Archive | June, 2010

Tea and coffee support heart health: EPIC Study

21 Jun

Between three and six cups of tea a day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease by about 45 per cent, and drinking coffee, may offer similar benefits, with between two and four cups.

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FITKick Summer Session 6 Pack

6 Jun

June

6/6 8:30-9:30AM

6/13 8:30-9:30AM

6/20 8:30-9:30AM

6/27 8:30-9:30AM

July

7/11 8:30-9:30AM

7/18 8:30-9:30AM

This workout is scalable for all fitness levels. No prior boxing or martial arts experience necessary.

Register To day! Contact: karen@focusedtrainers.com

Member cost: $60 for 6 classes or $12 Drop-In

Non-members welcome: $72 for 6 classes or $15 Drop-In

FIT Member Spotlight June 2010

6 Jun

Randy Ditzler

Age: 45 years young

FIT Member since: July, 2008 – Happy 2-year Anniversary!

Goals upon starting at FIT:
1.    Travel for work and family with ease
2.    Strengthen low back following spinal fusion
3.    Improve muscular endurance and connective tissue dexterity
4.    Return to physical activities

Results upon dedication to workouts at FIT
1.    Just cleared by Doctors to resume activities such as golf and skiing (2011)
2.    Returned to ‘pain free’ business and personal travel
3.    Physically active 6 days/week
4.    Feels strong, healthy and happy every day

Randy
Likes: Hard, and focused work outs

Dislikes: Waiting between sets, negative people and back pain

Personal Records:
1.    Bench Press: 185×4
2.    Pull-Downs: 170×4
3.    11% Body fat
4.    More ‘ice’ time than the Sharks

Key’s to Randy’s success:
Trust, hard work & and a little bit of fear.  Randy has worked extremely hard at reaching his goals.  He knows his body well and can pick and choose when to push hard and when to taper back.  He has been through a very physically demanding rehab and has come out the other side healthier and happier.  The next phase in Randy’s recovery is choosing our next physical challenge… and “thanks to FIT for the support and help on the journey back.”   Randy Ditzler

Exercise? But I am on Vacation!

4 Jun

Did you know that vacations are one of five situations that precede a lapse in exercise? According to sport psychologists, boredom, lack of time, laziness, illness, and yes, vacations can preempt exercise adherence. Many people put forth tremendous effort to begin and maintain a regular exercise program only to have their efforts sabotaged by a vacation get-away. There are two comments I consistently hear from clients returning from vacation:

1)    I am struggling to get back into my exercise routine, and
2)    Wow! I feel less fit than before I left.

These comments address two key points, 1) successful adoption of a new behavior requires consistency, and 2) fitness levels decline without maintenance.  Maintaining a regular exercise routine during your vacation will make it easier to return to your regular training program as well as maintain your current fitness level. Here are five strategies for including exercise into your vacation:

1.    Set a goal for frequency and intensity.
Attempt to maintain the same frequency and intensity of your regular exercise routine. For example, if you normally workout twice a week, plan for two weekly exercise sessions during your vacation. In order to maintain the fitness level you have worked so hard to achieve, your vacation exercise intensity should be similar to your regular exercise sessions, although the duration may be shorter.
2.   Plan
Don’t leave your vacation exercise up to chance. Plan out each session with a specific day, time and activity.
3.    Change it up
Try something new, for example take that yoga class you have always wanted to try, workout on the beach, or learn how to surf!
4.    Social support
Identify family and friends ready and willing to be active and recruit workout buddies ahead of time.
5.   Schedule your return training session.
Before you leave for vacation, schedule your return exercise session. This will increase accountability and help you get right back into your exercise routine.

Vacation is a time to relax and rejuvenate. This is the same for your workout program. If you have been training very intensely for an athletic event, time a way from your training may be just what you need. This would be an ideal time to cross train with some different activities. However, if you typically struggle to get back into your regular exercise routine and do not wish to lose the fitness you have developed, put vacation exercise plan on your travel checklist.

What to Do When Dining Out

4 Jun

Due to consumer demand and society’s health consciousness, restaurants are feeling pressure to offer healthier food alternatives, such as more flavorful salads, low-carbohydrate meals, and low-fat dishes. Some restaurants are even going as far as providing  the calories and fat grams of their menu items for their customers. The alternative meal options and nutrient data are always helpful and should be utilized when trying to follow a healthy lifestyle.

Some restaurants are still not providing healthy food options despite the demand.  It is even more challenging when traveling to maintain health conscious diet. So,  you the consumer must try to find menu items to fit your healthy lifestyle. Here are several suggestions for eating on-the-go:

Restaurant Eating

  • Select foods that are steamed, garden fresh, broiled, boiled, baked, roasted, poached or lightly sautéed or stir-fried.
  • Avoid fried foods (so, no fried chicken, tortillas, French fries, onion rings, hamburgers, etc.). Although these items are very appetizing, they are also very calorie dense, high in fat and low in nutrients since the frying process destroys whatever was once beneficial in the food.
  • Grilled fish is always better than grilled chicken, and both are always better than grilled beef. But, be careful of dishes smothered with a sauce, based with butter or cream. Ask for either no sauce or have it on the side.
  • Take the skin off of the chicken, turkey or duck before eating it.
  • Substitute fried side-orders (i.e. French fries or potato chips) and mashed potatoes, which are usually made with cream or butter, for mixed veggies, broccoli, or green beans. If the meal already comes with vegetables, then order extra.
  • Ask the server if a restaurant’s veggies are steamed, baked and/or layered in butter and oil. Request no butter or oil be used by the chef.
  • If you find that you do not know the number of calories in a meal, then ask your server for a To-Go box or Doggy-bag. When the meal is delivered to your table, take half and save it for later. Close the container and get it out of sight. You will be much less likely to overeat if it is not in front of you.
  • Always order a salad with the dressing on the side. You will save yourself hundreds of calories if you delicately dip your fork into the dressing. Or, better yet, do not use any dressing at all. However, if you must add a little extra flavor to your salad ask for balsamic vinegar or a lemon wedge to squeeze over your salad.
  • If a dish shows up with butter, gravy, mayo or a “mayo-like” dressing on it, scrape it off.
  • For a beverage, drink water (add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime for favor), diet soda, or even 6 oz of dry white wine with seltzer (50 calories).
  • For dessert (if you must) try to avoid getting a whole dessert for yourself. Most desserts are prepared for more than one person. Share with somebody, and do not feel you need to finish it. Remember, the restaurant is not interested in your physique or your health, but rather your money. Which is more important to you?
  • Plain sherbet or gelato are much lower in calories (no sauce or fruit syrups added).
  • Instead dessert, try a latte, coffee or tea (no added sugar).

Trying to satisfy the kids appetites and maintain a healthy lifestyle can certainly be a challenge. However, flavorful, healthy options are available when you look for them. Plan your meals according to where you might be traveling, and remember when you say no to a particular food, you say yes to yourself.

CrossFit on the Road

4 Jun

Summertime is rapidly approaching, and for many of us that means vacation! It also means time away from FIT.  But, you don’t have to let your fitness suffer.  It only takes 30 minutes a few times a week, to maintain the fitness you’ve earned.  All you need for a solid workout is:

1. Motivation

2. Space

3. Creativity

Motivation will most likely be the greatest obstacle to training while on vacation.  Having a structured regiment at your finger tips could be the stimulation you need.  While planning your vacation,  put a 30 minute WOD on your travel itinerary.

Finding space is easy. The hotel fitness center (as small as it may be), a park, or even your hotel room has ample room for squats, push ups, and burpees.  Another option is to find a CrossFit affiliate within your travel destination.  Most affiliates allow experienced CrossFitters to drop-in for a workout.

With some creativity, equipment limitations are easily overcome.  Some fitness centers have dumbbells and cardio equipment, however usable items can be found anywhere. Look for monkey bars and benches in the park. Even a hotel chair can make a good dip station. Regardless of exercise equipment, the combination of body weight and gymnastic exercises are virtually limitless for a great workout!

Here are some sample workouts designed to deliver a good dose of intensity in 10-20 minutes.  All you need is your able body and a little room to move.

-50-40-30-20-10 reps of: Squats, Walking Lunges, Push-ups

-5 rounds: Run 200m, 15 Burpees

-As many rounds in 20 minutes: 5 Burpees, 10 Squats, 15 Pushups

For more CrossFit on the Road workouts email me at jimmy@focusedtrainers.com.

Remember, getting the workout in is great, but if you’re putting too much junk in your body’s fuel tank you’re really just taking one step forward and two steps back.  Have a great summer!

Seasonal Summer Menu Suggestion

4 Jun

Appetizer – Grilled Balsamic Asparagus

Salad – Watermelon Arugula Salad

Main Dish – Steak & Poblano Pepper Skewers

Dessert – Grilled Peaches N’ Cream

Beverage – Fruity Chilled Chardonnay

For any of these recipes or more summer menu suggestions, email me at analisa@focusedtrainers.com

Steak and Poblano Pepper Skewers

4 Jun

Serves 4

1/2c 2% Greek Yogurt

1/4 tsp ground chipotle chili

1 small clove garlic

Kosher Salt

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp Red Chili Powder (more if you prefer more spice)

Freshly Ground Pepper

4 large Poblano Peppers

1 lb skirt steak (3/4 in thick)

2 romaine hearts – shredded

2 medium ripe tomatoes (approx 8 oz each), cored and chopped

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced ¼ inch thick

1/3 c chopped red onion

Prep medium-hot charcoal or gas grill fire.  If cooking on stove-top use a cast-iron or non-stick pan and heat prior to cooking.

Sauce

Combine yogurt, chipotle, garlic, and ¼ tsp salt in a small bowl.  Set aside at room temperature to let the flavors meld.

Rub

In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, cumin, red chili powder, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper.  Rub this mixture on all sides of the steak.  Let steak sit for 15-30 minutes.

Grill the steak and peppers at the same time.  Grill the peppers on high heat until outside is completely black (looking almost charred), remove, and place in brown paper bag to steam for up to 15 minutes.  Grill the steak covered**, flipping once, until medium rare, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.  Transfer the steak to a large plate and let rest covered for at least 5 minutes. **Searing in pan might splatter.

Grill red onion (or sauté in same pan) for 3-4 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside for garnish.

Peel the peppers, chop off the stem, and cut into thick strips (approx. 3-4 per pepper).

Skewer steak and peppers ( 2-3 per skewer) in ripple pattern – swirl sauce on plate, place skewers on top and accompanied with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

Serve with white corn tortillas brushed with clarified butter and grilled.

Option instead of tortillas, serve with 2 baked plantains or an ear of fresh grilled corn.

For more Seasonal Summer Menu recipes email analisa@focusedtrainers.com.  Please share any of your personal variations. I look forward to hearing from you.

FIT Summer Fitness Camp

4 Jun

Summer break is a time for kids to relax and enjoy their hard earned vacation. Pool parties, sleepovers and bbq’s fill many summer days. However, with at least two months of down time and the elevated use technological gadgets, such as  Xbox, Wii and PS3, kids can find themselves on the couch more often than not. A great solution to summer inactivity is summer camps. General fitness and activity camps can keep kids moving and provide lifelong positive experiences.

The FIT Summer Fitness Camp is designed to accommodate all skill levels of children ages 7-15. Using general activities derived from sports and games, our camp will not only help your child maintain a higher level of fitness, but will also provide them with the sociological and psychological benefits associated with organized play. Positive self-esteem, teamwork, and confidence are just a few of the benefits gained from participation in the FIT Summer Fitness Camp.

Last years attendees had an excellent experience. As a coach, witnessing the pride of each child at being part of team and their excitement with the development of each new skills was an awesome thing to experience. Our goal is to provide a positive experience with movement that each child can carry with them for years to come.

For more information on the FIT Summer Fitness Camp, please contact FIT @ (650)947-9831 or visit http://www.focusedtrainers.com

http://www.acacamps.org/parents/expert/benefitscamp.php

http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Advantages-of-Sending-Children-to-Summer-Camps&id=2946272

Waist-to-Height Ratio May Replace BMI

2 Jun

This appears to be a step in the right direction. We need the research to start to use this more often and have some support develop as evidence.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/93638-whtr-the-new-determinant-health-risk/