Are You Serious About Getting In Shape?

Are You Serious About Getting In Shape?

It’s easy to say you’re going to diet or start an exercise program, especially if that announcement ends with the word, “tomorrow.” You have to be serious about getting in shape and stick with it to see results. Why do you want to lose weight or get into shape? Is it just something to say to agree with everyone else? Is that really what you want? What motivated you to begin? Your driving force should be something that’s important to you.

Use your motivation for strength when times get tough.

Your life is probably hectic with tugs from all directions. Taking time to workout may seem like it’s unimportant sometimes. That’s when you need to remember your motivation for starting and ask yourself, “If not now, then when?” It’s too easy to miss a workout and before you know it, your workout program is just a memory. It’s too easy to give up entirely on healthy eating if you’ve just consumed a pack of Oreos. Getting back on track is top priority in those times and that means getting motivated.

Your motivation may change or build.

Maybe you started on the path to fitness because of your health or even because your clothing no longer fit. Maybe you just wanted to feel better and more energetic. Whatever your reason, as you workout and eat healthy, you’ll find new motivation along the way. Once you conquer a certain exercise you couldn’t do before you started, looking for the next workout to conquer may become a motivating factor.

Don’t expect overnight miracles.

Too often people give up after a few days or few weeks because they don’t see the results they want. I tell them to give it six weeks. In fact, that’s why we have the six weeks challenge. Devote your energy and focus and follow the plan for just six weeks. Then look at the results. Your original goal can be to get through the six weeks and keep on the program faithfully. Once you’ve finished, the sky’s the limit.

  • Setting big goals is important, but so is breaking them down to smaller goals that achieved quickly. They help keep you motivated.
  • If you’re truly serious about getting into shape, your mind set will make a huge difference. Rather than thinking how hard a workout is or how much you miss biscuits and gravy, think about how great it is to be able to move easier and with more energy.
  • A program of healthy eating doesn’t mean you’ll never get to eat your favorite foods. It does mean that you won’t eat them every day and watch portion control when you do eat them. Once you realize how good healthy foods taste, most people seldom crave unhealthy food.
  • It’s time to transform yourself. Take our six week challenge. Remember, you can stick to anything for six weeks. It’s short enough that it doesn’t seem like forever, but long enough to see true results.

Want to Learn More About Getting in Shape?

If you’re ready to get in shape, contact me today here or call me at (210) 853-8333.

Discover Who You Are

Discover Who You Are

I tell clients in Schertz/Cibolo, Texas, that they can be anyone they choose to be. That doesn’t mean that if they’re five foot two inches tall, they’ll suddenly sprout up to six feet four. It does mean that they can boost their energy and overall fitness to become more active. You can lose fat and build muscle tissue. You can have the body you always want and be the best you. It’s time to discover who you are by taking the steps you need to take to make that dream come true.

Getting fit won’t solve all your problems, but it will give you the determination and energy to face them.

There are so many inspirational stories on how working out has helped people who have faced serious health conditions, many caused by obesity, and helped control them. There are also stories of people who faced other types of loss, loss of a loved one, depression and loss of self-esteem and even loss from drug or alcohol abuse. These people found that the exercise helped boost not only their physical strength, but also helped with their mental strength, overcoming depression, anger and building self-esteem.

You have a lot more to offer than you’d ever imagine.

If you don’t know where to start to change your life, getting fit can help. Focusing on one goal and accomplishing it can help you achieve another goal. Getting fit, losing weight and boosting your energy, plus that confidence you get from accomplishing a goal can help you achieve anything you choose. Eat healthier and exercise regularly can change your life and help you become a new you.

Get the look you want.

Feeling good and looking good should be part of everyone’s life. It doesn’t matter how far you have to go, there’s victory every step of the way. Setting a goal that’s achievable and a time frame to achieve it is important. If your goal is big, break it down to smaller ones that you can do in a few weeks or a month. That helps keep your motivation going. I’ll work to help you set up a program based on your fitness level and as your fitness improves, adjust your workout to match that improvement.

  • Learning to eat healthier is also part of the program. You’ll be amazed at how healthy eating actually makes you feel good, besides helping you lose weight. You’ll never feel hungry or deprived.
  • It’s not always easy to change your life, nothing worthwhile is easy, but it can be fun and extremely rewarding. There’s a lot of comradery with our groups.
  • Make small changes and keep doing them until they become habits. If you’re not ready for a full time fitness program or a full program of healthy eating, start by walking more or eating fruit instead of candy. All small changes can add up to a new you.
  • When you’re ready to discover exactly how great you can be, I’ll be ready to help at Custom Body Boot Camp and prepare a personalized program to help reveal the new you.

Want to Learn More About Discovering Who You Are?

If you’re ready to take your fitness to the next level, contact me today here or call me at (210) 853-8333.

Start Today, Don't Wait Until Monday Or January

Start Today, Don’t Wait Until Monday Or January

Many of my clients in Schertz/Cibolo, TX, say that they actually enjoy working out and wonder why they put off beginning a program for so long. If you’re in the right program for you, that’s true. Fitness programs that keep you focused as you workout and ones you like get the best results. It’s one reason trainers often switch programs frequently. It never becomes boring that way. You may be procrastinating for a number of reasons. The key to success is to start today, don’t wait. Do something active.

What have you got to lose?

Seriously, get started on something, anything, that gets your body moving. If you aren’t sure what to do, start by taking a walk. Make it brisk and walk for a half hour to 45 minutes if you can. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or even a gym to get into shape. There are body weight workouts you can do that are exceptional. Rather than sitting in front of the television or computer to get rid of the stress of the day, working out hard can burn off those stress hormones fast and make you feel good. If you get home from work feeling wiped out or stressed out, try working out. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.

Starting workouts on your own can be intimidating.

Some people don’t start because they worry they won’t get it right. If you’re one of those people, you do have a point. Making sure you have the right form for each exercise is important. It can cause injury if you don’t. That’s when you first start with walking more. Make sure you have good posture when you walk and hold your head high. Walk briskly. Use videos to help you with other exercises and don’t try to do them all. Focus on one exercise until you know you have the proper form, then add another.

You may worry that you won’t stick with the program.

One thing is guaranteed. If you don’t start, you won’t have to worry about sticking with the program, since there will be no program to do. However, you’ll never feel or look better, either. The solution for most of the fears and reasons for not starting a workout is to use the services of a personal trainer. A trainer ensures you do each movement properly. He or she also keeps you accountable for coming, since the workout becomes an appointment. Having a workout buddy can also be helpful if you don’t use a trainer.

  • Postponing starting for the perfect time means that you’ll never start. Lack of time, money or too much stress aren’t excuses. There’s always a few minutes of each day you can use working out at home and exercise reduces stress, so it’s best at that time.
  • If you have a health condition, talk with your health care professional first. In most cases, medical professionals encourage exercise, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • Start slowly and work toward a higher goal. If you do too much too soon, you’ll be too sore to do more then next day. Doing something now doesn’t mean doing everything now.
  • If you’re inspired, don’t let that inspiration go to waste. Get out of your chair do deep knee bends or any other type of exercise you can do at the moment. You’re better off doing something, no matter how simple it may seem, than waiting until some far off day in the future to get started.

How Accountability Increases Results

How Accountability Increases Results

It’s tough to stay motivated, no matter what your goal is. It’s especially tough when you don’t get positive feedback immediately. It’s one reason you see so many motivation tapes and practices for people in sales or those who want to climb the corporate ladder. It’s also one of the reasons people often fail to reach their fitness goals and give up instead. Getting fit doesn’t happen overnight, but accountability increases results in favor of achieving those results.

Accountability means being accountable to someone else.

When you have a goal that affects others, such as something simple as picking up groceries for dinner after work, you tend to be more vigilant because others are depending on you to achieve that goal. How many times have you given a party or had friends over and thoroughly cleaned your home, even doing jobs you’ve put off for years? That’s the pressure of being accountable. It’s one reason having a workout buddy or personal trainer helps. They know when you’ve skipped a workout since you’re supposed to be meeting with them.

You first have to set a goal.

Setting a goal means clearly defining what you intend to do. Then you need a timeline and a set of steps you’ll take to do it. Letting someone else know both your goals and your steps to achieve it increases the potential of achieving that goal. In fact, the American Society of Training and Development found that committing to someone gave you a 65 percent chance of success. However, if you have an appointment with someone to take the steps toward your goal, like a personal trainer or workout buddy, your chances of achieving that goal grows to 95 percent.

Group sessions can keep you going.

While private sessions with a personal trainer are great for motivation, so is working out with a group. You’ll often find one person in that group that you can identify with and become a workout buddy. They know when you’re missing sessions. Working out with a group can also boost your motivation in other ways. Energy and dedication is contagious. Everyone cheers each other on when they all have common goals.

  • Set a shorter term goal and give someone permission to hold you accountable. Whether it’s diet, exercise or both, keep them posted weekly on your progress. If it’s a family member or friend, make sure they are 100 percent to seeing you achieve it.
  • If your goal is big, such as losing 100 pounds, break it down to smaller goals. These are ones that you can achieve in a month or less. Those keep you motivated, too.
  • There’s an old saying, “Winners keep score.” It means that if you want to achieve a goal, you need to track the results of your efforts. It’s another way of being held accountable on paper.
  • Being held accountable means you’ve taken ownership for your goal and accomplishing it. It actually gives you a sense of freedom, since the path to reach that goal has already been defined, so there’s no worrying about what to do next.

Top 3 Fat Loss Mistakes

Top 3 Fat Loss Mistakes

The more you know about getting fit, the easier it becomes. Don’t fall into the trap of doing the wrong things to lose weight that can be quite discouraging. Here are the top 3 fat loss mistakes and some ways to counter them. I’ve included other hints that can help you shed pounds and keep the weight from returning. Arm yourself with this information to keep you on the road to weight loss and fitness.

One mistake is focusing only on cardio workouts.

Cardio exercises are important, but they aren’t the way to shed fat. In fact, doing too much cardio is one of the biggest mistakes most people make. Yes, cardio does burn a lot of calories, so running every day will help shed pounds. The problem isn’t whether it burns calories, but where the the body gets the calories. They come from both lean muscle mass and fat. You need muscle tissue. The more you have, the more calories your body burns 24/7, which means it boosts your metabolism making weight loss easier. It’s better to do strength training exercises that build muscle tissue as they burn calories.

Eating too few calories is a big mistake.

Your body needs fuel, especially if you’re working out in addition to changing eating habits. Super low calorie diets aren’t the way to go. Not only are they not sustainable, they are counterproductive. They put your body into starvation mode, which means it slows your metabolism to ration calories for important functions. You’re better off eating healthy meals, remembering portion control and forgetting about calorie counting.

A huge mistake is to think you can do it all with exercise.

Exercise is an integral part of a weight loss program, but you still need to combine it with healthy eating. A great body starts in the kitchen, not in the gym. If you workout regularly, but top off your workout with a pizza and a beer or two orders of fries, a soft drink and Big Mac, you won’t make any headway. You need both a healthy diet and regular exercise.

  • Portion control is often forgotten and extremely important. A healthy snack of a handful of nuts is good, an entire family size bag of mixed nuts is not.
  • Just because you want to get rid of fat on your body, don’t eliminate it from your diet. You need healthy fat to maintain bodily functions. Your brain is 60% fat! Both healthy fat and protein also fill you up and keep you feeling full longer.
  • Don’t make the mistake of choosing low or no fat alternatives in food. They’re often made more palatable by adding sugar and can make you fatter by stimulating the production of insulin.
  • Strength training, especially when combined in a HIIT—high intensity interval training— program, burns huge amounts of calories. It continues to burn them for up to 24 hours after the exercise ends, which can boost fat burning by as much as 24%.

Enjoy The Taste Of Eating Right

Enjoy The Taste Of Eating Right

Schertz/Cibolo, TX, like many towns across the country, now have restaurants that not only have healthy food options, they focus primarily on healthy eating. People are now finding out you can enjoy the taste of eating right. Healthy food doesn’t have to taste healthy. You know the type of food. It smells like vitamins and tastes like cardboard. What’s funny, is often those types of food are filled with additives, which include vitamins, but aren’t as healthy as the good tasting, often fresh from the garden, whole foods.

Whole foods are more than just a crisp salad.

Even though salads consist of healthy fruits and vegetables, eating healthy is more than just eating salads. You can even create salads that are budget friendly by using leftovers from earlier in the week. Consider marinating with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing and grilling skinless chicken breasts. Save some of the marinade for the salad. Eat some of your bounty that night, freeze some and use some for a salad made of mixed greens, cherry or grape tomatoes, basil, avocado, onion and bocconcini—mozzarella balls. You can even add a side of fresh green beans or broccoli and a quarter cantaloupe. You’ll have the chicken to freeze for other meals.

Salmon goes well with pea pods and wild rice.

It’s summer and I love healthy recipes you grill, so this one is a top favorite around our camp fire. You need 2 5-oz. salmon fillets, one tablespoon melted butter mixed with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a dash of salt and pepper and a tablespoon of fresh basil. Lay each fillet onto a piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle half the mixture over it. Fold the foil. Put it on the grill or your campfire and cook for ten to fifteen minutes. Serve this delicious meal with grilled asparagus or grilled Brussels sprouts and a salad. For dessert, consider a Greek yogurt fruit tart.

Eating a vegetarian menu doesn’t have to be boring either.

Whether you opt for a yummy black bean chili with a side salad or get more creative and make roasted cauliflower and avocado enchiladas, there’s a whole world of healthy recipes for vegetarians and vegans. Ensuring you get quality protein is the key to success. Soybean products like tofu, tempeh and edamame provide protein and are often used in vegan dishes. Lentils, chickpeas and beans are also good sources. Nuts, nut butters, seeds—including chia seeds and hempseed are on the list of protein foods. Ancient grains like amaranth and quinoa also provide protein.

  • While they aren’t nearly as good of a protein source as meat, giant portabellas make a delicious burger when grilled, while providing other health benefits. Combine the portabella burgers with other sources of protein like wild rice.
  • Stuffed peppers can be even healthier and vegan. You can adjust the amount of hamburger by replacing some with mushrooms, spinach or squash or make it completely meatless.
  • When you eat healthy, you broil, boil, bake or grill the food. Deep fat frying is not part of healthy eating.
  • Get adventurous with your food. Try spaghetti squash. It’s easy to make and tastes delicious. You can top it with sauce or toss it with a little butter and garlic.

Time To Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

Time To Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine

It’s time to spring clean your fitness routine here in Schertz/Cibolo, TX. If you’ve been working out inside, maybe it’s time to switch it up and enjoy the dryer weather. You don’t have to give up the gym! Just start enjoying your fitness and add a few things, like adding walks during lunch hours and visits to farmer’s markets for fresh produce. If you’re part of our family at Custom Body Bootcamp you already vary your workout based on trainer’s recommendations, but if you’re not, here are some recommendations and reasons to change it up a bit.

Are you working out harder than you were a year ago?

When many of my clients first come to Custom Body Bootcamp, they couldn’t do many of the exercises that were part of their program. Not for lack of instruction on how to do them, but simply because their bodies weren’t cooperating. Today, those same people are pros at the ones they couldn’t do and push toward achieving more intensity and more repetitions. In other words, the fitter they become, the more they ask their bodies to achieve. That’s the only road toward progress and they know it.

Doing the same thing continuously can lead to plateauing.

Everyone has one or two favorite exercises they enjoy doing. That’s all right, as long as you aren’t depending on just those exercises. The longer you do a workout, the more efficient your muscles become at that exercise. While efficiency is good when you’re working, it’s not so good when you’re working out. It means your body burns fewer calories and burning fewer calories can lead to plateauing. It’s time to change up that old routine for a new one this spring.

Does your fitness routine include healthy eating?

When you think of a fitness routine, you normally think of only what you do at the gym, but there’s more to a routine than just that. Eating healthy should be part of your day, too. You cannot out exercise an unhealthy diet. It’s impossible. If you’re consuming fries, burgers, shakes and cakes, you’d have to spend the day in the gym to burn off all those extra calories. That doesn’t take into consideration the lack of good nutrition and effects on your weight it can have.

  • Add some activity to your daily life. It doesn’t have to be traditional exercise. Just walking to lunch rather than taking a cab or car or spending some time playing with the kids can increase your exercise and burn more calories. Don’t forget to say no to the elevator and yes to the stairs.
  • Consider adding some meditation or breathing exercises to your routine. While working out at the gym can burn off stress, sometimes you need to address it immediately. Those will help.
  • Take up a new active sport. If you’ve never rock climbed, give it a try. Consider learning how to roller blade or just start taking bike hikes. There’s no better way to add to your fitness than doing activities you love.
  • Encourage a friend to join you in eating healthy and working out. You’ll find the buddy system keeps you accountable and makes it easier to stick with a program.

Are You Bikini Ready

Are You Bikini Ready

It’s not too late to get your body bikini ready. In fact, participants of our six weeks challenge prove it! They’ve made important changes that really make a difference in how they look, whether enjoying a day at the beach or a night out on the town. You don’t have to put on a bikini to appreciate what a difference six weeks makes. Not only will you look great, you’ll be ready for all the fun that summer has to offer.

It all starts with eating healthy.

While exercise is important, good health, weight loss and a boost in energy levels all starts with a healthy diet. Don’t let that term diet fool you. When you eat healthy, you probably eat more than you would when you’re not dieting. You simply change the type of food you eat. It starts with cutting out processed foods and sugar or white flour products. Some people start slowly and just cut out food with added sugar. They start reading labels and are often amazed at how many foods have added sugar, foods you might not expect. Kicking the sugar habit is tough. Sugar is addictive and stimulates the same pleasure center in the brain as opioids.

Green up and make your plate a rainbow of color.

Spring is here and there’s so many great foods available straight out of local farmer’s gardens. If you can, use organic fruits and vegetables to avoid exposure to chemical pesticides. There’s a list called the “Dirty Dozen” that shows the fruits and vegetables that were tested across America to find which ones contained the most pesticides. There’s also a list called the “Clean Fifteen,” which shows traditionally grown fruits and vegetables that had negligible amounts of chemicals, so you don’t have to buy organic to get the benefits. The more colorful the mix of fruits and vegetables, the more nutrients you’ll get.

Start your exercise program immediately.

Working out plays a huge role in shedding weight and getting your body toned and gorgeous. If you’re skinny and flabby, it’s not attractive, either. Getting healthy and fit means including all types of exercises in your workout. You need strength training to help build muscle tissue and tone the muscles, flexibility training to prevent injury and endurance to keep you going longer. If you start today, you’ll have start looking like the person you want to be in six weeks. Everyone will notice the difference.

  • The more muscle tissue you have, the easier it is to lose weight. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, so you’ll burn more calories 24/7.
  • Boosting your endurance also helps you burn more weight. The more energy you have, the more active you’ll be even when you’re not working out. An active lifestyle is part of getting fit.
  • Eating healthy means you can eat almost anywhere and stick with the program. Even if you have a slice of birthday cake or a cookie, all is not lost. You simply make sure that you stick with healthy eating the rest of the time.
  • You’ll be amazed at how great healthy food tastes. In fact, after eating healthy for six weeks, you’ll probably be able to appreciate the sweetness of fresh fruits and find it satisfying as a sweet treat.

Low Carb Diet Fat Or Fiction

Low Carb Diet Fat Or Fiction

There are all types of diets in Schertz/Cibolo, TX, but one that’s often touted as being the best is a low carb diet. Is it true it’s the real pathway to losing weight and looking great or is it all a myth that could potentially put on the pounds? There’s been a lot of time to test theories, since low carb diets have been around for ages. One of the more noted ones was popular about 45 years ago. It was the Atkins diet and extremely low carb. It promoted eating foods higher in fat, which produced ketones. Once the diet ended, the weight often returned very quickly.

There are newer versions of the low carbohydrate diet that are healthier than the Atkins diet.

The Atkins diet had people piling their plates with loads of steak and just one small floret of broccoli or two. It was too severe, but the newer diets aren’t. One study focused on just boosting the protein amount in the diet and lowering the carbohydrate percentage. The group first established the effects of the typical diet that had 50 percent carbs, 15 percent protein and 35 percent fat, allowing participants to eat as much as they wanted. Next, the same group raised the protein intake to 30 percent, lowered fat intake to 20 percent and maintained 50 percent carbs. The results after 14 weeks was an average 11 pound weight loss with eight coming from shedding body fat.

Everything in moderation, even dieting.

No matter what type of diet you eat, unless it’s a well balanced healthy diet made of whole foods, if you go overboard and get radical, there are health risks. Low carb diets are no different. If you’re not eating carbs, what are you burning for energy? Is it lean muscle mass? That could seriously affect your effort to shed weight by slowing your metabolism. High protein, high fat and low carb diets can increase cholesterol levels and ridding your body of the ketones from burning fat can cause kidney stones. Focus on healthy changes, not fads.

Healthy changes means eating healthy carbs!

There are healthy forms of protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs. It’s all about ensuring your diet has healthy foods, not just a specific percent of macronutrients. Not all fat is healthy, but you do need some, some make sure it comes from healthy sources like avocados or fatty fish. When you go low carb, give up the processed flour products and stick with the multicolor veggies—leaving potatoes and starchy vegetables for less frequent eating. Definitely cut out sugar, no matter what type of diet you choose, low carb or otherwise. You can include sweet fruits to get that boost of energy.

  • Low carb diets that focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources and healthy fats is the actual definition of healthy eating!
  • A diet higher in protein can help fill you up, so you’ll be less tempted to eat fattening things, like unhealthy snacks between meals.
  • Eating a healthy low carb diet includes eating healthy fat, which actually lowers bad cholesterol levels, while raising the good cholesterol.
  • Less drastic, modified low carb diets make it easier to stick with the program. It eliminates the calorie or carb counting and focuses more on healthy eating, which you can maintain throughout your life.

Get Healthy - Become More Productive

Get Healthy – Become More Productive

You can’t get much done when you feel like garbage. That’s why people who want to be more productive look for ways to improve their health. When you get healthy, you improve your energy level and move faster with fewer breaks. Of course, that’s the recipe for productivity. There are also many other reasons getting healthy helps you become more productive. Getting healthy may involve having a medical issue resolved. That certainly can make you feel more energetic and productive. However, it can also mean making lifestyle changes that boost your health and productivity.

You’ll have fewer injuries when you’re at your fittest.

Have you ever heard of functional fitness? Functional fitness ensures you won’t get put out of commission from lifting a small object or your child. If you’ve ever felt that stabbing pain from doing something simple and blamed it on moving wrong, you know the consequences of not being functionally fit. Functional fitness improves balance and coordination of muscle groups, plus makes muscles stronger. It improves their range of motion, while preventing muscle and joint injuries.

Working out regularly boosts functional fitness, while helping you lose or maintain weight.

Getting your body ready for action, no matter how simple, and preventing injury is just part of the aid that getting functionally fit provides. It helps you shed weight and boosts your energy level. Whether you’re doing specific exercises for functional fitness or just a well balanced workout program, you’ll be doing your body a favor by building flexibility, strength and endurance. It builds more energy and that translates to more productivity.

What you eat makes a difference, too.

All those sugary treats may actually be robbing you of energy. Sure, your energy level goes up quickly, but it also drops just as dramatically when that sugar boost runs out. If you’ve barely made it through the day, eating handfuls of sugar frequently to supplement your energy, it’s time to change. Eating healthy helps prevent serious conditions, such as high blood pressure and cancer, while boosting your immune system to prevent less serious conditions that can keep you out of commission for a few days or weeks. Focus on eating healthy and you’ll see a boost in your energy and get things done more quickly.

  • Eating healthy and regular exercise not only boosts your energy level for physical jobs, it increases your mental sharpness. Studies show exercise boosts the development of new neural pathways.
  • When you eat healthy, you’re providing your body with all the nutrients necessary to build muscle tissue and maintain healthy and energy.
  • Working out and developing functional fitness improves balance and reduces the risk of falls. That keeps you working and being productive.
  • Once you do what it takes to get healthy, you’ll find it gives you the confidence to accomplish other goals, which can include those that about work.

How Working Out Can Make You Happy

How Working Out Can Make You Happy

If you’ve never worked out hard and felt the exhausted but pleasant feeling of accomplishment you get, you probably don’t realize that working out can make you happy. I see the difference in people from how stressed they were when they began the workout at the Schertz/Cibolo boot camp and that smile on their face when they finished. You may think that it’s just that they’re glad it’s over, but there’s more to it than that! It is a feeling of accomplishment, there’s no doubt, but there are scientific explanations for that happy feeling.

Exercise burns off the hormones of stress.

The body was designed to face stressors like wild animals and enemy tribes. Unfortunately, it didn’t get the message that we’ve advanced beyond that. Even though there are some real stressors in the world that require the fight or flight response, most of them are angry bosses, crying children and traffic jams, where the reaction of running or fighting isn’t appropriate. The body still manufactures stress hormones that prepare it to run or fight and those make significant changes that leave you feeling uncomfortable, agitated and if left unchecked, can affect your overall health, not just your mood. Exercise burns off those hormones by mimicking the activities of running or fighting and puts you back to normal.

Your body produces hormones that make you feel good.

When you act on the fight or flight response, your brain releases both a protein called BDNF and hormones, such as endorphins. Endorphins are feel good hormones that act similar to morphine. They activate the same brain receptors and help reduce pain and any discomfort in the body. In fact, they’re chemically similar to morphine. The BDNF helps protect the brain from stress. While you need to have a vigorous workout to experience the rush, even light exercise, like walking helps reduce stress.

Your brain is doing more than producing endorphins.

When you workout, the brain works harder and increases serotonin and nor epinephrine. Those are neurotransmitters that help send the message of happiness throughout the body. While the endorphins play a role, the serotonin and nor epinephrine is the delivery system and you leave the gym feeling great again with a better outlook on life. Exercise is now part of programs for anxiety and depression.

  • You can get too much of a good thing. If you’re working out hard more than seven or eight hours a week, you’ll feel worse, not better. You’ll know if you’re working out too much because you feel worse.
  • Regular exercise can help boost your confidence. Studies show that even before you see results you feel better about yourself for exercising. Results only boost that good feeling.
  • Exercise can provide a socially acceptable coping mechanism. Don’t punch anyone in the face hit a punching bag or workout until you’re too tired to care! Exercise also gets your mind off your troubles and can end that loop going in your head.
  • Exercise can be quite social. Socializing, even if it’s just a smile, can lighten your mood. It’s far better than sitting and stewing alone.

Not All Workouts Are Created Equal

Not All Workouts Are Created Equal

Don’t get me wrong, when I say that not all workouts are created equal, that doesn’t mean you should stop the exercises you’re doing in search of the best ones. Quite the contrary. ANY EXERCISE is preferable to no exercise at all. However, some will get you in shape faster or help you lose weight quicker. In fact, it’s one reason people use personal trainers. Getting the best results for your time in the gym is always a goal. You need to identify what you’re hoping to achieve to find the best exercise for your needs. Each type is necessary, but focusing on a specific type can give you the best results.

Strength training is at the top.

If your goal is weight loss or building muscles, strength training should be at the top. While cardio workouts burn calories, so does strength training. Strength training also helps prevent muscle loss that can lead to bone loss. Aerobic training, cardio, doesn’t discriminate where those calories come from. They may come from burning body fat or burning lean muscle tissue. When you’re burning calories for strength training, you’re also building muscle tissue and muscle tissue burns more calories 24/7 than fat tissue does.

You need cardio, flexibility and balance training.

Don’t let the promotion of strength training mean you have to give up other types of exercise and head for the weights. You need all types of workouts to be fit. That’s why your goal is important. If burning calories is tops, go for it, add strength training to your workout schedule, but don’t do it more than twice a week if you’re going hard. Your muscles need time to recuperate and heal. Balance and flexibility training can help prevent injury from falls or sprains and strains. Cardio is necessary for heart health and endurance.

HIIT—high intensity interval training—is a way to get all the benefits.

HIIT is a method of doing different types of exercise, not an exercise itself. It’s a type of interval training. When you workout with a HIIT format, you give it all you have for a short time, followed by a moderate pace to recover. Then you repeat this process until your workout is over, between 10 and 30 minutes. You notice I didn’t mention a specific type of workout. That’s because you can use HIIT with any type of exercise. You can run hard and then jog, then back to running hard. Pushing hard in interval training gets many of the same results, but you’re working a lot of body areas.

  • HIIT workouts provide cardio and strength training. They can also include balance and flexibility, so you get a full workout.
  • HIIT workouts keep burning fat after you’ve finished. It uses fat to get your body back to normalcy after the workout.
  • There are various ideas of the ratio of HIIT between the all out and the resting time. The best ratio should be one that’s tough for you, but not so tough you have to quit. A heartrate monitor helps.
  • Any interval training can be turned into a HIIT interval training. Just adjust the amount of energy you put into the exercise. Go at maximum heart rate for a while and then do exercises at moderate rates.

Transform Your Body Starting Today

Transform Your Body Starting Today

Our gym in Schertz/Cibolo, TX is the perfect place to start to transform your body into the one that is healthy and more like it was meant to be. Everyone has the ability to be a better version of themselves. Fitness is all about turning small changes into habits that eventually, change your life. When you start working out with us, you might not believe you’re capable of the goals you set, but it won’t take long before you see you can transform yourself with by changing yourself one habit at a time.

If you don’t believe you can get fit, give yourself a time limit to see how much you can accomplish.

There’s a reason we offer a fourteen day kickstart program. It doesn’t require a long commitment, yet after the program is done, people feel so great and start to see the changes that they want to continue further. There’s no “LIFETIME” contract or other long term commitment that can look overwhelming and frankly, would scare me, too. Committing to a program for 14 days is the start of a total transformation.

You have to eat healthy.

Your body requires the right fuel to operate at its best. In fact, some foods, such as those containing high fructose corn syrup, actually sabotage you by affecting the hunger hormones in your body. When you eat food with this type of sugar, it reduces the leptin hormones, the hormones that make you feel full, and boosts the ghrelin hormones that leave you feeling starved. Eating highly processed foods also reduces the nutrients and often add not only extra calories, but a laundry list of chemicals into your body. Eating whole foods, with little or no processing, gives you high nutrition and lower calories. After just a few weeks, you’ll notice you no longer crave sugary foods and really enjoy a healthier way of eating.

You have to move your body for it to be its fittest.

Our bodies are amazing. Instead of wearing out, they just get stronger the more we work them. Fitness starts when you keep your body moving on a consistent schedule. Working out is one change you truly have to commit to in order to see results. When you change your eating habits, if you only have healthy food available, you’ll eat that healthy food. However, even if you put on workout clothes, it doesn’t mean you’ll get moving. It’s hard work and after the first session, people often question why they’re doing it. While seeing great results takes longer than two weeks, you’ll feel the results in your increased energy level after just two weeks.

  • Rather than sit on the edge and always wonder whether you could make a change, just do it. Give two weeks to being healthier and see what a difference it makes.
  • If you normally have a diet that’s high in sugar, you’ll feel some signs of withdrawal. Sugar is highly addictive, but after a few weeks, you’ll find your cravings diminish.
  • What you eat is important, but so is what you drink. Instead of diet or regular soft drinks, switch to water. Herbal tea, green tea and even some coffee can also be added to the list of safe drinks.
  • Eating healthy means you’ll never have to count calories or diet again.

Do You Need Nutritional Guidance

Do You Need Nutritional Guidance

There’s a lot of reasons people might need some nutritional guidance. First, everyone is blasted by advertisement that says certain foods are super healthy, so eat them. That’s just not true of some foods. If you’ve listened to the ads for high fructose corn syrup, they say it’s natural, because it comes from corn. According to the FDA, it is. It doesn’t contain artificial flavors, colors or synthetic substances. However, it’s far from natural. The starch is extracted from corn, treated with an enzyme that releases the glucose and then another one that changes half of that into fructose. The substance left, high-fructose corn syrup, never would or could appear in nature without scientific intervention. It can cause changes in hormones that can make you gain weight.

What do you believe?

That’s a tough question. The answer, however, can be simple. If you want to eat healthy, eat foods that are closer to their natural state and undergo little if any processing and avoid sugary food. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, a healthy lean source of protein and healthy fat, such as an avocado, olive oil or nuts, can keep you on a road to healthy eating.

Planning well balanced meals may be a simple as creating a rainbow on your plate.

Fruits and vegetables of different colors have different nutrients. They even have different phytonutrients. Yellow and orange vegetables, for instance, contain beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin C. Beta-carotene comes from the yellow or orange coloring. It converts to vitamin A. Blue and purple vegetables contain lutein, anthocyanin, zeaxanthin, resveratrol, vitamin C, fiber, flavonoids, ellagic acid, and quercetin. The anthocyanin, a powerful antioxidant, gives the fruit or vegetable the purple color. Each color provides different health benefits.

You might think it’s too expensive to eat healthy, but it’s not.

Not all your protein has to come from grass fed organic beef or other more expensive sources. Beans are a great source of protein and a bag of beans can make a soup that feeds a family. Add a fresh salad and a side of vegetables, like garlic roasted broccoli and you have a healthy meal. Don’t let some of those high cost “specialty” items fool you. Remember, if it says gluten free and has a high price tag, you might be paying for the advertisement. Foods like rice and potatoes are naturally gluten free.

  • Eating healthy doesn’t have to take a lot of time, but it does take planning. If you plan ahead, you can make extra meals when you cook and freeze it. It’s easy when you make soup.
  • When you buy fruits and vegetables that are in season, you can also save money.
  • The biggest benefit of getting nutritional guidance is learning how to create healthy meals. It’s not a diet, because they don’t work.
  • Once you start eating healthy, you won’t want to go back to old eating habits. You’ll find that healthy food actually tastes better.

Improve Your Mental Health With Fitness

Improve Your Mental Health With Fitness

There’s a lot of study about the effects of exercise on mental health and brain related illnesses. Most studies show that you can protect your memory and improve your mental health with fitness. Working out has recently been added to many protocols for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients and showed improvement or a slower progression of the disease. Therapists are finding that exercise and healthy eating play a dramatic role in improving the recovery from depression and anxiety.

You may have experienced it yourself.

If you’ve come into the gym, dragged out and in a such a bad mood, even puppies aren’t cute, but left feeling chipper and great again, you’ve experienced the effect that exercise has on your mindset. Exercise can burn off those hormones of stress that can affect your mood and replaces them with ones that make you feel good. Not only do the workouts boost endorphins, which you’ve probably heard about being responsible for the “runner’s high,” It also produces dopamine while you’re working out and as that lowers after the workout, serotonin. Serotonin, is responsible for many things, like the sleep wake cycle, but it also gives you a sense of satisfaction.

Exercise may be critical for those with depression.

Not only does exercise help reduce the risk of depression, it also keeps you more alert as you age. Studies have shown that it’s effective in treating many conditions and even helps with certain issues in schizophrenia. It affects areas of the brain and increases the blood supply, boosting the delivery of oxygen and nutrition. It may create new neurons in the hippo campus, an area of the brain that helps memory, learning and regulates emotion. It also improves the neuron signaling, connections and growth by increasing neurohormones and neurotrophic factors.

Exercise can boost your self-image.

Studies show that just starting a program of exercise can improve people’s self-image. Just imagine how much good it does when the results appear. If you’re feeling frumpy, fat, unfit or other type of emotion that indicates you’re not perfect physically (Who doesn’t from time to time?), working out can help and the results will add to your self-esteem. You’ll even walk taller because of improved posture and that can make you feel good too.

  • The boost in serotonin from exercise helps you sleep better. The better you sleep, the better your mood normally is.
  • While you’re working out, you’ll normally be focusing on the exercise, rather than the problems of the day. That alone can help give you mind a break from negative thinking and make you feel good.
  • You’ll get a boost of energy after you exercise for a while. That extra energy can make you feel good emotionally, too.
  • Many people hold their problems in, causing skeletal tension. Exercise helps you release that tightness and gives you a more relaxed feeling.

How Important Is A FitBit

How Important Is A FitBit

FitBit is popular in Schertz/Cibolo, TX, just like it is everywhere else. I often get questions from people about how important it is to add this tracker to their weapons for good health. The answer is, it depends. That’s right, some people find it extremely helpful, while others like more traditional techniques or different technology. It’s simple, small and records a number of different types of data throughout the day. It may record the amount of calories you burned, the number of steps you take and even spot how hard you’re working… are those steps a slow stroll or a hard hitting run? It’s a good tool to keep you accountable.

Get other health information with FitBit.

Wear it at night to see the quality of sleep you have, too. It also records your heart rate, the number of steps and stairs climbed and the distance you traveled. Newer models identify they type of exercise, interval mode and when to stop or start. If you’re doing weight lifting, it records that too. It can give you a cardio fitness score based on all the data it collected, your profile and your resting heart rate. You also get virtual badges for achieving goals to add to your motivation.

There are other tech products to also help you get fitter.

Wearing fitness gadgets is now fashionable and there are a host of competitors on the market. Jawbone’s Up, another fitness wristband, lets you know if you’re sitting too long and need some activity. BodyMediaFit has a host of features to tell you how fit you are from your heart rate to the heat that comes off your body. Not getting the right type of sleep? Try Zeo to monitor it.

Go old fashioned.

Maybe you’re not a techy kind of person. That’s okay, you can use simple device to help you get fit faster. If you set at a desk all day long, bring a timer or use one on your phone to remind you to get up and walk every 50 to 55 minutes. Track your workout with a simple chart created on a small pocket pad. Sometimes, the act of logging the information yourself is just as motivating.

  • Working out with a friend can be just as motivating, but products like FitBit are helpful when you’re on your own.
  • Counting out a thousand steps a day is too cumbersome to do without some type of technology. That’s one reason these types of fitness aids are so popular.
  • While a formal program for working out is important, you also need to stay active when you’re not at the gym. These apps and tools can help you stay more active and if you’re a mom, a great way to prove to a spouse just how much you do!
  • FitBit isn’t for all types of exercise. For instance, if you’re a swimmer, it won’t help you there.

Dieting Vs Lifestyle

Dieting Vs Lifestyle

If you think that you’ll get into shape by simply dieting, you may be surprised to find dieting doesn’t work. What works is changing your lifestyle. Anyone that comes to our boot camp in Schertz/Cibolo, TX knows that we focus on making changes to your diet that last a lifetime, not just eating a special menu until you’ve lost the weight you want to lose. There are several reasons that making lifestyle changes is so much more important than dieting.

Diets may seem like they work, but they don’t.

You may feel proud of yourself if you’ve shed those ten or twenty pounds by sticking with a strict diet, and you should. However, what happens once you’ve achieved your goals? Normally, you go back to your regular eating habits and it doesn’t take long for all the pounds to return, sometimes bringing friends. The cycle starts over and you’re back to counting calories. Diets work, but the success is temporary.

Healthy eating is different.

While it takes some time to learn how to make all the right choices, the basics are easy. Avoid highly processed foods and eat more whole foods. Whole foods, like fresh fruit and vegetables are more than just lower in calories, they’re filled with nutrients that keep you running at peak performance. Learning to make substitutions, like eating brown rice instead of white rice for fewer calories and more nutrition or substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream on baked potatoes is the next step. Finally, learning to cook differently, steaming, broiling, grilling and baking rather than frying and making substitutions to recipes to reduce calories and boost nutrition, such as applesauce for oil or sugar in baked goods, is the last link on healthier eating.

Adding regular exercise to the mix is a must.

Sure, a healthy diet can help you shed those pounds and make you healthier, but when you add in regular exercise, it speeds the process and does even more. Exercise helps you stay healthier. It can burn off the hormones of stress, boost muscle development and improve circulation. As you build muscle tissue, it becomes easier to lose those unwanted pounds. It takes more calories to maintain muscle tissue than it does for fat tissue.

  • Drinking plenty of water not only keeps you hydrated, it keeps you healthy. Part of a healthy lifestyle includes drinking approximately 8 glasses a day.
  • A healthy lifestyle also means getting adequate sleep. Sleep is necessary for good health. It’s heart healthy and can also help curb urges for sugary treats for energy.
  • The healthier your lifestyle, the more energy you’ll have. That can lead to a richer, fuller life and an even healthier way of life.
  • Socialization and smiling are also important for health. Smile more and enjoy the company of others to be your fittest and happiest. A good belly laugh burns calories.

Benefits Of Strength Training In Older Women

Benefits Of Strength Training In Older Women

I like to focus on the benefits of strength training for older women, not because they’re available just for that group, but because older women tend to avoid strength training. Some of my senior female clients avoid it because they grew up believing either that it was unladylike, built big muscles or was dangerous for people beyond a certain age. Sometimes, they believe all three myths. Older women get a dramatic benefit from building muscle tissue with strength training and it can lead to a reduction in medication and better health.

You’ll build muscle mass.

No, you won’t become the Incredible Hulk or start a race of muscular super seniors, but you will keep the muscle mass you need for a healthy life and everyday tasks or fun. As you age, you lose muscle mass. The American Council on Exercise estimated that between the age of 30 and 80 almost 40 percent of muscle mass is lost if you’re sedentary. That means you get weaker and unable to function like you did a few years prior. Eventually, it could mean you can’t live on your own. That would be a shame, since in many cases, it’s preventable.

More muscle mass means denser bones.

It may not seem like lifting weights or jumping could build your bones, but it does. It causes the muscles to pull against the bones and that starts the process of bone building. There’s a vast wealth of evidence that just doing strength training two to three times a week can help retain the calcium in the bones and improve bone formation.

You’ll help prevent chronic disease and improve conditions you already have.

If you presently have diabetes, back pain, osteoporosis, arthritis or even chronic depression, strength training can help relieve those symptoms and even help reverse them. Insulin resistance, the precursor to diabetes, is helped with resistance training and so are people with type 2 diabetes. Strength training increases the protein responsible for regulating how the body absorbs blood sugar.

  • Boost your mental attitude with strength training. Getting older doesn’t have to mean getting angrier or depressed. When you workout, you burn off the hormones of stress that can cause you to get crankier. It also boosts the hormones that make you feel good and lift depression.
  • Strength training burns calories and boosts your metabolism. A slow metabolism can cause weight gain and that can lead to a number of conditions. You’ll look fabulous, too.
  • Deep sleep is harder to achieve when you age. Strength training helps you sleep better. A good night’s sleep is important for a healthy body, particularly for heart health.
  • Strength training also improves balance and can be instrumental in reducing falls and accidents that may lead to ending independence.

Why Running Is Good For Your Heart

Why Running Is Good For Your Heart

If you’ve read the news that some studies show that running too much actually takes toll on your heart, take note. Actually, running is good for your heart, just like any type of endurance exercise. However, just like any type of exercise, going from couch potato to marathon runner in one day is not heart healthy. People who have lived a sedentary life aren’t prepared for a tough workout that would even make a veteran runner exhausted. Doing too much, too soon without working up gradually to a high level of exercise is bad for all muscles.

Running helps you lower your blood pressure and even cholesterol levels.

It doesn’t take much to help get those numbers better, just 30 minutes four to five times a week provides enough exercise to help normalize high blood pressure and lower the bad cholesterol, the LDL, while improving the good cholesterol, the HDL. High blood pressure and high LDL cholesterol are both precursors for heart disease. Getting the numbers back to normal will make your heart thank you by beating longer.

You’ll boost the strength of your heart muscle when you run.

Your heart is like any muscle. It needs exercise to work its best. When you run, you make your heart pump harder. Just like any muscle that has to work harder, it builds strength. Getting your heart muscle into shape means you strengthen the heart walls and improve its efficiency. You’ll be able to endure longer without overtaxing your heart as it builds strength.

Running will help you lose those extra pounds.

Obesity is now the leading cause of preventable deaths. It also sets you up for heart disease. When you run, you work many different muscles besides your heart. You start burning extra calories and building muscle tissue that replaces the fat tissue you lost. The more muscle tissue you build, the more calories you burn, since muscle tissue requires more calories to maintain than fat tissue does. Before you know it, you’ll be far trimmer and heart healthy.

  • Running not only makes the heart stronger, it improves the intake of oxygen and lowers the resting pulse rate. That allows the heart to pump more blood each beat and makes its job easier, making it work less.
  • Running helps burn off the hormones of stress that can affect not only your heart, but your whole body. It replaces those hormones with ones that make you feel good.
  • Running improves circulation, while helping to prevent clots that can interrupt blood flow. Improved circulation also sends important nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body, including the heart.
  • If you’re starting a new workout program, always check with your health care provider to ensure it’s safe for you before you start.

Can You Eat Healthy Without Depriving Yourself

Can You Eat Healthy Without Depriving Yourself

In Schertz/Cibolo, TX, we’re so lucky to be able to find all types of fresh fruits and veggies available from local vendors. Of course, I’m a huge fan of locally grown fresh produce, especially when it’s organic and right out of the garden. There’s nothing worse than a cardboard tasting piece of fruit or vegetable that was picked early, before it became flavorful and shipped in a refrigerated car to ripen later. I guess what I’m saying is that when you focus on actual taste, it makes a huge difference. Truly tasting the food you eat is one way to get you on the road to eat healthy without depriving yourself.

You don’t have to give up everything you love.

That’s right. When you’re eating healthy, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be struck dead by lightening if you have a small piece of cake or a cookie occasionally. Just don’t eat the whole cake, sliver by sliver, of course. (We’ve all been there at one time or another.) If you do, don’t throw up your hands and quit your healthy eating plan. It’s not the end of the world. Just make sure the next meal is healthy. It’s not the individual food that’s going to pack on pounds or make you sick, it’s the combination of your entire diet.

Find ways to make delicious foods and treats that are also healthy and have them available.

You can make some yummy treats that are still quite healthy. For instance, it just takes two, possibly three ingredients, to make a yummy fruit creamsicle. Grind up fresh berries or fruit like blueberries, sweet black cherries or peaches. Add an equal amount of Greek yogurt and if necessary, some honey or agave to sweeten to taste. Put in a popsicle mold and freeze. They’re ready for you when you need a healthy sweet treat. There are so many other healthy foods that are absolutely delicious and won’t leave you feeling deprived!

Find ways to substitute food or ingredients.

You don’t have to eat everything raw that comes fresh from the garden, just start with a few changes to your diet to eat healthier. For instance, instead of sour cream on that baked potato, add a dollop of Greek yogurt. It looks and tastes the same, plus you can buy a smaller container of yogurt that costs far less than the sour cream, so you save money, too. For baking, applesauce can substitute or some of the oil or sugar in it. It lowers calories and boosts nutrition.

  • Eat slowly and savor every bite. You’ll get the full flavor of each bite, plus it slows you down, so your brain has a chance to signal your body that you’re full.
  • Double the salad and vegetables. Cut the dessert portion in half. You still get some, so you won’t feel left out and with the double serving of salad and veggies, it may be all you can eat.
  • When eating out, eat slowly and eat only half the dish and dessert. Get a take home box and finish it tomorrow at lunch. It’s a free lunch that also helps you lose weight!
  • Pay attention to whether you’re hungry or eating for an emotional reason. If you’re bored, lonely or sad, often you eat to console yourself. Instead, try doing jumping jacks, running in place, deep knee bends or other exercise before you walk to the fridge. The exercise can help lift your spirits and postpone that binging.