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Don’t skip resistance training

It's March already and despite the winter like weather outside the calendar dictates the logic that warmer weather is on the horizon. When weather is getting nice, you may be tempted to forgo your resistance training and head outdoors for some aerobic exercise in the fresh air. But beware: if you give up your resistance training, you will be giving up more than you bargained for.

Why resistance train?

Resistance training is critical for true fitness. Without it, your muscles will atrophy. If you aren’t building muscle, you are likely losing it.

And if you are 20 or older, you are definitely losing muscle, unless you are working hard to build it. Beginning at age 20, we begin naturally losing muscle mass every decade.

The old liché holds true for muscle mass: if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Have you ever broken your arm or leg and had to wear a cast for a few weeks? Remember what greeted you when the cast was removed? Your arm or leg was a lot smaller and felt weak. That is because just a few weeks of disuse caused the muscles to begin atrophying.

Here are some of the benefits of resistance training:

· Stops muscle loss and helps begin the rebuilding process.

· Makes daily acttivites easier, from carrying groceries to rearraging your furniture.

· Gives you a sculpted look.

· Increases bone density, giving you a strong, stable skeleton.

· Improves balance and coordination.

· Prevents decay of the pads between your bones, so that you do not hurt when you move.

· Causes the tendons to grow deeper into your bones, reducing the chance of tearing.

· Builds muscles which will burn more calories, even while you are resting.

· Reduces blood pressure by making your heart stronger.

· Increases your metabolism.

· Decreases blood sugar, which helps prevent insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes).

· Improves your aerobic capacity: the stronger your muscles, the better your endurance.

· Gives you a general feeling of wellness and strength. If you are strong, you feel strong.

· Makes you a better athlete: there is no substitue for strength!

· Prevents the weak, frail “skinny-fat” look.

· Raises your energy level. The more muscle you have, the less effort you have to exert and the more energy you have available.

· Secures future protection against falls and fractures. If you age with dense bones, strong muscles and good balance, your risk of injury plummets.

· Creates 22% more afterburn than aerobic exercise does. (Afterburn refers to the fat and calories that your body burns in the hours after you have finished your workout.)

Still tempted to give up resistance training?

Why aerobic exercise is not enough

But,” the question goes, “Can’t I just go for a run and build muscle? I’m using muscles when I run!

The answer is NO! Running or other aerobic exercise is not a replacement for resistance training. They are different exercises and provide different benefits. Aerobic exercise does not deliver the needed stress to your bones, muscles and tendons.

In order to build strength, you have to pull hard on tendons, do microscopic damage to your muscles and literally bend your bones. Going out for a run or putting in an hour on the treadmill will not do this sufficiently.

This is not to say that aerobic exercise is not important: it is! But it is not resistance training. You need both. And if you omit one, you do your body a great disservice.

Avoid the “skinny fat” syndrome

Another danger of focusing on cardio or aerobic exercise to the exclusion of resistance training is becoming what is known as “skinny fat.” Skinny fat is a condition in which a person appears thin on the outside, but inside they are unhealthy and at risk for illness.

If you are losing weight through diet and exercise but not simultaneously doing resistance training, you are not only losing fat: you are losing muscle as well. Your body will burn through your muscles tissue as surely as it will burn through your fat. As you lose muscle, you lose a major source of energy, and you lose tone and definition.

Further, as you lose muscle, your bones become weak, because they do not have to do as much work. Weak bones are a precursor to osteoporosis.

Hidden fat is also a risk for the “skinny fat” person. When 800 slim people underwent an MRI scan to check for visceral or hidden fat, 45% were found to have excessive amounts of internal fat, undetectable from the outside1. Visceral fat is the most dangerous fat to have, because it accumulates around organs such as the pancreas, heart and liver and then begins releasing hormones and other secretions that lead to disease.

Resistance training can reduce visceral fat and help prevent the additional formation around the organs.

Don’t give up your resistance training just because spring is here and you are eager to get outside. There is no substitute for lifting heavy weights 2 to 3 times each week. Your health is on the line. GET AFTER IT!

Source:

1http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/food_coach&id=6912002

Habits

Try this out (it’ll change things..)

What are your habits?

Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise
routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating whatever looks good,
avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

John Dryden famously said, “We first make our habits, and then our
habits make us.”

Confucius said, “Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that
separate them.”

And Aristotle noticed that, “We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.

When it comes to your body, the two habits that define your
physique are your eating and exercise habits. In fact, everyone
that you know who is in great shape has dialed in these two
important habits.

If you aren’t happy with your body, then simply adjust your eating
and exercise habits.

Aaaaand here’s how:

FIRST…
Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s
tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one
new habit is realistic and doable.

I’m talking about stuff like this:
• Do not eat after 9pm each night.
• Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
• Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
• Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
• Get up early and exercise for an hour each morning.

SECONDLY…
Write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main
motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll
face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:
• My new habit is to go to bootcamp 3 times each week.
• My 3 main motivators are to feel confident in my bathing suit
this summer, to have more energy, and to fit into my skinny jeans.
• The obstacles I will face are not having the energy to go to my
session after work, not having enough money to pay for bootcamp,
and not having my spouse’s support.
• I will overcome these obstacles by doing my workouts before work
instead of after work, so I have more energy, cutting down on
frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and asking my
spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

THIRD…
Commit fully to your new habit, in a public way. This could mean
posting it on facebook, or simply announcing it at the dinner
table. Put yourself in a position where you’ll be embarrassed to
give up on your new habit.

FOURTH…
Keep track of your progress. You could keep a detailed journal or
simply make a check mark on each calendar day that you successfully
exercise your new habit.

FIFTH…
Keep yourself publically accountable. This means either status
updates on facebook or verbal status updates at the dinner table.
Your friends and family are in a position to offer you support, so
don’t shy away from those close to you.

SIXTH…
When you fail, figure out what went wrong so that you can plan
around it in the future.

SEVENTH…
Reward yourself for your success.

AND THEN…
Once your new habit becomes second nature, usually in about 30
days, feel free to add a second habit by going through the same 7
steps.

This is truly a gamechanger. Really, do this and your life will
change. It’s mostly in your hands, but if you need help in any way
– as always – reach out to me anytime =)

Become Next Body by Greg

Let me help you create new healthy habits. Let me teach you how to exercise safely and effectively. Let me keep you accountable to ensure your success. Let me help you lose weight and get fit.

Probiotics

Probiotics are microorganisms that live in our gut and are related either directly or indirectly to pretty much every function in our body… especially digestion.



But the idea that such tiny bacteria can influence how we feel, think and protect our health is pretty hard to comprehend.



Recently, our gut has been called our “second brain” because of how strongly it can impact our mood and wellbeing.



In fact, an imbalance in gut bacteria has been linked to depression, anxiety, and even certain mental illnesses.



Bacteria outnumber the cells in our bodies by 10 to 1… so it’s really important to keep a healthy balance between the good bacteria and the bad ones.



Probiotics (the good bacteria) have a TON of benefits including:



  • -Strengthening your immune system
  • -Improving your digestion and nutrient absorption
  • -Increasing your energy levels
  • -Improving your skin
  • -Maintaining an optimal metabolism and aiding in weight loss

If you’re not eating fermented food on a regular basis, then it’s important to supplement with a good quality probiotic.

CLICK HERE

Foods like: kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, raw cheeses, and even apple cider vinegar pack a probiotic punch.

Helpful tips to prevent impulse eating…

It’s happened to all of us. You know the feeling - you are away from home running errands, or you are out late because you had to stay at work longer. And you realize that you are hungry. Not just a little hungry though. You haven’t eaten for hours, your head is starting to throb, and you can’t even think straight.

Bottom line: you have to eat. Now!

As you survey your options, you realize that getting something to eat that is even remotely healthy is going to be nearly impossible. But you have little choice, so you grab a burger or a salad with “grilled chicken.” (Do you have any idea how much that piece of ‘grilled chicken’ has been processed and soaked and manipulated and transformed before it arrives in front of you?) Or a small order of fries just to get you through.

And just like that you have put food into your body that will lower your immune response, raise your blood sugar, reduce your energy and contribute to weight gain.

It is a tough situation, and like I said, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you really do have to eat ‘right now.’ But over time, these eating emergencies add up and significantly impact your health and fitness achievement.

Emergency Preparedness

The answer is to stop having eating emergencies, and I will show you how to do this. It does take some planning, but it isn’t as hard as you might think.

The first step is to make a list of healthy, on-the-go foods that you enjoy eating. Make sure that you include things with healthy fats, protein and carbs (if it’s around your workout time). When you are very hungry, you need to have all the macronutrients covered in order to get quick energy, satisfy your hunger and clear your brain fog. This does not have to be a complete meal, but it needs to be balanced enough to substitute for one if needed.

Here are some ideas to help you get started.

· Unsalted nuts. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts. (These will provide protein and good fat)

· Raw Veggies. They are crisp, juicy, cold and sweet and full of the micronutrients your body craves.

· Cheese. If you eat dairy, having a small slice of your favorite cheese will give you a complete protein, a little fat and be very comforting. Remember: the goal is to tame the beast inside you that is calling out for a hotdog from the nearest drive through window. This is a mental exercise as well as physical!

· Nut butters. Cashew, almond, peanut...find your favorite. Almond butter is great on a banana; cashew butter is perfect on whole grain crackers. Go ahead and put 7-8 chocolate chips on top if you want. This is a tiny indulgence that will go far to settle your craving.

· Boiled eggs. Do you like cold, salted boiled eggs? They are a powerhouse of protein. Just be sure to get free range eggs.

· Sardines. Yes, you read that right. If you like fish, you can buy small packets of wild caught sardines that travel very well.

· Water. You have to drink water.

The second step seems obvious, but it has to happen if you are going to eliminate impulse eating: buy the food on your list. You have to get it in your house, so you have it when you need it.

The third step is to plan your food kit. This food has to travel with you, and you have to decide how you are going to transport it. The secret is convenience. If you only have five minutes to grab your kit on your way out the door before work, it has to be streamlined. Ideally you will leave yourself more than five minutes, but life happens.

Here are some tips to help you set up your food kit for ease and speed.

· Small cooler. Purchase a small cooler that will hold an ice pack and several other things. Keep this in your kitchen so you can grab it on the go.

· Plates, utensils, napkins. Whether you use paper/plastic or your everyday items, get a bag and put a couple of plates, some utensils and some napkins in it. You will use this same bag every time you use your kit, so it becomes a habit. It can be a plastic bag, a cloth bag or a paper bag. It doesn’t matter. The point is that you can grab this bag on your way out the door and know that it has what you need in it.

· Small storage containers or plastic bags. You need individual containers to put your food in. Don’t take the whole package of cheese or the whole bag of chocolate chips, because you will end up eating too much. Put one or two pieces of cheese in a container, and put only 7-8 chocolate chips in a bag. Toss some nuts in one container, some cut up fruit in another. Also, you don’t have to prepare everything in advance. In a pinch, you can eat a big bell pepper just like an apple! Just have a plan so you can get it fast when needed. Some things don’t have to be separately packaged, such as your nut butter. Just toss the whole jar in the cooler…if you can control yourself.

· A tote bag or duffle bag. This bag will be your “picnic basket,” so to speak. Stuff everything into it that does not go into the cooler.

· Water bottle. You need something to store a lot of water in.

Now do it

You’ve done the hard part. You’ve figured out what foods will make you happy and help you through the emergency, you’ve stocked up on them, you have gathered what you need for transport and you have your water situation figured out.

All that is left is making it happen. You have to take the food with you when you leave the house. The first few times you do this, it will seem complicated and tedious. But eventually, you will do it with little thought. It will be habit. That is why using the same cooler, the same bags and the same water container every time is so important. You will likely even find you grab the same foods nearly every time—it’s just easier. And it has to be easy, or you won’t do it.

The happy result is that when you are out and realize you are hungry, you will not have to eat food from a restaurant. You will have an assortment of health and energy promoting foods at your fingertips.