Want to lose weight, gain energy, feel rejuvenated and improve your health and fitness? Try a green smoothie for breakfast.
Since May, I have been experimenting with incorporating a delicious smoothie for breakfast. As of today, I have lost the 15 pounds I put on since menopause. Yup – the good old middle aged weight gain crept up on me too.
Being a middle aged women, requires a new perspective/shift with diet and exercise, since our bodies change post menopause. Being mindful of what I eat, along with how and how much I exercise is making a great difference now.
I start each day off with a wonderful green smoothie to keep me feeling my best!
The first week in October is Mental Illness Awareness Week. This October marks a decade that a loved one was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Many of us know someone affected with a serious mental illness. Yet, the stigma still remains, along with the challenges to access our cumbersome and problematic mental health system. Some of us place greater importance on our physical health, especially our physical fitness – at the expense of our mental health.
Let us, take a moment this week to reflect and recognize that Mental Health is a primary concern for all of us. Advocate for yourself, or someone you know who may be suffering – take the important step to seek help or support. Know that you are not alone!
So what’s new?
2014 has brought many challenges in my 10 year anniversary as a personal trainer.
I began to work with my first late stage Altzheimer’s client, which required another certification. I also worked with a client who has Parkinson’s and another client who needed post stroke rehab.
It seems that my work is getting more and more challenging these days, yet more and more rewarding! I work with an older population with special medical concerns that would otherwise be invisible and perhaps neglected. Yet, I too am growing and always ready to learn and to pursue deeper and more meaningful work with an under served population.
And so I have developed a new direction – training a very special segment of our population – a grandmother who fell and broke her hip, a 73 year old with late stage Alzheimer’s, a 70 year old recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s who just lost a loved one, a professor emeritus who had a mini stroke and is struggling with depression and balance issues.
I am humbled and honored to work with them. It is deeply moving and personal to witness their courage, vulnerability, struggles and successes, regardless of their advanced age and serious medical issues.
As far as I am concerned, these are the real heroes of my personal training career. They deserve our attention and recognition. Our culture prizes youth and beauty, to become old and ill is out of the question. Fact is – we are all getting older! We should look forward to growing old and not fear or dread the future. Many of my clients are living and coping with the worst health issues ever imagined – and they are doing their best to be healthy and fit just like you and I.
Recently I got a vague call from a woman in North Carolina. I returned her call and never heard back. I doubted that she was genuinely interested in my services. I get many calls like these in my line of work, where people are looking for a hard sell and quick fixes, trainers and clients included. Upon further investigation, I discovered that she endorses and sells supplements and also calls herself a trainer (yikes). I cringed at the thought of her actions, when it clearly is out of the scope of our practice and unethical to sell supplements.
As far as I am concerned, there are no shortcuts to health and fitness. One must be ready, willing and able to do the consistent “work” of exercising and eating healthy. It is the only way.
Consumer beware of the so called trainer who will sell you supplements. These kinds of trainers give professionals like myself, a stereotypical and negative image and are dangerous to your health!
It’s that time of year when many people make health and fitness resolutions. They join gyms, vow to lose weight, go on a diet, and/or hire a trainer only to burnout within the first few weeks.
The first thing to ask yourself when making a health and or fitness resolution is whether or not you are ready, willing and able to make a commitment or change. It’s all about making a change. If you’re not ready, willing or able then it won’t happen. You’ve got to look at your reasons for and against making a change and or what’s going to get in your way to achieve your goals. Start small and with a realistic goal that is easily measured and attainable. Choose a goal that speaks to you, reflects your needs and values.
Hire an experienced and qualified trainer, who can help you so you won’t risk failure or burnout!
With the holiday season upon us – life becomes ever more busy and stressful for many of us. It’s easy to overeat with all of the parties at work, at home and delicious home cooked food or dining out. Let alone trying to find quality time to exercise, it seems like there’s always something else to do or to get in our way.
My best advice is to set a small goal concerning your exercise and or eating. For example, you could decide to walk for 30 minutes each day during your lunch hour or do errands on foot. You could keep a daily food log during the holiday season to be more mindful of your eating. These are two examples of small attainable actions that you can take to have a stress free holiday guaranteed!
From late July to mid August, I took two road trips. The first one was in late July from Boston to Buffalo – Buffalo to Toronto and back home. The second occurred in mid August, in which I drove from Dallas to Chicago. While road trips are a great way to be in good company and to see our beautiful country, sitting in a car for long periods of time leaves much to be desired.
My hips became so tight from all of the sitting. I am still feeling some tightness despite my stretching and aiming to reach 10,000 daily steps. Being sedentary came to mind this summer. What is it like to sit most of the day, in a car or an office? Chronic sitting takes its toll on you – physically and mentally! Because your body and mind need nourishment, they need you to move! For me being sedentary is not a choice or an option – being active is the only way that I can imagine my living my life!
It’s been awhile since my last entry. I’ve been so busy training and doing my own workouts. I bought a Fitbit in January and I have been using it to track my steps and stairs climbed. For those of you who need motivation and accountability, the Fitbit is a clever solution to keep you inspired. I like the messages I get when I have over exceeded my goal – “You climbed the Statue of Liberty today!” or if I have little remaining to accomplish my goal – “You’ve only get 564 steps to your goal.”
There is also a fitbit community, which is quite useful! I like most everything my fitbit – except that it clearly overestimates caloric intake. Overall, it’s an excellent tool for those of us who like to track our workouts. It syncs with your smartphone, once you’ve downloaded the app, and you can enter in and see the data on your computer. Technology is getting better and better in these areas. I highly recommend it!
As a New Year’s gift to myself I bought a juicer at my son’s insistence. I have been juicing everyday, sometimes twice a day. In the mornings it’s carrots, celery, apple, orange, beets, and ginger. In the afternoons it may be pineapple, pear and lime or pear, fennel and celery. We’ve been experimenting with seasonal fruit and vegetable combinations and having fun discovering favorite recipes. (Although I must admit that pineapples are the only ingredient that aren’t in season here). For the most part our juices have consisted of a seasonal variety and selection.
There’s nothing like a refreshing glass of homemade juice awash in color to wake you up in the morning or to pick you up in the afternoon. I am hooked now on the concept of juicing for health. I’ve noticed increased energy and an overall sense of well being. Could it be psychological? – sure but I don’t mind – cause juice gives me an extra boost! My goal is to juice 365 days this year and savor each sip! Cheers!
Happy New Year! With the New Year comes the surge in new year’s resolutions, new gym memberships and personal training services. Just this past week, I saw many new faces at MIT, where I train part time. In a few months, however, many of those faces are gone. Research says that those new gym members/fitness enthusiasts are at greatest risk to drop out in the first few months of training.
As a trainer, my mission is to learn what motivates my clients so they can exercise lifelong and not become a statistic! What’s your passion? What do you enjoy about exercising? What do you dislike? What are the obstacles and barriers to exercising regularly? What helps you exercise on a regular basis? These are sample questions that I ask all new and old clients as well. My training is client-centered. Meaning, I help my clients collaborate with me so they learn what motivates them, what they enjoy and what’s going to keep them working out long term!