Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring Boot Camp

I am excited to announce the next Boot Camp mini-session. This time I am offering TWO time slots and TWO intensity levels. You get to choose. Register to attend one time slot for both weeks and receive a FREE Priority Fitness Burbank workout towel. My workouts are always positive, personal and powerful! This fabulous low price will get you two amazing sessions of fat-burning circuit training. I limit the number of participants to create a personalized environment. Don't miss out - Register today by going to

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ouch! I Have Shin Splints!

Have you ever felt pain on the front of your lower leg in your shin? Shin splints can be caused by overuse or by excessive pronation. If you feel pain on the outside of your shin, it is often because you have added mileage in your walking or running program, or are running faster or perhaps more frequently. If you feel pain on the inside of your shin, it might be because of flat feet or excessive pronation of your feet.

In the case of pronation, try arch-support inserts in your shoes. Stabilizing the arches may help lessen stress on your shins. Even runners with high arches may feel relief with orthodic inserts.

If your shin splints are caused by overuse, as soon as you feel achiness, cut back on weekly mileage or do non-impact exercises. Less pounding equals quicker healing. Use this time of resting your shins to focus on another skill such as swimming or fine-tuning your pushups. Try massaging your shins after exercise and then ice to reduce inflammation.

Stretching your calves will benefit your shins no matter what the pain is caused by. Lie on your back. Lift one leg and wrap a towel or band on the ball of your foot. Pull the toes down for 15 - 20 seconds. Switch legs. Repeat 3 more times. You can also stretch your calves sitting with legs straight in front of you. Wrap the towel around the balls of the feet and pull toes toward your chest.

If you don't see improvement, consult a physician.

Enjoy moving your body this week!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Tips for a Healthy, Happy Heart

"There really is an abundance of fruits and vegetables in many colors, shapes and sizes that are good for your heart," says Julia Zumpano, RD, LD, a dietitian with the Preventive Cardiology Center at The Cleveland Clinic. "You can definitely reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by eating these foods every day."

Fresh produce provides the cornerstone for a heart-healthy diet because it helps wipe out free radicals in the bloodstream, protecting blood vessels. It's what Zumpano calls "the whole-foods diet. You want everything to be in its natural form, as it comes from the ground, the less processed the better," she says.

Whole grains, beans and legumes, nuts, fatty fish, and teas are just as important -- offering all sorts of complex heart-protective phytonutrients. That's why variety is best in selecting heart-healthy foods, says Suzanne Farrell, MS, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.
Here are a few top-performers:

1. Salmon
Omega-3 fatty acids.
Grill salmon with a yummy rub or marinade. Save a chunk to chop for a pasta or salad later on.

2. Flaxseed (freshly ground)
Omega-3 fatty acids; fiber, phytoestrogens.
Ground flaxseed hides easily in all sorts of foods -- yogurt parfaits, morning cereal, homemade muffins, or cookies.

3. Black or Kidney Beans
B-complex vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber.
Give soup or salad a nutrient boost -- stir in some beans.

4. Tomatoes
Beta- and alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein (carotenoids); vitamin C; potassium; folate; fiber.
For a flavor twist, try oil-packed tomatoes in sandwiches, salads, pastas, pizzas.

5. Acorn Squash
Beta-carotene and lutein (carotenoids); B-complex and C vitamins; folate; calcium; magnesium; potassium; fiber.
Baked squash is comfort food on a chilly day. Serve with sauteed spinach, pine nuts, raisins.

Give your Valentine the gift of a healthy heart, stay active and enjoy your food.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Stoke Your Metabolism

More than 60% of Americans blame a slow metabolism for excess weight. The good news is there are tools you can use to fire up your metabolism and jump-start that calorie-burn. Here are two for you to try.

Hit the Weights

Pumping iron keeps your metabolism humming. "Starting around age 35, women lose 5 to 10 percent of their lean muscle mass per decade" says Michele Olson, Ph.D. "So when you're 45, even if you weigh the same as you used to, you've lost about eight pounds of muscle and replaced it with eight pounds of fat." Studies have found that women who do a moderate strength workout four times a week can gain about a pound of muscle per month. This can boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR) so you are burning calories for hours after your workout.

Ditch Crash Dieting

Diet shakes, bars and supplements might sabotage your weight loss. A recent study in Obesity showed that people who reduced their calorie intake by 25% experienced a drop in their RMR. While you are crash dieting, you are most likely losing muscle, not fat. Your body will break down it's own muscle tissue to get the amino acids it needs. A better plan is to eat at least 1500 calories a day of real food in balanced portions, making sure to include protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Banish BPA

This environmental toxin can alter your metabolism, hunger hormones and how your body stores fat. Limit your use of plastics - especially ones marked with recycling code 3 or 7. Look for BPA-free water bottles or choose stainless steel. Avoid consumption of canned foods & beverages, which often have BPA linings. When people ate fresh food for just three days, their BPA levels dropped by 66%.

Stay active, burn calories and have fun!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Interval Training or Jogging? Which is Better?

High Intensity Interval Training is getting a lot of attention recently. It seems everyone is trumpeting the value of fast, super-intense cardio. Do you need to give up your steady jogging workout and kick it up a notch?

The truth is that both high-intensity interval training and steady-state cardio are effective in their own ways. The best system of cardiovascular training is a blend of both higher- and lower-intensity training that is tailored to your body and your goals.

Steady state workouts are simple: perform your activity at a steady challenging-but-manageable pace for 20 minutes or more, aiming for a heart rate of 120-150 beats per minute. Steady state cardio causes unique adaptations in the heart. The mechanics of the way the heart pumps blood through the ventricles causes the heart to grow in capacity, pump more blood with each contraction and triggers your heart rate to drop substantially. A lower heart rate indicates a healthy, high functioning cardiovascular system. More importantly, it also indicates a high "parasympathetic tone" in the nervous system. That means an enhanced ability to relax, focus, and recover from stress.

HIIT workouts are a bit more complex. Perform your activity as hard as you can for a brief, set period (two minutes or less), then recover for a predetermined rest interval and repeat the cycle four or more times. Studies have shown that HIIT is nine times more effective for losing fat than steady-state cardio. Researchers are not sure why this is, but one reason may be the after-burn effect, in which the metabolism stays elevated for hours after an intense workout. Be cautious. With HIIT, you have a higher probability for over-reaching and injury. It is clearly effective in the short-run but can grind you down if you keep it up for months at a time.

Mike Robertson, MS, CSCS, notes that "The biggest thing we need to respect is that it's not one extreme or another. There's a time and place for both low- and high-intensity training. You just have to figure out how to put it together into one seamless, integrated package." Cross training can protect against injury, improve your performance and reflect balance in your life. Choose exercise to improve your health and reduce your stress and enjoy moving your body!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

TRX Training

Woo Hoo! I was certified as a TRX instructor last Sunday. I am very excited about using this equipment in my workout studio. Suspension Training is the next big evolution in functional performance training. The TRX suspension system works the body with an integrated approach of strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Movement patterns fundamental to most human activities can be recreated, loaded and trained through repetition on the TRX to enhance execution on the playing field and in life.
Suspension training enables exercise in three planes of movement simultaneously. The human body naturally moves freely through space in multiple directions. TRX training enhances the ability to move with equal effectiveness in any direction and reduces the risk of joint dysfunction, injury and decreasing range of motion.
TRX training is done primarily in a standing position. This requires the exerciser to maintain core engagement and postural alignment. Movements are big, multi-joint exercises that enhance the nervous system's ability to effectively coordinate movement and build strong motor patterns.
A strong core is the centerpiece of all efficient and powerful movements. "All core, all the time" means that this power center is involved as a stabilizer, force enabler, or as the prime mover in virtually every TRX exercise.

My two TRX training systems will arrive shortly and I look forward to using them with all my clients. The strongest athlete and the freshest newbie can all benefit from this amazing tool.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Weight Loss Tips That Work

Magazine articles, personal trainers, nutritionists and your neighbor all share ideas on how to eat right and lose weight. This month, many of us are working to adjust our eating habits and consume less calories. Here are some tips from people who have lost weight and kept it off. Try a couple ideas this week.

Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince, eat dinner like a pauper.

Measure portions.They are always smaller than you think; and it does make a huge difference.

Ignore everyone and do what is right for you. This person didn't cut out any foods but lost 146 pounds by using portion control, drinking water and exercising 6 days a week.

Make sure your plates are small. This person swears that smaller plates work.

Brush and floss after you eat. It really cuts down on snacking. Especially in the evening.

Stay positive, keep moving and Enjoy Your Food!