By the time Week 8 rolls around, many of my clients already feel a sense of achievement. At this point my hope is that I have guided you to more mindfulness — whether it is just moving your body, replenishing water and nutrition or giving yourself permission to breathe and recover when you need it. What an act of love and respect to actually set aside time and put effort into healing, nurturing and creating the best you!
You’ve likely heard that interval training is effective for your body in many ways. The increases and decreases in heart rate make the body work harder and burn more calories per minute, and the increased energy output requires more fuel, which revs up your metabolism. In this phase you will also work on your explosive muscle strength, which the body needs but doesn’t get much of during steady-state exercises such as swimming, walking and regular strength training.
When I demand that my clients incorporate rest into their intense workout schedule, I’m always met by googly eyes and a surprised “You want me to do nothing?!” But it’s a matter of fact that no workout plan works to its fullest potential if you don’t rest properly.
As with everything else in life, there are huge benefits to finding the right balance between active exercise and recovery. During the rest and recovery time (which of course includes enough hours of sleep every night), cells heal, your body re-boots and energy stores replenish. That’s why it is extremely important to let the body heal for one or even two days per week so you can reap the benefits of all your hard work. And if you are on a plan that has you working out almost every day of the week, that’s never going to happen!
Summer is coming and this week I would like to invite you to put your focus on water. Whether that water is on the inside or outside of your body — it’s going to do you tons of good.
It’s time to hit the weights!
A few days ago, a dear friend of mine called me up with a worried voice. She told me that since she started weight training with her trainer six weeks ago, she was actually feeling bigger and had experienced no significant weight loss. “Am I doing the right thing?” she asked. “Why is this not working?”
That experience of a period of bloating and weight gain is something I hear from many women I train with, but it’s only temporary!
Love is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. Unfortunately, I find that women who are most critical of their bodies are missing a degree of self-love. Do you find yourself looking in the mirror and having negative thoughts about certain parts of your body? Do you find yourself saying things like, “If only my thighs were slimmer,” or “I wish my butt wasn’t so flat”?
When I teach my fitness classes, I often invite my students to do some of the exercises with their eyes closed in order to really feel the movement. On a neuromuscular level, training the body while creating positive thoughts and making that positive connection is scientifically proven to be one of the most powerful ways to create and reinforce a positive body image. And, on a non-scientific level, it just feels good!
A while back, I had a client who was struggling with his weight. Unfortunately, he felt about as excited about exercising as he did about doing laundry. We dug into his athletic past and found that he had been discouraged by his physical abilities, which had turned into a near fear of moving his body.
We both knew that he would have to exercise to achieve his weight-loss goals, so I encouraged him to think about what physical activities he had enjoyed as a child, before the fears started building. After all, all children like to play.
Last week I wrote about keeping your gym membership and focusing on the gym amenities you really use. But if getting to the gym isn’t working for you, I suggest stocking your home with a few well-chosen pieces of exercise gear to help you start or maintain a consistent fitness regimen. Having your own gear handy puts you in control. It saves you time, since you never have to drive to and from the health club. It gives you a weatherproof alternative to outdoor activities like walking or biking. And it lets you squeeze in exercise in the morning before the kids wake up or in the evening while you’re watching your favorite TV show.
Maybe it’s cabin fever, or perhaps it’s just all those Girl Scout cookies, but I’m ready for something new in my fitness routine. Aren’t you?
Like many people, I made a resolution to lose weight, and I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain I made with myself to work out for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Now I’m ready for something new: a new challenge, a different routine, a never-tried-that-before workout.
by Kurt Johnsen
You’ve seen them. You may even be one of them — I know I have been. I’m talking about those folks hunkered over their food, shoveling it down as if someone were trying to take it away. Not only is it unsightly, it’s also unhealthy.
Our digestive system starts in our mouths, not in our stomachs as you may think. Special enzymes in our mouths begin to break down our food and prepare it for digestion from the moment we take a bite. But often, in our fast-paced, fast-food world, many of us — including myself — wolf down our meals and snacks like a greedy seagull, cocking our heads back and gulping down whatever is in front of us. We barely take the time to chew — much less enjoy — our food.
Want a healthy snack that will fill you up without filling you out? Try plain, non-fat (or low-fat) Greek yogurt! It’s super-packed with calcium and live bacterial cultures and it’s low in calories, making it a smart snack choice.