Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Make a New Year's Resolution that will Last!

‘Tis the season to make a goal for 2011. But seriously, New Year’s Resolutions aren’t hard to make, they’re hard to keep. In fact the NYR fail rate is around 90%...wowzer! So if you’re planning on making a fitness, financial or career or personal goal/resolution, make sure to make a plan! The first step is to make a resolution that has a chance! Follow these 4 simple rules when making your New Year's Resolution (NYR) and get ready to reach your goal!

  1. Set a goal. According to Psychology Today, if you make a resolution, you are 10 times more likely to succeed the desired outcome. So write your resolution down in specific terms. (ex: I will lose 15 pounds by June 1st. I will quit smoking using the patch by March 15th, I will put $100 into a savings account every month.)
  2. Be reasonable. Just as important as setting your goal is making sure that your goal possible and something that you want to do. If eating more fruits and veggies does not appeal to you on any level do not make your resolution to eat more fruits and veggies just because you know it’s good for you. If you want to lose weight, remember that you can only safely lose 1-2 pounds per week, so don’t make your goal to lose 100 pounds by February 2010. If you make $1,000 per month, don’t make your resolution to save $500 per month. Setting goals like this will just ensure another failed NYR. Find something you can be passionate about and go for it.
  3. Have a game plan. Sure you have your ultimate end-game goal, but knowing how you’re going to get there is super important. This might mean hiring a personal trainer, joining a gym, signing up for a weight loss program, buying nicotine patches or doing research about how to make your goal on the Internet or at the library. Whatever you do, make sure that you have the tools to achieve your goal.
  4. Start NOW. Yes…that’s right…do not wait until January 1st…start today. Whether it’s saving a specific amount of money every week or eating a certain number of fruits and veggies a day, start it now. Maybe not even full force, but use this week to ease into your goal.

Good luck and a happy rest of 2010!

Do you have a question about fitness that you would like answered? Just post your question in the comments section of this post or e-mail me directly at erin@ehfitness.com.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

'Tis the Season to be Healthy!

Just when you’ve come out of the Halloween sugar high and Thanksgiving food coma, the holiday parties and treats hit hard and threaten to undo a whole year of hard work on your health. But just because people are bringing endless baked goods to the office and there are holiday parties every week with fantastic food and drink, it doesn’t mean that you are destined to have Santa’s belly by 2011. Just follow a few simple tricks and trades and you’ll be cheering to your health and pre-holiday body!

Don't go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you won't overeat at parties or in the break room is to not let yourself get hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go...100-150 calories should do it. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, veggies and hummus, string cheese, a handful of nuts or a protein shake should do the trick.

Take a step back. You see all the food on the table and you want to make a beeline for the buffet. Go for it, but once you've gone through the line once, plant yourself on a far away and out of arms reach of the gingerbread cookies and peppermint martinis and, better yet, keep your back to the food and drink. With this little trick, you are less likely to absent-mindedly snack.

Work it out. So the holidays can cause stress, right? Lots of shopping, spending, parties and work. Who has time for exercise? YOU DO! Exercise reduces stress so make sure you put your workouts on the calendar and stick to it like you would an important meeting.

Exercise portion control. Where does it say that just because you can eat a truckload of food, you should? Get one plate of food and make sure that at least half is filled up with veggies, fruits and lean protein, the other half can be your favorite holiday food picks…”favorite” being the key word here. Don't waste precious calories on food that you don't really love. Pick out your favorites and savor them slowly.

Drink Dilemma. If you decide to have a drink or two while celebrating, make sure your drinks are around 100 calories or less. Wine spritzers, 1 oz liquor with a calorie-free mixer, a glass of champagne and light beer all have around 100 calories. And of course, drink two glasses of water to every alcoholic beverage to keep you from over-drinking as well as staying hydrated.

Skip the food or drink hangover. Schedule a sweat session for the morning after a party with a trainer or friend…knowing that you will be going to be working hard the next morning will make you think about how much you’re drinking AND eating that evening, plus, you'll burn calories from your “favorite” treats and zap fatigue and winter blues all at once.

Happy, healthy holidays!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stick with it to stop the dreaded holiday weight gain before it starts

It is never too early to begin planning your strategy to stay healthy over the holidays, or as I lovingly call them, The Weight Gain Months. Candy-filled Halloween is just around the corner (the candy has been highlighted in stores for almost a month now!!) and Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Christmas, New Years and so on will be here before we know it. Plus, now that it’s starting to cool off, food becomes less light and more hearty…think chili, casseroles and other warm and rich food. That, along with our busy back-to-school and then holiday schedules can sometimes make exercise less of a priority. So more food, richer food and not enough exercise really is just a big ol’ recipe for disaster. But not to worry, you don’t have to finish out 2010 with a belly Santa would be proud of; just have a plan.

  1. Be assertive. No means NO people. So when someone offers you a second slice of pie or helping of buttery mashed potatoes, say “no thank you, it was delicious” and then stick to your no-guns! The "no-guns" also work when saying no to the Halloween candy bowl at the office.
  2. No excuses. “But it’s the holidays” is not a good excuse for throwing out everything you know about eating healthy. Just because you can eat a dump truck load of cookies, drowned a pot of chilli or drink a lake full of eggnog, doesn’t mean you should. Think about how overeating junk will make you feel a few hours later and about all the hard work that will disappear because of a month or three of binging.
  3. No excuses part deux. “It’s the holidays and I’m too stressed and busy to workout,” is possibly the lamest excuse ever for not working out (check out other worthless excuses that should never come out of your mouth by clicking here). Exercising reduces stress, helps us to think more clearly, banishes irritability and so forth…plus, it burns calories that we inevitable consume more of during this time of year. Just do it…even if it’s 20 minutes a day…get your body in gear. Want to shave off the time driving to and from the gym? Try this quick and very effective workout at home.
  4. Split it up. Because your time is valuable, split up your workout routine into 10 minute sessions throughout your day…you’ll get the same result, but wont need to find an entire 30 minuntes to and hour at a time.
  5. Don’t go hungry. A great tactic to ensure that you don’t overeat at big meals or parties is to not go to them hungry. Eat a light but satisfying snack before you go. A half turkey sandwich on whole grain, veggies and hummus or a protein shake should do the trick. This also works in every-day life...eat a small meal or snack every three hours so that you don't end up eating a ton of food out of starvation.
  6. Exercise portion control. Thanksgiving, Holiday parties and your kitchen should never be viewed as all you can eat buffets. Fill up on fresh or steamed veggies, lots of fruits and a small amount of meat and side dishes. Make it your goal to have one plate of food per meal…half of it being fruits and veggies.
  7. Say “bye-bye” to leftovers. Send the fatty and high calorie leftovers off with your guests, put them on festive plates and deliver them to your neighbors, take them to the office or “gasp!” throw it away (this is a great option for your extra Halloween candy). Whatever you do, try not to leave them in your house for you to snack on day and night.

Armed with these tips, you are ready to go to holiday parties, family get togethers, Thanksgiving dinner and wherever else the next few months of 2010 take you. Remember, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while, just don’t make it a habit.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Five Exercise Excuses BUSTED!

We have all had our battles with the ominous, and sometimes very convincing, exercise excuse as to why we can’t get our bodies moving. But let’s face it…most of them are super lame (notes from your doctor and emergencies excused). Check out these all too common excuses and why they shouldn’t cross your lips…or your mind…ever again.

1. I’m too tired to work out.

Being “too tired” or tired at all is a reason TO exercise! Exercise has been shown to boost energy levels for up to two full hours after the work is done. Plus, as soon as you start to get your body moving, you get your blood flowing and heart rate up which makes it almost impossible to be sleepy. Next time you are feeling the need for a nap instead of heading to a workout, try the workout first, and then see if you’re still sleepy…bet you wont be!

2. I’m too busy to work out.

Let me translate this excuse: “Exercise is not a priority in my life.” Let’s call a spade a spade, people. If you have time to watch TV, sit around at your kid’s soccer practice, wait for the cable guy, etc, you totally are not too busy to exercise. You don’t have to get to the gym for a great workout. Try one of these easy-to-do workouts that you can do virtually anywhere.

Also, studies have shown that people who get up and work out before their day begins have a higher chance of sticking to a workout than those who workout at other times during the day…so set your alarm 30 minutes early and do a body good!

3. I’m too sore from yesterday’s work out to work out.

Sounds like you got a great workout in that really challenged your muscles…hurray! But if you don’t move your body when you are sore, you will become more sore. In fact, a study done at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has shown that those who do a light work out the day after a hard workout experience less soreness. So get off the couch and get those sore muscles moving!

4. I never see the results that I’m looking for, so why bother working out?

If this is your go-to excuse, we should probably take a good hard look at your expectations. For instance, if you are a 5’4” woman who is expecting her body to transform into a runway model’s body, then of course you will never reach your “goal.” Exercise should make you look and feel YOUR best. So don’t compare yourself to others.

Also, if you expected to work hard in the gym for 2 weeks and drop 20 lbs, that is also not a realistic goal. Looking and feeling your best requires a commitment to your body through exercise and eating right.

Lastly, let’s remember that exercise is not just about looking good; it’s about what you are doing for your body in both the short and long term. The benefits of exercise are vast and include the following important internal results that you won’t be able to see on your frame:

    • Regular exercise prevents chronic disease such as heart disease and osteoporosis
    • Exercise helps lower high cholesterol and blood pressure
    • Exercise can prevent type-2 diabetes
    • Exercise promotes better sleep

5. I’m too stressed and not in the mood to work out.

Lame! Exercise has been proven time and time again to help decrease stress and improve mood. Physical activity causes the brain to release various “feel-good” chemicals that leave you feeling more relaxed and happier than when you began your exercise. Exercise can also help prevent depression…so get that body moving to be a less stressed and happier you!

So next time you are too [insert your excuse here] to exercise, get over it and get your body moving!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eat your veggies for good health!

You know that eating healthy includes eating fresh veggies. But sometimes just because you know you should do something, doesn’t make it easy to do. You want to get at least 5 half cup servings of veggies a day.

Why eat your veggies? Check out these very compelling reasons for loading up your plate and snack drawer with things that grow in the ground.

  • Vegetables contain essential vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to operate. Plus they are a great source of fiber! Studies show that those who eat a diet rich in fresh produce have a lower incidence of disease such as cancer, cardiovascular issues and stroke.
  • Eating fresh veggies can help you control your weight. Vegetables are naturally low in calories and most are virtually fat free. So eat them first thing at a meal to eat less calories overall.
  • Eating veggies will make you feel good. When you eat whole foods (unprocessed food), your body responds well, your skin glows and your systems work like they should.

5 servings of vegetables might seem like a hard pill to swallow or get into your schedule. But it’s actually very easy if you make sure to have a serving at every meal and snack. Here are a few simple ways to get your daily quota without blinking an eye.

  • Breakfast:
    • Throw some peppers, zucchini and broccoli in your morning omelet
    • Make a tasty smoothie with a bunch of baby spinach, your favorite fruit and low fat yogurt (you wont even be able to taste the spinach…I promise)
  • Lunch:
    • Top your sandwich with actual veggies (forget the sad piece of lettuce and tiny sliced tomatoes…they don’t count). Add cucumbers, peppers, spinach, mushrooms, etc.
    • Hit the salad bar and load up with all colors of pre-cut vegetables including dark leafy greens, tomatoes, carrots, turnips, peas, cabbage, you get the picture…lots of veggies.
  • Dinner:
    • Load your spaghetti sauce (or any sauce for that matter) with tons of veggies. My favorites are broccoli, zucchini, onions, and mushrooms.
    • Make stir fry with lean meat and lots of veggies such as cabage, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, mushrooms and celery.
    • Steam your favorite veggie and have it on the side...have lots on the side.
    • Eat a side salad before dinner to eat less
    • Make an old school vegetable soup with lots of chunky veggies and for some “umph” add some potatoes.
  • Snacks:
    • When you go to the salad bar for a salad, get lots of pre-cut veggies for to much on when you get hungry
    • Make sure to have cut up carrots, broccoli, peppers, celery, jicama, etc for crunching and dipping in low fat protein packed dips like hummus.
    • Steam a bag of veggies (frozen veggies are just like fresh…as long as they aren’t in sauce)

So what counts as half a cup? Besides the obvious measuring technique, keep these easy to remember tips close at hand:

· 5 broccoli florets

· 6 baby carrots

· 1 large handful of raw greens (spinach, lettuce, cabbage)

· 1 large stalk of celery

· ½ large ear of corn

· 6 bell pepper strips

Friday, September 3, 2010

Five Fitness Myths Debunked!

1. Doing tons of crunches and other abdominal exercises create a flat stomach.

Although doing stomach exercises can strengthen and build ab muscles, you can not get rid of abdominal fat simply by crunching away. There is no way to “spot train” a certain body part. A combination of cardiovascular exercise, strength training and diet is needed for ripped or flat abs.

2. Running on a treadmill is better for your knees than running on pavement.

It doesn’t make much difference on what surface you run. What makes a difference is the impact of your body weight on your joints. The key to having healthy knees is cross-training (doing different activities other than just running). When you add swimming, biking, elliptical training and other exercises, you reduce the impact on your knees and strengthen different muscles in your legs.

Sweating more means that you are working harder during your workout.

Sweating is simply the body trying to cool itself off. Therefore, if you are exercising in a cool and dry environment, you may not sweat as much even though you are working at the same intensity as when you are exercising in hot and humid conditions.

You are more prone to injury when you work out than if you don’t.

Building strong muscles and a strong heart, not to mention balance and coordination, are great ways to decrease your chances of injury from a fall or pulled muscle. That being said, make sure that you are using correct form when you exercise. If you’re unsure of your form, talk to fitness professional.

You should stretch before working out to “loosen up.”

Though stretching is important, you will not be able to lengthen your muscles or increase your range of motion by stretching before cold muscles before a workout. In fact, you might be putting yourself at risk for injury because the muscles become unstable. So stretch after you finish your workout!

Friday, August 27, 2010

How to choose a personal trainer

If you’re in the market for a personal trainer, not just anyone will do. You want to make sure that your trainer is exactly what you need…you are paying good money for them and their expertise. Here are some questions to ask yourself or ask your potential trainer before beginning a fitness program with him or her.

  1. Is the trainer nationally certified? There are a zillion personal trainer certifications out there, but only a handful of them are nationally recognized. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is an organization ensures the public’s health, welfare and safety. The 7 NCCA accredited personal training certification programs are listed below:
    • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
    • American Council on Exercise (ACE)
    • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
    • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
    • National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF)
    • National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
    • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA)

  1. Does the trainer practice what he/she preaches? An unfit trainer may not be the best person to take advice from. This doesn’t mean that a male trainer has to have a body builder’s body or a female trainer has to be a size zero, it just means that they should be in good shape, eat right, exercise and take care of their body…just as they are helping you do!
  2. How do current and past clients feel about their experience? That’s right, ask for references…you want to make sure that they have satisfied clients that are able to reach their goals with the trainers help.
  3. Will the training be convenient? If your trainer is at a place that’s hard for you to get to or is too far away from home or is at an bad time, you are more likely to cancel sessions, flake out or just not go.
  4. Does your personality match that of the trainer? If you are a person that responds well to gentle encouragement, your trainer should not be a yeller, boot-camp sergeant of a trainer. Make sure to meet the trainer or talk for a bit over the phone to see if your personalities and styles are the same. Also, consider whether you are comfortable with a trainer of the opposite sex since training can be somewhat physical.

Other questions to ask a potential personal trainer:

  • How long have you been training and what kind of clients do you normally work with?
  • How do you motivate your clients to reach their goals?
  • How do you measure achievement? Do you have a fitness evaluation you use?
  • Knowing my specific fitness goals, what kind of workout plan will you develop to help me?
  • How often will you change my workout routine?
  • What are your rates?
  • What is your cancellation policy?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Get some energy back in your day

The summer heat, getting everyone back into school, business at work, a on-the-run diet and lack of exercise can really cause a dip in energy levels. So what’s a person to do to get a bounce back in their step? There’s a lot you can do…check out these natural energy boosters without the caffeine, sugary energy drinks or naps!

  1. Exercise for energy. Contrary to popular belief, exercise doesn’t make you tired, it actually builds energy within your body at the cellular level. So get off the couch or skip the nap and take a walk, run, swim, lift weights, play Dance Dance Revolution, whatever it takes to move your body. Just 10 minutes, can give you the boost that you need. So while waiting for dinner to cook, burst into some jumping jacks, take a speedy walk to a co-workers desk instead of e-mailing her or run the stairs at lunch. Just get moving…even if you don’t feel like it (especially if you don’t feel like it!)
  2. Eat for energy. You might get a quick energy boost from that handful of M&Ms or a chocolate chip cookie, but you will crash and burn just as quick. So fuel your body to keep you energized all day long. Eat healthy carbs such as whole wheat crackers or oatmeal, tons of veggies and fruit and remember to always eat protein with every meal or snack. Think almonds, tuna, chicken, turkey, walnuts, natural peanut butter and tofu. Think of your body as an engine and you are providing high grade gasoline when you eat well.
  3. Drink for energy. Ditch the “energy drinks,” caffeinated beverages and cocktails and drink water…a lot of water…at least 64 oz a day. One of the major symptoms of dehydration is fatigue, so when you are feeling tired or sleepy, especially in the middle of the day, chug a glass of water.
  4. Breathe for energy. Literally, take a breather. Just sit and take 5-10 deep breaths. Stress can cause us to fatigue mentally and emotionally which can manifest as physical exhaustion…so take a seat, inhale deeply, hold for a few seconds, and then exhale slowly and completely.
  5. Sleep for energy. Studies show that getting less than 6 hours of sleep leaves us WAY less than 100% not only mentally and physically but energy-wise as well. So get at least 7 hours of sleep and really shoot for 8 for optimal energy. Also, going to bed and waking up at the same time every night and day will help with energy dips. Sweet Dreams!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep fit on your vacation!

It’s August and that means it’s time for one last vacation before summer ends and school gets started. Whether you’re heading to the beach, mountains, historical sites or grandma’s house, you don’t have to ditch your fitness routine and throw your hard work out the door.

Make it a priority to be active on your vacation and come home and pick up your fitness routine where you left off…maybe even fitter than before you left! Here are several easy and some family friendly ways to take your workout on the road to stay healthy and happy!

  • Take a hike and burn 405 calories per hour!
  • Go for a ride…on a horse, that is…and burn 171 calories per hour
  • Ditch the car and briskly walk everywhere possible while burning 297 calories per hour
  • Have some time on the green planned? Make sure to carry your clubs and burn 414 calories per hour.
  • Canoe down a river and burn 306 miles per hour
  • Burn 270 calories per hour by taking a bike to your destinations
  • Learn to surf and burn 207 calories per hour
  • Take a dip in the pool, lake, river or ocean and burn 414 calories per hour
  • Mountain bike up and down awesome hills for a burn of 576 calories per hour
  • Take to the slopes and ski off 594 calories per hour
  • View what’s under the sea with a snorkeling excursion and burn 360 calories per hour
  • Workout in your hotel room using what they provide (chairs, tables, beds, etc.) for pushups, dips, sit ups, lunges. Check out this workout and burn between 500-600 calories per hour!
  • Take your workout to a park or beach and burn 600 calories per hour. Check out this outdoor workout circuit.
  • Sign up for a fun run or race to compete in your vacation city

Happy vacationing!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Question and Answer: Upper Body Strength

Q: I recently lost over 100lbs. My arms are a lot skinnier, of course, but since the weight loss was done by counting calories and cardiovascular workouts done doing Dance Dance Revolution and then on a stationary bike, my upper body is much weaker than it was before the weight loss. What can I do to gain upper body strength?

A: Congratulations on the weight loss…that’s amazing! You’re question is great. Strength training is an extremely important component every day health. As you’ve experienced, when strength training is not involved in a weight loss program, you could be left with weaker muscles than before, especially in the upper body. The benefits of strength training are vast and valuable. Strength training:


· Increases your lean body tissue

· Boosts metabolism

· Helps balance and coordination

· Improves the symptoms and can reverse arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain and much more

· Prevents Sarcopenia, which is just a fancy word for losing muscle mass as we age.

Studies show that we start losing muscle mass at a rate of 1% a year staring in our 30s and 40s. So what? Well, it’s a big deal to lose muscle mass. Not only will you have a higher percentage of body fat which puts stress on your heart, can lead to diabetes and some other horrible things, but keeping your muscles means keeping your balance, preventing osteoporosis, and sustaining our abilities to do every day tasks well into the aging process. Specifically, upper body strength lets us do every day tasks such as carrying groceries, lifting kids, putting things up on shelves, helping friends and family move, and getting up and down off of the floor. You don’t have to train like a body builder to get a strong, functional upper body. In fact, to get started you don’t need any equipment; you can just use your own body weight to start getting strong, lean muscle mass.

Check out these 2 upper body strengtheners that you can do anywhere. The key to gaining strength is to push your body and progress through the levels. Start at the level in which you can barely finish the 12th repetition. Once you are able to do 15 reps, move to the next level. Every other day, do 3 sets of push ups and tricep dips. (12 repetitions per set).

Push Ups. Most people think that this is an advanced move for only the super-strong. Push ups are hard, but you can ease your way into this upper body strength builder. Push ups are a must move because they use pretty much all the muscles in the upper body (arms, chest, back) making it an extremely efficient upper body exercise.

Level 1: Using a wall, stand with feet hip width apart a few feet out from the wall. Keeping the abs in tight and torso straight, lean towards the wall and place hands chest height, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Slowly bring your chest towards the wall and then slowly push back up to starting position. Repeat 12 times.

Level 2: Use a counter or sturdy table edge and follow the Level one instructions.

Level 3: On the floor, either on your knees or toes, keep your body nice and flat as you lower your chest towards the ground and push back up. Need more? Lift one leg up as you go down.

Tricep Dips. Dips are a great functional exercise that strengthens your shoulders and triceps.

Level 1: Find a sturdy (non-rolling chair). Take a seat on the edge of the chair and place the hands on either side of your thighs, curling your fingers around the front seat of the chair. With elbows bent, lift your rear end off the chair until your arms are straight. Lower back down to seated. Repeat 12 times. This is a tiny movement, but it will prepare you for the next levels.

Level 2: Start in the same position as before. Your legs should be bent at a ninety degree angle with the feet flat on the floor. Lift your rear up off the chair, walk the feet out a bit so that your hips are in front of the chair instead of directly over it. Slowly bend your elbows until they are at a ninety degree angle and then push yourself back up until your arms are straight. Repeat 12 times.

Level 3: Same as Level 2 only your legs are straight out in front of the chair, not bent. If you need something more than that, lift a leg.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Age-proof your body with movement!

Think you’re too young to worry about loss of strength and flexibility that makes it harder to move and do every day activities during your older years? You are WRONG! It is never too early to start preparing your body for the aging process. The human body peaks around the age of 25 in both strength and flexibility. From there, without proper care and training, your body’s functionality starts to go downhill. This is what happens, your muscles start to atrophy (weaken) and your flexibility decreases. The combination of these two events cause everyday movements such as bending over and getting up harder and harder as we age. This isn’t to scare you, especially if you are in your 30s, 40s, 50s or older. You too can improve your body’s function and even reverse the signs of aging!

So…no matter your age, incorporate these exercises into your daily life.

Stand ups. Don’t roll your eyes. Think about it. Getting out of chairs, off the sofa or out of the car can be very difficult for older people. Therefore, training your muscles to do this everyday, important movement can be just what your body needs to jump out of whatever seat you’re in for the rest of your life.

How to: Sit in a chair or a your couch and without using your arms to push or pull yourself up, simply stand up. Repeat 20 times in a row. You’ll be strengthening your abdominals and lower body as well as stretching out your lower back.

Pick ups. That’s right, picking things up off the floor around your house can keep you young. So be intentional about picking up one item at a time so that you have to keep bending over to pick up every item individually. If you, like me (HA!), keep an immaculate house, clutter free. Throw some stuff on the floor and get to work OR better yet, go and pick up trash in your neighborhood or favorite park!

How to: Bend over from the waist, keeping your knees slightly bent, pick up an item and stand back up to straight while rolling your shoulders back and down. You will be stretching out the hamstrings, lower back and strengthening your abs, lower back (as you stand up), lower body PLUS improving your poster with a roll of your shoulders.

Stretches. Keep that body limber and moving freely with a few stretches.

How to: Hold each of these stretches for 30 seconds or more a day

· Hamstring Stretch: bend at the waist and let your upper body and arms hang down with the intent to touch the toes

· Lower back stretch: start down on the ground on all fours and push your hips back so that your butt rests on your heels while stretching your hands out in front of you…walking them away from the body (also called Child’s Pose in yoga)

· Chest and shoulder stretch: interlace your fingers behind your back. Push your hands down and then pull up until you feel a great stretch across your chest and shoulders.

A few more ways to keep your body young:

  • Take the stairs
  • Lift weights
  • Do cardio at least 5 days a week for 20 minutes
  • Walk…a lot…
  • Yoga!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Working out at the best time...

So what time of the day should you work out to get the most out of exercise? There isn’t an easy answer. Some people are morning people, some are night owls, but consider the pros and cons of morning, afternoon and evening workouts.

The perks of morning workouts

  • Working out in the morning can jumpstart your day and fill you with energy
  • Research has shown that people that workout in the morning stick with their exercise routine more so than people who work out later in the day
  • Working out before work/school/the kids are up means more time for the family and evening activities
  • You don’t have to worry about “something coming up” and not make it to the gym later…you workout is done!
  • Starting the day off right with exercise sets you up for a day of good healthy decisions

The challenge of the morning workout

  • The snooze button…need I say more?
  • Getting enough sleep is very important (see how important to your health by clicking here), so if you aren’t able to get to bed early enough to get at least 6 hours of sleep before you get up to work out, you might want to consider another workout time.
  • Your body temperature is at it’s lowest, so you need to warm up a bit longer than usual (10 minutes or so) to prevent injury

The perks of lunch workouts

  • Working out before you eat lunch revs up your metabolism and can set you up to succeed with healthy choices during those heavy craving hours between 2 and 4 in the afternoon.
  • Getting work friends to work out with you can help you be accountable

The challenge of the lunch workout

  • Work gets busy…so sometimes the workout gets put on the back burner with your lunch break

The perks of an afternoon workout

  • Research has shown that you have between 4-5% more strength and endurance during the hours of 4 and 5 p.m. This can mean that you can workout harder and longer at that time
  • Injuries are less likely to happen in the afternoon because your body temperature is at it’s highest and your muscles are already warm

The challenge of the afternoon workout

  • Unless you stay at home, have a flexible work schedule or don’t work the typical 9-5 job, working out at this time may be impossible

The perks of a night time workout

  • Some people are just more energized at night and so working out is more conducive after dinner

The challenge of night time workouts

  • Working out 4 hours or less before bed time can disrupt your sleep
  • Life happens and you might not be able to workout in the evenings because of family commitments or unexpected plans

Basically, you know yourself and what will work for you body and your schedule. Get into a habit that is right for you so that you will stick with it! Put it on your calendar and get your body moving!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Summer Meltdown Weight Loss Special...10 pounds down in 4 weeks!

July 12th-August 6th
There's still time to look at feel great this summer. Lose up to 10 pounds fast in less than a month with 30 minute personal training sessions tailored to fit your goals and burn mega calories!
Here's the deal:
  • 8 thirty minute sessions, 2 sessions per week for 4 weeks (July 12th - August 6th)
  • Nutrition counseling
  • Daily workouts as well as caloric intake suggestions for your fitness level and personal goals
  • Fitness facility is provided with no extra charge
  • Space is limited, sign up by Friday, July 9th. Call 913-909-2043 or e-mail erin@ehfitness.com.
$240 for the entire program (that's only $30 per personal training session!) Space is limited so sign up for your spot today!
Are you super hardcore? Sign up to work out with a trainer on all four available days and save and lose bigger! $400 for the program (you save $80!)
For more detailed information, to register online and schedule availability , click here.

Eat at home and cut time, money and calories!

3 Reasons to cook at home

  1. You save time. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard (and used) the phrase…”let’s do out tonight…I don’t have time to make anything for dinner.” WRONG! Let’s use an example of a spaghetti dinner.
    1. Time to make spaghetti with sauce and a salad: about 20 minutes.
    2. Time to drive to a restaurant, order, get food/eat, and pay: 90 minutes.

That’s not a great way to save time…right?

  1. You save money. Eating out can get pricey! Let’s take our spaghetti and salad example again.
    1. At home: Spaghetti ($2), Sauce ($3), bag of salad ($3) and salad dressing ($3). Grand total for a family of four to eat at home: $11!!!
    2. At a casual dinning restaurant: Spaghetti ($7), side salad ($3), tip ($2). Grand total for a family of four $48!!!

Wow…that’s some big savings!

  1. You save fat and calories. When you cook at home, you control the way that your food is prepared. You can adjust the amount of fat used in cooking, your portion sizes and sodium intake. For instance, a popular casual dining restaurant spaghetti is 710 calories, 22 grams of fat and 1,500 mg of sodium. If you make it at home, it is 281 calories, 2 grams of fat and 721 mg of sodium…HUGE difference…right?!

Quick, easy and flavorful ways to lighten up your cooking.

  1. Reduce your saturated fat intake: Instead of using butter, use olive oil. Save 5 grams of saturated fat per tablespoon by making the switch.
  2. Measure your oil instead of free-pouring it. Oil comes out fast people, so really measure it. Even though olive oil is good for your heart and skin, too much can mean a larger waist, so get out those measuring spoons
  3. Try fat free cooking. Try sautéing your food, making your pancakes and grilling your sandwiches with cooking spray instead of oil and butter. Save 200 calories!! Also, use chicken broth in place of oil or butter next time you are making a stirfry for a flavorful, fat free way of doing things!
  4. Trim the fat…and skin. When preparing meat, always cut away the fat and skin. You will save tons of fat and hundreds of calories by doing so, plus reap the benefits of getting lean protein!
  5. Stock up on easy to cook items. This is the “no excuses” tip. If you have in the pantry, freezer, fridge, it’s a lot easier to whip up a healthy meal right then instead of having to go to the store to get the supplies. Make it easy on yourself and make sure you have the following foods in your kitchen;
    • Whole grain pasta
    • Low sodium pasta sauce
    • Frozen chicken
    • Frozen 93% lean ground beef or turkey
    • Frozen veggies
    • Frozen fruit
    • Skim milk
    • Chicken broth
    • Olive oil
    • An array of spices that you love
    • Potatoes
    • Nuts
    • Bagged salad
    • Cut up veggies
    • Fat free sour cream
    • Reduced fat cheese
    • Light yogurt
    • Brown rice
    • Tuna
    • Beans and lentils
    • Whole grain bread
    • Fresh fruit
    • Vinegar

Happy lightening-up!!