Fitness & Wellness

Exercise At Home Without All The Fuss

Exercise At Home Without All The Fuss

There might be reasons you can’t make it to the Chino Hills, CA gym to exercise. Car problems, tight schedule and sick child are a few. Unless you’re sick, there’s no reason you can’t exercise at home. Even if you aren’t part of our gym community, you still can get a good workout. There’s no need for fancy equipment. You don’t need any.

Start with body weight workouts.

Body weight exercises require no equipment. If you have a personal trainer, he or she will help you with a workout you can do at home for those emergency days when you can’t make it into the gym. Circuit training or HIIT workouts are excellent ways to add more benefit to the workout. Use squats, lunges, planks and push-ups, for starters if you don’t have help. There’s a wide variety of each type from which to choose.

If equipment adds to your workout, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune or take a lot of space.

I have clients that like the idea of using exercise equipment or they’re used to the workouts that use equipment. If storage is limited, inexpensive strength building equipment like resistance bands can be stored in a drawer. A kettlebell is another easy to store item to build core strength and muscle. You do need space to move freely without hitting anything with it, however. A pull up bar is another easy store inexpensive item. If money is tight, make your own equipment. Plastic milk jugs and detergent bottles can be filled with sand, water or small stones and used for weights. Adjust the amount you put in to adjust the weight.

Sometimes, even working out at home is impossible.

For those busy days, when you leave at the crack of dawn and get home long after the sun sets, working out almost is impossible. That’s when you have to get creative. If you’re at the office, try simple chair exercises like a chair push up. Grab the edge of the chair and push yourself up off the seat keeping your legs either straight out or knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Take a five to ten minutes several times throughout the day to run up and down the stairs or run in place. If you have your own office or a cubicle, do a few jumping jacks to keep your body moving.

  • Try alternative workouts and get more work done in the process. Put elbow grease into household jobs, like washing windows or rearranging furniture. Move fast to get an endurance workout.
  • Add fun activities as part of your workout. Ride a bike or enjoy dancing the pounds away in the living room. It’s all about getting fitter and healthier so you can enjoy life more. Why not enjoy getting there, too?
  • If you do workout at home, make it an appointment. If you wait for the right time, it simply won’t happen. You need to make it a priority.
  • No matter where you workout, consistency is the key to success. You can’t workout once and see results. It takes weeks of regular exercise to do that.

Discover The Hidden You

Discover The Hidden You

People change and grow. If you’re older than 30, you probably aren’t the same person you were when you were 20. You can become whoever you want when you set goals to do it and put in the time and effort. Before you can discover the hidden you, you have to decide what you want, so you can create goals to achieve. While I am talking about getting fit and living a healthy lifestyle, the ability to change and grow exists in every area of life. You can start the process by getting fit and ready to tackle your goals.

When you want change, start with things you can change.

You may want to be healthier and probably want to look fit. These are things that we specialize and will show you how to make changes to guide you to those goals. Not only does getting fitter by working out regularly and eating healthy make you look great, giving you confidence, the fact you achieved it boosts your confidence, too. Working out builds mental toughness and creating and achieving goals extends to all areas of your life.

Does that healthier, fitter you have a more commanding, calmer personality?

Working out and eating healthy does amazing things for your body, boosts your self-confidence and makes you feel good. It also burns off the hormones created by stress and replaces them with hormones that make you feel calmer and happier. If you don’t burn them off, the changes they make in your body can harm you physically and bring you mental discomfort. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed and focused you are after you workout. You’ll be ready tackle goals in other areas of your life.

Even if the inner you is screaming to achieve a mental goal, working out can help.

There’s a reason top executives workout regularly. Not only does it improve their posture and keep them looking confident, it boosts their thinking power. Working out improves memory, cognitive thinking and focus. It lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia as you age. Exercise boosts circulation, so you have nourishing oxygen and nutrient rich blood flowing to your brain. It stimulates the creation of BDNF—brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF causes the building of neurons as it protects the cells of the brain or repairs them.

  • You become the master of your fate, but you must believe that’s true. Dedicate yourself to becoming the best you can be. When you control yourself, you control your future.
  • You may never achieve perfection as you see it, but you’ll definitely be further ahead of where you were when you strive to achieve it. It’s all about the journey.
  • You’ll love all the energy you have after you workout for a while. You’ll get work done faster than you ever did before and have time to achieve more, while also enjoying life.
  • People will notice the difference and treat you differently. How people treat you often reflects how you feel about yourself. Good posture makes you look more confident and people treat you like you’re confident.

Don't Quit

Don’t Quit

Getting out of shape didn’t happen overnight. It may have taken years to gain weight or lose muscle strength. It’s too easy to get discouraged and think there’s no hope if it looks like too much to handle. The key is to keep trying. Don’t quit! Your life depends on it. A few false starts doesn’t mean you should quit. Just pick up where you stumbled. Binging on unhealthy food one day doesn’t mean you have to throw away all healthy eating.

Workouts can be tough, but you can do them.

When you workout with a personal trainer, you’re never asked to do anything that’s beyond your capability. It definitely will be tough, but before long, you’ll be able to do it. You just have to keep trying. Once you accomplish that first goal, you’ll realize that you’re capable of doing anything you set your mind to doing. It will not only start to become easier, it will start to become exciting and even fun.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods.

People often feel that if they eat healthy, they have to give up everything they love to eat. That’s just not true. What it does mean is that you start eating more healthy food and smaller, more infrequent portions of food you love. Don’t quit because you didn’t stop at a small serving of a favorite that doesn’t fit in the healthy list. Even the healthiest eater sometimes eats cake and all the goodies. Just go back to healthy eating the next day.

Healthy food can taste good.

Healthy food doesn’t have to taste like cardboard. In fact, there are hundreds of healthy dishes that are absolutely delicious. I had a client that gave up sugary treats and candy for an extended period. She began to notice how sweet other food was, like apples. She even noticed that there was a sweet taste to the crab Rangoon she ate and tasted the sugar in other foods in restaurants. Her taste buds had reset and she truly started tasting food. Don’t give up until you get the enjoyment of truly tasting what real food tastes like.

  • Don’t be discouraged by others in your effort to get healthier and fit. Sometimes people sabotage your efforts because they worry it will change your relationship with them.
  • Don’t give up if you ache after working out. It’s a good sore feeling.
  • Don’t give up if you get tired when you first start. Exercise does help improve sleep and you’ll understand how when you first start out. It won’t belong before you find you have twice as much energy as you did before you started.
  • Don’t give up because you think you’re too busy to workout or eat healthy. It boosts your energy and helps you think better, plus burns off stress and keeps you healthier so you aren’t spending time at the doctor.

Become Comfortable In Your Own Skin

Become Comfortable In Your Own Skin

If you live in Chino Hills, you might feel awkward being out in public if you hate how you look. You need to become comfortable in your own skin even before you start working out. How you look isn’t who you are, but how you feel about yourself may determine whether you take care of yourself and look better. One of the problems I’ve found with many very overweight clients is that they don’t think they deserve to look better and feel good.

You don’t have to get into shape to appreciate who you are.

Self loathing is counterproductive. It causes depression and the need to harm yourself at worst, or simply not take care of yourself at best. It makes you feel more like nursing that harmed psyche with sugary treats or take to the bed and get under the covers for the rest of the day. It definitely doesn’t make you want to start a program of exercise or start a healthy eating program.

Realize that when you get into shape, you’ll still be you, just the best possible version.

You are a unique individual with faults and flaws, but also very good traits, too. When you realize that you’ll be the same person, no matter what you weigh or how you look, you’ll know that you won’t be expected to suddenly succeed at business or find the perfect life partner. People often fear what others will expect if they get into shape, or how it will change their life. It will change your life, but the change will come with feeling more energetic and healthy, not change your basic personality.

No matter what size you are or how you look, you need to walk tall.

Walking tall can mean having good posture and presence when you enter a room. It also can mean feeling proud of who you are. It can mean both. It’s how you present yourself to the world. If exercise nothing more for you than improve your posture, that will be enough. Not only does it improve your health, it also makes you look and feel more confident. That confidence gives you the “Can Do” feeling that extends to achieving goals, like getting fit.

  • When you feel good about yourself, you’ll want to look and feel your best. That means you’ll take care of yourself including adopting healthy habits, like working out and eating healthy.
  • Don’t avoid the gym because you worry that others will notice you’re out of shape. Everyone there has a goal to achieve and they’re more focused on that goal than on anyone around them.
  • Sometimes, people feel more uncomfortable when they look good. It’s quite common and extends back to the days when they didn’t feel like they deserved to be fit. Accept yourself as you are and who you are to become.
  • You’re not in competition with anyone. Never compare yourself to others. There’s always someone that’s better looking, fitter and more confident. Be happy to be the best you, working out at your own pace.

Reach Your Ultimate Fitness Goals

Reach Your Ultimate Fitness Goals

When you come to the gym in China Hills, CA, you’ll be asked about your ultimate fitness goals. Those aren’t the goals you’ll be working on each week or month, although in reality they are when you work on weekly goals that lead to achieving them. You see, ultimate fitness goals are the goals you want to achieve after working out for quite a while. They might be goals to shed 100 pounds or more or to compete in an Iron Man competition. For most people, they aren’t goals that are accomplished in a week, a month or sometimes even in a year.

An ultimate goal is big and can look overwhelming.

No matter what you do that requires a period of time, it’s broken down into smaller slices. Education is broken down to grade levels and then to subject matter. Sports are broken down to various levels of achievement, from beginner to advanced, just as video games are. The same is true for fitness goals. Unless you break a big goal down to mini goals, you have no benchmarks, or joy, just a long road ahead of you that can be quite discouraging at times.

Each mini goal has a specific time frame, exact outcome and way to achieve it.

When you’re breaking down your ultimate goal, what you’re really doing is defining steps on how to achieve it. By losing two pounds a week for a year, you’ll have lost 104 pounds. Each week, your goal will be the same, but you must identify how you’ll achieve it that week. Your methods will probably be healthy eating and exercise.

You can keep your eye on the brass ring, but focusing on smaller goals gives a boost of confidence and determination.

One nice thing about mini or weekly goals is that they start over every week or bi-weekly, depending on how the person decided. You can expect failure one of those weeks. It happens. However, the next week gives you a chance for redemption. You’re not swimming in a pool of failure, always trying to catch up and overcome a deficit. Sometimes, have to try again and mini goals give you the opportunity to do that with a clean slate.

  • No matter what your fitness goal, it takes hard work and healthy eating. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, get stronger, get healthier, build endurance or feel better, those are the two areas where your focus should be.
  • Getting fit should also include getting adequate sleep and hydration. You can include goals to schedule more sleep or drink more water.
  • Setting smaller goals and achieving them helps you believe that the ultimate goals are possible.
  • Your program should be unique to you and developed for your own level of fitness.

Kickboxing For Flexibility

Kickboxing For Flexibility

Two areas of fitness that aren’t give the respect they deserve are balance and flexibility. Sure you admire it in the gymnast or dancer, but when you go for a workout, unless it’s yoga, more focus is on strength and endurance. You may get questions on how far you ran and how fast or impress people with the amount of weight you can lift, but nobody asks how your range of motion is. Flexibility and balance are both important. Kickboxing for flexibility and balance training is exceptional.

Good flexibility and balance not only helps you move gracefully, it plays other important roles in your fitness.

If you want healthy joints and muscle, work on your flexibility. It’s particularly important for anyone working on strength building. Good flexibility improves the range of motion and increase the elasticity of the connective tissue and muscles that are around the joints. That improved elasticity means fewer strains and pulls whether working out or just doing every day activities. It helps maintain posture and aids the body in proper functioning. Good balance helps prevent falls that lead to injury.

Unlike Tai Chi or Yoga, you aren’t really focusing on flexibility, but you are improving it.

The difference between yoga, Tai Chi and kickboxing is all about focus and goal. In one, the first two, you’re working on flexibility for the sake of the movement itself. You’re focused on the movement. In kickboxing, those high kicks and flexibility come as a result of training to fight and win. Which one is better? The one you enjoy most and do regularly.

Kickboxing is even recommended for older people because of its ability to improve agility and balance.

You might not think that the power that kickboxing promotes has anything to do with balance. You notice, I said power, not strength. Power is a combination of speed and force, not just brute strength. It’s a good indicator of how susceptible one is to falls. It’s been noted that of all the sports available, non promotes power, balance and agility like kickboxing. It’s a sport for all ages that keeps you thinking while you’re making power moves with one leg raised and the other planted firmly. That sounds like a test for flexibility and balance to me.

  • Just watching people kickboxing shows the embodiment of HIIT training. There’s top speed motion, followed by moderate recovery movements and back to top speed. It’s no wonder it burns so many calories.
  • Kickboxing has been used to help people with MS, which leads to impaired communication between the brain and muscles. It’s been shown to strengthen and improve neuromuscular control. It improves balance and mobility.
  • The flexibility and balance developed in kickboxing helps people of all ages. It’s especially important the older you get and is one reason many rehabilitation experts and neurology specialists recommend kickboxing, even for the elderly.
  • Many times, people take up kickboxing and then seek ways to get even better. They often look to additional flexibility training to help them in a match.

Does Running Relieve Stress

Does Running Relieve Stress

There’s a lot of ways to relieve stress, running is one of those ways. Here in the gym in Chino Hills, CA, we use kickboxing and other types of workouts to do it. That doesn’t mean either way is right or wrong, they just both approach the fight or flight response differently. The fight or flight response is what your body experiences when you’re under stress. As you can tell, kickboxing is the perfect fight option and running is a great flight option.

The body responds to stress with a primitive mechanism.

When a cave person first encountered situations where he or she was threatened, either by members of a hostile tribe or a wild animal, the body went into a mode that prepared it to run or fight. Blood flowed into extremities, the heart beat faster, blood pressure and breathing rate elevated. This was all caused by the triggering of the sympathetic nervous system to release hormones to prepare the body for the activity.

What do wild animals and hostile caveman tribes have to do with you?

Some things don’t change. People still get stressed. What does change is the cause of the stress. Today, it’s not wild animals that trigger it, but often a wild crowd at the store trying to get the same bargain on Black Friday. It’s not hostile combative tribes, but a hostile boss or an angry customer. You might want to fight them or simply run away, but you can’t. It’s not socially acceptable or even appropriate. Instead, the stress builds up inside you and you carry it with you until you burn off the hormones by running or doing other physical activity that mimics fighting.

Add one more response to the category.

If you’ve ever experienced something so scary that you couldn’t move, you’re not alone. One added response often not mentioned is the “freeze” response. You literally freeze in your place. It’s probably because early man was safer by remaining quiet and still when a wild animal approached, rather than running and causing the animal to notice them. It’s also similar to the feeling you get when you’re not taking action on the fight or flight. Your muscles tense and you’re ready for action, but none take place so you’re left with that sickening feeling. You need to burn off the hormones with an activity that gets your heart pumping and makes you sweat.

  • No matter how evolved we are, the brain still can’t differentiate between a threat to the body and one that’s simply an emotional threat.
  • Eating healthy can help relieve some of the stress in your life. Some foods actually help produce hormones that fight stress.
  • Learning to deal with stress is a huge help. Deep breathing exercises is one way to start. Taking a break and going for a walk away from the stressful situation, reminding yourself some things just aren’t important and even improving your posture can help.
  • There’s no one right stress buster. It’s all about what works best for you. Some people find that something as simple as running up and down the stairs helps.

Can You Workout Too Much?

Can You Workout Too Much?

For those that find it tough to make it to the gym three times a week, the question whether you can workout too much might seem ridiculous. It’s not. There are people that do tough workouts every day for long hours, hoping to achieve their goals more quickly. The problem is, they often find they’re not only, not achieving their goals, they’re losing ground. Yes, you can definitely workout too much and there are signs that let you know this is occurring.

Your body works hard during exercise.

When you’re working out, you’re creating stress on your body. While exercise reduces stress by burning off stress hormones, it creates stress in another way. It causes a suppression of the immune system that impairs the immunity for up to 72-hours. It also takes time for muscle tissue repair. When you’re working out, small micro tears occur. When they repair, they repair stronger than before, but if you’re over-exercising, that can’t happen.

There are signs to look for when you suspect you’re putting in way too much time working out.

The first most important sign is that your performance will suffer. Instead of improving, you’ll go backward and be unable to accomplish as much as you did before you hit the wall. Some people try to push past this by making their workout tougher or longer, which only makes it worse. On top of that, most people who over-exercise find they simply don’t enjoy it as much as they did. For those pressing weights, it often shows up this way.

Signs outside the gym you’re overdoing it.

Check your mood to see if you’re overdoing it. If you’ve ever been around someone that’s really sick, with their body fighting hard to get back to normal, you’ll often notice they’re depressed, confused, angry, anxious or irritable. That’s not too different from people who are ove-rexercising. It comes from over stressing the body. Delayed recovery time is another sign, just like a weakened immune system is. People often experience increasing fatigue. It’s chronic and not the good kind that says you’ve worked out hard. Most people feel tired when they first start working out, but this occurs after working out for a while.

  • Check your heart rate. If your normal resting heart rate is 55 beats a minute and then it jumps to 70, you’re probably stressing your body by over-exercising.
  • Insomnia is not only a sign you’re overdoing, it actually can contribute to the problem. Your body needs rest to heal, but it won’t get it.
  • Overworking can lead to loss of muscle mass and increased fat gain. That’s the opposite of what most people want from their exercise program.
  • If you’re experiencing an appetite loss, it’s not necessarily good. It also is a late stage indication of over-exercising.

Benefits Of A Workout Partner

Benefits Of A Workout Partner

One of the things I always tell new members at the gym in Chino Hills, CA is to bring a friend. While you might not workout with them directly, there are benefits of a workout partner or someone who works out at the same time as you do. They turn an ordinary gym visit into an appointment with a friend. You tend to go out of your way to make that appointment, where you might find it easier to skip a gym visit where nobody misses you.

It’s a reason that personal trainers are so popular and get such good results.

Seriously, one of the biggest reasons for any fitness plan failing is the lack of follow through. At first, you’re dedicated, excited and willing to go to great lengths, just to get your workout in that day. Sometimes, that excitement lasts weeks, sometimes only a few days. It’s at that point you skip a visit or two, after all, who’s going to notice. Having a personal trainer means you’re accountable to someone, not just for the weigh in and how hard you work, but also for showing up to workout.

Workout partners also provide other benefits.

Whether you’re kickboxing or working out, it’s a lot more fun when you have a friend doing it with you. Just because you’re dedicated to getting fit, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Having fun is what makes the kickboxing classes so popular. You get in a good workout, but the time goes quickly and you barely notice you’re working hard. It’s super motivating and can take the sting out of an even hard workout.

You don’t have to be in perfect shape to appreciate some friendly competition.

Even if your workout partner is fitter than you or far less fit, each person is working to achieve his or her own personal goal. If you’re competitive at all, having a work partner means either openly or secretly, you’ll be doing your best to out achieve your workout buddy. People whose fitness level is far removed from the other works hard to achieve their own personal goal and maybe even flaunt that success a bit or at least keep up with their counterpart that achieved theirs. If you’re both on equal footing, let the games begin!

  • A workout partner can add variety to your workout by showing you exercises or kickboxing moves they learned, but you somehow missed.
  • You can share knowledge with one another. Whether it’s the proper form for a move or exercise or the number of reps and combinations, you’ll both get better sharing the knowledge.
  • There’s safety in numbers. Whether it’s as a spotter when you’re working with weights or enjoying a run, walk or jog, having a partner to workout with can make your fitness efforts safer.
  • When you have a partner, you’ll be more apt to try something new. It’s less intimidating when there’s two of you joining a new class or even trying something like kickboxing.

Balancing Mental And Physical Health

Balancing Mental And Physical Health

A truly happy person leads a healthy life, balancing mental and physical health. When a person’s mental condition is centered and happy, that person tends to have better health. If someone is fit, they tend to be happier. The body and mind work together to complement each other, with one directly affecting the other. Even the very term disease, indicates the connection between the two. It’s the prefix dis, meaning not and the word ease. Together, they mean not at ease, which could take on the meaning of being mentally uncomfortable, but more commonly means illness.

The body and mind are connected.

While there are stories from psychologists demonstrating how people display certain physical illnesses from a mental conflict occurring earlier in those people’s lives, you don’t have to search out stories like this to see it in everyday life. I see it all the time with clients. People come in angry and stressed or depressed and upset. As they workout, you can almost see that veil of emotion lifting and their spirits with it. It’s more than that. While staying healthy and working out can lift your spirits, studies also show people who are depressed often have poorer than average health.

Treating both the body and the mind has become important.

Exercise, a healthy diet, adequate sleep and good hydration are important to good health, but so is taking time each day to quiet the mind and thoughtful reflection. Whether you choose meditation or simply take time to review the day’s events, keeping a positive attitude is mandatory to good health. Meditation is nothing more than being in a state of relaxed awareness, allowing your body to rest while letting your mind remain awake, but quiet. More and more studies show that meditation, as part of a program of health, can also reduce the potential for heart disease, anxiety, depression, hypertension and insomnia.

Eating healthy feeds both the body and the mind, just as exercise helps both.

Eating should be a pleasure, but to many people it’s nothing more than a habit. I see it every day in restaurants, people shoveling food in their mouths, barely chewing and swallowing. They barely taste the food and are on to the next bite. When you engage in mindful eating, you’re savoring each bite, looking for the subtle blends of tastes and enjoying each combination. While we recommend choosing a rainbow of colors when creating a meal, the Ayurvedic method is to include six tastes: sweet, pungent, salty, sour, bitter, and astringent. Astringent, bitter and pungent tastes are anti-inflammatory and include foods like ginger, peppers, mushrooms and tea. Many people’s diets include just sweet, sour and salty.

  • The mind can produce chemicals that boost the immune system, with physical exercise burning off the hormones of stress that can slow it.
  • Your mental attitude not only can change the course of illness, it can also boost the benefits of exercise and help you get in shape faster.
  • Building good friendships helps both the body and the mind. Studies show that people who have a more social existence live longer.
  • If you want to be healthier and live longer, smile more and laugh. Studies show that laughter truly can be the best medicine.