65 grams of sugar in a bottle.

Sugar can quickly sabotage fat loss efforts, but it may not be as simple as throwing out the sugar bowl. Reading labels is important. Food companies seldom list “sugar” in the ingredients. It will usually be sucrose, dextrose, or some other “-ose” item. Looking at the nutrient breakdown will be a good indicator. Under carbohydrates, companies now have to show sugar and fiber content. If a food has 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving and 12 of those are sugar you might want to find another choice. Don’t let these little white granules destroy your diet. Read labels carefully, avoid extra sugar, and eat a mix of nutrients during your meals for a more even blood sugar level.

article By Jennifer Olsen

My advice: READ LABELS…..always!!

Share:

Plan Ahead to Prepare Your Meals!

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor


What do you eat for breakfast and lunch?  Are you eating on the fly or feel you have no time for lunch?  I’m a firm believer, and I do this myself, in preparing meals for breakfast and lunch on one particular day during the week.  This way, I have everything in the fridge ready for me to grab to take to work.  I’ve fallen victim to the “I didn’t have time to eat” or “I have to eat whatever is fast” excuses.  I am now prepared and even if I only have 10 minutes to eat, I have healthy food instead of take-out.  I found this article that has really good tips to help you get focused and prepared.

“You wouldn’t start your day, go on vacation, or show up to a job interview without a plan, right? So think of meal prep and packing your cooler as your plan for a healthy body.  Your biggest obstacle is going to be managing your time so that getting fit and healthy doesn’t compete with the rest of your commitments.  Prioritizing and planning ahead will actually make life easier and help facilitate your success in the long term.  While it may seem trivial and even stressful at times, preparedness is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle.  Having everything packed and ready to go will be less stressful than leaving your meal choices up to chance and heading to whatever take-out joint is nearby at mealtime.

Try these tips:

1.       Schedule some prep time: A lot of people (including myself) use Sundays as our shop and prep day.  Pick a day when you have a few free hours to buy and prepare your food for the week.

2.       Pack Cook-Free Snacks: Toss these items into your bag for effortless re energizing:

Raw almonds

Protein Powder

Low-fat String Cheese

Chopped Veggies

Fruit

Ezekiel Bread

Hummus

3.       Get yourself a cooler: Invest in a good, manageable-sized cooler (12-can size or larger) for storing your meals and snacks.  Pack it the night before and store in the fridge so you can grab it and go.

4.       Don’t forget your Gym Bag: Being prepared doesn’t stop with meals.  Pack your gym clothes and sneakers the night before, not as you’re flying out the door.”

-Oxygen Magazine

Engrave this word into your brain:  PREPARE

If you need more tips on what foods to prepare and/or pack, ask your trainer!

 

Share:

PEP TALK

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer
Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

 

This month a few of my clients have been experiencing negativity with exercise, their progress, outside comments, eating etc…. We all go through it!  Yes, even me.  I thought this week we could all use a little pep talk about how to get through these negative times. 

Negative self-talk is a destructive habit and part of an essential defense mechanism that we often develop to protect ourselves. Many people end up talking themselves out of actions that may be scary or uncomfortable. ‘I can’t do this’ is really just a way of saying ‘I don’t want to deal with the experience of doing this.’ We are all strongly influenced by our feelings, often determining how and what action we ultimately take. If the feeling is uncomfortable, negative self-talk results; then we often decide not to take any action at all.

Many people assume that if a past experience produced a certain result, there is nothing they can do to change that experience in order to produce a different result. ‘I’ve tried every diet there is. I know what I should do; I just can’t do it.’

Please understand that you make the choice not to repeat old patterns of eating, non-exercise, and negative thinking. You have the ability to choose the emotions you have. If you don’t like feeling guilty, frustrated, or doubtful, you can choose not to. You, and no one else, must decide what is comfortable for you. In order to become successful at making healthy choices, you must avoid negative self­ talk and start practicing positive thinking. Positive or negative self-talk plays a big part in your decisions. Be on the look-out for negative self-talk and notice how it influences your choices; notice how it can negatively affect your efforts to change. For example, perhaps you’ve just returned from a week’s vacation where you took a break from exercise and low-fat eating. You tell yourself, ‘I feel so fat. I’m back where I started.’ You feel guilty and frustrated. ‘I don’t have enough will-power to start all over again. Maybe I’m just meant to be overweight.’ Feeling overwhelmed and discouraged, you give up.

First, reflect on the feelings you had before you decided to give up. You basically told yourself that the healthy habits you learned before your vacation were all for nothing and that you have to start over. Ask yourself if these feelings are reasonable. Are you really back to ground zero? Of course not. You accepted change and developed a new way of living; these skills are yours forever. The vacation might even have done you some good: everyone needs a break sometimes. Otherwise, you might have felt deprived and not really enjoyed yourself. It’s time now to tell yourself: ‘It felt good eating whatever I wanted and taking a break from exercising; I had a great time. But now I’m going to focus back on the low-fat, active lifestyle I was enjoying before vacation. There is no reason to beat myself up; I’ll just take it one day at a time.’ Now you can rethink your previous decision and take action that will move you forward towards more positive change.

As you begin to understand your reasons for negative self­ talk, you’ll find yourself recognizing it more and more quickly after it occurs. Eventually, as you practice, you’ll be able to recognize and stop negative self-talk before it interferes with your decisions.

It is very important to practice positive thinking and to remind yourself that you’re a worthwhile person whatever you do. Try to consistently acknowledge that you are making positive changes to improve your health. You should be proud of yourself. Visualize yourself as capable, happy, and confident. These positive feelings will help the process of change. Remember, there are bound to be times when you’re feeling frustrated or depressed. Positive thinkers know that these feelings are valid, and they don’t try to ignore them. Positive thinkers acknowledge and try to understand them, but they don’t blame themselves for the conditions that lead to these feelings. Good luck, stay positive, and enjoy all the wonderful benefits of a healthy lifestyle!

article from www.bodybuilding-workouts.org

Share:

Stick With It!

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Sticking With It!
-Joseph Ash, NASM-CPT
Manager CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

There aren’t many people out there that haven’t met a fitness goal, and then let it go to waste. Whether it’s those ten pounds you just took off, or running three days a week. Once we have met a goal it’s very easy to fall back into your old routine of eating junk and being inactive. Instead of making a one month fitness goal look farther into the future, and then make short term goals to get you there.

You Determine Your Own Fitness Level
by Shawn Lebrun
Did you know that how you live, day to day, determines the level of fitness and muscularity you’ll achieve?
It’s true, if you have a lifestyle that supports weight(fat) loss, you will not have to worry about being overweight. If your lifestyle is not supportive of fat loss and staying fit, then it really doesn’t matter what you do in the gym, your results will be limited.

It’s when you expect one thing and do something totally opposite trying to get it that there becomes a problem.
If you weight train intensely, do your cardio consistently, and support yourself nutritionally, you’ll get leaner, stronger, and more fit. It happens. Certain steps lead to certain destinations.
But doing things repeatedly that DO NOT support your goals will ensure you DO NOT reach them.

Here are some examples;

It’s the new year and you decide one of your resolutions is to lose weight, specifically 15 pounds of fat. You give up your old, pleasurable lifestyle of eating burgers and fries four nights a week while watching your favorite T.V. shows.
Your new, improved lifestyle involves eating salads and chicken breasts and exercising at the time you used to watch your T.V. shows.
You’re so determined to lose this weight that you sacrifice all sense of fun for the next four weeks while you continue to exercise each night, skipping the fast food and T.V. Four weeks have gone by and you’ve indeed lost your goal weight of 15 pounds. So you figure, hey, I’ve done it, now I can celebrate a bit. I’m going to cut back a bit on the exercise now that I’ve lost the weight I wanted and I think I’ll see what’s on the T.V.

You go to the fridge for a snack and realize you haven’t gone shopping for your healthy foods yet this week.
But hey, there’s still those burgers and fries in the fridge, and you’ve earned a little celebration meal.
Soon, the lost pleasure of eating this delicious food and watching your favorite TV show returns and feels so great. So you do it again the next night, and the next, etc….

The old, unproductive habits have crept back into your life and have now influenced the newer, more productive ones. Your lifestyle is nothing more than what you do, day in and day out. It can either support your fitness goals or hurt them.
If you want to shed some body fat yet you continue to take days off from cardio because you’re not motivated enough to do it, that’s part of your lifestyle.

What you choose to do each day will influence what you get in return.
Make small, improved lifestyle changes that support your fitness goals and continue them until they become habit. Then move on to another small change that benefits you, replacing an older, less productive habit.

In fact, by making lifestyle changes in moderation, you increase the likelihood that these changes will be permanent.
Anytime that you go back to the unproductive lifestyle that caused you to be overweight, the weight you lost can return again.
The solution? Do not rule out all sense of pleasure when you decide to go after your fitness goal.

In fact, your fitness goals of being slimmer, more muscular, and more confident should be more pleasurable than burgers or fries.
If your surrounding environment and habits (cookies, cake, ice cream in front of the TV) do not contribute to your fitness goals, you need to make a change so that what you eat and do each day does.

Share:

Should I change up my workout routine?

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Joseph Ash West Bloomfield Manager

NASM-CPT

No matter who you are, change is a constant part of life. Change can be scary, but necessary to grow.  My newest change will be going from a personal trainer to managing CoachMeFit West Bloomfield. This will create new challenges for me as well as the opportunity to grow. This concept also applies to your workout.  Like in life, change in your workout routine will create new opportunity to grow.  This brings up the question…


To change or not to change…that is the question.

The answer – change can be a good thing. In fact, varying your exercise routine can have a number of benefits, including preventing boredom and avoiding plateau.

Tired of the same ol’ same ol’?

You’re not alone. Many people find that doing the same workouts over and over becomes monotonous, and as a result they may begin to lose their desire to continue to exercise on a regular basis. Research has shown however that adding variety to an exercise program can help to improve adherence. Exercise scientists as the University of Florida observed that individuals who modified their workouts every two weeks over an eight-week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more, and were more inclined to stick with their exercise programs when compared to individuals who followed the same workout regimens week after week.

So what’s in it for me?

Aside from alleviating boredom, varying your exercise routine can also help you stay physically challenged. Many of the body’s physiological systems (e.g., the muscular systems) adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks. Failure to modify your exercise routine will cause you to reach a plateau, as your body will have adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.

I want to change, but I don’t know how.

There are several ways you can spice up your current workout routine, including boosting the intensity of your workouts. For instance, if you jog or run, try incorporating some intervals of sprinting (e.g., sprint to a given landmark, then jog to the next one) or adding more hill work to your run. You can also cross train and perform different activities to provide your body with a new challenge. A nice alternative for resistance-training exercises involves changing the sequence in which you perform the training exercises. By fatiguing the muscles in a new order or pattern, you are requiring them to adapt to a new training stimulus. Another option for adding variety to strength-training workouts is to replace some or all of the exercises in your workout routine (e.g., substitute a dumbbell pectoral fly exercise on a stability ball for your typical barbell bench press exercise).

What if change isn’t for me?

While there are many benefits to varying your exercise routine, keep in mind that doing the exact same workout, day after day is not necessarily a bad thing. Some people enjoy a predictable, consistent routine, and they don’t mind the possibility of experiencing a training plateau as they are content to maintain their health and fitness levels with a comfortable exercise habit.

However, if you are one of the many individuals that has desire to take your workouts to new levels and to try different activities in order to stay enthusiastic and excited about exercise, go ahead and embrace change and add something new to your workout today! Remember that by varying exercise routines, you will not only stay physically challenged, but mentally stimulated as well.

- Jessica Matthews www.acefitness.org

Share:

Full-Service Gyms Feel a Bit Flabby

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Is the gym passé?
It used to feel worthwhile to commit to an annual membership at an everything-and-the-kitchen sink gym featuring high-spirited classes, top-of-the-line cardio machines, weights — and perhaps a shot at striking up a conversation with Ms. Lithe sipping a post-workout smoothie.
But these days, the idea of a full-service gym is as stale as yesterday’s sweat-soaked towel. Up to 45 percent of fitness-club members quit going in any given year, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association.
For all their ads promising to stir motivation, gyms have failed to do so. “Up until the last six years, it’s been relatively easy to sell memberships, and to replace people going out the back door with people coming through the front door,” said Michael Scott Scudder, a consultant who advises health clubs and conducts up to 15 industry surveys annually. “Not so anymore. We’ve come to a point that we can’t sell enough membership in the industry to cover the attrition rate.”
Blame the gym’s now-ubiquitous flat-screen TVs and the fact that iPods are de rigueur, said Jonathan Fields, a marketing consultant in Manhattan who has helped found personal-training gyms and yoga studios. “Now everybody’s plugged in,” Mr. Fields said. “In the 70s, they came for community. Now they come in and disassociate themselves from everyone in the club. It’s killing the health club.”
Kitchen-sink gyms also face pressure from operations like Planet Fitness, a chain founded in 1992 that offers Cybex treadmills and weight machines, but which does not have Zumba classes or perks like towels — and charges $10 a month.
Today’s consumers wonder why they should pay more for a so-called big-box gym when they can get the laissez-faire approach for less. Michael Grondahl, the chief executive of Planet Fitness, who recently eliminated personal training at his 406 franchises, does not believe that he is in the motivation business. A staff trainer still offers 30-minute sessions for groups of five, but Mr. Grondahl said he does nothing to keep members coming. “I can’t keep you motivated to do something you don’t want to,” he said.
Rich Boggs, a creator of the original step and the chief executive of Body Training Systems, which licenses group fitness classes to 700 clubs nationwide, said this hands-off model won’t work for people who aren’t self-starters (which is to say: most of us). “You can’t get the cheapest and the best at the same time, unless you know precisely what you want to do, you’re Equipment Guy and you don’t need any help,” he said.
But that is a fair description of Chanie Raykoff, a special educator who works out at Blink Fitness, a low-price spinoff of the cushy Equinox. “I like to get in and out,” said Ms. Raykoff, at the NoHo branch on a recent Tuesday evening. “I do weights and cardio. I am not social.” Indeed, conversation was sparse during an hourlong visit to the gym’s sleek workout floor.
Socializing, however, is key to long-term exercise success, said Terry Blachek, the president of International Consulting, which helps clubs improve member retention. “We know you’ve got to engage the client,” Mr. Blachek said. “It’s got to be a challenge for them. And we know you’ve got to connect the client in a meaningful way to others.”
Mr. Blachek has some experience in this: He was the executive vice president at the once-chic fitness chain Crunch in the 1990s, when its novelty group workouts, like the Firefighter and Cycle Karaoke, were the rage. “Those classes were the claim to fame for Crunch,” he said. “They connected clients to their peers.”
These days, “loyalty has dropped dramatically,” said Casey Conrad, a consultant with 25 years in the fitness industry. One reason: A decade ago, full-service gyms didn’t offer today’s “unbundled” memberships that let consumers choose what perks to pay for. Some fitness seekers have been trying an à la carte approach, taking specialized pay-as-you-go classes like those offered by the stationary-cycling competitorsFlywheel Sports and SoulCycle, or Core Fusion at the Exhale Spa, rather than committing to a gym membership.
“You can do whatever suits your fancy when it does,” said Jessica Underhill, a personal trainer who writes the blog Fit Chick in the City, referring to the pay-per-class approach. She tried so many studio classes in 2010 that she thought she had “exercise A.D.D.,” but came to favor the Bar Method, a body-sculpting class held at studios from Manhattan to Marina del Rey, Calif., because, she said, instructors rattle off names as they offer corrections and make her feel as if she is a part of something.
“They acknowledge that you are a consumer, and are friendly at the same time,” Ms. Underhill said. “It doesn’t feel stale or super crisp and clean. It’s about connection.”
And no one is going to turn into a lifer akin to Jack LaLanne, the fitness pioneer who died this week, without a reason to work past the aches and drudgery of exercise. “There’s no question that the social element is a huge, huge piece to getting participation,” Ms. Conrad said. “I travel a lot, and when I miss yoga class, they are like, ‘Casey, where have you been?’ ”
Nancy Pusateri, 40, a small-business owner from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who has attended small-group training offered by a company called OrangeTheory for about a year, said she finds paying per class more motivating than a monthly membership. “I go because I want to go, not because I’ve paid for it or feel obligated,” she said, adding, “I love that I’m only competing against myself.”
An hourlong session of OrangeTheory, which has three franchises and is planning national expansion, includes treadmill speed work, indoor rowing, weights and core-strengthening suspension straps. Ellen Latham, a founder and an exercise physiologist, said the ever-evolving workout, which costs $14 to $20 a session, is designed for gym dropouts frustrated by lackluster results. “After six weeks of doing the same workout, your body has plateaued,” Ms. Latham said. “People keep coming back because they aren’t plateauing.”
Many, even go-getters, see their results leveling off at the gym. Theodora Blanchfield, 27, a social-media specialist for magazines, used to go to New York Sports Club four times a week. “I knew how to go to the gym, but not how to work out hard enough to lose 50 pounds,” she said.
Ms. Blanchfield eventually hired a personal trainer at $80 a session for a year, and learned the transformative effect of progressively harder weight lifting. She no longer sees the trainer, but consistently mixes up her workouts between outdoor running, 30/60/90 interval-training classes at Equinox, and a marathon boot camp with Pace4Success. “I want to make sure to stay interested,” said Ms. Blanchfield, who chronicled how she shed 50 pounds on her blog.
Historically, “People who take personal training and do group fitness classes are more likely to stick with a gym,” said Tony Santomauro, a fitness consultant with 35 years of industry experience.
But too often health clubs don’t understand they “should be a support system for people,” said Mr. Scudder, the health club adviser. “It’s merely four walls to come in, work out and leave.”
Only a fifth of gym members take part in group fitness on average industrywide, said Ms. Conrad, adding that these days instead of packing in more cardio machines, “good quality health clubs are returning to emphasizing group exercise.”
Mr. Scudder said that a sixth of health-club members participate in group fitness, and marveled that clubs often fail to guide newcomers to classes that might appeal. (By contrast, YogaWorks, the national chain of studios, employs yoga advisers for newbies.)
Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, with three branches in Fort Collins, Colo., is trying, offering an eight-week learn-to-exercise course for $179. And some low-price gyms give a nod to social connection: Blink Fitnesshas a so-called “front porch” at its gyms designed by the architect David Rockwell, “where people could congregate and create a sense of community,” said Dos Condon, the vice president of Blink.
“I don’t see that working,” Mr. Scudder said, implying that design elements are incidental.
Dori Manela, 27, who does social-media work for a real estate company, doesn’t believe that gorgeous design helped her get fit. She quit the luxury gym at the Sports Club/LA on the Upper East Side, which she lives a door away from, after Core Fusion classes at Exhale Spa gave her muscles she’d long coveted (and the first two months free). “I was paying a lot for a pretty space,” said Ms. Manela, who found it hard to trudge next door to spin at the Sports Club, and yet now rides the subway to do Core Fusion four times a week. (She blogs and even posts messages on Twitter about keeping her “exercise mojo” alive.)
Despite such defections, Mr. Boggs of Body Training Systems thinks the classic gym has a chance at survival. “The consumer can, and will, change it by the way they spend their money,” he said. “You need to say: ‘I need help. I am going to make you prove you’ll give it to me.’ ” Ask for a month of membership free, he suggested, or for fitness evaluations to track progress. Mr. Scudder suggested asking what the club does to retain members in the crucial first 30 days. New-member meet-up, anyone? He said if they don’t have a satisfactory answer, leave.
Only 15 percent of the American population belongs to gyms, Mr. Boggs said. “When you’ve got 85 percent saying ‘I don’t think so,’ we’ve got to recalibrate what we’re doing.”

By CATHERINE SAINT LOUIS- NYTIMES

Share:

Love Your Fit Life in 2011

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Certified Personal Trainer

Manager of CoachMeFit Ann Arbor

Is sticking to your New Year’s fitness resolution a challenge for you?  If so, it’s probably time for a new approach.  Though that “January high” can be a great tool for kick starting your motivation, committing fulltime to a healthy lifestyle is the only way to a lean, fit body with lasting power.  More than 80 percent of people who lose weight eventually gain it back, according to a study by the University of California, Los Angeles, and that means you need a no-quit plan that will keep you inspired for life. 

The cycle of gaining and losing weight has been linked to hypertension (a risk factor for cardiovascular disease) in a study in the International Journal of Obesity.  So to keep the pounds off for good and boost your health too, follow these few tips.  They’ll make your weight training, cardio and clean eating fun, so that you’ll never slack, give up or regain.

Go Outside the Box

  • 1. Take a new fitness class.

Changing the skills you work on will improve the way your brain processes all the movements, researchers report in a recent issue of the journal Neuroscience.

  • 2. Experiment with a new vegetable every week.
  • 3. Try mornings.

Set a fit tone for your whole day by performing a light cardio warm-up and just 15 minutes of body-weight exercise in your bedroom before getting on with the rest of the items on your “to do” list.

Make It Social

  • 1. With your coworker.

Hit the treadmill together on your lunch break.  Cover your display screens, set the timer for 30 minutes and see who burns more calories.

  • 2. With your foodie friend.

Swap your favorite recipes and brainstorm ways to make them healthier (like ditching the white spaghetti pasta for zucchini strips the next time you have an Italian night- use your carrot peeler)!

Shake Up Your Routine

  • 1. Beat boredom.

Instead of relying on machines, add in a combination of dumbbell, resistance band and body weight moves to hit your muscles from multiple angles, using different modalities.

  • 2. Start your workout with a different exercise than usual.

Simply switching around the order of your regular routine can stimulate both your muscles and your mind, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Create a Fit Environment

  • 1. Choose a route home from work that passes by a gym.

Seeing others coming in and out in their fitness gear will get you pumped to join in.

  • 2. Find motivating quotes in magazines, books and on the internet.

Post them in places you’re most likely to see, such as above your desk at work or on the bathroom mirror.

  • 3. Write down a new fitness or nutrition goal each week.

Post your goal on the fridge.  Keep it simple, such as spending an extra 10 minutes in the gym each day or topping off your meal with an extra heaping cup of veggies.

Treat Yourself

  • 1. Buy a new pair of shoes.

Splurge on a new pair of running or performance shoes.  It will motivate you for your next workout.

  • 2. Download a new song.

It’s amazing what a catchy tune can do for your spirits.

Add more fun to your fit routine.  You’ll drop fat, improve your health and keep the pounds off- for good!

Article by Kasia Kurek and Sarah Tuff

Share:

Ann Arbor Featured Client for Sept 2010

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Post by: Kelly Kalbfleisch, NPTI Trainer

Manager of Ann Arbor CMF

I want to take more time to give proper recognition to those clients, here in Ann Arbor, who have met or are on their way to meeting their goals.  One in particular, David Fry, shared his story with me this month.  David is the perfect example of how dedication and the proper mind set will allow anyone to reach his/her goals.  Be inspired by his story, as I was. 

BEFORE:

I grew up in Pennsylvania in a family of overweight people. There was no appreciation for eating right or getting regular exercise. But even among my loved ones I stood out. I was an obese child who became a morbidly obese teenager, carrying 350 pounds on my 5′ 7″ frame by the time I entered college. My weight defined my life.

After my freshman year I put myself on a starvation diet of my own design. By eating less than 500 calories a day I lost more than 150 pounds in six months. This was an extremely stupid thing to do and some of my internal organs turned against me. But I was young and ultimately regained my health. I was thrilled with my new body and I lived the life I had always been denied. I was physically active throughout my 20s and kept my weight off with no particular effort.

In the mid 1990s I moved to Ann Arbor with my wife and started a new business. I resumed my bad eating habits and sedentary lifestyle as I focused on my work, and I started regaining my weight rapidly. But I kept telling myself, “It’s okay, I’ve lost weight before. I can lose it again when I need to.” Somehow I just never got around to it. Ten years later I finally had to deal with the consequences when a bout of severe dizziness and confusion led me to a local hospital. I weighed over 400 pounds and had extremely high blood pressure, with a host of other medical problems around the corner.

That scared me enough that I finally started to address my problem. Over the next few years I slowly lost 60 pounds by eating a little better and getting more physical activity. I didn’t really make progress, though, until my wife and I joined Coach Me Fit and began working out with Ann Marie Furlong. Even when I was young and active I never had done any structured weight training, so Ann Marie’s workouts were a new experience for me. I remember being so exhausted in the first few months that several times I drove home and fell asleep in the car in my garage before going inside the house. Ann Marie was the perfect coach for me. She challenged me to push harder each time, but she didn’t come on strong with a “drill sergeant” attitude. Some people respond well to that but it probably would have been counterproductive with me. I think a good personality match with your trainer is very important.

Over the next two years my physical fitness and stamina improved greatly but I only lost about 20 pounds because I still wasn’t watching my calorie intake. I used to joke that if they had an Olympics for people with a BMI over 50, I would do very well! Good health truly is about “fitness” and not just “weight loss,” but I still had face the facts about my diet. Late last year I signed up for a service called BistroMD that delivers frozen, pre-packaged meals to my home once a week. Starting right before Thanksgiving (great timing, right?) I began eating 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day while continuing my regular Coach Me Fit workouts. I also started using an iPhone app called “Tap N Track” to measure all the calories I ate or burned up through exercise each day.

The results were immediate. I lost 25 pounds through the holiday season, which encouraged me to stick to my diet. And the weight loss made it easier for me to workout so I was able to increase my physical activity throughout the winter. Ann Marie started giving me more challenging workouts at Coach Me Fit, and in the spring I rediscovered my old love of long distance road cycling, something I hadn’t done in more than 15 years.

Today I’m happy to report I’ve lost 100 pounds since November 2009. I’ve dropped eight clothing sizes, I’m no longer taking blood pressure medicine, and my cholesterol level is now well within the healthy range. But more than that, I can barely describe how much better I feel every day, whether I’m rushing through a crowded airport with heavy luggage, riding my bike to Brighton and back, or simply trying to fit into a seat at the movie theater. Obesity means making compromises with yourself every day, and I finally decided I didn’t want to do it anymore.

I know my struggle isn’t over. I still want to lose another 40 pounds or so but, even after that, good health is a lifelong commitment to smart food choices and regular physical activity. Coach Me Fit will continue to be a part of that for me.

I have two pieces of advice for anyone who’s facing similar challenges: First, don’t wait to get started on a healthy lifestyle.   As I learned, time is not your friend. Each week it just gets harder and harder to change bad habits, and you just find yourself farther and farther away from where you need to be. As they say, “when you find yourself stuck in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

Second, you don’t have to solve all your problems at once. Do you what you can, when you can. Each step forward is progress. You can see in my history that I rapidly lost a huge amount of weight when I was young, but I did it in an unhealthy way that didn’t really include a conscious change to my lifestyle. And so my weight rapidly returned. My current weight loss adventure has actually been multi-phased, lasting over five years. The people around me have noticed the big physical change in the last 10 months, but my brain started making the necessary adjustments several years ago.

If you’re reading this, that probably means you’re a Coach Me Fit client or thinking about becoming one. So then “Congratulations” on a great first step towards a healthier life!

AFTER:

Thank you for sharing your story, David.  Congratulations on all your progress.  I’m excited to see you reach more goals as you continue on this healthy living journey!!

Share:

5 Tips for a Fab Abs Workout

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

By: Kelly Kalbfleisch

Ann Arbor CMF, Manager

Flying through your routine, overworking your middle and improper breathing are all big no-nos when it comes to training your abs.  Here’s how to maximize each and every workout;

1.  Your abs are like any other muscle and need rest. Give them at least 48 hours between sessions for maximum recovery.

2.  Don’t forget to breathe when doing abdominal moves. Remember: Exhale on the exertion and inhale on the return to avoid lactic acid buildup.

3.  For maximum results, do each rep deliberately and avoid all use of momentum.  If you’re doing it right, you should fatigue and even fail by the end of 15 reps.

4.  Use a mix of different abs moves each time you train to give your body new challenges while keeping your brain from getting bored.

5.  You can crunch ’til the cows come home, but if you’re not eating right, you’ll never see the results of your hard work. 

I’ve added different variations of the plank to my workouts instead of doing a form of crunch every abs day.  I’ve noticed a huge difference in the strength and firmness of my core.  

I like tip number 5 from above.  Clients ask me all the time if they should do more crunches or when they will start to see their ab muscles and lose the fat.  I hate to tell them, but it’s the truth..the muscles are there, but you won’t see them until you change your diet and keep consistant with cardio.  It’s a fact! 

-article from Oxygen Magazine

Share:

Burn Baby Burn

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

Quick Notes on Energy Expenditure and What it Means for Weight Loss

By Catherine Munaco

Owner, CoachMeFit West Bloomfield

As a trainer, I have one basic rule for clients aiming to lose significant amounts of weight: You must know roughly how many calories you consume relative to how many calories your body is burning on a daily basis. Surprisingly, very few people have looked into their energy consumption and expenditure, and instead take what we call “uneducated guesses”. As humans, we tend to underestimate the calories in our food and overestimate the energy we use during our daily routines and workouts. Clients are often reluctant to spend time tediously logging entries into a food diary, and even nutritionists will say that calculating calories in food is a time consuming process. I simply don’t care. I’ve logged my food consumption, its annoying—yes—but vital, read: VITAL, to progress with weight loss. Luckily, online food journals make tracking easier and less time consuming than it used to be (try fitday.com for a free online food journal). If tracking food every day isn’t something you’re likely to stick with, then track for three days (making sure one of those days is on the weekend). Because we tend to be creatures of habit, you’ll get a general idea of how many calories you eat in a typical day. Most likely you’ll be shocked with the amount of calories you’re consuming. If you eat out, be sure to look up calories on the restaurants website, which can also be shocking. I’ll never forget when I learned that my “healthy” Panera salad contained over 30 grams of fat. Simply substituting the dressing would have saved me over 200 calories.

The other half of the equation, of course, is calories expended. Here, we also see inaccurate guesses. Clients will often tell me they went for a long walk, but when I put them on the treadmill they realize how slow they were really moving. For a more accurate calorie count, I usually suggest a heart rate monitor. Cardio machines typically have a spot for calories burned in a workout session, but even they can overestimate. One time, the treadmill said I burned 800 calories in a 40 minute run; my heart rate monitor said 425. (I would have loved to believe the treadmill, of course, but a female my size would have to run faster than 6 minute miles to expend that much energy in 40 minutes, and I don’t think I’ve ever run a 5:50 minute mile, let alone 8 of them.)

Additionally, my clients usually have no idea how many calories they use at rest. The most simplistic estimation of this value is what exercise physiologists refer to as resting metabolic rate, or RMR. RMR accounts for the energy required by cells to maintain normal bodily functions and homeostasis at rest. Similar to RMR, basal metabolic rate, or BMR, is the minimum energy needed to sustain vital life functions. In laboratory conditions, BMR is typically only slightly less than RMR, so the two tend to be considered interchangeable. Regardless, knowing your daily BMR or RMR is crucial to weight loss. Again, people are often shocked to learn how little they burn at rest. Equally frustrating—BMR is lower in females (a result of lower muscle masses as compared to males) and decreases with age. To calculate your age, gender, and weight adjusted BMR, go to http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/

Aside from physical activity and exercise, BMR ends up being the most important form of calorie expenditure simply because we spend most of our day at rest. Having a basic understanding of our daily energy needs allows us to regulate and change the foods we eat to better accommodate energy expenditure. In the long run, we want eating HABITS that fit our energy needs. Knowing BMR also highlights the importance of physical activity. On days that we put in a significant workout, our caloric expenditure is as much as 25% greater than our resting levels. That means we can eat more! Exercise increases weight loss when calories are carefully monitored and helps to buffer “bad eating” days (you know you’ve had ‘em).

Research has also shown that exercise can have a counter effect on the natural decrease in BMR with age. Age-related decreases in BMR are typically explained by loss of muscle tissue and increase in fat tissue. Some changes in metabolic activity for muscle also exist as we age, but for the most part we lose active muscle tissue, and therefore burn less calories at rest. However, weight training can help maintain muscle mass that we would otherwise lose, thus keeping basal metabolic rates from plummeting. Some research has even suggested that regular aerobic training in older individuals causes increases in BMR with no increase in muscle mass.

BMR often decreases with age

BMR often decreases with age

So what does this mean for the average person? It means that you need to keep moving and you need to know what you’re consuming relative to what you’re eating. Weight loss only occurs when energy out is greater than energy in, but if we don’t at least have some general idea of what our individual caloric consumption and usage is, we can’t begin to know what to change to see results. Is it a pain in the butt? For some of us, yes. Is it necessary? YES. Fitness is a lifestyle, not a temporary fix. Knowing what your body is doing is the first step to changing habits and creating new patterns for a lifetime of health and wellbeing. Smaller pant sizes are the satisfying bonus.

Share: