Tuesday, February 14, 2023

A NEW E.H. Fitness 21-Day Challenge...just in time for Spring Break

Spring...and spring break...are fast approaching! If you're not feeling like your New Year's healthy goals have been met...or even started... let me help. This newest 21-Day Challenge is full of whole foods, recipes, workouts, tips and tricks...and guess what...it's also flexible and something that can be re-incorporated into daily life even after the 21 days...if you so choose. :)

If you are ready to take steps to improve metabolism, fit better into your clothes, have more energy and approach food as it is meant to be-for energetic life, then join me for on online (Facebook) wellness challenge beginning on Monday, February 20 and ending Sunday, March 12. 

Even if you are leaving for a Spring Break trip during the challenge, you can totally rock this one! 

The challenge is all within a private Facebook group so that you can participate on your own time at your own pace and with your own schedule...and it's all just $49 flat*.

 The program includes:

  • 21 days of clean eating carb-cycling style. Get excited! It's super simple and totally tasty. (Wondering "why carb-cycling?"...click here for the benefits)
  • Suggested grocery list 
  • Sample meal plans as well as suggestions for eating out. 
  • 21 days of quickie workout options...including workout demos (no more than 30 minutes of exercise a day required!)
  • 21 days of accountability and encouragement and access to an ACE Certified personal trainer and wellness coach.
  • 21 days of a small community of people doing the exact same thing you are, who have the same questions and struggles, plus, we will work through it all together!
  • Most importantly, NO supplements, pills or powders being sold here-just real food for real people living real lives.
There's nothing to lose, except maybe some inches and a few pounds. There's a lot to gain: body confidence, strength, good digestion, energy and a different way to eating. 

If you're interested, simply e-mail me here and let me know to put you on the list. I will add you to our closed Facebook group where the food lists will be so you can be prepared for day one: Monday, February 20. Also, please feel free to e-mail me with any questions about the challenge-I would love to answer them (erin@ehfitness.com)

*I add you to the group as soon as I receive confirmation of payment via Venmo:)

A Playlist to Help You Breeze Through Your Workout

 If you're like me, the music during a workout matters...like a lot. Bad music...energy seems to dip. Great music...energy seems boundless at times. This playlist is my go-to one right now for running, walking, bootcamps, spinning and everything in between. Hope it helps you get your heart rate up too!

Miracle Maker (Dom Dolla & Clementine Douglas)

Leave a Legacy (Kairo, Easy McCoy, City Wolf, Sha'ki)

Destination Unknown (Alex Gaudino)

You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)

Spice Up Your Life (Spice Girls)

Maneater (Nelly Furtado)

Morenita (HUGEL, Cumbiafrica)

Potential Breakup Song (Aly & AJ)

I'm Good (David Guetta, Bebe Rexha)

Turn Down for What (DJ Snake, Lil Jon)

Friday, February 3, 2023

At-Home Workout Progression

If you're wanting to get stronger, leaner and fitter, it's super important to "progress" your workouts. That just means that you change and sometimes intensify the exercises you do so that our bodies don't adapt and get used to what we are doing and therefore don't build muscle or get stronger. Completing the same exact movement with the same exact weight will cause us to plateau; our bodies are smart and they will stop responding and changing without variety.  

So when should you progress a movement? When you feel like the beginning exercise has become easy or just not as challenging-listen to your body. 

Check out this workout you can do at-home or in a gym or on vacation or anywhere you want...all complete with progressions :) 

Here's the Deal: 

Warm up for 5 minutes with a quick walk. Do each exercise for a total of 20 seconds, then progress to 25 seconds and then to 30 seconds as you get stronger.  Repeat the list 6 times through. Even at the 30 second time, it will take you less than 30 minutes to complete. 

Here's the work:

Warm up

1. Stand ups from a chair or couch

    --body weight air squats

        ---squat with weight held at your chest

2. Right side static lunge

    --right side step-back lunge

        --right side step-forward lunge

3. Left side static lunge

    --left side step-back lunge

        --left side step-forward lunge

4. Good mornings (bodyweight only)

    --deadlift with weight

        --single alternating deadlifts with weight

5. Push ups on all fours

    --push ups on knees

        --push ups on toes

6. Back extension with hands by hips

    --back extensions with arms in "goal post"

        --back extensions with arms overhead

7. Crunches with knees bent and feet on floor

    --curnches with legs up and knees bent

        --crunches with legs straight up in the air

8. Plank on knees and forearms

    --plank on toes and forearms

         --plank on toes and hands

Stretch and enjoy!

Carb Cycling...what is it good for?!

Every heard of carb cycling? Nope...it's not a spinning class designed to burn up all your carbs. It's a pattern of eating more carbohydrates (grains, fruit, starchy veggies) on some days and eating less of those foods on other days.

Why would you do that? Well, carb cycling has been shown to have the following benefits:

  1. Preserves muscle 
  2. Helps with muscle recovery
  3. Reduces body fat
  4. Helps metabolism stay high
  5. Allows flexibility and encourages consuming a variety of foods
  6. Can prevent hormonal imbalances
  7. Lessens hunger
  8. Increases energy
And how does it do all that? So....the body loves carbs (so does my mouth and tummy). When we eat carbohydrates, they are stored in the body as glucose which is what our systems use as energy first. When we deplete those glucose levels by limiting our carb intake, our body turns to stored fat in our body for energy. Whoop!

Try it with my in the newest E.H. Fitness 21 Day Wellness Challenge. It begins Monday, February 20! 

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Happy (and healthy) Heart Month!

February is American Heart Month. Why do you care? Well, in the United States, more people die each year of heart disease than of any other disease, accident or other cause of death. In fact, the CDC estimates every 34 seconds, an American suffers from a coronary event such as a heart attack. That’s scary, right?! And yes, to answer a question that is asked often, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. These statistics are staggering but you don’t have to be a part of the statistics; there are steps every person can take to stay healthy and prevent heart disease.

Heart Healthy Eating:

Eating foods full of saturated fat and cholesterol leads to blockages in the arteries which cause heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends skipping fried foods, full fat dairy, sugary foods and high fat meat and instead protect your heart with whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, low fat dairy and health oils. The fiber found in veggies, fruit and whole grain can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. Protein sources such as salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids which lower blood fats and reduce the risk of cardiac sudden death. Heart healthy oils such as olive oil help decrease your cholesterol.

Heart Healthy Food Choices:

Fruits and Vegetables

  • All fresh fruits and vegetables!

Beware: If your veggies are fried, covered in butter or cheese sauce or your fruit is swimming in sugar, you aren’t doing much good for your heart. Use spices like garlic, pepper and rosemary to make your veggies taste great and remember that fruit is already sweet, there is no need to pile on more sugar (that means no canned fruit in syrup!).

Lean and low-fat protein

  • Skinless poultry
  • Salmon and other fish
  • Lean (93%) ground beef
  • Soy products
  • Fat free or reduced fat dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Beans/legumes
  • Egg whites

Beware: Even lean protein such as chicken turns into a saturated fat feast when fried, so always opt for grilled or baked protein.

Healthy Fats
  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Fatty fish (like salmon)
  • Nuts
Beware: Be on the lookout for saturated fats such as those found in butter, some margarine and other oils. These fats can clog arteries which may lead to heart disease. 

Whole Grains
  • Oatmeal
  • 100% whole grain/whole wheat bread
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown rice
  • High fiber cereal
  • Quinoa
Beware: Just because a package says that something contains whole grains doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Make sure it’s 100% whole grain. When a food mostly contains enriched flour or white rice, that means that fiber, vitamins and minerals that make whole grains regulate blood pressure, are stripped out. So read labels!

Heart Healthy Workout

Eating well is only one half of the equation when it comes to protecting yourself from heart disease. Regular exercise helps reduce and sometimes even eliminate many of the risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity/overweight.

The American Heart Association recommends a person do at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous cardiovascular exercise in your target heart rate (THR) on most days of the week to see the reduced risk of heart disease.

Some examples of exercise can include:
  • Running
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Biking
  • Taking a group fitness class
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Exercising on an elliptical or other cardiovascular machine at your gym
  • Sports that include continuous running such as basketball and soccer
How do you find your target heart rate? It’s actually fairly simple. To find your target heart rate, start by taking 220 minus your age. This number will be your maximum heart rate. Your THR is between 55% and 85% or your maximum heart rate. Therefore, take your maximum heart rate and multiply it by .55 and .85 and there you go...your very own target heart rate!

You can measure your heart rate on most pieces of aerobic equipment or by using a heart rate monitor (ranging from $20-$150 at Target, Wal-mart, Dick's Sporting Goods, etc).

Do you know how to spot a heart attack? Here are some warning signs to look out for:
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body such as arms, back neck, stomach or jaw
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Nausea or lightheadedness

The most common symptom of heart attack in both men and women is chest pain or discomfort but women are more likely to experience the other common symptoms.

If you or someone else is experiencing these symptoms, call 9-1-1 right away. It is better to be safe than sorry.