Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year Fitness Seminar

If you are like most people, over the last month you've probably been overindulging and slacking off when it comes to your fitness. On Saturday Jan 1st at 11:00 we are holding a FREE fitness seminar to kick off the year right and to help you get back on track. We will discuss different exercise programs, nutrition, stress management, and more.

We will also have a drawing for free stuff to give away to those in attendance. You could win stability balls, T-shirts, and certificates for a 60 minute massage and free personal training. Meet at Put It Up Fitness located at 1057 N State Street in Orem this Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to noon.

It's not like you have anywhere else to be on New Years day! Sleep in and then come by at 11:00 to get some great information and support for helping you reach your 2011 fitness goals.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Solitary Confinement Workout

Some people find it to be a challenge to exercise regularly. I especially hear people complain when they don't have access to a gym or equipment. Exercise equipment may be convenient and ideal, but it's certainly not necessary for a good workout. I'd like to get people in a mindset that they can still exercise if they are stuck in a cubicle all day or even in solitary confinement.

I think it's fun to figure creative ways to work out with minimal equipment. You can replicate most exercises with just a stability ball and dumbbells. Resistance bands are also helpful if you are traveling and don't have access to equipment or a gym. You can also use a small person or little kids in lieu of weights, just make sure not to drop them.

There are times when you may not have access to any equipment at all and you may have to rely on using your own body weight and gravity as resistance. The following exercises can be done in a hotel room, outside, in a cubicle of a call center, or even in a prison cell for any readers who may be behind bars. (I hear Your Fitness Quest is one of the top Internet sites for people at the big house.)

Chest-There are tons of push up variations to choose from.
Lower Back-Supermans, cobras, and extensions.
Abs-crunches, reverse crunches, V-ups, and Russian twists.
Shoulders-hand stand push ups.
Arms- chair dips, tricep pushups, kickbacks, or curling luggage
Legs-squats, 1 legged squats, wall sits, lunges, glute raises, good mornings, and calf raises.

I'll admit that it can be a challenge to exercise your back without weights or a pull up bar, but you can target just about any other muscle group just by using body weight exercises.

Don't feel like you have to depend on going to the gym or using machinery or even weights to get a good workout. Performing body weight resistance exercises can get the job done and can add some variety to your usual workout routine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

There's No Substitute For Physical Activity

I applaud the makers of the Wii for attempting to get people more active and concerned about their health by using the Wii Fit, but they just can't compete with real exercise and activity. I saw this video recently and got a kick out of it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Paleo Diet: So easy a caveman can do it.

The Paleolithic, or caveman, diet follows the premise that we should eat like our early ancestors and that our bodies are not equipped to process foods that didn't exist thousands of years ago. It follows the hunter gatherer mentality that you should "graze" and work for your food as opposed to domesticating animals and raising grain for your diet. 

I can see the wisdom in eating more "live" and unprocessed foods, but I don't completely buy the idea that dairy and grain are bad for us. It's true that many people gain a lot of weight from eating too many carbs (bread and cereal), but I also believe bread is the staff of life.

As with any diet, there are pros and cons and advocates and critics to this style of eating. I don't view domesticating animals and raising grain as bad things, but rather as progress; however, when you see some of the conditions that cows, pigs, and chickens are raised in, it is obvious that finding food sources in the wild would be advantageous as opposed to eating an animal raised in a cage that has been pumped full of hormones to make it grow faster.

This topic also reminds me that we should adopt a Paleo activity level to help offset our sedentary lifestyles. I believe many of the principles of a Paleo diet can be beneficial as long as you don't get too extreme. Remember, if you really want to hold true to the diet of ancient ancestors, then you should probably not refrigerate your meat or brush your teeth after eating either.

This video is not relevant to nutrition, but since we are talking cavemen, I have to include one of my favorite commercials.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Customizing Your Fitness Regimen

The more I observe people trying to stick to a fitness program, the more I realize how important it is to customize a program to one's level of commitment, fitness level, age, budget, and available time. 

I figure if Bruce Lee could make up his own martial art of Jeet Kune Do which was a hybrid of other marital arts based on his personal philosophies, then we should be able to do the same with our fitness too. I don't have as cool a name for mine; I just call it customized fitness.

I get a kick out of the saying "you are unique... just like everybody else", but it is true that we all are unique in that we all have different goals, abilities, and preferences. Unless we take these differences into consideration when developing a fitness program, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

When it comes to nutrition, I see advantages to Paleo eating, but I also like aspects of a vegetarian diet. I try to avoid junk food, but I'm still guilty of occasionally eating high-calorie and low-nutrient foods. I try to only eat those foods in moderation or on special occasions. I've adopted aspects of various nutritional philosophies that sometimes contradict one another and I've applied them in a customized way that works best for me.

When it comes to exercise, I do the same thing. I like traditional sports but also appreciate aspects of Crossfit training and lifting weights in a traditional body building type of program. I've cut back on my long distance running because my knees don't hold up if I run more than 10 miles. I prefer shorter 5K races that don't take such a toll on me. I love playing basketball, and I could easily play a couple hours every day if I had that much free time. Since basketball is my favorite activity, it is at the center of my work outs, and I schedule other cardio and resistance training activities around it throughout the week.

Is there a specific sport or activity you really enjoy? Even if it is not recognized as the greatest all around work out, I'd still encourage you to stay active by doing what you love and then trying to incorporate other conditioning aspects you may be missing into your routine. I still think someone who gets out and walks with friends everyday will have greater success in the long run than someone who attempts a more comprehensive program if it is going to be too difficult or complicated for them to adhere to.

There are many different philosophies out there when it comes to exercise, nutrition, and fitness. I try to incorporate as much truth from each one of the various disciplines that I can. I also try to adapt them to my personal circumstances, which may be less than ideal in many instances. If you fear starting a particular program because you don't think you will be able to stick with it, then it is important for you to customize a program to your unique circumstances in order to persist and get long term results.