How Hard Is Too Hard To Push?

People have told me they want to find out their limits when it comes to exercise. I am a believer in getting results by challenging yourself and getting outside your comfort zone. To me, there is a big difference between getting out of your zone and pushing the limits and this is what I try to educate on.

I look at exercise as something that has so many benefits for health and well being that there is no reason not to do some form of it. For many, it comes easy and they don’t have to force themselves to get to the gym or out for that run. For others it may not be that easy. For everyone, it is needed.

The problem I have with the mindset of pushing the limit is that most of the time we don’t know what that limit is until it is too late. One step over the limit of what the body can handle and injury takes place. I’m not suggesting that injuries will never happen. Sometimes we just land wrong on the ground and twist an ankle. And, as I said earlier, we do need to get out of the comfort zone to get the most benefits possible. If you are looking to hit a goal, such as weight loss, injuries can push you so far behind that you might get frustrated and just give up. This is why I advocate challenging yourself and not focusing on that “limit”. So many amazing benefits can happen without increasing the risk of injury!

Until next time…

Have A Healthy Relationship With Food!

Food is a necessity in life. Our bodies are machines and all machines need fuel in order to run. Cars use gas and oil. We need food. More specifically we need fruits, vegetables and berries.

The problem isn’t that fruits, vegetables and berries aren’t delicious and nourishing. The problem is that there are so many other foods out there that are amazingly good but not so good for us. All these food together are what we need to have a healthy relationship with!

Too many times I talk with people that think there is something odd if you have a salad for lunch or a healthy protein shake for dinner. We tend to think that every meal should be a grand one. The issue with that mindset is you would never be able to keep your weight under control!

Don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving meals! I start looking forward to Thanksgiving right around Christmas! I celebrate birthdays and special events with friends and family and there is always food around for those festivities. There are even many times I have a pizza or burger and really don’t bat an eye. The reason is that I try to make many of my meals and snacks healthy, and portion controlled. When you do that on a regular basis, you can indulge on occasion without guilt. Doing that without guilt is the key. So many beat themselves up over having a cookie and that just isn’t right. If all you are eating are cookies then yes, you need to make a change. But if you get to reward yourself with a treat, doing it and don’t feel bad!

Until next time…

Tough Day At Work?

Your work can be very stressful, am I right? I see people posting all the time that they just want to have a drink after their tough day at work. Why do you think “Happy Hour” came about?

I am hardly one to lecture people not to drink. I don’t hide the fact that I enjoy a good, cold beer. When you do things like that in moderation it is OK. I would challenge those with stressful jobs to get a good workout in before cracking that beer and see what happens!

I have trained many people who have challenging jobs and they manage their stress by hitting the gym after work, before going home. They may talk during the workout that they are going to have a drink when they get home, but realize the importance of a good workout. And I would add that many even find that they don’t want a drink when they get home because of the workout! You would be surprised how a training session can help with keeping stress levels down and even curbing bad eating habits. Not to mention exercise can help with better sleeping habits while drinking can have adverse affects on sleep patterns.

There are many ways to manage stress and, in my opinion, exercise is one of the best ways to do !

Until next time…

I Am So Lucky To Have A Fast Metabolism!

I have never hidden the fact that I enjoy pizza or a good bacon cheeseburger. Add a cold beer to that and it’s a party! For good measure, I’m not an ultra-light beer drinker either. I actually like flavor to my beer, no matter how many commercials show athletes having that ultra “beer”.

Being in the fitness/wellness industry, I have heard many times that I probably don’t eat bad stuff. Or, even better, it must be great to have a fast metabolism so I can eat whatever I want! Nothing could be further from the truth, and, honestly, it’s a bit insulting.

While I do enjoy all the things in the first paragraph, I certainly don’t have those everyday. In fact, they aren’t even in what I eat on a regular basis. I concede that there are those who may have that fast metabolism and can eat whatever. They usually proclaim that loudly to anyone who will listen. These people are in a minority when it comes to metabolic rate. Most of us, when we don’t pay attention to eating healthy, will gain weight and I am no exception to that rule. A couple of years ago I noticed the scale inching up to a number I wasn’t comfortable with. I became upset with pants manufacturers because I thought they were making the waist sizes smaller! What I had to realize was that while I am getting older, I have to pay attention more to what I eat. Not to mention how important exercise is.

Do you want that faster metabolism? There is really only one way to get it. Eat healthier on a regular basis and exercise! Strength training is a great way to get that done. While this will work, it won’t happen overnight. Making it a part of your lifestyle is the only way to do it! While I may have a bit faster metabolism, it is because I have made that part of my life. Not all workouts are easy and many times I have to force myself, just like you!

Until next time…

I Need The “14 Minute Workout” Piece Of Equipment!

You have seen the infomercial about this amazing, ground breaking idea in the fitness industry haven’t you?? Thank goodness for this cutting edge piece of exercise equipment that allows you to get a fat burning workout in only 14 minutes!! This equipment, and only this equipment, is capable of that!

So glad I got that sarcasm out of my system.

The idea behind the 14 minute workout is you implement sprints, along with recovery time, in your workout and you burn many more calories than, say, a 30 minute workout, or even longer. This is a great idea but it is hardly new to the workout scene.

One thing I explain to people is you can do a 14 minute workout on any exercise equipment. It isn’t specific to one piece. If you are on an elliptical machine, kick up the resistance and your speed for 20-30 seconds of all-out work and follow it up with a minute of recovery. Do 10 rounds of that and your caloric burn will increase and you can drop the amount of time spent exercising. During spinning classes, sprints were always scattered throughout the time. Are you a runner? Sprints are a great way to improve your speed and endurance while burning more calories. Heck, you can even do this in the pool!

A good rule of thumb when sprinting is if you are doing it properly, that is going all out, you need 2-3 times the recovery time as the sprint time. We can really only sprint for about 30 seconds so with that you would need at least a minute of recovery. And you will need it!

Try this with your cardio and see what happens with your results!

Until next time…

Exercise For Mental Health!

We tend to look at exercise and simply something to keep us fit. I can’t tell you how many clients I have had that need to start working out because they are going on vacation. New Years resolutions are a big start for some, however I would challenge that as Spring Breaks approach, that is another big time for trainers!

While it is very important to keep the extra weight off and add lean muscle, we should realize that there are many mental health issues that can be kept to a minimum by adding a good workout to your day. Feeling stressed? Go for a jog/walk! Having an anxious moment? Do a sequence of yoga moves! Co-workers making you frustrated? Take it out on the heavy bag!

I would love to see exercise prescribed as freely as medicine! They can certainly go hand in hand when it comes to the health and well-being of everyone. Let’s face it, the fewer stressed out people there are in this world the better off we all will be!

Until next time…

Take Your Strength Equipment To The Park!

There are many pieces of home exercise equipment that are effective for your overall health. When it comes the building strength, I love the Functional Trainers from Hoist and Bodycraft! They give plenty of options and great variety for a full body workout.

If you like getting outside, like I do, it can be a bit challenging to get a good strength workout. There are a few pieces that I like to take along with me to the park, such as TRX and the LEBERT EQUALIZER. TRX can be a bit limited in use because you need an anchor point, such as a tree branch or pull-up bar. Lebert Equalizer can be put anywhere!

I have been using this many years for myself and with clients, with great results! What I love about this type of equipment is the simplicity of it, yet you can be very creative and add your own style! Check out the video above and get one for yourself HERE! Use the code BETTAG40 to save $40 on your purchase!

Even if you are investing in a home gym, this can be a great compliment to the gym that you can throw in the trunk of your car!

Until next time…

I Love The Sounds Of Nature When I Exercise!

Let me start by saying I am a HUGE music fan. More specifically, classic rock and 80s-90s music (unfortunately for me that can be classified as classic). When I was a Spinning instructor, I loved putting together new play lists, although I think the class participants didn’t always agree with my selections :).

As I got into doing more outside cardio such as jogging and cycling, I made the decision to go without music in my ears for a number of reasons, especially with cycling. It has always bothered me to see cyclists with earbuds in their ears while they ride. There are enough distractions on the road and when you can’t hear cars coming up behind you, I think that is detrimental. Add to that when you are on the trails, such as Grants Trail, you really need to hear someone when they yell “on your left” so you don’t blindly turn around to go the other way. I have had many close calls because of this.

The safety part aside, I have come to enjoy the sounds of being outside during that activity. Especially when you are up early or out for a late run, the sounds of the birds chirping, dogs barking, kids playing and so forth make you realize there is a lot of beauty around you! You miss a lot when you are just plugged into music. I understand there are times you just want to be to yourself, and having those buds in your ears let people know you are focusing. What I recommend is give nature a try! You may find you enjoy that too!

Until next time…

Workout Smarter, Not Longer!

There are many times I leave the gym only to hear from someone I know say, “leaving already?” I never take offense to this because I feel I have a pretty good grasp on what I need to do.

Many feel like you have to spend hours in the gym lifting weights. How many times do you read a Facebook post about leg day, when you should be close to not being able to walk after doing your legs. You shouldn’t be able to lift your arms over your head after an upper body workout right?

I am a firm believer that you need to challenge yourself in order to make gains. I also feel that soreness is one indicator of a good workout however you can be sore after doing everything wrong when it comes to form. You can also have a good workout and not necessarily have a lot of soreness.

When I am at the gym, I look to get in and out of there while still getting a quality workout. For me, it isn’t about the amount of time you spend if you are doing the right exercises. If you focus on the bigger muscle groups, chest, back and legs, especially when using multiple muscle groups, you are getting many muscles worked with a few exercises. You can then work your way down to the smaller groups. If you warm up properly and use weights that are challenging, you can get a good workout in a decent amount of time!

Until next time…

Keto Is NOT The Only Way!

Well, I just got myself in trouble with all the Keto people. I get it, eating according to Keto is all the rage. Bacon…good! Bananas…Bad! I have heard it time and again how you can only lose weight when you are doing Keto. I am NOT, by any means, slamming on Keto. People can eat however they want. The point I try to get across is there is more than one way.

The reality with most diets, at least those that are worth anything, is you have to cut sugar and processed foods, while eating more real food. That is the key to losing weight and, more importantly, keeping it off. We can do anything for a short period of time to lose pounds. The problem comes about when people don’t have an exit strategy to those short term diets. I do a 10 day shred with a group. One thing I stress is that you have to have a plan for after the 10 days. Just going back to old habits won’t do a thing for you. And that is what leads people to believe there is only one way to lose weight.

Try changing your eating for a solid year and see what happens. When you are true to that, I can almost guarantee great results!

Until next time…