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Rita's Blog on Fitness

"I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength." Phillipians 4:12 NIV

Looking to make physical fitness a priority in your life?   Click here to download a document (in PDF format) with some helpful hints and ideas about how to do just that!

Investments worth making to reach your fitness goals:

Use a heart monitor when exercising to help you stay in training range. Think of it as being as important as the speedometer in your car. (Read the article in the Interesting Reading section.)

Choose food that promotes satiety. These high-fiber, high-water-content healthy foods are usually packed with vitamins and minerals. Eating a healthy diet is a key factor in good health and weight management. It will also be an important way to keep high energy throughout your exercise program. Think of it this way: You wouldn't put dirt in the gas tank of your car and expect it to run efficiently.

Motivation Tip:

If you are having a difficult time getting yourself motivated to start a workout, focus on the "good" feeling of satisfaction you get after completing one. Think positive both before you start and during the exercise that you have the ability to complete a successful workout.

Nutrition Tips:

Write down what you eat each meal and snack. Don't count on doing it all at the end of the day. This will help you to cut back on impulse eating and reduce total calorie intake.

Tips for runners:

Try to vary the distance, pace and location you run to get the best results. Be safe and run with a partner when in an area you are unfamiliar with. Dress appropriately for the weather. When running in the cold, always wear layers that can be shed easily and warm-up before a race.

Try this pattern for a good warm-up before running.

Walk 3 minutes

6 to 10 min. of run/walk for a shorter time than you would during the run. Maybe 1 min slow jog/ 1 min fast walk. Then do another 6 to 8 min. of normal pace of run/walk.

Add 4 to 8 acceleration gliders where the speed gradually increases.

Walk for 3 min. then start race.

It is important to find a type of physical activity that suits you best. If you enjoy being outdoors, try going to a park for biking, hiking or a jog in a beautiful setting. If you are into group fitness, make sure you are joining all types of classes to benefit from cross training. Doing some physical exercise each day, alternating a more strenuous workout with a less intense activity the next day, will help you mentally and physically to recover and stay consistent. Vary the duration and level of difficulty and remember to use a wide range of muscle groups to achieve the best results and avoid boredom.

When exercising alone, motivate yourself with your favorite music that will keep you moving faster and longer. A good way to understand the importance of this is: Walking for 1 hour at a pace of 3.5mph would burn approx. 250 calories. But if you increase the pace to 4.5mph for the same amount of time, the calories burned could be more than doubled. Your body's automatic activities, such as breathing, sleeping, and digesting food, burn more than half of the calories consumed each day. Take control over the part of your energy output that you can impact by making the most of your daily physical activities. For instance, try working at a more vigorous pace while doing housework or gardening. Enjoy time with family and friends by choosing to do a physical activity together. Children and teenagers should be physically active for at least 60 minutes per day. Play an active game with them for some quality time together. Asking a friend to join you for a walk instead of lunch might be an option.

To improve your health, lose excess weight or maintain muscle strength, make time for some form of physical activity each day.

Want to improve your tennis game?

We all realize Tennis is a complex sport that requires movement in various directions. The best tennis players are the ones using the best technique and also the ones that are able to do this very quickly. The basis for good footwork is learning to execute that split step needed before each shot. All the different steps involved in tennis need good coordination and of course practice. Studies show that fitness training should represent 30% of the practice time when a player is focusing on reaching a higher level.

I can help you to improve your performance on the court and with many other activites in life. Working on strength, cardio, flexibility and agility training can help you maximize your results.

Build strength for your tennis game!    Click here to read the article.

Going the distance . . . Thinking about training to run a 5K or more?

Especially for a longer race like a Marathon, I recommend you start preparing 4 to 6 months prior to the race. This mainly depends on your current training level. The key to being successful is finding the program you will be able to sustain. Stay focused on the goal of being able to finish and not whether or not you win the race. Participating in any race from a 1 mile fun run to a 26-mile marathon can give one an unbelievable sense of achievement.

I do recommend reading some of Jeff Galloway’s books. I have found his ideas on the walk breaks to be very helpful. They become very important on your “long run” days. Adding the best cross training schedule on days you do not run will help both your physical and mental conditioning. I will be posting various tips for runners on this site and I am also available for personal training to help you prepare for your running goal.

For information on ordering his excellent book: "Mental Training for Runners", click here.

Another article on the same topic (from Parade Magazine April 29, 2012):

Wondering how long you'll live? . . . Take the test below to find out!

This test was developed by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. Please take the time to answer these 13 easy questions, and let me know your score. The client with the highest score will be rewarded!

Click here to take the test.

Funny things that I have heard:

"I'm so far behind that I think I may be first!"

"I wouldn't get out of an electric chair to do a plank!"

I came across this article that has most of my favorite stability ball exercises so I thought it would be good to post on my website as a helpful practice guide for my clients. If you do not train with me and would like to know the best approach to achieve core fitness, I specialize in Pilates and core strengthening and would be happy to help you!

Want To Add Years To Your Life?

Make regular, moderate exercise part of your healthy lifestyle routine. Physical activity is good for the body, mind and spirit; helps maintain and improve the health of your heart; reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's; promotes energy, quality rest and a healthy weight; helps manage unhealthy stress; and may alleviate mild to moderate depression. So why isn't everyone exercising? People can always find excuses not to exercise, but really - there is no good reason. To reap all these benefits, all most people need is 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least four days a week, including at least two days of strength training, and a stretching routine. The key is making sure at least two of your exercise days are physically exhausting you, so that the body is stimulated to get stronger. Make sure before starting any routine that your physician approves that you are healthy enough for activity. It's simple to begin: rent fitness DVDs, join a gym, take online classes (there are thousands to choose from, and many are free to stream or download), make an appointment with a personal trainer or simply get some friends together for daily walks. Try a variety of exercises to see what excites you and has you coming back for more.

Click here to see the original article on Dr. Weil's web site.

Cal Lifting Weights Tame Anxiety and Stress?

Resistance training – weight lifting – is known for building muscle strength, but new research suggests it also appears to help reduce anxiety, and perhaps as effectively as medication or psychotherapy.

Click here to see the original article on Dr. Weil's web site.

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