Need Help Reaching Your Fitness Goals?

If you’re interested in starting a regular exercise program or upping the ante on your current fitness regime, hiring a personal trainer is a great way to accomplish your goals. Personal trainers typically work one-on-one with clients toward an individualized fitness goal. Personal trainers motivate their clients and apply their fitness and nutrition knowledge to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Personal trainers are typically employed by gyms and health clubs, either floating around the gym to answer questions or teaching fitness classes. Most commonly, however, personal trainers have a regular client base who workout on scheduled days and times of the week at the gym where the trainer is employed. During these sessions, the trainer motivates their client while they work out, correcting techniques when needed and generally overseeing the exercise time. The trainer often also provides tips for clients to improve their lifestyles outside of the gym, most commonly advising on proper nutrition. A good trainer will closely monitor clients’ progress to determine what’s working and what’s not to keep the exercise fresh and the results productive.

If you’re ready to hire a trainer, first do some research to make sure you choose the one that’s just right for you and your fitness goals. If you have a friend who’s had some recent success with a trainer, ask for a referral. Otherwise, call your local gym or check the yellow pages. Only you know the personal training style that will work best for you. Ask yourself some questions and be honest with your answers. Do you seek “tough love” to motivate you to run faster? Or are you seeking a trainer who will simply motivate you to show up for every session?

If you’re already the member of a gym, observe the facility’s personal trainers as they interact with their clients. Do they seem closely involved with their clients? Do they seem to be good listeners? Do they motivate in a positive way, or are they more like drill sergeants? If the trainer directs their client to jog for 15 minutes and then walks away for those 15 minutes, this isn’t a good sign. If the trainer walks on a treadmill beside the client, talking and encouraging, they’re probably someone you should consider. Remember that you’re paying for a service, so make sure it’s the kind of service you’ll be satisfied with. Ask yourself if spending three hours (or however many sessions) a week with this person is agreeable to you?

If your gym assigns you a trainer, make sure you express certain preferences ahead of time. If you’re a female and would prefer a female trainer, for example, let the manager know before you’re assigned a trainer. It’s also helpful to express any specific goals you may have beforehand. For example, if your goal is to train for a marathon or get in shape for a wedding gown, ideally you’ll be matched with a trainer with experience in these areas.

Personal trainers supply accountability and motivation to reach your specific health and fitness goals. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, lower your cholesterol, or get biceps just like Madonna’s, a good personal trainer can be an invaluable resource for guiding and motivating you every step of the way.

Living and Eating for Maximum Nutrition

salmon-steakFor the last several years our interest in healthy living and healthy eating has been at an all time time! And that is a good thing. We all know that most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, and that many people eat too much of the wrong things – like sugar, salt and fat. Reversing this trend will take some time and some effort, but starting with your own diet is a great way to improve your health and your life.

The key to changing your diet, of course, is to change it is ways that you can live with for a lifetime. The reason that most diet and lifestyle changes fail is that they are too difficult to follow once the initial excitement has worn off. The key is to make small changes, simple changes, that you can follow for the rest of your life.

Where you start your healthy eating plan depends in great part on your particular goals. For many people, a healthy eating program can be as simple as eating more fruits and vegetables. For others, a healthy eating plan will require a radical change in the way they shop, cook, and eat.

Since healthy eating means so many different things to different people, it is impossible to come up with a single healthy eating guide that will be right for everyone. The runner toning up for a marathon will have different nutritional needs than the factor worker who wants to lose 20 pounds.

No matter what the goal, however, it is important to eat a variety of foods, and to make smart choices when shopping, when cooking and when eating. Eating out can present special challenges, and it is important to familiarize yourself with the ingredients of the foods you order in your favorite restaurant.

Making healthy food choices means eating more of the good foods – like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, etc., and less of the bad foods, like salt, sugar and fats.

Starting by eating more high nutrition, low calorie foods is a good place to start. Luckily, the produce section of the local grocery store likely contains hundreds of different examples of such foods. Fruits and vegetables are almost always low in calories and fat, and they are generally very nutritious as well.

Since variety is so important to a healthy diet, it is a good idea to try out a sampling of different fruits and vegetables on your first healthy eating shopping trip. Start with some of the fruits and vegetables you have always wanted to try but never gotten around to. For instance, many people have never tasted asparagus, spinach or Brussels sprouts. While some love these foods and others hate them, you will never know unless you try them for yourself.

This kind of foraging is a great way to introduce yourself to foods you have never tried before. It is a great way to try new things, and you just might discover a new favorite food while you’re at it.

Experimenting with cooking all these exotic fruits and vegetables is another great idea. There are a ton of healthy cooking recipes and cookbooks on the market, and a new cookbook can be a great motivator for healthy eating.

It is important to remember that making your diet healthier does not necessarily mean making a radical change. Simple changes, like trimming the excess fat off of a steak, or substituting nonfat yogurt for sour cream on your baked potato, can go a long way toward enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

As a matter of fact, in the long run the simplest and easiest to follow changes are the ones that matter most. That is because making easy changes means that you will be able to stick with them for the long run. Healthy eating is a marathon, not a sprint.

Fitness. Where Do You Stand?

bikersFitness is a term that is used to help define the ability to stay in the best physical shape.

You may ask, then, “What am I staying in shape for?” To each person, this will be something different.

For most, it is a matter of staying healthy as long as possible. You see, your body is designed to work as a machine. When each part of the machine is cared for, the entire machine works the best that it can. When the machine is neglected either in part or in the whole, then the machine won’t run well and eventually won’t run at all.

If a car, for example, is well maintained for many years, it will last many years longer. If it isn’t taken care of, for example you don’t change the oil in it, you cut several years off the life of the car. That’s costly to you, but when you look at this as your body, you are shaving away days, weeks, and even years off of your life when you don’t take care of your machine (your body.)

Fitness is a necessary part of life. Before we get on the soap box, remember that fitness is something that you can get into the habit of doing which makes it easy.

Fitness is not something that you have to struggle with. When you were three you were probably taught to brush your teeth. You learned to put your clothes on. When you were learning how to do them, you likely hated it. But, once you learned how to do it, it became something that you didn’t think twice about. Do you worry about brushing your teeth today? No, because it’s a habit. That’s what we want you to think of when you think of fitness.

It’s just something that you do. Granted, the first weeks of learning to be fit and staying healthy will be the hardest. You’ll dread it. You’ll find excuses about not doing it. You’ll claim that getting fit is just too hard. You just can’t give up what you love. That’s not true.
In fact, if you have the will power to save your life by sacrificing for just a few weeks, you’ll see that fitness can be easily mastered by you.

Our first goal is to determine where you stand right now. Don’t worry, this is painless, but it may hurt your ego a bit to do it. Nevertheless, it’s an important first step.

Where Are You Now?

Take a look at yourself right now. What do you see? If you are unhappy about any part of your body, chances are good that area of your body is bothering you because it’s an unhealthy area.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine where you stand right now

•    Do you have aches and pains in parts of your body that are not from an injury?
•    Do you have clothing that doesn’t fit parts of your body well?
•    Do you struggle to do physical activities? Do you avoid them because you know you can’t do them?
•    Are you unhappy with the way that your body looks? Do you avoid looking in the mirror?
•    Have you been told by your doctor, your family or others that you need to consider your fitness?

If so, then you need to begin by understanding that change needs to happen. There are several tools that you need to use to determine your health level currently. You can find calculators for many of these available to you free of charge on the web. You need to use them to understand exactly where you stand right now.

•    Your Blood Pressure: The pressure in which your heart pumps blood throughout your body. You need this number to be there, but it needs to be in a certain range to be healthy. For adults, this is generally 120 to 139/80 to 89. Ask your doctor where your blood pressure is.
•    Body Mass Index: Your BMI is a measure of the percentage of fat on your body. The higher this number is, the more prone to health risks you are.
•    Ideal Weight: In comparison to your height and body structure, your ideal weight is the weight that you should be, ideally.

These three things are critical elements for you to take into consideration when considering where you stand right now. But, there’s much more for you to consider. One thing that we want you to do besides getting the above information is to grab a tape measure and get one of the most important measurements out there: your waist.

Your waist is important because it is the indication on your body of your potential health risk. Those that have a larger midsection are most prone to health risks.

This is an important piece of information because of how vital it is to your health. Those that have a large midsection are the most prone to heart problems. The fat that is here will push into your body, causing difficulty for each organ there. Your kidneys, your lungs and even your heart are suppressed. In effect, the fat here is likely to be what kills you, if you are overweight.

What To Start With
To get started with fitness, start by getting through these basic first steps.

1.    Meet with your doctor to talk about your overall health. Ask him for measurements of your blood pressure, your heart rate as well as any other important factors he may be interested in you improving. Determine that you are healthy enough physically to begin improving through diet and exercise.
2.    Get your weight. Do this at home on a well programmed scale, not at your doctor’s office. Do it first thing in the morning after you’ve gone to the bathroom but before you have eaten. Do it the same time and same way every time you weigh yourself.
3.    Calculate your BMI. You need this to see just how unhealthy you are currently. It’s going to come down and that will be quite rewarding!
4.    Measure your waist. Stand up straight. Pull up your shirt, suck in your gut and measure at your belly button all the way around using a tape measure. This will be your indication of your weight loss and health improvement.
5.    Set your goals. Determine what’s important for you to maintain, to improve on, and to work on first. Write them down and post them in several locations in your home.

Now that you have this done, you can begin to improve your health. I’ll help you throughout the process!

Its Not Only For Weight Loss
Although many people start looking into fitness because they want to lose weight, fitness is not just about weight loss. By understanding where you stand on these factors above, you can work to improve your overall wellness and increase your lifespan as well as the quality of life that you are currently living.

If you don’t think that you need to lose weight, that’s great! You are one step closer to being healthy. But, that’s not to say that you don’t have health problems beyond that level. Many people are still at risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol as well as other concerns even though they aren’t technically overweight. Therefore, you need to take into consideration the fact that overall health is in fact important to improve.

Throughout this book, we’ll point you in the direction of improving your overall health. For many that will mean losing weight. For others, that will mean improving other qualities of your life. There’s much to learn and improve on for most of us.

What You Will Learn
So, what will you learn in the next coming weeks?

•    Improving your body fitness
•    Improving your diet fitness
•    Improving your mind fitness
•    Improving your lifestyle fitness

Each of these aspects is quite important. While your body must be maintained as much as possible for health, it doesn’t do much good if you don’t eat the right foods. Losing weight, for example, isn’t enough if you aren’t eating the right foods even if you are losing weight.
With your mind fitness, we mean making sure you are emotionally and mentally fit. That means insuring that your overall life is healthy in regards to the life that you lead. Emotional stability is critical to overall health.

With lifestyle fitness, the goal is to improve your stress level. It has been shown that those that are under a lot of stress are often the most at risk for health problems due to the stress.
Throughout each of these aspects, we’ll teach you how to improve your life through easy, and even fun, ways. Because each plays a role in your overall health, we’ll tackle what the healthy standard is, help you to understand where you are and then help you to get to the goals that you have.

Since your body is likely to be your largest factor impacting your life, we will start there. Remember, each aspect is just as important as the next, though.

Healthy Eating for Healthy Joints

eat-healthyMuch attention is often paid to the healthful benefits of nutrition and the heart and cardiovascular system, but seldom is advice seen for how to eat for healthy joints. Here are a few nutritional elements that are vital for keeping your joints and cartilage in tip-top shape.

• Manganese is a major player in building cartilage in the body by boosting the glucosamine in the body – which maintains healthy cartilage, and thus, joints. Some great sources for Manganese: Whole Grains, Beans, Seafood, Dark leafy Greens, Milk, and Nuts.
• When included in your diet, Omega 3s give your body anti-inflammatory support and improve blood flow and mental health. Omega 3s provide the joints with the support they need to stay functioning properly. Some natural sources include: Flax seeds, Walnuts, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Yolk, and certain types of fish, such as Salmon, Cod, Trout, and Sardines.
• Vitamins C & E are an antioxidant rich duo and support each others function. While Vitamin C is the hero of healthy bones and joints with its ability to help the body form collagen, it can’t perform at peak without its partner, Vitamin E.  Collagen is a protein that is found in your bones, tendons and cartilage. Citrus fruits, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, corn, nuts and oats are all great sources for this powerful duo.

Surprising as it may seem, it’s easy to have a strong, healthy musculoskeletal system with a few easy additions to your diet. Try the fish recipe below to get started.

Recipe for Salmon with Citrus Honey ?

Honey and citrus juices flavor these tasty salmon fillets, and  the combination of healthy omega 3s from the Salmon, and the glucosamine booster Vitamin C makes this dish a winner for your joints and cartilage. Great with Rice.

4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each, skin on
4 tablespoons honey?3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400° Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Place salmon, skin-side down, in the prepared baking pan. Combine the honey, lime juice, and orange juice, stirring until well blended. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper then spoon the honey and juice mixture over the fillets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Sprinkle the fillets with salt and pepper then spoon the honey and juice mixture over the fillets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Spring 2012

Spring is Here and it’s Time to Get Outside.
How to Stay Healthy in 2012.


There is no better time to get in shape than the beginning of the spring season. Whereas most New Years resolutions die out in January, on account of low motivation, shortened days, and a natural temptation for carbohydrates, the warmer temperatures and longer days of spring promote greater health and continued fitness in many individuals. There are several health-related perks that come with the arrival of spring’s more favorable weather conditions.

Fitness Doesn’t Need to Cost a Dime

There are two great ways to get in shape and stay healthy during spring and the warmer months which require virtually no out-of-pocket expenses. The first, and perhaps most popular, is to take advantage of local outdoor fitness paths and attractions. An increasingly common sight in cities and towns throughout the country, these trails are typically scenic paths through parks, nature preserves, and waterfronts.

If the winter “blahs” have been keeping you inside, or cold temperatures have made a pair of gym shorts seem like a joke, the time is now to go for an outdoor run at a local park. The sunlight will rejuvenate the mind, and the jog will jumpstart a lagging winter metabolism.

The second great way to get in shape for little to no cost is to participate in a local club sport. These clubs are typically run by sports enthusiasts who have a passion for the game, and they generally charge a low admission fee or none at all. On top of this, spring sports clubs are a great way to make new friends in the community and meet people who are just as dedicated to athletic and fitness as you are. Their competitiveness will drive your motivation higher, as you get in better shape and strive to maintain excellent health.

Healthy Eating Promotes Healthy Living, No Matter the Season

Of course, no amount of outdoor exercise in the spring months will be able to compensate for a poor diet once you have left the game or the jogging path behind. Maintaining a healthy diet throughout the year not only promotes maintenance of a healthy weight, but also the loss of additional fat. And, for those who are particularly active throughout the year, a proper diet is the best way to ensure a quick recovery from muscle strain and soreness, and to ensure that new muscles are built quickly and efficiently by the body.

For those who seek to maintain a healthy diet, there are a few key rules to keep in mind. First and foremost, no specific group of nutrients should ever be off the table: the maxim “all things in moderation” is the key to a healthy diet that can be used for long-term success.

A healthy diet should be low in fats; any fats consumed by a healthy individual should be healthy fatty acids such as those found in fish or certain nuts and vegetables. Diets should necessarily be high in protein, especially for active individuals. Abundant protein is the key to repairing muscles after a long workout, and it will help the body build new muscle as it engages in the recovery process.

Finally, don’t be afraid to indulge in carbohydrates every now and then. The body requires it for energy, and they’re a great way to last long on the playing field or add an extra mile to the daily jog. Carbohydrates should always be kept complex, however: that means choosing whole wheat bread and pasta over their whiter, more refined alternatives. These complex sources of carbohydrates are key sources of protein and fiber, and they’ll promote a healthy metabolism, a healthy heart, and overall good health.

Use the Change of Seasons as an Excuse to Change Your Lifestyle

If the motivation to commit to a healthy lifestyle change has been lacking in recent months, the warmer and longer days of spring are the perfect excuse to get the ball rolling on new habits. Get out of the house, jog through a park, and join a sports club that will introduce you to fellow healthy eaters and exercisers. Pair that with a balanced diet and controlled caloric intake, and you’ll find the success is essentially self-perpetuating — as well as gratifying.