Sleep Well To Be Well
The lack of sleep leads to poor quality workouts and weight gain. It’s not just the amount of hours you sleep, but the quality of sleep that contributes to being well rested. Here are some tips to help you get a good night’s rest.
Sleep Schedule – Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night.
Food Before Bed – Don’t go to bed either hungry or over-full. Your discomfort might keep you up.
Limit Your Drinks – Limit how much you drink before bed, to prevent disruptive middle-of-the-night trips to the bathroom. But you should also pay attention to the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume too. The stimulating effects of caffeine can wreak havoc with quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy at first, it can disrupt sleep later in the night.
Create a Bedtime Ritual -Do the same things each night to tell your body it’s time to wind down. Try relaxing activities that promote better sleep by easing the transition between wakefulness and drowsiness.
Your Bedroom – Your bedroom should be ideal for sleeping. This usually means cool, dark and quiet. Consider using room-darkening shades, earplugs, a fan or other devices to create an environment that suits your needs.
Aerobic vs. Anarobic
As a certified trainer I get lots of questions regarding the difference between Aerobic and Anarobic exercise.
Aerobic literally means "with oxygen", and refers to the use of oxygen in muscles' energy-generating process. Aerobic exercise includes any type of exercise, typically those performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time, that maintains an increased heart rate. With these types of exercises, oxygen is used to "burn" fats and glucose in order to produce adenosine triphosphate, the basic energy carrier for all cells.
Initially during aerobic exercise, glycogen is broken down to produce glucose, but in its absence, fat metabolism is initiated instead. The latter is a slow process, and is accompanied by a decline in performance level. The switch to fat as fuel is a major cause of what marathon runners call "hitting the wall." There are various types of aerobic exercises that include activities performed at a moderately high level of intensity over a long period of time. For example, running a long distance at a moderate pace is an aerobic exercise, but sprinting is not. Playing singles tennis, with near-continuous motion, is an aerobic activity, while golf or doubles tennis, with more frequent breaks, are not.
Anaerobic exercises are brief, strength-based activities like sprinting, bodybuilding, weight lifting, plyometric jumping (jump squats, box jumps), jumprope, etc; basically any exercise that consists of short exertion, high-intensity movement.
My ideal workout or training method is incorporating BOTH of these in one workout session. For example - I willl have a client do 3 sets of weighted squats or heavier leg extensions followed by 20 squat jumps or 1 minute of jumprope. Then I'll move on to another weightlifing sequence followed by 1 minute of mountain climbers. You get the idea?!
For those of you who know me or work with me, you know I am a HUGE fan of the HIIT workout. HIIT stands for high intensity interval training, and is the best way to get more bang for your buck when cardio training. It takes much less time, and burns more calories than any other cardio workout. In a 20 minute session you could burn anywhere from 400-600 calories in a single workout, and can be done on any cardio equipment or by simply using a jump rope!
HIIT is all about speed - INTENSE SPEED! Workouts usually last around 20 minutes and will burn up to 9 times more fat than a regular cardio workout. It is mostly used for individuals trying to lose weight but the rate at which it can make you fitter, makes it valuable for all types of fitness goals.
HIIT MP3 Interval Timers: If you are serious about getting results from high intensity interval training, its going to mean picking up the intensity. To do this consistently you are going to need a tool. A tool that will let you focus more on your intervals and make them feel a little easier. This tool is an interval timer and it can take all the difficulties of HIIT away and let you really focus on the exercises. The added benefit of these interval timers is the music can be very motivating, which will also make time pass a lot faster.
30 Second HIIT Training Workouts: The 30 second HIIT workout is the ideal place to start with interval training. If you are aiming at training above your lactate threshold you need to go fast enough to feel that the last few seconds feel almost impossible to keep moving. Everything in your body should be burning. Do your max speed for 30 seconds with a 30 second recovery. Repeats intervals for 20 minutes after a 3-4 minute warmup. As you get stronger, you'll increase the speed interval.
60 Second HIIT Training Workouts: The 60 second intervals completely exhaust your muscles of their stored energy,and this energy will take 24hr to 48 hrs to replenish. This HIIT training is superb for immediate fat burning and weight loss. Do your max speed for 60 seconds with 30 second "recovery speed" (speed that is still intense but LESS intense in order to allow yourself to catch your breath). Repeat intervals for 20 minutes after a 3-4 minute warmup.
Tabata Training: Tabata interval training is the single most effective type of HIIT, and one of the most intense. Surprisingly, its also the shortest in duration. It only last for four minutes... but those four minutes produce remarkable effects. You'll perform an exercise for 20 second intervals with 10 second rests in between for eight sets. Perfoming 4 different exercises this way in a single workout will burn well over 700 calories. And do the math, folks - four exercises is only 16 minutes of work! (There is also a great tabata app available to download that counts your intervals for you so you don't have to pay attention to a clock!) So step it up a notch and HIIT IT! If you would like more information or a custom HIIT workout, please feel free to call or email me at the studio.
Chill Out and Grill
We are grilling teriyaki chicken and pineapple "burgers" for dinner tonight. It's so delicious, I thought I'd share it.
-Whole Wheat Kaiser Rolls
First things first, cut the chicken breast in half. Hamburger style, not hot dog... remember that from first grade? Soak the halves in the teriyaki. I like to poke holes in the chicken to make sure the sauce really gets in there. Throw the chicken on the grill, just a few minutes on each side. Add one slice of swiss cheese. You could really use any cheese you like, or no cheese if you don't eat dairy.
Core the pineapple and cut it into thin slices. To really bring out the sweetness, put the pineapple of the grill for a minute or two. I also like to warm the kaiser roll. It holds up a little better grilled.
The Truth About Fiber
You can barely pick up a health magazine without reading an article about how wonderful fiber is. Yet many people struggle to consume the recommended amount of fiber.
Benefits of Fiber
Besides keeping you "regular," why should you make sure you're eating enough fiber?
- Fiber has a protective effect against cardiovascular disease in the overall population.
- Dietary and supplemental fiber (intakes of 20-27 grams/day from whole foods or up to 20g/day from supplements) may help with weight control.
- There is a clear association between a fiber rich diet and a lower body mass index.
- Many observational studies have found an association between high fiber food consumption and reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Fiber rich foods tend to be concentrated sources of cancer-fighting antioxidents, vitamins and minerals.
How Much Fiber?
The Institute of Medicine recommends a 14g of fiber per 1000 kilocalories as an Adequate Intake for adults. This amount was derived from data on the relationship between fiber consumption and coronary heart disease risk. The US department of Agriculture recommends 25g/day for women and 38g/day for men.
Fiber for Athletes
If you're an athlete or active person, there is no need to eat excessive amounts of fiber. Instead, aim to consume the recommended AI for the general population.
If you need to increase your fiber intake to meet the AI, do so on a rest day or after workouts. You should also increase fiber gradually, and make sure you drink lots of fluids. Pay careful attention to overal fluid intake in order to prevent dehydration and/or constipation . Supplemental fiber should be avoided during activity and is NOT recommended during strenuous activity.
High Quality, High Fiber Choices:
barley, 1 cup/6 grams
oats, 0.5 cups/4 grams
airpopped popcorn, 3 cups/4 grams
quinoa, cooked, 1 cup/5 grams
cooked brown rice, 1 cup/4 grams
Peas and Legumes:
Cooked black beans, 1 cup/15 grams
Frozen green peas, 1 cup/14 grams
Cooked kidney beans, 1 cup/16 grams
Pinto beans, 1 cup/15 grams
Cooked split peas, 1 cup/16 grams
Raw blackberries, 1 cup/8 grams
Raw raspberries, 1 cup/8 grams
Raw strawberries, 1 cup/3 grams
Almonds, 1oz./4 grams
Flaxseed, 1 oz./8 grams
Peanuts, 1 oz./2 grams
Sunflower seeds, 1 oz./3 grams
Walnuts, 1 oz./2 grams