Nutrition is the King. Exercise is Just a Pawn.

  • Some people think exercising for three hours a day will get them the body they want. First of all, who has the time to do that? Second, if the person goes home and eats a large pepperoni pizza, that workout was sort of a waste of three hours.

  • If you want to lose weight, tone your body, and create definition, nutrition is key. 80% of your physique is dependent upon your nutrition, and only 20% is dependent on exercise. So, no matter how many hours of exercise you pack into one day, it’s still not going to dismantle the harmful effects of a poor diet.

 Think about it this way:

  • Your physique will look like and your body will feel like the food you consume. So, if you want to look like an egg roll, greasy pizza, or one of those KFC fried chicken sandwiches, go right ahead. But, keep in mind the ramifications poor nutrition has on your body, your confidence, self-esteem, and overall wellness. If, in a day, you make a healthy choice 8/10 times, you are on the right track. I think that is a reasonable goal, don’t you?

Awesome APP review- Fooducate®~

I just came across this GREAT app from iTunes® and Google Play®. It’s called Fooducate, and it’s free! (The pro edition, food allergy, and diabetes tracker versions are only a couple dollars if you choose to go that route). Just when you think the food you’re eating is the healthiest, this thing may prove you wrong! All you have to do is scan the barcode of an item from the grocery store. Then, Fooducate gives the item a grade. Yes, food is now in school, and this app is schooling us too! Just like you would question that F on a paper you thought was fantastic, this app gives you reasons for why a certain food was given a certain grade. So, maybe those innocent reduced fat crackers actually have TON more sugar than the regular crackers and receive a worse grade because of it! Just when you thought reduced fat was safe 😉

So, I scanned one of my favorite go-to protein bars: “Good Greens®” Chocolate Raspberry. It got a B+, which is good!! I hit the alternatives button and showed me another bar, called the “That’s It®” Apple and Mango Fruit bar. The problem was, this bar didn’t have any protein at all in it and the “Good Greens” bar has 12g. Second, the “Good Greens” bar has about half the amount of sugar. However, the “That’s It” bar has far less fat and a lot less calories (100 compared to 195). So, I guess the foods you choose all depend on what you’re looking for as far as your own personal nutritional needs. Maybe the “That’s It” bar is a good substitute for a piece of fruit since it has no added sugars and lots of nutrients, but the “Good Greens” bar has the protein, nutrients, and calories to help you get through a great workout.

The other cool thing about this app is that it allows you to pick grocery stores that are in your area and allows you to keep a daily food diary just like other well-known fitness apps;. It tracks the food you eat in a daily tracker, has goals for calorie and nutrient intake based on your fitness goals, and gives you “remember to eat healthy” notifications during the day or during the week. I thought that was a fantastic feature! I say, this is a great app and I love it. But, keep looking at those nutrition labels to figure out what’s just right for you! 🙂

vegetables

photographs from freefoto.com

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HIIT Me With Your Best Shot!~ ……Workout Wednesday!

Have you been hearing a lot of talk about “HIIT” training, thinking, “What the heck is HIIT??” Well, HIIT stands for “high intensity interval training,” and it’s a huge fitness breakthrough and has become what is now the evolution of exercise. What’s so great about HIIT workouts? I’m so glad you asked…..

  1. HIIT significantly increases aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
  2. It is not only one of the most effective ways to train, but it is one of the SHORTEST. Yes, you read that right! HIIT workouts burn more calories in less time.
  3. For busy people (umm, everyone??), it saves a lot of time. Cardiovascular endurance efficiency increases faster and you burn more calories in 20 minutes doing HIIT than you do running on a treadmill at a steady state for an hour. Crazy!
  4. You burn calories for a long time AFTER you’ve finished working out! Research has shown that one session of HIIT can burn calories for 1.5 – 24 hours after exercise…..Hello metabolism boost!
  5. It reduces body fat quickly, particularly in the abdominal region…. 6-pack anyone?
  6. You don’t need equipment and you can literally do it anywhere!
  7. Because of the anaerobic intervals, you keep all that muscle you worked so hard to build and the body creates more HGH, which slows down the aging process.
  8. After about 2 months of HIIT training, studies show that people can run, bike, swim, etc. faster and maintain that steady state longer than those that didn’t do HIIT workouts.

Wow! That’s a lot of awesome reasons to try HIIT workouts! …… Yep, I know 😉

So how do you construct a HIIT workout?

When you create a HIIT workout by yourself or with a personal trainer, make it your own. Make it fun and challenging at the same time. First and foremost, do a warm up for about 5 minutes before you start the interval training and give yourself about 5 minutes for a cool-down. I can’t stress enough how important this is for your body.

There are two speeds in a HIIT workout- intense and rest (recovery) – which alternate for a certain period of time. For example, you could do a HIIT interval for one minute, do a recovery exercise interval for two minutes, and then repeat. Ultimately, you want to aim for about 8-10 alternative intense/recovery intervals. During the intense intervals, push yourself as hard as you can for that one minute….. I’m talking huffing and puffing, can’t get a word out, heart pounding out of your chest hard. It’s just for one minute! If you don’t push yourself into that uncomfortable anaerobic zone, you’re not getting the full benefits of HIIT training. A note about recovery: When I say recovery, I don’t mean to go over and sit on a chair or lay on the floor. It is an ACTIVE recovery. Keep moving and don’t stop, ever, even when you really want to.

Let’s use running as an example first. A HIIT workout alternating running speed/intensity might look something like this:

Warm-Up

5 min.

Walking, steady pace, 3.0 mph

Speed (HIIT)

1 min.

Running, 8.0 mph (as fast as you can)

Recovery

2 min.

Walking, 4.0 mph

Speed

1 min.

Running

Recovery

2 min.

Walking

Speed

1 min.

Running

Recovery

2 min.

Walking

Speed

1 min.

Running

Recovery

2 min.

Walking

Speed

1 min.

Running

Recovery

2 min.

Walking

Cool-down

5 min.

Walking, steady pace, 3.0 mph then down to 2.5 mph.

Total Workout Time: 25 minutes…..Not bad, huh??

HIIT is not just about running though. It can work for SO many types of exercise, anytime, anywhere. It just has to be a cardio respiratory exercise that can push your heart rate up into that anaerobic “speed” zone. Here’s another example of one of the HIIT workouts I have created and have done. Use it as kind of a template. Remember, make it your own!

Warm-Up

5 min.

Jogging in place, slow jumping jacks, lateral skaters, dynamic stretches

Speed (HIIT)

1 min.

Run up and down the stairs as fast as possible

Recovery

2 min.

Jump rope, dynamic core exercises (training camps, bicycle crunches, oblique plank crunches)

Speed

1 min.

Mountain climbers

Recovery

2 min.

Jump rope, 15 curtsey lunges w/ weight

Speed

1 min.

Soccer ball taps on medicine ball

Recovery

2 min.

Jump rope, 15 squats w/ a row

Speed

1 min.

Tire run, high knee run back

Recovery

2 min.

Jump rope, 15 triceps dips, 15 triceps kickbacks

Speed

1 min.

High knee running, jacks w/ tuck jumps

Recovery

2 min.

Jump rope, 15 push-ups, 15 renegade rows

Cool-down

5 min.

Jogging in place, dynamic stretches (upper/lower body) static stretches (upper/lower body)

  • If the 2 minutes is not up after the 15 sets of 1-2 exercises, jump rope for 10 seconds and repeat. It’s okay if second set is not finished.

 If you would like a how-to for all the recovery exercises, let me know and I can email them to you!

HIIT is not for everyone, and that’s ok!! If you don’t enjoy or feel fulfilled by the workout you’re doing, you’re less likely to do it. What matters is working hard and enjoying exercise, whatever type of exercise that may be. Do what is best for you and your body. ❤

*as a CPT, I must stress the importance of doing exercise at the level that you are currently working. If you have conditions such as heart disease or congestive heart failure, research has shown improvement in both conditions using HIIT workouts. However, make sure you are under the supervision of a health care professional before making it part of your weekly workout routine.

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