Up Your Fit

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Archive for motivation

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 This is old, outdated science.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.

Consistency equals achieving goals

After coaching hundreds of people throughout California, I must say most people do not take their training very seriously. Some do, and they see the results. But many people enjoy the workouts, but do not commit to really changing their priorities in order to see improvements. Training is a great way to get in shape, have fun, feel great. Also, most importantly it can dramatically improve your health! There are numerous positive outcomes from an effective training plan, as we all know. However, it doesn’t happen with the snap of a finger! It takes perseverance and a solid consistent routine.

In 2005 I decided to sign-up for my first triathlon called Wildflower in May of 2006. It was a pretty challenging course and I took my training seriously. After six months of a regular routine of training nearly every single day, my body adjusted to this type of training stress. My mind wanted nothing more than to improve and see how far I could take it. One lesson I learned was that it’s not about beating the guy next to you ,as much as it is about beating yourself. However, without the diligent commitment of practice, my goals just remain unattainable dreams. We can live all our life’s dreams through these same lessons. But, in particular I know that the absolute only way to get better, stronger, faster and fitter is through consistency and hard work.

Forget the excuse. Tie up those sneakers and go get after it!

Winning 1st Place of the Women’s division at the Catalina Island Triathlon in 2009 took a lot of consistent training

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.

Do what you love. Love what you do.

Exercise. Many dread it. Some never do it. But it can save you from disease and illnesses. Still, some avoid it like the plague. As a fitness professional, it’s difficult to imagine hating it, since I live it and breathe it. However, if someone asked me to work in a lab all day dissecting mice I would probably avoid that just as much! We all have activities we detest that we know are good for us, like flossing, eating vegetables and getting in some cardio workouts each week (not in that order).

Have you been feeling that there’s a shortage of fun active hobbies in your life? Here are some options: hiking on a beautiful forest trail, or just walking around a park or a pretty lake, dancing at the club or just dancing at the Zumba class, or maybe you just like dancing around your living room when no one is watching! My point is to find an active hobby, whether it’s a jog along the beach, bowling, biking, stand-up paddle boarding, skiing, surfing, boxing, jumping rope or rock climbing. Humans have invented more forms of moving the body in a dynamic way than any other species on this Earth! We are meant to move, not to sit all day. Yet, we love to sit . . . sit in our cars, sit in a meeting, sit at out computers, sit at the table, sit until we have the highest percentage of obesity in human history!

I found the love of the sport of triathlon to get me to sit a lot less. It was the best motivation for me. It’s possible that discovering a new active hobby could make you healthier, happier and more motivated to get in the best shape of your life! If you try some new activity, let me know how it goes. Remember, as Mahatma Gandhi said “You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”

Freshen up your workout

If you do the same ol’ same ol’ workout every time you are training, your body has in innate reaction to find the easiest way possible to get from point A to point B. So doing the usual 5 exercises and machines every time you’re at the gym will create a sort of staleness and ultimately, your body won’t benefit from the workout. The rule known as S.A.I.D., which means Specific Adaptations of Imposed Demands, sums up this training theory. Your body adapts to the demands placed on it while you’re training and then you need to increase either the intensity or the volume to improve and see results. So, if you are always using 15-pound dumbbells, now’s the time to up-your-fit to 20!

Here are a few original goodies to throw in your bag of tricks next time you’re working out.

  • The Decline Sideways-walking Push-ups : WATCH THE VIDEO. All you need is a bench of about 12 – 18″ or a lower ledge if you’re just starting out. In the video I do a building repetition but you can do a full pyramid to 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1.
  • The Russian Plank: WATCH THE VIDEO. Again no equipment necessary, just a nice slow count of five on each lift. This really improves stability and core strength!

Start off moderate with reps and then each session increase the quantity by 2 or more reps to increase the volume. Good luck getting stronger!

Try out this class to Up Your Fit in San Diego!

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