1 month since New Year’s Resolutions – Exercise Intervention!

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

It’s been one month since many of us set a New Year’s Resolution. It’s a great time to analyze and assess your performance so far.  Are you on track? If not, it’s time for an intervention.  Ask yourself what you need to start doing?  What do you need to stop doing?  What do you need to keep doing?

It terms of exercise, for most people, it’s a chore. There’s no enjoyment associated with it whatsoever.  So whatever you can do to make exercise more fun, the greater the chances you will stick with it.

Try some of these tips:

  1. Workout with a buddy. You may find that having a friend around really helps with exercise adherence and you may be able to encourage each other to try out new activities. Or hire a personal trainer. They will add variety, safety, fun and keep you accountable to ensure you experience great results.  And that will motivate you to keep working out!
  2. Enroll in fun, active programs. For example, sign up with some friends for a Zumba,  BallRoom, Latin or Swing class.  Take a scuba-diving class together. Participate in a recreational sport program.
  3. Get out your IPOD and workout to your favorite play-list. Music always makes a workout more enjoyable.
  4. Purchase some new exercise DVDs: Do you follow exercise videos? Well if you can recite the cues from the instructor word for word, you may want to purchase a few more videos to add to your repertoire.
  5. Knowledge is Power. Make it a goal to learn about your body.  Attend lectures, purchase exercise, nutrition or motivational books or consult with a personal trainer.  The more you know, the easier it is to convince yourself to stick to your program.
  6. Do something new. Next workout, try a brand new exercise you’ve never done before.  If you always do tricep pressdowns to work your triceps, next workout try a tricep dip.  If you always jump onto the treadmill for your cardio training, try the stairmaster or rowing machine.
  7. Vary your pace. If you always do level 3 on the stairmaster for 30 minutes, next workout go for level 4 for only 20 minutes.  If you always run for 40 minutes, next workout run for only 20 minutes and incorporate some high-intensity intervals.  If you always do the same number of reps, go for a change of pace.  For example, if you always do 15 reps of any exercise, next workout increase the resistance a bit and do only 10 reps. This will keep you mentally and physically stimulated!
  8. Change the sequence of your workouts. If you always do your cardio exercise first, next workout do a brief warm-up, then do your muscle conditioning exercises and then finish with your cardio.  If you always do your leg exercises before your upper body exercises, reverse this next workout.
  9. Mix up your classes: If you’re a class-goer and you’ve found yourself attending the same type of class, mix it up!  If you are a regular stepper, next class go for an indoor cycling, boxing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, funk or hip hop class.
  10. Mix up the indoors and outdoors. Do you find yourself always working out indoors?  Once a week, go outside for a power walk, run, hike, inline skate or cycle – climb a set of stairs outside instead of the machine-version.  If you’re always outside, go indoors for one workout a week.  Start a resistance training program or indoor rockclimbing. The change of scenery may be something your body needs.
  11. Go for an adrenaline rush. Every few months, we encourage our clients to set a new, challenging goal.  We’ve had clients train for fun runs, triathlons, half marathons, marathons, extreme hiking adventures, snowboarding or skiing, and cycling treks.  These types of goals have really helped inspire our clients to stick to their fitness program. Try new activities like hiking, indoor rockclimbing, snowboarding/skiing, skate-skiing, snowshoeing, whitewater rafting, sea kayaking, or a running clinic.

Practicing a few of these tips will definitely add some flavor to your exercise program and increase the chances that you will stick with it long enough to experience incredible results!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps.  If you have a workout tip that has helped you stick to your program, please leave a comment.  You may inspire others!

Exercise and nutrition tips from Jack Lalanne

Dear Clients, Friends and Family,

I am so excited to relaunch my Shape up with Sherri blog.  It’s got a new look and feel with functioning that should make it more user-friendly for you and easier to interact and post comments. My goal is to blog two times per week and provide you with exercise and nutrition tips to help you look and feel your best and live life to the fullest!

I’m sure many of you have heard of the recent passing of Jack Lalanne age 96, fitness industry pioneer.  Well, I thought it would be fitting to relaunch my blog with a post highlighting what we can all learn from Jack Lalanne and his incredible life.

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Exercise and nutrition tips from Jack Lalanne

Lessons from Jack Lalanne:

Exercise Everyday: I was fortunate enough to serve on a committee with Jack Lalanne and it was endearing to watch him spread his message about the benefits of exercise.  No matter where we went, he was telling someone about the importance of taking good care of yourself. He 100% believed in his message and was so passionate about inspiring everyone to adopt a healthy lifestyle. He knew firsthand that exercise and good nutrition can change lives. He himself was a scrawny, nervous, shy little kid at age 15 until he started working out. He understood that he could positively impact his whole life – physically, mentally, emotionally – through the benefits of working out!

Eat like a Champion: I had dinner with Jack a few times and I was so impressed that he always walked his talk.  He made special requests for grilled vegetables and had no issue with asking for substitutions to order exactly what he needed to fuel his body correctly.  You are what you eat!

Build Muscle: Jack understood the importance of cardio but he was a big proponent of muscle conditioning.  He understood way before the research was conclusive that muscle conditioning is the true fountain of youth!  So lift something heavy!

Live on the Edge: Jack was always trying something new and challenging himself physically and mentally. Once he did more than 1000 pushups in 23 minutes. For his 60th birthday, he swam from Alcatraz to Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco handcuffed, shackled and towing a boat.  When he turned 70, he did the same in Long Beach harbor.  I challenge you to live life the Jack LaLanne way.  Step out of your comfort zone.  Do something new and exciting every 90 days.  It will keep you feeling young, vibrant and alive!

Have a magnetic personality: Jack was a charmer.  He was witty and fun and made people laugh!  People are drawn to others that challenge them, inspire them, build them up and provide support and guidance.  Success followed Jack wherever he went because he knew how to communicate with others and understood how to make people feel good about themselves.  He provided a positive energy and was a joy to be around.  Be like Jack!

Here are some quotes directly from Jack Lalanne: Lots of incredible insight here!

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it.”

“Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”

“I’ll tell you one thing, you don’t always have to be on the go. I sit around a lot, I read a lot, and I do watch television. But I also work out for two hours every day of my life, even when I’m on the road.”

“How do you build up your bank account? By putting something in it everyday.Your health account is no different. What I do today, I am wearing tomorrow. If I put inferior foods in my body today, I’m going to be inferior tomorrow, it’s that simple.”

“I never think of my age, never – I could be 20 or 100. I never think about it, I’m just me.”

“It’s a lifestyle, it’s something you do the rest of your life – How long are you going to keep breathing? How long do you keep eating? You just do it.”

“Do you know how many calories are in butter and cheese and ice cream? Would you get your dog up in the morning for a cup of coffee and a donut?”

“Focus on your problem zones, your strength, your energy, your flexibility and all the rest. Maybe your chest is flabby or your hips or waist need toning. Also, you should change your program every thirty days. That’s the key.”

“I do it as a therapy. I do it as something to keep me alive. We all need a little discipline. Exercise is my discipline.”

“I only eat fish – no chicken, no turkey, just fish. I get all my protein from fish and egg whites.”

“I’d rather see you drink a glass of wine than a glass of milk. What’s the good of living if you can’t have the things that give a little enjoyment?”

“So many people drink Coca-Cola and all these soft drinks with sugar. Some of these drinks have 8 or 9 teaspoons of sugar in them.”

“If you’ve got a big gut and you start doing sit-ups, you are going to get bigger because you build up the muscle. You’ve got to get rid of that fat! How do you get rid of fat? By changing your diet.”

“Look at the average American diet: ice cream, butter, cheese, whole milk, all this fat. People don’t realize how much of this stuff you get by the end of the day. High blood pressure is from all this high-fat eating.”

“Millions of Americans got up this morning with a cup of coffee, a cigarette and a donut. No wonder they are sick and fouled up.”

“Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.”

“So many older people, they just sit around all day long and they don’t get any exercise. Their muscles atrophy, and they lose their strength, their energy and vitality by inactivity.”

“The only way you get that fat off is to eat less and exercise more.”

“We don’t know all the answers. If we knew all the answers we’d be bored, wouldn’t we? We keep looking, searching, trying to get more knowledge.”

“What you need to do is get that tape measure out, and start measuring that gut. Then you start working out and you start eating properly till that gut gets down close to it was when you were in your 20′s. Then you’ll find out what your weight should be.”

“Yes, exercise is the catalyst. That’s what makes everything happen: your digestion, your elimination, your sex life, your skin, hair, everything about you depends on circulation. And how do you increase circulation? Exercise!”

“Now the medical profession is saying something different. Every one of the doctors without exception is saying, “Build muscle.”

“Everything you do in life, I don’t care, good or bad – don’t blame God, don’t blame the devil, don’t blame me, blame you. You control everything! The thoughts you think, the words you utter, the foods you eat, the exercise you do. Everything is controlled by you.”

“You don’t have to call it God or Jesus. That’s religious humbug to a lot of people, but you’ve gotta believe that nature and spiritual things surround us. That is what put us here! I thank the universe for that every day of my life.”

“I can’t die, it would ruin my image.”

Well, Jack, you have passed but it definitely hasn’t ruined your image. It’s just caused us all to reflect what an impact you have had on so many of us.  Thank you for paving the way for the rest of us!  Boy, I sure do hope heaven has been conditioning and preparing for your arrival.  You sure are gonna shake things up up there! Rest in Peace Jack.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Ps.  Here’s a YouTube video of Jack spreading his message. Do a search on YouTube for other Jack Lalanne clips.  Tons of Pearls of Wisdom!

Posted in Fitness by Sherri | 2 Comments

The best thing we can do for our kids!

If you have kids, you’ve got to help them learn to love to move their bodies and eat well at an early age. Then it will be easy to continue as they get older!

I had the opportunity to work with some Vancouver kids today to teach them that working out and eating healthy can be a ton of fun. Check out the video above. It’s so cute!

Here’s the reality…

These days kids hardly get any activity. Most schoolwork involves sedentary activity and with television and video games as after-school pastimes, the temptation to sink into couch potato-land becomes pretty overwhelming for our kids. Check out these startling stats:

  • Children today are approximately 40% less active than they were 30 years ago
  • 20% of children and teens are overweight enough to threaten their future health
  • One report states that the number of overweight children ages 6-11 has increased by 50% in the last 15 years and by 40% in those ages 12-17. Lack of exercise is considered a major contributing factor
  • 40% of children already have at least one risk factor for heart disease and reduced fitness due to an inactive lifestyle
  • Children spend an average of 26 hours a week watching television and also spend 25-30 hours a week sitting behind a desk

As the school year winds down, parents can plan ahead to ensure your kids get lots of activity this summer. “Go outside and do something” or “Go ride your bike” you yell to your kids as you watch your favorite daytime show or football game. The “Do as I say, not as I do!” approach doesn’t have a very good track record. Children tend to mimic the actions of their parents so, if the extent of your daily or after-work activity consists of channel surfing and munching on chips, guess what fitness rituals your children will develop. The lifestyle habits you’re developing in your children today will determine how much junk will clog their arteries 30 years from now. Read the rest of The best thing we can do for our kids!

You now have all components for a toned and strong core!

Dear clients, friends and family,

Here is your final Day Six of your 6-Day Core Conditioning program. You now have all all critical components of a solid core conditioning program with movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles. As a reminder, your core is not just your abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area. This program will hit everything!

A strong core provides strength that radiates out to the rest of your body so you can move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

Day Six Exercises include:

• Full sit –up (ascending reps)
• Holding V-sit
• Holding V-sit with Rotation
• Extension up and forward fold

Note: Today’s program is hard-core so take as many breaks as needed and be sure to modify any movements that don’t feel great on your body.

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJvGS6SYbz4

My suggestion is to complete Day One program on Monday, Day Two on Tuesday and so on. Then take one day rest and repeat the sequence the following week. All you need is about 5 minutes or so every day to really challenge your core from all angles. Follow the program for about 6 weeks and email me your results. A strong and toned core is the ultimate goal!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Core Conditioning Combo #5 – Follow the whole program to a 6-pack!

Dear clients, friends and family,

Here is Day Five of your Core Conditioning program. By the end of this week, you will have all 6 days of your Core Conditioning program! Hopefully, you have mastered Days One-Four and are ready for some new exercises. Practice these and Day Six will come on Friday.

This 6-day program will address all critical core components and include movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles. As a reminder, your core is not just your abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area. This program will hit everything!

A strong core provides strength that radiates out to the rest of your body and you will move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

Day Five Exercises include:

• Bicycle Crunch
• Alternating Leg Lowers
• Straight Leg Extension Crunches
• Dead bug (Arm and Leg extensions)

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkE4pbY6D_g

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Practice these moves as well as Day 1-4 over the next few days and stay tuned for Day 6 coming on Friday.

Important exercises if you sit at a computer or desk all day!

Dear clients, friends and family,

Here is Day Four of your Core Conditioning program. This circuit is especially important for those of you who work at a computer or desk all day. It will help to improve your posture, elongate your spine and work those weaker posterior muscle groups. Hopefully, you have mastered Day One, Two and Three and are ready for some new exercises. Practice these and Day Five will come on Monday.

By the end of next week you will have your complete Six Day Core Conditioning workout. This program will address all critical core components and include movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles. As a reminder, your core is not just your abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area.

Remember, when you have a strong core, that strength radiates out to the rest of your body and you will move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

Day Three Exercises include:

• Back extension breaststroke
• Reverse back extension Leg Lifts
• Plank on elbows for 15-30 seconds
• Child’s Pose for 15-30 seconds

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D78oDg1uPAo

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Practice these moves as well as Day One, Two and Three over the next few days and stay tuned for Day 5 coming on Friday.

More Core Conditioning Exercises!

Dear clients, friends and family,

Here is Day Three of your Core Conditioning program. Hopefully, you have mastered Day One and Two and are ready for some new exercises. Practice these and Day Four will come on Friday.

This 6 day core conditioning program will address all critical core components and include movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles. As a reminder, your core is not just your abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area.

Remember, when you have a strong core, that strength radiates out to the rest of your body and you will move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

Day Three Exercises include:

• Side Leg Lifts
• 4 part Leg Lifts
• Double Leg Lifts
• Hold Top Leg, Lift bottom leg
• Side Plank – hold for 30-60 seconds

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbOyb5mMQE4

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Practice these moves as well as Day One and Two over the next few days and stay tuned for Day 4 coming on Friday.

As promised, here is Day Two of your Core Conditioning program

Dear clients, friends and family,

As promised, here is Day Two of the Core Conditioning program. Hopefully, you have mastered Day One and are ready for some new exercises. Practice these and Day Three will come on Monday.

As a reminder, your core is not just your abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area. So this 6 day core conditioning program will address all of these areas and include movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles.

Remember, when you have a strong core, that strength radiates out to the rest of your body and you will move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

Day Two Exercises include:

• Bridging – variable contractile speeds
• Alternating Oblique Crunch
• Hinge Crunch
• Torso rotation knee drops side to side

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXeUX47GL50

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Practice these moves over the next few days and stay tuned for Day 3 coming on Monday.

Core Conditioning Combo #1 – Follow the video & just give me 5 minutes!

Dear clients, friends and family,

I bet there’s one thing we all have in common and that is the desire to look and feel our best. And in my experience, most people would love to have a flat, toned, rock hard abdominal region. But abdominal conditioning is about more than just vanity. When you have a strong core, that strength radiates out to the rest of your body and you will move with more grace, power, efficiency and be less likely to get injured.

It’s important to note that your core is not just the abdominal region. It includes all layers of the abdominal musculature (deep and superficial including the external/internal obliques, rectus abdominus and transverse abdominus), the muscles surrounding the spine on the posterior side of the body, the hips and glutes, and the pelvic area. So a solid core conditioning program will address all of these areas and include movements and exercises in a variety of planes and angles.

I’ve designed a 6 day Core Conditioning program. You will complete one circuit each day for six days and each day will require about 5 minutes of your time. Then you rest on the 7th day! By following this program, you will hit all the important areas and movements each week.

So here’s how I’m going to do this. I’ll send you 2 circuits each week – one early in the week and then one late in the week. That will give you some time to practice all of the movements. So you’ll get each of the 6 days over the next 3 weeks. Then once you have all 6 days, you’ll start the 6 day program and follow it for 6 weeks. That will bring you right to the start of summer. Can you imagine how incredible your abs will look by then?! Just remember to follow a good nutrition and cardio program too for the best results!

Day One Exercises include:

• 90/90 Leg extensions
• 90/90 Crunches
• 90/90 Torso rotations
• 90/90 Reverse lift

Here’s the video clip so you can follow along.

Here’s a direct link if you can’t see the video above…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VyjnSpgKPc

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Practice these moves over the next few days and stay tuned for Day 2 coming on Friday.

Change your Program & Change your Body!

Dear clients, friends and family,

If you really want to change your body, you’ve got to change your program and mix it up. And now that summer is upon us, it’s the best opportunity to spice up your program. Do something different. Enroll in a new activity. Sign up for an event like a Triathlon, 10km Fun run or Adventure Trek. Try a new class. Hire a trainer. Just commit to doing something different.

Since the warmer weather is upon us, it’s a really good opportunity to also ensure you’re getting outdoors for some of your workouts. Take up cycling. Try an Outdoor Bootcamp program. Go kayaking. Get yourself some Vitamin D and get outside of the four walls of a gym. The fresh air will do you some good.

For those of you who are local, our new Group class schedule starts May 1st. We’re offering some really fun new classes including some Outdoor Bootcamp programs. Plus you can still drop in for our Learn to Run or Triathlon programs. Call us at 360.574.7292 or 503.287.0655 for more details.

Here’s the link to our new schedules that begin May 1st. Best advice we can give you is to schedule your workouts into your dayplanner – always carve the time out for yourself first!


http://www.nwpersonaltraining.com/subs/services/group_training.php

Here’s a link to the list of upcoming summer adventures we’re hosting. Tons of fun stuff going on and we’d love for you to join us!

http://www.nwpersonaltraining.com/subs/events/events.php?event_type=upcoming

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan