By Christina | September 27, 2009
It is challenging enough to get me to convince people to add resistance training into their exercise programs, let alone convince them of the merits of switching up their resistance workouts for maximum effect. The truth is we are all creatures of habit, but being creatures of habit in fitness is one of the surefire ways to guarantee your body won’t change. Read full entry »
By Janine Fitzgerald | September 18, 2011
Sometimes it feels as if we will have to climb Mt. McKinley in order to overcome an obstacle, but you can get there by following three easy tips. First, take small steps. For example, when I work with a client in creating a wellness vision, it may appear to them to be nearly impossible. However, we simply come up with realistic three month goals that connect to the vision, and from there, create a few manageable weekly goals. I get such joy when a couple of months go by, we look back at their progress, and they feel such pride and excitement at how far they have come. The second thing you want to do is publicize your goal. Studies show that by writing down your goal, you can increase your odds of achievement by 33%! Be consistent about frequently rereading your goal as well in order to keep it alive. And tell those around you about your goal. Don’t be afraid. Tell them! The third tip is to avoid words that are absolutes, such as “always” and “never”. Experts agree that nixing these self-limiting words from your vocabulary can help you to view yourself as the capable individual that you are!
For more helpful and easy ideas on how to achieve your goals, simply visit my website below.
By Janine Fitzgerald | August 27, 2011
If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “I didn’t get to workout at all this week because I was so busy”, I’d be a millionaire. But good news! You don’t need to spend an hour or more working out. In fact, less time exercising but with increased intensity boosts metabolic rate and fat burning. Using this technique a few times per week will give you great results in little time.
One thing you can do to lessen the length of workout time is to reduce your rest in between sets. In a study from the College of New Jersey, men who rested just 30 seconds between sets burned over 50 percent more calories than when they rested for three minutes. The second technique you can try is supersetting, which means that you are working one muscle group while the antagonist, or opposite group, is resting. For example, if you work chest and back together, you can burn 35 percent more calories. The third approach is to do circuit training by moving from one station to the next with little or no rest time. This causes a greater release of growth hormone, a.k.a. “the fountain of youth”. The fourth method is active rest, which is performing 30-60 seconds of cardio bursts in between your weight exercise. You could jump rope, do jumping jacks, jog in place…..whatever (just no texting)! And last but not least, you could try HIIT, high intensity interval training, in which you alternate between cardio bursts of 90-100 percent of your max effort with periods of recovery. If you are new to HIIT, begin with a 1:2 ratio of work to recovery, sprinting 15 seconds and walking for 30. Once that becomes easier, go to a 1:1 ratio and then finally a 2:1 ratio. You can start with ten sprints total and add more as it becomes less challenging.
It’s all a matter of improving time management; whether it’s in the gym, in the boardroom, or at home with your family. For more ideas on improving time management, you may contact me by visiting my website below.
By Janine Fitzgerald | August 21, 2011
Do you ever catch yourself getting sucked into negative thinking? Let’s admit it, we’ve all been there. However, according to psychiatrist Jeffery Schwartz, author of the book You are not Your Brain, you can literally rewire your brain through the practice of mindfulness. You can finally rid yourself of that doom-and-gloom mentality!
Often times when we engage in negative self-talk, we view it as the truth or reality, but instead, it’s necessary to relabel it for what it is….nothing more than just negative self-talk. At the same time, try to notice any tense body sensations that accompany that critical inner dialogue. Body awareness can certainly assist in minimizing a destructive thought pattern.
When I work with a client that tends to view themselves in a harsh light, I help them to refocus on something positive by brainstorming and making a list of as many ideas as possible of things that they would find helpful or enjoyable. Then, they select perhaps two or three ideas that they feel will work best for them in regards to their needs and individual lifestyle. I never know what to expect. Some find it helpful to have a few post-it notes around with positive words, others make that the time to call a supportive friend or relative that they find to be light-hearted or funny. Personally, when I like to shift gears, I go into the kitchen to make a big mug of tea with a splash of almond milk. Yum! It’s so simple, but it helps me to focus on something else. Life is a journey. If you try one thing and it doesn’t work so well, try the next thing.
By Janine Fitzgerald | August 4, 2011
As a wellness coach, it is no surprise to me that the majority of my clients have a strong desire to reduce the stress in their lives and often wonder if prolonged stress can make them sick. The answer is yes and no. Stress is a complex thing. According to Dr. Esther Sternberg, one of the world’s leading researchers in the science of mind-body interaction and its affects on illness and health, physiological stress response is a good thing on a short term basis, when you need that rush of energy to fight or flight. We need it for survival. However, when one is experiencing prolonged stress due to a death, job loss, or divorce, the immune system weakens, possibly causing illness or disease. In order to deal with stress, the body produces elevated levels of cortisol, an anti-inflammatory, which automatically lessens the immune system’s ability to fight infection.
Sternberg states that we often can’t change the stressful event, however, we can alter the way in which we deal with it. It’s important to seek help from friends, family, and professionals because we can’t do everything on our own. She says, “an exercise professional is an important component of a network of social support, because people are busy, and they may feel that they don’t have time to exercise. Having a trainer helps people stay with an exercise routine until it becomes routine.
If stress reduction is a goal of yours, you may want to keep a daily log and rate your stress on a scale of one to ten. Currently you may average a level eight, but perhaps within the next three months, you’d like to get to a four or five. Then each day take action to reduce the way in which you respond to stress. Discover what works for you. For some of my clients, it may be deep breathing before bed, or taking a yoga class, or listening to soothing music. I always say that if one thing doesn’t work, try something else.
By Janine Fitzgerald | August 2, 2011
I just read yesterday that when it comes to wearing a
bathing suit, the majority of women were most conscious of their
mid-section. And research shows that
abdominal fat is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and breast cancer, just to
name a few. But putting health aside,
let’s admit one thing: we want to look
HOT! So what are some things that you
can do to help minimize that muffin top?
For starters, read all beverage labels, that includes that “healthy”
supplement water. Many have added sugar
and on top of that, most are likely to have at least two servings in the
container. And according to a study at
the University of Tennessee, when subjects tried one of three diets, those that
followed a lean, dairy-rich regimen lost the most from their middles. I’m a big fan of plain, organic Greek
yogurt. It’s higher in protein and
contains less sodium and lactose than regular yogurt. Again, just read the label to be sure that no
sugar was added. Here’s another tip,
lift those weights! Research shows that
subjects who do weight training at least twice per week have less body fat than
those that stick to just cardio. It’s also
very helpful to consume “good” bacteria which you could get by taking a
probiotic or by eating foods like Greek yogurt, kimchi (I just had some for
lunch), or tempeh.
Those are just a few ideas, but there are MANY more things
that we can do to be proactive about keeping our midsections trim. If you are interested in hearing more
suggestions, feel free to visit my website.
Also, I’d like to hear what you do to keep your tummy trim!
By Janine Fitzgerald | July 27, 2011
Ok, so who hasn’t said to themselves, “I wish I could get rid of this cellulite” or, “I’d give my little toe to get rid of this gut”? We’ve all been there and according to a study by The Succeed Foundation Body Image Survey, 30% of the respondents whose ages ranged from 18 to 65 said that they would trade at least one year of life to achieve the ideal body weight or shape. Over 10% of them would agree to reducing their annual salary by $8,300.
As someone who has worked in the health, fitness, and wellness industry for almost twelve years, this does not surprise me. In fact, truth be told, I am often my own worst critic, but I believe the findings of this study are less about superficiality and more about achieving happiness and contentment in life. The key is to keep progress, not perfection , in mind. Think of the journey, not the destination. A helpful tip on the road to progress is to focus on inches and circumference rather than the scale which does not reflect the ratio of muscle to fat. Another simple exercise that I may have a client do is to keep a log of their quality of sleep, cravings, stress levels, and or hunger. After all, we are not just simply a physical body. We are also a human being with a mind and emotions.
Self-acceptance is a work in progress. With time and consistent practice, we can certainly overcome mental, emotional, and physical barriers. I’m a fan of post-it notes. For example, if you have a tendency to focus on physical “flaws”, you may want to create a note that says, “I am beautiful” or “I am strong” and say it out loud when you see it. For any other helpful hints, please feel free to contact me through my website.
By Janine Fitzgerald | July 22, 2011
Unfortunately, we often waste away our leisure time on
meaningless activities like surfing the net or watching a ridiculous “reality”
show where there’s not a moment without crying, yelling, or drunken
behavior. Instead, try to make the most
of your free time by making it meaningful.
One profound exercise you may want to do is called the List of 100
Dreams which is made up of 100 things that you would like to do in your
lifetime. It may include 10 places you
would like to visit (Greece, here I come!), 10 musicals you would like to see,
or 10 skills you want to learn (and yes, pole dancing counts),. It could be anything from taking a hot air
balloon ride (I’d love that), to consistently keeping six different vegetables
stocked in the fridge at all times.
And we certainly can’t just expect these things to happen on
their own. We have to plan for them by
blocking out specific time on the calendar.
For example, in a given week you may write down in your calendar that on
Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:30 you are going to go on the computer and research
various hotels, places, sites, etc. in Greece.
Or Sunday at 3PM you will make a grocery list that includes six various
vegetables and then get in your car and go to the farmers’ market.
You could also use little bits of time to generate more
meaning into your life. For instance,
when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office, you could do some deep breathing,
or when you’re sitting at a red light, you may want to do a quick set of kegel
exercises (gotta keep those muscles
tight as well). If you would like any
more ideas on creating more meaning into your life, visit me at:
By Janine Fitzgerald | July 15, 2011
Although we know we shouldn’t do it, we sometimes can’t resist from comparing ourselves to others. So how do we stop playing the game that nobody wins? As a wellness coach, I help people focus on their strengths and abilities, because worrying about whether others are more intelligent or successful or prettier produces anxiety and depression. It also causes a feeling of separateness because we always either feel superior or inferior to others. Instead of designing the life that you want, you’re focused on how you compare. In order to break the habit, it is necessary to be proactive about establishing a sense of worthiness and avoiding toxic relationships.
And at times, it is easy to compare ourselves with a single element of another person’s life instead of considering his or her whole life. For example, your friend may have a high paying career, but she’s unsatisfied with her social or romantic aspect of life, or she may be struggling with a medical issue. Instead, focus on your unique talents and abilities and how your using them for good.
When you catch yourself making comparisons to others, allow that to be a reminder to reflect on what you do have in life (supportive parents, a sister that always makes you laugh, good health, etc.). It’s important to view the world from a place of abundance versus scarcity. This is just like any other habit, it may take a little work in the beginning, but give it time and it will soon become much easier. A couple of exercises I like is to each day write down five things that I’m grateful for that particular day. Another one that you may find useful is to post a little note in an obvious spot that says, “I have a life of abundance” or whatever feels meaning to you.
By Janine Fitzgerald | July 4, 2011
According to researchers at Case Western University in
Cleveland, Ohio, positive coaching is more effective than a critical
approach. Anthony Jack, professor of
cognitive science at Case University, states that individuals react better to a
coach that they regard as inspiring and shows compassion for them, versus one
that they find judgmental. Jack, along
with Richard Boyatzis, professor of organizational behavior at Weatherhead
School of Management, conducted a study on how the brain responds to both compassionate
and critical methods.
Researchers gathered two groups of college students and used
functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe how the brain reacted to the
different coaching styles. One group had
a coach that emphasized a positive outcome and the potential for success, while
the other coach employed a critical method, pointing out the students’ flaws
and weaknesses. After one week of
continuous coaching, the subjects participated in a video conference with their
respective coach, while a brain scanner measured the activity in the students’
brains. The research proved that
positive coaching stimulated neuroendocrine systems that led to better
cognitive functioning and perceptual accuracy.
I couldn’t agree more with the data from this study. As a wellness coach, I help people focus on
what brings them joy, pride, and a sense of accomplishment. Focus on what is working in life and develop specific
strategies to get more of that positive energy.
If you would like a little support in developing your own strategies to
greater wellness (more energy, more physically fit, better nutrition, etc.),
please visit my website below.
By Janine Fitzgerald | July 1, 2011
Breakfast….the meal of champions! Yet, about 25% of the population skips
breakfast on a regular basis. According
to studies, not only does skipping breakfast increase one’s chances of making
unwise food selections later in the day, but also increases the odds of a
person overeating. Marie Dunford, PhD,
RD, says that in several studies conducted with athletes, lack of food prior to
exercise decreases performance. And,
hey, we may not be athletes ourselves, but certainly we have to “mentally
perform” everyday with work, school, kids, errands, etc.
Another good reason to eat breakfast is that the body
usually doesn’t absorb 100% of a nutrient when it is consumed. Melinda Manore, a nutrition professor at
Oregon State University, states that spreading out smaller amounts of food
throughout the day allows the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently and helps
to maintain lean muscle mass. When fuel
is not available, the body will break down muscle proteins. And what about that theory that working out
on an empty stomach burns more fat? Not
true. A study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition measured
men who used a treadmill for 35 minutes before and after eating breakfast. Those that ate first burned more calories and
fat than those that did not.
It’s advised that breakfast provides about 30% of one’s
daily caloric needs and contains a mix of complex carbs, protein, and healthy
fat. Most of us know what we should or
should not eat, but just have a hard time actually doing it. And believe me, I’m no exception. But if you would like a little support in
clarifying your goals and truly achieving them, please visit my website.