It is Totally Tone Tuesday. It’s the day we talk about strengthening, stretching and balance!
In my practice I often see clients with tight hips. Sometimes they are not even aware of it until they move a certain way and suddenly pain is felt in their hips or back. I call this kind of pain, the pain of ‘living-in-a-box’. The reason I refer to it as ‘living-in-a-box’ pain is because it often occurs when one steps out of their normal daily routines and pain suddenly strikes.
So often we think we are in great shape.
After all, we can do what we need to do each day without too much stress on our bodies. But here’s the thing; it’s not most people’s normal routines that illustrates the huge gaps in strength they are lacking in the many muscle groups of their bodies. Normal routines are just that – normal. And with normal we think everything is good. But it’s really not. At some point, we want to break out of our normal routines and do something different.
Let’s say, you haven’t played golf in a while and while on vacation you go out and play a round. You play a round to find out that your back got out of alignment because your hips, core, and back have not been contorted like that in many years. So now you are in pain for the next two weeks.
So Often What One Does Next
They stop the golf and go back to living-in-a-box. You know, that comfortable box that says, “I have no aches. I have no pains. I am in great shape.” Forgetting about the golf and the great times they had, they continue ‘living-in-a-box’ routine until even the slightest of daily changes affects them. Then they cease doing much of anything at all. Living-in-a-box is just that – staying in the comfort zone of what makes us feel in good shape. Albeit that may mean just walking a few minutes a day, keyboarding a computer, eating, going to the theatre and other in-the-box-routines.
Why Bring This Up
We don’t need to live inside a box. Sure, we are not going to ski like a mad man in our 90’s but we can certainly experience the same rush and feeling of skiing like a mad man or the rush of playing tennis or golf with intensity well into our 90’s. And the only thing is, we gotta condition our bodies to move in ways that we do not move in our daily life, we have to learn how to live out of the box.
Next week, look for 3 hip exercises that will get you outside of your comfort zone and allow you to do what you want to do for a long, long, time!
Congratulations to January’s 30 Days to Lean Members.
24 members lost 224 pounds. Best part: healthy, happy, and on their way to continuing to do what they want to do for a long- long time!
Next Lean: March 7th.
All My Best,
It’s Totally Tone Tuesday and it’s the day we talk about strengthening, stretching, and balance!
High intensity interval training, also called HITT, is a specific type of interval training that in the past was practiced mainly by athletes at the highest level of sports. Today, it is implemented commonly by athletes and non athletes alike who desire obtaining the most, lean, athletic, and sinewy physiques that are “possible for them.”
Emphasis on, “possible for them”, is placed because it’s important to understand that we have innate body shapes that make becoming lean more easy, or more difficult,depending on genetic factors. There are three body types:
Body types are naturally lean and thin skinned. They will see quicker looking body fat results than the two other body types, mesomorphs and endomorphs.
Body types are characterized by dense musculature. They will see results less quickly than ectomorphs, but have greatest lean muscle looking potential.
Body types are characterized by softness and fatty areas throughout body. These individuals respond to high intensity interval training less quickly than ectomorphs and mesomorphs, but results of fat loss percentages are more pronounced than the former two groups.
The Truth of the Matter
Think you are an Endomorph? Think again! Go back to your childhood, and recall what body type you were at age 10. This is what you are today, even if you feel a little soft.
EPOC to Super Charge Metabolism
When you exercise using the high intensity interval system, your body consumes considerably more oxygen. And the more oxygen you expend, the more calories you burn. However this increased oxygen during exercise is not really what fuels what we all desire- a higher metabolic rate, it’s the after-burn, or what is called EPOC, and more descriptively, excess post exercise oxygen consumption that fuels our metabolism. It works like this. The more energy your body uses during training, the higher EPOC. EPOC works in increasing metabolism by telling our body to get back to balance or what is referred to as homeostasis.
Getting back to homeostasis takes energy though, and this energy burns calories for several hours if not days afterward. That’s why hard working athletes who consume thousands of calories still find it difficult to sustain their weights. Their bodies are calorie burning machines even when they are at rest. How would you like to have even a fraction of their speedy metabolisms? You can.
To Get Started Now On EPOC
Take whatever cardio exercise you are doing and take yourself out of your comfort zone for a few seconds to upwards of a minute or two depending on your fitness level.
You can walk/run faster if your typical cardiovascular exercise is walking/jogging. You can go faster and or add more resistance if your typical cardiovascular exercise is biking. You can increase your incline and or resistance if your typical cardiovascular exercise is the the elliptical trainer/rowing machine and etc. You get the picture. The key in all of this as you take yourself out of your comfort zone is to expect an increased heart rate. When we do this, our heart becomes not only stronger but we burn so much more energy. Keep it low key in the beginning as it’s important to see how our skeletal and muscular systems respond to the increased demands. Injury chances increase if we do not smartly progress to more intense interval training.
If you want a more formalized progressive approach to achieving an increased metabolism through EPOC, join my Movement is Life Program. It’s a comprehensive progressive cardio program individualized specifically for you. There’s no personal training sessions to attend, and everything is done online at your convenience and your own pace. Call, email or text for further information. This plan includes texting, telephone calls or emails as needed to help you along.
Congratulations to the Following 30 Days To Lean Most recent member’s accomplishments:
Megan – down 24 pounds in 60 days! Congratulations Megan!
Mary – down 8.5 pounds in 30 days! Congratulations Mary!
Ann – down 14 pounds in 30 Days! Congratulations Ann!
Lynne – down 23 pounds in 90 days! Congratulations Lynne!
Congratulations to too many members to list members, that have taken both 30 Days to Lean programs, and continue lose weight and gain health momentum!
Kate says, ” the great thing about this program is that there are so many recipes and weekly menus that even when you finish the plans, you can continue losing weight by mixing and matching the recipes. I’ve lost a total of 39 pounds, and 11 of these pounds came after I finished with Kim.”
In work as in life we create a sense of balance by understanding what we want and what we don’t, what we need and do not need.
We prioritize by wanting less of one thing and more of something else.
Less overwhelm and more progress. Fewer things to react to and more results.
Less busyness and more time. Fewer restrictions and more choices.
The irony is that we spend a lot our time on things that won’t get us to where we want to go whether it is on becoming more fit and energized or losing weight and keeping it off.
We often prioritize the things we say we don’t want to keep doing.
The trick to getting the results you want is to align your actions with the results you want.
Do you want better strength because you enjoy golf so much and still want to improve and have more fun?
Do you want better flexibility in your body because it’s nice to be able to hang out playing with your kids and grandkids and have more fun?
Do you want better balance because you are aware of the problems associated with falling and being laid up for a long period of time and having no fun?
Are you motivated to take the time to understand where you want to go?
Are you motivated to create the must do list that’s going to get you there?
Are you motivated to do more of what’s on the list and less of what’s not?
The last step is a choice that we each have the power to make.
Here’s the thing. When it comes to feeling strong, being limber, and having good body balance, it all comes down to personal lifestyle activities. Some people need loads of quadriceps and hamstring strength because they may cycle or others may play golf and need great hip, lower back and core strength. And yet others may not play sports, and simply desire the energy, limberness, and capacity to do whatever is called for in life at any given moment. The bottom line is that strength, limberness and balance all play a crucial role in aging “less fast” than the typical person currently ages.
If you are in this latter group of non sports people then you are in good company. Many people do not play sports yet keep physically fit by doing many smart exercises/practices.
Below are three smart exercises to add to your fitness program:
Leg Strength – Chair Squat.
– Keep back straight
– Keep knees over ankles and not over toes.
– Keep chest high.
– If you have back issues, only go to a three quarter squat and always stretch back prior to implementing.
BodySmart Fit Tip: Thinking these are wimpy girl exercises using that chair? Think again! Vary your pace, number of squats and or sets, to get the desired feel.
A good place to start for beginners: 2 sets of 10 reps with impeccable form. Advance from there.
Fun Notes: Take out your skinny jeans. Men take note too: this is not a woman only exercise! All upper body muscle and skinny legs is no good!
Hamstring Stretch – Back of the Upper Leg
– keep back flat as you lean forward receiving a stretch.
– flex foot towards you to receive a calf stretch as well.
– hold for 30 seconds and repeat two more times.
BodySmart Fit Tip: your range of motion increases as you hold the pose – lean further forward to increase the ROM, but never going to the point of pain. Tight hamstrings often result in a tight lower back. A tight lower back makes movement painful. And painful movement makes us less apt to move, creating the cycle of aging quicker than need be!
Fun Notes: I woke up decrepid last week- tight hamstrings and tight back. It was embarrassing training clients. Here’s the thing: we get stiff from usually one of two things. Either under exercise or over exercise. In my sad defense, I was over exercised and woke up so super tight that picking up the dog that morning set my back on fire. That’s my story and I am sticking with it!
One leg Balance
– you remember this pose from previous newsletters.
– now increase your time to 90 second holds on each leg!
BodySmart Fit Tip: In seeking better balance we gain strength. With this pose, leg strength and core strength is enhanced.
Fun Notes: What is this chick thinking? I do not recommend doing this pose on slippery moss covered rocks.
It was a real treat to take our time and focus on everything I write about. One of the things I learned over the years is that it is not necessary to train like a maniac in order to receive the benefits of a fit body that can do what you need it to do. I am not opposed to working like a “maniac” when it is called for, but too often I see people training in quiet desperation thinking they will lose weight because of exercising. Of course exercise is great for all of us, but the intent of why many people exercise is old school thinking: to burn calories, lose weight, or punish oneself for overeating. I want to help people change this kind of thinking.
P.S. The picture above is not me training at the hotel but it motivates me because I cannot imagine someone looking like that and eating well…crap. I imagine she got her muscles from working out , but got her lean body composition from eating like a champ! Which is exactly what today’s news is about.
One of the concepts that I want people to understand is that fitness is part of health – yes, but that weight maintenance/loss, and being lean is a matter of what you eat.
Think About This
How many people do you know that train in the gym, or run and bike miles daily yet are overweight?
I am not about not exercising. Exercise is extremely important in aging well and changing the physiological responses in the body positively. The problem is that the mindset that many people have regarding movements effects on weight loss is incorrect. The mindset being that exercise will cause us to lose weight is the real reason people are not losing weight. By having this mindset we deny the real reasons we cannot lose weight and obtain the body we desire. The fact is – food matters. What we choose to eat and not eat is extremely important in weight loss. This understanding is so central to being able to lose weight that in my 30 Days to Lean Program, I do not even discuss exercise other than to say… do something you enjoy a few minutes a day. No pressure. Just enjoy.
Awareness is Key
There is a direct correlation in what we eat and how much weight we lose! There is little correlation in how much we exercise and weight loss. It’ s a tough realization for many, but for those who are up to the challenge, it makes all the difference in living well. As one member who lost 24 pounds in 8 weeks said, ” I used to exercise like a nut. 90 minutes everyday in the gym for 20 years, and for that I have gained 20 pounds in 20 years. Now, I am sensible. I eat well and I exercise moderately. I am not deprived and I love my daily eating practices. I do not feel deprived either. And most importantly, no one could have told me I would love my new eating and exercise life. I never believed it myself! The words freeing and liberating come to mind.”
Here’s a Challenge For You.
The next time you go into the gym, take a walk, run, bicycle ride, improve your strength, stretch your body, practice balancing, or implement any of the exercises in the Totally Tone newsletters, exercise not because you are aiming to burn calories and lose weight, but because it is part of being a healthy person. Say to yourself, “This exercise is designed to improve my physical conditioning but it will not cause me to lose weight.” This realization that it is not exercise that will cause one to be trim looking is central to going at the root cause of why one may be overweight. No longer can one use exercise to atone for poor eating practices. Instead one will have to make the needed mind shift that exercise is for conditioning the body and that it is separate from the ability to lose weight.
Food matters not only in bringing health to our bodies, but in ridding the body of excess fat. By de-emphasizing training like a maniac, one can focus on what they eat as a means to transforming their bodies and their lives. You can have the awareness that there is a direct correlation in what you eat and how much weight you lose! Yes, it’ s a tough realization for many, but for those who are up to the challenge it makes all the difference in living well.
Strengthening, Stretching and Balance
You get it that strengthening, stretching, and balance are all important right?
But how do we know how much strength we need? How much flexibility we need? And how much balance we need? These are the real questions we need to be asking ourselves. Not everyone is conditioning for a chosen sport such as golf, tennis, biking, running or skiing. Some people may need just enough conditioning/toning for gardening, cleaning their homes, playing with the grandkids, their own kids, or traveling about.
Upshot Strength Question:
Can I do the things I need to do throughout the day without getting too tired in the muscles.
If your answer is no, then you need to up your strength in the weight department. That usually means going to the gym.
Everyone has a different daily routine- some are vigorous and some are not so much. Your level of strength needs to match what you want to do.
Often we think we do not want to do something we once loved, like gardening or hikes in the woods, mainly because we are deconditioned. Passion for what we used to do can often be reignited by strengthening our bodies, increasing the joint range of motion, and feeling grounded in balance. Cardiovascular fitness plays a role in heart conditioning but this newsletter is not directly about cardiovascular training.
How Do We Know We Are Strong Enough? Flexible Enough? And Balanced Enough?
When you can do what you want to do without getting overly fatigued and thoroughly enjoy the activity, then, and only then are you as strong, flexible, and balanced as you need to be.
Don’t confuse this with training in the gym however. When you are in the gym lifting weights, fatigue is what we need to aim for. Why? Because a fatigued muscle is a stronger muscle. And a stronger muscle can put up with the demands of either your chosen sport or whatever you need or desire to do daily.
The intent for many people after age 40 is usually not to be in the gym because they love it, but to be in the gym so they may be able to do what they want to do! That’s why I go. This is in sharp contrast to years ago when I was in the gym because of the love of it! Now I condition just enough for my chosen sport which is tennis, and to keep my back from caving forward from increased computer usage.
Thinking You Need To Step Things Up?
Do these exercises several times before we meet again.
Hold for one minute each leg.
Hold for one minute keeping abdominals pressed in supporting back ( build time incrementally).
Hold for one minute receiving stretch in lower back and front of thigh/quadriceps.
Balance Strength and Stretch:
Hold for one minute ( build time incrementally).