Spring Into Shape For Summer – Week Two

Have you implemented some or all of the tips from last week’s column and started to develop some good healthy habits? Continue doing everything you learned last week and add on today’s tips. The goal is to get you into incredible shape just in time for summer and we’ve got a few months to make that happen. Give us three months and I’ll give you the best summer of your life!

Cardiovascular Conditioning

Add up the total minutes of cardio activity you did last week.  If you want to continue improving, implement the overload principle which means this week you increase your total minutes by 10%.  So if you did 100 minutes last week, this week you do 110 minutes.

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Spring Into Shape for Summer!

Tsquatbhe smell of spring is in the air and many of us are now realizing summer is on its way. Long days, outings to the beach, tank tops and sundresses, swim wear, cycling, camping, walks by the water, parties by the pool….Can’t you wait!?

We’ve got about 3 months to get you in tip-top shape so you enjoy the best summer of your life. Each week we will be provide you with easy tips that you can implement right away so that week by week you are getting closer to your Personal Best!

If you make the commitment and follow along for the next 3 months, you can expect to improve your aerobic fitness, muscle tone and flexibility, increase your energy levels and reduce your body fat.

The program is progressive so that each week we build on what you’ve learned the week previous so cut out each week’s section so you’ve got the entire program in front of you and it’s easy to follow.

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Increasing Energy and Afternoon Productivity

If you are like most people, you experience a mid-afternoon slump causing a loss in energy and productivity between 2-5pm. If you find yourself relying on coffee, soda, chocolate bars or energy drinks to get you through the afternoon, you’ll be happy to know that there are definite action steps that are much healthier that you can take to reduce the loss in energy in the afternoon. I recently presented the following 10 Tips to the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce members to help enhance energy and productivity.

Opt Outside For 10 Minutes

The fresh air, Vitamin D and movement will get your blood flowing, endorphins flowing and you’ll feel so much better. Perhaps, invite a colleague and you can also Walk & Talk and get a work meeting done on the go. You’ll return to your desk feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

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You Can Tabata Anywhere

We are about 6 weeks post New Year’s Resolutions and if you’re on track with your workouts, great job! But you may be getting a little bored with your routine and looking for a way to spice up your workouts. Tabata is a simple technique that you can easily implement that will not only add a new approach to your exercise sessions but also is highly effective.

Tabata training was first discovered by a Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Tokyo. There were two groups of subjects; one that trained at a high intensity for four minutes, four days per week for six weeks and the other at a moderate intensity for one hour five days per week for six weeks. The shocking results were that the moderate intensity group improved their aerobic system but experienced no improvement in their anaerobic system whereas the high intensity group exercise experienced a greater improvement in their aerobic system and a 28% increase in their anaerobic system. Read the rest of You Can Tabata Anywhere

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Top Fitness Trends for 2018

Variety is the spice of life and if you want to stay motivated with your health and fitness goals, it’s always a good idea to try new activities to minimize the risk of boredom and dropout.

The American Council on Exercise recently released a report of the Top New Fitness Trends for 2018. Take a look and maybe you will be inspired to jump on the band wagon and add some new excitement to your workouts. Read the rest of Top Fitness Trends for 2018

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The Gold Standard of Planking

Decades ago, abdominal crunches and sit ups were the go-to exercise for abdominal and core conditioning. Over the years, we’ve learned that they may not be the best exercise to strengthen our core to play sports, walk, run, jump, lift or perform other daily activities. 

It is true that 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 stabilize and align your body, absorb and brace for any impact and move your body more efficiently and with better mechanics. We have learned that your core is not just your abs and if you want a strong core, you need to incorporate exercises that train your core from all angles including your back and hips. We need to train core movements of the spine but even more importantly, stabilization of the spine.

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5 Tips To Overcoming The Roadblocks

When people set New Years Resolutions, most have great intentions and are extremely zealous but quickly run into roadblocks and eventually fall off the wagon. Soon the motivation fades and many are doomed to set the same resolutions year after year. Every year, if you set a goal, follow a process and then quit, why do you think it would be different next time. First, don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes it takes many attempts before something clicks and you figure out how to live a healthy and fit lifestyle for the long-term. Just remind yourself that your health is very important and you can do this, no matter how many tries it takes!

The bottom line is that whatever forced you off track last time, will more than likely surface again. To overcome that roadblock, you need to develop a strategy for overcoming obstacles posed by work, kids, fatigue or lack of time.

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Changes in Fitness Over The Last 18 Years

26232331_10155944697862456_7554832138060745684_oWe are celebrating our 18th Anniversary at Northwest Personal Training and Drew Carney from the KGW Early Morning Show recently did a segment with us to discuss what has changed over the last 18 years since we opened our doors. Here’s the highlights from that segment:

Dynamic Warm-up

It used to be common practice to perform static stretching before all exercise. Now we have learned it’s not a great idea to stretch prior to working out when the tissue is not properly warmed up. Instead we have learned the importance of a dynamic warmup – the body doesn’t go well from 0-60 so you need to warm the muscles and connective tissue, lubricate the joints and prepare the energy systems for the intense activity. So instead of holding a stretch for a sustained period of time, instead we will mimic the movements we will perform during the activity but at a lower intensity, low impact, low load, low speed before we gradually increase the intensity, load, impact and speed. Read the rest of Changes in Fitness Over The Last 18 Years

Rethink How You Approach New Years Resolutions

Last week, we discussed the 4 Most Important Tips to Winning at Fitness. There is one more thing that is critical to achieving any goal that you set and that’s making sure your Mind is Right. Many people start January with solid and positive intentions and resolutions but shortly after, sabotage their own efforts without even realizing. Everyone knows how important exercising and eating healthy is to overall health, and yet a very small percentage of people do it so where’s the disconnect? The reality is that many people consistently talk themselves out of doing something that they know they should do because there will be a challenge of some sort involved. It will require them to step out of their comfort zone, to work hard or do something they aren’t good at. The result is that tiny voice that exists in all of us that can sideline our efforts.

Remember that if you want to change your body, you have to change your mind. If you can reset your thoughts, you can transform your life.

So the next time you hear that little voice inside your head saying “If I miss this workout, it’s no big deal”, “I can always start tomorrow”, “I don’t feel like doing it – I’d rather just sit here and watch TV”, or “This one piece of cheese cake is not going to make that much of a difference”, stop your thoughts and try rephrasing them. Whenever you find yourself succumbing to negative self-talk that will take you away from achieving your goals, try this type of positive self-talk instead. Do whatever you can to convince yourself to just do what you know you need to do! Read the rest of Rethink How You Approach New Years Resolutions

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4 Most Important Tips to Winning at Fitness

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

It is January 1st and human nature has many of us resolving to make some major changes in our lives. Maybe we’ll decide to start an exercise program, start eating better, quit smoking or lose a substantial amount of weight. Regardless of the goal, have you ever wondered why most people set the same New Year’s Resolutions year after year?  That’s because by March 1st, 80% of people 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. Most people set themselves up for failure before the clock even strikes midnight because they attempt to do too much too quickly. They don’t do any planning and they have no idea how to monitor their progress. When it comes to health and fitness, your chances for success will improve dramatically if you approach things differently. Read the rest of 4 Most Important Tips to Winning at Fitness