SPA MANZANITA'S CAITLIN IS NOW TEACHING YOGA!!!

Good Yoga 4 Everyone

With Caitlin Goodwin When: Wednesday evenings from 6pm – 7pm Where: The Contemplative Arts Center 651 Manzanita Avenue Manzanita, OR 97130 Around the back side of the building! Cost: $8

Caitlin Goodwin has been applying her love of helping people through her work as a yoga teacher, fitness and Pilate’s instructor over the last decade. The first time she took a yoga class she knew she wanted to pursue her training wholeheartedly and then to teach others. Caitlin graduated from Portland State University in 2012 with a BS in Health and Exercise Science and she is a licensed esthetician. Over the last twelve years as a yoga instructor Caitlin has continued her education to learn a variety of techniques and practices. She teaches several styles of yoga and enjoys working with different populations of students. When Caitlin isn’t in the studio she is enjoying her other passions as an outdoor enthusiast and true adventure seeker.

CARDIO FITNESS TRAINING = LECTURE

  • Learn how to train cardiovascular and get the most out of your time.

 

  • You will learn about Zone Training, Heart-rate numbers and what that means, Intervals, Perceived Efforts and much more.

 

  • This knowledge will motivate you to get more from you fitness efforts which will result in better results!

This is sponsored by spa manzanita/Janice Gaines, there is no fee. Bring a note pad and pen and a desire to learn!

Wednesday January 15th 6pm

RSVP 503 368-4777

or janice@spamanzanita.com

 

FALL IS IN THE AIR; LET’S GO FOR A WALK!

ASK JANICE This time of year is the “primo” time of year for getting outside, taking a deep breath and going for a walk. Summer and all its commotions are over and winter is just around the corner.

Time to slow down a bit and be reflective and maybe think about how you want to end 2012 with some new habits and begin 2013 with a healthy bang.

 

Taking in the colors of autumn has continuously been one of life’s simplest pleasures. Here on the Oregon Coast we have great fall colors, maybe not as they do inland but what we do have some of nature’s other magic. Fall offers particular tones of light and the distinctive way it falls (pun intended), through the trees and across the ocean. The coast also offers an amazing air quality and there is something extraordinary about it this time of year. The combination of these three characters offers an amazing gift of nature that is so accessible and affordable to us. All we have to do is walk out the door.

Beside the pure mental therapy of going for a walk this time of year there are some fantastic health benefits. Wow all that for the low price of $0.

 

The consequences of walking!

  • Walking is a mode of transportation that gets you from one place to another.
  • Walking is easy and you can do it alone or with friends.
  • You will be healthier mentally and physically.
  • Improves your sex life. J

 

Harvard Research says: “Later in life, walking becomes as much an indicator of health as a promoter of it. After age 65, how fast you walk may predict how long you have to live. Walking, or gait, has long been recognized as a proxy for overall health and has been measured in many studies. Researchers have found a remarkably consistent association between faster walking speed and longer life.” This statement was made because a number of studies done. One study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published Jan. 5 2011; issue of The Journal of the American Medical association found a remarkably consistent association between faster gait speed and longer life. They calculated that people with gait speeds of 1 meter per second or faster lived longer than would be expected given their age of gender. (1 meter/second is equal to 2.2 miles/hour. That is just a bit slower than the speed needed to cross the street at most timed traffic lights.)

So does this does not mean if you are older and you work on going out there and walking faster you will live longer. One cannot draw that kind of cause-and-effect conclusion from this study. But on the other hand countless studies undisputed conclusions that walking and walking faster results in better health and a longer life.

 

Counting Steps

How about counting steps to make it a bit more interesting and to be sure you are walking you’re way to a longer healthier life?  I suggest adding in a pedometer. They can help you set and reach goals, offer motivation and accountability. Just clip it to your waistband and of f you go, you won’t even know its there. You can even use it in your daily life to see how many steps you are taking.  Other studies show that distance counts too! In addition people that wear a pedometer walk about 2000 more steps a day, (about a mile), then those that don’t.

 

  • Fewer than 3,500 steps: very sedentary.
  • 3,500 to 5,000: sedentary.
  • 5,500 to 7,500: somewhat active. You're headed in the right direction but need to step it up.
  • 7,500 to 9,000: doing better, but still not meeting the minimum recommendation.
  • More than 9,000 steps: active. Stick with it and keep moving.
  • 10,000: the minimum goal recommended by health experts.
  • If your goal is to lose weight, you probably need to work up to 12,000 or more steps a day.

Forgive me for seguing from the beauty of autumn on the Oregon Coast to research studies to pedometer technology.  I am a bit of a nerd in that sense. Never the less this is a great time of year to go out and enjoy the outdoors, and get a jumpstart on the winter. Nature is a great motivator; it wants you out there enjoying it!

 

HOW DO YOU FIND YOUR INNER ATHLETE?

You may not believe it. “An athlete? Ha, Ha!” you say. But it is true! That athlete lives in your head. Your body is only the instrument your mind uses to take more steps, lift more weights, run faster or do any other physical activity. That is, of course, when and if the inner athlete in your head chooses to come out and take action

  • Believe in yourself:  find that athlete inside you and attitude is the key! When it comes to reaching any goal in life, attitude is important.
  • Expectations for yourself: this means self-efficacy, which in this case is the belief that you can do something successfully.

Put the two together and you have a formula for success. However the question may really be: Are you afraid to find your inner-athlete? Many of us get fearful when thinking of taking fitness on and looking for that inner-athlete.

While I'm sure some of us are lazy at times, I'm convinced that one reason we don't exercise isn't laziness, but a feeling of dread at the thought of exercise. Physical exertion can be scary if you haven't done it in a long time and, for some people, moving the body to the point of increased heart rate, heavy breathing and excessive sweating may seem as foreign as flying pigs.

Most of us are afraid to fail and, when it comes to exercise, that failure can be experienced in so many ways-failure to lose weight, to make it through a workout, to stick to an exercise program, to do the right thing, etc.

Do you want to get old fast? Do you choose to retain your flexibility and strength? In your mind’s eye, can you picture yourself running at the beach or playing volleyball? Does it interest you to be able to roll around on the floor with your children or grandchildren?

Attitude Adjustment - The simplest way to deal with this fear is to set a goal you know you can reach. It's nice to have long-term goals to work for but, for right now, you need to do what you can handle. If you set the bar too high, you also set yourself up for failure and that could become an excuse to quit altogether.

Anytime you do something out of your comfort zone, you're taking a risk. But, just the act of taking a risk can be all the success you need to keep you going.

“Okay, so I’ll join a gym,” you say. Sure, it’s what we want to hear ... but starting an exercise program is kind of like starting a diet. Sticking to either is the difficult part.

It takes work to stick to your resolve and establish self-efficacy. One thing to watch out for and I know because it is something I am guilty of, perfectionism.

At the risk of sounding trite: "live in the moment", one of those overused phrases that sounds good but, for perfectionists, may feel as impossible as growing another nose. However, paying attention what you're doing allows your worries ("Am I doing this right? Should I be doing something else?") to fade away as you immerse yourself in the movement of your body. Practice focusing on your workouts. When your mind drifts, bring it back to the exercise you're doing with a remind that this is your exercise time. Find the value in your every effort and be proud of your accomplishments. Tune out the negative self-talk.

Here are some other tools that you might like: goal-setting skills, motivation and imagination. Choose images to help you keep going - Put some "before" pictures in plain view. Add some more recent ones of your more active lifestyle. Choose a "hero" (someone whose active life you admire) and put his or her picture up along with yours.

From time to time you may find that your inner athlete has stalled. You can help get it going again by calling upon that part of yourself to direct the action in your “mind’s eye.” You won’t burn any extra calories doing this, but the imagery you create may just get you going … and keep you going.

Close your eyes (leave them closed for 20 minutes) and imagine a limber and flexible "you" go through whatever paces you have designated as helpful and fun.

Now, create a picture of yourself the way you choose to be.

Visualize all the benefits that the exercising is creating for you in the rest of your life.

Remind yourself how good it is to feel comfortable in your own skin...how you are almost there and how you deserve to succeed and maintain you resolve.

You have taken the plunge into a healthier lifestyle. Congratulations!

FALL BACK INTO FITNESS

Fall is officially here and we all know whats coming for the next eight months. It’s exciting, we do love the storms high seas and big winds it is one of the many reasons we live here. But something I hear over and over again is the moaning about winter weight gain and depression. That does not have to be. Why not make a vow right now to not let that happen this year? Let fall of 2011 be the beginning of a new way to do the winter on the north Oregon coast.

We are having our first storms of the season and it can be a bit shocking, we spent the last couple months enjoying lots of light and warm temperatures. We walked on the beach, went for bike rides and sat outside. That made us feel better, we all have smiles on our faces, but now it’s changing, it is dark in the morning when we get up, and it is getting darker earlier. If you start your new habits now before the weightlessness of summer leaves you then you will be ahead of the game. Please don’t wait until you are feeling miserable and low to inspire yourself to do “something about it”. You can still have that summer kind of smile throughout the winter.

First you need to ask yourself “who is in charge of your life”. Then when you answer yourself that you are and no one else then you are on your way to taking control. Your thoughts control your actions and in turn affect your behavior and thus your moods.

YOU

Thoughts

Physical Moods

Behavior

Focus on doing one thing at a time. If it is your time to exercise then do it and think of nothing else that you “need” to do because you already decided that this is one of those things. Accomplish that and it will set you up for feeling focused all day.

All of us on the coast get hit with the dark day blues but even if you do not suffer from depression, you will benefit emotionally from half an hour of exercise; feeling instantly invigorated, lighter and happier. You need to get out and exercise every day to help keep your body and your brain healthy. Exercise is useful in controlling feelings of depression and anxiety for a number of reasons;

• While exercising your body produces endorphins or feel-good chemicals which make you feel instantly better and happier; effects last for some time after you stop exercising. These chemicals may also help combat depression.

• Exercise removes the build-up of stress hormones in the body which can undermine wellbeing, causing problems such as headaches, fatigue, and loss of concentration, problems sleeping and many other mental and physical symptoms.

• Exercise can provide focus; having new goals provides direction, and obtaining those goals however big or small breeds a sense of achievement and self confidence.

• Exercise gives a feeling of release from problems; you can abandon responsibilities and concentrate on the purely physical; controlling your breathing, running for that extra half a mile, following a class etc.

• Exercise can provide a change of scene, getting people out of their homes and routines, meeting new people and feeling less isolated. Group exercise can provide a sense of belonging, even if it is just smiling at the other runners or walkers in the park. Joining a team or class provides opportunities for social contact beyond the normal sphere of your life and its attendant stresses, and can make a refreshing change.

• Exercise can boost self-esteem, gaining new skills, improving body image, becoming fitter, and looking healthier.

• The benefits of exercise last longer than quick-fixes such as comfort-eating, smoking, or drinking tea or coffee, all of which may contribute to the problem.

Walking is one of the best ways to get in extra exercise throughout the day. Start a new habit!

· Get up 15 minutes early and start your day with a brisk walk around the block. Use this time to think about your day and what you want to accomplish.

Hiking in the fall is by far the most wonderful time to be out there.

· Research some great places to hike nearby, so on your next day off have field trip day planned. That will give you a goal and something to look forward to.

Indoor strength training is perfect for those really stormy days.

· It’s time to look into getting home gym set up or joining a local facility. My next article is going to cover that topic.

Fall is a time of year to recommit yourself to exercise; it is good for the mind, the body and the soul!

CAN EXERCISE BE A FORM OF MEDITATION?

A couple years ago I was riding my bike down 101 into a head wind and a friend drove by.  I did not see him at the time, but later he said to me “you looked so serious”. I have actually have heard this comment a few times in my life and I had to give it some thought. What my friend had seen was in fact just a face void of emotion. To tell you the truth, often when I am running or riding or weight lifting (if I am in the “zone”); I am not really present at the surface and somewhat absent. I am meditating! As a long time educator of fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles,  my goal has always been to help my clients and friends and anyone else that will listen, understand the spirituality of training and fitness. The experience one has, no matter what sport or action you choose is so much more than purely a physical event. There are elements to training that go far beyond that.  And there lies the hook. I will admit of course there are times when I go for a run or workout in the gym when it just does not sync and the pistons are not firing. I call those times utility workouts. These are dues that must be paid because I know there are the payoff days.  This part of the discipline, which in itself is a form of mediation- the ever existing balance in life and in training, the Ying and the Yang.

The beginning is difficult. We tend to mostly experience fitness in the left brain and the body seems uncomfortable. I want to convey to you the need to allow that experience, and move through it. Allow yourself to be a beginner, knowing that with the consistency of the discipline you will begin to reap rewards. And it can happen very quickly. When you begin your training it is important to let go of some of the images  you have in your mind of what your body “should” look like or the mind chatter of how “out of shape you are” and so on. Training is more than vanity and more than looking good. Yes you are there to improve your health by becoming more fit but the real catch is the sense of self and well-being. A transformation occurs through training that leads you to discover who you are and a time to commune with yourself, a time to self-reflect.

TRAINING

I personally love strength/weight training and have been hooked since I was 17 years old. For me, it’s something I enjoy doing for its own sake apart from the results it gives me.

  • Weight training allows you to communicate precisely with every muscle in your body, to send blood and vitality to every space.
  • Weight training lets you lose track of time. You go into a flow where you become absorbed in the moment-by-moment process.
  • Weight training develops physical intuition. You get a gut-level sense, an instinct of what your body needs.
  • Weight training is ever changing and you learn to be flexible and receptive. You learn to let go of preconceptions of how you think you will train on any certain day. You go with plans but they do not always happen.

Another love of mine is running. It allows me to experience myself like nothing else. I do not see running as a social event.  Usually I run alone. I don’t like to talk and breathe at the same time when I run. Personally I like to focus on breathing, and natural awareness that puts the world on hold. Thoughts come and go from my mind and all I can really do is breath and tune into the effort and surroundings. I love running trails and I don’t mind if they are uphill, (that just means I go slower and think of breathing even more). Nature and running go together like peanut butter and jelly, another one of my favorite things.  But that’s for another article about nutrition.

Whether you are a runner or a walker, the solitarily aspect of that event allows each of us a uniqueness. It is what Ralph Waldo Emerson called our "individual genius," our special way of being in the world. George Sheehan the famous running guru phrased it nicely when he said, “I know of no better way to find my own genius than running with no companion except the rhythm of my breathing.”

STARTING YOUR PRACTICE

I suggest that you mix it up, use different forms of fitness so you get to experience a variety of feelings and environments. Strive to do something that involves you being in nature. Something outdoors that you love to do and that can lead to a need to do other physical things that support that. Let’s call that the “physical domino affect”!  Stay positive, I know that sounds cliché but try and let go of negative thoughts and chose to simply stay aware of your physical experience, with practice and with the physiological changes that will occur it gets easier!

Training is not a destination it is a place that you can find in within yourself and spirit!

Ask Janice - JOINT PAIN?

JOINT PAIN? What is a joint? I think we need to understand that before we can go on to discuss why it hurts.

What would you be like if you had no bones? You'd be floppin' around like a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll. You wouldn't even be able to stand up, walk or even sit up in a chair. Without your bones you'd simply be a pile of organs, guts, skin, water and biochemical goo on the floor. When your muscles contract, they act as levers and pull on the joint between two bones creating movement. Look at your finger and then move it. The muscle contracted, pulled on the joint between two small bones and bent your finger. If you didn't have bones, a muscle would have nothing to attach itself to.  The end of a muscle turns into a tendon before it cross a joint; it is actually the tendon that actually pulls on the bone.

You have 206 bones in your body and about 230 moveable and semi-moveable joints.

A joint is:

  1. 1. Cartilage: the end of each bone is covered with articular cartilage. This stuff cushions and protects the end of bones. When it breaks down, arthritis symptoms occur. Muscle weakness can be a cause.
  2. Synovial Sac: this is filled with Synovial fluid which serves to lubricate and nourish the joint.
  3. Bursa: the bursa sac is not actually part of a joint by close by. It has fluid that lubricates the movement of muscles across bones.
  4. Muscles: these allow motion across the joint and provide muscle balance.
  5. 5. Tendon: Tendons are cords that attach muscles to the bones. Unlike muscles which change length (contract), the tendons are unable to change length. However, as the muscle moves, the tendon to which it is attached also moves. Muscles run the show!
  6. Ligaments: are short fibrous cords that attach go from bone to bone. Typically, ligaments are located around the joints. They provide for the stability of a joint and hold the adjacent bones in the proper alignment.

Freely movable joints move in many directions. The main joints of the body — found at the hip, shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles — are freely movable or not

Dysfunction: Abnormal or impaired functioning, any malfunctioning part or element in a system. What if one of your or more the muscles around a joint was dysfunctional? Wouldn’t that cause a problem?

In order to heal from an injury or a pain (acute or chronic), one needs to evaluate and consider why these pains exist. Rehabilitation from injury or pain and correction of muscle imbalances and joint dysfunction should be priority number one priority. If you are in pain, you can rest assured that the muscles crossing any joints in pain are being shut off, resulting in even more instability in that joint. When this type of compensation occurs, there is a direct effect that leads to more dysfunctions which then leads to more pain, degeneration of the body as it compensates for faulty movement and posture. The stress can take many forms. It may cause unnecessary work or movement in another part of the body, placing greater stress on certain muscles and tendons (strains). It may create unnatural motion of the spine or limbs, placing greater stress on joints and ligaments (sprains). It becomes a cycle of injury where one dysfunction leads to another, which in turn leads to another and so on. Wow that all sounds quite unpleasant!

STOP - Let go back to the beginning and start over, I don’t want to go through all of that and I am sure you don’t either or maybe you have already begun this journey. What do we have to do so this does not happen or if it has started what can we do to fix the “problem”?

Evaluation is the key or as we say in the trades “assessment”. That means stop and think, notice and appraise. If you have had your “pain” for awhile (more than a few weeks) then you are already into the world of compensation. That means that some other players (muscles) are involved. More simply put you need to learn what muscles are working incorrectly on that joint involved. Typically overactive (shortened) muscles become tight and under-active muscles become weak or stretched. Look at a telephone pole the next time you are driving. The wires on either side of the pole must possess equal tension keep the pole vertical. If there is more tension on one side, the pole will lean. The body works the same way with regard to length/tension ratios between agonist and antagonist muscle groups, (in other words the muscle which oppose each other, for example biceps and triceps.)

The key to reversing this type of joint pains is to rehabilitate the muscles surrounding the joint. Can you guess where I am going from here? That’s right exercise! In case of injury or pain work it is best to get an expert to assess the imbalances. You want to evaluate the way the joint and the muscles surrounding it are working or not working together. Being proactive is the key here!

AEROBIC EXERCISE – WHAT IS IT AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT?

ASK  JANICE The heart and the circulatory system (veins and arteries and a few other things), in our body is called the cardiovascular system. Everyone has one, even the Tin Man. This makes a network that delivers blood to the body’s tissues. With each heartbeat, blood is sent throughout our bodies, carrying oxygen and nutrients to all of our cells. It is incredible to think that every day, approximately 10 pints of blood in your body travels through the system of about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that branch and cross, linking the cells of our organs and muscles. The heart is the key organ in the circulatory system. As a hollow, muscular pump, its main function is to propel blood throughout the body. It usually beats from 60 to 100 times per minute, but can go much faster when it needs to. It beats about 100,000 times a day, more than 30 million times per year, and about 2.5 billion times in a 70-year lifetime.

The heart gets messages from the body that tells it when to pump more or less blood depending on a person's needs. When we're sleeping, it pumps just enough to provide for the lower amounts of oxygen needed by our bodies at rest. When we're exercising or frightened, the heart pumps faster to get more oxygen to our bodies.

Here comes the fun part – Your heart is a muscle as well as an organ. Fortunately it is an involuntary muscle so we don’t have to tell it to contract and relax. But like any other muscle, in order for it to be healthy it needs exercise.  We think of cardiovascular exercise in two ways aerobic and anaerobic.

The literal meaning of aerobics is oxygen. Hence, aerobic exercise can be defined as the one, which involves the use of oxygen to produce energy, whereas anaerobic exercise makes the body to produce energy without using oxygen. Anaerobic exercises are high intensity workouts that are performed for a short time. On the contrary, aerobic exercises generally simple exercises and are performed for a longer time, at moderate intensity.  A simple example: A five mile walk is aerobic whereas sprinting for a bus or running away from a tsunami is anaerobic. Both types of exercise are important because your body should be efficient in both.

The benefits of aerobic exercise are myriad, (like you haven’t heard this before):

ü      Systemic changes such as reduced cholesterol and blood pressure

ü      Improved muscular endurance

ü      Reduced body fat,

ü      Increased metabolism

ü      Improves the strength of your bones, ligaments and tendons,

ü      Allows your body to use fats and sugars more efficiently, burns lots of calories

ü      Reduces your risk of heart disease, vascular disease and diabetes

ü      Can help those trying to quit smoking by relieving cravings and improving lung function.

ü      Reduces the onset and symptoms of aging and illness.

ü      Aerobic activities strengthen the heart and lungs, making them more efficient and durable, improving quality and quantity of life.

ü       Reduces stress and combats depression as it raises self-esteem and physical awareness.

ü      Exercise not only extends your life, but also gives you more energy to live it to the fullest.

Given this incredible list of benefits it’s a wonder that more folks don’t exercise. Oh well just another one of those mysteries.

Aerobic exercise - how do you do it right?  Before we get into anything fancy, there is a good rule of thumb to know when you are doing aerobic (cardio) exercise: you should be able to talk. If you are too  winded you are working too hard a need to bring your heart rate down and get control of your breathing.  If you do not have a heart rate monitor which makes life easy, takes all the guessing and frustration out of knowing where your heart rate is at any moment (I never leave home without mine), then you’re are going to have to depend on listening to your breathing which is not a bad thing. Listening to your breathing while jogging is hypnotic and meditative and one of the wonderful rewards of aerobic training.  You will also want to take your pulse with your fingers.

The aerobic zone is your heart rate target zone based by the percentage of maximum heart rate. It’s not fun to do a max heart rate test and not recommended for beginners. So we have to make a good guess as to what that number is. You maximize the benefits of cardiovascular activity when you exercise in the zone of your target heart rate (THR). In general terms, your THR is 60-80% of your maximum heart rate. The Karvonen Method of calculating THR is one of the most effective methods to determine target heart rate because it takes into account resting heart rate. Here's how to find your THR.

  1. Find your resting heart rate as soon as you wake up. You can do this by counting your pulse for one minute while still in bed. You may average your heart rate over three mornings to obtain your average resting heart rate (RHR). Add the three readings together, and divide that number by three to get the RHR. For example, (62 + 65 + 63) / 3= 63.
  2. Find your maximum heart rate and heart rate reserve. Subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate (HRmax). For example, the HRmax for a 40-year-old would be 220 - 40 = 180.

Subtract your RHR from your HRmax. This is your heart rate reserve (HRmaxRESERVE). For example, HRmaxRESERVE = 180 - 63 = 117

  1. Calculate the lower limit of your THR. Figure 60% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.6) and add your RHR to the answer. For example, (117 * 0.6) + 63 = 133.
  2. Calculate the upper limit of your THR. Figure 80% of the HRmaxRESERVE (multiply by 0.8) and add your RHR to the answer. For example, (117 * 0.8) + 63 = 157.
  3. Combine the values obtained in steps 3 and 4 and divide by the number 2. For example, (133 + 157) / 2 = 145 (You can get the same result by simply multiplying HRmaxRESERVE by 0.7 and adding to it RHR).

Now you know the rest of the story, go ahead and try it for yourself, you will be glad you did and that is a promise!

R and R, how to incorporate it into your exercise program?

Rest and Recovery are generic terms meaning a return to a “state of readiness”. Recovery will provide a replenishment of nutrients and energy stores. In the last article you learned about the importance of long-term rest and recovery. That included sleep and a day off from strenuous exercise about once a week. So long-term recovery is the between workouts, and short-term recovery is related to rest during your workout. Okay, this can get a bit tricky so stay with me here. There are two ways we will look at short-term recovery: 1) interval training during cardiovascular exercise and 2) rest while strength training.  I am going to skip the strength training topic and go into interval training and why you want to incorporate this into your exercise routine.

Interval training during cardiovascular exercise will take you to the next level of fitness. Adding intervals to your workout is also a great way to cross train. (A topic we will cover more at another time).

If you have been consistent (I mean consistent on your cardio program), and have a base of about 4 to 6 weeks then you are ready to start interval training. You lucky dog!   It’s not rocket science so don’t let this concept scare you! Interval training is simply alternating bursts of more intense activity with… you guessed it, rest and recovery! The deal with interval training is really great, (you can tell I live an exciting life). It will make your workouts more interesting, it’s a fat burner, helps prevent injuries, uses more calories, makes you fitter and its free. What a deal!

I’d like to explain the nitty gritty of what’s going on physiologically. I think the more you understand your body’s physics the easier it is to do the work outs, and better than that the more exciting and inspirational it is. I have a philosophy that “with knowledge comes motivation.” I have always trained myself and others in this manner.  With understanding why it is you are putting your body through this “torture” you are more likely going to stick to it.

Interval training defined:  Interval training works the aerobic (with oxygen) and the anaerobic (without oxygen) system. These two systems use different fuel sources to work. During high intensity efforts the body burns glycogen which is stored in muscles.  The by-product is lactic acid which is that stuff that burns and makes you make funny faces while training. That is called oxygen debt. During the R and R phase of the interval your heart and lungs work to pay back this debt and clean out the lactic acid. And then you do it again and again until its time to go home and brag to your friends and loved ones about what a great workout you had!

This respective form of training leads to the something we call “adaptation response”. See all the cool stuff you are learning today. The body starts to build new road ways to the muscles. These road ways are called capillaries. With new capillaries you are better able to take in and deliver oxygen to the working muscles. The muscles then respond by having higher tolerance to the lactic acid. We call that “lactic acid tolerance”. The heart muscle gets stronger and the whole cardiovascular system is improved and better than that you feel good even when you are doing intervals.

Apply interval training to just about any movement you like, walking, jogging, swimming, and elliptical, rowing and roller skates.

w   Set some attainable goals before the workout.

w   Warm up

w   Stay steady and consistent

w   Be sure to get to full recovery during the rest interval (this is a very important part of the picture).

w   The way to improve is to build intensity (higher heart rate) and duration, but not in the same workout.

Here are a few examples that I like:

  1. Short bursts. 15 to 30 seconds going as hard as you can. 1 to 2 minute recovery.
  2. Sustains. 3 to 6 minutes holding a steady but anaerobic pace. 3 to 5 minute recovery.
  3. Pyramids: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 minute intervals with appropriate recovery and then back down.

Its fun to mix it up and add intervals to your workouts a couple of times per week. Remember to set goals within your reach and let the adaptation do its work and trust that it will work and you will get fitter.

The key is being consistent and trying to incorporate some fitness in your day every day. I promise you, you will see and feel the results.

Yours in good health- Janice

Rest Days? The How and the Why for Improvement in Fitness

I bet you thought you would not hear me talk of this subject, rest. Yes I do take rest days, although I will be honest with you, this is an area I personally have trouble with. As you get more and more into fitness you may find yourself having emotional issues over a rest day. Don’t laugh it happens!

Rest is important and I will tell you why and how to incorporate rest in your week as well as into your workout.

Recovery is a generic term used to describe a return to a state of readiness. It could apply to a number of things in life. In fitness “recovery” means a physical and/or a mental break. Whether you are weekend warrior (which I hope you are not), a high performance athlete, (which I visualize for you), or you exercise for general health and good looks; recovering is essential for success and progress.  Recovery will provide a replenishment of nutrients and energy stores, (remember that term from my last article, hint: muscle glycogen), muscle repair and rebuild and last but not least a mental break.  Like “Ahhh, a day off!”

There are a variety of categories of recovery that can be broken down into long-term and short-term. We will start with long-term since it’s one I know you already know how to do- sleep. I will address short-term recovery in my next article. It is related more to physical exertion during your workouts. Long-term is between workouts.

Sleep shall not be underrated; it is by far (next to hydration, nutrition, love…etc…), the most important element to health and fitness.

In general, one or two nights of poor sleep won’t have much impact, but consistently getting inadequate sleep can really mess you up. At first you won’t notice it because they are subtle changes in hormone levels, especially those related to stress. As you already know hormone balance is crucial to health. Studies have shown sleep deprivation can lead to increased levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) as well as a decreased activity of human growth hormone (which is what repairs tissue and builds muscle). To make matters worse you think when you are low in long=term rest you start to feel you are working harder than you really are, so get a decrease in aerobic endurance. I bet you see the picture here, but in case you don’t allow me to lay it out.

You want to get in shape, get healthier and loose weight. You start the program and you have a plan and you have made a commitment, that is great, but unless you are getting enough sleep; which is about 7 to 9 hours a night you are going to have a hard time.

Your workouts will feel hard and unpleasant. You are not getting the physiological recovery, muscle repair, fuel replenishment because your hormones are off and to make matters worse once again, cortisol production is up (that stress hormone) which is related to belly fat, agh what a mess! No wonder you don’t want to work out.

Here is a cheap and easy solution – go to bed! (I know Jay Leno is back on late night but it’s not worth it).

Another piece you can include in your repertoire of healthy living techniques that will help you sleep is hydration. Most people are quite dehydrated, but because they've never been super-hydrated they have no idea just how dehydrated they really are. How does this affect your sleep?  The more dehydrated you are the harder it is for your body to recharge and detoxify. The longer it takes for your body to detoxify the more sleep and energy your body requires. This keeps you awake or wakes you up and then you can actually create sleeping patterns like this.

I know what you are thinking: “if I drink a bunch of water I will have to get up at night and pee”, yes that may be true although its better then not sleeping because of all the other issues related to dehydration. You will find it is much easier to fall back asleep after “tinkling” (as my mother so fondly called it). You may even get so good at it that you can do it in your sleep.

I want you to experiment with increasing you H2O intake to one gallon a day for two weeks and see what happens. I am going to bet that you sleep better, you’ll look better and “bonus” you will drop weight!

So try it, what have you got to loose? Oh yea weight!

Fitness for Healthy Living

It starts with a commitment to healthier living. When you make that commitment you make a decision to change in some way, somehow that you accept the responsibility to transform and believe in your ability to do so. It’s about passion and enjoyment, go back to when you were a kid; you didn’t think about what you had to do today for activity, you just did it. It can still be like that now and really should be. But if you have not been active for many years, it is difficult to a have fun and enjoy yourself. As an adult what comes into play is commitment and taking that seriously. That is the key! You really have to want it and believe you can make it happen and make that promise to yourself and then make it a priority.

Vigorous exercise involves minimal health risks for persons in good health or those following a doctor's advice. Far greater risks are present by habitual inactivity and obesity.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or exercising for fitness and mental health, it’s important for everyone to do some level of weightlifting and aerobic exercise. Ultimately you want strength, flexibility and endurance.

No More Excuses

You can probably come up with plenty of excuses for why you're not more active. You're too young, you're too old, you're too busy, you're too tired or you're in pretty good shape - for your age. But with few exceptions, these excuses are pretty flimsy. There are activities for the young and old and for those with little time. So the next time you think about getting fit, don't ask "Who has time?" Instead, ask yourself "Who doesn't want to feel better?"

Action precedes motivation. We get caught up thinking that we have to wait for motivation to start doing something good for ourselves, but that is not how it works. You just need to initiate action; even the smallest of actions will facilitate some momentum.

  • Start with bite-sized pieces that you’ll be able to accomplish.  If your goals are too big, you can end up feeling defeated before you get a good start.
  • Schedule it in your day. Pick a time of day and stick to it. You have to make it a priority because it is. I would say this is the biggest obstacle for most of us.
  • Keep it real. Avoid perfectionist thinking and
  • Focus on positive terms; avoid self talk that is negative.
  • Share with a friend. Tell someone you trust about your goals.
  • Make your goals yours. The goals you have set for yourself should be something you really desire. If you don’t have a strong internal motivation you won’t be successful.
  • Tune in to your spirituality. Spend some time outside; nature will help you find balance!

Patience is essential. Don't to do too much too soon and don't quit before you have a chance to experience the rewards of improved fitness. You can't regain in a few days or weeks what you have lost in years of sedentary living, but you can get it back if you persevere. Consistency will result in success. And the prize is worth the price. Fitness for healthy living is about priorities and commitment.

Try not. Do or do not there is no try! ---Yoda

The decision to carry out a physical fitness program cannot be taken lightly. It requires a lifelong commitment of time and effort. Exercise must become one of those things that you do without question, like bathing and brushing your teeth. Unless you are convinced of the benefits of fitness and the risks of unfitness, you will not succeed.

Trying is no kind of commitment, to say you are going to “try and do something” is a set up for failure; it’s just like saying “I don’t really think I can do this.”  Don’t give yourself an “out”.  Trying presupposes that you are going to fail. To make a commitment means “I’ll do it”. Commitment is when you go beyond mere hoping, wishing, dreaming, yearning or pining.  Commitment is where you cut off all other options and you make a real decision. The decision is not traced in the sand; it is carved into stone, set into cement. It's solid. Making a commitment requires courage, but the instant you make a commitment, wonderful and amazing things start to happen.  The moment you commit yourself 100%, you begin to utilize the parts of your mind that most humans never tap into.  You harness the awesome strength of your will. Obstacles evaporate.  All the pieces of the puzzle come together. You experience synchronicity. You set into motion powerful forces

Will Exercise Make Me Smarter and Happier?

Increasing scientific evidence says “Yes”! What’s good for your heart and waist line is also good for your mind, and your frame of mind. We all know that working out is great for a wide range of medical reasons including heart disease, diabetes and so on… but did you know it can put you in a good mood? Folks who don’t exercise tend to have a greater chance of getting depressed.  Anti-depressants are handed out these days like candy, and in many cases these patients could have more profound and long term positive results if they just exercised.  The long term impact of drug intervention for depression is questionable.  There have been a number of studies that have evaluated exercise therapy for depression.  These studies have shown long term positive results with additional positive effects on overall health as time goes on.  Drug therapy cannot boast these claims.

You’ve all heard of “the runner’s high”. It’s that euphoria that people experience after prolonged aerobic exercise. This is a real thing! These good feelings are based on the body’s chemistry and how it responds to stimulus. There are neurotransmitters called endorphin and serotonin that are released in the parts of your brain that process emotions. Endorphins and serotonin contribute to making us feel better. So, rather than taking Prozac, a more natural route may just be to exercise more to produce these neurotransmitters.  Depressed people often experience overwhelmingly low levels of energy. They can often lack desire to do anything. This can cause a person to stop exercising which just compounds the effects of depression. The key is to try to get out there for as little as 15 to 30 minutes a day to start the ball rolling in the right direction. You don’t have to be an “athlete” to experience these affects and benefits.

We all know that exercise improves blood circulation throughout the body, which of course includes the brain. Exercise also boosts metabolism, decreases stress and improves mood and ability to focus, all of which help the brain perform better.  Neuro-scientific studies are exploring the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on anxiety, stress, depression, learning, and aging. The Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health (PCPFS Research Digest, 1996) states “physical activity appears to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve mood” and “regular physical activity may reduce the risk of developing depression.”

Exercise and Alzheimer’s disease – New research is now looking into whether progressive diseases like Alzheimer’s can be slowed by exercise.  The Alzheimer’s Association recently stated “physical exercise is essential for maintaining  good blood flow to the brain as well as to encourage the production of new brain cells, thereby protecting  against those risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.” A mechanism thought to be responsible for this is a part of the brain called the hippocampus. It plays a large role in memory and learning. One study showed that runners have a boost in blood flow to the area of the hippocampus and an increased growth of new brain cells. Because of these exciting findings and obvious implications there are a number of studies going on.   A study from  Annals of Internal Medicine,  one the largest, most definitive studies to date on the relationship between dementia and exercise stated “In fact, just 15 minutes of exercise — such as walking or swimming — three times a week can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease or other dementia by 30 to 40 percent."

We can also extend this knowledge to children. Again there is growing research in discovering causes that improve concentration and learning. It appears that performance on standardized testing, grades and other measurements of learning show there is a strong relationship between aerobic exercise and higher achievement.  Not to mention lowering body fat, particularly since teenage obesity is a nationwide epidemic.  According to the report, 14% of adolescents in the United States are overweight. This figure has nearly tripled in the last 20 years.

Well...are you sold?  Remember, you don’t need to do much to get the awesome benefits.  As little as 15 minutes of brisk walking can boost the blood flow through the body. Of course more than that will give you better effects. Exercise can make you smarter and happier in as little as 2 weeks. Feel good and be smarter by bikini season!

As my 82 year old friend Donna says: "I'm a better thinker because I have a better body. I really believe that!”

Nutrition for Healthy Living

In order for you to transform your eating habits and make it a life style change so it sticks, you need to understand the nuts and bolts of nutrition: what food is and how food affects you. When you grasp these basics, it will help you achieve your fitness goals, create healthy meals and loose body fat weight.

Food, all of it, is made up primarily of one or a combination of the macronutrients and micronutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three types of macronutrients, while minerals and vitamins are the micronutrients.  In this article I am only going to discuss macronutrients.

Protein – Protein is in every cell. Your body uses protein to repair and build. Protein is the building material for your bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood. You use protein to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. The body does not store protein; there is no reservoir to draw from when you need it. So it is required to be in your diet on a regular basis. To make things a bit more interesting, protein is made up of amino acids, without going into chemistry just think of protein as a train, and amino acids are the cars. There are 20 aminos, and our body can make 12 of them.  There are 8 essential amino acids that it can’t make. You have to get them from a dietary source. Foods that contain all the amino acids are high quality protein sources.  If you are a vegetarian you need to combine foods to make complete proteins, a common example is legumes and grains. It gets a bit trickier and a vegetarian diet can end up being heavy in carbohydrates.

Food choices for high quality proteins: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy and dairy.

How much protein do you need? Basically it depends on your body weight and life style. General rule of thumb is about ½ gram of protein per pound of body weight. But if you are on an exercise regime it can go up. As your body demands more material for building lean tissue so does your diet. Remember protein is the only macronutrient that promotes lean tissue growth. If you are exercising and looking to grow muscles and reduce fat then you need protein in your diet. But you don’t need to overdo protein either, protein does not build your muscles, exercise does!

Note: 1 gram of protein = 4 calories

Carbohydrates - the bodies preferred energy source, the gasoline of choice. All carbohydrates break down into sugar (glucose).

Carbohydrates are mainly broken down into complex or simple. Simple carbs are quick to be absorbed from intestine into the bloodstream, causing a rapid rise in blood glucose. Example being hard candy, cookies, soft drinks, white bread, dates, raisins, melons, grapes, beets, corn … This can come in handy at times when you need more energy quickly. Of course it’s better to get your sugar from fruits or vegetables because they also come with fiber, vitamins and minerals.  If you are trying to cut down on your sugar intake, keep in mind the “healthy ones “ have the same affect on your blood glucose levels as a candy bar or soft drink.

Complex carbs break down slower, releasing glucose gradually into the bloodstream. Food examples include oatmeal (one of my favorite foods), beans, many vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, greens, whole grains.

The glycemic index provides a more accurate account of carbohydrates and their affect on the blood sugar levels. On a scale of 0 to 100, raisins and lollipops are higher on the scale then broccoli. So how does this affect you? Simply put, eating high glycemic carbs causes a rapid raises in your blood sugar levels. Then as you know what goes up must come down. When your sugar levels drop-guess what? You are hungry again. It happens fast.  This causes an eating frenzy which results in more calories taken in during the day than are burned, that, my friend is the bottom line to weight gain.

Carbs don’t make you fat, poor dietary choices do.

Note: 1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories

Fat – Not all fat is bad, the good fat is good for you it is required for a healthy diet and to lose weight! There are basically two categories of fat - saturated and unsaturated. The unsaturated good fats are also known as the essential fatty acids; they usually come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. The essential fatty acids are the omega 3, 6 and 9 that you have heard about. You can get these from seeds and oils made up of safflower, sesame, flax, hemp, avocados, canola, olive and almond. You want the majority of your fat to come from these sources. This is very important for optimal health. The saturated fats or hydrogenated are the ones that won’t help you lose weight. These are the ones that do cause high cholesterol. These fats are solid at room temperature. They commonly come from beef, veal, and pork, dairy products made from whole milk, palm oil and coconut oil. Foods like most commercially bought cookies, crackers, and anything fried are usually not good news for your diet.

Note: 1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Balance –Now you know that your calories come from protein, carbohydrates and fat, you need to know the balance.  The answer is done in percentages and referred to as nutrient ratios. Here is a good place to start. If your goal is to burn off some body fat and build more lean tissue - a “baseline” of 30% Protein, 50-55% Carbs and 15-20% Fat. Based on a 2000 calorie a day diet this is 600 calories of protein, 1000-1100 calories of carbohydrate and 200-400 calories of fat.

I suggest that you start with a pad a paper and write down what you are eating. Don’t start a “diet”! Just start with some knowledge of your nutrition, and then start applying what you learned here. This will give you the long lasting results you are looking for. It’s really that simple!

By Janice B Gaines BS LMT                                                                                                                                 Available for fitness and wellness consultation/training www.spamanzanita.com www.fitmanzanita.com

Ask Janice How many calories should I eat? And why do I want to know?

Ask Janice How many calories should I eat? And why do I want to know?

Getting to know how your body works is going to get you closer to being in control of your body and becoming better friends with it, which I think is a real good idea since you are going to be together for as long as you are both around. You would not want to live with someone you did not like or care for so why not think of your body as your partner?

If you are going to work on the way you eat so you feel better and are healthier, then you need to learn how to eat healthy for the rest of your life.   A good place to start your education is getting an idea of what your caloric needs are to maintain, lose or gain weight.  A method called The Harris-Benedict Equation is an excellent formula used to estimate the daily calorie requirements using basal metabolic rate (BMR) and life style.  BMR simply put is how many calories you would burn if you stayed in bed all day. After you go through the equation the resulting number is the recommended daily caloric intake to maintain your current weight.  This equation is not perfect, but it is widely accepted and used by many fitness experts.  The Harris-Benedict formula provides you with a tool that may assist you to control your weight or lose weight by maintaining or reducing your daily caloric intake to a number that is lower than the end result of the equation.

The real idea is getting to know more about “you” and having a better sense of how to take care of yourself. One thing you might already know, the more muscle tissue you have the higher your BMR which results in a higher number at the end of the equation, which then results in a higher caloric demand to maintain your body weight. That means the more muscles you have versus fat, the more you get to eat. It’s all about metabolism not necessarily aging.

I want you to think of your body as if it’s an engine similar to a Ferrari, a well tuned fine machine (you pick the color; I say red what the heck)? The higher and hotter you rev the more gasoline you need and the better-quality of fuel you will demand and desire. That means as you exercise and eat better your body will transform from a clunker to a leaner meaner machine. Your whole mentality changes because your body and your mind are one and they want to work together.  It all starts with some knowledge and desire.

Determine Your Daily Caloric Daily Needs

Step 1 - Calculating BMR

BMR calculation for men BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR calculation for women BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Step 2 - Applying the Harris-Benedict Principle

Little to no exercise Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.2
Light exercise (1-3 days per week) Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.375
Moderate exercise (3-5 days per week) Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.55
Heavy exercise (6-7 days per week) Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.725
Very heavy exercise (twice per day, extra heavy workouts) Daily calories needed= BMR x 1.9

Step 3 – What to do with this number

The number that you now have will tell you your calorie needs for weight maintenance.

In step 3 you will adjust this number up or down, depending on your weight loss or gain goals.

  • For weight loss, subtract 500 calories per day from your number in step 2
  • For weight maintenance, do nothing; just use the number from step2.
  • For weight gain, add 250 to 300 calories per day to your number from step 2.

How do I know what I am eating?

Here is couple resources on-line to get you started. I suggest keeping a journal so you can track your caloric intake. This will become an easier task because you will find out that you generally only eat about 20 to 30 different items. Learning more about your choices is another important part of the education.

www.thecaloriecounter.com

www.calorielab.com this one also has calorie burned

Fit Manzanita Local Special---- Hurry!!!!!!!!!!

For the locals.... Try out Manzanita's new athletic club! Come register at Spa Manzanita before October 31st for half off the usual day, week or month fee. Fit has a full range of state-of-the-art cardio equipment with private viewing screens and music channels. Multi-purpose strength training equipment, free weights, core training and more.

Personal training available from expert fitness trainer and former Olympic Team Member Janice B Gaines BS LMT, or you can work out on your own in a pristine, clean environment.

Please stop by Spa Manzanita by October 31st to take advantage of this offer.

http://fitmanzanita.com

PO Box 218 144 Laneda Avenue (503) 368-4777

info@fitmanzanita.com