Happy Valentines Day (I <3 You!)

February 14, 2011 by  
Filed under Health and Fitness

Does going to your gym thrill you or did you just drive past it again? Does walking around with a muffin top make it any easier to get there?  Some manage their fitness very nicely, “thank you very much!”  But many of us have a hard time getting on board with it.  I ponder this often, and my conclusion?  Exercise appointments are really no fun.  Treadmills are no fun as well as elliptical machines, free weights and controlled weight lifting machines.  It’s like a check up with the doctor or your dental appointments.  The bore factor here may be, it isn’t real life experience.  Fitness should consist of real life activity that applies to your REAL life.  I can’t discount the effectiveness of said equipment.  Weight bearing exercise along with cardiovascular activity, (treadmill) while adhered to on a regular basis, will definitely improve your fitness level.  I use this equipment once or twice a week to isolate muscle groups and to get a joint protective cardiovascular workout in a controlled environment.  I do however work at a gym so not sure if I would use this equipment if I did not work there.   Classes offered at the gym may be more enticing, but think about what you are paying per class if your gym membership is divided amongst these one or two classes per week.  Sadly enough, some of us wouldn’t think of joining a gym proclaiming that we will go for a jog on Saturday or take a walk most days of the week.  Kudos to you if you are doing this, but even in this situation, our commitment wanes or we never change it up, reach a plateau, lose momentum and take two steps back for every forward step.

This morning our A.M. Fitness Group met outside for the first time in 2011.  Pretty nice warm morning allowed this to happen.  We met at 5:30am.  (oh, get over it!)  Walked nearly a mile to the hill and climbed 2x before walking back.  All walking –  no running due to some ice patches on the trail.  Climbing the hill is a nice exchange for jogging as your heart rate goes up for strengthening and down for recovery with an interval effect.  Stretch at the end and out of there before 6:30am and ready to tackle a Monday.  More energy gets busy faster and out the door to work more quickly.  Yes, it does….

This is just one example of the real life activity you practice with Friends Fitness.  Of course most of our Winter is spent indoors with big compound muscle and cardio activity disguised as “games.”  I also call them “rounds.”  Everyone has the opportunity to socialize or not, but no one has the opportunity to slack.  (a favorite gym activity)  Same thing for the evening classes.  Show up, get busy, have some fun and get out.  A productive little hour, I must say.

So, if you find yourself struggling to keep your doctor…oops, I mean gym appointment, or if you haven’t seen the inside of a gym since the day you joined, there is a better solution.  That queasy feeling in your stomach contemplating the gym when you really just want to slug around the house with your morning coffee or go home after work and kiss the dog?  We turn that into………can’t wait to get there, have some fun and let someone strategically whip my butt into shape.

I haven’t yet mentioned our daily affirmation to eat better.  If we are reminded often enough what good eating habits consist of, it may finally hit home.  Just to give us a quick reality check, note these comparisons of dining out and dining at home.  I dine out no more than one meal per week.  Saves money too.

Here are two 300 calorie breakfasts:


and two more:


Here are two 350 calorie lunches (although I’m not much on processed foods and you can make the same from scratch):


Finally, two 400 calorie dinner choices:


The kicker here is that you would probably eat the entire portion of these meals served to you a the restaurant!  NO Doubt!

No kidding!  Friends Fitness has worked hard for nearly 30 years to bring you the very best methods for getting into shape, eating better and alot of extras that you would never expect from a gym.  Never!  Come try us out.  Call and together we can figure out our best plan for YOU! 513-519-9195  email: kim@friendsfitnessco.com

Play, Eat, Work, Sleep! Repeat!

February 3, 2011 by  
Filed under Health and Fitness

It eludes me.  The notion people have that dieting is the yellow brick road to a good body.   Looking back, I’m enlightened when I remember the low calorie diets I must have followed when I was very young.  This behavior did provide some temporary results when I had plenty of muscle tone and dewy plump skin, but conclusively, we know better now.  Or do we?

Why do we insist on starving our bodies and remain the slugs we are?  Is it easier to diet and not exercise?  I’ve never been on a diet without perpetually thinking of food.  The food I’m not allowed to eat, the calories in my food, the food I duteously have to suffer through in my quest to be thinner! Does this even produce results after all the low fat yogurt, Special K, rice cakes and other nonsense we have been brainwashed into thinking is the ultimate healthy lifestyle?  Where does all this dieting leave you?  Possibly staring down a bag of m&m s at your kid’s birthday party and knowing that there will be plenty for you along with leftover cake, (kids don’t really seem to like cake do they?) when everyone goes home.  Crash and burn.  Next day, you blew it so might as well order a pizza or two for the big game.  The cycle begins again.  I have declared a new holiday to be celebrated at your favorite restaurant of choice.  It is on February 15 and called “Your New Year Resolution Fell off the Wagon” Day.  The gym owners dread this holiday.

Here is a new cycle that given a chance, will likely call a truce in the constant battle of food that your brain fights everyday.  Which food, how much food, when do I eat the food?  Calm the body, calm the brain, straighten out the chemistry.

Face it.  We don’t really care to exercise in the modern day sense of the word.  “Fitness, if it came in a bottle, everybody would have a good body.” ~ Cher

We want to play not exercise.  Why do you think it’s called a “workout!”  Going to the gym after work is more like a doctor appointment.  Get this over with!  That ominous row of treadmills with their humming belts sends shivers through my spine and deflates the spirit of my soul.  Is this for real?  Well no, it isn’t.  It’s a service.

Play, Eat, Work, Sleep!   Repeat!  (in any order you like)

Let’s concentrate on these simple steps.

1.  When we are bored, we eat.  Don’t get bored.  Don’t brood.  Don’t wish for things you don’t have or can’t have.  Don’t worry about things you can’t change.  Get up every morning,  make a list of “to do’s” on a notepad or on your smart phone or on the back of your hand.  Check off your list.  If you don’t check off every item, it’s on your list for tomorrow.  It feels good.   Don’t be bored.

2.  You don’t have a gym membership.  If you do, you still don’t go.  From now on  your home, office, kid’s school, backyard, shopping mall, whatever, is your gym.  Do you have stairs?  Chairs?  A desk? A counter top?  Dumb bells? Jump rope?  A hula hoop? A long hallway? (jog, yes, jog)   Got 10 minutes?Create a circuit of activity in your home.  Fun activity.  Write it down.  Do your circuit 3x to total 10 min.  Find 10 more minutes and do it again.  And again.  There’s 30 min.  Move it!  Only watch tv for an hour before bed.  Don’t watch those disturbing crime scene shows.  Get plenty of sleep.  Give the kids a quiet bath and make them watch Antique Road Show before bed.  (this is for you, not them)

3.  Still can’t find that motivation?  You’re right!  It’s tough!  Get with a group of people for fitness and social interaction.  They rely on you and you rely on them.  Join a group.  Find the people with energy.  They’re out there and they rub off on you.  They are looking for fun in their fitness, like you.  Create the habit.  Do this at least 2x a week.

4.  You won’t like this one.  Don’t dine out very often!  Isn’t once a week enough?  Pack your lunch.  Remember!  It isn’t Grandma’s house.  They are restaurants in the business of making money.  They will sell you the cheapest tastiest food they can enhanced with whatever works to make you want more.  Bad stuff.  This is the fare at most eateries, but not all.  Find the good ones but still only dine out once a week.   Fat, sodium, sugar.   Cheap, unhealthy and tasty!  Remember that.  They don’t care if you are on the road to obesity.  They want your money.

5.  Learn to prepare some simple meals.  I like to cook and thankfully have enough time to do this at least a few times a week.  Not everyone likes to cook or cares to spend much time cooking.  If you are this person, these simple healthy meals may be the answer.  Pay attention to the number of servings that your recipe makes.  Do not eat two servings because it made four and there is too much left over.  Put the remaining portions individually in the freezer for another meal.  Portion size is so important!


6.  Clean simply prepared food is  best.  Convenience foods are on our grocer’s shelf at eye level.  They can even be delivered to your door via the frozen food truck. (Schwan)  They have many nutritional claims, but they too are full of too much sodium, sugar and bad stuff that replaces fat.  There lies in the trickery.  They are so convenient but honestly, do you think they taste that good?  I don’t.  Let me repeat…..clean simply prepared food is best.  So what if you grab and apple and put peanut butter on it for lunch.  You can eat again mid afternoon if you like.  There are no lunch rules that state we must have a burger and fries on our lunch break.  Driving past the McDonalds drive thru at lunch time, the lunch crowd there obviously thinks it’s a rule.  Maybe in America it is…..Don’t mean to pick on McDonalds.  They are all equally evil.

7.  If you can afford it, hire an experienced personal trainer.  Even your doctor doesn’t dig as deep into exercise and nutrition to give you the tools, knowledge and skills for creating the strong healthy body that most of us desire.  And here is a little tip about finding the right trainer.  The trainer at the gym is working for the gym and his/her goal is to “re up” you when your training package is almost complete.  You may be getting a super butt kicking workout from this trainer, but do you know what you are doing, why you are doing it and most importantly, can you go it alone?  One of the first skills that I learned when becoming a PT nearly 20 years ago is that a trainer’s job is to leave with their client the knowledge and skills to become confident and purposeful in their exercise regimen so that what?  YOU DON’T NEED ME ANYMORE.  If you like your trainer hanging around and you can afford to retain them longer, and if you enjoy the constant butt kicking, that’s ok too.

How do I know these simple steps may work for you?  30 years of trial and error and still eager to learn.  Still excited about seeing you reach some goals and watching you enjoy the ride in getting there.  Yeah, helping us all enjoy the ride then looking back and realizing it was all play and no workout.

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