How To Solve The Problem Of Too Much Sitting

August 26, 2014 by  
Filed under General Articles

By now you’ve probably heard a lot about the dangers of inactivity, specifically sitting for long periods of time. Between cars, chairs and desks, Americans spend about half their lives sitting down. The World Health Organization has recognized physical inactivity as the fourth biggest killer on the planet, it even beats out obesity.

Even if you exercise regularly, the time you spend sitting is detrimental to your health. Like smoking, it has an effect on you though you may be doing other things in your life that are very healthy, like eating good food and working out.

If sitting is the new smoking and you have to spend long hours at your desk to make a living, how are you supposed to do your job AND stay healthy?

One solution is to buy a desk that can raise and lower to allow you to stand or sit. A very good one is the NextDesk Terra if you have $1500 to spare on a new desk and you’re OK with tossing out the one you’ve already got. Another solution is to hack one together using IKEA shelving, this might cost somewhere around $80 and might look acceptable (depending on your handiwork and ability to work around IKEA directions) but you’ll be stuck with only one height choice – standing.

I came across another solution, less expensive than the NextDesk Terra and more useful than the IKEA desk hack, it allows you to keep your old desk and gives you the choice of variable desk heights so you can stand to work, or sit if you want to. It’s the VARIDESK and it goes right on top of your existing desk. It raises and lowers very quickly to give plenty of height options and if you get an anti-fatigue floor mat to go with it, your feet will thank you (ask any chef).

No matter what you end up doing about your work space, simply setting a 20-minute timer to remind yourself to get up and move around throughout your day will help your heart and mind, and improve your chances of living a longer life.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field


 

What’s The Best Exercise For Weight Loss?

As a personal trainer, it’s common for people to ask me, “What’s the best exercise for weight loss?”. Most people don’t get too specific about what they mean by weight loss – the body is made up of different tissues, including skin, fat, muscle and bone – but usually they mean fat loss – we don’t get too many people who want bone or muscle loss.
Best Exercise For Weight Loss
The honest answer to the question, “What is the best exercise for weight loss?” is simple – there is no ONE best exercise and exercise alone isn’t enough, you also need to reduce the amount of food being consumed in order to reduce the amount of body fat you’re carrying around.

Why Exercise is Vital for Fat Loss Success

People who are physically trained, meaning they work out three to five times a week doing both cardiovascular (or aerobic) training as well as resistance training (using weights, machines and body weight) are better able to use and break down fat than people who are unfit and who do not train regularly. The muscle cells of regular exercisers are more efficient at using the energy from body fat to fuel their activities. This tells us that in order to get your body to a point where it easily uses its fat stores, you have to work out regularly and consistently – not for a couple of days or weeks in a year, but every week. There is no such thing as a “quick fix” when it comes to increasing physical fitness and creating a body that can burn fat efficiently.

The Role of Resistance Exercise in Fat Loss

Resistance training helps to preserve muscle mass. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue of the body – it’s the “workhorse” tissue and uses most energy, so it makes sense that you would want to preserve as much of it as possible. Resistance training also results in calorie burning during exercise as well as afterwards when the muscle tissue repairs itself (known as “after burn”).

Cardio to Torch Body Fat

Cardiovascular training will really burn calories while you exercise. Changing the type of cardiovascular exercise you do will help you avoid overuse injuries. Examples are: jogging, cycling, elliptical training, rowing, swimming and so on.

Stretching Makes It All Possible

Flexibility training (stretching) doesn’t have much of an effect on your ability to burn calories, but it’s important because it supports both cardiovascular and resistance exercise – when the muscles are overly tight you will not be able to perform other exercises properly.

If you are honestly interested in improving your muscle mass and reducing excess body fat, you will need to commit to regular and effective exercise as well as improve your diet. How do you ensure your exercise is effective? You get help from a qualified and experienced trainer who cares enough to do a full fitness analysis that includes posture, strength, cardio capability, and flexibility as well as a complete body composition analysis.

Email Rudi if you are interested in getting your fat-loss questions answered with a free, obligation-free fitness consultation.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

How Many Calories Are You Burning?

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Articles, Fitness Articles

Here is a simple infographic to give you an idea of how many calories you burn doing various activities. Keep in mind these figures are for people who weigh 196 pounds and 164 pounds – you will burn fewer calories if you are lighter and more if you are heavier.

Infographic: How many calories are burned by common activities.

Source:LiveScience

Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Articles, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition & Health Articles

Looking for a unique healthy breakfast that doesn’t include cereal, sugar or toast? I created these yummy Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes one day when I had some leftover baked sweet potatoes and I felt like something more substantial for breakfast than eggs on their own but I didn’t want to indulge in the empty calories of toast to fill me up. They are colorful, gluten-free and easy to make. I hope you enjoy them.

This recipe makes 2 servings

Ingredients for Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 medium baked sweet potato, skin on (I usually bake several sweet potatoes at a time and have them ready to use in the refrigerator)

3 whole eggs

2 tablespoons almond meal (you can make this yourself by popping almonds into a blender and pulsing them until they look like course flour)

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (I used light feta from Trader Joe’s but any good feta will do)

A couple of handfuls of arugula (rocket lettuce)

Method

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork, add the almond meal then chop the sweet potato and mash it into the egg mix. Stir until everything is well combined. Stir in the feta and arugula.

Heat a frying pan to a medium heat (not too hot or your pancakes will burn), use a little olive oil or a smear of butter then spoon in the sweet potato pancake batter to create cakes about 4 inches in diameter (too large and they are difficult to flip). Flip them once they are firm on the bottom and make sure they cook on both sides.

Serve with a little low fat Greek yogurt, season as you see fit. Delicious!

Super Powered Raw Oatmeal – Healthy Fast Food Breakfast

Here’s the back story of how I came up with my Super Powered Raw Oatmeal recently.

While on a quest to go sugar-free and wheat-free I faced the problem of what to eat for a fast breakfast that didn’t include bread of any kind. I wanted something healthy, organic, and preferably uncooked. I also wanted a healthy balance of protein, fiber, carbs and fats. The other very important factor; it had to be fast food. Fast food in terms of taking very little time to prepare, because we usually have about ten minutes to eat in the mornings.

I found what I was looking for:

Super Powered Raw Oatmeal

This recipe makes 8 servings so you only have to put it together once, then store it in the refrigerator for use at breakfast time throughout the week.

Ingredients

2 cups organic steel cut oats

2 cups organic light coconut milk

1 tablespoon organic chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Toppings:

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1 scoop whey powder, or other protein powder depending on your preferences (I use Standard Process Whey protein Complete). You could substitute this for 1/2 cup of almond, hemp, rice or other milk

1/8 cup raw almonds

Method

Make the super powered raw oatmeal the night before you need it. Put all of the ingredients (not including the toppings) in a glass container and mix well. You want to make sure the spices are well distributed. Put a lid on the container (the snap-lock containers work really well for this) and pop it in the fridge.

In the morning, use a butter knife and divide the super powered raw oatmeal into 8 equal servings and then spoon out your serving. Add the toppings (you can get inventive here, these are just my suggestions) and enjoy your healthy fast food breakfast.

Total Calories

With protein powder it is about 230 calories. With almond milk instead of protein powder it is about 220 calories. Not only healthy, but low in calories as well.

Cutting Up For Bodybuilding

Inside Natural Bodybuilding Part 4

This is part 4 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera.   He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane.  Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder.

Dieting for competition

Tracey: Run me through a typical muscle-building day, food-wise!  You’re getting ready for a competition now, so you’re building, you’re trying to strip down some fat.  So right now, what’s your typical food like? Starting in the morning, how do you eat?

Tomas: This is what I do in the morning, because from my understandings and from what I’ve read, and then also what I’ve benefited from (because you can read something and it might just not work for you).

In the morning when I get up, I immediately hit some carbohydrates because my body has been through a fast (when we get to breakfast, what it actually means is “break” the “fast”), so I’ll have, let’s just say for right now, I’ll start off with a banana.

I can’t get rid of coffee!  I’m Cuban, so I was raised on coffee and now I have to be a little bit more careful with the cream because I love the cream.  But less and less tablespoons, I’ll do about 4 tablespoons of hazelnut cream.  I’ll have 8oz of blackberries or strawberries and then I’ll have three eggs with it.  And what I do is have my fruit first, then I wait about 20-30 minutes and I’ll have my protein. Reason being, just to get the sugar pumping in my body, fill it up and then moving into the protein.

Then in the afternoon (I’m basically a three-meal a day guy, I don’t need 5-6 meals even though I’ve done that),  I’ll have a 3oz steak with 2 carrots and half an onion, and I’ll have a tablespoon of avocado oil and medium-chain triglyceride oil, which is a supplement.  Then I’ll have, maybe, half a tablespoon of saturated fat, actually saturated fat and consume that.

That really holds me for a good, long time! I’m looking at about 3 ½ to 4 hours in-between meals.  Then pretty much, especially when it comes to getting ready for a show, you really start being very specific about the foods and your foods become very monotonous.

I basically follow pretty much the same routine.  At dinner I’ll have a 3oz steak, I’ll have 2 carrots and I’ll have a half an onion.  Because that way  you don’t have to be constantly thinking about it.  You could add, if you have the time, or you get to the point where it’s just like, “Ok, I’m just going to eat this and move on,” especially when it comes to shredding days before a show.

Cutting up

Tracey: Ok good!  So this is another question about food.  When you’re cutting up, do you keep eating the same stuff?  How do you eat when you’re cutting?

Tomas: No, what starts happening is, as I start cutting up, I get really into the calorie intake.  I get to a point where it becomes a visual thing.  And what I do is (and of course this comes with experience. It’s taken me over 4 years just to get to this level and I’m not even at the level yet of really understanding), when it comes to diet, I’ll start using the mirror and I’ll start looking at myself and I’ll start manipulating.

It gets to a point that I start saying, “Well, let me drop my carbs a little bit here,” and then I’ll start playing that for a couple of days and if it’s working, I’ll keep that.  Then maybe I’ll have to cut a little more of the saturated fats or maybe increase the saturated fats and decrease the monounsaturated fats.

So the best thing to actually do during that whole period is to actually write the stuff down and that way you have it for future reference.

What’s very interesting is that our bodies change yearly! So what works for me one year, might not work for me the next.  But it gets to a point where it’s to calories, and you start leaning out.  It gets to the point that you might have to manipulate and see where it goes by removing a little bit of this, a little bit of that and see where you actually end up.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

Best Natural Bodybuilding Exercises

Inside Natural Bodybuilding Part 3

This is part 3 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera.   He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane.  Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder.

Cardio

Tracey: How much cardio is needed to burn fat?

Tomas: You know that all depends on the individual.  I think it depends on the person’s metabolism.  I think that people can actually, that for me has been a journey.  I’ve found that sometimes less cardio helps and sometimes more cardio helps when it comes to bodybuilding.  That is a very metabolic question.  I think every individual, like in any other form of training, I think through hit and miss a person finds out for themselves how much cardio is needed.  But cardio, in the bodybuilding world, in relationship to fat, lean mass, we look more at heart rate.  Keeping your heart rate lower because we want to burn more of the calories through resistance training and more of the fat burning, so you’re looking at there being a little bit more of walking, not so much sprinting or running.

Stretching

Tracey: Do you stretch at all?

Tomas: You know I should stretch more.  It’s so important.  I’ve been blessed by not stretching enough, by not having any injuries.   I did have surgery about 7 months ago, but that was more of my experience with football in the ‘70s when I was a kid.  I should!  I would focus more, if I was to address it to an individual, I would say, “Please put your time in,” because it does help in preventing injuries. But I don’t do it enough, no.

Legs

Tracey: Give me your number one best exercise for building each of these: Legs?

Tomas: Legs?  For building legs, it’s so interesting because I just came across this, for building strength in the legs, can’t beat squats.

But when it comes to squatting, your back needs to strengthen before your legs get stronger.  So that’s a pretty much overall exercise.  When it comes to just legs in general, in the bodybuilding world, I love the hack squat. You can’t beat the hack squat.  You can work with the leg placement, it really isolates the legs.  It takes away the pressure, if it’s done correctly, from your lower back.  So leg building, in a bodybuilding sense, I love the hack squat.

Back

Tracey: Ok cool! What about back?

Tomas: Back?  You know it’s funny because when I started lifting when I was very young, I developed a very big back.  That was one of my main muscles that I worked on.  Rows!  I love rows, standing rows.  Bringing it up and down.  That’s all I would do and I developed an incredible thickness in the back and width simply by rowing.

Tracey: So in the lats?

Tomas: Yeah in the latissimus, yeah, because what I did is I would just come lower and the body coming lower isolated a little more of the lats. You know, as you come up at like a 45° angle, you’re getting more of the trapezius and the rhomboid area.  But just by placing my body and row, row, row I just, because you know that’s all I knew.  You know what; it was a benefit because I really benefited from it.

Chest

Tracey: Cool! Chest?

Tomas: Chest?  You know it’s interesting because times are changing, of course we know that we have three types of chest.  We’ve got the upper, middle and lower.  But you can’t beat a bench press, incline and decline press and the combination of them so you can isolate the individual parts of the chest.  And also free weights!  Free weights.  Because then you get the stabilizing muscles.

Shoulders

Tracey: Good! Shoulders?

Tomas: Shoulders?  Shoulder press.   I get on shoulder press, shoulder press, I hit the shoulder press and I work it. Of course we can get into isolations like lateral raises or frontal raises.  But the shoulder press, especially if you’re just starting the body building, that’s the way to go.  Go with compound movements in the shoulder press, it’s definitely a compound movement.

Abs

Tracey: Good! Abs?

Tomas: Abs?  Sit-ups!   I’ve been so traditional.  Sit-ups, leg raises, there you go! But not to ignore the obliques, the external and internal obliques and also not to ignore the lower back.  Which, you know, dead lifts are great for lower back.  So you can do some back arches.  When I hear abdominal, I think of the whole mid-section instead of just the rectus abdominis.

Biceps

Tracey: Okay good! Biceps?

Tomas: Biceps?  Curls!  Curls! And change up your free weight, change it wider, you can go in more and just curls!  You know, because it also incorporates a little bit of other parts of your body, like your back and the stabilization in your legs.  You can do them standing, if you were to just start off because we want to get the body to work as a whole as much as possible.  In bodybuilding, you eventually start isolating, but if you’re just starting in bodybuilding, its best to get some other parts of your body in conjunction with that.

Triceps

Tracey: Okay and last one! Triceps?

Tomas: Triceps!  I like, for triceps, I like a close-grip bench press! I really do.  Because I believe, especially starting triceps, you want to build that thickness, defining a tricep later on with maybe triceps extensions or scull crushers.  But I think a good start would basically be a close-grip bench press.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

Diet for Natural Bodybuilding Over 50

Inside Natural Bodybuilding Part 2

This is part 2 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera.  He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane.  Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder.

Eating fat to strip fat

Tracey: What are the main things you cut out of your diet to strip fat?

Tomas: You know it’s interesting because I added fat to strip fat.  My diet today would be considered a paleo approach.  I basically moved beyond the Neolithic period into the Paleolithic period.  My diet consists of, depending on the time of year, on meats, poultry, fish, vegetables and fruit.  That’s basically as far as I go. I’ve cut out everything else so when I go to the market it’s either the vegetable area I go to, it makes it so much easier, or the poultry, the meat section and the fruit section and there it is.  Very simple.  Very simplified.

Tracey: Okay cool!  How long have you been doing that for?

Tomas: I have been following this program, consecutively now, for about two years.

Tracey: Do you use any fat burning supplements?  What are they?

Tomas: I use fat to burn fat! I’ve incorporated more saturated fats and I find that, I don’t know If I’m saying this right or correctly, I’m more satisfied, I don’t have to eat as much!  I think it’s called satiety or something, where my food consumption has actually dropped because I’m not as hungry and I don’t crave. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t crave sweets like I used to.  I’ve gotten to believe that there’s no such thing as a sweet tooth, but there is a fat tooth.  I think that we’ve gone to a point that we are neglecting our saturated fats.

Tracey: So what kind of saturated fats would you eat?

Tomas: You know what I actually do is I will take it from grass-fed meats.  But I’ve also incorporated table spoons called “tilly” which is actually beef lard. I will incorporate two table spoons of that with my meats and I’m completely satisfied throughout the day. I’m actually incorporating a little bit more now and I’m actually starting to cut up more for a show that’s coming up.  So I find myself getting leaner when I incorporate more of the saturated and mono and maybe about 3% of the poly.

Tracey: Wow!  That’s interesting!

Tomas: Yes.

Diet for Natural Bodybuilding Over 50

Tomas de Milera

Supplements to build muscle

Tracey: What are the best supplements you’ve used to build muscle?

Tomas: You know in all honesty, the only supplementation that I take, because I really, really, focus on my diet, is minerals and of course a multi-vitamin.  I will incorporate the omegas, Omega-3.  Because I think even with grass-fed, it’s depleted somewhat.  But for years, it’s interesting, I have moved away from supplementation.

I understand the importance now of hydrogenated proteins and ways that will help when it comes to bodybuilding and what they call “nutrient timing.”  But I’m really focused more on, now, diet in the sense of: I’ll have my eggs in correlation to my workout. I’ll have my eggs, which are a good amount of BCAs (branch chain amino acids), I’ll have them a good 3 hours before my training.  And then during that time, from my education, they should be ready to be used; the BCAs should be ready to be used in your body 3 hours prior to your workout.  So that’s my approach at the moment.  Supplementations are needed because you’re taking your body to the excess, but I’ve found that minerals and a multi, always a multi, and some Omega-3 are a big plus when it comes to supplementation.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

Motivation for Natural Bodybuilding Over 50

Inside Over 50′s Natural Bodybuilding Part 1

This is part 1 in a series of 5 interviews with bodybuilder Tomas de la Milera.  He is a 51 year old bodybuilder with a classic physique like Frank Zane.  Peek into his world as he prepares for competition and he shares what it takes to be a natural bodybuilder. You can read the transcript or watch the embedded video below.

Motivated by Tarzan

Motivation for Natural Bodybuilding over 50

Tarzan by Neil Adams

Tracey: Why did you decide to get into bodybuilding?

Tomas: What actually got me into bodybuilding is very interesting.  When I was about eleven years old, I went to the library and came across some Tarzan books.  It was very interesting because of the covers of them (I later found out they were created by Neil Adams). I liked the body composition of the Tarzan.  It was a lot more muscular, a lot more defined.  So I was fascinated.  I thought, it’s interesting because I thought then bodybuilding wasn’t about weights, even though it was the Golden Era where it was actually all about hypertrophy and getting bigger and less on fitness.

So I started bodybuilding by reading Tarzan books.  My understanding was swimming, running, calisthenics, I thought that was the way you became bigger.  Later on in the ’70s, I found out, when I incorporated weight training, that you needed a little bit more concentric movement to actually build those kind of bodies.

Arnold and Frank Zane

Tracey: When did you start bodybuilding and how old were you then?

Tomas: Well I’ll tell you, I started bodybuilding about ’78, 1979.  I got into that whole Muscle and Fitness, the Golden Era, Arnold, Frank Zane. I related a little bit more to Frank Zane than any of the other bodybuilders because he had a little more of that Tarzan feel that I wanted.  So it was about ’78, ’79!  Not much experience.  There was a lot of hit and miss!  Not like today, there’s so much information, you can progress quicker.  So I was more into the more weights you lifted, the bigger you would get.  I was very unfamiliar with the chemical aspects of bodybuilding like they have today.

It’s never too early, it’s never too late

Tracey: So you were obviously younger when you started.

Tomas: Much younger!  I mean I was fascinated, again, at eleven.  I moved into the bodybuilding world around 15, 16, 17.  And I always stayed physically active, not so much in the weight room, more outside and stuff.  I carried on that whole concept of more fitness in the sense of running, cycling and swimming.

At 47 I did my first bodybuilding competition and I went into a natural division. From then, I’m 51 now, so I’ve been actually competing in the bodybuilding world for about 4 years.

Using natural hormones

Tracey: What’s the difference between the way your body responds to training and diet now, compared to when you first started?

Tomas: It’s interesting, because of course if we can take the advantage of our HGH (human growth hormone) levels at such a young age, we understand our human growth hormones are very productive during our puberty stage and our younger period and starts to decline, your metabolism starts going down and so forth (as we age).

I found out that my past body building experience, keeping my body, my muscles fuller and of course my muscles had that opportunity to grow a little bit more by using the benefits of my natural hormones.  Coming across to now, I have to be a little bit more careful with diet and have to be a little more conscious about my joints.

Natural Olympia

Tracey: What’s the highest level you’ve achieved in bodybuilding?

Tomas: You know I’ve won a lot of 1st places in my division.  I have taken, in the Novice, I’ve accomplished and taken first place against young adults half my age.  I’ve won, in my division, Mr. Los Angeles, Mr. San Diego.  I actually took the Silver in the Natural Olympia about a year and a half ago.

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

Personal Training Client Win – Maree Cheatham

Congratulations Maree Cheatham!

Maree Cheatham

We’d like to congratulate our client, Maree Cheatham on her upcoming role as Bettie Breeland in Hart of Dixie!

You can see her on the show when Hart of Dixie returns to television October 7 on the CW Network.

Here’s more about Maree’s latest role from E Online and Day Time Confidential.

Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat

She also has a recurring role as Nona, Cat’s grandmother, on the Nickelodeon show Sam and Cat – a physically demanding role that has her doing her own stunts such as falling from a moving shopping cart while wrapped up in a burlap bag (see Episode 1).

Maree is Staying Young

Maree is setting the stage for women of all ages by demonstrating your chronological age doesn’t have to get in the way of your life or career and that it is possible to combat Father Time with the right combination of nutrition, exercise and attitude.

“Working with Tracey has made me stronger and able to withstand 16 hours standing on concrete floors in the sound stages.

It takes a lot of stamina and strength to be able to do most of my own stunt work.

I cannot tell you what an asset her training is to anyone, especially an actress of indeterminate years!”

Maree Cheatham

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it’s free).

* Email
Name
* = Required Field

Next Page »

SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline