Merriam-Webster defines Metabolism as the chemical processes by which cells produce the substances and energy needed to sustain life. As part of metabolism, organic compounds are broken down to provide heat and energy.
What this means to you and I is if we get our metabolism revved up, not only will we have more energy throughout the day but our bodies will burn fat for us.
Sound good? Here’s how: Increase your body’s need for energy!!
How many times have you heard or said “youth is wasted on the young”? They have all that energy because they are constantly snacking, which keeps their metabolism high. We should not have grown out of this. If you fuel your body with small, nutrient rich snacks every 3-4 hours, not only will your energy level stay high but you will actually burn more. Spend an hour once a week to prepare snacks for the week. You’ll actually save time and not be tempted to hit the drive through.
Of course exercise burns energy, but did you know that increasing the amount of muscle you have will burn calories all day rather than just while you workout? When you lift heavy (but safe – talk to your trainer) weights while strength training you burn calories in three ways.
1st, your body needs energy to do each exercise.
2nd, you will continue to “burn” up to 24 hours after strength training while your body repairs micro tears (this is a good thing – and why you feel sore) to make you stronger.
3rd, once you have increased the amount of muscle, your body needs more energy to sustain it. This is where all that hard work pays off. Throughout the day, your body will break down fat to provide energy for your muscles.
You can’t go wrong: Make your body burn fat for you, get that toned look you’ve always admired, and have more energy. Strength training is YOUR secret weapon!!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
I was asked, by a friend, just the other day if doing a cleanse will speed up the weight loss process. She wanted to know how to get all the holiday "toxins" out of her body and which cleanse I would recommend.
First, there are a lot of potentially harmful quick fixes out there. Remember the "lemonade cleanse"? The idea is that you drink lemon or lime juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and water for 10 to 40 days. People said they lost weight and felt as though the toxic food was out of their bodies. What they may not have realized is that their body was not getting the nutrients it needed and essentially starving. Those improvements and more occur in people who exercise regularly and eat well balanced meals.
The most natural way to cleanse your body, especially your liver, is by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat daily as well as drinking more water to flush the toxins out. You must also reduce the amount of fat, especially saturated fat, to help prevent blockages in your veins and arteries.
According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans
we should consume approximately:
*1 1/2 - 2 cups of fruits daily
*2 - 3 cups of vegetables daily
If you are wanting to get that kick start for the new year there are also great supplemental cleanses you can get from your local gym or store. Please talk to a registered dietitian or fitness professional to ensure you are buying a quality product. The advantage of these types of cleanse is that you will continue to eat healthy balanced meals which will provide your body with the nutrients it needs.
Think about your liver like a filter in an air conditioner. When that filter is dirty the air conditioner has to work harder to produce clean air. When you keep your liver clean, it will efficiently filter out the toxins and fat from your body.
It's a new year, lets build a new you!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
*check out www.choosemyplate.gov
The Goal of Resolutions
2013 is upon us and with the new year comes New Years resolutions. Every year we all vow to ourselves to make changes in our lives. Get back into shape, give up a bad habit or even to spend more time with the family. Looking back, how many resolutions have you accomplished? I challenge you this year to set specific goals and post them up in your house (bathroom mirror) and most importantly, make the resolution with a friend or loved one to help both of you stay encouraged and motivated.
This year I am focusing on these four topics:
Physical: focusing on eating the right foods, getting enough rest and exercise
Social: focusing on professional leadership, cooperation and communication
Mental: focusing on read, writing, learning and experiencing the world
Spiritual: focusing on your center, values and what inspires and uplifts you
As you sing Auld Lang Syne this year, take a moment to think about the blessings you had this year, the struggles and how you got here. Like the song says, be kind and remember those old times but move forward and be joyful!
Happy New Year!!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
Take a minute to answer this question; Do you want to live at your fitness and health goals or just visit them?
If your goal is to visit 10 pounds lighter this month to fit into that dress for New Years you need to work out twice a day and restrict about 1000 calories from your diet a day
Can you see yourself keeping this up forever? Probably not! Think about shows like The Biggest Loser. These people workout for 8-12 hours a day and restrict their diet immensely. Many do make dramatic changes to their bodies but most of them don't keep it off. This is because they haven't learned how to balance life's stresses, fast pace schedules, and the convenience of bad food.
I hear people asking all the time, "I'm working out, watching what I eat, and I'm getting discouraged because I'm not seeing a change". The first 6 weeks are the most difficult for everyone. During this time it is so important to focus on small rewards. Things that will keep you motivated and hold you accountable.
- Are you having fun working out? Do you have a workout partner or trainer to push you?
- Are there positive things that you just haven't thought about such as sleeping better, not having your afternoon crash because of sugar, or being stronger and able to lift and carry yourself and items better?
- Are you being a positive influence for your family and children? Are they also making better food choices or being more active?
Remember your body doesn't want to let go of that fat. You are retraining your body to this new life. That's why long term health and fitness is a true lifestyle change. There are things that you can add to help.
- Take a multi-vitamin every day. Even the most conscious eaters struggle with getting all the nutrients they need. If your body is working hard to find nutrients, it's not working to burn fat.
- Take omega-3 every day. These are essential to our health and we must get it in food or supplements. They increase energy, aid in weight lose, promote a healthy immune system, enhance brain function, and help maintain a healthy heart.
- Protein! The more lean muscle we have the more fat we will burn. Muscle is active and needs constant energy. Without it our bodies will break this lean muscle down which slows down your metabolism and stores fat.
- Find something you love to do. Or get a trainer who will keep things fun. But most importantly... keep moving and stay positive!! This is your life, don't give up!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
The Rolling Stones said it best; "You can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need."
Do you ever struggle with what you want vs what you need? It can be the IPad you've been thinking about, remodeling the kitchen or as simple as eating an apple instead of that cookie. Webster defines a need as: a physiological or psychological requirement for the well-being of an organism. They define a want as: to have a strong desire for.
I certainly have a strong desire for those new shoes or even that personal training tool that I could use for myself but also with my clients. However, I have to ask myself; "will having it make me better at my job, more fit, or just look cool? Do I NEED it?"
On the other hand, a requirement for your well-being.... We make so many choices in a day that sometimes we forget if we have met those needs. Are you getting enough sleep in the night? Are you choosing foods that are high in nutrients to keep your body healthy and strong? Are you spending time with people who bring positivity and growth into your life? Are you taking time for spiritual growth?
We often get distracted with those fun and shinny advertisements wanting to share gifts especially this time of year. I can't really advise you on the IPad or remodeling, except to say, as long as all your true needs are met and you can afford it... go for it! When it comes to food choices, don't feel guilty about throwing out the left over cookies from your Christmas party. Maybe this year you will WANT to share the gift of health by giving those you love something they NEED. A healthy alternative recipe for someones favorite meal, a membership or training at their gym, a standing night out with friends or your partner. I challenge you to think outside the box and find that balance, you may be surprised the joy you can bring.
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
Burrrrr! It beginning to get cold outside and most people's motivation to be active and workout goes away. I know I can convince myself that all the other tasks I have to do seem more inviting then stepping out of my warm house. Don't let the cold keep you from meeting those goals, keeping your stress down or having some you time. Here are some tips for cold weather exercising.
Make sure you warm up your muscles completely. Many of us just skip the warmup and jump right in. Have you ever tried to pull or stretch some laffy taffy or gum when it's cold? SNAP!! It rips or tears. If you heat it up with movement in your hands, it will stretch and be flexible. Your muscles do the same thing. Make sure you are spending 5-10 minutes moving all your muscles not just your legs.
My favorite warmup moves: jumping jacks, lunges with torso rotation, and high knees
Outdoor exercise in the cold can cause your lungs to feel like they are burning. Some people even suffer from athletic induced asthma. Work to breath in through your nose and out your mouth. This will give the air more time to warm before reaching your lungs. Another great option is wearing a mask such as a balaclava.
Wear warm clothing. Once we a warm we want to keep warm. Look for items that are "dry fit" or wicking. They will pull the moister away from you and keep your temperature constant. This is also a great excuses to go shopping!!
Bottom line, don't let the cold weather be a reason to not reach your goals. You can even get your workout indoors by doing jump roping, burpees or squat jumps. Better yet take this winter to try something new. Find some classes you have thought or heard about. Yoga, Zumba, crossfit, or hire a personal trainer. You can strengthen your body and mind while having a great time.
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
We are already counting down 2012!! Christmas music is starting to play and trees are appearing everywhere. Walking in and out of stores I've even noticed people's joyful demeanor. All of us love and value our family time together, decorating the house, and gifts galore...but these next few weeks can really pile on the stress. Many people get sick or just worn down this time of the year. Let's go over some tips that can help you stay your best over the Holidays!
Food Tip: Take a multi-vitamin and up your daily fruit and vegetables. The more colorful your plate is the more minerals and vitamins you are getting. Choose items that are red, yellow, and orange along with your greens. You will add flavors while keeping your immune system strong. If you are feeling drained or having a few cold symptoms, remember to add vitamin-C or even echinacea to boost your system.
Body Tip: Make sure you're washing your hands frequently. Since we are all out shopping for gifts and food, be
thoughtful of reducing germs.
Rest may be in short supply but don't give this up. Our bodies need an average of 8 hours of rest to keep us energized and healthy.
Workout Tip: Keep up the workouts! Don't wait until the new year to get your body moving. Regular exercise keeps us strong physically and mentally. Taking time for yourself is not selfish. In fact, how can you give 100% if you aren't up to100% to start? Take that 30-60 minutes a day to increase your energy. This will help to clear your mind and improve your sleep. While shopping for gifts, take an extra lap around the store or just take the stairs to get some extra exercise! You'll have more to give.
Mind Tip: Take 10 minutes each day to meditate. Never tried before?
Close your eyes and feel your stomach rise and fall as you breath. With each breath think to yourself "I'm breathing in, I'm breathing out". As you continue to do this imagine your mind being like the ocean. All the errands, tasks, and worries are just waves at the surface and you’re deep below where everything is calm and still. You are more than these stresses.
Last Resort Tip: If all else fails, fake it until you make it!!!
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
I'm thankful for my supportive and loving family, remarkable friends, a job I love, and my health. So this thanksgiving I'm taking inventory of typical foods and hints to keep us on track. It's hard to choose when you are faced with tradition and the overwhelming smells of the season. Since my family is from southern Louisiana, we have some strong thanksgiving food traditions; oyster stuffing, jello salad and pecan pie. From a nutrition stand point I'm pretty sure thanksgiving is out to get us. The featured turkey even leaves us wanting a nap. So what can we do about this?
1. Use a salad plate to keep portions small but let our minds be satisfied. 2. Start with the items that will fill you up such as white breast turkey, sweet potatoes
(sub cinnamon instead of sugar or butter), and vegetables. 3. Add the high calorie items in small portions. 4. Take your time eating and talk. This is really what we are thankful for anyway. 5. Split a desert with someone. We really just want the taste. 6. If you're going back for seconds hit up the sweet potatoes, the turkey and cranberry. 7. Take a family walk after dinner to get some energy back. Your body and brain will
thank you. 8. Keep the alcohol intake down to a glass. 9. Put away all the food after dinner and let guest take it home with them. If those pies
on the counter are calling to you every time you walk by, eventually they will get you.
Many gyms and fitness groups do a holiday workout. It's a great way to burn off some of those calories while also relieving some holiday stress.Below are some typical thanksgiving items, what's your calorie count?
Stuffing (180cal) Turkey (340cal) Mashed potatoes (190cal) Ham (300cal) Cranberry (150cal)
Pumpkin pie (180cal) Rolls (110cal) Sweet potatoes (150cal) Green bean casserole (225cal) Wine (120cal)
Check out this link to see how many miles you will have to walk to burn off your thanksgiving: http://walking.about.com/library/cal/blthanksgivingcalories.htm
Here are a few healthier recipes for some favorite items: Green bean casserole: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=59045 Pumpkin pie: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=1372386 Dinner rolls: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=933639
Rebecca Bordelon, CPT
According to the book Treadside Manner, Greg Justice talks about four "P's" to make a great personal trainer. I believe these are the same attributes you should look for when choosing your trainer.
Passion: you can't fake it and it is the cornerstone to success. Have you ever met someone who has that endless energy, wide excitement and motivates you to be a part of whatever they are doing just because it seems so fun? Trainers should have a passion to educate clients to truly change their lives.
Persuasion: why should I make these changes in my life? Your trainer should not only motivate you to hold that plank 10 more seconds or remove the white flour from your diet, but they give you the reasons why this will make such a difference in your life.
Perseverance: life seems to constantly try to throw us off track. If work, family, and tough times aren't enough... let's throw the holidays in there. Exercise increases your endorphins which helps us deal with stress but never underestimate the power of having someone on your side. Your trainer should be dedicated to you, body and mind.
Patience: health and fitness is a life long focus. Some of us are naturally good at sports, or cooking, or sales or teaching. However we all must learn how to take care of ourselves. What you are doing today may seem challenging but remember, it's just something you haven't mastered yet. Your trainer should always make you feel confident, calm and supported.
Finding the right personal trainer for you may seem intimidating. Maybe you never thought there was a difference, but when you find that person who keeps you reaching for the next step, who smiles through the tough moves and who takes the time to teach you how, you have a great personal trainer and friend.
Laissez les bon temps rouler or "Let the good times roll!"
With family roots in South Louisiana, I can't let the day pass with out at least a mention of a favorite holiday. One of the best things about going to Mardi Gras (besides the people) is the food! There's something amazing about the food from Cajun Country, but "heart healthy" is probably never used in a description relating to the traditional recipes that are available.Most people are familiar with the traditional festivities that personify Mardi Gras in New Orleans, but the Cajun celebrations offer a unique look at the traditions that started it all.