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!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Keeping Your Resolutions for 2015

Bally's Gym recently completed a study showing that people who kept their new year's resolutions until February 18th were successful for the rest of the year. These exercisers were creating a habit. Once the workouts or eating style became part of their daily routine, it was easy to maintain the new changes. Keep that February 18th goal in mind, push on for 4 more weeks!

Another way to see success in 2015 is to make your resolutions SMART. Tailor your goals to create an effective plan.
S - specific - What exactly do you want to achieve? Instead of "I want to improve my health", be specific, such as "I will improve my health by drinking water instead of soda."
M - measurable - How will you evaluate if your goal is met? This could be a weight-loss measurement or lower cholesterol reading.
A - achievable - Your goals should be challenging but within your ability to achieve. For example, if you want to workout six days a week, begin with a goal of exercising 2 days per week.
R - relevant - How does your goal fit within your objectives? Is this something important to you? Make sure your resolution is not someone else's goal for you.
T - time-bound - Set one or more target dates to guide your goal to successful completion. Set smaller goals as you work toward the overall resolution. For example, set a goal of completing 5 one-mile hikes in one month to reach the overall goal of a 5 mile hike at the end of six months of hiking.

Make sure your resolution is SMART and maintain those goals until February 18th to see success this year.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pilates Fusion

I am offering a new class format. Ease into fitness this month by combining Pilates, yoga, stretch & Scripture. We will focus on core work and decompress from the rush of the holidays. You have two choices: come at noon on your lunch hour or come in the evening after work. A number of moms & daughters plan to share this class together. Don't miss out on this unique and energizing class.