Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fallen Off of Your New Years' Resolution?

Here's why  fitness resolutions are so difficult and ways to combat the struggle.

It's 8 days after the New Years and our resolutions have already began to slip through our fingers. Why is it so hard to maintain a fitness resolution and reach the goals we've all set out for? What are we doing wrong?

Some of us have not joined a gym yet. Maybe we haven’t bounced back from the holiday indulges. Perhaps we haven’t made the time to begin these new years plans or just don’t know where to start.

Whatever the reason may be don’t be discouraged if you have gotten off track. A lot of people fail at their resolutions because they don’t know the science behind exercising. There is a battle going on between your brain and your body, or your biology, to revert back to what your body knows as normal. To start up a new way of living, a health related resolution, we must change our old ways that took years of programming. Scientifically, once our fatty cells, called leptin, decreases due to exercising our biology sends signals to our brain that we are"starving." Our brain then releases hormones instructing our body to conserve energy by slowing down our metabolism and increasing our appetite.

We need to change the way we think and reprogram our bodies to get fit and stay fit. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is perceived to be 75% diet/nutrition and 25% exercising. Although this may be accurate we can't lose emphasis on getting to the gym. It creates habit, discipline and a way to rewire what we feel is normal: an inactive lifestyle where soreness is unfamiliar and not pushing through physical boundaries to gain health benefits.

Becoming more knowledgeable while working out, like knowing your target heart rate and being aware of the repetition and set count for each individual exercise according to your weight loss goals, can make creating a new fit lifestyle a bit more easier. It aids in a more effective workout and prevents you from feeling like you are just spinning your wheels. A good way to jump start your January workouts and learn how your body operates when it comes to fitness would be to find a personal trainer in your area. Even if it was just for the end of the month or maybe a 3-6 month commitment, you will see results and build the confidence you need to stay active.

Now, we are not saying you have to be a gym rat or someone who may seem obsessed with exercising, but an important piece  to this reprogramming is holding yourself accountable even when it is difficult or you've missed a few workouts. Accountability and perseverance is the mental aspect of fitness that many New Years Resolutioners forget to address. These are the growing pagnes we feel when experiencing change and often times come up during this time of the year.

The link between mind in body is essential when beginning your weight loss journey. On those days where it is easier to find an excuse not to make it to the gym is really when you need to go most. When you have tricked your body into thinking you can’t finish a set is when you need to push through. When you feel like you've failed at your new eating habits, forgive and forget and most importantly, move forward. Find ways to motivate yourself, complete a task or short term goal and build disciple.

A New Years' Resolution should be based on creating attainable goals in small increments that ultimately form a new habit. This is a  marathon and not a sprint but you can definitely do it! Get back on the bandwagon that is fitness.

A New Year. A New You.

Brittany L
Personal Trainer

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Exercising and It's Effects in the Bedroom

Have you heard? YEP! Fitness has published their first book online for FREE! We are excited to be able to share it with our readers. To download the free copy of A Starter Guide to Fitness - 7 Helpful Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Weight Loss Journey click here!

Here is a short excerpt from the book- Chapter 7: "Exercising and It's Effects in the Bedroom."


According to a number of studies, approximately 40% of women complain of low
sexual desire. Low sexual desire can occur in any one persons life, male or female, for
varying reasons including stress, fatigue, medications or a number of other causes.
If you may be looking for an added boost in the bedroom, I have good news. Reports
show that men and women can both experience an increase in their libido, or sexual
desire, when regularly participating in physical activity. Individuals who may be
looking for a natural alternative to supplements or medication in order to regain their
sexual desire can find solace in simply adding exercise to their weekly routines.

On average, individuals who exercise 2-3 hours a week notice a significant increase in

arousal and sexual performance due to the increased levels of testosterone,
endorphins and adrenaline produced throughout the body. These physiological
changes that occur increases blood flow to the genitalia. Aside from that, the benefits
from exercising directly affects our strength and flexibility ultimately improving our
sexual endurance.

There has been a direct correlation found between weight training and testosterone

production in both male and females allowing men to experience more frequent
erections and increased sexual urges while women see their moods elevated which
can lead to a higher sex drive and energy levels resulting in more frequent sex.
Psychologically, exercise positively affects our self-esteem and self-image leaving us
feeling more attractive. Women often times find themselves with feelings of less
stress and a clearer mind allowing them to better focus on their own sexual
satisfaction leading to a more intense orgasm.

The “Coregasm”

Ladies, I’m not done. The sexual benefits of adding more cardio to your weekly
schedule previously mentioned are sexual indulgences experienced over a period of
time. A percentage of us have the luxury of experiencing immediate satisfaction due
to intense workouts usually involving the core muscles and/or lower body exercises. If done at high enough intensity that are longer in duration, women may experience a heightened level of stimulation in their lower abdominal regions often times leading to an orgasm.

I kid you not, an orgasm experienced while or soon after a workout can be achieved. This phenomenon has been coined as a Coregasm due to the type of exercises done when women have reported experiencing this exercise induced orgasm. Although the only recognized study in years mentioning these exercise induced orgasms was in 1953, a more recent spike in interest surrounding the coregasm has only been around for the last decade. It is quickly receiving more attention through scientific research led by a professor from Indiana University, Debby Herbenick.

Women who were surveyed say these coregasms often occur during long runs on the

treadmill, weight lifting or during strenuous ab workouts repetitively. Some
scientist speculate this is due to the rhythmic movements and contracting of the
lower abdominal and vaginal wall muscles. Women find themselves embarrassed or
confused due to the unexpected nature of the orgasm and their inability to control
the bodily function, but it is completely natural.

Even if an intense orgasm isn't reached during these types of workouts, a number of

women have reported a feeling of sexual arousal during exercising. This is referred to
as exercise induced sexual pleasure.

Let us know if you would like to see more on this topic or something else in particular for our next publication! Contact us with questions, comments, or if you would like to be notified on future postings or book publishes.

[Get the free download here]

Train Hard. Look Great. Feel Amazing.

Brittany L.

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Starter Guide to Fitness

7 Helpful Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Weight Loss Journey

Written by Kurt Billups and Brittany Long

                                        Free eBook Download Here 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Got Cabin Fever? Tips to Avoid Getting Off Track

The temperature is dropping fast- winter is finally here! You are finding it harder to get outside for a run and the roads may not be cleared in time for a morning trip to the gym. Possibly worst than that, a Snow Day has been issued and now you are stuck in the house.
It will be tempting to declare the day a Cheat Day! Lounging around the house with hot chocolate, seasonal desserts, and movies don’t sound like a bad idea. Before you plop down on the couch consider these helpful tips so you won’t completely sideline your health!

Fit in Fitness- A 30 minute workout in your living room can keep you on track and help balance out any of those additional splurges you may find yourself enjoying.  Check out the circuit below and do at a moderate intensity for a great workout option! 

Watch your trips to the kitchen- Although today may be your cheat day, don’t go overboard. Limit your sweets to 1-2 servings and keep in mind portion sizes. If you are the one slaving over the stove look for healthy alternative recipes for the cakes, cookies, and pies. Keep this tiny secret between us and no one will notice the difference! Check these easy-to-do swaps for ideas! 

Don’t stop drinking your water- Along with keeping you feeling full, it is a great natural detox to keep your body clean of anything the body doesn't need. Many times your mind confuses hunger with dehydration. Stay well hydrated and keep those cravings to a minimum.  In addition, drinking at least 16 ounces of chilled water when you wake up can boost your metabolism by 24% in the morning.

Last but not least (and most importantly) ENJOY! Take in the day as YOUR day. Avoid feeling guilty on your indulges. Savor the taste, enjoy resting, and get back at it tomorrow. It wouldn't be a true cheat day without a cookie or two.

Eat Healthy. Train Smart. Look Great!

Brittany L.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

You've Joined a Gym! Now What?

You have finally made the decision to get fit. Found the time in your hectic schedule, purchased those new gym shoes, and redacted a few things here and there from your grocery list. You have even joined a health club!

But what are you STILL doing wrong in search for that summer body that you have always wanted?

The two biggest mistakes that people make when they join a health club are:
#1 Failure to Plan
#2 Failure to Get Help Early

Make a Plan
Ask yourself: What do I want to achieve by working out? What is my motivation?

When beginning a new workout regiment we need to systematically log these answers and make sure we are meeting these goals within a realistic time frame. Resources at your gym are able to help you outline all you are looking to achieve and provide tools to track your progress, also known as an assessment. Look to them to answer any questions you have about what are healthy ways to reach these goals including weight loss, bulking up, or maintaining good health.

Another great way to track progress: TAKE A BEFORE PICTURE. In as little as 4-weeks people are able to see changes to their bodies.

Get Help from a Personal Trainer
Too often we see people coming into the gym looking confused, dazed and overwhelmed.  Even the most frequent gym rats misuse equipment or are inefficiently utilizing the time spent on machines.

Seek out personal trainers to guide you step-by-step on what workouts are best for you and what is proper technique for each. They are there to ensure safety throughout the gym, maximize your productivity, and put variety in your workout routine. Personal trainers  can also be a used as a support system and a way to keep you accountable. Setting scheduled training sessions will motivate you  to workout even on the days you are dragging.

Many think that ONLY athletes need training. MYTH! We have a saying that even personal trainers need personal training. It is a valuable tool that many don’t take advantage of.

Realize that the journey to reaching these goals will not be easy; it takes determination, support of family and/or friends, and the will to continue after adversity. It is a marathon, not a sprint. The key to long term success are within these two simple lifestyle rules that can be applied to your health and wellness.

Set a Plan. Seek Help. See Results.

Brittany L.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

4-1-1 on Fad Diets; How to Make a Lifestyle Change Instead

Fad dieting has infiltrated the media and marketing schemes since the early 1900’s, appealing to the masses with get-slim quick gimmicks and easy solutions.  We idolize flat stomachs and thin thighs and want the shortest path to get there only to quit early during a diet or see results but not having the ability to maintain the weight loss.

You are not alone.
Slim Fast Shakes, South Beach Diet, even the infamous Atkins Nutritional Approach, amongst others, all tend to have one thing in common; these diets work due to the reduced caloric intake. The weight loss initially is quick because of water weight not to mention the enthusiasm the dieter may have eager in trying something new. Unfortunately, these strict food requirements (No Carbs, Replacement Meal Shakes) are hard to maintain and cause participants to give up leaving one with even lower self-esteem and sometimes followed by binge eating.

The diets that do allow you to eat what you want but extremely limit your daily calories are starving the body of necessary nutrients,  imitating healthy weight loss. Our bodies, instead, have insufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals to sustain normal body metabolic levels that our body kicks into starvation mode and begins to retain body fat.

At the end of the day, fad dieting is what is attributed to yo-yo weight loss that needs to be stopped.

A different approach is to adjust the way you eat while including a regular amount of exercise will ultimately create a healthy lifestyle and eliminate eating healthy only over a short period of time. What we refer to as “dieting.”

So how do you create this fit lifestyle and relieve yourself of obsessing over what you aren’t allowed to eat? Educating yourself on portion sizes and the bad habits we have all adopted growing up when it comes to consuming food is the first step. See these quick tips that you can apply to your lifestyle today.

Creating a holistic healthy lifestyle wouldn’t work without including EXERCISE. We encourage seeking out a personal trainer to take you step-by-step in building a plan specifically for you and your goals. This includes regular assessments insuring you are meeting these goals and setting new ones!

Personal Trainers offer unique routines that include H.I.I.T workouts (High Intensity Interval Training) that alternates between vigorous movements for a fixed period of time to a less intense exercise that lowers your heart rate for a longer period of time. This type of exercise is efficient, can be done in as little as 15 minutes AND is proven to burn off that muffin top.

Personal Trainers are also able to provide nutritional tools that will encourage you to stay on track in the kitchen.

Eating responsibly and on a regular basis is a mental hurdle that can be learned.

Training your Mind is just as important as Training your Body.

Eat Smart. Train Tough. Feel Great.

Brittany L.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quick Tips To Avoid Packing on the Pounds During the Holidays

Looking for practical ways to avoid the holiday pooch without driving yourself insane? I asked men and women for helpful tips and they went from one extreme to the other:

“Thanksgiving and Christmas are  your cheat days. Eat what you want and fast for a week after.”
“Workout everyday.”
“Just don’t go all out.”

These suggestions will have you falling off the fitness-wagon and forgetting to hop back on come resolution time. On top of that, they are hard to track. How do you measure “don’t go all out.”

I've put together practical ways to maintain your healthy habits and still enjoy the time spent with family and friends as well as the appetizers, entrees and desserts the holidays have to offer.

1. Don’t go to the party hungry. “Saving room for the big meal” will have you consuming well over your necessary caloric intake as well as binge eating far after you are full. Eat before you get to the party so you won’t be starving when you arrive and become more susceptible to making unhealthy food choices.

2. Enjoy doesn't mean you have to eat 3 of everything and desserts don’t need to be your demise as long as you eat to taste and not tackle an entire plate. Opt for the smaller pieces and don’t go back for seconds. 

3. Look for nutritionally-dense foods to help you feel more full. This includes your smaller “snacks” between meals. The platters and appetizers can be your friend as long as you make good decisions. Veggies, fruits, and nuts can take the place of your small meal especially since they are full of fiber and protein.
CAUTION: Don’t linger by these buffet tables. Make a plate (saucer size) with 3-4 honest servings of these healthy foods and a tall glass of water & take a seat at a table. You will be more aware of how much you are consuming and better off than grabbing a handful of chips or cookies every time you pass by the spread.

4. Casseroles, dips, creamed, and/or candied anything are sure signs of high sodium or sugar foods with hidden calories. The added cheese, milk, and spoonfuls of butter will pack on the pounds without you noticing. When feeling the urge to indulge in these sides remember- Taste not Tackle.

5. 'Tis the Season for Egg Nog- not so fast. Limit your alcohol intake. Holiday drinks like egg nog Bailey’s and champagne may be plentiful but so are the empty calories. Be sure to rotate 8oz of water in between these drinks or aim for only 1 drink towards the end of dinner. Finish the night with water so you aren't bloated before bed.

If you have concerns with fitting in time to exercise the key is to plan ahead. View your calendar now and set an alarm an hour earlier than normal on the days of a big holiday gathering and make a trip to the gym that morning. Many hotels have small gym rooms available for guest or relations with a nearby gym that you can utilize for a minimal fee. Look into those before booking a room.

Be careful of excessive exercising to overcompensate heavy eating during this time of the year. Risk of injury or experiencing burn-out will have you not working out far after the holidays.

We have all heard it before- portion control. Moderation is key when looking to enjoy our favorite foods without going over board. The same is true with exercise. Do your best to keep to your routine during these next few months and your fitness goals won’t be sidelined.

Eat Clean. Train Hard. Feel Amazing

Brittany L.