Everyone in the water!

With Labor Day weekend coming up and the last of the summer cookouts, are you thinking about heading to the pool or the lake?  Here is a quick swim workout to kick off the fun BEFORE you have that burger.  It will help you shred some calories and get your heart pounding! (Hint: this workout also works with timed intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute instead of meters.)

stephenswimmer_edited-1

Warm Up: 5 to 10 minutes

2X50m freestyle

2X50m backstroke

2X50m breaststroke

2X50m freestyle

Drills:

4x50m kick (kickboard OR on back hands together above head)

4X50m freestyle with fingertip touch

4X50m kick (kickboard OR on back hands together above head)

4X50m Pull (use Pull Buoy)

Sprints:

(15 seconds rest between each sprint)

4X50m freestyle

4X50m backstroke

4X50m breaststroke

Cool Down:

2X50m freestyle

2X50m backstroke

 Now go enjoy that burger, hot off the grill!

Do my thighs look big on this bike?

As a Personal Trainer and Indoor Cycling instructor, I get this question a lot.  Clients often ask if cycling will make their thighs bigger.  The short answer is no, but I found a great article on the Women’s Health website recently that does explain why cycling might make your thighs FEEL bulky…read on!

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/does-cycling-make-your-thighs-bigger

Thirsty? Thinking of trying some coconut water?

I like to try new things, but I am always skeptical of new products with flashy claims of superiority.  I have been tempted to try coconut water recently, but have been hesitant because I didn’t know much about it.  Take a look at this blog post from Ellie Krieger, host of the Food Networks, “Healthy Appetite” and a well-known, registered dietician.  She sheds some light on the coconut water claims of super-hydration…

http://www.elliekrieger.com/is-coconut-water-all-its-cracked-up-to-be#.U-KD-Va5fwK

Activity Trackers, which one is for you?

If you have been considering purchasing an activity tracker, but have no idea which one is right for you, check out this article from PC magazine.  It lists the features of each tracker, cost and where to purchase it for the lowest price.  It also indicates which ones have heart rate monitors, sleep trackers and which systems each device is compatible with.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404445,00.asp

 

 

Client Retention Tips for Fitness Professionals

As a Fitness Professional, I have often been challenged to come up with fresh ideas to maintain my client-base and keep them motivated.  Training the same person or teaching the same class for several years requires a consistent effort on the trainer or instructor’s part to maintain the client income base.   These retention tips from ACE Fitness are very helpful in achieving that goal and sustaining your business.

http://www.acefitness.org/blog/4908/customer-retention-tips-for-personal-trainers-and/

Tabata Timer

Like many of you, I too run short on time for my workouts.  Tabata drills are often my “go to” for a quick, efficient workout that revs my metabolism and gets me energized for the day.  (Tabata = 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest X 8 sets.)

If I am the trainer, I keep time for my clients or my class participants, but it’s hard for me to keep the time for myself.  Luckily, I found a free app to help keep me on pace and motivated.  It’s available at  http://www.tabatatimer.com and you can download it your smart phone, mobile device or computer, FOR FREE!  There is a pro version, but so far, I have found the free version to be just what I needed.

There are numerous personal setting options like a warm up interval that counts your warm up time and includes it as part of your workout, various sound options that count, beep or vibrate your tabata timing queues and even a voice assistance that talks you through your workout.   After each set, the app tells you how awesome you are and gives you the option to tweet or update your Facebook page with your latest workout stats.

So, if gadgets and gizmos get you psyched for your next workout, give the Tabata Timer a try and get your sweat on!

City Cycling Safety

Living in the city, I often enjoy riding my bike to the market, the gym or to run errands.  If you are eager to enjoy your city by bike, here are some excellent tips and information from Greatest.com about safety on the road.  Allez Allez!!RVAcycling

http://greatist.com/fitness/bicycle-safety-101?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Greatist%20Daily&utm_campaign=Greatist%20Daily%202014&utm_content=Final

The Trouble with the Twist

As a Yoga instructor who teaches mostly in corporate fitness centers, I knew that spinal twisting was not good for the low back, but assumed that it was mostly due to prolonged sitting.  During a recent visit to my physical therapist, I learned that the lumbar spine (low back) is not designed to twist.

Seeking a deeper understanding, I came across an excellent article about why Yoga instructors need to be thoughtful in safely teaching clients about poses that twist or compress the spine.  I encourage you to take a few moments and read it.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/06/yoga-twists-turns-how-to-stay-safe-michaelle-edwards/

Travel Workout

Even when you have to hit the road, there are no excuses to miss a workout.

luggage2

Try this no equipment workout the next time you travel.

Burpies X 30 seconds
Lateral Walking Planks X 8-12  (2 steps each side)
Side Plank (on elbow) with Inner/Outer leg lifts X 8-12 (each leg/each exercise)
Mountain Climbers X 30 seconds
Side Plank with Hip Raises X 12 (each side)
Pushups X 10
Plank Jacks X 10 (“jack” feet apart)
Incline Plane (reverse pushup) X 4 hold each 20 seconds
Bicycle Crunches X 15 each side

Repeat X 3

Get Sweaty!!

Protein Perplexity

You know protein is an important component to building a healthy body and that you need it for your bones and muscles.  But, how much protein should you eat everyday? It can be confusing to make sure you are getting enough to fuel your body and provide it adequate nutrition.

According to WebMD, daily protein requirements are:

Babies need about 10 grams a day.Teenage boys need up to 52 grams a day.Teenage girls need 46 grams a day.Adult men need about 56 grams a day.Adult women need about 46 grams a day (71 grams if pregnant or breastfeeding)

Basically, you should get at least 10% of your daily caloric intake, but not more than 35%, from protein, according to the Institute of Medicine.  Ok, but why is protein measured in ounces or pounds at the store and the requirements listed in grams? Break out the calculator!

According to Tufts University Journal, here are what the ratio of the daily requirements and measurements of protein look like on your plate:

1 cup milk = 8 grams
3 ounces skinless chicken breast = 27 grams
2 tablespoons peanut butter = 8 grams
1 ounce almonds (about 23 nuts) = 6 grams
3 ounces canned tuna in water = 20 grams
¾ cup baked beans = 10 grams
2 cups cooked brown rice = 10 grams

There are also different types of protein sources, plant-based (incomplete) and animal-based (complete).  Complete protein sources provide all of the essential amino acids while incomplete proteins do not.  Combining sources of incomplete proteins, like rice and beans, complete the amino acid chain.

The combination is sometimes called a complementary protein source.  It is a good idea to eat complimentary protein sources within the same day, but it is no longer thought to be necessary to consume them within the same meal.  Your body knows what to do with it even if you ate beans for lunch and rice for dessert!

Now you know!