Skype personal training

People come up with a lot of excuses not to workout… no time, travel frequently, don’t like the gym atmosphere…  Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to workout ANYWAY?!

A few months ago I joined a company, http://helpyougetstarted.com/, that does Skype personal training.  Yes, you read that right – Personal Training via Skype.  I just finished my first workout and I think it went great.  She’s going to be blogging about it too, so I’ll post that once it’s up.  But I ran through a typical first session with the physical assessment and first workout movements – she had good form and worked up a sweat in the 30 minutes.

Don’t you hate us trainers… you want to keep coming up with reasons why you can’t workout and we keep coming up with these great solutions to help you stay healthy and active?!

This is not just a great tool for exercise new comers, it’s perfect for frequent travelers, moms, dads, workaholics, and the super duper lazy (you know who you are 😉  I have had so many clients say how much they love that I come to their homes because they can’t escape our session and this is even easier!

AND it’s not just for training… you knew this was coming, right? As I always say, working out is only half of the journey.  Changing your behaviors and eating habits is just as important and oftentimes the more challenging part.  Meeting me at the local coffee place or chatting with me on Skype is just as helpful to discuss all the tools to help you create the new you (and maybe even better because you can be in your pi’s…?)

Wait… and the best part is that this makes personal training available to just about anyone!  If you don’t have access to decent gym facilities or qualified personal trainers – this service puts both of the necessities at your fingertips (literally!).  I always say we are so inundated here in los angeles that we sometimes forget there is a significant part of the country that doesn’t have access to 10 different pilates and/or cardio ballet classes all within 3 miles of their house and those are the individuals who really need the most attention.

Skype with you soon!!

Eat like a (healthy) kid

I give lectures every now and then and one of the tips I suggest for busy moms is to pack snacks for themselves when they get their diaper bag ready to go out. This carries on, even after you stop carrying the diaper bag 🙂 you want to think of yourself (even if it’s just a little) and be prepared!

Today, I packed my daughter’s Lunch and snacks for school and then I packed my own lunch & snacks, knowing I would out all morning.

Her food – edamame
Cucumber, blueberries, and strawberries
Granola bar (cascadian farms), seaweed, whole wheat crackers, & dried cranberries

My food – trail mix (almonds & peanuts with dried cranberries, blueberries, & mango
Dannon oikos greek yogurt in raspberry with 1/4 cup of omega 3 flax seed cereal from TJ’s
Squeezable applesauce
String cheese (low fat)

Well balanced, portable, delicious & nutritious!

Core exercises for new moms

So, you had your beautiful baby, now how do you start to regain the strength in your abdominals…?!

Kegels – the simplest way to explain how to perform this exercise is to practice while going to the bathroom. Because you need to strengthen the muscles that help you not to pee when you sneeze, laugh, and/or cough! Only do this once or twice so you don’t make the issues worse. Squeeze the muscles that stop the stream of pee. Now do this as many times throughout the day as possible.
1. Squeeze and hold for time -as the muscles get stronger, you can hold for longer
2. Elevators – imagine that your pelvic floor has 3 levels. Pull up to floor 1 & then up to 2, then 3.
2a. Elevators 2 – pull up to floor 1 and then back down, up to 2 & back down, up to 3 & down.

Pelvic tilts – an exercise you may be familiar with from pregnancy
You can perform these in a variety of positions, but if you are unfamiliar with the pelvic tilt, lie on the floor, knees bent, feet flat. You have a natural curve in your lower back and you should be able to stick your hand underneath. Tuck your tailbone under and flatten your back onto the floor. Release and hold. Repeat 12-15 times. This is great to do while your baby is lying on the floor with you. This exercise can also be performed with your back against the wall or on all 4’s (knees under hips and wrists under shoulders).

Abdominal holds – place hands on lower part of belly, underneath the belly button. Draw belly button to spine and hold. Also, repeat exercises from kegels (elevators).

Cat/cow – another move you may have done during pregnancy
Starting on all 4’s (knees under hips and wrists under shoulders), pull abdominals in tight, belly button to spine, and relax the shoulders. You are not sucking in, you are contracting the abdominal muscles. Lower belly button to the ground as you stretch your chest forward and feel the stretch in your abdominal muscles. Draw your belly button up and round your back like a cat, relax shoulders. You want to feel the stretch in the lower and mid parts of your back. Repeat 12-15 times, moving slowly through the movements.

The focus is reconnecting with your innermost abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominus, they act like your inner corset to strengthen your core from the inside out.

Is your personal trainer qualified to be your personal trainer??

So, you have a personal trainer or want to hire one… That is great! But how do you know they are qualified? How do you know they didn’t just wake up one morning, decide they were good at staying fit and eating healthy themselves and so they thought they could do it for other people…? And why should it matter if they did?

Do personal trainers need degrees and/or certifications to practice their trade? In my opinion, of course they do and you should want them to.

When receiving my degree in kinesiology, professors often discussed the “apparently healthy individual.” This was the ideal client whom had no signs of physical complications to impede them from exercising without modifications… This is a what I would call “baseline,” the place from where one needs to start learning about the body and how to manipulate it. I know what to with a healthy person and now I can go on to learn what to do with someone who has a shoulder injury or high blood pressure or lower back issues that have never been diagnosed.

What I learned after about 1 month of actually personal training is that this “apparently healthy individual” does not exist! Everyone has something going on with their bodies, however minor the adjustment that’s needed to either repair or work around the issue, a trainer needs to know what to do. Our friend who has woken up one day and professed their new job title isn’t going to know what to do…

This is when things get scary… Ok, maybe there’s nothing wrong with you today and you’re getting great workouts… But, then you step funny off a curb and hurt your ankle. You didn’t fully sprain it, but it’s tender and now it hurts to perform many movements you were able to do before. Will that trainer know how to help you rehab the ankle so you can return to normal functioning as soon as possible?

You sit at a desk all day, that’s an immediate clue to a qualified trainer as to how to set up a program to help improve strength in areas that need it and conversely stretch out areas that are tight. An unqualified trainer could have you doing tons of exercises that exacerbate your problems.

I work with so many clients that have been injured by poorly trained or completely untrained “personal trainers” and I want to get the word out! Ask for credentials/qualifications! Even if a trainer is referred to you by a friend or family member, ask these questions anyway:

Do you have a degree in an exercise science?
Do you have a certification as a personal trainer or fitness instructor?
Are you CPR certified?
Do you have personal training insurance?
And especially is you are pregnant or just had a baby: do you have separate training to work with pre and post natal women?

And if they answer no, don’t get sucked in by a good deal, there’s a reason they are so cheap! I give my clients the best prices possible and am always happy to work within their budgets. Training with a friend or taking a shorter session are great ways to stay within your budget and workout with a great certified trainer.

Qualified, well educated personal trainers can do amazing things with your body, not just help you get into your skinny jeans 😉

Are you happy?

When you look in the mirror, are you happy?
When you get dressed or go shopping, are you happy?
When you look at yourself naked, are you happy?

If you answered “NO” to any of these questions ask yourself why…now ask yourself what are you going to do about it?

Today – what are you going to do about it today? What change can you make right now that will impact your health, fitness and nutrition for the rest of your life?

1. Think positively – Stop negative thoughts and comments directed at your body.
2. Eat 1 more fruit and 1 more vegetable. It’s only 2pm you still have an afternoon snack and dinner to eat.
3. Walk for 10 minutes.
4. Do 10 squats.
5. Choose your food wisely – you know what’s better for you, steamed, grilled or broiled. Opt for those foods over fried, sautéed, and battered.

Small changes make the big difference in the long run. It’s about increasing the healthy choices and reducing the unhealthy ones.

Now what are you going to do tomorrow?