6 Tips For Staying Healthy Through The Winter Holidays

Today is October 2nd which means WE HAVE OFFICIALLY ENTERED THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!! We are 4 holidays away from 2018!  Can you believe it?! The last quarter of the year is here!  While that is exciting we all know the holidays typically means more food and unwanted pounds.  Here are 6 tips to not totally kill your year’s worth of hard work.

  1. Halloween:  Choose between the candy or the alcohol, but definitely not both.  Choose your balance, I know I’m choosing the candy because it’s really the only time of the year I bring chocolate into my household.
  2. Thanksgiving:  Personally, not my favorite holiday as a vegetarian and someone who’s not into pies.  However, if you love both I recommend choosing between seconds or dessert.  Have your dinner plate with a little bit of everything and if you aren’t feeling the desserts enjoy a smaller second plate, but if you want the dessert swap your seconds for the pie!
  3. Christmas:  In my opinion this one is BY FAR the most difficult holiday because you do not just only have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but you have all of the ugly sweater parties, office parties, and cookie exchange parties to worry about too!  For all of the events leading up the Christmas try to eat something healthy before hands so you’re less prone to over indulging.
  4. Christmas Day:  Avoid the appetizers and enjoy dinner and dessert!
  5. Christmas:  Make sure santa only eats half the cookies and minimal milk…or if you have a cat..make santa give the milk to your cat!
  6. No need to be a holiday scrooge and be the only one munching on kale at all of the events.  Just be mindful of what you eat, do not skip the workouts, and enjoy the holidays with your family!  They only come once a year!

Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

6 Factors That Affect The Effectiveness Of Any Workout

So many people think creating an exercise is just slapping exercises, reps, intervals, rest time, etc. together and it’s gold.  Except that mentality is completely false…believe it or not there is a science to creating an effective workout.  Here are my 6 simplified (emphasis on simplified) factors that affect the effectiveness of your workout.

  1. Work:Rest Ratio:  This ratio basically means the amount of time you are performing an exercises compared to the amount of time needed to recover correctly from the exercise during a workout.  Did you know that when we exercise it triggers our body’s energy systems?  For the purpose of keeping this blog simple I will be grouping ATP with our Phosphocreatine system, even though they are technically separate depending on training factors.  So anyways we have our ATP-PC system which is any activity lasting up to 15 seconds, we have our anaerobic system which is activity lasting up to 90 seconds, and our aerobic system lasting greater than 90 seconds.  Now, did you know that the correct rest interval is one of the MOST important factors of a workout?  But how do you know how long you should rest?  To start, look at the dominant energy system working based on how long your bout of exercise is.  Typical recovery for the ATP-PC system is anywhere from 30-50 seconds, for our anaerobic system is 1-3 minutes, and for our aerobic system it is typically a 1:1 ratio.  Again, this is a very basic run down, but I hope it helps to open up your eyes to one of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym without knowing it is one of the worst mistakes.
  2. Muscle Groups:  Ever had an instatrainer give you HEAVY deadlifts at the very end of you workout?  Well, fire them!  Again, exercise is not just “let me slap sh** together.” There is a method to the madness, that sadly only a handful of trainers these days understand.  Again, for the sake of keeping it simple you work the larger muscle groups in compound exercises first and progress towards the unilateral exercises, isolation exercises, and smaller muscle group exercises.  Meaning Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench press go first on your weight training days and THEN you add your lunges, romanian deadlifts, hamstring curls, push ups, bicep curls, etc.
  3. Hydration:  Dehydration can cause muscles to cramp, fainting, poor muscle recovery post workout, and more disaster.  Before any exercise, especially in hot/humid environments it is crucial that you are well hydrated before, during, and after! Drink roughly 2-3c 1-2 hours before exercise, roughly 1c during, and 2-3c after your workout on top of your regular non exercise related hydration.
  4. Rest:  Rest days are vital!  They allow your muscles to repair and grow! Overdoing exercise can put your body in a catabolic state (your body takes energy from muscles…thereby breaking muscle down).  Even elite athletes get rest days!  For the average person I recommend tops 3 days back to back of exercise before taking a 1 day rest.
  5. Pre-Workout Fuel:  If you don’t properly fuel up for you workout, how can you expect your body to have the proper energy it needs to perform the workout?  Before a workout if you eat 2 hours to 90 minutes before have a solid healthy meal with protein, whole grains, and a healthy fat.  If you can’t eat something until 60-30 minutes before your workout have something light!  Like a peanut butter sandwich, a banana with peanut butter, etc.  But having a carb and protein source is crucial!
  6. Post Workout Fuel:  Did you know exercise causes stress on the body?  A stress our body is well equipped to recover from as long as it gets the energy it needs post workout to carry out its recovery process.  If you are like me and cannot stomach a hardy meal post workout I drink a post workout shake. The important feature to my shake is it is NOT just protein.  It also contains fast digesting carbohydrates.  Many protein shakes on the market fail miserable because they offer less than 5 grams of carbohydrates post workout…when carbs are more important than the protein (both still important though!)  The average person can refuel just fine with a 1:1 ration of protein and carbs, while a more advanced gym goer benefits from 1:2 protein and carb ratio…again this is the simplified rule of thumb….calculating based on body weight and exercise type can be a pain for someone who does not know how.

Hopefully this helps you tweak your current routine, even if it is a basic switch….leave the complicated applications to the knowledgeable trainers, coaches, etc.  For the average gym goer do your best with the basic run down!

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Learn more about the best online fitness program which includes comprehensive programs focused on shifting towards healthier eating habits, staying fit, and building a better booty. You’ll also find a variety of fitness apparel to help get you that extra motivation to take your goals to another level. Contact me today to learn more about the best fitness programs available to get your body in gear.

Dark Chocolate

A few weeks ago I was asked to blog about Dark Chocolate. So here I go.

When compared to milk and white chocolate, dark chocolate has a lot less fat.  On top of that the more cocoa you look for in dark chocolate (60% or more) the more flavanols it contains.  Flavanols are plant based phytonutrients that provide your  body with antioxidants.  Dark chocolate helps reduce LDL cholesterol (aka the unwanted cholesterol), it helps to lower blood pressure, is rich in vitamins and minerals (Vitamin K, Calcium, magnesium, and Iron), and it also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), an organic compound that is associated to triggering the release of endorphins and serotonin in your brain (the happy chemicals).

Of course, this is all within moderation.  Too much Dark chocolate is not good either because it is high in caffeine.  It also contains tyramyne, a chemical that has been linked to causing migraines so if you are prone to migraines I suggest to stay away (you should always consult with your Physician).  Dark chocolate also contains oxalates which can cause a rise in urine oxalate excretion that may lead to kidney stone formation.  Also, refrain from enjoying your dark chocolate with Milk, as it bind the antioxidants and keeps them from doing their job inside the body.