Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

April 2021 // Archive

Date based archive
28 Apr


There are 24 hours, 1440 minutes, and 86400 seconds in one day. That is the same for every single human being. Feelings of being too busy, pressed for time, and in a rush, are felt my so many of us, more than we would like them to. Two people with the exact same work schedule might handle their time very differently. As a trainer, the excuse of time is far too overused. Here are 10 reasons why time can be either on your team or against you.

1. Your wake up and bed time. The morning doesn’t have to be so rushed if you woke up a little earlier. Feelings of exhaustion can fade when you get to bed at a decent time. Hitting snooze only makes the adrenaline rush and stress of getting ready quickly pile up.

2. Lack of organization leads to chaos. Can’t find you shirt, can’t find your keys, can’t find your phone…. all that search time is time waisted.

3. Budgeting your time. Prioritize what must be done followed by what can be further down on the list. Schedule wiggle room for traffic and red lights. Plan for what will take more time than others.

4. Trying to multi task can lead to chaos. The brain just isn’t ready for that. Plus, you feel overwhelmed and distracted by so many different agendas.

5. You want everything to happen fast. Well guess what, the line at Starbucks doesn’t allow cuts so you just have to wait like everyone else. Fast means rushed and rushed means stress and frustration.

6. Procrastination. Cramming too much into too little time is extremely stressful. Then time is the opponent you are trying to beat.

7. You don’t value your time. Being productive when no one else is watching is important too. Get ahead. Don’t let other people dictate you being late or you not meeting your priorities. Your time is valuable.

8. You have a now or never attitude. Sometimes the printer just doesn’t work. Sometimes the internet is slow. Don’t get angry, move on to the next task.

9. You opt for convenient. Well fast food will quickly lead to more trips to the doctor. Take time to cook, meal prep, and nourish your body.

10. Next time. Not today. But tomorrow keeps passing by. Time doesn’t stand still. Pretty soon it’s over and you don’t get it back. Don’t wait. Action defines time.

Can you relate?? This year make every second, minute, and hour of your day COUNT!!!!

21 Apr


Our bodies speak to us. Signals of hunger, pain, emotion, etc. tell us an action is required. The act of eating is mandatory, but certainly not a science we all have down pact. Intuitive eating is an anti-diet line of thinking that involves listening to your body’s hunger cues and responding accordingly. I’m not sure how I feel about this approach, but I figured some solid research might help us understand this concept better.

Intuitive eating was an approach I discovered while reading the weight loss memoir by Kelsey Miller (2016), Big Girl: How I Gave Up Dieting & Got A Life. Kelsey is a writer for Refinery29 in New York and she created a project for herself at work that got world-wide attention. She decided to write her articles on her own journey of intuitive eating coming from a background of a lifetime dieter seeking a way to find a suitable relationship with food. She simply ate what she wanted, when she wanted, because she knew that if she wanted more she could have it. There was no restriction or off-limit foods. Having that in mind let her have a couple bites of French Fries instead of attacking them on her plate then asking her friend to polish off their serving. This approach takes some serious self-control.

This led me to that classic Google search. And I came across Intuitiveeating.org. There is an entire community of counselors and books available. Here are their 10 Principles: (http://www.intuitiveeating.org/10-principles-of-intuitive-eating/).
1. Reject the Diet Mentality Throw out the diet books and magazine articles that offer you false hope of losing weight quickly, easily, and permanently.
2. Honor Your Hunger Keep your body biologically fed with adequate energy and carbohydrates. Otherwise you can trigger a primal drive to overeat.
3. Make Peace with Food Call a truce, stop the food fight! Give yourself unconditional permission to eat.
4. Challenge the Food Police .Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake.
5. Respect Your Fullness Listen for the body signals that tell you that you are no longer hungry.
6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor The Japanese have the wisdom to promote pleasure as one of their goals of healthy living In our fury to be thin and healthy, we often overlook one of the most basic gifts of existence–the pleasure and satisfaction that can be found in the eating experience.
7. Honor Your Feelings Without Using Food Find ways to comfort , nurture, distract, and resolve your issues without using food.
8. Respect Your Body Accept your genetic blueprint.
9. Exercise–Feel the Difference Forget militant exercise. Just get active and feel the difference.
10 Honor Your Health–Gentle Nutrition Make food choices that honor your health and tastebuds while making you feel well. Remember that you don’t have to eat a perfect diet to be healthy.

This surely sounds like the diet to end all diets, but gosh there’s not a lot of structure. I think that if we all could just tune into our hunger and put down the fork when we should, well there would be a whole lot less obesity in this world. If only it were this simple. But I think the principle of this approach is great…. just don’t know many who can successfully do it. For example, here’s a clip from another article I read, “Some days, my body needed french fries. Other days, a big salad. Sometimes I’d have two breakfasts because I was just that hungry. Other days, a light dinner was more than enough. I learned that a small piece of dark chocolate could actually satisfy a craving and that I didn’t actually need three glasses of wine with dinner to enjoy it. Butter, burgers, donuts — nothing was off limits as long as I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full (but not stuffed). It took a few months, but it’s funny how once you realize you can actually have any food at any time, a lot of food’s irresistible draw vanishes” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennipher-walters/intuitive-eating_b_3976172.html).

I personally may not relate to this approach, but I’m in full support of those clients who can do this. In fact, maybe I envy them haha. Every BODY is different so we all have to find what works for us best. If logging food and counting calories sends you into a resistance mode to not follow orders, then by all means find another way. If 30 day tactics work for you, then do it. Lifestyle change my friends. That’s what I believe. And one better choice at a time we are getting to that level of success we are aiming for.

14 Apr


Food provides us the fuel to exercise. We need energy to be able to perform at our best. Nutrition plays a critical role in our fitness journey. Clients often ask when is the best time to eat….before or after the workout?? There are several factors to consider when deciding which approach is best for you, because of course there is no straight answer to this question. Feeling totally full before a jog is never a good idea. On the other hand, feeling ravenous before a jog might make you more irritable then motivated to sweat.

Carbohydrates are probably the most controversial nutritional fitness topic, but they are the main source of energy for our bodies. We need them in order to sustain a quality workout, but that doesn’t mean we should have a plate of spaghetti or baked potatoes at free will. In summary, “You want every gram of carbohydrate you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source or to restore glycogen levels—you don’t want it to be stored as fat. Don’t eat more carbs than you need and don’t worry about spreading them evenly throughout the day. You can eat the majority of your carbs around your workout” (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/a-beginners-guide-to-workout-nutrtion.html).

Ideally, we are eating our snacks or meals every 2-3 hours, so if we were to workout 2 hours after having a snack, we wouldn’t need to eat again before the workout. On the other hand, if you have not eaten for several hours, then a snack before the workout is in order. For example, if the last time you ate was dinner and you are a morning workout person, a light snack would help energy levels to be able to sustain your workout. This snack should be 100-200 calories, and should have a small amount of carbohydrates and protein. For me, a rice cake with almond butter does the trick. When lifting weights, the body usually requires more energy so certainly have a snack at least 2 hours prior is necessary. A protein shake or 1/2 Quest bar are my go-to lifting snacks. Fast absorbing protein, particularly Whey sources, are best because they contain higher levels of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).

After a workout, there is a 60 minute time window that our muscles are vulnerable and ready to absorb nutritional components, which means, “They absorb carbohydrates readily to replace lost glycogen, energy stored in your muscles, as well as amino acids found in protein to help repair tissue you break down while working out” (http://www.livestrong.com/article/399834-is-it-better-to-eat-before-or-after-a-workout-to-lose-weight/). When our muscles repair, they grow. More muscle means a higher metabolism.

Set yourself up for optimal results by meal planning and having snacks available to help you strategize your approach. Don’t go all day at work without eating for several hours then head to the gym with no fuel. My approach is to eat half my snack before and half after. So I might drink half my protein shake before or during, then the other half after. Or I might eat half my Quest bar before then the other half after. That way, my body has fuel before and is also receiving the BCAAs and protein after for muscle repair.

07 Apr


This BLOG is for all my wine-os who I love dearly even though you put up a good fight with this drink. I understand that nightly glass takes the edge off, it’s that nice addition to a meal, and wine is your choice of beverage socially. You all tell me what wine might means to you haha. And it seems like each week a new study comes out saying whether wine is in fact good or bad for you. I’m going to play neutral here and discuss the pros and cons of wine consumption.

Let’s look at red and white wine and I know there are a million subcategories but let’s just place them in these two categories to develop an understanding.
Beginning with red…. On the plus side, red wine does contain antioxidants (resveratrol and flavonoids) which are heart healthy and can help prevent “blood vessel damage as well as reducing LDL cholesterol” (http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Pros-Cons-Drinking-Red-Wine-White-Wine-Champagne-14656661). Red wine may prevent cancer and, “According to a study in the British Medical Journal, individuals who have one alcoholic drink a day are up to 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who drink no alcohol at all” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#04). Red wine might make you ageless: “According to a study published in the journal Public Library of Science Medicine, women in their fifties who indulge in one drink a day or less on a regular basis may age better and be healthier for longer. And research from the University of Texas, Austin, found that drinkers outlived their sober peers — more than half of moderate imbibers were still alive within 20 years of the start of the study, compared with only 30 percent of nondrinkers” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#08).

Before I start with white wine, I must interject with this public service announcement haha that I have preached before but I’m still being neutral (maybe): “Alcohol itself doesn’t necessarily add inches to your waistline, but it does change the way your metabolism works, which, combined with the extra calories you’re consuming in every cocktail, could lead to a bigger waistline. When you drink, your body stops metabolizing everything else in order to first excrete the booze, so carbs, fat, and protein aren’t processed as efficiently” (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#05).

White wine didn’t seem as popular a choice, so not as much information was prevalent. Many foods pair well with its sweet flavor. It contains much more sugar. Most information pertained to if this choice should be served room temperature or chilled, not whether it helped your heart or not etc. Some of the studies merely stated white wine has many of the same antioxidants as red wine and that white wine is comparable to champagne.
Well I was surprised to find that most of the studies done on red wine that I found were performed on mice. So the small doses given to mice were comparable to about 2 glasses of wine for a human, but you must agree this is an odd comparison (mice to human). For example, here is one study: “A chemical compound found in red wine and the skins of grapes, prevented the growth of cancerous tumors in mice with a high risk of developing cancer, according to scientists from the University of Leicester. A daily dose of resveratrol equivalent to what humans would get from drinking two glasses of red wine reduced the rate of bowel tumor development in mice by 50 percent, according to a press release. The researchers will present the findings at the Resveratrol 2012 conference (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#02).

Some clients claim that wine helps them relax and settle down for the evening. However, “Many people mistakenly believe that because alcohol is a depressant, a glass of wine before bed can help you sleep. In fact, the opposite is true. Drinking may help you fall asleep initially, but research shows that it disrupts REM cycles, making it hard to both stay asleep and fall back asleep once you’ve woken up. This is especially true for women, according to a study published online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living-pictures/ways-alcohol-helps-and-hurts-your-health.aspx#07). Another piece of information I found was that white wine is very acidic so it is really bad for your teeth and my findings didn’t link it to the possible cancer preventing qualities or red wine.

Well in my conclusion, I say that my findings were just like what I hear on the daily news and talk shows…. the opinion of whether wine is good or bad for us changes constantly. The research isn’t as solid as I hoped. So this takes us back to the rule that everything in moderation (if we can keep it in moderation) won’t be all ending and destroy our fitness journeys. To my wine -os…. Grrrr I wish I had way more ammunition to just out rule wine haha. But for now, let’s keep it to just a couple nights a week, set ourselves up to plan ahead for special occasions when we know we will consume more, and sip sloooooowy to make it last haha. The less frequently we can consume empty calories, the better off we are on our fitness journeys and I’ll be here one food journal check at a time, just like one rep at a time, to keep you accountable.