Challenge Yourself Each Day To Be Better Than You Were Yesterday!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Micronutrients!

What are Micro-Nutrients?

Micronutrients are what are commonly referred to as vitamins & minerals and are extremely important for your overall health. Micronutrients include such minerals as fluoride, selenium, sodium, iodine, copper & zinc. They also include vitamins C, A, D, E, & K as well as the B-Complex vitamins.

Micronutrients are different from Macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates & Fat), micronutrients are called "Micro-Nutrients" because your body only needs small quantities of them for survival. However if your body does not get those small quantities then serious health problems can result.

Micronutrients are vital to the proper functioning of all of your bodies systems. Here are some examples:


  • Sodium is responsible for maintaining the bodies proper fluid balance, it helps fluids pass through cell walls and helps regulate pH levels in your blood.
  • Manganese promotes bone formation and energy production, and helps your body metabolize the Macronutrients, Protein, Carbohydrates and fat.
  • Magnesium helps your heart maintain its normal rhythm. It helps your body convert glucose (blood sugar) into energy, and it is necessary for the metabolism of micronutrients, calcium and vitamin C.
  • Iron helps your body produce red blood cells and lymphocytes.
  • Iodine helps your thyroid gland develop and function. It helps your body to metabolize fats, and promotes energy production and growth.
  • Chloride helps regulate water and electrolytes within your cells, as well as helping to maintain appropriate cellular pH.
Getting Enough Micronutrients 

Getting Enough Micronutrients is not hard, just eat a balanced diet and include plenty of nuts, whole grains, colorful fruits & vegetables (especially the leafy green vegetables). Enjoy!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

HIIT Training!


I am a big fan of high intensity interval training (HIIT) it is absolutely one of the best ways to do effective high calorie burning cardio training, pair this with strength/Resistance training and you have one intense and highly effective routine that you can do just about anywhere!

How it works: Interval training is done by combining timed high intensity intervals with a timed rest or lower intensity period, which has proven to burn calories for much longer than steady state cardio, so you will definitely achieve that lean & toned physique with this type of program. The main reason HIIT works so well for dropping body fat is due to the greater calorie burn that's maintained after the workout is over (sometimes up to 36hrs). In addition to this increase in resting metabolism, HIIT is effective at enhancing the mechanisms in muscle cells that promote fat burning and blunt fat storage.

A HIIT workout can be completed with great success and just about any activity can be used for HIIT training, the idea is to go intense for a set amount of time followed by a recovery period (usually a 2:1 ratio), repeat as necessary depending on your routine and by incorporating strength training within your program, you really are able to get an incredible workout.

You can implement many different exercises into your HIIT routines, these can include sprints, mountain climbers, burpees, push ups, pull ups, high knee runs just to name a few. This really is a great way to get your cardio in and burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time but make sure you are ready for this sort of routine it can be intense!

Always make sure you check with your Dr. before starting any workout program.

Good luck!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

TRX Suspension Training!


If you are looking for a great way to train anywhere or an effective workout to add to your existing routine, then you should definitely try the TRX Suspension Training System. I took a TRX certification course about a year and a half ago and was extremely impressed with the workout that I got from using the system and how many different exercises that you can actually do with it! TRX will challenge your body in every way, it really is an intense workout! So if you are looking for the ultimate in functional bodyweight training, look no further.

What is TRX Suspension Training?

The TRX Suspension Trainer is a performance training tool that uses your bodyweight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability through 100s of different exercises. It is extremely versatile and can be used just about anywhere, from your own home, outdoors, the gym, or even when your traveling. TRX weighs less than 2 pounds and consists of an anchoring point above your head, suspended are two flexible straps with handles on the end for your hands to grip as well as your feet (depending on the exercise), you then will use your body position as lever and force to attain desired resistance and intensity. Whats great about this system is it can be used by just about any fitness level from beginner to elite athlete, as the difficulty of the exercises can evolve along with your level of fitness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Benefits of Sports Massage!

Getting fit and staying fit involves more than just getting your workouts in (although that is a huge part!), it also involves eating healthy and taking care of your body on all levels & if you are working out on a regular basis sports massage is definitely something you should be doing to ease the strain on your body. So whether you are a professional athlete, a fitness enthusiast or just an overall active person, the benefits of regular sports massage are extremely important to overall health & fitness.

Does Sports Massage Improve Performance & Recovery?

Many elite athletes consider sports massage an essential part of their training and recovery routine. These athletes report that a sports massage helps them train more effectively, improve performance, prevent injury and recover quickly. Historically, competitive and professional athletes have been some of the biggest proponents of sports massage. Today, a growing number of massage therapists offer therapeutic sports massage and many recreational athletes enjoy the benefits of sports massage on a regular basis.

What is therapeutic sports massage?

Therapeutic sports massage is a type of massage technique that focuses on treating soft tissue aches, pains and injuries that are associated with recreational activities. Massage can reduce muscle stiffness and improve relaxation by reducing heart rate and blood pressure.

While many athletes are convinced of the physical benefit of massage, research on its effectiveness is accumulating. Massage involves applying mechanical pressure to the soft tissues and this has been linked with improved muscle flexibility, increased range of motion in the joints, and decreased muscle stiffness. Recently, research has shown that deep massage after an intense workout actually causes muscles to enlarge and grow  new mitochondria. Mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells, are responsible for converting nutrients into useful energy.

The pressure of massage may also improve blood flow and increase muscle temperature, massage also reduces heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels. All of these things as well as reduced anxiety and improved mood may indeed give athletes physical and psychological benefits.

For most athletes and physically active people, enjoying less muscle stiffness and improved relaxation and well-being is reason enough to enjoy regular massage but as research continues to grow on the real physical benefits, more and more people will be taking advantage of this feel good training method!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Full Body Training!

The full body workout is a great way to get in shape, gain muscle mass, and tone your body, without spending countless hours in the gym, 3 days a week with a rest/recovery day between each workout is all you will need (M,W,F) for example. Its also the perfect way for a beginner to start a strength training routine and go through an adaptation phase before moving on to a muscle building (hypertrophy) stage in their training.

A full body training routine, which sticks to mostly compound lifts, definitely gives you more benefit than isolation work, however keeping some isolation lifts is just fine. So what are compound exercises? Compound exercises are lifts which use more than one muscle group or joint group at one time and will build muscle and increase strength much faster than any other form of training.  The following compound lifts should be the core of any full body strength training routine:


  • Deadlifts
  • Squats
  • Bench Press (free weight) or Push Ups
  • Shoulder Press
  • Free Weight Rows
  • Pull Ups or Pull Downs

These are your main exercises to develop a great physique!

Compound lifts are great for beginners or advanced strength trainers because they can be performed with weights or by just using your own body weight and are great for both men & women it does not matter. Compound lifts are actually becoming more & more popular with women who want to gain lean muscle & lose fat. To get the best results you must use the proper amount of resistance & reps (8-12 max) and increase your resistance every week or two. Don't forget to always use proper form, if you are not sure how to do something make sure you work with someone who does. Enjoy your workout!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Strength Training!

I was reading a good article the other day and I thought that I would share some of it here to promote strength training! Strength Training is growing in popularity these day's especially for women. If you want to lose fat or change your body, one of the most important things you can do is lift weights. Diet and cardio are equally important, but when it comes to changing how your body looks, weight training wins hands down. If you've hesitated to start a strength training program, it may motivate you to know that lifting weights can:


  • Help raise your metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn all day long.
  • Strengthen bones, especially for women.
  • Make you stronger and increase muscular endurance.
  • Help you avoid injuries.
  • Increase your confidence and self-esteem and improve coordination and balance.

Getting started with strength training can be confusing but here are some quick tips to help you. The routine you choose will be based on your fitness goals as well as the equipment you have available and the time you have for workouts.

The Basics

If your setting up your own program, you'll need to know some basic strength training principles. These principles will teach you how to make sure you're using enough weight, determine your sets and reps and insure you're always progressing in your workouts.

Overload: To build muscle, you need to use more resistance than your muscles are used to. This is important because the more you do, the more your body is capable of doing, so you should increase your workload to avoid plateaus. In plain language, this means you should be lifting enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. You should be able to finish your last rep with difficulty but also with good form.
Progression: To avoid plateaus (or adaptation), you need to increase your intensity regularly. You can do this by increasing the amount of weight lifted, changing your sets/reps, changing the exercises and changing the type of resistance. You can make these changes on a weekly or monthly basis.
Specificity: This principle means you should train for your goal. That means, if you want to increase your strength, your program should be designed around that goal (e.g., train with heavier weights closer to your 1 RM ( 1 rep max)). To lose weight choose a variety of rep ranges to target different muscle fibers.
Rest and Recovery: Rest days are just as important as workout days. It is during these rest periods that your muscles grow and change, so make sure you're not working the same muscle groups 2 days in a row.
Before you get started on setting up your routine, keep a few key points in mind:

Always warm up before you start lifting weights. This helps get your muscles warmed up and prevent injury. You can warm up with light cardio or by doing a light set of each exercise before going to heavier weights.

Lift and lower your weights slowly. Don't use momentum to lift the weight. If you have to swing to get the weight up, chances are you're using too much weight.

Breathe. Don't hold your breath and make sure you are using full range of motion throughout the movement.

Stand up straight. Pay attention to your posture and engage your abs in every movement you're doing to keep your balance and protect your spine.

These are just a few tips to get you started on a good strength training routine. Trust me, once you start training & start seeing your body change, you will wonder why you had not done so sooner!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Year!

So it's the beginning of the year and you are ready to get in shape... That's great!! There is no better time to start than now! Start slowly at first to get your body used to exercising, a couple days a week to begin with and then increase by a day & then another until you find the best schedule for you - most importantly learn to enjoy it and not just do it because you think you have to (or you will most likely throw in the towel by February!), be consistent (set a schedule & stick to it) and most of all push yourself! Don't just go through the motions or you will not see the results you want.  

Make sure you are realistic when setting your goals though, you want to be able to start hitting them quickly to encourage yourself to keep going (make short term & long term goals). There's no better motivator than success! Once you start reaching these goals you will push yourself to keep going and before you know it you will start seeing those results & that's a great feeling!

So whatever fitness plan you have set for yourself make sure you give it your all, stick to your goals and you will succeed. Good Luck!