Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fitness Questions Answered

How can I motivate myself to work out after taking the summer off?

Resist the urge to go full tilt right away. You will be sore and discouraged and you will tend to give up on your workout plan. Try this plan for success.
Set no more than one exercise goal a week. Having too many goals reduces by half the likelihood of achieving any of them.
Make it easy. Perhaps walking the dog for 20 minutes three times a week. Or doing 10 squats and 5 push ups when you get out of bed in the morning.
Join the Back to School Boot Camp mini-session with Priority Fitness Burbank. Those who partnered up or worked out with others were 33% more successful in than the group who tried to go it alone.

Can I use exercise to spot-reduce?

No. Although you can firm specific ares with strength training, you can't target where you burn fat; it tends to come off all over. However, your mid-section is more metabolically active so it's often the first to go when you exercise. Good news for abs! Not so much for your tushie.

I worked super hard at the gym yesterday and I am sore. Is it OK to exercise anyway?

If you're really sore, take a break. If it's more mild to moderate pain, get back at it, but go easy - walk, do some light biking, swim laps, do restorative yoga. Activity will loosen your body and help move the lactic acid out of your muscles. Ask your special someone for a little massage and ice the sore area - no more than 20 minutes at a time. You will be ready to hit it hard again very soon.

Are there any cheater ways to flatten abs?

No. The core muscles must be worked just like any other part of your body. Make sure you use good form to flatten the abs as opposed to training them to stick out. Better posture will always help make your abs look flatter.  
Work on a strong core, good form and beautiful posture by joining a semi-private Pilates class forming this fall at Priority Fitness Burbank.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Back to School Boot Camp

Summer vacations are over and it's time to return to our regular workout schedules. Back to School Boot Camp can give you that boost you need to jump back into your fitness routine. It's easy to commit to two Saturday mornings for this mini-session. The one-hour session includes it all - cardio, strength and stretch - in a positive atmosphere of friends sweating it out together. Don't miss out!

Pilates Classes Forming Now

Pilates will strengthen your core, improve your posture and enhance your flexibility. Partner with a friend or two and customize a class time that works best for you. Or pick a time that fits your schedule and I will match you with a class member. Try a before-work time slot, perhaps after school drop off or fit in a noontime workout. Semi-private training gives you individualized attention and saves you money at the same time.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Grand Opening Celebration

We had a wonderful celebration of my newly completed workout studio this past Saturday. Dozens of friends gathered to see the studio, enjoy healthy treats and toast the bright fitness room. I introduced the new Boot Camp series for September and shared information about the upcoming Pilates classes forming for the Fall. (More information on the classes to follow in upcoming blogs.) Many people commented on my homemade healthy muffins. They don't include any oil or butter at all. One person said they tasted too good to be healthy. There were so many recipe requests that I have decided to post it on the blog below.
If you are gluten-free, please try this recipe with the flour you normally use and let us know how they turn out. It would be nice to have that option, too. Have fun baking and Enjoy your Food!

Bran Flax Muffins 
1-1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1-1/2 cup carrots, shredded
2 apples, peeled & shredded
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 cup nuts, chopped
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together flour, flax seed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Stir in carrots, apples, raisins (if desired), and nuts.  Combine milk, beaten eggs, vanilla. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.  Stir until ingredients are moistened.  Do not over mix.  Fill muffin cups 3/4 full.  Bake at 350˚ for 15-20 minutes.  Yield: 15 medium muffins.

Notes: To make flax seed meal, grind flax seed to powdery consistency. I ground oatmeal in place of the oat bran. I used half the amount of organic honey instead of brown sugar. I substituted soy milk for dairy milk. I substituted whole-grain flour for the white flour.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Diet Soda Sugar Shocker


Sugar is fast overtaking fat as a threat to your heart according to new research in JAMA Internal Medicine. In the study, people who got 10 to 24% of their calories from added sugar were 30% more likely to die from cardio-vascular disease than those who consumed less. Many of us consume this added sugar in the form of soda & sugary drinks. Sugar may increase inflammation as well as raising blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Added sugar can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Yikes! So you should reach for that diet soda, right? Nope. Diet soda drinkers face many of the same health challenges as sugar drinkers in addition to a host of other dangers. Not only that, diet soda has been shown to cause weight gain.

An American Journal of Public Health study shows that people who sipped diet beverages consumed, on average, 91 more calories per day than those who didn't. This may be because artificial sweeteners can alter the brain's sweet sensors, making them a less reliable gauge of energy consumption. Artificial sugar may interfere with the body's natural ability to estimate calories based on how sweet a food is. Diet drinkers may feel less full and end up eating more food. Altering the brain's perception of sugar may increase a person's appetite for sugars causing additional consumption of sweets.

What are options for satisfying soda substitutes?

* Flavor water with lemon, mint or a splash of 100% fruit juice

* Carbonated water, flavored or unflavored, unsweetened.

* Unsweetened hot or iced tea. Try brewed green tea for added health benefits.

* Coffee - acquire a taste for unsweetened coffee. Avoid sugary coffee drinks.

An occasional frappuccino or real sugar soda is a fun, sweet treat. As a regular practice, make unsweetened drinks your primary beverages. Stay hydrated and Enjoy your Food!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Truths About Strength Training & Abs

At one time or another most of us wonder how to get amazing-looking abs. Here are a few truths that can help fine tune your strength training routine and give you the tools to make progress toward the abs we want to see.

Truth # 1
You can't reshape the formation of your abs.
If you have uneven rows of abdominals, this is what you will have all your life. No amount of exercise changes ab formation.

Truth # 2
You cannot build showy abs (abs that have clearly defined rows of chunky muscle) by performing a truckload of ab exercises.
Exercise, especially cardio is good, but to get abs that show, you need to eat clean. No junk food. If you try to get abs from exercise alone, you are doomed to fail.

Truth # 3 
Waist size is governed by the width of your rib cage and hip bones.
Even if you remove all the fat from your mid-section you will not obtain a wasp-like waist if your skeletal structure is such that it dictates otherwise, You can improve your abs, however, with a healthy combination of exercise and diet.

Truth #4
An overweight, pear-shaped woman who desires to make big advances in her physique must use weight training in addition to cardio.
To exercise only with cardio will merely reduce overall body weight. She will end up with a smaller version of a pear-shaped body. Weight training will do the shaping.

Few of us are totally happy with the cards that Mother Nature has dealt us. But we all do the best with what we have. You can make amazing changes in your body with the proper use of weights, cardio and clean eating. Keep up the good work!