Monday, November 30, 2009

Back on the wagon!!!

I hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!!! 
Now the question is did you exercise, did you eat more than your fair share of the grub?  It is difficult when you go away, especially during the holidays, to stay on track!  You get off your schedule, you can't control the food...when it comes or what it is...but you can control how much of it you put in your mouth!
Whether you lost control or you worked hard and stayed on track, it is a new week, a new month for that matter and you can pick back up where you were and carry on!
Confession----I did some exercise, not a ton. I ate a fair bit...I didn't go hog wild, but there was lots of chocolate about...and cheese...and WINE!!!  I tend to enjoy my wine when I am away, and the food consumption really depends on what is present at the location I am at!
Plans for the upcoming holidays---set goals for what I can and cannot do.  Let people know in advance that I am trying to avoid high calorie food...not asking them to take it off the menu, but to have some other options!  A bag of baby carrots to nibble from instead of the bowl of nuts. Some fresh fruit for dessert instead of the double fugde caramel sundae ( I will have a taste though).  And maybe a flavored water in between my glasses of wine ;)
We need to make choices that help us out today and tomorrow, not just this second!  So give yourself a Christmas (or Hanukkah) gift and plan ahead to make good choices over the next month!  Your New Year's Resolution to stay fit will be much easier to keep than the one to start again from scratch!
Happy December!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Can't lose that belly fat, check out this Q and A!!!

Q: I work out all the time, but I still have belly fat. Please help!


A: Hi J.R.,
It sounds like your flabby middle is due to something called "false" belly fat. False belly fat mostly comes from encrusted fecal matter built-up in your intestines and colon. It may sound gross, but it's what happens when you don't eat enough fiber and drink enough water. Refined foods – which includes almost anything packaged in a box, can bag or carton – are stripped of fiber during processing. And fiber is critical for eliminating waste from your body. During the digestive process, fiber stays mostly in tact and can push foods or build-up out of your body. If you aren't having 1-3 bowel movements per day, then you're not getting enough fiber, which could lead to false belly fat.

I recommend you incorporate two types of fiber into your diet: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is what you find in grains such as wheat and rice, while soluble fiber is found in fruits and vegetables. Some of the best sources are brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal, and fruits that have lower sugar content, such as blackberries, raspberries and apricots.

Your coach,
Jorge Cruise

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Rule of the Game: Intensity

OK, so I am borrowing this from Jillian Michael's web page, but it is along the lines of my last posting...

The Rule of the Game: Intensity

If you're looking to shed stubborn pounds, the rule of the game is to increase the intensity of your workouts. I want you to be working out at 85 percent of your maximum heart rate (MHR). However, you may have heard the "fat-burning zone" theory that encourages you to work out at just 70 to 75 percent of your MHR. The outdated assumption is that your body is drawing predominately on fat calories for energy — WRONG! It's completely misleading and it's time to lay the "fat-burning zone" myth to rest.

During physical training, your body has three possible sources of energy: carbs, fat, and protein. Protein is a last resort — of the three energy sources, your body is the most reluctant to draw on your protein stores.

Whether your body takes energy from glucose, which it gets from the breakdown of carbs, or fat depends on the intensity of your workout. Training at a high level of intensity forces your body to draw on carb calories for energy — they are a more efficient source of energy, and your body goes for its premium fuel when you're working hard. If you are training at a low level of intensity, your body doesn't need to be as efficient, so it will draw on a higher percentage of fat calories for fuel.

Sounds like low-intensity training would be more effective when it comes to losing fat, right? Wrong. These physiological facts are the ones that spawned the mistaken belief that low-intensity activity is better than high-intensity activity when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. These days we know that even though the ratio of fat-to-carb calories might be higher during low-intensity exercise, fewer calories are used up overall. High-intensity exercise burns the biggest number of calories.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Why aren't you seeing any results?

I know why I'm not seeing instant would be my love affair with food!  I have a nice balance right now of hard exercise and healthy eating...but ice cream, red wine and chocolate are never too far away!!!  In one sense it is OK.  My weight is stable, my clothes fit and I feel good...BUT  I would still like to tone out my mid section and lose a little of my lower booty so my new pants aren't quite as snug.  It is time to cut out back on my treats until I reach some goals I think...then I can add them back in moderation!

Now why aren't YOU seeing results? 
How is your food intake?  Is there a time of day when your resistence is low?  Are you eating three solid meals a day or cutting back so much that you are STARVING by the end of the day and end up eating enough for 4 people?  Experts are recommending we eat 5-6 times a day to keep our metabolism active at all times.  3 meals and 2-3 snacks.  The hard part about that is cutting back on each meal a bit so our calorie intake stays the same when we add in the snacks.  and DON'T FORGET BREAKFAST!!! 
Are you drinking enough water?  Water gets everything moving in our body, it helps us feel fuller, and it is so much better for you than soda, diet soda, juice, coffee...carry a bottle with you all day long!
Are you really exercising?  Unless you have an injury, are just starting on your exercise journey or are cooling down, there is no reason to be walking on the treadmill and watching TV!  If you want to lose you need to MOVE!  Running, pushing hard on the elliptical, riding a bike with high resistance...there are lots of ways to do it.  In order to make it fun though you really need to mix it up.  Have you tried any classes at the gym?  TurboKick would be my favorite cardio-works the core, great music, fun moves...but spinning is another great one for cardio.  A PUMP class for weight lifting.  A cross training class with weights and cardio is awesome...keep the heart rate up to get even more fat burning going on and you don't usually lift as long for each set so you can go HEAVY!!!  When you work though you need to work HARD!  Work up a sweat, go so hard you are panting...if you start getting light headed slow down, but kick it up again when you can.  Your muscles are supposed to burn when you are lifting, just work through it and you will be rewarded with stronger muscles.--You will quickly learn the difference between a muscle burn and PAIN!  Pain is bad...stop what you are doing and make sure your form is correct and ask for help!
Ask yourself these questions when you feel the need to rest---Am I about to pass out?  Have I seen anyone else pass out who is doing the same exercise as me?  Can I keep going a little bit longer?  The answers are probably No, No and Yes!!!!!
The harder you work out in the time you have the more results you will see....I promise you!  As long as you don't have two bowls of ice cream for dessert to celebrate of course ;)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Exercise doesn't have to be in the gym!!!

sI do tend to focus on gym type exercise, but there are many many things you can do to work up a sweat outside of the gym...OTHER than running.
A bike ride through the park, down the bike trail, through the countryside. Road bike or mountain bike, they both do the trick. Speed isn't everything, just getting those legs moving is what matters!
A walk around the block with your dog...a little further is good, a little faster than you used to maybe, it is good for you AND your dog :)
A hike up that beautiful may have to drive to that mountain if you live in Bakersfield but a lot of you have mountains not too far away. Get your children used to hiking and biking and walking and moving. I remember everything always seemed so far away...we need to get the kids to learn to love to move from early on so it just becomes part of life...and a fun part of life at that.
Rock climbing, skiing, snow shoeing, swimming, bouncing on the trampoline....they are all exercise! A little gym exercise to go along with these will make them even more fun...just think, your quads might not be burning quite so much when you get to the bottom of that ski hill if you add squats into your exercise regimen. You might be able to make it a little further up that rock wall if you add pull ups, pull downs and a few other upper body strengtheners in. And you won't be quite as quick to get double bounced off the trampoline if you add in some high energy cardio more often!
Exercise can be fun even if you don't like to hit the can also make that fun exercise MORE fun and less tiring if you do hit the gym and build up the appropriate muscles and your endurance!
It is almost time to look for sledding hills----but every time you slide down you need to climb back up to the top, so why not get prepared! squats, lunges, stair climbing, running....and why not throw in some TurboKick :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Weights are our friends!!!!

Including weight lifting in your work out regimen is a must!!!  Whether you are trying to lose a lot of weight, a little bit of weight or just to tone up!
First off, muscle burns calories even while you sit and watch TV.  The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you are burning every second of every day.  Regardless of what you are trying to do to your body you typically need to lose a little bit of fat and you want to give your muscles a little bit of definition.  Women rarely get "big" when they lift weights.  Some will put on muscle faster, but there is no reason to lift light weights...go as heavy as you can 10 reps, take a 45 second break then do 10 more!
The only way muscle will make you look bigger is if you don't lose some fat at the same time, and how do we do that you ask? We lift weights...we elevate our heart rate with cardio (TurboKick is great for this :))...and we watch what we eat!!!!  If you are trying to lose weight, NEVER reward yourself with food!  Don't get the mentality that you EARNED IT because you worked so hard at the need to change that mentality and find a new reward.  Some new clothes for the gym to show off those muscles, some new songs for your iPod to inspire you to work harder, a new book or magazine to read before bed.  Studies have shown that exercise doesn't help a large number of people lose weight...this is because they think exercising means they should be eating more.  Usually you didn't get to the point where you need to lose weight unless you were eating more than you already should sometimes you still need to cut calories.  Look to whole grains, vegetables and lean meats, add some fruit and you are set!  There are some great books and magazines out there that can help you with eating and exercise ideas!  "Clean Eating" is touted as a great way to get that last layer of fat off your belly.  Tosca Reno has 2 or 3 great cookbooks out to give you ideas on this, as well there is a Clean Eating magazine.  My favorite exercise magazine is Oxygen....a LOT about the weights.  Also Women's Health is great too!  These magazines also have web sites so you can check out their info online!  If you are looking for a TV show to inspire you turn on the Biggest Loser next week-Tuesday night at 8pm on NBC----the most important part is at 9:55 when they show how much the contestant voted off lost once they returned home...before and after photos...very impressive!
Have you made some goals yet?  Where you would like to be by the end of 2009, where you would like to be by 6 months from now.  Remember to keep those goals in mind as we head into Thanksgiving and then the holiday season!  How about a new sleeveless dress for that office holiday party....wouldn't it be nice to show off a little muscles definition on those biceps and triceps ;)
I started lifting weights more again in the past two weeks and the scale revealed this morning that I have dropped 2 pounds.  More muscle combined with some hard cardio and reduced calories and you will see some changes! 

Monday, November 2, 2009

Vitamin D

Did you know how important Vitamin D is?  
Low Vitamin D levels have been associated with increased incidence of Cancer, Heart Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, High Blood Pressure, Depression, Schizophrenia and even Autism.  A lot of the research is based on higher incidence of these health issues in areas with less sunlight in the winter months...a combo of the angle of the sun and the cold weather.
Your body can make Vitamin D, but only in the presence of sunshine. This is affected by: where you live on the planet...if you live in northern USA or anywhere in Canada the angle of the sun is too low for 5 months of the year to allow for Vitamin D synethesis, plus it is probably too cold to have short sleeves on anyway; we spend a lot of time indoors working, learning, playing; we wear sunscreen which inhibits the UVB rays from reaching our skin; the older we are the less we are able make; we are overweight and as Vit D is fat soluble it tends to sit in the fat rather than being available for use by our body...we tend to avoid too much sun for so many reasons that we limit this natural production.
Solutions: Spend 20 minutes in the sun every day or supplement.  Vitamin D is in milk, orange juice (which states added D), fatty salmon, mackerel and other fatty fish.  Vitamin D3 is recommended, also seen as cholecalciferol on the back of the label.  A maintenance level is 2,000U a day for adults, 7,000U for nursing mamas, 5,000U for elderly and heavier adults.  You can even get a blood test to see where your blood levels are to start as the goal is to keep your blood level at 50-60 ng all the times.
Vitamin D deficiency has also been related to muscle power and force and can affect the various ways muscles work!

Reference: Whitcomb, John E.,Vitamin D: An Introductory Guide. AFAA CEU Express. July 2009

Too many distractions, not enough time for exercise!

It is amazing how you can have plans to get to the gym and three days later (sometimes two weeks later), you still haven't made it.  Husband working, kids are sick, dogs need walking, no groceries in the house, house needs cleaning, it's is amazing the number of excuses I can come up with!  The biggest issue for a lot of people at this time of year is weather and health!
It is getting colder out and everyone seems to be getting sick!  The neighbors, the lady at the cash register at Target, the teacher, my kids....ME!!!  This is the season that can mess with your workout routine for many reasons, but a big one is ILLNESS!  If your kids aren't sick and you aren't sick, you are probably worried about getting sick!  The best way to stay healthy is not hiding out in your house, but keeping going while using a little caution and common sense. 
At the store take advantage of those sani wipes by the door and wipe off the cart handles, keep your hands off your face at ALL times and buy some of that alcohol hand wash to keep in your car to clean off your hands every time you sit back in the driver's seat (do your kid's hands too). 
Get enough sleep.  8 hours of sleep can be difficult to get some nights, but sleep can help keep you healthy AND it can also help you see more results from exercise!!!
Eat nutritiously!  Fruits and veggies may get more expensive at this time of year, but keep them front and center in your diet!  You can add in a multivitamin and a big dose of Vitamin C!  Vitamin D is also a big one for health and fitness-if you don't get much sun make sure you are getting some in your diet!  I will give you the low down on D in my next blog!  Take it easy on the sugar, the white flour and rice...stick with whole grains...if it is a brown carb it is probably better for you than the white one....especially the white one smothered in cheese or butter and brown sugar :)
If you do get sick make sure you let your body rest a bit!  If you want to keep moving take it easy, maybe some walking, some lighter than usual weights, but listen to your body...not the part that says chocolate will help me feel better, but the part that says it needs more time to get better!!! 
If you are fit, eating and sleeping well and enjoying your life you are less likely to get sick!  Positive attitude is an amazing thing!
Keep up the hard work...have you done your pushups yet today?