Steps to success

In everything we do in life we have a plan for our future.  We save for retirement, we have an education plan from kindergarten through college, and we have payment plans to payoff things like our house or car.  With all of these plans there is an end result.  What is your future health plans?  Do you plan on being self sufficient the rest of your life?  None of us have a desire to end up in the nursing home (or maybe you do!).  This for some reason many people fail to plan for and their life in retirement ends up a little different due to illness or old age that left them unable to do the things they could in their 20’s or 30’s.  In order to really enjoy your retirement years it is so important to physically take care of yourself.  This to me has been my personal motivation to stay fit and will continue to be for my entire life.  I love being strong, mobile, and active to enjoy things that require physical ability.  If it wasn’t for my lifestyle, this wouldn’t be possible.  So many clients tell me that they were able to enjoy their vacation because they weren’t out of breath on their hike, or they didn’t end up sore after their week on the slopes.  They were simply able to keep up with everything they had planned.  This to me is so rewarding to see because I know they are “enjoying” life.  Without complete health, we really can’t truly enjoy each day.  THIS should be our motivation to keep moving everyday.  Don’t let a sedentary lifestyle steal your joy!  Take care of yourself, plan for your health, and enjoy every minute <3

Happy Tuesday!~Carrie

Do you love it?

love

This blog message is absolutely inspired by my pastors Easter message yesterday.  He talked about how we need to love God first and everything else will fall into place.  Everything we do in life is driven by love.  “You are what you love.”  We only focus our attention on the things we really enjoy when it comes down to it.  Passion drives us and if we follow our passions we end up accomplishing those things we keep focused on.  This relates so well to our goals with our health.

Do you have a passion for exercise?  If you are on and off, you most likely have not found a love for it.  You will never truly be consistent until you find that love.  For me, the love is solely based on how I feel after my workouts.  I feel so good about myself when I workout.  I know I have done something right and in order to maintain the fitness level I have achieved, I have to keep moving.  I also love to motivate others to exercise as well.  This takes being an example.

Not everyone enjoys biking, running, weight lifting, or zumba.  The reason there are so many types of workouts is that everyone has a unique drive.  What do you like to do?  We all know that exercise is good for us, so it is up to you to find something that you enjoy and stick with it.

Happy Monday! ~Carrie

Water, the ultimate resource

How much water do you drink on a daily basis?  Did you know that you are dehydrated when you wake up in the morning?  The best thing you can do is to drink 16oz of water first thing.

  • Water will fire up your metabolism (I drink it when I feel tired and immediately I will wake up).
  • It also helps your kidneys flush out toxins.
  • Also, it helps your brain function better.  This amazing and functional organ in your body is 75% water so if you feel like you can’t concentrate or focus, you may be dehydrated.
  • It will help you eat less.  Drinking water with your meals will help you feel fuller faster.

So, what are you waiting for??  Drink up!  Happy Thursday~Carrie

Discipline

When to increase your weights

When you are training with weights, most are not quite sure how or when to increase their weights.  A few things to make sure of is:

  1.  Is your form is still correct?
  2. Is your range of motion compromised (as you increase weights you may not be able keep the same depth)?
  3. Have you’ve completed a lower weight prior to increasing?
  4. Have you done the same weight for at least two weeks in a row

Form is super important when you are working out so that you know you are targeting the right muscles.  If your form fails, that means your muscles have to recruit other muscles in the body to finish the motion.  This will lead to injuries as your body will stray from the correct posture.

Range of motion is important throughout each exercise as well in order to work the entire body of your muscle.  If you increase your weights, but are only able to lift it 75% of what you did before, it will not help you increase your strength.  Your weakest point is when your muscle is at a full extension or stretch.

A warm up set is also very important when lifting.  Have you ever went to pick up a large box thinking it is heavy and realized it didn’t weight anything?  What happens?  You’ll practically throw the box because you were expecting to use more of your muscles.  This is called muscle fiber recruitment.  As you increase your weights, more muscle fibers are recruited to help finish the task.  Light weights require a few fibers, while heavy weights require more.  This is why it is important to do a warm up set prior to your new weight.  Prepare your neuromuscular system (brain communication to the muscles) to recruit more fibers as you go along to avoid injuries.

Some days are better than others and if you are an experienced exerciser you know this very well.  Make sure you are able to complete that particular exercise two weeks in a row with the same challenging weight before you decide to increase. This will insure your muscles have adapted properly.

As always, consult with a qualified trainer in order to know if you are working out correctly with proper form and progression.

Happy Tuesday~Carrie

#truth

I saw a post from a trainer in DC this morning on Instagram that said

“Some people want to use exercise as a punishment for being overweight.  They don’t realize that their diet is delivering the real punishment.”

This can’t be further from the truth and what I preach all the time.  You can’t out exercise a bad diet.  It also makes your workouts so much harder when you do not eat to nourish your body.  Why would you want to punish yourself twice?  When you eat well, you feel well, and when you feel well you WANT to exercise.  It is so hard to motivate yourself on a bad diet.  So make sure that you keep your diet clean and energizing so your fit lifestyle will just fall into place.  Otherwise it will stay a constant mind battle.

Happy Monday!

~Carrie

The one rule that will rock your world

Make this one rule for yourself and see how much easier life will be

As much as I hate grocery shopping, it is just something I have to do.  Typically I purchase the same items each week with a little variation of fruits and veggies (I typically purchase what is in season).  The most important thing you can do to make your meal planning so incredibly easy is……………….. as soon you get home prep everything before you put them away.  Seriously!  This seems like lots of work, but it actually saves me loads of time during the week.  If I don’t do this, we end up wasting food because we didn’t have time to prep it during the week.  Another tip for food prep time is freeze any unused fruit from last week to throw into smoothies!  You’re welcome 😉

Education makes for better decisions

Do you know why you do the things you do everyday?  The things that we read and hear on a daily basis influence our decisions.  I was watching a movie the other day called “Forks over Knives” which I would highly recommend to EVERYONE to watch (it’s on Netflix).  My 11 year old son happened to be with me and was captivated by the research that was shown in this movie.  It was a documentary about two scientist discussing the evolution of the food industry, processed foods, and how it has affected the health of Americans leading to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  After the movie was over, my son turns to me and says, “I just want to eat all vegetables.”  He would never have said that just knowing that vegetables are “good for you.”  He actually spend some time and was educated on the affects that diet has on the body.   Not only does our American diet affect our health, but it is also destroying our environment.  Did you know that the dairy and meat industry produce more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation industry?  Our major focus is changing over to alternative fuel and recycling, when the major part of the problem comes from our over-consumption and cultivation of livestock.

“Agriculture and Livestock Remain Major Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions”

If you are looking to change the way you eat, try to focus on educating yourself through books or documentaries.  It will help you make more “educated” decisions.  After all, if you want to do your job better what do you do?  You take courses, get a degree, or read books to study.  Treat taking care of your body (and our environment) the same way.  Your mind is where it all starts.  Here are some good movies and books to check out:

Forks over knives (documentary)

The China Study (book)

Cowspiracy (documentary)

Roasted Chickpeas

 

These are one of the best snacks you can make and only 1/2 cup adds 6g of protein and 5g of fiber to your meal!  I added it to my salad today, so much better than croutons.

Roasted Chickpeas
1 can (drained) of chickpeas
Ground cumin
Ground turmeric
Himalayan sea salt
Pepper
1 TBS Olive Oil

Mix all ingredients above together.  I didn’t measure out the seasonings (just sprinkled them on until covered) and you can use whatever flavors you like.  Roast in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.

Life

habits

Life happens, and everyday is not a carbon copy of the last.   I’ve owned a fitness studio for over 9 years now and seen all kinds of people come and go.  There are some that are here everyday no matter what and others that sprinkle in every once in a while.  With those that are the most consistent, what is it that keeps them coming everyday?  Do they have less going on in their lives?  Absolutely not!  Now don’t get me wrong, tragedies happen which cause our lives to come to a halt and things get put on the back burner for a minute or two.  Those that are the most consistent make fitness a part of who they are.  These people have fitness as a habit so it gets worked into what ever they have going on.  Work, family, friends, and relationships all have an effect on our schedules EVERYDAY.  It’s up to you how you let it affect your routine.  Are you going to stop brushing your teeth because your child is sick?  I would venture to say that’s a no.  Why?  Because your teeth are important and you wouldn’t even think about skipping it because it is a habit.  What other habits do you have that won’t quit in times of uncertainty?  That answer is totally up to you.  Write out your priorities today and view them (and do them) on a regular basis until they become a part of who you are.  That’s when you will become one of those people who never quits.