Storm Fitness Newsletter – Importance of Stretching – July 2009
A health and fitness newsletter on how to stay looking and feeling your best at any age
Greetings Clients and Friends;
There’s some real juicy information this month that you will want to read about. One of which, is all about training with the TRX suspension system. I believe this piece of equipment will bring your training to a whole new level and can totally reshape your body – it’s worked for my clients and I am excited to share more about it with you.
My wonderful trainer Mariana has written a very telling article on consistency and damage control that I believe we can all relate to. It’s a little longer than most articles but you will be glad that you took the time to read it and you will learn something about yourself once you finish reading it.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Jessica Storm & the Storm Fitness Team
Storm Fitness, LLC
Storm Fitness News
Rave Review on the TRX!
If you haven’t tried the TRX suspension training system yet you are missing out on some seriously good stuff. Talk about changing and reshaping your body – I can’t rave enough about this product. Not only is the TRX excellent for people recovering from rehab who need some added assistance, but it is the most challenging piece of equipment I have used on my athletes. The best part is, anyone can get one to enhance their workouts and use it right in their own home. The TRX weights less than 2lbs and can be taken with you anywhere you go.
Listen, I get asked to review a lot of products and I was skeptical on this one at first but I am telling you – it has changed my clients body and even my body and I can’t speak highly enough about my new fitness tool. I want you to learn more about it – check out the videos on their website and see if this can change your boring fitness routine into some serious fun!
Just click here for more info:
Personal Training on the Rise!
It seems like all the reports are showing that people are less willing to give up on their gym memberships and personal training during this economic climate. Forbes magazine reports that people seem to want to stay healthy in both good and bad times. In fact, market researchers at St. Louis, Missouri-based firm Stifel Nicolaus say overall gym memberships will increase by 4% in 2009.
Consistency & Damage Control
By Mariana Cave, Storm Fitness Personal Trainer
I have noticed, throughout my training years that the main problem with most clients is not lack of motivation or not trying hard enough to change their lifestyle but lack of consistency in maintaining it. Most of my clients have a great resolve in losing weight and stay active by eating well and sensibly. Most clients, if not all, work especially hard during our sessions. The effort and the hard work are there. What is missing is consistency.
When I arrive at a client’s house or gym, most of you, while wearing a heart rate monitor, are guaranteed to burn from 300 to 800 calories in one session, depending on your weight and heart rate range. You work hard, your legs feel like Jell-O and your arms are shaking by the end of the session. You had yourself a good work out and your metabolism is at high speed trying to fix the damage. If you are following a diet/workout program, you eat “clean” for the rest of the day (a diet high in lean protein and complex carbohydrates) and within your calorie requirement to either maintain or lose weight. You know you have been “good” for that day.
If you are generally serious about your lifestyle change, you might follow the same routine for 3 or 4 days, and some of you will send me an email with a detailed food diary of how well you are “behaving.” This usually happens from Monday through Thursday evening and usually with new clients. By Friday night, however, an interesting phenomenon seems to repeat across the board… all I hear (in terms of food diary) are crickets… The weekend parts of my clients’ food and/or exercise diaries tend to mysteriously disappear… You are all afraid to write down and acknowledge what actually went on during those days.
This is where you seem to be getting in trouble. The weekend cheat days can throw all your resolve and hard work away. While you are reluctant to write down the damage and let me know about it so we can discuss it, your body will not let you off the hook as easily. The scale, not me, will tell you that what you have been doing is not working. My job is to help you get there, so the weekends have more important information for me as a trainer, than the days you have been “good.”
THE MATH OF WEIGHT LOSS
If it takes 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat, you will need to create a deficit of 500 calories daily for a week, in order to lose one pound. Training twice a week might get you down 800 to 1,000 calories, but you still have a lot more calories to go. You can solve this equation by either subtracting calories from your usual diet or adding more exercise.
Lets suppose that we figured out that in order for you to lose a pound of fat a week, you need to burn 250 calories a day and consume 1,600 calories daily, which creates a deficit of 3,500 calories per week off of your usual diet and activity level. You burn all the 1,750 calories for that week and eat well bellow the 1,600 calories for 4 days.
However, on Friday you go out to eat and have bread before your meal, appetizer, a main course, drinks and some dessert, which is a good 1,500 to 2,000 calories above what you already ate for that day. Than the next day you have pancakes with syrup and butter, or eat out again, or eat whatever your vice is, because you convinced yourself that you worked hard during the week and deserve a treat.
However, as I have seen over and over again, the weekend can add up to as much as 5,000 extra calories (if not more). Now, if you add all your calories for the week and divide by 7 days, suddenly, you realize that your daily intake was actually 1,900 to 2,000 calories (not 1,600), which, even though you worked out hard, makes no difference on your deficit. At this rate, you are lucky you are not gaining weight.
Now, add to that the occasions you do not even have time to work out…. or maybe you convinced yourself that the training sessions were hard enough that you don’t need to put on your sneakers again for that week. The latter is a special tricky part. You do not have to work out as intensely as our sessions for the remaining of the week to see results. Most of you get discouraged thinking you should be pushing really hard all the time. The reality is that simple things like walking the dog, cleaning the house or car, gardening and grocery shopping add up to the weekly calorie deficit. As long as your heart rate is above 100, you can start counting.
DEVICES TO HELP YOU GET THERE
Most Polar Heart rate monitors have a calorie counting feature that is directly related to your weight, height, age and heart rate. Those devices are more accurate than the calories burned that most cardio machines will read. Here is a link: www.polarusa.com/us-en (look for F4 or similar). Another interesting device is the body bugg. This device counts your daily calories (you sleep with it) and lets you know how much of your deficit you have already accomplished for the week (it’s like an annoying personal trainer on your wrist) www.bodybugg.com
Another important aspect that needs to be addressed is the damage control for when you are not consistent. As with any lifestyle change, you will have lapses and relapses. You will be steadily “good” and suddenly a vacation or holiday will throw you off the hook.
A lot of you will unhealthily hit the gym with a biggest loser style, imagining that the greater amount of physical activity will fix the problem, only to notice that the sudden rise in intensity and duration of an exercise routine will only leave you feeling hungrier and more tired.
My solution to damage control is still consistency and moderation. Burning a crazy amount of calories in one day might help you with water loss, but the long term effects of weight control and weight loss happens one day at a time.
After a particular reckless weekend, sedentary vacation or holiday, I recommend trusting your body by returning to your normal consistent routine of exercise while being extra vigilant with your food intake. By being vigilant with food intake means that you choose foods that are closer to nature (if you cannot name where that food came from, it is far from nature; e.g. protein bars), that you only eat when you are hungry (ask yourself: “am I really hungry?” and only eat when you are – learn to recognize the feeling), and that you stop when you are full (you should not leave the table full, but satisfied – learn to recognize the difference).
To summarize, consistency and damage control are the rules of the game for a long-term lifestyle change. The Biggest Loser show can be a great inspiration to lose weight and hit the gym, but it is not realistic for most of us who work hard and are not isolated in a ranch without treats on weekends with family and friends.
Keeping yourself active daily and eating sensibly (by not overeating or under eating) will slowly change the scale, if not your meansurements. If you learn to have faith in this simple formula and trust that change takes time and should be done slowly, you will see results.
Top 10 Reasons to Stretch
It is important to remember that flexibility is one of the five components of fitness. Cardio or strength training alone will not get you the results you are looking for. Here are the top 10 reasons why understanding the importance of stretching in your routine will help you see some BIG results with your overall fitness.
- Decreases muscle stiffness and increases range of motion. Stretching helps improve your range of motion which may also slow the degeneration of the joints.
- May reduce your risk of injury. A flexible muscle is less likely to become injured from a slightly extensive movement. By increasing the range of motion in a particular joint through stretching, you may decrease the resistance on your muscles during various activities.
- Helps relieve post-exercise aches and pains. After a hard workout, stretching the muscles will keep them loose and lessen a shortening and tightening effect that can lead to post-workout aches and pains.
- Improves posture. Stretching the muscles of the lower back, shoulders and chest will help keep your back in better alignment and improve your posture.
- Helps reduce or manage stress. Well stretched muscles hold less tension and therefore, leave you feeling less stressed.
- Reduces muscular tension and enhances muscular relaxation. Stretching allows the muscles to relax. Habitually tense muscles tend to cut off their own circulation resulting in a lack of oxygen and essential nutrients.
- Improves mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance. Since a flexible joint requires less energy to move through a wider range of motion, a flexible body improves overall performance by creating more energy-efficient movements.
- Prepares the body for the stress of exercise. Stretching prior to exercise allows the muscles to loosen up and become resistant to the impact they are about to undergo.
- Promotes circulation. Stretching increases blood supply to the muscles and joints which allow for greater nutrient transportation and improves the circulation of blood through the entire body.
- Decreases the risk of low-back pain. Flexibility in the hamstrings, hip flexors and muscles attached to the pelvis relieves stress on the lumbar spine which in turn reduces the risk of low-back pain.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
We hope you enjoyed this edition of the Storm Fitness Newsletter. Thank you again for coming along for the journey with us and we wish you a wonderful Summer Season with all of your health and fitness goals! Again, if you need anything at all we are always here to answer any questions you have.
Yours in Health and Fitness,
Jessica Storm & the Storm Fitness Team