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Monday, March 07 2016

If you’ve stopped seeing progress with your health and fitness efforts, your body has likely hit a plateau and adapted to whatever physical stimulus you have been giving it. To experience continuous progress, it is essential to keep both your mind and body guessing. Here are 10 tips for pushing past plateaus.

Source: ACE Fit | Fit Life | 10 Tips for Powering Through Plateaus

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:52 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, February 24 2016

When it comes to helping clients lose weight, we need to turn to the evidence and learn what science suggests is the most effective and, importantly, safe way to help people achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Here are five nutrition practices that are likely to help guide people toward a healthy and sustainable weight.

Source: 5 Nutrition Changes Clients Need to Make to Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, January 08 2016

If you’re like most people, you’ve recently resolved to lose weight, get in shape or maybe just to live more healthfully. These resolutions often include a commitment to exercising more regularly, but before you lace up your shoes and get moving, here are five common mistakes you’ll want to avoid in 2016.

Source: 5 Exercise Mistakes to Avoid in the New Year

More people join a gym in January than at any other time of year. While this can be a great first step, joining a gym does not necessarily mean a person will become more active. The key, of course, is actually using the gym. Before you sign up for a gym or health club membership, spend some time researching facilities. Make sure the gym offers the environment and types of equipment and classes you would be inclined to use regularly. And don’t forget the importance of choosing a convenient location. For many people, it makes more sense to join a gym that is close to work, especially if they are more likely to train right after work; others are more likely to use a use a gym that’s closer to home. Find out which location will increase your likelihood of using the gym.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:43 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 25 2015

Chronic stress can take a significant toll on the body and even lead to many long-term health concerns. Stress is so pervasive, however, that many people aren’t even aware of how stressed-out they really are. Here are 5 subtle signs that you may be feeling stressed, along with tips on how to alleviate the effects of that stress.

Source: ACE Fit – Fit Life

According to the American Institute of Stress, numerous emotional and physical disorders are linked to stress. In fact, chronic stress affects each system of the body differently and can cause long-term health concerns.

One of the greatest misconceptions about stress is that mental and emotional stress are not as detrimental as physical stress. Most people associate stress with work and a busy lifestyle, and although true, how we think and how we maintain our emotions affects the mind and the body. For many, their personal life is just as stressful as their career life, if not more so.

In addition, people experience stress due to things like environmental toxins, overuse of technology, constant traveling, changing time zones or switching work shifts, which changes one’s biorhythm and can take several days to adjust to the new schedule. Therefore, stress is a part of the modern day life and the body will respond to the stress placed upon it.

Stress that is stored in the body can show up in the most unexpected ways. Although associated with depression and panic attacks, stress manifests itself also through less obvious signals. These five signs indicate that something in your life is placing stress on your body.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, November 11 2015

If you’ve hit a health and fitness plateau, it may be time to look at the lifestyle factors that could be slowing down your metabolism and hindering your progress toward achieving your health and fitness goals. While you can’t change all of the factors that determine how your metabolism functions, it is possible to give your metabolism a jumpstart simply by changing some of your daily habits.

Source: The Role of Metabolism in Reaching Your Goals and Improving Your Fitness

Turning these tips into daily habits is a great way to give your metabolism a boost and enhance your ability to meet your health and fitness goals. You may also benefit from working with a personal trainer, who can design a specific exercise regimen that your body responds to positively. Regardless of where you are in your health and fitness journey, don’t despair—get up, get moving and give your metabolism the boost you need to start seeing results.

 

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 23 2015

Flexibility is an important component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate towards strength training. Incorporating these yoga poses into your workout regimen will help increase range of motion, as well as enhance stability and mobility.

Source: Yoga for Weightlifters: 7 Poses for Increased Range of Motion

Flexibility is an important yet often overlooked component of a well-rounded fitness routine, especially for those who tend to gravitate to strength-based workouts. Adequate range of motion around the joints is imperative to perform loaded movement patterns safely and effectively using strength-training tools such as barbells and dumbbells. In addition to enhancing performance in the gym, incorporating movements into one’s workout routine that enhance joint stability and mobility will also address existing muscle imbalance and allow for greater ease and efficiency when performing activities of daily living (ADLs) outside of the gym. The following yoga poses focus on stretching the major muscle groups typically used when performing ADLs (calves, thighs, hip flexors, back, chest and shoulders) while enhancing mobility in the hips, ankles, shoulders and thoracic spine.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 07 2015

What is healthy aging? How does one effectively offset or slow the effects of aging? In other words, how does one age gracefully? Obviously many factors can influence how we age: genetics, environment, and lifestyle. In this blog, I would like to look at what the research points to as the biggest determinant of healthy aging, which is lifestyle and physical fitness. Several studies have clearly shown that physical fitness is an important predictor of both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Also it is a good predictor of being able to live an independent life at old age.

However, before we delve into the subject of physical fitness, it is important to differentiate between three different but inter-related concepts: physical activity, physical exercise, and physical fitness. Physical activity refers to any body movement produced by muscle action that increases energy expenditure. Physical exercise refers to planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful physical activity. Physical fitness is the capacity to perform physical exercise. Physical fitness makes reference to the full range of physical qualities, such as aerobic capacity, strength, speed, agility, coordination, and flexibility. Thus, daily exercise should be orientated towards increasing daily physical activity and improving physical fitness.

One aspect of improving physical fitness is aerobic exercise. The results of aerobic exercise, such as walking are very positive, especially for cardiovascular health. These improvements are independent of race, sex, age, and body mass index. The research shows that a program of regular aerobic exercise of three to six months duration can improve aerobic capacity by 15%–30%. A training frequency of 3–5 days a week is recommended, and the research indicates that it is preferable to avoid single, hard bouts of exercise once a week. Training intensity should be at some 55%/65%–90% of the maximum heart rate, or of the maximum reserve heart rate (maximum HR –rest HR) (ACSM 1998)

Strength training or resistance training is another aspect of improving physical fitness. Strength training has been shown to be the most effective method for developing skeletomuscular strength, and it is currently prescribed by many major health organizations for improving health and fitness. Research demonstrates that resistance training reduces the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and colon cancer; it prevents osteoporosis, promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, and likewise, improves dynamic stability, preserves functional capacity, and fosters psychological welfare. These benefits can be safely obtained when an individualized program is prescribed. In the American College of Sports Medicine’s position stand that, “resistance training should be an integral part of any adult fitness program and should be of sufficient intensity to enhance strength, muscular endurance, and maintain fat-free mass. Resistance training should be progressive in nature, individualized, and provide a stimulus to all the major muscle groups.” In essence, it is imperative that you do what it takes TODAY even eliciting the help of a professional in helping you reach a certain level of age-defying physical fitness.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:10 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 07 2015

The numbers are alarming! More than 25 million people in the United States have diabetes—that’s about one in 10 Americans. And according to recent government reports, rates are projected to surge over the next 40 years, affecting as many as one in three Americans by 2050. New research reveals three strategies that can help change the course of the disease:

Eat less fat.

It can help reduce your risk of developing diabetes, regardless of whether you lose weight. With Type 2 diabetes, your body either doesn’t produce enough insulin, or your cells ignore it; insulin is needed to use glucose for energy. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham put 69 overweight people at risk for diabetes on either a lower-fat or lower-carbohydrate diet; after 8 weeks, the group who reduced their fat intake to 27% of their overall diet had significantly higher insulin secretion, improved insulin sensitivity and better glucose tolerance. For a 1,600-calorie diet that equates to 48 daily grams of fat; for 2,200 calories, it’s 66 grams. To help reduce fat grams, choose lean meats and non- or low-fat dairy products, use unsaturated vegetable oils, eat more leafy vegetables and fruits and less foods that contain large amounts of saturated fat, like cakes and cookies.

Get a trainer.

A structured and supervised exercise program (that includes aerobics and strength training) helped people with Type 2 diabetes lower their blood sugar levels more effectively than just getting advice about working out more, according to a recent review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Scientists also found that exercising for longer periods of time was better at bringing blood sugar levels down than exercising more intensively. Currently, exercise guidelines recommend that people with Type 2 perform at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, and resistance training, such as weight lifting, three times a week.

Improve sleep habits.

Doing so may help you better manage your diabetes, says a new study in Diabetes Care. Researchers found that those with diabetes who suffered from insomnia had a 23% higher fasting blood glucose level, a 48% higher fasting insulin level and an 82% higher insulin resistance than the normal sleepers with diabetes. Some tips to sleep better: stick to regular bed and wake time, try relaxation techniques before bed (like taking a warm bath or listening to soothing music), keep your bedroom cool and dark, and skip exercise, caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime.

Sources:
http://www.uab.edu/news/latest/item/1256-lowering-fat-intake-might-stave-off-diabetes-even-without-weight-loss

http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/305/17/1790.abstract

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2011/03/13/dc10-1962.short?rss=1

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 07 2015

Another method to look at in establishing what is an ideal weight for you is to use body size. Using this method, some people find that they don’t need to lose as much weight as they first thought due to the size of their frame, others of course find that they are not in fact big boned and that they need to lose more weight than they had originally thought.

Measure the distance between the epicondyles (inside and outside projections of the elbow bone). Ideally, this is done with a broad-faced sliding caliper. If the proper caliper is not available, elbow breadth can be estimated using a metric ruler. Place the thumb and the index finger on the outside of each epicondyle and measure the distance between them with a ruler.

For FEMALES, if your height is 5’2″ or less:

small = wrist size less than 5.5 inches
medium = wrist size 5.5 to 5.75 inches
large = wrist size over 5.75 inches

If your height is 5’2″ to 5’5″:

small = wrist size less than 6 inches
medium = wrist size 6 to 6.25 inches
large = wrist size over 6.25 inches

If your height is 5’5″ or more:

small = wrist size less than 6.25 inches
medium = wrist size 6.25 to 6.5 inches
large = wrist size over 6.5 inches

For MALES, if your height is 5’5″ or more:

small = wrist size 5.5 to 6.5 inches
medium = wrist size 6.5 to 7.5 inches
large = wrist size over 7.5 inches
It’s easy to get consumed with losing weight and having the perfect body; however, whether you’re small, medium, or large boned, the resounding advice I give my clients is TO LOVE AND RESPECT YOURSELF! Now put into action those realistic goals, and happy exercising!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 03:03 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, July 07 2015

Strive to Eat a Balance Diet. A healthy, balanced diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and low fat dairy products. These foods have the nutrients you need for health including potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber.

Cut Back on Foods High in Saturated Fats, Added Sugars, and Salt. They include cakes, cookies, ice cream, candies, sweetened drinks, pizza, and fatty meats like ribs, sausages, bacon, and hot dogs. Use these foods as occasional treats, not everyday foods.

Eat Smaller Portions. A helpful aid is to use a smaller plate, bowl, and glass. Likewise, if you portion out your foods before you eat, you’re less likely to eat too much or some cases, too little of something.

Understand Fats, Proteins & Carbohydrates. We all need fats, proteins & carbohydrates. If we neglect to balance these essential macronutrients – we set ourselves up for failure.

Understand Nutrition Facts. Knowing the nutrition facts on products is half the battle. For not all products are the same. Some are loaded with too much fats, sugars, sodium or calories. This topic will make for an excellent upcoming blog.

Choose Water Over Sweetened Drinks. A sure way to cut calories is by drinking water or unsweetened beverages. Soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks are a major source of added sugar, and calories.

Be Active. Being physically active also helps you balance calories. Keep moving. Choose a physical activity that you enjoy. I personally enjoy running and strength training. But not everyone likes the same things.

Have Goals. Written, well thought out goals provide purpose and direction; it’s a road map to where you’re going. It provides real time indicators of progress and helps you stay on course; likewise, it can be a quite the motivator to see your plan in action.

Manage Stress. Stress is not necessarily bad but knowing how to manage it is the key. Therefore, have a plan to manage stress in your life, and a proven way to do that is through being physically active.

Have a Support Team. This is probably the most important element in improving your life. It’s one thing to know what to do and to try to make those healthy changes, but having someone on your side to make it all possible is what will make or break you. None of us can do it alone! So find the support you need that will keep you accountable and motivated.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 06 2015

A positive attitude is very important for successful weight loss and weight management. For you to lose weight permanently, you must make a commitment to gradually adopt a healthier way of life. You can control your weight. To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories or burn more calories than you need. However, the best way to lose weight and be a healthier YOU is to eat fewer calories and exercise.

What exactly does this mean to eat fewer calories and exercise? How much do I exercise and how many calories should I eat? If there were a simple answer to this repeated question, I would provide it now. But the best answer for that question is IT DEPENDS. It depends on YOU! How much weight do you need to lose or would like to lose to feel better regarding your health and your looks or whatever the reason? It depends on YOU and YOUR GOALS.

If your doctor said that you needed to get to a healthier weight based on a body mass index, then that would be a realistic goal. Likewise, if you felt great at a certain weight, given that it was within the last decade, aim for that weight as a goal. Therefore, establishing a goal is a first step in the right direction; then sharing your goals with a significant other, someone who you know would help and support you while working toward your goals is the best second step.

Now I ask you, is your goal to lose weight only or to KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF? Of course, your goal may also be to gain more muscle tone, run faster, to get around better, etc., but to KEEP this new-found weight, this heighten level of fitness, or this exciting new look ought to be your ultimate goal. If it’s not, you will be battling the bulge, be a lifetime yo-yo dieter, and fighting an endless battle.

Thus for you to lose weight PERMANENTLY – you must make a commitment to YOURSELF to adopt a HEALTHIER way of life. If this seems like a hopeless challenge, please allow me to guide you.

I will provide you with the tools, knowledge, and accountability you will need to realize your goals and TO KEEP THE WEIGHT OFF! I am committed 100% to your success! Contact me today for a FREE consultation.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:58 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, July 06 2015

How does your lifestyle impact your health? What I mean by lifestyle is the behavior and activities that make up your daily life. Your choices and lifestyle make a big difference to your overall health. Even if certain conditions like heart disease runs in your family, you can do a lot to change any probable outcome. Some genes lead to disease. “But for most people, a healthy lifestyle trumps inherited risk,” says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones.

With heart disease, more than 100 types of genes may play a small role in a person’s risk, Lloyd-Jones says. “But by far the biggest factor is lifestyle.”

Your daily habits — such as what you eat, how active you are, and not smoking strongly affects your heart health. Those are up to you, no matter what’s in your family’s medical history.

Today, with an astounding number of reports about increasing obesity rates, diseases and conditions related to being overweight and out-of-shape, it is impossible to ignore the importance of fitness and healthy living. Health professionals attribute cancer, diabetes and mental issues such as depression to deficiencies in fitness and health.

Why then do so many American suffer from ill health because of their lifestyle choices? A common excuse is I don’t have enough time to exercise. We need, however, to make it a priority to take care of ourselves.

If finding the time to exercise is a challenge for you, concentrate for starters at getting small workouts in throughout the day. If your job takes the majority of your time, consider taking 3-10 minute breaks and walk at moderate intensity, where you break a little sweat and are slightly out of breath. Taking breaks are not only good for physical health, but also for mental health. You will go back to work feeling refreshed and satisfied.

If home life consumes most of your time, consider doing squats or other muscle toning exercises while doing housework. If you work from home, use a stability ball instead of a chair to sit on. Walk on the treadmill during conference calls. These are just a few suggestions.

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week to achieve the health benefits, maintain current weight, and/or prevent weight gain. And for those who are overweight or obese, the ACSM recommends getting 250 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Results in studies have shown that weight loss can be significant. Just a heads up: moderate intensity is where you are out of breath a little but you can hold a conversation while performing the exercise.

However, the importance of providing our bodies with the proper nutrition cannot be overstated. Simply put, the human body requires the appropriate balance of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fat on a daily basis to function optimally and disease-free. In other words, we are what we eat, a topic of an earlier blog.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, July 02 2015

Adopt a positive attitude. If you start with I know I’m going to fail, because I always do, you will. Make a conscious effort to be positive in all things you do. Tell yourself that you will stay positive throughout the day.

Make gradual changes. Decide on what changes you would like and make one change at a time. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change.

Eat breakfast. Did your know that your mood is actually affected by the things that you do and eat? In order to jump start your day and prepare your mind and body for the busy day ahead, you need to have a power breakfast. Make sure that you eat something healthy. Whole grains, protein, and fruits can surely give you the nutrients that you need to do the things that you need to accomplish for the day.

Eat your vegetables. Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancer of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas and ovary. Reach for the boldest color vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes and leafy greens for they are packed with many powerful phytonutrients.

Set a 5-meal ideal. What, when and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. Five meals will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus and avoid cravings.

Snack sensibly. Grab fruit instead of a chocolate bar or other junk foods. Fruits can surely wake you up in the middle of the day, whereas a bar of chocolate will just give you energy spike for a few minutes. So, you will end up feeling even more tired and sleepy.

Incorporate exercise throughout the day. Get up from your desk often to take a walk break. Take stairs when possible. Establish a before or after work exercise routine. Did you know that daily exercise has shown to reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise!

Drink Plenty of Water. Your body depends on water for survival. Did you know that water makes up more than half of your body weight? Every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to function correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. Water is essential for good health. There are different recommendations for water intake each day. Most people have been told they should be drinking 6 to 8, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. This is a reasonable goal.

Get at good night’s rest. It’s important that you establish a regular sleep pattern. Strive to go to bed and wake up at the same time. And if you are have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, trying darkening your room more and turn your clock away from you. Also, a “small” bedtime snack, such as, a whole grain cereal with nonfat milk, oatmeal or chamomile tea has shown to aid the body and mind into sleep mode.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Sunday, June 28 2015

Success lies in faith & perseverance…

Success comes from a strong will,

a relentlessness to excel and accomplish a goal.

It’s largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.

You’re not finished if you fall down…

you’re only finished if you quit.

The most important quality essential to success

 is Faith & Perseverance.

It overcomes almost everything.

Have the courage to stick it out,

follow your heart and

allow me to guide you,

motivate you and challenge you…

by doing so,

 YOU WILL ATTAIN YOUR GOALS!

By keeping your eye on the target and believing

without allowing yourself to be distracted from success…

You will SUCCEED!

Stay the course…

Don’t ever give in!

Follow through on your commitment to be your best!

I am here to fulfill my commitment to you.

I am here to insure your Success!

Your Personal Trainer,

Aline

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

I‘m often asked, “As a vegetarian, where do you get your protein.” And, “Do you get enough protein?” Why do people think that the only source of protein is animal-based? And why is so much emphasis given to protein?

Let’s me address the first question.

There are many sources of plant-based protein. Ample amounts of protein are thriving in whole, natural plant-based foods. For example, spinach is 51 percent protein; mushrooms, 35 percent; beans, 26 percent; oatmeal, 16 percent; whole wheat pasta, 15 percent; corn, 12 percent; and potatoes, 11 percent.

Do I get enough protein? Of course I do! What’s more, our body needs less protein than you may think. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the average 150-pound male requires only 22.5 grams of protein daily based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet, which means about 4.5 percent of calories should come from protein. (WHO recommends pregnant women get 6 percent of calories from protein.) Other nutritional organizations recommend as little as 2.5 percent of daily calories come from protein while the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board’s recommended daily allowance is 6 percent after a built-in safety margin; most Americans, however, are taking in 20 percent or more.

Moreover, plant-based protein is better for you. More plant sources of protein will also offer more health benefits including more fiber and nutrients. There are lots of nutrient dense foods with high protein content.

There are also health concerns of animal-based protein, for the average American consumes well over 100 grams daily—a dangerous amount. But if you eat a plant-strong diet, you’ll be getting neither too much nor too little of protein, but an amount that’s just right.

Why is protein so potentially harmful? Your body can store carbohydrates and fats, but not protein. So if the protein content of your diet exceeds the amount you need, not only will your liver and kidneys become overburdened, but you will start leaching calcium from your bones to neutralize the excess animal protein that becomes acidic in the human body.

Tell me – when was the last time, you knew of someone who was hospitalized for a protein deficiency? Likewise, look around in nature, where you will notice that the largest and strongest animals, such as elephants, gorillas, hippos, and bison, are all plant eaters.

IT’S A FACT: A Plant-based diet is a diet rich in everything you need for optimal health!!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

“I want to lose weight.” Nine out of ten times this is what I hear when I ask clients what is their most important goal? When I delve deeper into why they want to lose weight. Here are some of the most revealing reasons.

  • I hate looking at myself in a mirror.
  • I want to feel I can do this and to keep the weight off.
  • I hate myself in a bathing suit. I don’t even like going to the pool with my kids.
  • I want to feel good about myself again.
  • I want to feel better physically.
  • I want to be happier.
  • I dread having my picture taken.
  • I will be healthier.
  • So I won’t die young like my dad, my mom.
  • I want be a good example to my children.
  • I want to learn to eat healthier food, therefore, my family will eat healthier.
  • I want to feel less winded when walking stairs.
  • I want to live longer and enjoy my life more.
  • I don’t want to be afraid of the scale any more.
  • I want to look better and feel better.
  • I want to look good at my class reunion.
  • I want to look good at my son/daughter’s wedding.
  • So my back won’t hurt.
  • So my feet won’t hurt.
  • So people won’t think I’m pregnant.
  • So I won’t have to come up with new excuses for being overweight.
  • So I won’t feel depressed to just get dressed in the morning.
  • So I can feel comfortable in a car, or at the theater, or on an airplane.
  • I want to wear smaller size clothing.
  • I want to be smaller.
  • I want to be able to shop in regular size clothing stores.
  • I want to be able to run, play and do things with my kids/grandkids.
  • I want to dance again.
  • I want to feel better about myself.
  • I want to be happy!

Isn't it time that you enjoy and live your life to its fullest and truly, truly be happy?!?!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:28 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, June 27 2015

Clients often ask me what is a healthy snack other than the “perfect snack “of fresh fruit and vegetables. My answer to them, it all depends. Are we asking about easy snacks of convenience or just healthy, nutritional snacks in general.

If we’re at home, we certainly have more snack options, for obvious reasons you have your refrigerator and pantry.

On the other hand, at work and in travel, they’re fewer options. To keep this brief, let’s look at one easy snack option, a nutrition bar. Still not all nutrition bars are created equal. Let’s look at what makes for a healthy snack bar.

I set the “bar” high. A healthy snack bar should have more than 3 grams of protein; more than 3 grams of fiber; most of the fats should be heart-healthy fats (unsaturated fats); and carbohydrates should be mostly whole grains with 10-20 grams of sugar. I’m not going to name specific brands, for that’s your job to read nutrition information.

However, I will point out the things you should avoid. You should avoid, like the plaque, such things as trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup.

In understanding trans-fats, it’s pertinent to know that these fats are artificially produced and cause far more damage to your body than any other fat and they are often disguised as hydrogenated oils. Read the nutrition facts and the list of ingredients carefully. Read more: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032

Another ingredient in all products not just snack bars that you should look for is the words “sucrose”, “fructose” and “high fructose” corn syrup. What exactly are these? They’re sweeteners. Sucrose, commonly called table sugar, is an organic compound composed of fructose and glucose. Sucrose is made from cane or beet sugar and can be powdered or granulated. Sucrose is considered empty calories providing only energy without nutritional value. Sucrose is metabolized in the liver and has a variety of beneficial and detrimental health effects.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/517473-the-effect-of-sucrose-on-the-liver/#ixzz2LqTWIzEW

Fructose, often called the fruit sugar, is a type of naturally occurring sugar found in many fruits, vegetables, and honey. Fructose is nearly twice as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and can give a similar rise in blood sugar as sucrose. Fructose is commonly used in processed foods partly because it is less expensive to produce than sucrose and it takes less of it to produce the same level of sweetness. Fructose is often consumed in the form of high fructose corn syrup, which is fructose that has been combined with corn syrup and chemically treated to increase the concentration and sweetness of the fructose. High fructose corn syrup, a sweetener in its worst form, is found in many of our food and beverage products. Researchers have found evidence that indicates the consumption of fructose in the form of high fructose corn syrup contributes significantly to weight gain and possible insulin resistance.

So if you’re looking for healthy snack bars beware of the artificial “weight gaining” ingredients!! I will discuss in my next blog other healthy snack options as well as other detrimental ingredients to be aware of. Healthy snacking to you!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 26 2015

What does it mean to care for your body? As children we are taught good oral hygiene, to eat your veggies, get out and play and get some exercise. These things are true; but, why is it then when we have choice as adults, we choose NOT to take care of our bodies. Having a healthy diet and exercising regularly is the best thing we can do for our bodies.

Research has validated without a shadow of a doubt that you can lower your risk for the most serious diseases by following a healthy diet. According to a recent study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, healthy eating can ward off 25% of all cancers and, combined with exercising regularly and not smoking, can prevent possibly 90% of cases of type 2 diabetes.

However, ironically, for most of us, when it comes to taking care of our cars, we adhere religiously to regular, timely maintenance. We provide our cars the proper care at the regularly scheduled times. We do this to ensure a safe, dependable car. I ask then, why don’t we do the same for our bodies? If we expect to function at our best and have a quality healthy life, wouldn’t it make sense for us to take care of our bodies as meticulously as we do our cars?

I have preached almost exhaustively on this topic over the years. That’s what I do for a living. Teach good health & fitness. It’s something I take very seriously and so should YOU! None of us is guaranteed tomorrow, but you can rest assured that if we have a tomorrow – for many of us because we have NOT taken care of ourselves, will be one of pain and suffering – one of diminishing poor health. Isn’t it time to make those changes that will better your chances of living a long, healthy life?

Embrace Health! Embrace Life! Take Care of Your Bodies!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:20 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 24 2015

MYTH:
Muscle Turns to Fat When You Stop Working Out.

FACT:
Lack of exercise causes the body to burn fewer calories and may lead to weight gain. The muscles may reduce in size without exercise. This means that muscle is NOT turning to fat, but it becoming smaller while more fat covers it. You can prevent this through a healthy diet and regular exercise.

MYTH:
NO PAIN, NO GAIN

FACT:
Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. A good exercise program puts a reasonable demand on the cardio respiratory and musculoskeletal systems and may be uncomfortable but should not hurt.

MYTH:
Spot Reduction is Possible.

FACT:
Contrary to popular belief you cannot “burn fat” from just one area of your body by exercising that body part. Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you lose extra body weight, which you’ll lose from your entire body, NOT from one spot.

MYTH:
Women Who Lift Weights Will Get Big Bulky Muscles

FACT:
Most women to not have the genetic potential to get as big as men do when strength training. So don’t worry!! Strength training is good for your bones, muscles, and overall health.

MYTH:
Doing lots of Crunches Will Make My “six pack” Visible.

FACT:
Doing crunches will build the abdominal muscles, but you won’t necessarily see them until you get rid of the layer of fat covering them. To have visible abs, you will need to have a balanced diet and proper exercise to lose fat.

MYTH:
You will burn more fat if you exercise for longer period at a lower intensity.

FACT:
The most important idea behind weight loss is burning more calories than you consume no matter if those calories come fat or not. The faster you walk, run, bike, etc, the more calories you burn per minute. Try some interval training to pick up the intensity in your workout!!

MYTH:
There is a Quick Fix Out There to Make Me Lose Weight

FACT:
In reality, there are no quick fixes. Weight loss is not easy, and requires a balanced diet and regular exercise. If the newest diet pill seems too good to be true, that’s because it is.

MYTH:
Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

FACT:
A pound of fat and a pound of muscle weigh the same, a pound! However, muscle is denser and takes up less space than fat. Replacing some poundage of fat with muscle will make you seem smaller, when you really weigh the same

MYTH:
Eating After 8pm Will Make You Gain Weight

FACT:
Your metabolism doesn’t know what time it is. To gain weight you must consume more calories than you expend. You can eat any time and not gain weight as long as you don’t over-consume calories that day

MYTH:
The More Protein I Consume, the More Muscle I’ll Gain

FACT:
The body uses protein, carbohydrates, and fat to build muscle. An excessive amount of protein will end up unused by the body and expelled as waste.

MYTH:
To Lose Weight, I Should Eat as Little as Possible

FACT:
The less you eat, the more the body believes it’s being starved, and will hold onto its precious fat stores. In order to lose weight you must expend more calories than you consume. A deficit of 3,500 kcal/week will result in 1-lb of fat loss. It is best to try to reduce by 500 kcals/day through diet and exercise. A healthy amount of weight to lose per week is 1-2 lbs. Also eating 5-6 small meals/snacks throughout the day will help keep your metabolism active, and an elevated metabolism equals weight loss

MYTH:
If I Really Want To Get Bigger, Leaner or Better I Should Exercise As Much As Possible

FACT:
Too much exercise can lead to overtraining, which will greatly hamper the results you are trying to achieve. The body needs adequate rest and recovery time in between workout sessions.

MYTH:
I Want to Get Defined Muscles, so I Should Lift Lighter Weights with Higher Repetitions

FACT:
You may have increased muscle size through strength training. All the weight lifting in the world isn’t going to reveal it if it’s hidden by a layer of fat! That’s where diet and cardio come into play. A balanced diet and regular cardiovascular activity will help display that hard earned muscle. Also lighter weights with higher reps will just lead to muscular endurance. An increase in lean tissue is best achieved through a repetition range of 6-10 over 3-5 sets. Also it is recommended to perform 3 or more exercises per muscle group!

Source: Wilmore, J & Costil, D (1999) Physiology of Sport & Exercise. Human Kinetics

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 02:04 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 24 2015

A new report from Harvard Medical School says middle-aged and older women need to worry about certain health concerns – osteoporosis, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and microvascular disease, which is a type of disease more common in women.

What can women do to better their chances of not being afflicted with these health concerns? According to the report, A Guide to Women’s Health Fifty and Forward, 10 steps to a longer and healthier life is made available.

They include:

  • Shun cigarette smoking. Tobacco smoke that is inhaled causes lung cancer, sinus disease and chronic obstructive lung disease; and increases the risk of strokes and heart disease.
  • Keep moving. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests every adult get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. Sessions should be at least 10 minutes in length.
  • Follow the Mediterranean diet pattern of mostly plant foods, limiting animal protein to fish and poultry, using olive oil as the principal fat and using wine in moderation.
  • Mind the body mass index. Obesity increases the risk of diabetes 20 times and substantially boosts the risk of developing blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and gallstones.
  • Lift the glass, but only one. Alcohol’s effects become more insidious as women age because the body’s water-to-fat ratio declines over the years.
  • Don’t run up a sleep deficit. Medical evidence suggests we need seven to nine hours of sleep daily, but more than 60 percent of women fall short of this.
  • Be your own best advocate on health issues. Know what’s best for you and just do it!
  • Keep connected. Older women who remain socially active live longer, healthier lives than their solitary counterparts.
  • Avoid stress. Find techniques to reduce stress and its effects.
  • Use supplements selectively. Experts agree the best way to get nutrients is through food. Only calcium and vitamin D are recommended supplements.
Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

Healthy Aging

 What is healthy aging? How does one effectively offset or slow the effects of aging? In other words, how does one age gracefully? Obviously many factors can influence how we age: genetics, environment and lifestyle. In this blog, I would like to look at what the research points to as the biggest determinant of healthy aging, which is lifestyle and physical fitness. Several studies have clearly shown that physical fitness is an important predictor of both cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. In addition it is a good predictor of being able to live an independent life at old age.

 Physical Fitness

However, before we delve into the subject of physical fitness, it is important to differentiate between three different but inter-related concepts: physical activity, physical exercise, and physical fitness. Physical activity refers to any body movement produced by muscle action that increases energy expenditure. Physical exercise refers to planned, structured, repetitive, and purposeful physical activity. Physical fitness is the capacity to perform physical exercise. Physical fitness makes reference to the full range of physical qualities, such as, aerobic capacity, strength, speed, agility, coordination, and flexibility. Thus, daily exercise should be orientated towards increasing daily physical activity and improving physical fitness.

 Aerobic Exercise

One aspect of improving physical fitness is aerobic exercise. The results of aerobic exercise, such as, walking are very positive, especially for cardiovascular health. These improvements are independent of race, sex, age, and body mass index. The research shows that a program of regular aerobic exercise of three to six months duration can improve aerobic capacity by 15%–30%. A training frequency of 3–5 days a week is recommended, and the research indicates that it is preferable to avoid single, hard bouts of exercise once a week. Training intensity should be at some 55%/65%–90% of the maximum heart rate, or of the maximum reserve heart rate (maximum HR –rest HR) (ACSM 1998)

 Strength Training

Strength training or resistance training is another aspect of improving physical fitness. Strength training has been shown to be the most effective method for developing skeletomuscular strength, and it is currently prescribed by many major health organizations for improving health and fitness. Research demonstrates that resistance training reduces the risk factors associated with coronary heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and colon cancer; it prevents osteoporosis, promotes weight loss and weight maintenance, and likewise, improves dynamic stability, preserves functional capacity, and fosters psychological welfare. These benefits can be safely obtained when an individualized program is prescribed. In the American College of Sports Medicine’s position stand that, “resistance training should be an integral part of any adult fitness program and should be of sufficient intensity to enhance strength, muscular endurance, and maintain fat-free mass. Resistance training should be progressive in nature, individualized, and provide a stimulus to all the major muscle groups.” In essence, it is imperative that you do what it takes TODAY even eliciting the help of a professional in helping you reach a certain level of age defying physical fitness.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:51 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

“I want to lose weight.” Nine out of ten times this is what I hear when I ask clients what is their most important goal? When I delve deeper into why they want to lose weight. Here are some of the most revealing reasons – and the best reasons to lose weight!

I hate looking at myself in a mirror.

I want to feel I can do this and to keep it the weight off.

I hate myself in a bathing suit. I don’t even like going to the pool with my kids.

I want to feel good about myself again.

I want to feel better physically.

I want to be happier.

I dread having your picture taken.

I will be healthier.

So I won’t die young like my parent, a relative.

So I will be a good example to my children.

I will eat healthier food; therefore your family will eat healthier.

I will be less winded when walking stairs or long distances

I will live longer, and enjoy my life more.

I will not fear the scales any more.

I will look better, and feel better.

I want to look good at my class reunion; my son/daughter’s wedding.

So my back and feet won’t hurt.

So people won’t think I’m pregnant.

So I won’t have to come up with new excuses for being overweight.

So I won’t feel depressed to just dressed in the morning.

So I can feel comfortable in a car, at the theater, an airplane.

I want to be happy!

I want to be able to run, play and do things with my kids/grandkids.

I want to dance again.

I want to feel better about myself.

I want to wear smaller size clothing.

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:49 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, June 19 2015

Short cuts are short lived. So why do we feel we can do something for a short time to get lasting results? We feel all we have to do to lose some weight is to diet or to exercise for a set amount of time. Then presto we get the body, the good health we want. Sadly, we repeat this self-defeating pattern of behavior.

Understandably, we all want to look and feel great. But for this to happen, we need to do the RIGHT THING ALL THE TIME not just some of the time or for a short time. Quick results, do not equate to lasting results!

Likewise, we all want to look and feel good about ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to feel confident with their appearance, and have the stamina, strength and endurance to live a quality life? However, we can’t achieve this level of confidence without a plan, a plan of working towards a lasting goal. This goal should be a healthier you.

What does it take to be healthier and to be more fit? EATING HEALTHY AND DAILY EXERCISE. Help Guide provides some practical and helpful hints http://www.helpguide.org/life/healthy_eating_diet.htm.

In essence, you have to change your lifestyle. The weight gain, the health issues, the low energy are all because of the way you are living now. So it makes sense to change your lifestyle to a more productive, positive and healthy lifestyle.

Learning what foods and behaviors are healthy and then establishing a healthy routine requires discipline on your part. No one can make you not eat that fried food or to get out and take a walk. You have to decide once and for all that for a happy, healthier you, YOU MUST MAKE THE LIFESTYLE IMPROVING CHANGES! There’s no turning back. No going back to old behaviors. You have full command of your life, your health!

Living healthy. Living Longer. There’s no short cut to taking care of you!

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 17 2015

Your wellness journey starts with you. What I mean by this is that the decision to become a healthier you whether it‘s to lose weight, have more energy or become a better athlete resides with you. You and only you can make that decision.

Most people want to start exercising and eating healthy but are completely overwhelmed at where to start even.  So hopefully I can help point you in the right direction.

For starters, you need to write down the biggest reason you want to get healthy. What’s your motivation?  If you find this task overwhelming, perhaps, it’s time to seek a professional who can help you with the process.

Once you’ve decided that this is something you want to do then the time to start is now! No better time than now. Because a decision isn’t truly made until it’s put into action. That’s where an action plan is created. Again, a professional can help you with the process. However, realize that the process will be ongoing. For good health & fitness is not reaching a goal but continuing to do what it takes to remain healthy & fit. In other words, it’s a lifestyle that you must continue for the rest of your life.

Again, just as important as deciding what needs to be done, is knowing that you need to be realistic with your time and goals and make an all-out effort to plan.  Believe me, even the fittest and healthy people you know today at some point where were you are right now.  If it were easy, we’d all be healthy & fit! Just be consistent with the process; stick with it; and realize that yes, things will come up that will throw you off track; however, the most important thing you can do is to get back on track! That’s what your trainer and your support network are there for to help you stay the course.

I am reminded of the wise words of Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, “Fitness is a journey, not a destination. You must continue for the rest of your life.”

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:40 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 09 2015

We hear it all the time, for good health you must eat healthily and exercise. But what exactly is healthy eating? Healthy eating essentially means consuming the right quantities of foods from all food groups to lead a healthy life. Diet is often referred to as some dietary regimen for losing weight. Diet simply means the food we eat.

A nutritionally sound diet promotes good health. A healthy diet must include several food, groups. The crucial part of healthy eating is a balanced diet. A balanced diet, a healthy diet, means consuming from all the different food groups in the right quantities, so you can have the right amount and mix of the nutrients and minerals your body needs. Nutritionists say there are five main food groups – whole grains, fruit, vegetables, protein, and dairy. I differ in opinion as a vegetarian regarding the food groups, which I have addressed in an earlier blog, but that’s not my emphasis here. My emphasis is a balanced, healthy diet. However, too many in our country do not embrace the guiding principles for good health.

Our country is facing a chronic problem with the increasing rate of obesity in the overall population, which includes adults as well as our children. An abstract from the Journal of American Medicine reads, “ More than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese.” The states of Mississippi and Alabama alone have obesity rates above 30% while 22 other states have obesity rates all over 25%. Moreover, the percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 now considered overweight or obese.

The World Health Organization (WHO) makes the following recommendations.

  • We should aim for an energy balance and a healthy bodyweight.
  • We should limit our energy consumption from total fats.
  • We should also aim for more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats.
  • We should up our consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts. We should consume, as little simple sugars are possible.
  • We should also limit our consumption of salt/sodium.

Isn’t it time, you embrace good health, and a good life?

Posted by: Aline Laing AT 01:14 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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