Wednesday, May 10, 2017

16 Benefits of Your "Now Year" Fitness Plan

Everyone has their own reasons for making a decision to improve their quality of life through a fitness program.  And while most people are concerned with RELEASING weight and looking better, here is a list of many of the other important potential benefits that a balanced fitness program can provide:
Benefit #1 Release of Body Fat
Do you know that when you attempt to release weight by dieting alone, you end up losing some fat, but you can also lose much lean muscle and water?  Also, calorie restriction causes your body to slow down your basal metabolic rate, so as soon as you increase calorie intake again, the fat comes back on faster than ever.  A strategy built around sound nutrition and exercise can help you maximize fat release while maintaining or gaining valuable lean muscle.

Benefit #2 Weight Control
Unlike diets, a sound nutrition and exercise strategy can lead to a lifetime of stable weight, getting you off of the weight loss - weight gain roller coaster that comes with diets (think yo-yo).  A fad diet may get you back into those old pants again for a month, but a well thought out fitness lifestyle can keep you in them forever. Think lifestyle over dieting which tends to be short-term, fad driven and temporary.

Benefit #3 Increased Metabolism
Contrary to popular perception, a fast or slow metabolism is not a gift or curse you are given at birth.  It is easy to blame your metabolism for weight gain, but in reality, we are never the victims of our metabolism, rather we are the creators of our metabolism.  Your biology is your biography. You are what and when you eat. While calorie restricted diets literally destroy your metabolism, a properly designed exercise and nutrition plan can dramatically fire up your metabolism so you burn more calories all day, every day.

Benefit #4 Increased Muscular Strength and Endurance
Whether you participate in competitive sports, or just participate in activities of daily living such as carrying your child up and down the stairs or lifting the groceries out of the car trunk, increased strength will allow you to perform better. Ladies, you never need to worry about developing big, bulky muscles in order to see improvements in muscular strength and endurance. Work for strong over skinny, skinny follows strong (grit before gold).

Benefit #5 Increased Cardio-Respiratory Efficiency and Endurance
Do you get winded just going up a flight of stairs?  In less time than you think, a properly designed exercise regimen can deliver marked improvement in your endurance.  Research has repeatedly shown that a regular exercise routine can improve the performance of the cardio-respiratory system.  Do you realize that if you were able to reduce your resting heart rate by only 5 beats per minute; that translates into 7200 fewer times per day your heart needs to beat?  That is more than 50,000 fewer beats per week!  That is a lot less work that your heart will need to do. Hint: you can improve your cardio health with 30 minutes a day of high intensity work.

Benefit #6 Increased Bone, Ligament, and Tendon Strength
Resistance training and weight bearing exercise can strengthen the muscles, the skeletal system, and connective tissues as well.  This can greatly reduce your risk of injury and also helps you bounce back quicker from injuries.

Benefit #7 Increased Muscle Mass
Along with an improved physical appearance, increased muscle mass causes you to burn more calories throughout the day.  Muscle is metabolically active tissue and is the furnace in your body where fat is actually used for energy.  More muscle means faster metabolism and faster metabolism leads to a fitter life. When you are fitter you feel good and when you feel good you are fitter-it propels you forward.

Benefit #8 Reduction in Resting Blood Pressure
Did you know that high blood pressure increases the risk for coronary heart disease, and can cause heart attacks or strokes?  According to the American Heart Association, one in four adult Americans has high blood pressure, and nearly a third of them fail to realize it.  Of the 50 million sufferers, nearly half are women.  While medications are often warranted, lifestyle changes including improvements in nutrition and regular exercise are the real key elements in the control of blood pressure. The body has an amazing capacity to heal itself when acted on properly.

Benefit #9 Improvements in Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol, a fatty substance found in cells and blood, is necessary for many normal bodily functions. Unfortunately many people have cholesterol readings that are too high - 200 and above - putting them at increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.  If you are overweight, losing body fat can reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise your HDL (good) cholesterol, and as little as thirty minutes of exercise on most days can help improve overall cholesterol levels.

Benefit #10 Decreased Risk of Diabetes
Type 1 Diabetes, where the body makes little or no insulin, is usually diagnosed in childhood.  Type 2 Diabetes, where the pancreas fails to make enough insulin to keep blood glucose at normal levels, usually occurs in adulthood and is far more common, making up about 90% of all cases of the disease.  Maintaining an ideal body weight and an active lifestyle are two of the main factors in preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.  

Benefit #11 Decreased Risk of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and bone fragility, which leads to increased risk of fractures.  Men as well as women may suffer from it.  Studies have shown that resistance training and weight-bearing exercises are effective in increasing bone mineral density (also you should dump the carbonated drinks they can pull calcium out of the bones to buffer your blood pH leaving the bones fragile).

Benefit #12 Reduced Risk of Injury
As noted above, stronger muscles, bones, and connective tissue all contribute to reducing injuries.  But regular exercise can also bring on improvements in balance, proprioception, and muscle control that can help prevent slips and falls that could otherwise cause injuries.

Benefit #13 Improved Self-Esteem
There is truth in the saying "When you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you look good"  The positive changes brought on by a structured exercise and supportive nutrition program are more than physical. Increased confidence, energy, and vitality are all benefits of a fitness lifestyle.

Benefit #14 Improved Posture
Whether it is behind a desk at work, behind the wheel of a car, or on the couch watching TV, we all spend a lot more time than we should on our butts. It is estimated the average person spends about 9 hours a day staring at tv and mobile devices. These positions can lead to lower back problems, weak and rounded shoulders, tight chest muscles, and a hunched over posture.  A properly designed exercise program can address these issues, and help undo the damage we unintentionally (or intentionally) do to our bodies all day long.

Benefit #15 Decreased Stress
Studies have shown that exercise can cause the brain to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that actually help to improve your mood and leave you relaxed. Exercise is nature’s prosac (and beats prosac all the time in studies).

Benefit #16 Overall Improved  Health
The health benefits of exercise have been known for thousands of years, as evidenced by this quote:

"Speaking generally, all parts of the body which have a function, if used in moderation and exercised in labors to which each is accustomed, become healthy and well developed and age slowly.  But, if unused and left idle, they come liable to disease, defective in growth and age quickly."

- Hippocrates 370BC

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

7 Tips For Staying Fit This Summer…

Summer is coming and I am sure you have thought about ways you can stay fit. I am offering you some well thought out advice on how you can maximize your time invested and stay fit this summer.

Perform 3 high intensity circuits (metabolic workouts) per week: A metabolic workout consists of a circuit (4 or more moves back to back often of non-competing exercises for beginners or intermediates) for the upper body, lower body and core that work every muscle in the body and elevates metabolism anywhere from 24-72 hours post-workout. Metabolic circuits combine strength training with cardiovascular exercise.

For example, alternate the following 5 exercises for 10 reps then rest for 45 seconds-1 minute between sets: body weight squats, push-ups, forward lunges, bent-over rows and planks. Perform 4-6 total rounds for a 20-minute workout you can do anywhere and anytime (be sure and warm up first-always).

Burn to earn…

You need to spend time on a task if you wish to see results. To make exercise a habit it often takes 4-6 weeks of focused energy. There is a 61% likelihood that after missing one workout you will also skip an exercise session the following week, according to a UK study. Keep that in mind the next time you consider foregoing a trip to the gym. You are 2 times more likely to stick to an exercise program when you perform shorter workouts-30 minutes or less-compared to longer sessions, according to a YMCA study. Get to your sweat sessions and burn those calories.

Find a food form supplement: We heavily promote the Isagenix® Cleansing and Fat Burning System. This system supports 3 metabolic functions: cellular cleansing, cellular nourishment, and complete body revitalization. Food form supplement systems can provide a great nutritional foundation and fill in the gaps in your nutrition plan. Nutrition works synergistically. When you give the body optimal nutrition it supports optimal performance, improves health, and promotes optimal body composition. Yes, you still have to eat whole foods and maintain a sensible meal plan.

Remember high fiber carbohydrate foods: Every day focus on consuming nutrient-dense, high-fiber carbohydrate foods such as fruits and vegetables every 2-3 hours. If you must have the other carbohydrates, have them pre-workout (within one to two hours of intensive exercise) when your body best tolerates starches and sugars without unwanted fat gain. Remember a post workout carbohydrate/protein blend (3:1 gram ratio, as high as 5:1 depending on the focus of training).

Release stubborn body fat with high intensity interval training (HIIT): Intensity beats extensity. Intervals provide greater fat release and fitness improvements in less time than traditional aerobic exercise (HIIT works more efficiently). HIIT causes a large release of catecholamines (adrenaline and noradrenalin), which mobilize stubborn fat deposits.

For example, alternate between 30 seconds of maximum effort and up to 90 seconds of active recovery. Perform 5-7 rounds for a 15-20 minute workout; remember to include a 5 minute warm-up, stretch and cool-down. This can be fused into your circuits from above.

Be lean by going green: Consume an unlimited amount of green veggies such as broccoli, green beans, spinach, dark, leafy lettuce and peppers. Green veggies are labeled free foods and are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals, and even water. They also help to prevent hunger and keep you full between meals (so you avoid the binging mentality). Use corn, peas, carrots, beets and potatoes wisely because they can impact your blood sugar (negatively) and have less overall nutritional value when compared with their greener alternatives (some of these are good pre-workout snacks).

Find a Burn Buddy: There is strength in numbers. Study after study supports that when it comes to achieving lasting fitness and full development of an active lifestyle; social support and accountability remain the number one factor. In fact, you are 80% more likely to stick with a workout plan (short or long term) if you have a partner to join you (Strategy One, 1000 people). Bottom line: develop support as you go on your journey.

Try Fitness Boot Camp: Fitness boot camps are popular. There is good reason. Researchers at the University of Oxford found that people who train in groups can boost their pain tolerance more than those who work out alone. The scientists are still trying to figure out why, but they think group exercise may lead to an endorphin surge. No training partner? You will make new burn buddies at RHF Burn30 Bootcamp.

Rock Hard Fitness (RHF) offers Burn30 Bootcamp; 30 minute sessions and addresses the issues in this written correspondence. Training. Coaching. Accountability. Burn. Ouch. Done.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Clear The Clutter This Spring…

Get your life organized this coming season…
There is more to de-cluttering (cleaning) than tossing out the garbage. Your mind could use clearing up, maybe your relationships, too. Try to approach them as you would approach going to exercise. You have to have goals and a clear plan to reach them. Bring that same discipline to other areas of your life and you will feel balanced, have a greater sense of well-being, become laser focused, and definitely be more grounded. Seek progress rather than perfection.
De-cluttering your body…cleanse
1. Drink some fresh lemon. In the morning, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into a glass of water and throw in back. Lemon stimulates your gallbladder (an organ that produces bile, which breaks down fat). Try it for 14 days.
2. Cook with garlic and parsley. Mince one large clove of garlic. This brings out the most allicin, a compound that can help remove heavy metals from the body. Combine it with three sprigs of diced fresh parsley, a detoxifying herb that also help to neutralize the smell of garlic. Sprinkle the mixture over a salad or pasta dish. It is safe to do this every day.
3. Pop a milk thistle capsule. This is a very safe herb that promotes liver detoxification. This is especially helpful if you had an over-indulging weekend (alcohol and bad food). You can buy it in supplement form. Always follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. Consider the Isagenix® 30 Day Cleansing & Fat Burning System (contact RHF for details).
De-cluttering your mind…

1. Unplug (offline) for 15 minutes daily minimum; schedule time for peace of mind. You will be more grounded, and you will have a stronger sense of purpose. Try practicing meditation and mindfulness. Try turning off the radio and phone now and then when you are driving and use the time to decompress and reflect.
2. Quit multitasking. Juggling multiple tasks at once ultimately dilutes your attention. Be where you are. If you are working out, be there. If you are on the phone, be there. Avoid techno-ference. If you are at dinner with a friend, be there.
It is the single biggest tip for creating a balanced and focused life.
3. Set clear, tangible, and impacting life goals. This will ensure you are living with a purpose while being clear about it.

De-cluttering your relationships…

Get rid of toxic friends. There is one in every social circle; the person who always has negative or derogatory things to say about almost anything. Give the person a chance to work on it, but after you have asked three times, you are done.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Reclaim Your Fitness And Your Joy…

I hear it all the time "I need to get back to my fitness routine...”
We all go through major changes or even losses in life. We often deal with many residual effects of life's circumstances such as depression and grief. These circumstances most often hide as something out of our control. The common casualties are your workout regimen and your soft body. I have to tell you the truth.
There is no doubt change can be debilitating, but it can also mean great opportunity. The death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or a breakup can send you deep into depression, so deep nothing else matters. Eating wrong, skipping sleep and certainly skipping your workout can also set you up for major problems. Even worse, you lose your fitness way faster than the time it took you to gain it (use it or lose it). Change can kick your butt and it can also make you soft and fat or you can take the high road and view the opportunity ahead
Fitness is a feeling; to get started again (or refocused) do just enough to feel good, and then retain that feeling. Remember how good working out makes you feel rather than how good it makes you look. Looks are secondary. Use the positive emotions you get from a good sweat session to catapult you forward, to continue the fitness journey that will take you through life’s tough times.
There is nothing wrong with working out for vanity, but we also workout because we like the way it makes us feel; confident, gratified, invigorated, strong, happy, or ready. These feelings will send you back to the gym more than once I promise. It will be far from just a routine. It will be vital to your lifestyle and vital to your joy.
Life will knock you down, probably more than once. But how long you stay down is up to you. What is your bounce-ability threshold? Crisis and opportunity mean the same thing is Asian culture. Take control of what is yours; your joy, your happiness. Never leave that up to someone else. People may often disappoint you if you let them. You have control over your life, your happiness, and your joy. Take it, it is yours and use fitness as the glue.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No More B.S...

4 ideas to help you on your fitness journey...

1. Create support internally. You can tolerate any "how" with a "why." Identify all the reasons you want to start a fitness plan. Write them all down to make them tangible. Post them everywhere you can so they stay at top of mind (I don't mean put post it notes everywhere). Create a dream board. Meditate on your desires and the reasons for your desires first thing in the morning and before bed. Motivation is always best maintained intrinsically (internally). Unleash it!

2. Failure is your success. Failure is an event. Many look at failure as validation for deep insecurities. Failure if looked at wrong can erode self-esteem, create depression, and really mess with confidence. Failure is an entry point of learning and is necessary for growth. It is all a matter of perspective.

3. Schedule your workouts like clockwork. It is easy to settle into a comfort zone (relationships, TV, internet). When this happens it is easy to skip out on taking care of your needs. Take time to take care of you. You can never help the needy of you are one of them. Try exercising at lunch or before work. You can also put a home gym together for under $500, but keep in mind there is nothing quite like the energy in bootcamp.

4. Goals should be attainable and easily definable. You can gauge and monitor your progress if you can track it. If you can track it you can improve it. Set backs are part of the process and are good feedback that you are "in the process." Expect setbacks. Learn from them and keep moving towards your goals.