For folks who love traveling, or who travel for their job, it’s one of the downfalls that goes along with the luxury of going to wonderful new places: traveling is disruptive to even the best intentioned person, when it comes to their health. I recall when I started my first job where I would be traveling 100% of my time; I knew that business travelers often gained weight. I was already bigger than I felt comfortable with, and didn’t want to gain more. I was young – in my late 20’s. I had never exercised before in my life and my diet was sh*t. I knew my diet was bad. I loved bloomin’ onions, burgers, fries, and beer. I knew that I should be eating more vegetables, but I didn’t know how to do that – so I did it the only way I knew how – I became a Read More . . .
It seems to happen without our even noticing it. Seemingly all of a sudden one day, your pants seem a little bit more snug around the waist although not in the hips and thighs. Huh. I wonder why? So, you set out to lose that belly fat: go low carb, and wake up earlier so that you can dedicate more time at the end of your workout for ab exercises. Running! That’ll do it! Move more & eat less! But it doesn’t seem to be working. Nothing you do seems to be working! As we age, the calories in versus calories out approach doesn’t work like it used to. Gone are the days of just working a little harder at the gym to drop a few lbs. Here are the top reasons why you might be having trouble getting that belly fat to budge. You’re getting older This is especially Read More . . .
Walk in to any fitness center, and you’ll see lots of machines taking up space – from treadmills, bikes and ellipticals to weight machines that seem to be medieval torture devices, seemingly working every muscle in the body. What do all of them do? Do you need all of those machines? If walking into a gym with lots of machines is intimidating enough,walking into a gym without any machines is even more so! What do you do with all that stuff? All you see are free weights, and maybe some bars, ropes, boxes, and other, different looking, torture devices. Is one better than the other? Will machines get you better results? Or will free weights? As with everything related to your health, the answer is, “It depends”. It depends on where you are in your fitness journey: your physical abilities and what you know about exercising. Pros & Cons of Read More . . .
“Youth is Wasted on the Young” – George Bernard Shaw When I was in my 30’s, I was strong. I would work out with heavy weight, my strength training schedule was carefully planned and followed, and about every 12 weeks, I would dutifully take a week off from training, to give my body a break, and ensure that I wasn’t over-training. After the self-imposed week off from training, I would pick right back up where I left off, and move on with the rest of my training schedule. Then, something ‘magical’ happened: I turned 40. Everything changed. After I turned 40, if I took a week off for a vacation, or just because my body needed a break, Oh. My. GOD! The Soreness! For Days! See, beginner exercisers wonder when the soreness is going to get easier. And the answer to that is: if you’re consistent, your body should get Read More . . .
We all have exercises that we like, and therefore do a lot; and there are exercises that we dislike, and don’t do, unless we’re forced. I have them too. We tend to gravitate towards those bodyparts that we enjoy training, and steer clear from those that we don’t. The problem with doing the same exercises over and over again (and not doing others ever) is that you risk injury. When one group of muscles is significantly stronger than another group, you will move differently than if your muscles are balanced in strength. Strong muscles pull on other muscles in the body, and weaker muscles stretch out. An example of that might be if you have weak lower back, the stronger muscles in the glutes and hamstrings will pull on your lower back muscles. That could pull your pelvis out of alignment, and cause pain not only in your lower back, but also Read More . . .
There are hundreds upon hundreds of personal trainers in your city – let alone the US or the world. Have you ever had one? How did you pick him/her? What do you look for when you hire a personal trainer? Certification? Years of experience? Did you stalk her, watch her train other clients to see how she interacted with them? Or did you select her because of her body? Choosing a trainer based on looks is a bad idea. Deciding on a trainer based solely on appearance is as bad of an idea as picking a life partner out of a magazine. I don’t need to explain that. Do I? Most people have a disconnect about what a trainer can do for them. They hire a trainer with the idea that they’re going to lose weight and look toned, and so they hire a trainer who has the body style that they, themselves, desire. There Read More . . .
When clients come to me saying that they want to lose weight, I understand what they mean. If I were to be snarky, I could say, ‘oh, you want to lose 10 lbs? Let’s just chop off your right arm. Would that make you happy?’ …but that probably wouldn’t make a good first impression now, would it? When folks say that they want to lose weight, what they mean is that they want to lose body fat. We want to look ‘toned’ – like our muscles are flexing even when we’re sitting on the couch. The degree of muscularity desired, however is different depending on the individual, and what they perceive to be an ideal physique. What’s counter-intuitive, though is we say that we want to lose weight, even though we want to lose fat, but we’re measuring that success with a tool that only measures our gravitational pull to the earth – the scale. Read More . . .
Although I realize that January is the beginning of the calendar year, and folks like to make health resolutions at that time of the year, but I think it’s a terrible idea. It’s no wonder that by Superbowl weekend, most resolutions are broken and forgotten. There are many reasons why resolutions go by the wayside: often times they’re vague (I’m going to get healthy!), or overambitious (I’m going to start running every day – even though I haven’t run a mile in 5 years), or there’s just no real planning behind the resolution (HOW are you going to get healthy? What steps are you going to take to accomplish that?). When looking at people’s behaviors and what factors make them change their habits, researchers discovered that many folks changed their habits after a major life event. They didn’t even realize that they were doing it. But when their life changed due to Read More . . .
People tell you that it’s going to happen but you don’t ever think it’s going to happen to you. Why is that? Why do we think that somehow our body is a special snowflake, impervious to the effects of aging? I remember hearing my sisters talking about how ‘everything changed’ once they turned 40. And clearly, I knew that some stuff was going to happen – that I’d get wrinkles, generally just look older, that where I stored fat might change, and I’d heard that it was more difficult to lose body fat as we age. But nothing really prepared me for how freakin’ sore I would be after I would take a week off from working out. Pre-40 As I think about my younger self, I’m reminded of the quote, “Youth is wasted on the young.” I’m jealous of the days that I used to be able to strength Read More . . .
It’s one of the most common questions I get asked, “Elizabeth, which one should I do first? Strength train? Or cardio?” And, as always, the answer is, “It depends.” It depends on your goals. Why are you doing one or the other, or both. Do you have goals to run a sub 3 hour marathon? Or do you have a goal to compete in a strongman competition? Okay – I realize that you probably don’t have either of those goals in mind, BUT you might want to run a 5k, or just look toned – like your muscles are flexed even when they’re not. While doing higher amounts of cardio to prepare for your race is going to compete with muscle growth and maintenance, the flip side is that having a ton of muscle is going to slow you down for your speed goals. The short answer is that you want to Read More . . .