Walk Fit

Walking is a great addition to your current workout routine. It has a plethora of benefits and is a universal exercise. You can do it anywhere, and mostly anyone can do it, it’s free, it doesn’t require special equipment, and you can do it any time of day. By just adding 30 minutes of walking into your daily workout routine, you can change you! The benefits are countless.

It lowers blood pressure that can also be good for your cholesterol levels, and in turn reduces the risk of obesity. Walking is not only one of the best activities for your health and mental well-being, it can help you lose weight and keep it off. It will help your heart become more efficient and every day activities will become easier. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, and benefit from a little Vitamin D from getting outside.

Benefits of Walking:

  • It strengthens your heart. Regular walking reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • It lowers disease risk. It slashes your risks of type 2 diabetes, asthma and some cancers.
  • It keeps weight in check. It helps you lose weight and keep it off.
  • It can help prevent dementia.
  • It can help prevent osteoporosis. As a weight-bearing activity, it helps strengthen bones.
  • It tones. A good walk help shape and tone your legs, giving definition to calves, hamstrings and lifting your glutes.
  • It tones your arms. All the regular movement you experience in your arms while walking will help tone your arms, shoulders and even upper back.
  • It boosts your vitamin D levels. A little bit of sunshine outside each day will put you in a great mood and help your bone health and immunity.
  • It gives you energy. A brisk walk with help boost your circulation and increase oxygen supply to every cell in your body.
  • It makes you happy. Regular moderate-intensity exercise is a great antidepressant. It helps reduce stress and anxiety. It can also be done with friends while enjoying a nice chat.

Even though you are already in a regular workout routine at the gym several times a week, doesn’t mean walking isn’t for you. The key to overall fitness is cross training, or participating in various activities, and walking is the perfect complement to any training regimen. By adding walking to your routine, you end up training opposing muscle groups and end up balancing out your strength and reducing the chance of injury. Also, if you are used to high impact activities, your body could benefit from taking it down a notch once in awhile and walking. You’ll get all the benefits of exercise without the wear and tear and giving your muscles time to recoup.

Add a walk to your daily workout routine. You’ll be able to cash in on all the additional benefits it has. Speak with your trainer and see when the best time for you would be to work that walk into your schedule. Sometimes, to get you moving during the day, first thing in the morning may be best for you. Or, if you feel a little sluggish and tired by mid-day, head out for a walk on your lunch. Start walking towards a healthier you!

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Workout, Rest, Repeat

Athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high level performance. Although you may feel guilty when you take a day off from exercising, it is important to help the body with repairs. A rest day will also help strengthen your body in the time between workouts. Continuous training can actually weaken even the strongest athletes.

Rest days are critical to sports performance for many reasons. Rest is physically necessary so that the muscles can repair, rebuild and strengthen. For recreational athletes, building in rest days will help maintain a better balance between home, work and fitness goals.

Building recovery time into any training program is important because this is the time that the body adapts to the stress of exercise and the real training effects takes place. Recovery allows the body to replenish energy store and repair damaged tissues. Exercise and physical work causes changes in the body. Muscle tissue will breakdown and the depletion of energy stores as well as fluid loss will occur. Recovery time, or a rest day will allow the stores to be replenished and allows tissue repair to occur. Without sufficient time to repair and replenish, the body will continue to breakdown from intensive exercise. The result, is overtraining and symptoms such as, feeling a general malaise, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance and an increased risk of injury.

Short-Term Recovery
Also called active recovery, short-term recovery occurs in the hours immediately after intense exercise. Active recovery refers to engaging in low-intensity exercise after workouts during the cool-down phase immediately after a hard effort or workout as well as during the days following the workout. These types of recovery are helpful with performance. Getting quality sleep is also an important part of short-term recovery, especially if you are doing a hard training regime.

Long-Term Recovery
Long-term recovery refers to those that are built into a seasonal training program such as professional athletes will have for during the season vs. off season workouts. Recovery time will be days and even weeks, depending on the demand that their body faces.

It is important to adapt your recovery time to your workout. The higher level of training intensity, the greater the need for planned recovery time. With monitoring your workouts in a training log and paying attention to your body and how it feels, you’ll be able to plan in your rest days. Talk to your trainer- get them to help you plan out the best workout – rest routine that suits you and your body’s needs. Remember how important it is to let your body rest and recover – rest for success.

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Recovery Food

You put so much effort into your workout and making sure you strengthen and tone your muscles correctly to get the results you want. It is just as important to eat the right food post-workout to ensure you are doing right for your body. Eating quality food post-workout is crucial. In order to optimize your results, you need to replace the amino acids and glycogen lost during your workout.

The muscle building process is started by increasing protein synthesis and nitrogen retention and the body requires a quick dose of the right protein and carbohydrates. Protein shakes and chicken and rice just won’t cut it every time. Your body prefers a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods.

Try some of these post-workout foods.

  • Lean chicken meat (white meat). Chicken is rich in protein and helps repair your damaged muscles after a workout.
  • Salmon is an excellent source of protein. Besides stimulating your metabolism, protein is great for filling you up and therefore taking in fewer calories. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fats which helps fight inflammation, regulates insulin levels and can even lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke.
  • Egg Whites. Eggs contain all the essential amino acids which are required for a fast recovery from muscle building workouts. It is important to cook the egg whites so they are not overcooked. Cooking them properly will help to unlock their full amino acid spectrum and allow you to get the most of your food.
  • Beans are a good source of proteins and fiber. Fiber helps to regulate the insulin levels, which is important for muscle growth. The best choices for beans are Kidney and Navy because of their low calories and high proteins.
  • Milk contains proteins of 80% whey and 20% casein. Whey is quickly broken down into amino acids, making milk an excellent drink after work. Casein is digested more slowly, providing the body with a constant supply of smaller amounts of protein over a longer period of time.
  • Lean Beef. Red meats are good bodybuilding foods that are packed with proteins and minerals such as iron and zinc. But they also contain a high level of saturated fats, so eat red meat in moderation.
  • WATER. The human body is made up of 70% water. Water helps to make your muscles look fuller and more toned. Just as important, water helps to transport minerals and nutrients throughout your body, speeding up the muscle-building process.

You can also try this delicious post-workout meal of Protein Pancakes:

Mix four egg whites, ½ cup rolled oats, ½ cup of cottage cheese, 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder and ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cook on a preheated griddle on medium to low heat until it bubbles like a regular pancake, flip and cook the other side. Top these delicious pancakes with some fresh fruit.
These are loaded with protein and not a lot of carbohydrates which make it a perfect meal to help retain muscle tissue when trying to lean up.

If you eat properly after a good workout, you’ll help your body and muscles benefit from all your hard work.

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Say Goodbye to Flabby Arms

Are you embarrassed by the way your arms look? Do you have that extra piece of skin under your arm that flaps when you wave? The female body is highly vulnerable to sagging because fat is deposited in the female body in three areas; the tummy, buttocks and the back of the arms. It’s time to get a great arm workout to remove that annoying double wave.

Tricep workouts will focus on that problem area. The triceps are the muscles that are on the back of the arm and this is the area that most women (and men) want to tighten. There are many different exercises to work the triceps, including anything that causes you to straighten your arm or push to extend your arm. Push ups, dips, tricep extensions, and tricep pushdowns are all great exercises to work the triceps. Here are some great exercises to help tone the troublesome spot.

Close Grip Push Ups
A great way to train your triceps at home or even on vacation is with close grip push ups. They are similar to regular push ups, except your hands are close together. If you have trouble performing these or standard push ups, try them with your knees touching the floor, or even standing while pushing on a wall. The further away that you are from the wall, the more resistance there will be. Don’t be afraid to do these wall type of push ups at first until your strength increases. Once you do them consistently for a while, you will soon be able to do them from your knees, and then eventually full close grip push ups.

Resistance Band Tricep Extensions
Tricep extensions are another great exercise and they work the triceps in a different way than what push ups do. Get a band that has an amount of tension that you can comfortably do around ten reps with. You can stand on the center of the band and have one of the handles in each hand. Extend your arms up alongside your head with the elbows pointing up and your arms bent. Keep your elbows up and do not move your arms at the shoulder joint. Extend your arms by straightening them at the elbows and keeping the shoulder joint locked. You should be able to feel the tension in your triceps or the back of the arm. Do your reps slowly and controlled at all times, pausing slightly at the top or lockout position.

Triceps Kickbacks
Stand straight next to a bench or a paddled chair. Place one arm and one leg folded on the bench. Your upper body will be bent over so it is parallel with the ground. Hold a dumbbell (or weighted object). Raise your elbow so your upper arm is also straight (parallel) to the ground while the other arm is supporting the weight of your body. The elbow must be at a right angle. Repeat for several repetitions. Switch over to the other arm.

Flabby arms are a curse restricted mainly to women. Men gather fat in their biceps, but for women it’s all in the triceps, and after a certain age, no matter how thin a woman may be, they inevitably get saggy arms. Ladies, don’t be afraid to build up your arms. Women lack the testosterone that causes triceps and biceps to bulk up. Instead women get fine toning and light definition in their arms. The list above are just some of the simpler arm toning exercises you can do. There are many more, both cardio and resistance that will help tone your upper arms. Talk to your trainer to set up the right workout for you to get the desired outcome you are looking for. Combined with a healthy diet and workout routine, you’ll get rid of that embarrassing excess wave and get the sexy arms you have always wanted.

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Exercise Addict

Remember the old adage, too much of anything in life can be a bad thing? Even something as simple as drinking water can be dangerous if you consume excessive levels. Exercise is a really important part of a healthy lifestyle – but make sure you build a healthy addiction to exercise. Exercising regularly is a major component in leading a healthy lifestyle. To get into the habit of exercising on a regular basis, you may need to set aside time in your schedule to visit the gym and find a type of exercise you can genuinely enjoy. At other times, you may have difficulty becoming addicted to exercising if you feel as if you aren’t reaching your goals in terms of fitness or weight loss. This is where a personal trainer can really keep you motivated and keep your enthusiasm and interest in your workout while changing things up and staying on track of your goals. Take a positive approach to exercise and making specific changes to your lifestyle, you can become addicted to exercising and improve your health in the process.

Here are some tips to become a Healthy Exercise Addict.

  1. Select a type of exercise best aligned with your interests.
  2. Recruit a friend or family member to exercise with you.
  3. Set aside time in your day for exercise.
  4. Exercise at your pace.
  5. Set fitness and training goals.
  6. Keep yourself entertained while you exercise.
  7. Reward yourself (clothing, jewelry, shoes).

Recovery time is an important aspect of physical training and without it you are likely to eventually experience physical symptoms, such as muscle or joint damage, prolonged fatigue, and be more prone to infections. Again, working with a trainer will make sure you aren’t over doing it and prevent you from doing more damage than good.

Don’t let exercise start to take over your life. Have it be an important part of your week, but ensure that you take some recovery time and don’t forget about spending time with those that are important in your life. Liking what you do, will make you want to continue to do it. Make exercise your healthy addiction.

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Burn Baby, Burn

Weight lifting is one of the most popular exercise forms. Weight lifting was earlier taken up by body builders. However, today anyone looking to lose fat and build up a toned and structured body should add it to their workout. Weight lifting is a great way to burn lots of calories.

Adding weight lifting to your regular exercise routine will help you burn some serious calories. If you are looking for a leaner, more muscular physique, you need to lift weights. Strength training is a fantastic way to burn calories. This type of training uses more muscles at any given time than other forms of training. When you use more muscles it requires your body to use up more energy. Although cardio burns calories throughout the exercise, building muscle through weight lifting burns fat during the exercise, and long after the exercise has been completed.

Muscles burn about 10 times the calories per pound than fat does. Weight lifting increases your metabolic rate and burns calories effectively. It also helps to check the calorie count even when the muscles go through the repair process when you are not working out. If you want to lose over all body fat then weight lifting programs are the best options. Weight lifting speeds up the process of calorie loss.

In addition, weight training is essential for keeping the weight off once you have reached your goal weight. Many research studies have shown that the participants who lost weight through a combination of exercise and caloric restriction were better able to keep weight off over the long term versus those that only undertook caloric restriction.

When you start to workout with weights, never workout any more than 4 days per week. Your body is put through a tremendous amount of stress when you are lifting weights. Anything more than this could be opening yourself up to muscle fatigue, muscle strains and injuries. You get the most of your gains on your rest day. If you are new to weight training, be sure not to focus so much on the scale. Muscle weighs more than fat, so as you are gaining muscle and losing fat, the scale may not tell the whole story.

Unfortunately, as we age we lose muscle and gain fat. We lose about 20% of our muscle mass after 30 years of age. The only way to retain our muscle mass is with weight lifting. When you increase your muscle mass you burn more calories. Your metabolic rate will remain elevated longer and you will burn more calories with less effort. Weight lifting will help you lose weight faster.

Meet with a personal trainer to get you on the right program of weight training for you to reach your workout and weight loss goals. A trainer will teach you the proper exercises and form so that you don’t injure yourself during your workout.

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Gym Time

How can you get the most of out of your gym experience when the only time you can get there is the busiest time? Trying to complete a workout in a busy gym can be intimidating, confusing, and frustrating.

  1. Don’t fall into the routine trap. The trick is to be able to recognize the alternatives available to you and understanding the purpose of each exercise. When you know why you are using the exercises you use you will be able to find other options to help you get to your goals. For example, if the rower you normally use is busy try using the treadmill.
  2. Make the most of dumbbells. Dumbbells take up less space and offer you more flexibility. Plus, even in a busy gym, there are always some available.
  3. Stand to do it. Don’t waste time waiting for a bench to become free. Stand to do the work out and get exercise options and angles you won’t get sitting down. Standing will work more of your body since you have to work your core and support muscles to hold you in place while you perform the exercise.
  4. Body Weight Exercises. Body weight exercises are a great way to still work out in a crowded gym. Try pull ups and dips while you may be waiting for another piece of equipment to become free.

    If you are using a machine and MUST leave it for a minute to come back to it, leave a marker. Signify that your machine or equipment is still in use. However, try to make sure you stay on the machine when possible for the whole duration of use. That will eliminate any misunderstandings of the machine being available. While you’re busy working on one piece of equipment, plan your next move. Look around the gym and take note on what is or looks like it will be coming available. This way you won’t waste time and let that heart rate slip while you stand around waiting for your next move. It is also helpful to get to know other members and trainers in the gym. You can then feel more comfortable sharing equipment.

    There are many workout options you can try in between stations or while waiting for a machine. Try some of the following:

    • Wide squat – 10 reps
    • Chin ups – 8 reps
    • Step ups – 10 reps per leg
    • Barbell rows – 10 reps
    • Side Plank – 8 reps per side hold for 10 seconds each
    • Balance Ball Rollout – 20 reps

    Think outside the box when it comes to your workout. A crowded gym can be an opportunity to vary your workout. A trainer is a good way to get your work out going during a busy gym time. They have programs built based on equipment available and know what would be a great substitute when you can’t get on the machine you need.

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Fitness Walking – A Complement to Any Fitness Program

Walking for Fat LossI’ve been a personal trainer in Willow Glen for over 25 years.  In those 25 years I’ve suggested a lot of strength training and interval cardio workouts for my clients, because most of my clients come to me to help them get rid of unwanted body fat.  I’ve always felt that “plain old walking”, while valuable as a stress reducer,  just wasn’t enough to improve someone’s fitness level.

I’m going to change my tune on this.  Sort of.  I think walking can be part of a great fat loss program. I think we need to establish how and where walking  fits into a fat loss program, though.



First, let’s talk about the general benefits of walking:

  • Walking is an incredible form of exercise that can be carried out by most people.
  • It’s a low impact workout which carries a very low risk of injury.
  • It is an activity that requires no equipment (just good shoes, really!).
  • Walking is a great “entry” form of exercise for a new exerciser.
  • Regular walking can help improve some health markers such as blood pressure and blood glucose.


Now, let’s move on to how walking can be a valuable part of  a fat loss program.  Because walking is low impact, it’s a great form of recovery exercise in between the high intensity interval workouts I design for my clients.  It’s also a great form of recovery in between strength training days.  So, for my money, walking is the last piece of the fat loss puzzle.  Walking is the longer, lower intensity cardio exercise that you can do on your off days.  You don’t work out as hard, but you go for a longer time.  For me, this is where walking for fat loss is best used.

So, here’s my breakdown of where our efforts lie for the best fat loss program:

Nutrition first, strength training second, intervals third and finally …..walking.

If you’ve been walking  for awhile, you may want to try walking hills on occasion.  If you live near a hilly area, your basic fitness walk may turn into an interval training session as you huff and puff up the hills!

Whether fat loss is your goal, or you’re simply wanting to feel better, lace up your shoes and get yourself out for a walk.  It’s a solid way to support your fat loss efforts!


Committed to your success,



Want Fat Loss Fast? Try HIIT Workouts

Increase fat loss with interval trainingIt seems everyone is looking for an easy fat loss strategy these days.  Although it isn’t easy to perform, I highly recommend High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) for exceptional fat loss results.

Interval training is an exercise strategy alternating periods of hard exercise effort with lower intensity recovery periods. Unlike your traditional cardio workouts in the gym that might have you on a treadmill or elliptical trainer for 45 plus minutes, interval training workouts are much shorter (usually 5-20 minutes).  These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and conditioning, improved glucose metabolism, and accelerated use of stored fat for fuel in the hours after the HIIT workout is over.

Don’t expect this short workout to be a walk in the park, though! It is very intense if done right.  This is one of the reasons a HIIT session is shorter than a traditional cardio workout.

It’s important to do a proper warm up before engaging in high intensity exercise.  If you are new to exercise, I recommend that you have at least 10 minutes of warm up time, and then approach the higher intensity intervals in a step-wise manner, adding on additional cycles of exercise as you become more fit.

For example, you might do 30 seconds of higher intensity exercise followed by 90 seconds of lower intensity exercise, and repeat this cycle only 3-5 times.  As you become more fit, you can increase the number of cycles you do, and also decrease your recovery time a bit.

There really is no ideal time for work/recovery cycles.  With interval training, you can mix it up!  One day you might do intervals of 40 seconds hard work/20 seconds recovery.  Another day you might do a 20/10 split.  The key to effective interval training is to work HARD on the high intensity segments  (about a 9 on a scale of 1-10 once you’ve built up a good conditioning base).

With regard to what types of exercises you can do in a HIIT workout–the sky is the limit!  Combining sprinting with slower running (or walking) is a simple way to do HIIT.  You can also use a variety of cardio machines at your gym, or utilize any number of calisthenic-type exercises right in your own back yard.

For an idea on how to put together a HIIT workout, please check out a video I did for my customers.  It’s a sample HIIT program you can do in your own backyard.

As San Jose personal trainer for many years, I’ve recommended HIIT as a means to better fat loss results for hundreds of my clients.  Although it’s really hard while you’re doing it—-you’re exercising for a fraction of the time of a typical gym goer.  I call that good exercise math ……..MORE results……..LESS time .:-D.


Committed to your success,





Tread Lightly

Treadmill exercise has been proven to be beneficial for all kinds of people, including at risk groups like older individuals and pregnant women. Some kinds of aerobic exercises do not suit pregnant women or older people, but walking is always recommended and a treadmill is ideally suited for this purpose. Cardio-vascular exercise derived from walking or running on a treadmill helps you to burn extra calories and will help you to lose weight rapidly if you exercise on a frequent and consistent basis. A treadmill adds consistency to your walking workout and you can set both the pace and duration of your session and increase this in order to achieve a progressive improvement over time. A treadmill can also help you to achieve your personal fitness goals.

If you like walking or have been advised to walk regularly, then the weather conditions outside can create problems. When the weather conditions are poor during periods of rain, wind, snow or unfavorable temperature it makes it unpleasant or impossible to walk outside. With a treadmill you don’t need to worry about the weather and you can continue with your regular exercise regime.

With the constant walking on a treadmill looking at the same wall and space, how do you overcome boredom and lack of motivation? Try using the treadmill trainer, an audio workout that you can download on your iPod or Mp3 player to listen on your headphones while you jog/walk on the treadmill. It is like having a mini trainer in your ears to motivate you and guide you every step of the way. Or, try choosing an upbeat music compilation of your favorite motivating songs. You can also pick a time and television show you just can’t miss and plan your treadmill workout during that time. You’ll be so engrossed in your program, you’ll forget all about the calorie burn and exercise you are doing at the same time.

With a consistent treadmill workout, you want to make sure you are preventing injury. Remember these key points when walking or running during your treadmill workout.

  • Avoid toe, heel and knee injuries by using good shoes. Replace old worn out shoes so they give you a good support and have proper shock absorption.
  • Don’t overdo it. Use the treadmill every other day, not every day. Don’t go too fast and take it slow.
  • Warm up. Make sure you stretch and warm up your muscles before getting into your exercise routine.

A treadmill can be an excellent addition to any workout. Use some of these suggestions to keep yourself motivated and injury free. Enjoy walking all year long during any temperature or weather conditions that are outside by doing your walking/running routine on a treadmill.

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