One Free Day Is Better Than Striving To Be Perfect!

Many people have great intentions and set New Year’s resolutions to get healthy and start eating better. Many will go on a diet to lose weight but we all know that most diets fail. People typically can’t stay on the diet for the long-term so as soon as they go off the diet, they gain the weight back. Statistics show that most people can stick to a diet for about a week before they fail. So instead of fighting the process, try a different approach that will enable you to stay on your nutrition plan for the long-term and experience life-changing results.

Instead of striving for a perfect diet, follow a very strict, healthy, nutrient-dense, low calorie plan 5-6 days per week and then allow for 1-2 ‘Free Days” each week.

The Free days are built into the program so you don’t have to feel guilty about it; in fact they are necessary to assure you don’t feel deprived, can indulge every once in a while and can continue on the plan forever. It’s a lot easier to say no to something today when you know you can say yes to it in a few days. Remember that stats show we can stick to a diet for about a week so don’t fight this. Understand it and set up your program to be successful for the long-term. This type of plan is feasible for most people. You are not telling yourself you are never going to eat pizza or drink wine again, but instead, just limiting how much and when you will indulge. Just make sure you do not start to make deals with yourself regarding your free days. If Saturday is your free day, make sure you stick to Saturday. Avoid indulging on say, Thursday and then promising that on Saturday, you will skip your free day. These types of compromises can lead to more regular slips.

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Finding Your Own Personal Coach

Shape up with Sherri

If you examine most professional, elite athletes, you’ll notice they have an entourage of coaches, nutritionists and trainers who help them achieve their performance and athletic goals. These are the most talented and motivated people on the planet so if they can benefit from the services of a coach or trainer, can you imagine how much more the rest of us could benefit. One report showed that just having a personal trainer in the room while you’re exercising causes you to burn more calories. We’ve probably all experienced that affect whenever the instructor or trainer gets a little closer, we try a little harder, our form gets a little better but as soon as their back is turned, we slack off. IDEA, the International Health and Fitness Organization, once reported that only 25% of exercisers are achieving results – but of the success stories, 90% of them are working with a personal trainer.

It’s clear that the education, safety, guidance, and accountability that a personal trainer can provide will help someone stick to a program long enough to experience noticeable change.


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A coach can also modify and adapt the program to assure you are continuously progressing. So, if everyone can benefit from the services of a coach, how do you choose the right trainer for you?  Unfortunately, the Personal Training industry is unregulated resulting in numerous individuals with no experience or credentials causing injury to well-intentioned individuals who just wanted to get fit. If you are really serious about sticking to and achieving your health and fitness goals this year, you may want to consider hiring a coach to oversee your entire program.

Here’s a list of guidelines to follow and questions to ask before putting your health in someone else’s hands:

Understand what you want

What are your specific goals and how do you foresee a trainer helping you accomplish these goals? Do you need a trainer who specializes in a certain area? Do you need a trainer who understands how to work around a certain injury or health condition?Do you need a coach who can help you with a certain athletic or performance goal? Would you prefer working with a female or male? Would you prefer a trainer who is more aggressive, entertaining, educational, or nurturing?  Do you want to workout at home, at a gym or outdoors? Do you need help with all aspects of your fitness and nutrition program or just select areas like weight training? Ask yourself how often you want to see a trainer. Know what your budget and time constraints will allow.

Confirm they are a legitimate health and fitness trainer

As a minimum, a trainer should hold a nationally recognized certification, but the confusing part is that there are over 250 various personal training certifications available in the United States – some that you just have to answer a few easy questions and pay a small fee to obtain. Look for one of the more credible certifications – NASM, ACSM, ACE, AFAA, or NSCA. You should also confirm your trainer is certified in CPR and Fitness First Aid. A degree in a health-related field is a very nice bonus and can assure a greater depth of knowledge. You should also ask them when they attended their last health and fitness conference or workshop to assure they are staying up on their continuing education credits and current trends.

What’s their experience level? 

When it comes to your health, you probably want to work with a trainer or company that has been helping people successfully adopt a healthy and fit lifestyle for a long time. However, keep in mind that trainers who have the most experience are also usually the busiest and have the least amount of time to really focus on you. Many people are very happy with the service they get from trainers who don’t yet have years of experience. Just make sure you have a strong connection and your trainer is committed to education and constant growth. If you have a specific health concern, it would be wise for you to go with a trainer who has practical experience in dealing with your particular issue. If they don’t, ask if they will consult with your physician or expert health professionals who can guide them in developing your fitness program.

What do other people say? 

Be sure to get references or testimonials from other clients. If they are good, they should have an abundance of success stories from raving fans.

Shop around

Interview a few prospects before you make your decision. Ask what credentials they hold. Ask which approach and guidelines the trainer will use when developing your exercise program? Which fitness components will they include? How will they change or progress your program? How will they monitor your progress? Tell them what you want and have them explain how they will help you succeed. It’s also important to assess their personality. Do you feel that they will have the capacity to motivate you? Do they really listen to you?  Do you respect and find it easy to like them? Are they positive and energetic? Go with your intuition.

Talk about the money

Make sure you understand the cost per session and what that includes. Many trainers will offer discounted rates when you make a commitment and purchase a package. Decide how often you will commit to training understanding that some clients train 5x/week, some just a couple times per week, some once per week and some clients experience great success only seeing a coach once every few weeks or once a month to check in and make sure they’re on track. If money is an issue, you should also ask about 30-minute vs 60-minute sessions and inquire about group training or partner training options which can be much more affordable because the costs are split between multiple people. You also want to be clear on their cancellation policies and billing procedures.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

 


Couve Run 2017Join 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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Create A Transformational 2019

I have been a Fitness Trainer for over 30 years and I’ve noticed that there are certain things that those who are successful at achieving their goals do on a regular basis

 

First, I’ve learned that people must figure out their ‘why?’ Once there is a will, there is way but without a compelling force, success is so much more difficult. The motivation and inspiration to stick to your program or your goals is within you. 

You just need to find the right reason – the reason that will make you so emotionally charged that you will take action, make the changes and stick to them regularly – no matter what!


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Step One

You must take the time to write out your goals and why they are so important to you. You can either coast through life and see where it takes you. You’ll wind up somewhere but it may not be where you want! Or you can create a map of who you want to be, what you want to do and what you want for your life. I’ve found that the biggest difference between those who succeed and those who don’t has nothing to do with intelligence or beauty or money…but those who succeed know exactly what they want and are willing to do what it takes to get it!

Be very clear with your goals for all aspects of your life…physically, professionally, mentally, socially, travel, relationships…Paint a very vivid picture of what your dream life would look like. Write it down! The brain processes things differently when it’s written down and you read it.

Grab a sheet of paper and create a list of all the fitness goals and any goals you have for yourself. It is your personal wish list or Bucket List. Remember when you were a kid making up your Christmas wish list.  You wrote down everything under the sun. You did not care whether you thought you would actually get it or not. You wrote it anyways. That is what I want you to do. I want you to write down anything you have ever thought of achieving in your life. Which goals, if you achieved it, would make 2019 unbelievable?

In terms of your fitness and health goals, have you ever wanted to hike the Grand Canyon, complete a marathon or triathlon, cycle through Italy, learn to Rock climb, or would you just be happy with working out 4x/week consistently? What are your health and fitness goals?

Remember to set SMART goals

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reward-based and have a Time frame. It’s not enough to say “I want to get in shape.” How will you know when you’ve achieved that goal? Here are some examples of SMART goal setting:

  • Hike the Grand Canyon this May
  • Run on the treadmill for 30 minutes 3x/week so complete 24 workouts by January 31st
  • Enroll in the local Foot Traffic running clinic that starts in January
  • Resistance train every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until January 31st
  • Train for and complete the Couve Clover Run 10K on March 24th
  • Exercise on the cardio machines for one hour without stopping by February 1st
  • Work out with a personal trainer 2x/week
  • Sign up for the Scuba Diving course that starts March 1st
  • Drink 8 glasses of water every day by January 15th

Each goal is clear, easy to measure your success and has a deadline. Now go back to your wish-list and make sure each goal is specific, measurable, attainable and time-framed. Revise all your goals to make them as SMART as possible. You will also notice that none of the goals that I have listed include anything about body weight or size. Deciding to lose 10 pounds is an “Outcome-oriented” goal. I prefer to use “Behavior or Action-oriented” goals. This approach is a lot more positive. For example, in the process of training for a triathlon, you will definitely lose body fat but your focus is on something so much more positive. So avoid setting any weight or fat loss goals.  Instead focus on the actions you can take which will promote fat loss and put those action steps and tasks into your calendar to remind you to do them!

But don’t stop there. Successful goal-setting requires two more things. Be prepared to reassess and reevaluate your goals on a regular basis and reward yourself once you have achieved a goal. For example, treat yourself to a massage, a new outfit or a trip. Then set your sights on the next goals. Go back to your goals and attach a reward to each one. Be sure that the reward is motivating enough to encourage you to stick to your plan.

Take action today

Your list may seem overwhelming. Circle the top 1-3 items that you believe will make the greatest impact on creating your best life and focus on those things. The longer you wait to do something, the greater the chance that you will never do it. So take action right away! It doesn’t matter what it is…anything that points you in the right direction towards your goals. Just do it.That will give you the momentum to do the next thing and the next and soon you’ll be at your goals and enjoying the life you want for yourself.

Start this process now and you will be well on your way to an incredible 2019.

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Couve Run 2017Join 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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FITmas Gift For Your Fit Friends

You don’t need to stress or worry about what to buy for your friends who are fitness freaks. They are super easy to buy for. Here’s a list of the Top ideas that any hard-core exerciser would love and appreciate!

Massage

If you want to make your fit friends really happy, schedule them for a massage. There is nothing better after a tough workout than getting a full body rub down.  You can pick up a gift certificate at most local spas and most offer special holiday packages. One local massage therapist, Ryan Cotton from Elite Recovery is offering Buy 3 Massages, Get 1 Free so you can give to three of your loved ones and treat yourself to the free one! Each massage is only $50 so that’s 4 massages for $150 now that’s a sweet deal and a win:win for all!

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12 Days of FITMAS

It can be so challenging to keep your health and fitness a priority during the holidays. So to help keep you on track, I’m going to ask for you just 12 minutes per day over the 12 days prior to Christmas (The 12 Days of Fitmas!). Here is a simple, at-home workout that you can do anywhere, anytime and all it requires is 12 minutes. We can all commit to 12 minutes to keep our fitness in check, the typical holiday weight gain at bay and your spirits high during a typically stressful time of year.

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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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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:

 

Exercise

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:

Hydrate

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.

Massage

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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