January 26, 2014

How To Love Working Out

Sound impossible?   Growing up my only exercise other than skiing was climbing a tree where I could read my book when my mother forced me outside "to play". I now love lifting weights and moving to music in addition to skiing, and more recently tennis.  I believe everyone can find some form of movement to enjoy.
First, you need to figure out what you do not like about working out:  Do you think exercise is repetitive and boring?  Do you look at exercise as punishment for gaining weight?  Do you believe exercise is painful and uncomfortable?  Or do you hate it because it takes up too much time?  Each reason can be valid, but there is a solution to all:
1.Exercise can be repetitive and boring if you are doing the same thing every day.  Mix it up:  Go outside, go inside, take a fitness class, try a DVD, get a partner, join a team.  Change what you do and your body and mind will thank you.
2.If you view exercise as punishment you may be working too hard, or maybe you need to change your mindset.  Link exercise to a reward.  It can be a physical reward such as better sleep or more energy (but do not link it to weight loss).  Exercise is a proven stress reliever; make that your reason to go.
You can also pair something pleasurable with the exercise; workout with a friend, listen to a book or music, or save your favorite tv series to watch while you exercise.  Find something you enjoy doing; I do not view tennis or skiing as exercise; they are simply activities I love. 
3. If your exercise is always painful, perhaps you need to change what you do. You do not need to submit to the rigors of CrossFit or a boot camp to get a good workout.  Try a different class or trainer if your workouts are excruciating.  Reward yourself for your effort, not for the results. 
4.If you view exercise as too time consuming, research shows that even ten minutes a day can make a difference to your health.  HIIT (high intensity interval training) is proving to be very effective in helping people reap benefits in a small amount of time.  Take an honest look at your schedule; are you spending hours watching tv or playing games on the computer?  How does that make you feel?  Trade just thirty minutes of those hours for a workout session and you will be amazed at what a difference it makes.
It is possible that you can try all this and still not love to exercise.  However, if you manage to stick with it anyway, I can promise that you will love how exercise makes you feel.

January 12, 2014

Secrets Your Personal Trainer Will Not Tell You

1.You get the same workout as everyone else.  In fact, your workout may be the same one your trainer does.  Make sure your workout is individualized to you.

2.What you do 2-3 hours a week with your trainer is way less important than what you do with the rest of your time.  Your results depend more on how you exercise and what you eat when you are not with your trainer, than your sessions with him or her.

3.Your trainer may be giving you a little extra.  Make sure he or she washes hands, or at least uses hand sanitizer between clients.

4.You do not need your trainer. If you know your workout by heart, if your trainer is not motivating you, or at least making it fun, you may be better off working out on your own.

5.You can save money by splitting the bill.  Most trainers will give a discount for training two or more at the same time.

6.Diet and/or nutrition advice may be way off the mark.  Unless your trainer is a Registered Dietician or has advanced nutrition training, he or she is unqualified to give out diet plans or to recommend supplements.

7.Selling supplements to clients is considered unethical by many professional organizations.  Some gyms require trainers to sell supplements,  it can be a great money stream for trainers, be very wary of product pitches.

8.His or her certification may be meaningless.  Anyone can get a piece of paper.  Look for a trainer who is certified through programs accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  ACE, NASM, NSCA and ACSM certifications are among the best

January 5, 2014

Top Fitness Trends For 2014

These are trends I hope will continue and increase in the next year:

1. HIIT: High intensity interval training.  Yes, this was on my list of worst trends of 2013, but that is only because it has been misused.  Done correctly, (see interval training gets you better results in less time, and who can argue with that?

2. Exercise everywhere.  From bike share programs to 30 squats as subway payment in Russia, communities are starting to make being active easier.  The message is spreading that it is not the 1 hour in the gym, but the other 23 that really make a difference in our health. 

3. Educated and experienced fitness professionals.  A survey by ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) names this as one of the top trends of 2013.  Consumers are finally realizing that it is more important what a fitness professional knows, than what he or she looks like.  Search for a professional certified through programs that are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  ACE, NASM, NSCA and ACSM certifications are among the best.  Be aware that programs such as Zumba and CrossFit may “certify” or “license” their instructors, but that does not mean they have been certified through an accredited provider.  Ask your professional about his or her credentials, and follow through by checking with the organization.