Let's face it, as we get older our joints don't always feel good. One way to prevent injury is to have a thorough warm up before you start exercising. Another way is to roll out all of your muscles on a foam roller to warm up the fascia that acts as a cushion for your joints. The fasica becomes dry and brittle as we age. "Gentle compression with a soft foam roller helps rehydrate our fasica by stimulating its cells and helping fluid move back into the tissues," according the Sue Hitzmann, an exercise physiologist and creator of the Melt Method. Thirdly, it is always a good idea to vary your workouts so we aren't putting pressure in the same places over and over. Finally, make sure to stretch thoroughly when you finish. I like stretching with bands because I can go deeper into the stretches. Make sure to hold at least 20 seconds and up to 2 minutes if tight in an area.
I tell my clients that the scale is just one way of measuring progress. Far more important is taking regular measurements. They need to include the chest, waist, arms, hips, and calves. Measure at the same time of the day every 2 weeks or at least once a month. This will really measure your fat loss and muscle gains. I have had clients lose only 2 pounds, but lose 9 inches. This means that the fat is getting converted to muscle which takes up less space.
I recommend weighing only once a week at the same time taking into account high sodium intake from the day before which will make the body retain water, and other factors such as a pasta meal the night before. Carbohydrates attract water to the body which is 55-65% water anyway.
I tell my clients to measure progress in the following ways: How do my clothes feel?, How much progress am I making in my workouts?, How is my energy now that I am working out? Am I noticing muscle definition? These are all signs of progress. It is time to put the scale in its place. It isn't the most important measurement, but just one of many!!
It isn't all about the calories!! It is about the type of food we eat. Unprocessed whole raw foods take more energy=calories to break down. For example, protein takes 20% of it's energy just to break it down. So le'ts say you eat 500 calories of protein a day. Your body only takes in 400 because it took 100 calories just to break down the protein. That is is why we are full when we eat whole nutritious foods that take a lot of work for the body to digest. It is also what our bodies were designed to do. Processed foods are easier for the body to digest, but the chemicals in it are hard for our body to get rid off. You will notice when you switch to whole foods that you have more energy. That is because our bodies don't have to use energy breaking down toxic chemicals it wasn't designed to deal with. I suggest focusing on eating organic nutritious fruits and raw vegetables. In addition, eat protein in the form of lean meat, diary without sugar, and complex carbohydrates like beans, raw nuts, and vegetarian protein sources like quinoa. You will be so full you won't have to focus on every calorie. You might even think you are eating more than ever because the quantity of unprocessed foods is more than that of processed foods that are very calorie dense. In addition, you will probably start losing weight!
For those of you that have a great workout plan, it is easy, because we are creatures of habit, to do the same exercises in the same way each time. Some of the things I do with my clients is change the order of the exercises, add a balance component like doing bicep curls on one leg to get the core stabilizer muscles at the same time, and change the method of doing the exercise. For example, sitting down to do shoulder presses instead of standing to take the temptation of using the body to push up the weight. It is a good rule of thumb to change up something every time you workout so your body doesn't get used to what you are doing and therefore can still give you the results you desire.
Of course one of the very best investments you can make is to hire a personal trainer. I do, even as a trainer myself, once a year just so I can make sure I have the best workout plan for my goals and health. Find a trainer who not only looks, but lives the lifesyle you want to emulate. I recommend at the minimum to purchase 5 sessions so the personal trainer has enough time to really teach you the correct form for every exercise in your plan. The best investment of course is 20 sessions because then you can have a different plan for several days of the week and that will give you enough time to thoroughly learn the correct form without your trainer. I am currently taking new clients and also have my Health Coach Certification so I can bring you more to the service you invest in.
Here is a great recipe and pre or post workout snack:
3 cups of egg whites
8 oz. of organic cheddar cheese
1 cup of fresh organic spinach
1 can of organic mushrooms
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Put a 1/4 cup of liquid egg whites in each of the 12 muffin tins.
Divide the cooked spinach and mushrooms in each muffin holder. Sprinkle the cheese in last.
Cook on 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. These last for 5 days in the fridge. To reheat cook for 30 seconds in the microwave.
Fat grams: 3
Protein grams: 10
Carbohydrate grams: 2.3
Here is a great recipe that is a healthy alternative to the traditional muffin. It is also great before or after a workout because of the healthy distribution of protein to carbohydrates.
2 ripe bananas
2 cups of almond meal (I use Trader Joes)
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2 eggs ( I use organic)
1 tablespoon of honey (I use raw)
1/2 cup of dark mini chocolate chips (Enjoy Life brand is gluten, dairy, and soy free)
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
Makes 12 muffins
Bake on 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until toothpick in center of muffin comes out clean.
Fat grams: 15
Protein grams: 7
Carbohydrates grams: 16
Sugars grams: 11
Potassium grams: 95
Do you drink enough water? Most people have heard 8 glasses a day, but did you know it is really .5 oz per pound? Also when you drink alcohol or coffee you need one glass of water just to cancel out the dehydrating effects. So my 2 cups of water first thing in the morning just cancel out the effects of my 2 cups of coffee. I still need 70 oz more water for the day. Then if I workout, which I usually do, I need 20% more (plus the water to cancel out my coffee) or a grand total of 100 oz a day based on my weight of 138 pounds.
The answer is yes!! Food is energy input and exercise is energy output. If you don't have fuel in the tank, how can you expect to spend fuel that isn't there? When we wake up in the morning, our bodies are on empty and we are in starvation mode. Our bodies use energy at night even when we are sleeping to repair muscles, burn fat, and if needed, burn lean muslce mass if there wasn't enough fuel from the day before. There are many dangers of working out on an empty stomach. I have had clients faint when they work out without fuel and even more serious conditions can happen. If you are a early morning exerciser and just can't face eating, at the very minimal use one scoop of whey protein in water for your muscles which are made of protein. The good thing about whey protein is that it is digestable in 10 minutes. Another suggestion is a banana with peanut butter. Experiment, but eat something. If you eat a big meal before your workout make sure that you have at least an hour to digest it before working out. Your body can't digest food and bring blood to the muscles at the same time. It will have to chose to get you through your workout and your food will still be sitting in your stomach and it may not sit well!
Do you stuggle with going on and off diets or are there some bad habits you just haven't been able to get rid of? You might want to consider getting a Health Coach. A Certified Health Coach is a specialty training and a subset of Life Coaching. As your coach, I will help you develop a sound, balanced weight management program that includes nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle change. My training has specifically enabled me to understand the psychological aspects of weight management, the biomechanical and physiological impact of obesity, techniques for lifestyle coaching to facilitate behavior change, the relationship between exercise and nutrition in weight control, and exercise programming and weight-management strategies and progressions. Please let me know if I can assist you in any way!
Here is a great recipe for water that will help de-bloat you and help you burn more fat. Drinking enough water (.5 oz per pound of body weight) is one of the best things you can do to help your body burn fat and these ingredients make it even better!!
It is called Sassy Water:
2 liters of water (about 8 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
12 small spearmint leaves.