Mixing and Moving it UP!

Circuit training is a workout routine that combines fitness and resistance training. The purpose of circuit training is to keep you moving by only allowing you to take minimal breaks in between exercises. Since you are constantly progressing through the workout, you will keep your heart rate up, therefore reaping the benefits of burning calories and burning off that unwanted body fat.

What are the benefits of circuit training?

• Injury Prevention. By combining different exercises, you prevent the same bones, muscle groups and joints from getting overstressed. As a result, circuit training tends to reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries caused by exercising too much.

• Exercise plan adherence. Circuit training has also been shown in a number of studies to increase an individual’s long-term adherence to exercise programs. Because circuit training relieves some of the monotony of exercise, a person won’t become bored with his or her program as quickly, and circuit training provides an efficient way to reap the benefits in half the time.

• Rehabilitation. When an injury does occur, circuit training comes to the rescue in two ways. First, it helps you maintain fitness despite being forced to forgo your normal exercise plan. Second, it corrects the cause of the injury. For example, if you injure your shoulder, you probably can’t go swimming, but you could continue your cardiovascular training by using a hands-free elliptical, treadmill or leg machine.

When developing a circuit training routine, a wide variety of exercises and fitness equipment can be utilized. Much of the equipment is relatively inexpensive. Examples include jump rope, dumbbells, medicine balls, body bands, weight training machines, or even your own body weight. A circuit can consist of as few as five stations to as many as 15 stations based on the goals and training levels of the participant.

The key to lifetime fitness is FUN!

Partners in Fitness

They say the couple who plays together, stays together. Working out with your spouse or partner can promote a healthier lifestyle overall. Couples spend most of their time apart due to careers and other responsibilities. One-on-one time is important to any relationship, so what are you waiting for? Workouts can be a new way to share time together and connect.

Before you embark on your new fitness regime together, take some time to consider these questions:

• Are you both willing to make this commitment? If both partners aren’t ready to commit to fitness, then workouts will soon become a sore spot in the relationship. You cannot drag someone into fitness; they have to go willingly. You both have to want it; otherwise, one person is bound to miss workouts, and the other person is bound to feel resentful.

• What are your individual goals? Each person must determine what his or her goals are and then design a mutual workout routine around them. A couple can do cardio and strength training together, even if their exercise goals differ. For instance, she may want to focus on toning her lower body while he wants to bulk up his upper body. In this case, they might start with cardio, then work on their trouble spots individually, and finally reunite for the rest of their strength training.

• How do you motivate one another? Are you a couple that offers praise and encouragement, or do you thrive on a spirit of healthy competition? To stay on track without nagging, you need to know what makes each other tick. Maybe encourage each other by setting goals and then competing to see who can reach their goal faster.

Remember that you may be in the gym together, but you still have different ways of working things out. Each person has their own way of learning things and different ways of processing information, and couples just have to be aware of that and set boundaries. Listening to your partner and keeping the lines of communication open are the keys to a successful workout partnership.

Keeping Fit in the Winter

Winter can be a very gloomy and tiresome time of the year. Most people feel the need to hibernate, while others put off activities and procrastinate heavily. For those who exercise, winter can be a season of dread.
→However, there are many ways to stay motivated when it comes to exercising in the winter months. Find something heavy, warm and comfortable to get you through those chilly months.
→Work out during the lighter hours. You won’t want to go running when the sun goes down. Most people will find the sunlight naturally keeps them motivated. Find a time that works for you, and stick to it.
→Join a fitness studio or a workout class. You may not want to go outdoors during the cold months. This is the perfect opportunity for you to find a new type of fitness regime, such as a personal training, yoga, Pilates, kickboxing or a dance class.
→Find friends to work out with. What better way to get your mind off the cold weather than to work out with a friend or a group f people you get along with? The more the merrier, after all.
→Always keep the long-term benefits on your mind. After winter comes spring and summer. You’ll have a new body and renewed energy, and you can look forward to buying a new wardrobe in a new size (smaller) for the warmer weather to come. Keep in the back of your mind and it will be one of the most powerful thoughts to keep you motivated.
→Try new winter sports. Whether it is skiing, snowshoeing, hiking or ice skating, thin of the fun you can experience with friends and family – remember the child in you. We live in a beautiful state – enjoy all that it has to offer in every season. “Daily adjustment means daily growth!”

Fitting in Fitness for the Holidays

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be easy for your fitness routine to fall off track. Though exercise may seem less of a priority, squeezing it in can actually help you feel more energized and better cope with the stress of the season.

The holiday season is undoubtedly a time for rejoicing. Unfortunately, the average adult often does a little too much celebrating, which inevitably leads to extra baggage when the New Year rings in. Indulging in extra helpings, snacking on seasonal treats, increased alcohol consumption, and little to no workout time all contribute to an increase of dieters in January. This year, enjoy your holidays without the weight gain and save your resolutions for something else!

Here are few suggestions to prevent weight gain while still enjoying the holiday season:

1. Incorporate activity into holiday celebrations. Park and walk to view neighborhood lighting displays instead of riding in the car. Start a tradition of ice skating, sledding, or skiing as part of the planned holiday tradition.
2. Give yourself the gift of planned physical activity. Make it a priority by scheduling daily activity into your routine. Physical activity is an effective method for preventing weight gain during the holidays by burning calories, suppressing appetite, and helping deal with stress.
3. Never skip meals before or after a big celebration. This practice creates a feast-famine cycle. To prevent overeating at holiday celebrations, drink a large glass of water beforehand, try to avoid socializing near the food, place food on a plate rather that eating straight from the buffet, and don’t eat while standing.
4. Spend less time in the kitchen. Do you really need to make dozens of different cookies, candies and breads? If so, consider modifying recipes for baked products by reducing the fat and sugar.
5. Rethink the food gifts you give. Consider replacing your usual box of homemade candies for your neighbors with an assortment of fresh or dried fruits and nuts or a freshly-baked loaf of whole grain bread.
6. Go to the back of the line. Let others go before you in serving and buffet lines; tempting items may be gone by the time you go through. Practice being a slow eater. Give your brain 20 minutes to tell your stomach that you are satisfied before going back for seconds.
7. Get adequate sleep. Sleep loss may affect various components of metabolism that influence hunger and weight gain. Being tired also affects your mental ability to resist temptations.
8. Plan Ahead. Schedule time for yourself and physical activity on a daily basis. Prioritize holiday celebrations to attend, schedule weekly family activities, be adventurous and try some new healthy food recipes.

Moderation is the key to achieving a fun but also healthy holiday season. With a moderate approach both to what you eat and how much you exercise, you can avoid packing on the weight and still partake in all the fun activities this time of year. So, this season, get a head start on the New Year instead of starting with extra pounds to lose in January.

“Celebration is the Movement of Life.”

Carol A. White

Healthier ways to eat when you’re traveling

When traveling away from home, eating healthy food can be a challenge. Believe it or not, nutrition is pretty basic; you just need to be more organized. Here are some helpful tips for you when you are traveling.

Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue and make you feel just plain lousy. Yes, this will mean more stops and bathroom breaks. Trust me, it will be worth it in the long run. As a special note, alcohol causes dehydration. Drinking alcohol on the plane (or even the night before your trip) is not the wisest course of action. If you do decide to drink, make sure to match every drink with an extra glass of water.

Try eating an extra-healthy meal the night before leaving. Your body will be better prepared to handle the rigors of traveling. Load up on foods you think you might be skimping on during your trip, such as fruits, raw nuts, white meat and veggies (protein and fibrous carbohydrates). Don’t go overboard on the calories; just make sure you’re getting as much out of your meal as you can, nutrient-wise.

We all know that rest area food; fast food and airplane meals aren’t so great. Either they taste horrible, or are so loaded with bad stuff (fat, grease, sodium) that you know you’ll be doing your body a disservice by consuming them. So what can you do? I recommend that you bring some food with you! That doesn’t mean packing an oversized cooler (although you can if you have enough room in your car). It means bringing small, easy to pack, easy to eat, nourishing foods. Items such as raw nuts, fruit, protein bars, granola, string cheese, or raw veggies and fruit are simple snack ides. Individually wrapped items are especially useful when traveling.

It is important not to skip meals. It’s key to eat regularly, every 2-3 hours throughout your day. Try to eat as healthy as you can, just as you would any other day.

Small choices equal long-term results. Take charge of your choices…one bite at a time!

It’s all about YOU!

Do you find yourself saying “Stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off!” You’re not alone. All the stuff going on and the things you are looking after are not you. They are not your life; they are in your life. They may be important and a priority, but when push comes to shove, they are not your life.

If putting yourself first sounds too selfish or too hard, try something simpler. Put yourself on equal footing with those you love, care about and tend to. Do you insist that they get enough sleep? Start doing it for yourself too. Do you give them time for fun and socializing with friends? Then do the same! Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Human beings must meet their basic needs before they can move on to higher-level goals.

Since most of us already know that we should take care of ourselves—but often have trouble figuring out how to do it—here are some guidelines for getting there:

• Preserve your physical health with adequate sleep, exercise, and nutrition.
• Kill one bird with two stones, combining family time with exercise, which benefits everyone involved.
• Value your emotional health as much as the physical, with a support system of friends and family.
• Schedule fun activities on a regular basis. It is as important to plan pleasure, as it is to plan work.
• Identify “busy behaviors” (or people) that drain your time and energy but aren’t really important and minimize their hold on you.
• Learn to say “NO!” Your “yes” is valuable and should not be automatic. Instead, reserve it for the things that are most important to you.
• Don’t try to change every problem area in your life all at once. Start with one or two items and then expand as you get things under control.

Your life should be like a checking account, balancing out on a regular basis so that you always have assets to draw upon. By making even small deposits—taking care of yourself with a 10-minute walk or a nutritious meal—you’ll be amazed at the interest you’ll reap.

Take a look at how you are seeing yourself and the things that you need to do to be healthy and happy. You matter, simple as that, A LOT!

Carol A. White
Personal Fitness Specialist

Fun & Fitness with Carol White’s Personal Fitness Studio