Fitness In Between The Feasts

We all just enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast and in one month, we’ll be back at it during the Christmas and New Year’s dinner, get-togethers and parties. It’s easy to see why Americans gain so much weight during this time of year. The holidays can be a stressful time trying to keep up with the endless responsibilities from getting your holiday cards out, baking, cooking for friends and family, decorating the house inside and out, shopping for the perfect gifts for your loved ones and attending every social party and get-together! It’s no wonder workouts tend to get pushed to the back burner. Add in all the temptations and indulgences and the weight easily creeps up.

Here’s a list of action steps to keep your health and fitness a priority and help avoid the typical holiday weight gain.

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Posted in exercise, Fitness, healthy, holiday, Nutrition by Sherri | No Comments

Sleep More To Lose Weight!

Sleep more and lose weight – now that seems like a program that a lot of people can commit to! Although it may seem like it’s too good to be true, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that a lack of sleep has been associated with weight gain. Recent literature is touting the importance of sleep in terms of optimal health and fat loss. It is now clear that when the body doesn’t get the 7-8 hours of sleep every night that it needs to rejuvenate, repair and heal, it finds ways to compensate for the lower levels of serotonin and dopamine caused by lack of sleep. The body reacts by increasing appetite and craving foods with sugar and fats that instantly give you the immediate release of serotonin and dopamine.  It also causes you to store more fat as a defense mechanism to provide you the energy to help manage the longer days. So get to bed early and allow your body to function as it’s designed it! As an added benefit, if you’re in bed at a decent hour, you’ll be less likely to be munching of high calorie, late-night snacks.

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For those who struggle with getting enough deep sleep, here’s some tips:



Those who exercise regularly experience less issues with sleep. It makes sense that fatiguing your body during a

workout will cause you to be more tired and fall asleep more easily. Plus if I’m asking you to sleep more, it goes without saying that I’m going to also ask you to exercise more! The one caveat is that if you struggle with falling asleep, avoid working out right before bed.

Bedtime Ritual

Practice the same activities that will trigger your body to know it’s time to shut down. For example, brush your teeth,

turn down the lights, meditate, practice some deep breathing, listen to relaxing music, read a book…Figure out a routine that works for you.

Stick to a Bedtime Schedule

As much as possible, get up and go to bed at the same time – even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body’s internal clock so it becomes accustomed to waking up and falling asleep at the same time every day.

Avoid electronics 30 minutes before bedtime

Put your phone away, shut off the TV and wind down. If you are on your phone, but it on nighttime mode so the light is adjusted to not negatively affect your ability to fall asleep.

Stay Cool

Adjust the temperature of your room to between 60-68 degrees which is most conducive to sleep.

Keep it Dark

To help aid sleep, your room should be dark. Use blackout curtains, sleeping blindfolds and make sure no light is on in your room.

Keep it quiet from distractions

Consider using ear plus or white-noise machines to block out any sounds that could disrupt your sleeping patterns.

Invest in a good mattress and pillow

If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for over 10 years, it’s probably time to get a new one. Think of it this way – we spend 1/3 of our lives in our beds so let’s make sure our mattress and pillow are comfortable and allow us to easily fall asleep.

Avoid eating too late at night

Try to stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. Eating a large meal right before bedtime can make it difficult to sleep

well as the body is trying to digest.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol right before bed

Drinking caffeine and alcohol can disrupt your sleep so try to avoid it right before bedtime.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Couve Run 2017


Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




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Muscle & Tissue Release

As we get older, our tissues generally become more tight and rigid and our flexibility and posture can be negatively affected. Here’s some tips to keep you mobile and limber as you age:


A tightness in connective tissue can be associated with a lack of hydration so be sure to have your Hydro-flask with you at all times.

Eat Like a Champion

Fuel your body with a diet that is primarily fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein to assure your connective tissue has the nutrients it needs to grow and repair.


Make an investment in a massage therapist who can be very helpful in breaking down tight tissue and keeping you healthy and strong.

Range of Motion

Perform movement and exercise that has you moving through a full range of motion so you maintain functional mobility.

Lengthen While Your Strengthen

Perform exercise that has you strengthening while lengthening your muscles. Yoga and Barre classes are great to accomplish this.

Myofascial Release

Use equipment such as foam rollers or balls to roll over or provide pressure in areas that are tight to help them to release.

Vibration Therapy

Use vibration tools to help release tightness in tissues. I wrote a column on this topic just a few weeks ago. Make sure to read it!

Move Your Body

Just move! There’s nothing better at making you very tight and causing your tissues to become chronically shortened than sitting around doing nothing. So just move. Go for a walk. Get the heart pumping and blood flowing. Move your joints.

There is a Free local workshop titled “Muscle and Tissue Release for Improved Posture on Tuesday November 29th from 6:45-8:00pm. Two local trainers, Derrick Delay and Marijka Morgunov, have come together and created a list of Foam Rolling & Myofascial release techniques paired with postural strengthening exercises that promote blood flow and will keep muscle tissues healthy, release tension caused by poor posture and enhance strength that will ensure lasting results. In this session, you will learn about fascia and how it can increase or decrease your performance and stress levels. You will go home with handouts so you can perform these much-needed techniques on your own to promote injury reduction and a decreased stress this holiday season. Go HERE to signup or call 360-574.7292 to reserve your spot.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Couve Run 2017


Join us for the COUVE CLOVER RUN – 3, 7 & 10 MILES on March 24th, 2019 in downtown Vancouver, WA.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s day with us at the 5th Annual Couve Clover Run. Wear your festive green while running or walking 3, 7 or 10 miles along an extremely fast and scenic course to support local charities! We will make you earn your post-event party, but it will be off the charts hosted by Main Event and other downtown Vancouver Pubs & Breweries.




5 Minute Killer Core Workout

Strengthening your core is critical for optimal health. If your core is strong, that strength radiates out to your extremities and you will be better able to run faster, jump higher, stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics.  It’s important to mention that your core is not only your abs – but also includes your back and hips so to strengthen your core effectively you need to work the front, back and sides of your torso.

Here’s a workout that can condition your entire core in a quick 5 minute format.

Choose 3 different Core Exercises of the following nature – one stabilization exercise, one flexion or rotation of the spine and one hip exercise or back extension.

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Take Advantage of Fall and Get Fit!

It’s not as hot, kids are back to school, vacations are over and many people use this time to “Fall back into Fitness”. Here’s some easy tips to put ‘Fitness First for Fall’!

1. Take a Walk

Vancouver looks so beautiful right now with the leaves changing color.Schedule weekly walks along the trails on Officers Row and through Fort Vancouver, or along the waterfront trail especially the newly developed waterfront area, Salmon Creek, Lacamas Lake or Discovery Trails. These nature walks will be good for the mind, body and spirit!

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Fit For The Rain

After enjoying a wonderful summer, we’re probably all bracing for the rainy season. So how do you stay fit, when it’s rainy and cold? Many people notice that their activity levels take a nose dive during the rainy season and most tend to gain weight. The lack of sunlight during the rainy months often leads to many people experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the Rainy Blues. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. Follow these tips to feel great and stay in fabulous shape during the months of rain on our horizon.


There’s no bad weather, only bad gear. If you are wearing the correct clothing, you can still get outdoors when it’s cold and wet without feeling miserable.  Not only will you keep your fitness routine going, but being outdoors even if it’s cloudy and rainy, still exposes you to some levels of daylight, UV Rays and Vitamin D and will help to prevent SAD. So head to your local sporting goods retailer to get some warm and waterproof clothing.

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Monitor Your HEART!

At Northwest Personal Training, we have recently implemented a new system called Fit-Metrix which tracks our clients’ heart rate during workouts, time in each training zones, calories burned and more. As trainers, it allows us to immediately adjust workout intensity based on our clients’ goals and their body’s response to the exercise. It also allows us to reward points to clients based on workout consistency and intensity. We can even use Fit-Metrix to host challenges where clients compete to see who can get the most points during a specific time frame. It has been extremely motivating and will translate to better results!

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Train to Run APPLETREE – Week 6

The Old Apple Tree.jpgIt’s Race Week! Time flies when you’re having fun! You will experience a lot of adrenaline and feed off the energy of others at the race but continue to listen to your body and know that you’ve done the work to get you to the finish line.

If you haven’t registered yet, hurry so you can get a Finisher’s Tshirt. Remember Kids 17 and under race the 5K for free and use code “COLUMBIAN” to get 10% off.

If you don’t feel quite ready yet, volunteer for the weekend and be inspired by all the people doing the race with various fitness levels, age, body shapes and sizes. It is so motivating! Email if you want to help out!

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Train to Run APPLETREE – Week 5

Beautiful Evening on Columbia WayWe have 2 weeks left to get you to the finish line. Remember that half the battle is your mindset. So get your mind straight and believe that you can get to the finish line and I’ll see you at the finish line to place your medal around your neck!

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Train to Run APPLETREE – Week 4

Are you feeling stronger? The program probably doesn’t feel easier because as you’re getting more fit, I’m making the program harder as you progress. We are three weeks in and ready to advance the program to get you to the finish line of the APPLETREE Sunset 5K or Half Marathon. Remember to listen to your body and progress more slowly if needed!

Remember to get signed up as soon as possible so then you’re committed! The Inaugural APPLETREE Marathon, Half Marathon and Sunset 5K on Saturday and Sunday September 15th & 16th is going to be epic. The start/finish line will be on Officer’s Row in front of the historical Grant House with a “Run through History” theme and runners and walkers will travel through the Fort, past the Pearson Museum and Airport, past the oldest Apple Tree on the Pacific Coast, along the water front and through downtown past the Columbian newspaper which is one of the oldest locally, family-owned newspapers in the country operating since 1890. Since Kids 17 and under can register for the 5K for FREE and with a distance for everyone in the family, we want to provide training guidelines and a program to make sure everyone is ready for race day! People from all over the country will be using the APPLETREE Marathon to quality for the Boston Marathon and we want to come together as a community and be part of this historical event and highlight how amazing Vancouver is! Not everyone can do a Marathon, but we can all do a 5K!

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