Run for Education Time!

This year the Run for Education is on Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  I can tell already it is going to be a beautiful sunny day! Check out the Run page for more information and to download and print a registration form!  Remember, you can walk or run this "race".  See you there!

'Tis the season to EAT!

Well, the holidays are getting near. And I know in my life during the holidays, I am inundated with food! There seems to be goodies hanging around everyday. I try to keep them out of my house, but I am surrounded at work and parties and my self control usually goes down the drain! So, this year I am not going to worry about what I eat, but how MUCH I eat!

Portion control is a huge component of living a healthy life. What are proper portions? According to the USDA Food Pyramid:
  • A serving of meat is about two or three ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards. Serving sizes for other proteins would be two tablespoons of nut butters, two eggs, and one third cup of dry beans.  
  • A serving of bread is equal to one slice of white or whole grain bread, one ounce of prepared cereal, or just one half cup of pasta, or rice.  
  • A serving of fruit or vegetable is equal to one piece, one half a cup of chopped fruit or vegetable, or three-fourths cup of 100% juice. 
  • A serving of dairy is equal to one cup of milk or one and one half ounces of cheese.

Here is a (fuzzy, sorry!) diagram of portion sizes to keep in mind if you don't know the amount of ounces. As stated above, the measurements are equal to one serving: 
  • 1 serving of meat is 3-4 oz. and should be about the size of a deck of cards, or the palm of your hand.  
  • 1 cup should be used for carbs such as cooked rice, cooked pasta and ice cream. It is about the size of a tennis ball. 
  • 1 serving of cheese is the size of 1 domino (oops... I may eat more cheese than that!)
  • 1 medium piece of fruit is the size of a baseball.
  • 1 serving (1 tsp.) of fats like butter, or margarine is the size of 1 die.
  • 1 small baked potato is about the size of a computer mouse.
  • 1 cup of beverage is equal to the size of a woman's fist.
  • 2 Tbs. of fats like Peanut Butter, jam, or salad dressing is the size of a golf ball.
  • 1 oz. of chocolate is the size of package of dental floss. 
Now think about your portions. Most of us have much larger servings than the recommended amount! And restaurant portions are probably 3-4 servings! So, when you are surrounded by all the goodies this holiday season, use portion control! Don't eat 10 cookies, just eat 1. Try small tastes, not big plates full. That way there is no deprivation! Unless you know you have no self control when it comes to certain things (*cough* - cheesecake..) then you may just have to say no! Check out this link to get more helpful information!


Turn up the Intensity!

So... tell me the truth. Have you been treating your body and mind right by working out? Come on.. don't lie.. Good job! I knew you have. Just testing you. I know I have been super busy lately, have you? Today we are going to talk about using your precious time wisely and getting a little more out of your daily workout. When you are doing your workout how long is it taking you? Shouldn't be more than one hour max! Are you sweating and out of breath? Have a hard time talking to you workout buddy? Or are you on the treadmill, watching TV or reading a book or magazine? Yes. I am talking to you! If low intensity is what is going on most days, take that workout schedule and throw it in the trash! Starting now, you are going to turn up the intensity! It will make your workouts shorter and burn more calories overall! Ready? Let's get going....

Three tips for getting the most out of your sweat sessions:

1. Rest Less. Say you are doing chest presses, do your set and rest and talk to a friend for a bit then come back for the other set. You are WASTING time! Keep up the intensity by only resting 30-60 seconds between your sets if you need a break. Otherwise, rest your muscle group you just used (this case is chest) and do some jumping jacks or lunges or squats that focuses on a whole different muscle group. This keeps your intensity and heart rate elevated which blasts more fat calories! Plus, you will finish your workout much faster than you would with all that rest!!

2. Ramp up your resistance and cardio intensity. Ask yourself (and be truthful) if you're working out at a correct intensity to get the most benefit from your workout. Not sure if you are giving it 100%? For cardio, you can use an RPE scale. RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion and is rated 1-10 with 1 being so easy and 10 being very hard. Here is a chart for you to look at:

When you are doing interval workouts, you should have your high intensity at a 8,9, or 10 for a short amount of time, then for the "rest" part of the interval be around a 1,2, or 3. (more on interval training coming soon!) If you are out for a run or walk and are doing what is known as steady state cardio, your intensity should be around a 5 or 6. While doing resistance training your last reps should be hard! Say you are doing 12 reps of bicep curls. It should be getting very difficult toward the last 3 reps. You can still do them with good form, but if you can go over the 12 reps, then you weren't lifting hard enough! Your body tends to be lazy unless you really push it!

3. Finally, seek help from an experienced person, like a trainer or someone who really knows their stuff in the gym. I hate when I go to teach class and notice people sacrificing their time to be at the gym and not getting the most out of their workout or using improper form. If you are going to "work hard", make sure you are not hardly working!!

**And a side note.. research is showing it now takes an average of 8 weeks for a new habit, such as fitness, to stick! It the meantime, fake it till you make it!

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A man can fail many times, but he isn't a failure until he begins to blame somebody else." ~Steve Prefontaine, American middle and long-distance runner