Archive for September, 2009

Understand these simple nutrition principles to help achieve and maintain your ideal weight.

September 30, 2009

Most people approach nutrition and dieting with unbelievable will power and determination. But unfortunately, will power will only last so long then biology and physiology takes over. Here’s an analogy – Try holding your breath under water for as long as you can. No matter how much you want to stay underwater, eventually biology kicks in and you have to come up for air. The same holds true with dieting. If you’re eating in a manner that stimulates your appetite, eventually, you are going to give in to the cravings regardless of how bad you don’t want to. So by understanding and adhering to the following nutrition tips you will approach nutrition and fat loss in a more educated fashion. You are going to outsmart your system!

Do you remember this physics principle? Energy cannot be created nor destroyed; only transformed from one form to another. So energy coming into our bodies through food or drink must be transformed into another form of energy – either the energy to produce movement or stored energy (body fat) for later use.

Consider the following Weight Loss/Gain/Maintenance Equation:

Weight Lost: Calories In < Calories Out
Weight Gained: Calories In > Calories Out
Weight Maintained: Calories In = Calories Out

You can’t change this equation. But it’s important to understand all the variables that control each part of the equation.

What Controls Calories In?
Eating and Drinking provides you with calories in. You’ve probably heard that a calorie is a calorie. And although this is true, some calories that you consume can actually stimulate your appetite causing you to eat more. Or some foods are so dense in calories but provide such little volume that when you eat them, even though you’ve consumed a great deal of calories, you’re still hungry. And some food make you tired and less likely to want to move your body and less able to perform at your best. If your goal is fat loss or weight management, the best foods to eat are nutrient-rich foods that are lower in calories, fill you up and suppress your appetite. If your goal is to improve your energy levels and perform at your best, the best foods to eat are also nutrient-rich foods.

What Controls Calories Out?
You either expend calories by using them, storing them for later use or excreting them as waste

We use calories through:
*BMR: Basal Resting Metabolism – the amount of calories we expend at rest just to exist as human beings. BMR can be raised (This is what we want): eating, exercise, muscle mass (1lb of muscle expends 40 calories/day. BMR can also be lowered (This is what we don’t want): skipping meals, starving, resting
*Exercise
*NEAT – Non-exercise activity thermogenesis – Spontaneous Activity
*Excess post-oxygen consumption (EPOC) – The extra energy we burn after a workout is done
*Food Thermogenesis – The energy expended to digest food; the cost of digesting foods differ

The bad news is that it’s a lot easier to put the calories in than it is to take the calories out. Think of it this way. How long does it take to burn 1000 calories? About 90 minutes of exercise or 10 miles of running! How long does it take to consume 1000 calories? In about 5-10 minutes! So nutrition is at least half the battle in terms of losing body fat or maintaining your ideal physique.

There is no trick to eating well. It is the stuff we have all heard before. Drink lots of water. Consume your required intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grain products. Minimize fat, alcohol and sugar intake. But there seems to be a gap between knowing what to do and actually adhering to these simple guidelines. There is no special grapefruit, cabbage, Low-protein or High-protein diet or pill that will get you the results you want quickly. And knowledge alone is not power! We all know what we have to do! It is finding the motivation and inspiration to make and adhere to very small changes in our nutrition plan that will facilitate success. Finding the motivation to stick to a healthy nutrition plan day-in-day-out is all it takes. Here’s the good news – you don’t have to starve yourself and you don’t have to limit your diet to carrots and broccoli.

With nutrition, the very small changes to your eating habits will often bring about big differences. The new habits just need to be consistent on a long-term basis. Perhaps start with one area at a time. Once you have that habit mastered, tackle the next nutrition goal. One step at a time and soon your diet will provide you with all the nutrients necessary to achieve optimum health.

Over my next series of blogs, I’m going to provide you with some easy nutrition tips and guide you through designing your own nutrition program. It is necessary for you to design a program that you realistically believe that you could follow for a life-time. Remember, I do not believe in any quick fixes. We’re talking about a life-long effort.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Missing a Workout is so much more than Missing a Workout!

September 28, 2009

Consider how much discipline it takes to workout three to five days a week. Think about how hard it is to keep stretching beyond our comfort zones and how challenging it is to exercise at high intensities. Consider the self-resolve required to eat healthy foods and drink lots of water every day when temptations surround us everywhere we go. But if you have the courage to respect your body – the temple that houses your mind and spirit – personal mastery will not be far away. It says a lot about who you are as a person when you invest the time to take care of yourself. It says you respect and love yourself enough to do the things necessary for you to be at your personal best. Each time you get into the gym for a workout on a day when you just don’t feel like exercising, you grow a little stronger as a human being. Each time you go for a run or walk on a cold winter’s day when you just feel like staying under the warm, cozy covers, you strengthen your character. When you endure a tough workout, it enables you to persevere through any other challenge in your life. Working on improving your physical conditioning will not only enrich your life and make you a better person, you’ll also become a better parent, a better spouse, a better and more productive worker, and a better friend.

Exercising regularly, eating well and taking the time to relax and nourish your body will make you feel happier. It will provide you with more energy than you have ever known. It will give you greater stamina and mental toughness and make you a clearer, stronger thinker. It will make you more patient and loving. There are 168 hours in a week. Surely each and every one of us, regardless of our hectic schedules, can carve out three to five of them to care for our bodies and work on mastering our physical state.

You must remember that a missed workout is much more than just a missed workout! When you miss a workout, you don’t just stay at the same level you were at – you actually take a few steps back. Every time you miss a workout, you have done something to strengthen the habit of not working out. When you’ve made the promise to yourself to exercise so many times per week and then you break that promise, you start to lose trust in yourself. With each missed workout, you start to lose self-confidence and begin to question whether you can actually stick with it at all. A missed workout fuels self-doubt and makes that negative habit stronger. Miss enough workouts, and eventually that negative habit of not working out will replace the positive habit of exercising that you have worked so hard to cultivate. Every time you fail to do the right thing, you fuel the habit of doing the wrong thing. So the next time you’re trying to justify pressing the snooze button and skipping your workout, or working through lunch instead of taking a walk break or heading right home after work instead of stopping at the gym, just don’t do it. Don’t even think about it. Don’t even allow yourself the opportunity to talk yourself out of doing what you know you need to do to be at your best. Just remember that you’ll feel like a million bucks once you’re done. The real challenge for most people is not the workout itself, but actually overcoming the negative thoughts that try to sabotage very good intentions.

“The greatest irony of our physical life is that when we are young, we are willing to sacrifice every bit of our health for wealth, and when we grow old, we are willing to sacrifice so much of our wealth for just one day of health.” Don’t let this happen to you. The little things in life are actually the big things and the quality of success that you will experience in your life ultimately depends upon the tiny choices you make every minute of every hour of every day. It’s the small daily acts and habits that define how big we end up living.

Looking Good, Feeling Great & Living Life to the Fullest!

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Last 3 Exercises for your Pumping Nothing Workout

September 21, 2009

Today is Day 7 – the last day – of your Pumping Nothing workout. You now have 21 different exercises you can do absolutely anywhere with no equipment whatsoever. So the next time you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip…NO EXCUSES!

Here are your last three exercises to complete your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all clips for a 40 minute blast.

If you can’t view this clip, here is the direct link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7FlFZGfqDA

Today’s exercises are:

Hamstring Curl
*Stay strong in your core
*Resist on the way in and on the way out
*Do for about 60-90 seconds total each side

Plank, Cobra & Downward Dog
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire set
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total

Bridging
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Contract your glute muscles on the way up and on the way down
*Try for 60-90 seconds total each side

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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3 more Muscle Toning Exercises you do with no equipment

September 17, 2009

Today is Day 6 of your Pumping Nothing workout – 18 different exercises you can do when you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip. I took my nephew, niece and sis through this workout when I was hanging out at their place in Canada and it kicked their butt. So whether you’re just getting started or you’re hardcore, there’s something for you!

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all clips so far for a 30 minute blast.

If you can’t view this clip, here is the direct link to YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP_Ph8vXi90

Today’s exercises are:

Standing Side Leg Lift:
*Try not to lean while you lift your leg to the side
*Do for about 60-90 seconds total each side

Tricep Pressups
*Keep your core strong
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total

Opposite Arm and Leg Extension with Rotation
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Focus on reaching and lengthening versus lifting upwards
*Try for 45-90 seconds total each side

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Day 5 of your Pumping Nothing workout brings you 3 more exercises you can do anywhere!

September 16, 2009

Today is Day 5 of your Pumping Nothing workout. You now have 15 different exercises that you can do absolutely anywhere using no equipment whatsoever. Keep these emails on file for the next time you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all clips so far for a 25 minute blast.

If you can’t view the clip above, click below for the direct YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIwUbOOIunY

Today’s exercises are:

Airplane/Knee Lift/Walking Lunge & Touch Down
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong into airplane and as your reach towards the ground
*Do for about 60-90 seconds total

Side Pushups
*Continue for 45 seconds each side

Full Sit-ups + V-sit Rotations
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Focus on a long spine during the rotations
*Try not to use any momentum or strain during the full sit-ups
*Feel free to adjust your range of motion during the full sit-ups
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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3 more Muscle Toning exercises you can do anywhere!

September 15, 2009

Today is Day 4 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Keep these emails on file for the next time you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip. There are never any excuses for why you can’t get your workout in because everything you will ever need, you will always have with you!

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine the last few clips for a 20 minute blast.

If you can’t view this video clip, click on the following direct YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1BeDJDW4LU

Today’s exercises are:

Lunge & Kick
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong as you kick
*Do about 45 seconds each leg

Supine Arm Presses
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total using various angles

Prone Back Extensions – Upper/Lower/SkyDive
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Focus on reaching and lengthening versus lifting upwards
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

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Three more Pumping Nothing Exercises

September 10, 2009

Today is Day 3 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Remember, you don’t need any equipment whatsoever to give yourself an incredible muscle conditioning workout. Review the last two posts for more tips.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine the last few clips for a 15 minute blast.

If you can’t view the clip above, click here for the YouTube file:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCPPej8D-wM

Today’s exercises are:

Circle Squat & Jump squat
*Only reach as low as you feel comfortable
*Continue for 30-45 seconds in each direction and then finish with a Power Squat

Push-ups with Leg Lift
*Try this from either your knees or toes depending on how strong your upper body is
*Alternate Legs
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

Side lying Lateral Leg Lifts
*Lift one or both legs
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Try for 30-45 seconds each side

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Here are your next 3 Muscle Conditioning Exercises you can do anywhere!

September 10, 2009

Today is Day 2 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Remember, your body is the BEST piece of equipment ever and you can keep it strong, fit and conditioned with absolutely no equipment whatsoever! Review yesterday’s posts for more tips.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine today and yesterday’s clips for a 9 minute blast.

Today’s exercises are:

Alternate Leap Lunge
*Only reach as low as you feel comfortable
*Choose low or high impact
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total alternating legs

Prone Arm Lifts
*Press thumbs towards the ceiling
*Continue for 60-90 seconds

Single and Double Leg Extensions

*For stabilization – Only extend and lower as low to the ground as you can keep your abdominals engaged and your low back stable
*Continue for 60-90 seconds

Here’s the clip:

If you can’t view the video clip, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPcc4iig0dA

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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Tone up with 3 Pumping Nothing Exercises

September 9, 2009

I recently conducted a workshop titled “Pumping Nothing” at the world’s largest Fitness Conference, CanFitPro in Toronto Canada. The principle was simple – that is that the body is the BEST piece of equipment ever and you can keep it strong, fit and conditioned with absolutely no equipment whatsoever! So what does that mean? No excuses ever! Muscle conditioning is critical for fat loss, posture, bone density, endurance, strength, weight management and more. If you can’t get to the gym because you’re on holidays, home with a sick child or on a business trip, you can still give yourself a fabulous workout!

The template for this workout is as follows:

Warm-up
Lower Body Exercise
Upper Body Exercise
Core Conditioning Exercise
Repeat multiple times with different exercises
Cool-down and stretch

So I thought it would be fun to give you some video clips of the exercises we did. I apologize for the filming – this wasn’t a professional production – just a friend taking some clips at the workshop. But you’ll get the idea.

Each day, I’ll share with you three exercises – lower body, upper body and core. We did about 1.5 minutes for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. So you might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all the upcoming daily blog posts for a full one hour workout with a variety of different exercises that you can do absolutely anywhere. Even right now at your desk!

Today’s exercises are:

Lunge with Rotation
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong as your rotate towards that front knee
*Do about 45 seconds each leg

Pushups with Rotation
*Try this from either your knees or toes depending on how strong your upper body is
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Do about 60-90 seconds total

Leg Extension with Core Crunch
*For stabilization component – Only lower as low to the ground as you can keep your abdominals engaged and your low back stable
*Do about 60-90 seconds total

Here’s the clip:

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

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