Week 6 of the “New Year, New You” health, fitness and nutrition program

“The greatest irritant to most people is not a lack of money or status, but ill health. Nothing shines brightly if we do not feel well…” – Margaret Stortz

The quote above is so true. The very person who is too busy to exercise but then is hospitalized for a triple bypass surgery and who is no longer able to take care of work or family responsibilities and their life is never the same is the very same person who wishes he would have taken the time to exercise and take better care of himself. So if you’re not doing it now, start your journey to a better life today.

Click on the link below for excellent exercise and nutrition tips to help you look and feel your best!


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan


“New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover plan – Week 5

Along any journey, there’s a point when you need to assess your progress and measure your results.  It will allow you to determine what you need to start doing, stop doing and keep doing.  So since we’re half way through the 8 week ‘New Year, New You’ program, it’s a great opportunity to check in with yourself.

Remember this saying “”Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” — Cavett Robert

So it’s not what you do in January that matters.  It’s not what you do during the first 4 weeks of this program or the last 4 weeks of this program.  It’s what you commit to forever.  Being healthy and fit has NO FINISH LINE!  It just becomes who you are!  And you are amazing enough to take the time out to do what you need to do to be at your best!

Here’s the link to Week 5 of the program.


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Week Four of the “New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover plan

“Do not be afraid to demand great things of yourself. Powers which you never dreamed you possessed will leap to your assistance…” —Orison S. Marden

Always remember that you are stronger than you think you are. Take the time to do what you need to do to be at your best. And just know that it will positively impact every part of your life!

Click below for the new exercise and nutrition tips from Week Four of the “New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover plan.


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan


Week 3 of the ‘New Year, New You’ fitness and nutrition program

We are now at Week 3 of the “New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover program. Each week, I will add to the program and provide you with more exercise and nutrition tips to advance your program and ultimately reach your goal of looking and feeling your best. Click below to review the entire program and photos of all the exercises.

One important point….with fitness, sometimes you have to change your mindset. For example, I tell our clients that the wrong question to ask yourself everyday is “Should I workout today?” The answer to that question is almost always “Yes!” Everyday you should do something active and move your body. So instead, the correct question should be “What exercise am I going to do today?” Bottom line, you should always try to do something to move your body.


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Week 2 of the “New Year, New You” health and fitness program

Last week we started your eight-week “New Year, New You” health and fitness makeover program. Each week, I will add to the program and provide you with more exercise and nutrition tips to advance your program and ultimately reach your goal of looking and feeling your best. Click below to review the entire program and photos of all the exercises.


Yours in health and fitness,


8 weeks to a New You!

On Jan. 1, many of us resolved to make some major changes in our lives. Maybe we decided to start an exercise program, stop eating junk food or lose a substantial amount of weight. Perhaps you invested in a gym membership or personal trainer, started an at-home exercise program or purchased P90X to get you started and help you meet your resolutions of looking and feeling better this year.

Well, consider me your own personal coach overseeing your entire program. Over the next eight weeks, I have partnered with the Columbian newspaper to provide you with a fitness program to help you achieve your health and fitness goals and compliment whatever else you may or may not be doing.

You can do this workout anywhere and it will definitely transform your body. You will need hand weights, an exercise tube and a bench (all which can be purchased inexpensively at your local department or sports store). Each week will include cardiovascular and muscle conditioning segments, a stretch and a nutrition and lifestyle tip.

Click this link to review the entire program.


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Nutrition logs to maximize weight loss and enhance results!

Research indicates that just the action of recording nutrition causes people to make better choices and enhances results.

So if your goal is to lose weight, tone up and look and feel your best, try one of the online options for logging your nutrition and activity.

My favorite program is http://www.livestrong.com/thedailyplate/

Please try it for 3 months and let me know what happens.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps.  If you want to have even greater accountability, have your personal trainer review your notes.  Knowing that someone else is going to be reading your nutrition logs, will cause you to make even better choices!!!


Key health and fitness tips for achieving life-changing results

An optimal health and fitness program has many components all with critically important benefits.  I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and have found that if you want to look and feel your best, make sure you’ve addressed each of the following areas:

  • Exercise aerobically 3-6 days each week for 20-60 minutes each session at various levels of intensity.  Use a Heart rate monitor to keep you honest.  Activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing, hiking, stair-climbing, or Group classes will do the trick. Be sure to incorporate some short, high intensity intervals one to two times per week to really boost your fitness level.
  • Condition your muscles with resistance training workouts a minimum of two times per week. One set of 8-12 reps of a variety of exercises for 20-60 minutes is perfect!  Or just workout with your personal trainer and they’ll make sure you meet this requirement.
  • Eat a balanced diet that is high in fiber content.
  • Eat 5 vegetable servings and 3 fruit servings each day.
  • Drink 10—8ounce glasses of water each day.  Drink water before and with each meal and snack.  Purchasing a Jumbo size water bottle will help you adhere to this tip.
  • Plan your meals so that you eat 3 small meals and 2 small snacks each day.  Try to eat every 3 hours.
  • Avoid eating anything high in fat or calories 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Control portion sizes.  If you need more assistance regarding exact caloric requirements, visit our website at www.nwpersonaltraining.com.  Click on the “Client Fitness Info”.  Then click on “Cool Tools”.  There is a calculator that you can use to more accurately estimate your calorie and protein needs.  You will also find various articles that will help you on your journey.
  • Eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car) and replace with healthy alternatives.
  • Grocery shop at least once per week to stock up on healthy choices and fresh fruits and veggies
  • Maintain a more active daily lifestyle.  Move your body as much as you can in addition to your exercise program.  The International Journal of Obesity released a statistic that reported we expend an average of 500-800 fewer calories than we did a few decades ago because of our more sedentary lifestyle.  At Northwest Personal Training, we believe that all you have to do is start moving more in your life and then you won’t have to spend hours in the gym every week!
  • Get enough sleep (7-8 hours per night).  Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs.  If you do not sleep enough, you will not be prepared for each workout session and you will not function optimally. Lack of sleep is also a key factor in weight gain.
  • Control and manage your stress levels.  Identify your stresses.  Outline methods that help you to reduce your stress and practice them regularly. Stress is also a key factor in weight gain.
  • If you are just getting started or need some solid accountability, complete Activity and Nutrition logs every day and submit to your trainer or a friend every week.  Just the act of writing things down and showing to someone causes better choices and quicker results.
  • Monitor your progress through weigh-ins, measurements, clothes fit etc.

Note:  Have someone witness your commitment who will guide and support you through this process.  It will hold you accountable to your commitment and everyone can benefit from their own personal cheerleader!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

New Year Resolution Solutions

Well, now that the Christmas rush is over, many of us have begun to turn our attention to the New Year. Typically, at the end of a calendar year, people will look back at the previous year and assess the highs and lows, the accomplishments they’ve achieved and the things they wanted to do but never got around to. Generally, we’ll examine aspects of our lives that we’d like to do better next year and establish personal goals for making those changes.

For many it might be weight loss, starting an exercise program, quitting smoking, healthy eating, climbing the corporate ladder, spending more time with your kids…Whatever it is, at this time of year many of us get motivated to pursue our dreams for the life we want to live.

Did you make promises last year that you didn’t keep? My guess is that you did because 80 percent of people set the same New Year’s resolutions year after year and within a few months, most have thrown in the towel on their original ambitions. With that kind of failure rate, I’m convinced that it’s not a problem with the person but rather the process.

I’ve been in the fitness industry helping people look and feel better and live life to the fullest for over 20 years and I can tell you this, most people set themselves up for failure before the clock even strikes midnight! Regardless of the goal, have you ever wondered why?

Most people attempt to do too much too quickly. They don’t do any planning and they have no idea how to monitor their progress. Your chances for success will improve dramatically, however, if you break the process into a few simple steps. Click on the link below and review some common resolutions and how you might approach them differently this year:


Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan


Holiday Fat-Buster

Are you the type to sing-a-long with all the carols, get your cards out before we see the 1st day of December, and look forward to the crowds at the malls?  Or do the joyous songs start to get on your nerves and the endless responsibilities from getting your cards out, decorating the house inside and out and finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones offer enough stress for you to break into hives?  Whether or not you buy into the holiday season, we all probably experience some level of stress at this time of year.  Plus most people gain 5-10 pounds over the holidays so here’s some ideas to ensure the holidays don’t get you down and the scale up:

Exercise: Bet you guessed this would be at the top of my list.  As I enter the holiday season, I try to ramp up my workout intensity and/or frequency to account for the fact that I’m probably going to be indulging a bit.  Sorry, I’m just not one to completely forbid myself of the holiday treats.  For me, it’s all about balance!  Plus exercise is the best de-stressor at any time of year and this still holds true during the holidays.  But don’t get yourself worked up if you can’t keep up with your regular fitness regime or can’t imagine ramping things up.  Instead set some minimums.  For example, instead of following your regular 5 workouts a week, over the holidays allow yourself to drop back to 2 really good, solid workouts a week to maintain your fitness.  This will keep your energy levels up and you won’t feel like you’ve got to start all over in the New Year.

A quick workout is all you’ll need to help make you feel better when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with everything you’ve got to get done.  The endorphins that are released during the workout will give you the energy to tackle errands with a more positive attitude.  You’ll also find that committing to your workouts over the holidays helps to keep your nutrition in check.  For one, when you’re exercising you seem to have more self-control to pass on some of the holiday extras and even if you do decide to indulge, it helps to know that you can afford a few extras because you didn’t skip your workout.  In fact, on Christmas or New Year’s morning  I love to workout.  It really sets the day up nicely.  I feel great and am less likely to overeat at dinner

Nutrition: Pigging out on chocolates, cookies and cakes and drinking till you see 3 of everything is enough to make you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck!  It’s perfectly ok to indulge over the holidays but you’ve still got to keep your health and fitness goals in check.  Instead of forbidding any treats over the holidays rather, focus on drinking 8 glasses of water, consuming 5 vegetables and 3 fruits, eat breakfast, and consume 5 small meals/snacks each day.  If you’ve still got room for your favorite holiday cookie, go for it.  But eat it slowly and really enjoy the taste.  At parties you may find yourself eating a lot later than usual.  Try to eat something small earlier and then at the party you’ll be less likely to overeat right before bed. Try stocking up at the veggie and fruit tray first so then you’ll have less room for the ‘extras’.

Daily Activity: When you’re running around like crazy and can’t commit to your normal fitness regime, try to incorporate more activity into your days.  For example, go for a walk with your family and friends, in the mall take the stairs instead of the escalators, and park at the back of the lot.  The little bits of extra activity will help you feel better.

Say No! Remember you’re in control of your life and how much you’re going to enjoy the holidays.  If attending every single party you’re invited to frightens you, choose only the ones you know you’ll have a great time.  If seeing each of your relatives during the holidays will leave you feeling exhausted, perhaps set up a rotation system for each year or schedule one large party where everybody gets together and there’s no need to drive to 3 different locations. If the thought of cooking dinner for the whole family makes you want to cry, delegate responsibilities and enjoy a buffet dinner. If purchasing presents for everybody in your family or all your friends is enough to break the bank, draw names or instead, spend your time planning how you are going to enjoy special, quality time with them.  In fact, my favorite holiday memories are not of gifts – I can’t even remember what I got last year – but of long walks, hikes or sitting around with friends and family talking in front of the fireplace.

Manage your stress: Get enough sleep.  If you’re tired, stress appears worse than it is.  If you do feel stressed, take a number of slow, deep breaths and try to relax.

Remember the spirit of the holidays – Do something nice for someone.  Go out of your way to be kind.  Schedule time for your family to recognize and appreciate all the things you should be thankful for.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan