Up Your Fit

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Archive for Fitness

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 This is old, outdated science.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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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!

Weightloss needed? Get a routine.

Run in picturesque locations

Photo by Mark Dadswell/Getty Images

When life is in upheaval, be it stress in your family, a change in a career, a breakup, a loss of a loved one, unemployment, or moving, staying with your routine is difficult for some of us. Understandably so, since getting to the pool or carving out time to go for a run can be challenging. This is the nature of life. We’re often thrown curve balls and coping and adjusting to these stressors is rough. However, these challenging periods in life are exactly the time when sticking with your routine can be the greatest satisfaction! It will also be urging your sense of self-discipline to keep on track, keep the train chugging along with direction and purpose. A fitness routine is a challenging thing to master unless you have a personal coach encouraging you and keeping tabs on your progress. If you have a lack of self-discipline then try hiring a coach. If you can’t do that, sign up for a class that meets regularly and COMMIT yourself to really showing up and doing your best. Those who do NOT stay consistent with training will see the fewest results and accomplishments. Here are a few tips to planning the work and working the plan:

  1.  Sign up for a class, like Mission Fit Camp. They have a great outdoor athletic program for newbies to advanced athletes. They have impressive reviews on yelp.com too!
  2. Start small and build upon it. If you begin a running program, for example, increase your work load (time or distance) by 10% each workout. So if you do a 30-minute run to start, try moving up to a 33 or 35 minute run next. If you add too much too soon you’ll have more chance for injury.
  3. Set a goal and work towards it. Sign up for a race or an event, like a Thanksgiving Fun Run. Father Joe’s Thanksgiving 5K runs through Balboa Park. Burn some calories before feasting on turkey.
  4. Prioritize your health. By exercising regularly you’re valuing your heart and longevity. So get out there as frequently as possible, and save money from healthcare costs!

Lastly, share this message with those who you love and want to have good health too. Thinking about preventing disease before it happens is the best way to live a long healthy happy life.

Go hard, go easy. Repeat.

If you are really trying to get a good fitness regime going, it’s possible to fall victim to the evil “over-training.” I’ve seen it before. Many people who are very enthusiastic tend towards this error. It’s sad to see, since frequently the over-trainer will be injured or get sick a lot. This problem is often discussed among triathlon coaches. The crucial recovery process often gets overlooked by meany over-zealous triathletes, since simply being a triathlete usually implies you’re over-zealous. Training hard and racing harder is somewhat like walking a tightrope and one false move can send you plummeting into oblivion. If you’re never taking a recovery day, or more importantly, a recovery week, when will your body have time to adapt and rebuild? So if you have several really tough days of training, be sure to get a nice and easy rest day. Don’t half-ass the rest! Make sure to really take it easy, even if that means skipping the hike with your buddies, or being anti-social and laying on your couch all day long. Also, on your recovery days, or week, be sure to eat really well, avoid alcohol and drink plenty of water. Also, get lots of rest! So remember, if you’re training hard day after day week after week, be brave and take it easy! So you can rejuvenate and be stronger for your next hard workout.

Hiking injured

Don't go hiking if you have a broken collar bone, like I did!

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

The Quick Fix Body

In the era of duct tape, we all love a quick fix. If something isn’t right, “fudge it,” as the saying goes. If your pants are too long, do we hem them? Often not we pin them, tape them, and jimmy-rig it until it looks good and no one can tell. If you don’t know how to get somewhere or don’t know the answer to something, now we look it up on our phone. Usually these days, many things get swept under the carpet with the ease of modern technology. We like to do what’s easiest, especially in first world countries where we have the modern ease of convenience at out fingertips. Take a trip to Africa and you’re lucky to even get hot water and electrical power sometimes. But, have you ever noticed that in Africa there’s no obesity epidemic? Very few people, except the wealthy, are even out of shape there. Here in the U.S.A., people are bulging out of their stretch jeans and overflowing their tank tops, especially in the summer you can spot more obesity than the colder months. It’s especially dangerous with children!

So what can we do America? Duct tape it! Yes, that seems to be the resolution so many American companies promote and our insurance agencies will pay for: The quick fix body. According to an article by National Public Radio, “The program, known as TennCare, won’t pay for overweight patients to get counseling from dietitians, but it will pay for the morbidly obese to lose weight through surgery, such as gastric bypass.” Surgery seems to be the quick fix for lots of issues with our bodies. Also, appetite-supression drugs, crash diets, over the top four-week fitness programs, and diet shakes may help you get thin temporarily, but it will not last. Shortcuts are just that – short, fast and brief. And sometimes when it comes back, it comes back with a vengeance.

If you want the real results, it’s a long-term commitment. Start small and build a habit of a regular routine, two – three days per week. Then, build from there and you’ll be impressed by what you can accomplish. Keep increasing your volume by 10% each week. If you live in the San Diego area, here’s a new outdoor fitness classes this summer I’m coaching. It will be fun to get outdoors and get fit one step at a time, you’ll be on the healthy road to fitness and good nutrition. Check it out:

Strong Abs — Do It Right!

If you’ve had me as your fitness coach, you know I’m a big proponent of strengthening your abdominals. However, strong abs seem to be commonly done wrong and it is simply sad that all these hard working fitness enthusiasts are only working the external muscles known as the rectus abdominus, AKA “six pack.” The six pack is one of the LEAST useful part of your abs. It is mostly just a show-off muscle that looks nice but does little for actual core power and strength! The ability to run faster, stay stronger longer, win tennis matches and races of all sorts is facilitated by your “powerhouse,” as we call in in Pilates. I’m talking about the full spectrum: obiques, transverse abdominus, the diaphram, intercostal muscles, the Pelvic floor muscles, the Multifidus, the muscles of the inner thigh, and the muscles encircling the sitting bone area. It’s a complex and powerful network of muscles that is often glossed over by most coaches and personal trainers. Strengthening inner core muscles helps you breathe better in the water while swimming, to run faster at the end of a workout or race, and creates better balance and overall injury resistance. The common misconception is that you need to use really heavy loads like dumbells and medicine balls to do all the ab strengthening. If you do this, you scare away all your stabilizers and interior muscles from doing the work. The bigger muscles, global mobilizers take over, not the muscles you want to target. In short, don’t be a meat head by just hammering out some hard core ab work. This will get you no where in the long run.

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