Monday, August 9, 2010

P90X Day 8 - Chest and Back

Wow. It's getting a little easier, but I still definitely need to work on my form. Dive-bombers are killing my shoulder, but I'm working it out. Plus, I still need to get a pull-up bar. I feel that the bands aren't as effective.

But, I have to say, I'm feeling (and looking) better! Again, I have to ask- can Kellan Lutz. Taylor Lautner, Columbus Short, and Zac Efron do the full 90 days. I know many have actually incorporated it into their workouts. I even hear that Justin Bieber and Usher are inquiring about the program.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Exercise is important, but if you're not motivated it ain't gonna happen.

You talk about exercise. You want to get into shape. You would like to maintain the health and exercise level that you are accustomed to. Thats all great! However without motivation, it just ain't gonna happen. Here is a reality check from Tony Horton.

Get Motivated with P90X's Tony Horton

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mind Ur Recipes - Summer Chicken Fajitas

exps3380_couam90p49atran.jpg1 pound chicken tenderloins (or chicken breast cut into strips)
1/2 cup chicken broth - divided
1/4 cup lime juice 
2 T Lea and Perrins Marinade for Chicken 
4 cloves of garlic - minced - divided 
1 poblano pepper - diced 
1 medium onion - sliced 
1 cup sliced zucchini 
1 cup frozen corn

For the marinade:
Combine lime juice, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, and Lea and Perrins Marinade for Chicken. Add half of the minced garlic and season well with salt and pepper. Place chicken in marinade and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to overnight.

To prepare:
Drain the marinade from the chicken. Grill chicken (either on grill or grill pan) and set aside. In a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat, cook onions until soft and slightly browned (adding a pinch of salt will help this process). Add zucchini, mushrooms, poblano pepper and frozen corn. When vegetables are slightly browned, add remaining chicken broth and the grilled chicken. Allow broth to cook down and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with tortillas or rice and toppings of choice (not included in nutritional information).

Number of Servings: 4
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user RAUSCHAM1.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 201.7; Total Fat: 1.9 g; Cholesterol: 66.4 mg; Sodium: 291.8 mg; Total Carbs: 18.3 g; Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g; Protein: 28.7 g  

Mind Ur Exercise - Prisoner Lunges

Prisoner Squat

This is a challenging workout. At first, it may appear to be an easy task. But after number three, you will realize why this is a favorite among fitness trainers.
1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lace your fingers behind your head.

2. Keeping your elbows back, bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back up to the starting position and repeat. (If the basic prisoner squat is too easy for you, try this: At the bottom of the move, explode upward so your feet come off the floor a few inches. Land softly and sink into your next repetition.)

(From Mens Health Magazine)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Mind Ur Recipes - Hot Tuna

Recipe taken from The Abs Diet 

1/2 cup chopped celery
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat cottage cheese
a can (6 ounces) water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 whole-wheat English muffins, split in half

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large nonstick skillet over low heat, cook the celery and onion until softened. Add the cheeses, tuna, mayo, and lemon juice to the skillet, and cook the mixture just long enough to warm it up.
2. Spread one-sixth of the mixture on each English muffin half. Put the muffin halves on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.

Makes 2 servings
Calories per serving: 628, Protein: 50 g; Carbs: 54 g; Fat: 24g; Saturated fat: 6 g; Sodium: 1,300 mg; Fiber: 8g

Mind Ur Body Enhancement - Add a tomato slice, a slice of avocado, or two leaves of spinach to each half. Scrumptious!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mind Ur Exercise - Balance Ball Superman

This is an advanced version of the superman exercise.

This exercise helps to tone and strengthen your lower back. It is important to work the back, the obliques, and the abs if you want to strengthen and tighten up the core.

Lie face-down over the balance ball, with your hips pressed against the ball and your abs lying on it. Lift your arms so that they are parallel with your body. While making a fist, bend your elbows 90 degrees and bring your elbows back so that they are touching the side of the ball (your fists should be pointing forward). Now, while extending your back (your chest should come completely off the ball), extend your arms forward. Hold for three seconds. Then return to the starting position. Do three sets of 12 - 15 reps.

To challenge yourself, extend your legs as you extend your arms!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

MIA - Again?

Sorry for my lack of posts, people. I have been working hard on my thesis for graduate school. And to all of my friends, I am sorry to have repeatedly used the word "thesis" everyday for the past two years. However, it is done! My thesis is done!! (I just had to say thesis one more time... make that two more times).

My thes... my paper discusses the use of exercise in psychotherapy for individuals suffering from depression. I will discuss some of the topics in upcoming posts. However, I do not recommend disregarding or discontinuing any current treatments you may be prescribed. After reading the upcoming posts, if you are interested in this sort of therapy, please speak with your doctor.

I will see you guys soon with more interesting posts, and delicious recipes for a healthier and happier lifestyle!

Stay tuned!!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Mind Ur Trainer - Finding the Time to Exercise

Our lives are busy. All of us! If you are working full time 40+ hours a week away from the home, or if you are a stay at home mom or dad. Even if you work part time and have activities happening outside of the house and/or job. Regardless of where you are in life, we are all busy people. And oftentimes that busy-ness keeps us away from workouts. We will often find excuses in every arena of our lives to avoid a workout. But just like eating and bathing are a part of our daily routine, so should exercise.

At home workouts, or daily walks through a park or neighborhood keeps you fit and healthy. Joining a gym is ideal if you have the time, funds and dedication. But for those days when the motivation just isn't there, then do what you can. Take a walk through your neighborhood after work, or during the day when no one is around. Got kids?! Take them on a daily stroll to the park.

Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure keep yourself hydrated! So get at it! Work it Out!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mind Ur Knowledge - The Importance of Water

Did you know that water is very important for you as you exercise? Check out this article and see why-

Proper Hydration for Exercise - Water or Sports Drinks
Water is the most essential ingredient to a healthy life. Water has many important functions in the body including:

•Transportation of nutrients / elimination of waste products.

•Lubricating joints and tissues.

•Temperature regulation through sweating.

•Facilitating digestion.

Importance of Water During Exercise

Proper hydration is especially important during exercise. Adequate fluid intake for athletes is essential to comfort, performance and safety. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the more important it is to drink the right...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mind Ur Exercise - One Legged-Shoulder Press Using a Balance Board

Many people have asked me about using balance boards, others have asked me the purpose of the balance board. Plain and simple, a balance board is.... for balance. It helps you with coordination, helps maintain stability and can improve an exercie while decreasing the chance of injury... if done correctly.

This weeks exercise incorporates the balance board or wobble board as it is sometimes referred.

The One Legged-Shoulder Press using a balance board is pretty simple to do. Well at least I think its easy. In the beginning, I recommend having someone with you- I will explain why? Believe it or not, most of us lack good balance. So in order to do this exercise effectively, I would like you to find your balance first before trying to balance the weights.

Stand on one leg on the balance board and try to maintain your balance. Next, lift the other leg. Now, have someone pass you two dumbbells and place one in each hand. Press dumbbells upward until arms are extended overhead. Lower to sides of shoulders. That is one rep. Repeat this exercise 4 times. That equals 5 reps. Now change legs and complete 5 more- giving you a total of 10 reps.

I recommend 3 sets of this exercise.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mind Ur Trainer - Staying on Track When on Vacation

The last few days have been nice... I was vacationing with the family. A well deserved vacation! First of all, that's my excuse for not posting anything yesterday- so I have to apologize. Secondly, I want to remind everyone that - even when you're on vacation - you can still maintain your wellness goals.

I have to admit, I have a hard time passing up All-You-Can-Eat buffets. So, instead of me resisting an opportunity to enjoy a good meal AND save money, I learned to eat moderately. I also promised myself that if I go to a buffet, it would be to my benefit to go during the lunch hours. Why? Because as I stated in an earlier post, it is better to eat larger meals earlier in the day, which will provide you with the energy you need throughout the day. Another reason... it usually costs less.

And don't forget your workout. Most hotels have fitness centers (which are often underutilized). So after returning from your sightseeing tours, fun-tivities, etc. spend 30-60 minutes in the gym burning off those extra calories you took in. Or better yet, take a walk along the beach, do a self-guided tour of the hotel, neighborhood, or whatever. It's not so important what you do. But it is important that you stay physically active.

So get out, have fun, and be healthy!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mind Ur Knowledge - Myths About Your Metabolism

I'm sure you hear a lot about metabolism, much of it confusing and often inaccurate. So, I'd like to take a moment to address some of the common myths about metabolism...

Read more

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Mind Ur Recipes - Black Bean “Thought it was Meat" Vegetarian Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (14-ounce) package GIMME LEAN ® Ground Beef Style 
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder 
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves 
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/3 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
2 (16-ounce) cans of low sodium whole tomatoes, crushed
1 (16-ounce) can black beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
4 tablespoons low fat shredded Cheddar cheese

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add GIMME LEAN ® Ground Beef Style, cook until brown. Drain and return to pot. Stir in onions, bell peppers, red pepper, garlic, jalapeno peppers, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, marjoram, oregano, paprika, and cinnamon. Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in beans and corn. Continue cooking for an additional 5-8 minutes. Serve topped with cheese. Makes about 10 cups

Nutrition Facts: 323.4 calories, 9.6 g protein,  23.1 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat), 20 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 275 mg sodium

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mind Ur Exercise: How to Do Chair Dip Triceps Exercises

Expert Village had a great 'at home' tricep chair dip instruction video. I couldn't resist posting this video for the Mind Ur Exercise segment. It is Monday after-all. Time to work up a sweat.

FYI - by the end of the month, you will be able to combine some of the exercises that I posted to have a full body workout. Now how does that sound?!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mind Ur Trainer - The Relaunch of the Mind Ur Body Fitness Blog

Hey! Welcome to the relaunch of the Mind Ur Body blog. The healthy, down to earth (not over the top) blog that meets you and your family's health goals. Personally, I started running from those programs and blogs that seem forced. This one is a reality check that just gives you the basics for a quality life. You may not develop 24"pythons, but you will learn how to live a healthier lifestyle, live a longer life, and get a nice toned and sexy body!

U will find yoga tips, exercises of the week, great tasting - healthy meals, and soon... VERY soon, a video segment. Yeah, I'm doing a lot. Well, I've heard that I'm very ambitious- so if you want a place to go and learn how to get in the best shape of your life, keep visiting my blog.

I mean, just check out my convenient schedule:
Monday- Mind Ur Exercise (Exercises of the week).
Tuesday- Mind Ur Recipe (Healthy recipes- created by urs truly or borrowed from others)
Wednesday- Mind Ur Knowledge (A "did you know" section)
Thursday- Mind Ur Trainer (all about me! Lol)
Other days - Sometimes I may just drop by for the heck of it!

Well, enjoy the Mind Ur Body Fitness blog. There is something here for everyone.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mind Ur Knowledge - The Importance of Breathing

Did you know that breathing is very important while you exercise? According to The Fit List, breathing can make “cardiovascular training more efficient” and it also “helps with power and stability during strength and endurance training.”  ( But first you have to do it right.

Here are a few breathing techniques that will benefit you while you’re working up a sweat. During most workouts, you should always exhale on the exertion or the most strenuous part of the exercise, and inhale on recovery, or the easiest part of the exercise. For example, when you do ab crunches and back extensions, exhale as you move upwards and inhale as you go back to the starting position.

When you bench press you should exhale as you push the bar away from your chest and inhale when you lower it to your chest.

Now cardiovascular activities are slightly different. With cardio, you should generally establish a breathing pattern that is comfortable for you, regardless of the activity. Whether you are jogging, swimming, or cycling make sure you have a steady inhale/exhale pattern. Also, try to avoid shallow breathing or holding your breath. You should take strong breaths during those activities.

I hope this was of help to you… now kick yourself into gear and mind ur breathing!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mind Ur Recipes - The Ultimate Body Burger

The Ultimate Body Burger

1 egg
1 lb lean ground turkey
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped spinach
1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar, Gouda, or Asiago cheese 
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp paprika

Preheat the broiler. In a large bowl, whisk egg, ground pepper and paprika. Next stir in cheese. Add remaining ingredients to the mix until well blended - preferably with hands. 

Next form the mixture into four patties. Cover a broiler safe pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Broil the patties in the oven for about 4 - 8 minutes per side to the desired level of doness (i.e. medium, well, etc.). Let the burgers stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 patties. 

Nutrition Facts: 295 calories, 30 g protein,  15.5 g fat (6.6 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 210 mg sodium

Nutrition Bonus:  Calcium (15% dv), Iron (20% dv), Zinc (10% daily value).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mind Ur Exercise - Split Squat Rotation

The Split Squat Rotation is an amazing fat burning exercise that also helps to banish those defiant abs. It's a simple exercise that you can do with a dumbbell, a dowel or even a broomstick.

First, you must stand upright in a split stance with one foot forward, holding a dumbbell in both hands near your chest or with dowel/broomstick across the back of your shoulders.

Next, lower your body to the floor by bending at the knees, while twisting your torso to one side.

Now, lift your body by pushing up on the front foot until you return to the upright position, while turning your upper body to face front.

Complete all your repetitions on one side before repeating on the other side.
This exercise works the abs, the glutes and the legs.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Benefits of Eating More!

Ha ha. Don't get excited. Eating more doesn't mean shoveling a plate of pasta down your throat, after gorging on  a Big Mac Meal... supersized. When I say eating more, I mean eating more frequently. So please, don't get it twisted.

There is an unfortunate myth that the less you eat, especially with those crash diets, the more weight you lose. That eating habit is unhealthy. Another concern is that eating less slows down of our metabolism. Did you know that when you restrict yourself your body goes into starvation mode and you burn less calories? I'm sure that this is just the opposite of what you were hoping for.

So how much and how often should you eat? For healthy weight loss and muscle gain you should eat 5 - 6 healthy meals 2 -3 hours apart. This ensures that your metabolism is strong and that you maintain higher energy levels.

Another important fact: Don't eat the heavier meals later in the day. Bob Harper of NBC's The Biggest Loser recommends eating heavier meals earlier during the day and progressively smaller meals later in the day. Calories taken in earlier in the day are more likely to provide you with the energy you need throughout the day. Those taken in later in the day are more likely to go unused and be stored as fat.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mind Over Body

I have been MIA for a while, but I have not dismissed my exercise program. I have a lot in the works right now and will introduce it to you all very soon.

I am currently working on two ways to move my blog to the next level. I am doing intense research on how exercise can be used to help improve mood. Also included is how to motivate individuals who want to workout but just can't seem to get themselves off the couch.

I am also developing a new workout regimen that will help you get the body you want in less time than most of the current programs out there- with minimal cost.

So although you haven't heard from me in a while, I am still developing ways to keep you healthy and help you reach your fitness goals.

It is time to take back your mind and your body!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dance Your Way to Better Health

I'm just saying, dancing is fun, exciting, and can make you feel a little embarrased (if you can't dance). But regardless of how you feel about it, or what your current level is, dancing can be very beneficial your health, and to your relationship.

With my continued journey towards optimal health, I decided to accompany my wife to an 8-week ballroom dance class. At first I thought, "are you kidding?" This was the same reaction from most of my male Facebook friends. I'm glad you can't read their comments. Regardless, after attending the first class, I knew that I was committed to this knew program. We have also agreed that we will join another class when this one ends.

The dance, the Fox Trot, was a bit challenging at first. Fun, but challenging. And I could definitely feel it in my abs, weights, and legs... and arms. But despite the "hurt" and confusion it was a lot of fun. It brought us closer, physically and emotionally. Learning something new together- without one trying to teach the other (which can sometimes be a problem in some relationships).

The Mayo clinic also reports that social dancing helps to reduce stress, increase energy, improve strength, increase muscle tone and coordination.

Additionally, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute says that dancing can lower your risk of coronary heart disease, decrease blood pressure, help you manage your weight, strengthen the bones of your legs and hips.

So take your partner and dance across the living room, or if you have the time and the funds join a dance class. It will benefit your heart in more ways than one.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Exercise Boosts Brain Power

I have to say, that I have been committed to my fitness regimen for the past few months, and I can really feel the difference. I hope that you are on the same path. Exercise not only improves your physical health., it also has a positive impact on your mood and overall mental health. Did you know that a half an hour of cardio helps to impoves reduces anxiety and enhances mood?

Besides being tired, how many of you have noticed how much better you feel when you come back from a long walk, jog or run for 30 minutes, or an aerobics class? I know that after a long day of stress at the job, I benefit from an afternoon or evening run. What about prevention? I have learned that by exercising in the early morning, it helps alleviate stress and relieves stress hormones and makes my day a lot more calm- it also keeps me more alert.

According to, "Exercise significantly increases mental acuity—a benefit that lasts four to ten hours after your workout ends. Exercising in the a.m. means you get to harness that brainpower."

So make some time and get an jump start your health!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Great Post on That's Fit

You don't have to be a gym rat to sculpt a rockin' bod. According to Jay Shafran, a fitness expert with New York-based Wellness 360, all it takes is three, 15-minute workouts a week. "Short, intense sessions that focus on muscle toning and calorie burning will get you the body you want," Shafran...

Great Post on That's Fit

Great Post on That's Fit

There's nothing like supermodel Heidi Klum slurping down a container of yogurt to get non-believers eating the superfood. And that's just what Dannon Yogurt had in mind when it recently launched a TV spot for its Light & Fit yogurt featuring spokesperson Klum, according to a recent MediaPost story.

The commercial, in which a fellow exerciser watches Klum's voracious consumption of Dannon's 80 calorie Light & Fit yogurt, is being used to propel this light yogurt past competitor Yoplait as the best low-cal option. Of course, we're slightly skeptical of this advertising based on Dannon's previous exaggeration of the health benefits of its yogurt products. So while Klum may boost the ratings for Dannon, we're already on board with the benefits of yogurt, since it's a food that doesn't require a hard...

Great Post on That's Fit

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Delicious Smoothie

This is my own creation. Try it.. Enjoy it!

2 frozen bananas

1/2 c. vanilla yogurt
1 c. soy milk
1/2 c. orange juice
4 tsp. Agave Nector sweetener

Put all ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Makes 2 glasses. A delicious healthy drink. 

Nutrition Facts
Calories 268, Fat 5.1 g (sat 1.9 g), Carbs 55.5g, fiber 6.0 g, sugars 36.2 g, protein 9.2 g

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Best Healthy Snacks For The Office : Men's Health

We all get the munchies during the day... and at night. But instead of reaching for a candy bar or a bag of Doritos, check out the healthy snack suggestions from Men's Health Magazine.

Best Breakfast to Eat over Your Keyboard
Chex Morning Mix
We like the cinnamon mix; it has almonds, cranberries, and raisins.
Per pouch: 130 calories, 2 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g sat. fat), 1 g fiber
Horizon Organic Reduced Fat chocolate milk Spoil-proof moo.
Per 8 ounces: 180 calories, 8 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 4.5 g fat (3 g sat. fat), 0 g fiber

Best Hard Candy

Creme Savers Sugar Free The same flavor as regular Creme Savers.
Per 5 candies: 45 calories, 0 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 g fiber

Best Chocolate Bar
Dove Dark Contains levels of disease-fighting flavonoids similar to those of chocolate used in studies.
Per 1.3-ounce bar: 200 calories, 2 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (7 g sat. fat), 2 g fiber

Best Microwavable Soup Cups
Not quite dinner, but enough to hold you over.
Beef: Chef Boyardee beef stew
Per container: 150 calories, 8 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 2 g fiber
Chicken: Dinty Moore chicken and dumplings
Per container: 200 calories, 12 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 1 g fiber

Best Fruit Cup
Dole Fruit Bowls sliced peaches More of what we want--peaches--and less of what we don't--sugary syrup.
Per cup: 120 calories, less than 1 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 2 g fiber

Check out the rest at Men's Health

The Best Healthy Snacks For The Office : Men's Health

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sexy Abs, Healthy Body

I woke up early this morning morning to watch television. Okay, I didn't just watch television, I watched Exercise TV and followed a workout by my fitness mentor, Marco Reed. Sexy Beach Abs. And no, it's not too early to get my abs sexy for the beach.

The abs can be the hardest body part to tone, but it is also one of the most important to pay attention to. Not only is it one of the first places (one of the first) people look when you walk along the beach, but it is also important to optimal health.

Next week I will be focusing most of my posts on the abs.

So get ready to get healthy sexy abs!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This is the Time

It is a new year and I am sure we all have a new attitude. You want to save more money, eat healthier, and start (re-start) exercising. So why are you still sitting around making plans? You have to get out and make it happen. This is one of the prime seasons where gyms are making a killin' on new memberships. Sales are everywhere.

You feel your commitment and how this year is going to be different... but you still haven't made the move. Why not? Even if you do take the tour, put money down, and then commit to the gym (which are great first steps)- now you have to follow through. Problem? Don't let it be.

One way to resolve this issue is to get a friend to commit to your new workout regime. Doing it alone, especially if you're just starting out, doesn't always cut it. Believe me, I've been there. I joined a gym a number of years ago, and I would only go when I could bring someone using a free pass. Once those were no longer offered, I stopped showing up. A few years later, I joined another gym. This time I was able to convince my new bride to join with me, and then a family friend. So I had two people. I have been dedicated to the gym and to working out religiously ever since. Even if we don't make it to the gym, we may go out running, do some home workouts, etc. But since this new habit was formed, I am able to comfortably workout alone. This morning I did an at-home workout by myself with Exercise TV.

Secondly, location. If you are joining a gym, make sure it is convenient to get to. Also, if you have decided to do workouts at the park or at a friend's house... or even at home, make sure that you will not be discouraged by the commute. You may hear people say, dedication is everything. "If you're dedicated then you'll go no matter how far it is." But remember, you may not be dedicated yet. First you have to be comfortable and then it can become routine. And that will lead to dedication. It takes about 3 months to form a new habit. So don't worry about dedication your first day. Just get comfortable.

When I say a convenient location at home, my friends look at me like I am insane. "You're home, location is not an issue." But have you ever had to find a DVD in your huge movie collection, to no avail... and then give up? Have you ever had to find or set up the ironing board, lawn mower, prepare to wash the dishes (by hand)? Although there is not A LOT of work involved, if you are not used to doing this on a regular basis, those clothes may not get ironed for a few days, or those dishes may not get washed until much later. And the lawn, well no one else is looking so "why not wait until next weekend?"

Granted these things have to and will get done, you may not have the same urgency to exercise... at first. Imagine having to find the "other" dumbbell, or having to go into the attic for the yoga mat. Make sure that they fitness equipment is in reach so that when you feel the urge to exercise, you are not discouraged by the inconvenience of not being able to locate the exercise ball (and make sure the ball in inflated).

So this year, make your wellness resolution come true. Get out and make it happen. Keep me posted on your progress.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Trainers: Drop the 'tude, give us your all

By Ashley Fantz, CNN


(CNN) -- Everybody says it: This year I'm going to get in shape.

The mantra is repeated a few times, but then February and all the excuses come: I'm too busy; I have to work, pick up the kids, fix the doohickey in the kitchen, do anything besides get on that treadmill or face that trainer.

Trainers say January is their biggest month, but their client roster diminishes by March.

"You'd think right now that people wouldn't part with their hard-earned cash to hire a trainer and then not be serious about it, but it happens," said Drew Dinwiddie, a trainer who has a loyal following at a boutique but no-fuss gym in Atlanta, Georgia.

"You get a pretty good idea quickly whether someone is going to be successful or they're not."

Trainers want potential clients to know that they aren't going to do the heavy lifting. They'll encourage and set parameters, teach proper form, give tough love when necessary and create a comfortable space free of judgment for their clients. But people who want to alter their bodies and improve their health must do more than sweat.

So before you hire a personal trainer, heed their advice:

Be truly willing to accept direction.

"I've had people who are the top boss at their office come in and act like they are the top boss during a workout," Dinwiddie said. "I don't want to battle you. I'd hope someone thinks of it as a collaboration. You're doing what I tell you, but you're also telling me what works for you."

If working out indoors seems like a drag, don't be afraid to pipe up and let your trainer know. Chances are they'll move your workout into the fresh air. Trainer Hyuk Chung, an Ironman triathlon competitor and longtime trainer, prefers to stay off machines and lift free weights and do resistance work using the client's body weight.

"Machines can end up doing the work for you, and we don't want that," he said. "What matters is if you're pushing yourself so your heart rate is at its maximum. I can take you for a run outside, or we'll hit the stairs of a building."

Set specific goals.

Don't say, "I want to lose weight." Instead try, "I will lose 15 pounds by February 15."

Avoid thinking that you want to run a race someday. Sign up for a 5K during your first session.

That's what Stephen Fusco did after he began training with Dinwiddie five years ago. Fusco was 50 pounds overweight after months of repeatedly being hospitalized to treat a rare degenerative tissue disorder. "I didn't think I could do it. Something just got into me, and I made it a routine. Eventually, your body begins to like it and need it.

"I just kept going," he said.

Fusco now trains at the same gym as Dinwiddie, is a certified yoga instructor, has run four marathons and is training for an Ironman.

Begin a food log.

"There is no lasting fitness without the right nutrition," Fusco said.

Fusco requires his clients to immediately began journaling what they eat. "If a client comes up with excuses about not doing that that -- 'Oh, I didn't have time' -- then it's probably a good indication they aren't serious."

And the food log should include liquids, especially alcohol. If a client is a "three glasses of wine with dinner" type, he or she should cut that to three glasses a week, said Keely Towson, who has a master's degree in physical therapy and works with clients with diabetes and short-term injuries.

Work out when the trainer's not around.

She also gives her clients basic exercises -- walking slowly on a treadmill or lifting minimal weight -- that they can do in their home or at the gym when she's not there.

Fusco won't work with clients who won't exercise when he's not around.

"I know from experience that one hour a week with me isn't going to cut it," he said. "When I see a client in the gym, I know they are into it and determined."

Do it for yourself

If you're trying to get a tight rear end for a February wedding, you might actually do it. But odds are, you'll lose that tuned caboose by March.

Don't work out because your spouse wants you to be thinner or because that slightly too-little black dress is mocking you.

"That's not real motivation," Fusco said. "Really wanting to get healthy comes from a sincere need to take better care of yourself, not the person who's telling you to be a certain way."

Be realistic about food.

The next time you shop for groceries, look at what you're putting in your cart. Are there cartoons on the boxes? Not good.

Some trainers recommend compiling recipes that are great-tasting without being calorie- or fat-laden. Bring the recipes in, and let them have a look. They have to eat healthily too and might be able to suggest a few tasty meals.

Also, know what you like and eat what you like. If you don't like lima beans, don't include them in your overall meal change. If you like pizza, delete Domino's from your cell phone, and make homemade pizza with whole wheat or pita bread crust and healthy toppings, trainers say. Clean out your pantry and get rid of the junk. And, no, you can't keep the Oreos by saying you're going to have only a few a week.

Get rid of negative influences

Recognize what is going to work against you, and separate yourself from those things, whether it's food or friends who might be naysayers to the new goal you've set.

"Be proud of yourself for getting in the door. It's a good start," Fusco said. "How you finish is totally up to you."