Friday, April 24, 2015

Talk Yourself Out of Temptation

Just because that bag of chips is calling your name doesn't mean you have to answer. Ramp up your willpower with a couple of creative strategies to talk yourself out of temptation.

It's a special occasion. - Special doesn't mean stuffed.   

Don't pass up your own birthday cake! But you don't need a ginormous slice - or two. 
The satisfaction you get from any one food often drops off with every bite. Research shows that small portions can be as satisfying as large portions. So if the situation merits a calorie-packed treat, try eating just a few forkfuls, and give them your full attention. Focusing on what you're eating helps you consume fewer calories.

I've been really good lately. - I've been feeling really good lately, and I want to keep it that way.  

When you use food as a prize, you risk sabotaging your motivation by signaling to yourself that you've reached the end point. This can invite you to return to unhealthy behaviors.
Rather than rewarding yourself for a job well done, focus on how eating healthfully has already paid off. Do you have more energy? Do your clothes fit better? Then take a moment to let the emotions that come with that benefit sink in. The same way you can get addicted to the endorphins your body releases when you work up a sweat, you can get hooked on the feeling of pride or progress, which makes you want to continue down a healthy path.

I'll work it off later - I'll work out now and treat myself later.

It's easier to eat well when you're feeling successful and seeing results than it is when you're trying to compensate for a transgression. 
Get that workout in and see if you still want the treat afterwards. Studies show that women had less of an appetite after exercise, which may lower levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin. In a separate study, a 15-minute stroll cut chocolate consumption almost in half. 

Use these self-talk tips for success this week.  
Enjoy Your Food and Keep Moving!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Employee of the Year

I am honored to be chosen Employee of the Year today at the Burbank YMCA. My friend, JoDee, surprised me with a bouquet of flowers when she announced it this morning. I really enjoy teaching classes at the Y. The members and the workouts energize me whenever I'm there.  I value the community we have created in my classes. It is a blessing to me to know some of our members' stories and be a part of their fitness journeys. I am fortunate to have the Y in my life.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cardio Circuit Class

I am offering another weekend workout session! This will be the last Saturday session until the fall. Get ready for summer,  rev up your workout and feel strong.

I am also considering a mid-week session in June. Interested? Let me know. Your interest level will help me determine whether to offer this mid-week class.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Foam Rolling Basics

You've seen the 3-foot-long cylinders of hard, industrial foam in sporting goods stores and at the gym. What are they and how are you supposed to use them? Foam rollers are the least expensive massage therapist in the world for your tight muscles. Place it on the floor, position your body on it and roll out your knots. It can also assist with amazing stretches.

Foam rollers can be remarkably effective: A 2013 study found that rolling the hamstring muscles can substantially improve flexibility after just five seconds without adversely affecting strength or performance. Exercisers should spend five to ten minutes rolling out major muscle groups. Key areas include the fronts, insides, and outsides of each thigh; the calves, hamstrings and glutes; and the sides and back of your torso.  Take 10 to 20 seconds in each muscle group and focus on areas that feel exceptionally tight. Foam rolling can have the same "hurts so good" feeling you get with an intense massage. Breathe deep and relax as much as possible. As you loosen up, the discomfort will lessen.

I have seen white, blue and black foam rollers in the stores. The colors indicate firmness of the foam. I prefer the black. The softer blue roller did not give me the massage I needed. There are also lots of knobby rollers, some with handles, etc. I have not tried all of them, but have found the smooth roller most effective for me.

Often the IT band, a strap-like connective tissue that runs along the outside of the thigh, can get very tight. Roll this area to guard against knee pain and injury. I feel this is one of the most important exercises to do and delivers amazing benefits. The picture above shows how to start foam rolling the IT band. Travel from hip to knee, but avoid rolling on the knee joint.

Take time for yourself, foam roll your tight spots and Keep Moving!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Should I eat my Easter eggs this weekend?

Eggs are have cholesterol in them so they are bad for you, right?

Eggs are high in HDL cholesterol
HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein. It is often known as the “good” cholesterol. People who have higher levels of HDL usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and various health problems. Eating eggs is a great way to increase HDL. In one study, 2 eggs per day for 6 weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.

Eggs turn LDL cholesterol from small & dense particles to large particles
LDL cholesterol is generally known as the “bad” cholesterol. It is well known that having high levels of LDL is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. But what many people don’t realize is that there are subtypes of LDL that have to do with the size of the particles. There are small, dense LDL particles and then there are large LDL particles. Many studies have shown that people who have predominantly small, dense LDL particles have a higher risk of heart disease than people who have mostly large LDL particles. Even if eggs tend to mildly raise LDL cholesterol in some people, studies show that the particles change from small, dense to large LDL… which is a good thing.

Enjoy your Easter eggs this weekend. And Keep Moving!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Free Zumba in April


Zumba classes Sunday afternoons in April

Are you looking for a group to motivate you to maintain your workouts, challenge your fitness level and to just have fun with? It's been proven that people imitate the behaviors of the groups they spend time with. What a great idea to spend time with people who model healthy lifestyles. Try something new in 2015, add variety to your workout program and meet new people.

April 12, 19 and 26

12 - 1 pm

Bring water, towel, family, friends & kids!

Taught by my friend and colleague JoDee Geryak
AFAA certified and Zumba certified instructor at the Burbank YMCA

Classes are absolutely free!

Classes will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church
Holy Cross Hall
3801 Scott Road, Burbank

Friday, March 27, 2015

Treatment for SUI

Last week, I blogged about reasons an athlete might leak when jumping rope or running. Stress Urinary Incontinence, or SUI, is common but preventable. What options do we have?

The gold-standard option is to visit a physical therapist that specializes in women's health. It can be difficult to locate and contract the pelvic floor or the ab/core muscles. The therapist can help you think beyond kegels and move into functional work for the pelvic floor creating a fitness program that will help the diaphragm, the TA, the pelvic floor and the multifidus to work together as a dynamic system for complete core health. The therapist should assist the client in identifying the pelvic floor muscles and teach the client to coordinate the abdominal muscles in exercises as well as bring awareness of the core to functional activities, such as lifting, jumping and sneezing. Biofeedback might be used to help the client identify the pelvic floor. The American Physical Therapy Association has a Women's Health section that can be helpful in finding the correct therapist or you can ask your gynecologist for a recommendation.

You also might want to check out Julie Wiebe's blog at She has some informative videos. I learned a lot from Jen Sinkler on this post

In the meantime, there are other options to try:

* Strengthen the glutes and hamstrings - weakness here can contribute to the workout pees

* Kegels - make sure you are tightening the correct area

* Lifestyle Changes - lose weight; make regular bathroom visits; avoid caffeine, soda, citrus, spicy foods and alcohol

* Pilates - learn how to coordinate the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles

Training the muscles and developing core health for functional fitness are the best options. If you need help while strengthening those core muscles, panty-liners, such as JustGoGirl pads, are available. As a rule of thumb, it takes three to four weeks to notice small changes in urinary continence. For additional options ask your gynecologist about medication, vaginal pessaries, vaginal weights, and, as a last resort, surgery.

Knowledge is Power
 Strengthen Your Muscles and Make Them Work Better For You