Up Your Fit

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Keeping on track through the holidays

I know that someone out there must also feel this indulgent tendency to overeat this time of year. It sucks: you want to sleep more, eat more and be less active.
You know how hard it is to shed the winter fat layer. It takes a lot of hard work and strict eating. Avoid putting on those extra 10 pounds in the first place, by just being a little less indulgent at your next holiday party. And by following some simple tips.fitnessSanta

1. Drink more water. About 8 x 8 oz glasses per day. Add a little mint sprig or lime slice to jazz it up.

2. Track What You Eat. The only way to improve upon your diet is to actually know what you’re currently eating. Keep a food journal, or download a free food tracker app, and input all of the calories that you consume over the course of a week. This will give you a broad look at where your low quality calories are coming from (high sugar, empty calories).
Your first step will be to eliminate these fattening calories and to start replacing empty calories with nutrient-filled whole foods.

3. Space Meals Apart. Much has been said over the past decades about the importance of eating small frequent meals throughout the day. This is old, outdated science. New research has proven that there’s more harm than good to eating more frequently than every 4 hours.
Stick with 3 meals each day, and fill in a protein-based snack if your meals are going to be more than 4 hours apart.

4. Prioritize vegetables. When you first sit down for a meal, eat the vegetable, salad, or other plant-based foods first, before moving on to the rest of the meal. The reason for this is to fill up on the higher fiber, higher nutrient foods first before eating the less-healthy items at your meal.

5. Lastly, have an attitude of gratitude. Eating well and being well studies have shown are linked to a healthy mind. Therefore lift your spirits, just by being grateful. The more you are grateful, the better you’ll feel, the better you’ll eat, and you may even go do that jog you’ve been wanting to do.

Have a happy Healthy holiday season!

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Fitness slump? Get to the tipping point!

Are you at a plateau in your speed, your fitness, your weight, body fat . . . are you at a plateau in your life? Are there things you want to change but just don’t know how exactly or know why it hasn’t changed yet? Often it can be very frustrating when you want something so bad, and you feel it’s right there within reach. Sometimes it just takes a tipping point to set you into action with accomplishing your healthy goals. Here’s a few guidelines to keep in mind if you decide to get in the best shape of your life.

1. The mental belief you can do it. Many times our own thoughts and beliefs prevent us from even forming a plan to begin working towards the goal. It’s like standing at the bottom of a huge mountain and you know what you want is up at the top. So, will you stand at the bottom of the mountain making up excuses why you cannot climb it? You must accept the reality that your goals are absolutely achievable!

2. Plan the work, work the plan. This is the second biggest ingredient for getting in the best shape of your life. Create a calendar that guides your weekly training plan of what workouts you’ll do and when. Getting something scheduled is the way to make it really happen! So, stop wishing and starting doing.

3. Stay positive. This ties in with number 1 on the list. You will most likely have stumbling blocks and setbacks that will discourage you. But, keep believing in your ability to make this dream a reality by not giving up and losing motivation. We have a very serious obesity epidemic today, and the way to change is with one person at a time. Your healthy fit way of life will positively impact numerous people, in more ways than you may even realize. Conversely, bad habits can rub off on others and create a domino effect.

4. Re-set your social circle. People will not always encourage your choices to eat low-fat and cholesterol-free foods. They may not even like it that you cannot attend some function because you have plans to exercise at that time. They may scoff at you at restaurants when you don’t chose to partake in dessert. Just remember, you are not alone. You are choosing the way of the healthy life. Many people will not understand why you do what you do. But, I guarantee you: we healthy folks support your choice! We are out here cheering for you and knowing that every little step counts towards climbing up that mountain. Keep that in mind and explain this message to your closest friends/ family and ask them to be supportive. And the rest of the critics can just frack off.

Your life is over in the blink of an eye, take action towards being the healthy, juicy, fit person you always wanted to be. I got your back.

Getting motivated

Take the stairs to burn calories and lose fat!

A lot of getting fit is mental. Many people who struggle with weight loss simply have had a series of failures to lose the body fat. For example, I had one client who was 30 lbs. overweight and had a desire to lose the weight, but gave up after one tough session. It makes me sad to see people resist exercise due to the fear of pain, and other mental inhibitions. Our society is so customized to convenience and pleasure that we won’t even walk ten minutes to the grocery store and carry a few pounds of bags home. Come on, admit it! We have all been there. We all have the extremely reasonable excuses why NOT to get in shape. I’ve met a few others who have had erratic work schedules and just could not achieve losing much of anything, except their health.

Conversely, many fitness professionals have the urge to train the strong athletes and naturally gifted: isn’t that what bootcamps are all about when you really get down to it? Very few “bootcamps” actually accommodate obese campers. The over-weight end up in the back of the pack, feeling discouraged as usual. Unfortunately, many fitness instructors cater to the strongest.

When will we wake up? Weak, strong, flabby, skinny-fat, and pot-belly people hear me out! Your time on this planet is limited. Forget the ridiculous “boot-camps” and coaches that make you work out till you puke. Or the instructors that get in your face or negatively encourage you. This is not the answer. The answer is patience, perseverance and internal motivation. One day at a time: get out there.

  • Start with doing something active every day. Even if it’s just walking around the block.
  • Try hiring a personal trainer or coach to jump-start your training. It’s worth every penny to get you over the “hump” of even starting up a fitness plan.
  • Looking more for weight-loss? Try cardio and high intensity interval training. Looking to get cut and build muscle? Try resistance training. And do both often, so you work all your different energy systems of the body.
  • Frequency: if you can only designate one day per week to work out, that’s better than nothing. However, the more often you workout, the quicker results appear. (See the first bullet point)
  • Lastly, eating right combined with exercise is how you get the most bang for your buck! It’s the magic combination, don’t just do one without the other. I recommend keeping a food journal. I like the Canvas Food Journal app to use on a mobile device.

Power up your workouts! Get motivated and go out and get started, we have several more months of showing skin and looking healthy on the beaches this summer.

Look better by standing taller

The way our bodies appear has more to do with what’s going on inside than you realize. When you are feeling down you actually tend to look down, and slump forward. As humans we have body language saying so much to each other. We cross our legs, fold our arms, close our bodies off to the dangers of the world. When feeling insecure about the state of our bodies, we suffer thinking we’ll be this way the rest of our lives. Do you think your body does not react to these negative thoughts? Of course our body feels the hatred and anger the brain emits! Loving your body today will most likely help it feel good and strong and healthy for tomorrow. You can think of it as, “I am just getting older” or “today is the youngest I will be for the rest of my life.” Your young body is alive and thriving so will you choose to let it sit there on the couch wasting precious time? Or take it out and see what it is capable of? Seize the day, my friend!

One chronic problem with many of my clients is that they hunch over and have poor posture. Do you know how much better your chest will look if you just stand tall and feel proud of who you are? Good posture is an amazingly simple way to look taller, leaner and more attractive overall. Men are notorious for doing a lot of bench press and or push-ups and tend to get really tight pecs and proportionately weaker upper back muscles. Thus, the hunched back problem festers. Even women, especially taller women and big-breasted women have to fight against our natural tendencies to slump forward. Also, focus on strengthening those beautiful upper back muscles by doing more fly, rows, and lat pull-downs to develop a nicer posture. If you keep your posture in mind throughout your training, it will improve.

Baby got back! Work those back muscles to improve your posture.

So, keep your chin up. Love yourself. Love your body. Because one day, you may look back and regret not taking advantage of these younger years.

Sunny weather = showing more skin

Are you ready to unveil to the world all your glory on the beaches and boardwalks of summer? How is that tummy looking? How are those thighs? Do you look good nearly naked? If you are confident in your physique then you probably don’t need to read this. But those of us who are striving to look a little better this spring and summer than we did last year, read on.

First off, it IS possible to achieve a lean healthy looking body! Now stop all that negative chatter and have hope.

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Slim down before hitting the beaches!

Two of the greatest methods for getting that ideal body is through exercise and good nutrition. Easier said than done, eh? From my experience, we have to make it an on-going lifestyle to get the fat off and keep it off. Here’s a few tips this spring for looking slimmer and leaner.

  • Cut back on sugar. Sweets are a big culprit in adding extra empty calories to our diet, especially when consumed not before, not during nor after training. Like at 10 PM! Ease off on those girl scout cookies…
  • Drink more water. Staying hydrated
  • Drink less sweetened beverages. Or cut it out completely. Sodas, flavored drinks and other sweet drinks are a huge source of extra calories that just turn to fat! Just stick to water as the best beverage.
  • Speaking of fat, easy does it on the Easter candy, and other foods high in fat such as trans fats and saturated fats, like butter, cream and cheese. Instead eat healthy fats occasionally like plant-based foods, for exampl avocados, olive oil, and flax seed oil.
  • Don’t skip meals and get really starving and binge. Eat every 2 – 3 hours and prioritize eating more of the calories early in the day and taper off for a light meal at dinner.
  • Workout, get outside in this beautiful spring weather and go for a jog, go ride a bike, or just walk. Soon you’ll be showing the world your tan lines and if you skip workouts today, you’ll regret it in the summer!
  • Buy a nice new pair of running shoes to inspire you to feel excited to run, and throw out those old smelly shoes. Running shoes have limited miles available, so don’t use the same pair for too long.
  • Set a plan and schedule your workouts. If you have a job, you make sure to schedule that into your day, that will pay your bills. Well, if you schedule exercise, it will keep your heart healthy and help you to enjoy your life longer after you retire for that “job.” You are going to have your job your whole life, you are not going to have your job. Make fitness a priority.
  • Track your progress. If you can, take measurements of your waist and hips with a tape-measure to track your progress, instead of just weighing yourself.
  • Lastly, try to team up with a friend or join a running group, softball team, or bootcamp, like http://www.upyourfit.com/ my class in PB San Diego, CA! Power to the teamwork!

Well, if nothing else I hope this gets you pumped up to be healthier and connecting to your physical body. We are in our heads so much, it’s time to get out and go for it! You have the potential to be so much more than you can even imagine.

Lighten Up

If you can't relax on a boat in Key West, try soaking in a tub with epsom salts!

With all the stresses in life, it’s always a good reaction to have a healthy stress-reliever. Whether you’re basking on a sandy beach, soaking in the bath tub or getting a massage, find some healthy outlet from all the wear and tear you deal with each day. Creating good habits of releasing the stress can drop your blood pressure and help your relationships. If you go to the gym and you can’t find the energy to workout, sit in the sauna instead. Many times I encourage people to get motivated and exercise, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t. If you get angry at yourself — come on, admit that you do this sometimes — then it may end up being more stress than it’s worth!

Recovery can be a quintessential part of a proper training plan, so schedule it in sometimes. Going hard all the time and never going easy will create a fitness plateau that is hard to shake off. But with a little downtime and healthy recovery, it’s possible to come back stronger and faster than ever!

Conversely, if you’re just making excuses and being lazy too much, then reassess your priorities and keep on track! But, be good to yourself regardless. We have an abundance of stress in our busy lives. Don’t add to it by getting frustrated for your lack of training. Tomorrow is a new day. Get a good night’s sleep, right after you have a good soak in the hot bath. Then, start refreshed to begin a great workout regime.

Summertime Fitness

Are you training for an event? Do you have any fun hikes, races, or other challenges set up for your summer? June is nearly over and if you’re feeling like summer is flying by, it is! What’s so great about good health in the summer:

  1. Longer sunlight hours for early morning workouts and late evening sunset jogs. Try to make an effort to wake up a little earlier if you can, and get some more fresh air in the early sunlight.
  2. Warmer water temperatures. Get out into the open water more! It’s so much better for you than chlorinated pools. Swimming is an excellent form of exercise working multi-joints and muscles and burns loads of calories.
  3. Being adventurous: try a new water sport. Wake boarding, surfing, paddle boarding, stand-up paddle boarding, kite-surfing, rowing, water-skiing, and boogie boarding, oh my!
  4. Amazing selection of fresh local produce at your local grocery store and at your local farmer’s markets. Get them while you can! Cook up some new concoctions in your kitchen and cut back on processed foods.
  5. Get Outdoors. If you can escape the office a little earlier one or two days a week, do it. Life is short and the summer even shorter. Enjoy life and savor the moment.

Activities make us come alive, feel happier and get in touch with nature and our bodies. So, skip the gym and have fun this summer! . . . http://www.upyourfit.com

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