I received this question from one of you. The choice is yours and it depends on your personal goals: both long-term and goals for the given day!
Do first the part which is more important to you on a given day or as a part of a given plan. If you aim at building muscles, lean body mass, power and strength, then warm up thoroughly and do the weight training session first. This way, your muscles will be still kicking and alive for the weight lifting part, while – in case you do the cardio first – your strength and overall muscle capabilities would be temporarily lowered due to fatigue. If you would rather put accent on your cardio, endurance, or, for example, improve the speed, then warm up and do the cardio first. Only then, top it up with some weight training. This sequence, actually, seems to be burning more calories than the other way around.
I am always for the variety and for changing and shaking things around in terms of the training. So, if you are pursuing general fitness, I’d simply recommend that you do cardio first on some days and the weights first on the other days. Only this change would assure that your body will keep guessing each and every day, what is next. Last but not least, I would not give up the weight training part. This is what builds the healthy muscle tissue in the body, which, in turn, burns so much more calories per hour than any other body tissue (such as fat). Once you get some nice muscles and train them, following each training session, you’ve got a guaranteed rest of the day of increased calorie burn (even while doing not related to fitness activities). The best is to perform your training (both cardio and weights!) using the interval method, which also guarantees you an increased post-exercise burn for up to 36 hours after you visited the gym! Stay Fit-Fit and keep me posted at firstname.lastname@example.org
You really do not have to pick up your pace that much, if you have enough of will, determination, stamina and time to go at a slower speed towards your goal! Tortoise is a winner for those of you who would rather, for example, walk than jog. Of course, if you are one of the cases who prefers to speed up and run versus walk, it makes you a winner, as well: you’ll need less time to accomplish the same fitness goal as a walker. To give you an example: What you burn over 60 minutes of a brisk walk equals to what the runners would burn over about 27 minutes of a 10-minute-per-mile run. So, it is a win-win situation: The main thing is to DO IT, to go out and exercise. However, the speed is left to your discretion. In fact, make sure you exercise at the speed you like – this way, you will lessen your chances of dropping out of your program altogether due to performing activities you simply don’t enjoy that much! Stay Fit-Fit, as always, and keep me posted about your fitness endeavors!
These are the words I heard a few months ago from one of my beloved Trainees…
They sort of got out of his mouth (with a big question mark at the end) following my probing if, by any, but by any chance, he had been doing his workout while away from home.
You see, whenever any of my Trainees wishes, in case they go away, I give them a handout with the prescribed exercises, numbers of repetitions and sets, and comments how on earth they should do them. Now, oftentimes, when they leave Sedona for a longer time, I’d do sessions with them using the Internet: I’d prepare a session especially for them, fire it their way, wait for the comments how (s)he “survived” the assault, and based on that, prepare the next plot, fire it their way… You get the idea. And I can also see them exercising on Skype, if they wish. I’d nag them, e-mail them, call them, doing all what is possible at my end to have the session (or sessions) happening at their end.
However, sometimes, the thing called “life” gets in their way and – no matter my efforts – they do not do their training. I cannot do much more at that point. Medicine is helpless. We reset the situation back to zero, so to speak, and start anew. One step at a time, one movement at a time and one session (with me in my Studio or on their own - wherever in the world they are) at a time.
So, coming back to my Trainee: He went away. He got super-trouper busy. The thing called “life” got in his way. The three sessions I had prepared for him in advance did not happen. Naturally, he is aware that I am aware that he does not have a dog in his household. So, when I asked, with that special look in my eye: “Did… your dog eat that handout I had given you before you left?”, he knew he could NOT, possibly, blame it on his dog/rabbit/friendly snake/homey tarantula/Greg the Lizard. Nope. So, he looked at me with that sparkle of the last hope in his eye and cheerfully answered/questioned: “Ahem… I think my wife ate that???...”.
Yey. I smiled back with full understanding. Because, you know, life does happen. And we just need to focus and keep going.
So, I do know you do what possible to keep exercising and keep staying healthy and in shape. By now, I am sure you know I do whatever possible in this Galaxy so you stay healthy and in shape. Now, what we do need in here is to truly commit to the goals at hand, repetitively. Even if it gets hard, even if it happens that we do skip a session or we have that Margarita (yummy, don’t get me started!...). ;-) Just accept that it happened and calmly, but persistently, come back on the track. Like my Trainee: You know what? Since then, he has been travelling a lot (losing weight in the meantime, gaining strength and flexibility) and he never-ever let anyone eat his homework again!!!! J Stay Fit-Fit, and remember, I am always rooting for you!
On occasion, you really can (justifiably!) be in that type of a mood that if someone tells you again to eat your salad, you might explode. We UNDERSTAND. After all, how many salad leaves can we digest daily without getting that feelin’ of turning into some sort of a rabbit???? Half a cup? A cup? TWO full cups????
Well, there is a remedy: you want to eat your greens, or you do not want to eat your greens but you feel you have to eat them, or you want or do not want to eat your greens AND you cannot eat any more of the salad thingie!!!! What is a gal or guy to do?
Eat dark green stuff such as: collard greens, Swiss chard, turnips, bok choy (or baby bok choy, my personal favorite, boosting with antioxidants!), escarole, spinach, broccoli or kale. They are all dark green, boosting with body-friendly nutrients, full of good filling fibers and easy to prepare. Actually, not very popular collard greens might contribute to lowering the “bad” cholesterol levels even better than the well-known and often used spinach or broccoli (not that there is anything wrong with these two, either… Just promoting the less-known guy…). You can sauté stuff with collards and garlic, for example. Or you can add the greenery into a nice portion of scrambled eggs or egg whites (full of proteins, as well). You can season your greens with vinegar or red pepper flakes – the more spicy the food, the more calories you burn during the day – and hey, every calorie counts, right?! So, go for that chili pepper and black pepper without any hesitation. If you decide to indulge in just one cup of kale, you’ll get a full day’s worth of vitamin C and vitamin A, as well as much more than even needed of the vitamin K. In one of my Be Fit Fit Newsletters, I presented a great and popular recipe for very healthy kale chips: check it up on my web site at www.befitfit.biz, under the “Newsletters” Tab. Turnips is also full of Vitamin K, and it does not joke in terms of fiber, and the Chard is yet another option if you want to replenish the levels of both vitamin A and C. As always, if you can, go organic: these leaves are not protected by anything against the pesticides, pollutants and all other types of daily assaults. Even if you get organic: wash them really well (even if yours boosts the “pre-washed” words on its package. Also, it is good to spin them after washing: they won’t be too wet not too dry, they will be… just perfect! Have fun and be creative in the kitchen, 80% of the weight-management success is in the nutrition, only about 20% is in the exercise (OK, 3% is the genetics, but let’s not go into such details…)…. Stay Fit-Fit, and e-mail me, if anything, at email@example.com!
I cannot overstate how important it is to be confident. Actually, this applies to all aspects of life, but today, I just would like to put your attention to the role of confidence in our fitness-related pursuits. What does it mean to be confident? If you are confident, you believe that you are able and will reach your goal or goals: be it simply a weight loss goal, a goal of finishing your first 5K, a goal of doing an Ironman under 11 hours, or such a simple thing as a goal of eating on the healthy side.
Even with the best motivation and even if we try our best to believe and remain confident, it is hard not to be “under-confident” from time to time. Self-doubt, busy life, tiredness, the thing called “daily life” cram into our plans and try to destabilize us and our pursuit of both the confidence and, through it, of our goals.
One thing we can do in order not to lose confidence is to focus on the daily progress: OK, I ate healthy this morning, did not “forget’ to have the breakfast, now I have to focus on the task at hand: eating a healthy lunch. And so on…
Also, make sure that your environment promotes all tidbits which can contribute to gaining more confidence: reach to your family for support, ask them not to go out to a fast food restaurant this week, make sure you shop for healthy foods and stock them at home, so there is no temptation to reach for that frozen pizza, because it simply is not in your fridge! Make sure you train for your first 5K: start from walking, then alternate walking and jogging, then increase the amount of time you jog versus walk, then make it a goal to jog the entire 5K several weeks before your first race. Then, try to run it over a decreasing amount of time, by applying various training methods, such as intervals, hill training, tempo runs, and so on…
With each and every workout completed, you will gain a tidbit of… confidence! So you will with each healthy meal you eat. You will feel more and more confident in your fitness, abilities, strength, balance and flexibility with each and every workout you have. Your confidence is not static, its levels fluctuate, depending on how successful you have been with your pursuits. Oftentimes, reaching smaller goals, such as a completion of a great workout, leads to an increased level of confidence from that moment on. And this, in turn, makes it so much easier to believe in ourselves and to go for and reach that major goal, such as a 50lbs weight loss or completion of a half-marathon.
If you lack motivation or confidence, talk to your trainer. If you don’t have one, perhaps it is a good time to hire her, investing in your physical and psychological wellbeing and health? Stay Fit-Fit and e-mail me at any time at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Goals are dreams with a plan, and when we stop setting them, we stop moving forward.” Chris “Macca” McCormack
This topic sort of came to me naturally today: it is SOOOO hot (right, it IS the dry heat, so what??? It is still sooooo hot!)… So, it is SO hot that it’d be the best to head for the pool.
Some of you might vividly protest:
1. My hair will get ruined!
The only good answer: Fear not, better have a very ruined coiffure than a very unfit life! Also, IF you moisten the hair with tap water before entering the pool and, possibly, put a swimming cap on top of your brainer, almost no chlorine (or whatever the pool you are attempting to conquer contains) will manage to damage any of your strands.
2. Chlorine! I hate all that chlorine in the resort/public pool! I get itchy all over from it!!!
The only good answer: Well, get acquainted, cozy and VERY friendly with a rich neighba who does have a salt water pool. Then get them to open the gates for you to use it! You might want to bribe them with some great baking goods (for healthy recipes, check the last year worth of my Newsletters at www.befitfit.biz). So, feed’em the cookies while you swim!
3. OK, I do have a neighba with a salty pool AND I became very cozy with him/her. However, the pool is small.
The only good answer: Oh, this one is easy. EASY!!! I tell you! You, actually, have TWO options:
a) Gift your cozy/friendly/rich neighba with a pool current generator (like those you might have seen in the ads with the recent Olympic swimming champions…): you do not need any big pool, you get the thingy ON and – as it produces the current – you bravely swim against it!
b) Shop for pool accessories, such as pads, foam weights etc., and perform some cool aqua aerobic exercises! Make sure you do NOT stick your upper limbs above the water level while using those foam “dumbbells” (as seen – unfortunately - in multiple water aerobics classes around the world, most likely conducted by some highly inexperienced folks who’ve got no clue…) – keep’em under the water surface for all the resistance they can provide you! EFFECT: Muscles of steel. J
3. I cannot swim!!!!
The only good answer: E-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll teach yah! ;-)
4. My wife ate my goggles.
The only good answer: Get yourself a new pair and stop whining.
5. And, my goggles get steamy!!! I cannot see anything!!!
The only good answer: At any sports goods store: get yourself a simple antifog spray. Sit still. Focus. Spray the lenses. Pat them dry. Wear. See everything again! ;-)
With the temps hitting the 3-digits over and over again, I cannot stress more the importance of hydration. Especially so for those of you who walk and/or exercise every day. In the desert climate of our Arizona, you might not realize right away that you have been sweating, because all the sweat evaporates so quickly: our clothes might remain dry, as the result. But it does not mean we do not sweat. We do and even a slight deficiency in terms of the hydration level can bring on some impairment of both physical and mental performance. So, if you think your thoughts get blurry and it just MUST be the age, double-check: maybe it is enough to drink some water!!! If you are exercising up to 1 hour, plain water is enough. If more, you might want to consider some electrolyte tablets diluted in your water bottle (not to mention energy gels to top things up). Apart from pure water and sports drinks, please remember that iced and regular tea or foods such as a watermelon or a cantaloupe all can benefit us in terms of the hydration. Stay Fit-Fit, remember to drink and, if things get fuzzy, drink even more! Better be safe and on the healthy side than sorry!
So, it is 2 or 3PM, you’ve still got hooooooooooours till your dinner, but your stomach is rumbling. Solutions?
Well, the first one would be to make sure you’ve got your breakfast every single day, and that the breakfast consists of some slow-churning and filling proteins. In hopes for that svelte silhouette, ome of us would skip this most important meal of the day – and we never should! Even if you really, but really do not feel like eating before leaving the home for the day, you can always get some nutrients in a liquid form; a protein shake, for example. If you are lucky to have some appetite in the morning, then go eggs or Greek yoghurt. Or cottage cheese. And all this not “just”, but with nuts, berries, or, in case of the egs, with dark green leaves, such as kale or spinach.
Second, make sure you eat three meals every day and two snacks between them. And also, before you go to sleep, there is nothing wrong with getting a few spoons of cottage cheese and nuts to keep your system happy and working.
As to the snacks:
Some great 150 calorie snacks include: 6 ounces of plain, non-fat Greek yoghurt with 1 cup of berries (mniamm!), or ½ cup of 1-2% fat cottage cheese with some fruits.
If you have space for more, let’s say, 200 calories, try several spoons of steel-cut oatmeal plus a handful of ever-important nuts and seeds plus some berries. Or just go nuts: mix Brazilian nuts 9just 3 of them takes care of our daily selenium needs), walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, and almonds. You may want to add a few spoons of 0% Greek yoghurt, or not even.
Third, notice in which circumstances you get ravenous; is it the 3PM “crash”? is it boredom/ Is it emotional eating? In many cases, simply changing your pattern of responding to that ‘call for food’ is enough to address the problem; you feel like eating a double cheeseburger? OK, go for a 20-minute walk! You would just love to have that glass of wine RIGHT NOW AND RIGHT HERE?!?! (Oh, I can relate, believe me!!!). See why: is it because you’ve got bored in the evening? Grab the phone and call your best friend instead.
For more ideas, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, OK? Love and good luck! Stay Fit-Fit!