Corporate/Employee Wellness, Health promotion, Personal training, Fitness Classes and Functional Bootcamps, Presentations and Events. Member of the Manitoba Fitness Council. Training and instruction in Martial Arts: Self Defense and Jiu Jitsu. Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
A JELLO BELLY WON’T MAKE YOU JOLLY LIKE SANTA
Many people chose to overindulge because of the holiday season. Here’s an interesting statistic. Did you know that most North Americans will gain up to 10 pounds of weight during the holidays?
The average person has about 30 billion fat cells. If you are overweight or obese you can have over 100 million fat cells!. When you eat all that great Christmas baking, chocolates and kielbasa, those fat cells can expand--up to 1,000 times their original size! Unfortunately a fat cell can only get so big and once it reaches it’s limit it multiplies. Plus, once you have a fat cell – you have it for life! You can NEVER burn it off. So remember this when you grab for that next short-bread cookie.
The point of holiday gatherings is to celebrate. Mingle with friends and loved ones instead pigging out. Unless you have a high metabolism like myself, you are going to regret going overboard.
Here are some Tips for the Holidays
Don’t starve yourself. Eat a good breakfast. Maintain a healthy eating schedule which includes protein during the day.
Aim for 5 or 6 evenly spaced meals a day. This isn’t just for the holidays. Not only is this the best way to burn fat and maintain muscle, but the lower end of the intestine requires emptying every six hours. Unfortunately, most people retain its contents twenty-four hours, which could result is ulcers and cancer.
Eat a good portion of vegetables. They have very few calories and will help to fill you up.
Eat a sensible salad (excluding the creamy dressing) before attending a holiday function.
Grab some fruit rather than the calorie dense dainty.
Stay away from the processed foods and white bread & pasta. Choose whole grain products.
Limit the booze. Alcohol intake can quickly add hundreds of calories. And guys, it significantly increases estrogen and reduces your testosterone levels.
Drink water. Along with your regular hydration requirements, drink a glass just before the big meal.
Wait a good 20 minutes before going for a second helping. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize that the stomach is full.
Remember – all things in moderation. If your Aunt keeps hounding you to grab seconds – politely decline. Offer to take a goody bag home instead.
If you’re hosting the party - present food in various locations to encourage activities and mingling as well as eating.
Stick with your exercise program. Don’t fall into a rut.
Not sure what to eat? Here are some fat fighting foods:
Eggs. Low in calories, they not only do they curb cravings but the whites are high in protein. The yoke has important vitamins, minerals and fat
Low-fat dairy A University of Tennessee study showed that dieters on a high-dairy meal plan shed more abdominal fat than their nondairy-eating peers. Milk also helps to build muscle and lowers the odds of a stroke.
High-fiber foods Beans, lentils, veggies and whole-grain foods take longer to digest and keep you satisfied longer.
Fish. Ensure the fish are wild and not “farm-raised”
Chicken. Always a good bet – stay away from fried…..
If you avoid consuming any fat, you will short-circuit your body's natural system for transporting vitamins through the body and regulating cholesterol levels. A healthy diet should take approximately 20-35% of its total calories from fat. However, keep in mind that fat has almost twice the number of calories as carbohydrates or protein (9 grams compared to 4 grams). Just watch your calorie intake.
The Canada Food Guide suggests that you eat a variety of foods from all 4 of the basic food groups – Grain, Fruits/Vegetables, Milk Products, Meat & Alternatives. Not sure how much is in a serving?
The following are equivalent to one serving:
A deck of cards = 3 oz. chicken/beef/turkey/fish
Your thumb = 1 oz. cheese
1 ice cream scoop = 1/2 cup cooked rice/pasta/oatmeal/beans/fish or poultry
A tight fist = 1 oz. dry cereal
A computer mouse = 1 baked potato
A yoyo = 1/2 bagel
1 fruit or 1/2 cup of raw vegetables.
Eating more than one serving in a meal is expected as a combination of foods is best. Remember the 5 or 6 regular spaced meals previously mentioned? Make it a part of your healthy lifestyle.
This is a special time of the year. Enjoy it with your friends and family.
Wishing you all the best this Holiday Season!
Sunday, November 4, 2007
UNDERSTANDING BODY TYPES - SOMATOTYPES
The three basic body types:
Endomorphic body type is characterized by an increased amount of fat storage, due to having a larger number of fat cells than the average person, as well as higher proportion of digestive tissue. They have a wide waist and a large bone structure.. Endomorphs often have great difficulty losing body fat.
Mesomorphic body type is characterized by a high rate of muscle growth and a higher proportion of muscular tissue. They have large bones, solid torso combined with low fat levels. It is also noted that they have wide shoulders with a narrow waist. Mesomorphs are the genetically gifted and are usually lean, muscular and naturally athletic. Mesomorphs lose fat and gain muscle with ease.
Ectomorphic body type is characterized by long arms and legs and a short upper body and narrow shoulders, and supposedly have a higher proportion of nervous tissue. They also have long and thin muscles. Ectomorphs usually have a very low fat storage; therefore they are usually referred to as slim and have a fast metabolism.
Dr. Sheldon categorized all possible body types according to a scale ranging from 1 to 7.
The pure endomorph is 7–1–1,
The pure mesomorph 1–7–1 and
The pure ectomorph scores 1–1–7.
Although there are three basic body types, most people are a combination of two or more. For example, most football linesmen are endo-mesomorphs. There could be high levels of muscle, often covered with a layer of fat. Their body score may be 5-6-1.
To understand your body make up, it is best to analyze the characteristics that seem to suit you and plan around it.
Most people fall into this category. An endomorph can store fat easily and regularly struggles with controlling body fat. Endomorphs have a difficult time losing fat by dieting alone. They usually have carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance.
To have a healthy lifestyle, Endomorph’s must rely on exercise and nutritional discipline. Processed and refined foods must be eliminated. They need to boost their metabolism by adding resistance training. Cardio/Aerobic exercise is necessary to stay lean. Avoid over-sleeping .
Mesomorphs are considered the genetically gifted individuals who are the typical natural-born athletes. Most are lean and muscular who can lose fat and gain muscle without much effort.
Many mesomorphs never see their full potential as they tend to rely on their genetics through life. The lack of discipline will eventually catch up. The best thing for a mesomorph is to train hard to reach their potential. Watching what your nutritional intake but allowing for the occasional “cheat” meal is all that is needed.
Ectomorphs are usually tall and slim with a high metabolism. They are the usual long distance / endurance athletes who have a hard time gaining weight.
Ectomorphs must workout regularly in order to maintain muscle. Because of their high metabolism, ectomorphs must eat 5 or 6 daily meals of high calorie dense foods. Ectomorphs should get plenty of sleep and limit their cardio to shorter high intensity workouts (bodyweight & plyometrics). Exercise should focus on resistance training to build muscle – basic movements while lifting heavy.
To determine your body type
As mentioned before, it is hard to find a somatotype that is one pure type. You must understand your body. What were you like growing up? Were you a late bloomer? How quickly do you respond to training? To you gain weight quickly? Are you in the same shape as you were 10 years ago? 5 years ago? 20 years ago?
Although you can change your body composition, some aspects of a Somatotype cannot be changed. Bone structure helps to determine your actual body type more so than muscle and adipose mass changes. Many people complaing of being “big-boned” citing this as a reason they are overweight. Surprisingly most people are small or medium boned and that joing size has nothing to do with the ability to lose body fat!
Remember the rating:
A pure endomorph is 7–1–1,
A pure mesomorph 1–7–1 and
A pure ectomorph scores 1–1–7.
I would consider myself a 1-4-6. I’ve always been slim with a fast metabolism and have to work hard for all the gains. Fortunately this has resulted in a disciplined approach to reaching my potential as a personal trainer. My weaknesses has become my strength – how many people do you know that can leg press 700 lbs?
Heredity does influence your body type. However, no matter what body type you are it is YOU and you alone that creates the end result. If you are fat and overweight, or skinny and weak, it is your own doing. Take responsibility to change – to improve yourself. Make a lifelong commitment to a fit lifestyle. There is no reason that you cannot maintain the physical attributes 10, 20 or 30 years from now.
For many, age is just a number. If you want mental clarity, feel positive and live life to the fullest it’s never too late to start. Don’t let life pass you by and miss out on the joy of being fit and healthy. Get off the couch, take a walk through the park, go for a swim or start an exercise program.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
“Stand straight!” “Pull your shoulders back!” “Push out that chest” “Sit up”
When we were young we were told to have good posture. But, were we taught effective ways to proper posture? Do we know what it is now?
How many people do you know that have that “hunched-over” look?
Having an upper back that is rounded or shoulders drooping while the head is forward is not an attractive sight.
How many people do you know that constantly complain about stiff necks, headaches, and sore backs?
Poor posture is a common cause of both back and neck pain.
WHAT IS POSTURE?
Posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while standing, sitting or lying down. The earth exerts a pull on the body in a straight line toward the earth’s center. Good posture is a neutral alignment that occurs when body landmarks such as the ankles, knees, hips and shoulders are in line with the pull of gravity. The body is balanced front to back and side to side.
While standing, neutral alignment is when the pelvis is vertically aligned. If your pelvis was a bucket of water, no water would spill out to any side. With an anterior tilt of the pelvis (arched back), water spills out the front. With a posterior tilt (flat back) the water spills out the back.
Here’s some interesting information on posture:
Approximately 80% of the population will suffer from back pain in their life time.
Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.
Americans spend over $50 billion each year on back pain
Based on a UK Government study, one half work day is lost annually due to work-related musculo-skeletal absenses.
70% of people in offices suffer postural problems. An employees efficiency drops from 100% down to 94%.
Do you have a sore neck? Your head weighs approximately 3.5 kgs (8 pounds). If you are reading this at your computer your chin may move forward 6 cms adding another 1.5 kgs (3 lbs) for the muscles of your neck, shoulders and traps to support. That’s almost a 40% increase. Let untreated, the effect of chronic desk slump results in rounded shoulders or what physical therapists call upper-cross syndrome.
When poor posture sets in, the bones are improperly aligned, the muscles, joints and ligaments or take on more stress than intended. Fatigue, muscle strain, compression of blood vessels and pain can result. Besides stiff necks and rounded shoulders, faulty posture can restrict your breathing, and tighten up the thighs, legs and ankles. Postural dysfunction can even affect the position and function of major organs and your leg length!
Good posture helps your body function at it’s best. Proper posture is also good prevention and good appearance, which contributes to an overall feeling of well-being.
Back – A healthy back has three natural curves that are in balanced alignment: (1) cervical curve - slight forward curve in the neck, (2) Thoracic curve – slight backward curve in the upper back, and (3) Lumbar Curve – slight forward curve in the low back.
Muscles – Strong and flexible muscles are essential to good posture. Abdominal, hip and leg muscles that are weak cannot support your back’s natural curves. Good posture prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy.
Joints – Hip, knee, and ankle joint balance your back’s natural curves when you move making it possible to maintain good posture in any position.
HOW TO CHECK YOUR POSTURE
Do you have poor posture?
One of the areas that I look at when doing a fitness assessment is posture. Proper posture includes good muscle flexibility, normal motion in the joints, strong postural muscles, muscle balance on both sides of the spine and awareness of your own posture.
Here’s a couple of simple ways to check your own posture:
Have someone take a picture of you from the side. Wearing minimal clothing (like a bathing suit) stand as you would normal - tall but relaxed. Check to see if the middle of your ear is in line with the middle of your shoulder, hip, and ankle. If you can't draw a straight line through these points, then your posture needs improving.
Using a mirror, align your ears, shoulder, and hips. Proper alignment places your ears loosely above your shoulders, above your hips. Again, these points make a straight line, but the spine itself curves in a slight 'S
HOW TO FIX POOR POSTURE.
A long day at the office or a lengthy drive in the car can tax our abilities to maintain a healthy posture. Lack of movement causes shortening of the hamstrings, glutes (butt), and lower back muscles.
Standing, sitting or moving, your bones and muscles complement one another, acting in unison to form the musculoskeletal system. There are 206 bones and over 600 muscles that all interrelate with each other.
Posture can only be corrected if you are aware of your posture compared to “good” posture.
First, let’s look at some of the causes of poor posture:
-Weak or tight msucles
-High heeled shoes
-Sitting on top of your wallet
-Sitting at a computer for long periods.
-Poor work environment.
-Lack of abdominal strength.
-Unconsciously standing or sitting improperly.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING GOOD POSTURE
Poor posture can be changed consciously with strengthening, stretching and posture checks throughout the day. Good body alignment and flexibility is important.
-Avoid staying in one position for long periods of time - especially sitting.
-Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
-Sleep on a firm mattress. Avoid oversized pillows.
-Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
-Exercise regularly. Incorporate functional strength training and core training.
1)Strengthen your shoulders with; scapula squeezes (squeezing your shoulder blades together for 30 seconds at a time) and doing rows (pulling your elbows back with resistance bands, Dumbbell rear delt flyes or back rows).
2)Stretch your chest muscles by; putting your arms behind your back and grasping both elbows or forearms and hold for 30 seconds. *1.
-Warm up and stretch before physical activity.
-Use proper body mechanics – bend your knees when picking something up or carry heavy objects in two hands close to your waist and don’t twist when lifting..
The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) has stipulated that despite the changes that occur naturally with aging, good posture can be maintained and poor posture improved.
To have good posture it is essential that your back, muscles and joints be in tip-top shape.
Posture can only be corrected if you are aware of YOUR posture and what is “good” posture.
Poor posture comes in many unattractive styles, all of which distorts the body’s proper vertical alignment and the back’s natural curves. If you have poor posture, it is recommended that you complete a postural evaluation from a physical therapist who can identify your particular problem and give you suggestions for correction that can then be incorporated into your fitness program. We all know that you have a fitness program right?
A great benefit of keeping your head straight, and your ears/shoulders/hips aligned is the improvement in your looks and attitude. You will appear more confident and your self-esteem and attitude will improve!
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Walk down any supplement aisle of your pharmacy or health-food store. Thousands of products that claim health benefits.
Have you ever opened up a Fitness Magazine? I counted the number of supplement advertisements in one popular magazine. Of the 248 pages, 107 were for supplement ads – that’s 43%. It’s no surprise. Most bodybuilding and fitness magazine publishers own supplement companies. They then use their magazines to promote their products. Ever see the new supplement break-through? Those full-page ads cost thousands of dollars. Magazines just can’t turn down that type of money, besides there’s lots of people that are willing to try the newest product being promoted by top bodybuilders (who use steroids) and supermodels.
Here’s some excerpts from just one of the ads;
“Top 5 reasons why XXX will turn you into a muscle-building freak and crazy sex machine”
“With super-charged hormone levels you will become an instant predator in the gym and in the bedroom”
Talk about brain washing theyour easily-influenced public.
According to the Nutrition Business Journal, the supplement industry reached an all time high of $13 billion in sales in 2000.
Americans spent almost $35 billion on diets and weight loss products!
There are over 1,000 manufacturers of over 20,000 different supplements consumed by over 100 million people.
I don’t know about you but I can’t afford to throw away my money. They are not magic pills or potions. Supplements are not drugs and cannot give you steroid like results. Supplements are food. These “natural” or “herbal” products should never take the place of food, but rather help insure that you are maximizing your nutritional intake.
Ever read the very small fine print: Here’s for one promoting fat loss:
“When combined with increased exercise and the XXX diet. Results are not typical . Use only as a dietary supplement. The persons here on may or may not have been remunerated. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA…….
One thing the fine print does say – Regular exercise and proper nutrition are essential for achieving your weight-loss goals. Duh!
Supplements and prescription drugs both have something in common. They can help you – but to what extent? Supplements are not regulated the same as prescription drugs and there is no list of negative side effects like prescription medications. If you are being treated for heart disease or are taking medication check with your physician before starting any supplement.
“Fat Burner” Supplements cannot melt fat away. No pill can do that. Certain products rely on thermogenic ingredients – that raise body temperature and increase metabolism. This is the wrong way to heat up your body. The problem is that it affects the nervous system and really addresses the symptom (fat) and not the cause (poor nutrition and lack of physical activity).
Supplements can only make a 5 to 10% overall difference. That is only if your eating properly and have hit the higher threshold in training.
You do not need to worry about supplements until you gain at least 20 pounds of solid muscle mass without supplements.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT ARE USEFUL
1) Multi Vitamin/Mineral Supplement
Vitamins and Minerals are considered “non-energy” nutrients – compared to the “energy” nutrients of Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein (calories).
Vitamins are not energy but help to release energy. There are two main types of vitamins – fat soluble and water soluble.
Water Soluble vitamins are seldom harmful as your body can easily excrete any excess. This includes Vitamins B, C and Folic Acid.
On the other hand, high doses of fat soluble vitamins – A, D, E & K can be toxic if overused. They are stored in organs and tissues and can cause dry skin, nausea, joint pain and depression.
Minerals carry oxygen to cells, aid in muscle contraction and help build bones and teeth.
Because our society is heavily reliant on processed and refined foods, a Multi Vitamin/Mineral Supplement helps act as insurance as it fills up any deficiencies in the micronutrient content of your diet. It’s important to realize that a multi-vitamin does not give you “energy” or decrease your body fat.
2) Protein Powder
A key to maintaining and gaining lean muscle mass rather than unwanted body fat is to ensure you take an adequate amount of protein.
Whey Protein is the best protein supplement. It boosts the levels of amino acids and provides the greatest absorption rate of all protein sources. Whey protein is a milk-based protein that is specially processed with most of the lactose being removed. A Whey Protein Isolate absorbs faster and more fully than a Whey Protein Blend. Whey Protein is best as part of your first meal of the day, pre-workout, or post-workout – when your body is starving for protein (the building blocks of the body).
Creatine is the most popular sports supplement used by athletes, bodybuilders and other fitness buffs. Creatine is made by your body primarily in the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Creatine is a metabolite which regenerates ATP, the high energy compound that provides energy for muscle contraction. Creatine benefits strength and anaerobic exercises but not endurance. Creatine is not a fat loss supplement.
You would need to eat 9 pounds of red meat to ingest 20 grams of creatine – which is the initial loading dose often recommended during the first phase of creatine supplementation. During the maintenance phase, creatine is recommended post worik-out and at bed time.
Unlike vitamin or protein supplements, it is recommended that you cycle creatine (go on and off it). This way your body will not decrease it’s own production of creatine when your muscles are already saturated. For the majority of users noticeable gains in strength is experienced usually when used for the first time.
Supplements are not necessary for optimal health – if you are eating right. The human digestive system was designed to process whole foods. The body cannot properly absorb nutrients from artificial sources – which is common in many supplements. Have you been hearing all the bad things about aspartame lately?
Unfortunately most people don’t have time for a balanced diet. Others just don’t make the effort. In this case, supplements can help provide many of the essential nutrients.
It amazes me that most people are more willing to spend $30, $40, even $50 or more on a bottle of pills or powder than to spend the same on monthly gym membership or a personal trainer which can help set you up for life. The only thing that a lot of these supplements give you is expensive urine! You make the choice.
Now here’s some simple common sense. With the kids back in school, cold and flu season starts. Rather than relying on some of those herbal supplements – eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly, get adequate sleep and wash your hands often….your immune system will remain strong.
There is no substitute for proper nutrition and exercise. The best way to improve your life and well-being is to eat properly and follow a well-designed program that challenges both your body and mind. No drug or supplement can do that for you!
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Dynabody Fitness Bootcamp Fall Session
To register see the St. James School Division Continuing Education brochure (page 10) or
check it out Online at: www.localcourses.com/sjsd
Or click on the following link:
Dynabody Fitness Boot Camp
DYNABODY FITNESS BOOTCAMP
This fun, fast-paced workout will improve your cardio/aerobic conditioning, coordination and timing. Incorporates Calisthenics, obstacle courses, abdominal and core body exercises plus basic martial arts techniques to bring you the ultimate in fitness conditioning.
8 Wed. starts Sept. 26/07 7pm to 8:30 pm
$75 INSTR. Doug YaholkoskiFLE7 – 07 BU: Buchanan School: 815 Buchanan Boulevard.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
FAT LOSS - Part 2: The reason & how you can lose fat effectively
We need to get out of the “losing weight”mentality and focus more on Body Composition..
As you recall, there are two main factors to look at when considering Body Composition: 1) Body Fat (lean body mass) and 2) Body Fat distribution (waist circumference)
Being overweight or obese is NOT because of genetics. Nor can you blame your blood sugar (glucose) and insulin going haywire regardless of how you eat or exercise. Carbohydrates don’t make you fat. Don’t blame a slow metabolism – because that IS your fault - it’s an effect not a cause…. And no – it’s not a mental thing.
The latest news is that your friends can make you fat. And what about those large family gatherings? Duh!
If we would stop allowing ourselves to get caught up in the latest fad, waiting for the next scientific discovery, the newest supplement or diet pill to “lose weight” and realize the simple and obvious truth…..
The reason why we are so fat is because we eat improperly and exercise too little!
Of course there is more to it but you must understand the cause before delving into the details.
Permanent fat loss will always require an effort.
We’re fat because we eat a lot – much more than we used to. Most of the increase comes from refined carbohydrates (sugar) and processed foods.
According to the Centre for Disease Control, we ate 1775 pounds of food per year per person in 2000, up from 1497 pounds in 1970. Can we say Super-sized? Oh, and about Super-sized. In 1955 McDonald’s French fries were 2.4 ounces and 210 calories. Today’s Super size Fries are 7 ounces and 610 calories.
Now let’s talk breakfast. Ninety percent of the people who responded to a Web survey cited breakfast as the most important meal of the day, but only 49 percent agreed they eat it seven days a week. **
The average North American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar each week. Prior to the turn of this century (1887-1890), the average consumption was only 5 lbs. per person per year! Cardiovascular disease and cancer was virtually unknown in the early 1900's.*
In the last 20 years, sugar consumption increased in the U.S. from 26 pounds to 135 lbs. of sugar per person per year!*
Processed foods contain refined sugar, extra salt, unhealthy fats and chemical Additives. They have fewer nutrients and produce little enzyme activity and contain little or no fibrous material.
All of this just to increase the life of foods….
Get out your pocketbook - approximately 90% of the money spent on food is used to buy processed foods!.
Processed Food Sales now total $3.2 trillion, or about three-fourths of the total world food sales.
The average American eats approximately his/her body weight in food additives each year, or approximately 150 pounds!
Ninety-three percent of Americans eat at least one snack a day. **
Sixty percent of Americans trying to lose weight said they were making an effort "to reduce the number of calories" they consume. Yet only 11 percent guessed accurately the number of calories per day a person their age and weight could eat. **
The bottom line is that if you've eaten more calories -from any source -than you burn up, you're going to store it as fat.
How you can lose fat effectively
You want to lose weight? Have you seen the latest Ad? There is now advertisment on a new machine that is now in Winnipeg that uses pulsating fradic waves to “work out” the muscle groups. An 18 minute session is completely effortless and is equivalent to 200 sit-ups! Wow.
I did some math. 18 minutes works out to 11 sit ups per minute. Hmmm….Now if I consider that you burn 120 calories during that time frame, it will take you over 8 ½ hours to burn one pound of fat. Rather than spending the money using the machine, why not just do the 5,800 sit ups?
Now Situps and crunches will help to strengthen and tone your abdominals. However, this will not show off your hard work if they are covered by layers of fat. And all the ab work in the world will not get rid of that tire around the middle. You cannot spot reduce fat!
Now if you are overweight, reducing food intake or dieting is an unsuccessful approach to fat loss.
To solve the fat crisis, simply put, “Eat Properly and Exercise more”
Nutrition is the most important factor in fat loss. If you do not watch what you are eating you won’t get the results you want. However, you can’t just focus on watching your calories. You need to exercise. Strength training is the next most important factor. Finally, aerobic exercise should not be ignored. For overall health, you need to fine tune your body and keep it in it’s best shape.
To improve your percent of body fat you need to create the right balance between the calories you consume and the calories you burn. For many it is eating fewer calories. For others it is becoming more active. By combining a right mix of planned exercise with proper nutrition you can maintain or gain lean muscle mass and reduce body fat.
There are no magic pills or special “diet”. Combining smart food choices with increased physical activity is the safest and most effective route to long-term weight management. And it’s never too late to start!
So here are 10 helpful suggestions
10 Tips for Fat Loss
1. Prepare a Plan or Goal
Decide on what you want to accomplish and when. Prepare a plan of attack and be specific. Motivation is only effective when the goal is meaningful and fits the individual. Without a good reason for wanting to improve your health and lose fat and/or gain lean muscle mass, you are fighting a losing battle. Start with your goal and everything else will flow from here.
2. Look Long Term.
Realize that this is a lifestyle change. Remember that there are no magic pills or fad diet that will result in permanent wellness and quality of life. The best results come from a long-term, always changing, plan involving improvements in eating and physical activity habits.
3. Start with Baby Steps
Change is one of the hardest things for us to do. For this reason, any change in your eating habits or exercise routine should be gradual and systematic. By taking things slowly and progressing forward these changes are much easier to become part of your daily routine – just like brushing your teeth or having that morning cup of coffee.
4. Keep a Journal or a Training Diary
This helps you focus on your goals. Having a written plan gives you a sense of direction that makes you feel certain, confident and motivated. A journal is a score card that tracks how well you are doing. You can see right way if the time you're investing is delivering results. Keeping a training diary sends unmistakable instructions to your subconscious mind. Rather than just going through the motions you get a good idea of your progress – what you are doing and how well.
5. Cardio /Aerobic Exercise
The cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory system is the aerobic system of the circulatory (heart) & respiratory (lungs) system. The main objective of Cardiovascular or Aerobic exercise is to increase the maximum oxygen the body can process in a given time.
When considering the guidelines for cardiovascular fitness, consider the following components of fitness know as the F.I.T.T. principles (Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type). Frequency is especially important when it comes to fat loss. The more you exercise, the more calories you will burn. Intensity is another important factor. The recommended range is 60-90% of your maximum heart rate. Do not forget the importance of rest and recovery Give yourself at least 1 or 2 days off each week.
6. Resistance / Strength Training
Resistance training with weights is one of the most important elements in an effective fat loss program. Cardio by itself is not enough. Strength training increases your lean muscle mass. This in turn increases your metabolism. Not only does your body burn more calories, but in a recent study from the prestigious Journal of Applied Physiology showed strength training also doubled post-exercise fat burning!
Intensity of effort is the key training variable for optimizing training results. Balance your resistance training to include traditional lifting (isolated movement exercises) and functional (closed chain and balance training) activities.
As I tell my clients – Scales belong on a fish. Do not focus on weight. As you weight train you will gain more muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Instead, take note of how your clothes fit, look in the mirror, or perform a skin-fold test.
7. Healthy Food Choices
Healthy weight management is based on sound nutrition principles. Eat to Live and not Live to Eat.
Health Canada recommends a calorie intake ratio of ;
45-65% Carbohydrates, 10-35 % Protein, & 20-35% Fat.
The main principles of the Canada Food Guide outline a pattern of healthy food choices. They include; (1) eat a variety of foods (2) eat grains, vegetables and fruits (3) eat lean meat and low fat (4) participate in regular physical activity and (5) focus on healthy eating by limiting caffeine, alcohol, salt and sugar. Remember that balance, variety, and moderation is the key.
Your Goal is to get the most nutritional value out of every calorie. To achieve this goal, you need to follow 8 fundamental rules.
1) Eat fewer calories than you burn
2) Properly balance your macronutrient ratios (Carbs, Proteins & Fat)
3) Eat 5 or 6 meals per day (properly timed)
4) Eat natural no processed foods.
5) Eat the right carbohydrates and avoid refined sugars
6) Eat lean protein (fish, chicken lean meat) with every meal
7) Choose and eat the right fats
8) Drink Plenty of Water.
Diets do not work. It is important that you do not look at your fat loss in terms of a diet but rather concentrate on gradually changing your eating habits so that they become part of your new, healthier lifestyle. Fuel your body for success!
8. Stay Active
It comes down to: “Use it or Lose It”
Consider your body is rusting out from lack of use.
One of the best benefits of exercise is that a physically active person burns more calories at rest than does someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle. This means that even while sleeping you can burn more calories if you lead a physically active lifestyle.
9. Read and Reevaluate your Goals regularly
Goal setting is an ongoing process. It is important to update your goals and record your progress or lack thereof so that appropriate changes can be made to maintain improvements. By reviewing and reevaluating progress, your goals become engrained into your mind. Daily reflection turns dreams into reality.
10. Reward yourself
Even though you may look in the mirror with satisfaction on your progress, take time to reward your successes – and don’t beat yourself up over drawbacks. Consider a reward as a “recharging” of your batteries. Mentally and physically you will feel better.
Your aim is to preserve and enhance your lean body mass and to minimize the amount of fat on your body. It is virtually impossible to lose fat without a sound nutritional program combined with cardiovascular and weight training. Improved health, a permanent reduction in body fat and an increase in lean muscle mass takes substantial time, effort, and commitment.
Just remember, people don’t get “fat” overnight. The same can be said about getting rid of it.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF! And yes, you can change your body composition. The best results come from a long-term strategy involving a permanent change in both eating and activity habits. There are no magic pills, no short-cuts, no special diets, machines or routines that will result in your ultimate goal. The human body was meant to move – bring it back to it’s natural state.
Strive for an overall plan to increase your health, fitness, well-being and quality of life.
Understand that successful people never say “I don’t have the time”. This is not a valid reason but rather an excuse by lazy or nonmotivated people. If your health is important to you, you will make time.
For those interested, I do have a Nutritional and Health Guidelines report in pdf format. If you would like a copy please send me an email.
As a personal trainer I can help you become the person you want to be - fit, healthy and active, with lots of energy and a great zest for life.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Most people are concerned with their weight. Rightly so. We enjoy one of the most luxurious lifestyles on Earth: Our food is plentiful. Our work is automated. Our leisure is effortless. And it’s literally killing us.
The Center for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) has declared obesity an “epidemic”.
Current statistics show that 66.3% of the American population is overweight and 32.2% obese. That’s 129.6 million people in the U.S. alone!
Statistics Canada data estimates that more than half of Canadians are overweight or obese, with almost 15 per cent of the population falling in the category of "obese".
There are twice as many obese people as three decades ago. One out of three Americans is obese and this will increase to 40% by 2010.
Now we are only talking about obese people – those that are roughly 30 pounds or more over a healthy bodyweight. This excludes the “overweight” people which unfortunately, work out to be the “norm”.
To illustrate this worldwide epidemic, please note the following obesity chart;
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke, and colon, breast and endometrial cancers.
70 Percent of cardiovascular disease cases are related to obesity.
Your chance of developing high blood pressure doubles if you are obese.
Effect of obesity on high blood pressure: More than doubles one's chances of developing high blood pressure
Overweight and Obesity cost the United States $117 billion per year. In Canada, a conservative estimate of the total direct cost of overweight and obesity was $1.8 billion in 1997 – that’s 10 years ago…..
Next year, Obesity is expected to surpass smoking as the leading cause of preventable death.
An ambulance manufacturer now offers a retrofitted winch and plus size compartment to accommodate patients up to one thousand pounds in weight!
City transit and ferries are not increasing their seat width from 18 to 20 inches to allow room for bigger bottoms.
It has been estimated that within 50 years obesity will shorten the average life span of 77.6 years by at least two to five years.
Okay guys, here’s a shocker for all you studs. It is estimated that you “lose” half an inch of length of your manhood for every 20 pounds of fat packed on. Fat building up around your lower abdomen can hide your most precious asset. By reducing the body fat you can showoff more of your package.
And what about our children???
In the past 25 years, obesity in children and adolescents has quadrupled!
15% of children and teens are overweight, a nearly three fold jump since 1980
Childhood diabetes has increased 10-fold in the past 20 years.
The average child will watch 10,000 commercials per year touting food or beverages, nearly all of them for junk and fast food!
Not only does excess body fat affect a child socially and psychologically, but also Diabetes, orthopedic problems, high blood pressure, asthma, and sleep apnea have increased to all time highs in children, right along with the increase in obesity.
Now you could easily blame television or the computer but the biggest reason really has to do with their parents! Are you setting a good example for your kids? Are you a good role model?
Parents need to stop using excuses – lead by example.
So what’s the answer to the obese, overweight and the fat epidemic?
Did you know that at any time:
35-40 percent of adult American women are trying to lose weight?
20-24 percent of adult American men are trying to lose weight?
About 95% of dieters can not keep the weight off long-term.
I see people checking the scale before, during and after a workout. So many people just don’t get it. Weight is not fat. Most weight lost during exercise is water weight. And unless you watch your nutrition, you could lose muscle rather than fat also.
Contrary to what all those “new fads” and diet books and pills will tell you - Weight is largely meaningless as an index of health or fitness. Another poor indicator of your health or ideal weight is the Body Mass Index. The BMI uses a person’s weight and height to determine a score rating.
So first and foremost – stop focusing on “losing weight”. Scales belong on a fish!
A more accurate assessment can be attained by looking at a person’s Body Composition.
There are two main factors to look at when considering Body Composition: 1) Body Fat (lean body mass) and 2) Body Fat distribution (waist circumference)
1) Body Fat Composition
Body composition is the ratio of lean body mass to fat body mass, or simply put – a measurement of how LEAN you are. Your lean body mass contributes to your structure, strength and shape.
Some aspects of your body composition are based on heredity (such as where you tend to store excess fat). However, for the majority of the population Percent Body Fat is related to LIFESTYLE. After about age 16, changes in body fat are due to changes in fat cell size not number. These cells expand (or shrink) to accommodate excess calorie storage. One very important point - you CANNOT GET RID OF FAT CELLS (other than by liposuction) - only
reduce them. You can however INCREASE the number of fat cells. Once done, YOU HAVE THEM FOR LIFE!
When you test your body fat percentage you are determining what percentage of your total body weight is FAT and how much is LEAN BODY MASS (i.e. the weight of your muscles, bones and organs). The less fat you have relative to the amount of muscle you have, the leaner you are. Skin-fold Calipers are one of the easiest and best ways to determine your body fat percentage.
Body fat itself refers to the percentage of the overall body that is composed of essential fat and storage fat.
For men: 2-4% body fat is essential, 6-13% is an athletic body fat range, 14-17% is considered a 'fit' range, and 18-25% is acceptable. Anything above 26% for men is considered obese.
For women: a body fat of 10-12% is essential, 14-20% is considered a healthy range for athletes, 21-24% is healthy for fitness, 25-31% is considered 'acceptable' and anything above 32% is considered obese.
The average body composition is; 15-18% for men and 22-25 % for women.
2) Body Fat Distribution or Waist Circumference
The total amount of body fat is important but where your fat is stored is also important, as it is a key indicator of health problems. Body fat that accumulates around the waist and stomach area (abdominal fat) poses a greater health risk than fat stored in the lower half of the body. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) looks at the proportion of fat stored on your body around your waist and hip.
The Waist-to-Hip Ratio is a simple but useful measure of fat distribution. If you have an apple shape (carrying extra fat around the abdomen) this places you in a higher health risk category than being a pear shape (carrying extra weight around the hips or thighs). Generally, men tend to store fat around their middle (apple shape) while women store fat around their pelvis, thighs and butt (pear shape).
The ideal Waist-Hip Ratio for Men is .95 or less
The ideal Waist-Hip Ratio for Women is .8 or less
While gender is the most powerful influence on body fat distribution, hereditary, and age, play a part. The effect of age is magnified enormously by the final factor - lack of exercise!
Next month I will discuss the reason why we Canadians are so fat. I will then explain what you can do to fix the problem.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
As a personal trainer, I believe that you must have fun and enjoy yourself. This is the only way that you will incorporate a Fitness Program into your life forever. Without motivation, or what I call "inspired action", you will find yourself going in circles.
Motivation starts with baby steps. Once you’ve set your goals and prepared a fitness plan motivation is the key to staying fit. Many people fail to incorporate goals into their lifestyles and eventually drop their goals and rejoin the inactive majority. By managing your progress each day you will start to enjoy the positive results that are produced. You become accountable for your own results. In no time you will see your self-confidence increase as your capabilities improve. This becomes habit forming.
A successful balanced life is comprised of a lot of successful days put together, and each day is made up of a lot of successful activities, each activity completed at times as nothing more than an afterthought.
Psychology plays a major role in determining if people are successful with goals in the long term. No matter what your fitness goals – be it weight loss, to build muscle, prepare for a race or change your lifestyle, everyone needs the proper support, goals setting and resources to stay on track.
Most people think behavior is changed with willpower. It is true that willpower will help get you started, but it doesn’t keep you going. Only habit keeps you going. Behavior patterns must be permanently fixed in your subconscious mind. Motivation relies on positive reinforcement that is made up of both things we think and rationalize along with things we do involuntary.
Some people enjoy working out with a partner to help keep them motivated. Others participate in exercise activities to socialize. Many people prefer to workout alone. Everyone has their own motivating factors. Sometimes we need help. A friend, family member or a personal trainer can help provide the drive and incentive to keep you going.
As we know commitment is the difference between being interested in doing something and engaging yourself towards it! It boils down to attitude. True engagement helps create motivation. Almost everything we do will have an affect on how we feel. Motivation is the action that boosts our confidence and self esteem.
If you don’t fix yourself, create some simple rules that you are ready to accept in your life, you will very easily slip back into your past unhealthy behavior and attitude.
The tough part with exercise is getting out there and doing it. A change in your exercise mentality or a new idea or plan can help jump-start your physical well-being.
1) Exercise has to be come one of your priorities
2) You have to make time for it.
3) You have to find a passion – something you enjoy.
4) If you don’t like what you are doing you won’t do it.
5) Set your goals.
Here is 20 tips to keep you motivated:
1) Train for an event, or pretend you are.
2) Set goals and be realistic. Make sure it’s something you enjoy.
3) Keep a journal. Tracking your progress results in success.
4) Mix it Up - Split your routine. Variety is the spice of life.
5) Vary the exercise sets or repetitions
6) Vary the intensity or load.
7) Add intervals to your cardio or aerobic exercise.
8) Try different exercises for different muscle groups
9) Try a new sport or activity.
10) Make it a social thing. Join a group or club or get a workout partner.
11) Hire a personal trainer.
12) Use a heart rate monitor to gauge your intensity and progress.
13) Change the order of exercises.
14) Distract yourself – Listen to your favorite tunes with headphones.
15) Use an exercise video or dvd.
16) Educate yourself - Read up, subscribe to a magazine.
17) Create a list of reasons why you want to be healthy & read it regularly.
18) Involve the family – bring your spouse, kids or pet into the equation.
19) Find workouts that aren’t workouts. Take the stairs rather than the elevator, Park at the far end of the mall parking lot, take a walk at you lunch hour.
20) Reward yourself. Take a day off from exercise or buy a new outfit.
The strength to succeed is in your head. Motivation relies on both voluntary and involuntary factors. By minimizing self-defeating behaviors and focusing on realistic goals you can attain the motivation and drive for short and long term success.
Do not get caught up in material things or wishing that everything was perfect. Simply live your life to the fullest. There is a big difference between standard of living and quality of life. Standard of Living is based on income earned – it doesn’t necessarily make you happy.
Quality of Life is the enjoyment of the millions of minutes in between accomplishments.
Look at what you are doing while living rather than what you do for a living. Enjoy life.
Now if that is not motivating enough for you, then just remember this;
If you’re handed lemons; accept responsibility and make lemonade.
Take Responsibility – it’s all up to you!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
5th Annual DougY Golf Tournament
It’s all set. Say goodbye to spring and welcome in the summer with the first Golf Tourney of the summer. If you’re an avid golfer or a newbie – there’s fun for all!
5th Annual DougY Golf Tournament
June 23, 2007 (Saturday)
At: PLAYER’S GOLF COURSE
2695 Inkster Avenue
start time: 2:00 pm
Cost $28 per person
Includes 9 holes of Golf - Texas Scramble (best ball)
** Prizes **
BBQ & PARTY (right after the Golf)
283 Davidson Street (St. James – off Portage/Lodge)
for more info visit: 5th Annual DougY Golf Tourney (@Dynabody.ca)
Charity Sponsored: Heart & Stroke Foundation
HEART DISEASE & STROKE ARE THE NUMBER ONE & TWO CAUSES OF DEATH WORLD WIDE!
Everyone is welcomed – however space is limited. Advance payment required. *Contact: Doug at 837-6767 or 771-0061 or email at email@example.com
Sunday, May 6, 2007
THE PLAN - SETTING GOALS
Did you know:
Of those who make a New Year’s Resolution, close to 60% give up within 3 months. Even worse, it is estimated that 75% of people who join gyms quit (or don’t go back) within 3 weeks of joining!
Regarding New Year’s Resolutions, only 20% have a plan on how they will accomplish them.
Between 5 and 10% of those who set goals write down a plan.
Only 5 to 10% succeed in their goals. Equivalent to those who document their progress!
See a trend?
Trying to fulfill a goal without a plan is like going on a road trip across the country without a map or knowing your destination. Your fitness program cannot proceed according to plan if you have no plan, nor can you expect great results without a guide to steer you in the right direction.
Be it for fitness, career or other personal goals, people fail to achieve their goals for a number of reasons. Here is a list of the most common;
1) Don’t really want to do it. If you don’t think it’s important and can’t motivate yourself it’s not going to happen.
2) To many things on the go. Make a checklist and prioritize what’s important.
3) Procrastination. Make a plan and stick to it until it becomes an enjoyable habit.
4) Don’t know how to do it. If you are unsure, get help.
5) Set goals and record your progress.
Here’s something to think about:
"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Action without planning is one of the biggest reasons for failure. Planning should not be taken lightly. Goal setting involves mental work and preparation BEFORE the physical work.
Setting goals and keeping a record of your progress are important because as you come more fit, you must optimize the adaptive response to your training. Updating your goals can reflect this direction.
Before you start with the goals clarify what you want out of it:
- Do you want a fit lifestyle?
- Who are you right now?
- What motivates you to exercise?
- How do you want to train?
- What activities do I plan to participate in?
- What are the obstacles?
- How much time can I reasonably schedule?
- How will you reach your goal?
- What makes you think you can succeed?
- How can I incorporate the 5 components of fitness
(warm-up, aerobic training, resistance training, flexibility & cool down) to ensure success?
STEPS TO SETTING SUCCESSFUL GOALS
Your ultimate long-term goal. Imagine a dream goal. – aim high. Visualize your success.
This sets your frame of mind to realize that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to. This is the ultimate goal – if you are willing to pay the price to achieve it!
Be specific with your goals. I want to lose weight is too vague . Instead, narrow it down into something that is within your control to achieve. For instance;
· What measurements would I like to have?
· What dress size do I want to wear?
· How much body fat do I want to lose?
Set an Annual 12 month goal. Periodize your workouts. Do you like to take vacation at a certain time of year? Planning to run a marathon? Take these into consideration.
Three months goals - eg: Lose 10 lbs of fat.
Weekly Goals – Schedule or map your time.
Scheduling is critical to the success of your exercise program. Not only does this give you an idea of the time and activity planned, but it helps enforce commitment and success. A scheduled plan becomes habit forming. You will feel better, rarely miss workouts and continue to see success!
Once done, chart your progress. Are you losing fat? Gaining Muscle?
Daily Scheduling - now has to established to determine the time you have available. Back out the time needed for a warm-up, and cool-down to determine the amount of time available for your chosen exercise.
Daily goals are where habits are developed. Take baby steps – you reach your goals by making small choices every day. By mastering small challenges first you will have the feeling of accomplishment and keep your momentum going.
Keep a Journal or a Training Diary
This helps you focus on your goals. Having a written plan gives you a sense of direction that makes you feel certain, confident and motivated. A journal is a score card that tracks how well you are doing. You can see right way if the time you're investing is delivering results.
Keeping a training diary sends unmistakable instructions to your subconscious mind.
Rather than just going through the motions you get a good idea of your progress – what you are doing and how well.
Read and Reevaluate your Goals regularly
Too often a person sets goals but never revisits them. Setting and reevaluating your goals;
- Keeps you accountable
- Keeps your training program fresh
- Stimulates the body and mind
- Allows you to monitor your results.
Motivation is only effective when the goal is meaningful and fits the individual. Goal setting is an ongoing process. It is important to update your goals and record your progress or lack thereof so that appropriate changes can be made to maintain improvements. It is important that you plan not only for the time you workout, but the balance of your day.
The key to successful goal implementation is to keep your initial desires and motivations fresh in your mind. By reviewing and reevaluating progress, your goals become engrained into your mind. Daily reflection turns dreams into reality.
Even though you may look in the mirror with satisfaction on your progress, take time to reward your successes – and don’t beat yourself up over drawbacks. Consider a reward as a “recharging” of your batteries. Mentally and physically you will feel better.
It is quite likely that you can see short term success without setting a plan. For example, if your goal was losing weight, it is possible to see results within the first few weeks of a haphazard workout and diet regime. However, how many people do you know that have lost weight only to gain it later?
As challenging as it is to lose weight, the greater challenge is keeping the pounds from coming back on. At this point you have reached the maintenance phase, or in other words “the rest of your life”.
You don’t see the rewards from your workout so easily. People may not compliment you, your waist size may not reduce further – you’re just staying the same. This is where people start to switch back to their old ways. By continuously setting goals you will unknowingly set yourself up for long-term success.
There is never really an “ultimate” goal. Success is traveling towards the goal, not the goal itself. By improving on yourself you are improving your quality of life and satisfying the “maintenance” phase.
If you are one of those fortunate individuals that record your goals, take a look back at some of your past goals. You would be amazed at what you have achieved – all started from taking baby steps!
"By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own." --Mark Victor Hansen
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Take the Wellness Quiz
A wellness lifestyle is a way of thinking, perceiving, and behaving. When you live a wellness lifestyle, your life is integrated, balanced, harmonious, and pleasurable.
Take today's quiz, courtesy of Cheryl Miller, and find out if you live a wellness lifestyle.
Take the Wellness Quiz
If you need help getting on the road to wellness a personal trainer can help.
Visit: Dynabody Fitness & Personal Training
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Stop the excuses - It's time to Commit
I hear that all the time from people. Just like those people who have good intentions with their New Year’s Resolutions but can’t seem to drag their butt off the couch “Maybe I’ll start tomorrow” they say.
Well tomorrow never comes. In order to get motivated you need to COMMIT.
I have turned down many potential clients because think of excuses rather than solutions. They say that they don’t have the time, they are too tired.
Well if you want to have a better a quality of life and have ample energy you need to make an effort. Starting fitness training is not always easy. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. But you must think you can and try.
Commit your mind to a new vision of yourself focus on positive not negative thoughts. Turn over a new leaf and reinvent yourself.
- Commit to at least 30 minutes a day of exercise, focusing on you and your fitness goals.
- Commit to a balanced exercise program – start with mini-workouts** and add on from there.
- Commit to making the most out of your valuable time.
- Commit time for YOURSELF.
Hey, I’m sure you can add to this…..
** Note: Mini Workouts are a great way to get started. Short frequent workouts (10-minute sessions, three times a day) produce the same health benefits as a daily 30 minute session.
Just remember: either you commit yourself or you quit yourself.
Think “Use it or Lose It”. - Your body is basically deteriorating from lack of use - only YOU can change it!
The first step is the hardest. Just like starting a resolution – turn it into a reality. Once you start, focus on all the good things that eating right and exercise does for you.
For more information check out my website page:
”Staying in Shape during a Busy Schedule
Now this article is geared towards getting committed – considering that you get enough sleep but may still feel exhausted. If you are tired from sleep related problems there are things you can do to help get a restful sleep.
- Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up time. Prime your body to fall asleep when you get into bed.
- Remove televisions, computers and work materials from the bedroom,
- Read a book or do yoga or tai chi just prior to going to bed – this will help “wind-down your body”
- Keep the bedroom cool and dark – turn away the light from the alarm clock.
- Commit to exercise. This improves sleep, reduces stress, anxiety and depression, and gives you a higher level of energy.
Addressing YOUR physical fitness is ultimately a personal choice. If you want to have more energy, look and feel good, then make physical fitness a part of your life.
If you are having trouble getting started a personal trainer can help. Once you commit it is easy to get hooked and never go back. Start today – summer is not far off!
Dynabody Fitness & Personal Training
Sunday, March 25, 2007
ABS - Wanna Six-Pack?
Those who have sluffed off on their New Year’s resolutions “to get in shape” are now realizing that they have to put the effort in if they want to look good for the season.
And with summer just around the corner, what is the area most people talk about when they want to firm up, lose weight and look good?
Abdominals of course.
You hear of people wanting to trim down their waistline – wishing for a “Six-Pack”. And we aren’t talking about grabbing a 6 pack of beer from the liquor vendor! No muscle group is more noticeable for men or woman than their abs.
In order to have the appearance of a six-pack, you must lower your body fat levels. Doing endless situps and crunches will NOT create a smaller waist or flatter stomach.
Getting “cut” is the development of the bands of connective tissue of the rectus abdominis muscle into deep grooves combined with low levels of subcutaneous fat (fat storage).
Your abdominals are like any other muscle in your body. They can be overworked. Doing endless ab work will not reduce the size of your waistline. On the flip side, it is unlikely that doing too much Ab work, especially with higher intensity/resistance, will result in giving you a big waist. Your ab muscles have a relatively small proportion of fast-twitch muscle fibers and are smaller and less leveraged than other muscle groups.
What is required to get Killer Abs?
First, performing strength training for all of your major muscle groups with moderate to heavy weights. This includes strengthening your midsection with added resistance and honing in on core training. Not only will this tighten your abs, but will help to boost your metabolism making your body a fat burning machine.
Second, the best way to burn fat is by doing high intensity interval cardio/aerobic exercise.
Finally, and most importantly – THINK NUTRITION - you must eat smart. This is a must. You have to lose body fat, not weight, in order to “see” your abs and this can only happen when you eat high quality foods. This will help you control your blood sugar levels, insulin levels, and energy levels. Insulin management will help you lose fat and prevent you from gaining fat.
In conclusion, if you want a flatter stomach you must develop an intelligent exercise program and focus on smart nutritional choices. Simply put you need to lower your body fat levels by eating properly and exercising all of your major muscle groups and including a cardiovascular routine.
For more on Abdominals:
1) Abdominals @ Dynabody.ca.
2) About your abs @ Dynabody.ca.
3) Abdominal Exercises @ Dynabody.ca.