Exercises For Skiing and Snowboarding

Snow, snow, snow on the mountains. For many of us in the Northwest, the only thing that can get us through the wet months that lay ahead is knowing that if it’s raining down here, it’s snowing in the mountains!

Skiing and snowboarding are amazing sports and they are very intense.  Be prepared to hit the mountain with some strength this winter.  Try these workouts to get you there!

After a light warm-up, do these exercises below 3 times per week on alternating days. Do each of the four exercises for one minute with a 30 second table top in between each exercise. That will take you about 6 minutes. Take a 2 minute break, and then do it again. It will only take you 15 minutes, but it should be a fast-paced, intense workout to make it count. Be sure to fit in Read the rest of Exercises For Skiing and Snowboarding

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Find Your Indoor Workout Sweet Spot

In the summer, I’m always outside — cycling, running and hiking — but as the weather gets a little colder and the nights a little darker, I find I spend a lot less time outdoors.

Although I still get outdoors to run (because I have the right gear!), during the fall and winter months I like to start taking more indoor classes, using my indoor rock climbing membership at The Source rock climbing gym more and ramp up my weight training.

Here are a few of my favorite resistance training exercises:

Upper Body: Assisted Chin-ups

(You can use a Gravitron so you don’t need to pull your full body weight).  As you pull with your arms, your body will lift upward. Stop once your chin has cleared the bar. Slowly return to the starting position. Attempt to achieve full range of motion without locking out on your elbows. Try to focus on pulling with the muscles in your back rather than your arms. Perform a set of eight to 12 reps. Read the rest of Find Your Indoor Workout Sweet Spot

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Post Race Muscle Relief

We hosted the 6th annual Girlfriends Half Marathon yesterday where close to 3,000 women ran 13.1 miles to raise money for breast cancer and other local charities.  What an amazing and inspirational day and I feel great…well except I am a little tight.  I know that there were LOTS of half marathons this past weekend all across the country and I bet I am not the only one that is feeling a little stiff and tight.

Let me help you!  Have you ever tried using a foam roller to stretch and release muscle aches and pains?  Self-myofascial release using a foam roller is a perfect way to help release tight areas for runners and athletes of all kinds!

Here are my favorite myofascial release techniques:

IT band: Lie on your right side supported by your right elbow and maintain your head in neutral and ears aligned with shoulders. Place the roller under your right thigh and place your left leg over and in front of your right leg. Roll just below hip joint down the lateral thigh to the knee.

Piriformis/glutes: Sit on the full roller and cross your right ankle over your left knee. Roll on the right hip area while pulling the right knee toward the opposite shoulder to increase the stretch. Read the rest of Post Race Muscle Relief

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They Like Spiders Too!

Halloween candy is yummy, but kids like spiders too…spider rings that is.  The truth is that, although kids love to get candy, many of them would like just as much to get some cool new Halloween pencils or pens, spooky stickers, tattoos, or spider rings.  Or you can even try one of these options:

Mini rice cereal bites.
Packages of trail mix.
Cereal or energy bars
Small boxes of raisins.
Small packages of dried fruit.
Sugar-free gum.
Mini juice boxes.

You may not be the “coolest” parent on the block, but  at least you can feel good about the fact that you’re not sending your neighbors’ kids into sugar oblivion!

Here are some other tips to putting a limit on the sugar factor around your house… Read the rest of They Like Spiders Too!

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Change Your Nutritional Habits. Really.

We are all human and creatures of habit…right?  Yes, that is correct, but we have often formed habits that aren’t necessary and we only do them because that is the way we have always done things.

This is all very true for nutritional habits and I want to help you get a handle on your nutritional habits by explaining exactly how to change them.  Really!

The first step to getting control of these nutritional habits is to become aware of your patterns.
A journal that tracks your exercise and dietary habits will help you examine your behaviors. Once you discover what actually stimulates your less-than-healthy behavior, you then have the choice of either changing the stimulus or situation, or changing your response to the stimulus or situation. Review the following examples to help clarify the action steps. Read the rest of Change Your Nutritional Habits. Really.

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Even I Don’t Wake Up Looking Like Cindy Crawford

Hard to believe…I know 🙂

The truth is that Cindy Crawford was once quoted as saying, “Even I don’t wake up looking like Cindy Crawford!”

Often people have very unrealistic expectations of the type of body they would like to achieve. They often refer to popular magazines to determine their ideal body. But they are ignorant to the fact that many of the models are 23 percent underweight to begin with, have been made-up for hours, enhanced with camera tricks, and still, once the photos are developed, the pictures are cropped, airbrushed and manipulated by computer to produce a very unrealistic, unhealthy, so-called “perfect” image.

It’s very important for you to examine your genetics and to understand that fat loss is dependent on your genetic breakdown. About half of fatness is genetically determined. You can’t change this!

So examine your parents and your family to determine the types of expectations you can place upon yourself. Some people have good genes and have it easy in terms of maintaining an ideal body weight. And others have to work a lot harder. But at the end of the day, you make the choice to do the work necessary to look good, feel great and live life to the fullest! Read the rest of Even I Don’t Wake Up Looking Like Cindy Crawford

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Don’t Feel Old! Feel Great!

We see this ALL the time at Northwest Personal Training!  The moment folks turn 40 they tend to start feeling older, not feeling as athletic or fit as they once did.  Sound familar?  It DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!

You can do something about it!

The reality is, what you do today will determine the type of existence you can expect as you get older — not to mention how you look and feel right now! In most cases, it’s a matter of choice, not chance. In fact, the lifestyle that you are living today will cause you to age more slowly or more quickly than your actual chronological age.

It doesn’t take a scientist or researcher to have to convince us of this phenomenon. There are lots of real-life examples of people who have been healthy and fit all their life and now find themselves in their later years still having the energy and ability to enjoy life.

Most people realize that they should be exercising — everybody knows it’s good for them. But most people don’t exercise — they just think about starting an exercise program their entire life. There’s a definite gap and disconnect between knowing what we should be doing and actually doing it. For most people, they need a compelling reason, a motivating force to actually get started and stick to an exercise program.

Hopefully, today is that day!

Click HERE to read the full article I wrote for the Columbian on this same topic.

Yours In Health & Fitness,
Sherri McMillan

You might also like these past blog posts:
Key health and fitness tips for achieving life-changing results
Look 10 to 20 years younger!

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Fall Fitness Goals: Program Guidelines

Fall is a time when LOTS of people are starting to make fitness goals and I want to make sure that you reach those goals.  You probably read my blog post from last week where I told you how to set reasonable goals for yourself.

Now I would like to share my Top 10 Fall Fitness Program Guidelines.  Follow these guidelines and you will be well on your way to seeing serious results this fall!

1: Aerobic exercise: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends aerobic exercise three to five days/week for 20-60 minutes each session to maximize fitness gains and fat loss.

2: Resistance exercise: Regular strength training workouts are critical to maximize fat loss, build bone density, improve posture, develop muscle tone and slow down the aging process. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a lot of time in the weight room.

3: Eat 5 small meals and snacks each day. Studies indicate that when people eat more regularly throughout the day, they are less likely to overeat or indulge in less-healthy choices.

4: Drink five 16-ounce glasses of water every day. Our body is 50-60 percent water, and when we are dehydrated, our body and its organs and systems don’t function at their optimal level.

5: Focus on what you should be eating instead of what you shouldn’t be eating. Ensure you consume five vegetable and three fruit servings every day.

6: Practice the 80:20 rule. Read the rest of Fall Fitness Goals: Program Guidelines

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Take Control Of Your Fitness Goals – Here’s How!

The kids are back in school, summer vacations are over and I know that many of you are starting to think about refocusing on your fitness goals.  That is great news and I am here to help.

Here at Northwest Personal Training we strongly encourage our clients to set fitness goals, but the way we do this may be different than what you are used to. When a client consults with us and weight loss is their primary goal, we immediately encourage them to set goals that are more action-oriented instead of outcome-oriented. Weight loss is the end result, and unfortunately, it is often an outcome that is out of our direct control. For example, perhaps your goal is to lose 10 pounds, but if you gained four pounds of muscle and lost six pounds of fat, you would feel like a failure even though you would have experienced very positive changes. Or what if your body is responding a little more slowly to your exercise sessions, so you get discouraged by the slow weight loss and give up on your program?

It is far better to focus your goals on something you have immediate control over. For example, instead of suggesting that you’ll lose one pound this week, instead, decide that you’ll work out five times or drink eight glasses of water. Or you may want to consider setting an external goal such as completing a 5K fun run, half marathon or challenging hike. This approach is much more positive and takes the focus away from a negative body image.

I also suggest a similar approach when your goals are focused on exercise and nutrition.  To learn how to create realistic goals that you can control for exercise and nutrition make sure to read the latest article I wrote for the Columbian Striving To Succeed In September.

With any goal, remember that if you believe you can achieve something, you will. The power to aspire to great things happens first in the mind. Be prepared to regularly assess goals and modify actions if needed.

Expect struggles and obstacles and decide beforehand how you’ll overcome them. If you do get off track, the key to success is learning from the experience and getting right back en route as quickly as possible. Good luck and stay tuned next week, when I give you some more tips.

Yours in Health & Fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Here are some past blog posts that you might like:
Nutrition Principle #1 to Losing Weight and Looking & Feeling your Best

Yes, You Can Cheat! 

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Celebrate Without The Hangover



Labor Day weekend is such a great time for barbecues, back yard parties and celebrating the end of summer. Many times with these celebrations come alcoholic drinks and then sometimes that darn hangover the next day. Of course, I don’t encourage over induldging in a alcoholic drinks, but if you find yourself at a party with a drink in your hand…here are a couple things you can do to avoid feeling lousy the next day.  Remember, hangovers can mean missing a workout the next day and that is never good!


  • Eat before you drink
  • Drink water before you drink alcohol
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of water for every alcoholic drink you consume
  • Don’t mix your drinks
  • Prepare your body
  • Do not drink coffee
  • Avoid extra sugar
  • It’s not a competition
  • Play sports or get on the dance floor
  • Stay out of the sun
  • Don’t succumb to peer pressure
  • Think ahead if you are planning to drink

To learn more about why these tips will help you avoid feeling the sting of a hangover read the latest article I wrote for the Columbian How To Thwart That Hangover.”

Yours in Health & Fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Here are some past blog posts that you might like:
10 Tips For Quick & Effective Workouts
Key health and fitness tips for achieving life-changing results

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