Archive | Blog

RSS feed for this section

Are you tracking your Heart Rate Variability?

19 July

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/is-personality-and-heart-rate-variability-predictors-of-well-being.html

Why you need to know your Heart Rate Variability

There is one fitness metric that you should track. It’s called Heart rate variability (HRV). HRV provides accurate, up to the minute feedback on how you’re body is doing from a systemic standpoint. It will take the guess work out your training program.

Are you fully recovered from your training sessions or are you continuously over training, sacrificing results and possibly setting yourself up for injury?

Knowing the answer to these questions, can guide you to successful long term fitness development. If you can minimize the down time and avoid over-training, you’ll have less chance of injury and more results.

However if you unknowingly skip on the needed recovery you’ll find yourself constantly over training. It can take days, even weeks to fully recover depending on how far you’ve stressed your system and dug into your reserves.

In some cases, it can take an athlete a whole season to fully recover. I’ve seen shin splints linger through out an entire sports season. Never letting up until activity is decreased or stopped completely.

So how do you know when your over-training? How do you know when you’re ready to push and go for it? Do you need thousands of dollars of equipment? Or do you have to wait until you get an injury, feel exhausted, or your totally unmotivated.

You can get an answer to all these questions and stay ahead of the game if you take this one fitness metric.

 

Enter Heart Rate Variability

You simply use a heart rate monitor and smart phone to track your heart rate variability first thing in the morning. The data you receive tells you whether you’ve recovered from your previous training session and how to progress from there.

If you’ve seen what an EKG read out looks like (the above graph), then you’ve seen HRV. HRV is the time between each heart beat, represented by the distance between each high peak in the graph above.

The more variation in between beats the better. It means your body is sensitive enough to respond to the constant push and pulls of the autonomic nervous system, our fight or flight response system.

Less variability means your body isn’t responding well. In fact, in some cases like diabetes, there is very little change in heart rate variability signifying your body is not adjusting to the increased level of sugar in the blood.

So when it comes to Heart Rate Variability the more variation you have, the more fitness, the more resilience and the more rested you are.

 

How do you use HRV

 

All you need is a Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor (like this one here), your smartphone and HRV app that you can download from the App Store. When you first wake in the morning, put on your heart rate monitor and start the app. There are several good apps out there and some are even free.

It usually only takes a minute or two to get your HRV reading for the day.

After you’ve taken your HRV you can compare that number to an already established baseline.

If your number is lower than the base line it’s usually recommended to do a lighter workout. Drop two days in a row, then it will suggest that you skip exercise all together and rest.

Once your HRV has recovered then you can go back and resume your training as planned.

This is personalized training at its best. You simply take your HRV and then appropriately plan for the days activity.

 

Long Term Implications

This simple measurement gives you the reliable information you need to adjust your training program on a day to day basis. It puts the end to all the guess work.

It also keeps you ahead of the game. You’ll see a decrease in your HRV days before you’ll feel the physical manifestation of over training.

So instead of waiting until you feel unmotivated, exhausted or suffer an injury you’ll know ahead of time to back off from your training until you have fully recovered.

This provides you long term sustainability (training with out injury) and better results.

You’ll know when to push for high intensity training sessions and when to back off and do more recovery work. Then when you’re fully recovered you can safely push the intensity of your training.

 

Something we all need

If you’re training to lose weight, to hit a personal record, or just to participate in the game of life you’ll need this information.

It’s an accurate snapshot of how your body is responding to all the stresses in your life. Adding more exercise when your body is already at its limit is enough to send it into a chronic state of over-training.

But if you have the information and data to know that your body is ready for intense training, you can capatalize on that knowledge and push yourself to better results.

 

Ed Scaduto
Precision Fitness
“Move Well, Live Better”

3 Reasons to Focus on Creating Habits

15 March

typoramaHabits are running my life.

They tell me when and what to eat. They tell me when and how to exercise. I have no say. I try and fight them but I can’t. I am powerless.

Hard to believe?

I don’t set an alarm clock. I’m always up before 4:30 am, sometimes earlier, much earlier.

First thing I do is drag myself to the coffee maker. I do it first thing EVERY morning. No thinking, no objections.

I then catch up on emails and plan for the day.

I’ve recently added writing for 30 minutes.

When I’m done using my brain, I’ll start my movement practice and then take the dogs out. All before having breakfast.

I do this every morning, weekday or weekend, it doesn’t matter. It’s what my habits tell me to do so I do it and I don’t mind, not at all.

 

Creating Habits

Besides,  I’m the one who created these habits.

These habits are powerful and have forged my morning routine into one that starts my day off on the right track.

It puts everything on automatic for me. I head to work every morning knowing that I’ve already accomplished a big part of my daily goals.

I also know that in the long run, I’ll make significant progress in both my writing and movement skills.

And if I can do it, I know you can too.

Three Reasons to Start Creating Habits

 

1. Our brain loves habits.

Habits run the mundane everyday tasks for us.

Habits take over the menial tasks that we repeatedly do so our brains can focus on more important tasks or problems.

It allows me to dedicate my time and energy into creating ideas or exercises that I can torture my clients with.

 

2. Motivation not required. 

As you know, fitness isn’t a one time thing. Like any pursuit, it has to be practiced every day and it only works when you’re consistent.

There’s no other way around it.

Your habits allow you to keep moving forward with or with out motivation.

If you can create a healthy habit of exercise even when you’re not feeling up to it, it will do wonders for your consistency, and consistency does wonders for your goals.

 

3. Long term results.

When you create a habit you reap the rewards forever.

What a deal, right?

Just put in the hard work upfront and you’ll see a lifetime of benefit.

I know it’s not easy; building habits or replacing bad habits take time and being patient can a be a big challenge.

It is however so worth it.

Because the other option is to get rapid results using extreme measures.

But what happens in the long run?

You can’t keep up with the unrealistic demands of the program so you drop out and go back to what you were doing before.

And now you’re back to square one.

You can avoid all of this and instead, work on the process of building healthy habits so the results you do get, you get to enjoy and keep, forever.

 

This is why I let healthy habits run my life. It frees my mind to focus on more complex tasks, it keeps me consistent and that consistency pays off big time.

It may take time and a lot of effort up front but once you create a habit, you get results for the long term.

Isn’t that what you really want anyway?

The Magic of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

25 February

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

spinning-114792_1280HIIT training is another type of cardiovascular training and it’s the exact counter part to (slow long duration) SLD cardio. If you missed the blog post about SLD cardio you can read it here.

The best way to describe a HIIT workout is to think of performing periods of high intensity work followed by a specified recovery time. This combination of work and rest intervals is highly effective for conditioning the cardiovascular system and for revving up your calorie burn.

 

The Benefits

In a 6 week study comparing 45-60 minute cardio sessions to HIIT workouts, the HIIT participants showed significantly higher oxidative enzymes in the mitochondria. Mitochondria is the energy factory of our cells where fat is turned into usable energy. HIIT also created a greater increase in the amount of blood pumped per beat as well as improved oxygen uptake (15% compared to 9%).

The real magic of HIIT is the post exercise calorie burn. The workout creates such an energy deficit that your body will increase the intake of oxygen (think extra calories burned) until the debt is paid. The higher the intensity the greater the debt and more calories are burned to help your body recover.

Before you run out there and start your HIIT workouts, check out these guidelines.

 

The Guidelines:

Follow these three steps to make sure your HIIT workouts are both safe and effective:

1. Build your cardio base first – Train with steady state cardio training for one to three months. This is the type of training where you work out at steady speed or resistance level for 20-60 minutes. Your body needs this type of training to prepare itself for the higher stress and effort required for HIIT workouts.

2. Pick a safe modality – Because you will be working at a very high intensity, choosing a safe vehicle in which to do so is paramount. I suggest starting with a stationary bike. It allows you to work at max levels without worrying about falling off equipment or stumbling while you’re running.

3. Use a heart rate monitor. – You’ll need a heart rate monitor to get the most out of this type training. An important part of HIIT is performing work at the recommended level of intensity (between 75-85%) of your max heart rate. You can’t stop your training to check your pulse manually but you still need an instant heart rate reading to make sure your balancing working hard enough without working too hard.

 

The Workout:

Remember it’s not how much time you spend doing the exercise, it’s the stimulus created and how many calories you burn when you’re done.

This program is ideal if you’re just getting started with HIIT and can also be scaled to higher fitness levels. All you need is stationary bike.

Here’s the program:

  • Do this three times per week.
  • Perform 4 to 10 intervals of 30 second maximal effort cycling. This is at 75-85% of max heart rate
  • Follow each maximal effort interval with 4 minutes of recovery at 50-65% of max heart rat

It’s required that you give everything you have for thirty seconds to elicit the post exercise calorie burn.

Start with 4 intervals per session if you’re new, then you can increase by 1 more 30 second interval every week or two or when you feel your body is ready for it.

 

With HIIT sessions, you’ll become a metabolically efficient, fat burning machine and will spend less time doing it. The shorter length of time (20 minutes to start) lends itself to be an ideal choice during the work week when you have less time to work out.

When and how much you train depends on your fitness level and where you are with your fitness goals. Start at appropriate levels and don’t over do it at the start. If you apply HIIT workouts appropriately you’ll soon find yourself making progress towards your goals.

 

If you have any specific questions in how best to make cardio training work for you please contact me. I would love to hear from you.

Edward Scaduto

Move Well, Live Better

The Foundation of Cardio Training

23 February

runners-635906__180

What’s the best form of cardio training when you want to reach your goals safely and quickly?

There’s basically two types of cardio training; High intensity interval training (HIIT) and traditional steady state cardio. HIIT is all the rage right now but if you walk into a big box gyms you’ll see rows upon rows of “cardio” machines touting the benefits of long steady state cardio.

So what’s the right one for you?

Lets look at Slow Long Duration (SLD) endurance training first.

It’s aptly named because you usually do it for a prolonged period of time and at a lower percentage of heart rate. It’s when you go to the gym and jog on the treadmill at 4.0 mph for 20 minutes or longer, usually longer.

It has a bad (but undeserving) reputation in some training circles for the few reasons discussed below.

 

The bad of Slow Long Duration Endurance Training

1. It takes a long time to do – Not everyone has hours to do cardio plus your taking a big chunk of time away from strength training. All those hours training can also be difficult to fit into a busy schedule making it less like to stick as a habit.

2. It can burn muscle – This was one reason we’re told not to train cardio so long. It’s possible when doing sustained cardio that your body will use amino acids, the building blocks of muscle, to fuel your exercise. Not an ideal situation if you’re trying to gain muscle. This however is really only a factor if you’re a physique competitor trying to greatly increase muscle mass otherwise a good strength training program will counter the effects of muscle loss.

3. Increase risk of repetitive stress injury – It’s been said that it’s not if an endurance athlete will get injured it’s when. The injury rate for runners is 75% due to the many steps repeated (2,000 per mile) under load in only one movement pattern. That’s a lot of specific stress on the muscles and joints, so much that it’s easy to develop muscle imbalances and over use injuries.

It’s not all bad news though, there are some big benefits as to why SLD endurance training should be a part of your program.

Please read on.

 

The Good of Slow Long Duration Endurance Training

1. Increases maximum cardiac output – Long endurance training gives your body something HIIT can not. An increase in maximum cardiac output or the amount of blood your heart can push at any one time. In a comparative study, the long endurance group was able to increase this by 9% where the HIIT group was not able to increase this at all.  This shows that SLD cardio elicited a greater response for the strengthening of your heart and central cardio vascular system.

2. Creates the foundation – Long slow endurance is also used to create a cardiovascular base for increased performance in the future. Think of it this way, like a triangle, the greater the size of the base (foundation) the higher the peak. You’re cardio fitness works in this same manner. The larger the base you build in the beginning the greater the peak or your fitness potential.

3. A Safer method of training – SLD training is safer because you can perform it simply by walking (briskly if needed) or by using a cardio machine. Both of these modes of training are relatively safer than doing sprints, burpees, plyometrics and other high intensity exercises. You’re also less likely to have a complications with your breathing or heart at lower heart rates than at higher ones. This lends SLD as the type of cardio to begin your training or if you’re needing to work around an injury.

 

Recommendations for SLD:

1. Stay with between 60-70% of your max heart (220-age) during the duration of the session.

2. Going too high with your heart rate will cause you’re body to fatigue and you won’t be able to sustain the exercise for the duration of the workout.

3. Aim for 45 minutes or longer. Adjust according to what’s appropriate for your fitness goals.

4. Ideal for walking, hiking, jogging or spending time on your favorite piece of cardio equipment.

5. Perform one to two times per week, ideal for weekend training sessions when you have more time or when you want a more enjoyable type of exercise experience.

 

As you can see, there may be a couple drawbacks to SLD training but there is also a very big upside too. Especially when you consider how important it is to safely build your cardiovascular base and burn calories when you’re just starting out.

Even if you’re an experienced endurance athlete SLD will have a place in your cardio training program because you can’t run at high intensity all the time.

In fact, many elite runners use this method of training the majority of their training time!

In a world full of high intensity workouts and gyms, don’t neglect one of the most powerful ways for you to improve your health and fitness.

 

If you have any specific questions in regards to cardio training please feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Edward Scaduto

Move Well, Live Better

How Much Protein Should I Eat?

15 February

egg-944495_1920 (1)

Protein, Protein here, get your protein!

You know how important protein is for you right? So we can skip over those details of why you should eat it and head right on over to your daily requirement, ok?

So how much protein should you eat everyday?

Let’s start by doing the math, get your calculator, I mean your smart phone, to work on the equation.

 

The equation

You need to eat .8 grams of protein for every Kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body mass. (Take your body-weight divided by 2.2 and multiply it by .8)

This equates to 55g of protein for a 150 pound individual. I do want to stress that this is the minimal amount recommended to stave off deficiency for a sedentary person.

For a physically active 150 pound person the requirement may be close to 1 gram of protein for every pound of body-weight. That’s 150 grams of protein!

Keep in mind, this is a general recommendation. We are all different and your body may need a little more or a little less. Adjust according to what works best for you based on how you feel with your protein intake.

If you find yourself constantly sore, not recovering between workouts, or even having cravings for certain food, these can all be signals from your body that you need more protein.

 

The Habit

One of the eating habits you need to adopt, regardless of your goal, is eating protein at every meal. In order to meet your requirement you’ll need to have this habit in place.

It’s partly because it’s a numbers game. It’s very difficult to eat your daily requirement of protein in only a couple of meals. Eating large amount of protein at a single meal is also very difficult to digest.

With an average size chicken breast having only 20 grams of protein, it’s almost a necessity to spread your protein intake through out the day.

This is one of the reasons why you should eat protein at every meal.

 

Closing  Thought

Keep in mind, we are applying a mathematical equation to a human body so the formula is not going to work out exactly. Instead, use this equation to give you an estimate of where to start.

Then rely on the feedback from your body and adjust until you find the amount of protein that’s right for you.

 

If you have any further questions with diet or nutrition, please feel free to contact me.

I’d love to hear what you’ve found that works for you.

Ed Scaduto

How to Get Your Motivation Back

07 February

quotescover-JPG-77

Have you ever noticed when it comes to setting fitness goals your motivation is always so high at the start? You get this feeling that you can accomplish anything no matter what. Nothing is going to stop you!

It’s always like that at the start. You’re motivated and your hopes and dreams for the future seem bright. It’s all going as planned until BAM! You hit some major resistance.

Then it’s like your motivation starts to slowly decrease day by day, hour by hour. You start to notice that you’re getting back to your old habits, the cravings are getting intense and the lethargic energy that prevents you from exercising is back.

Does this situation sound familiar to you?

Don’t worry you’re not alone with this, it happens to all of us. One second we’re doing great and the next the rug gets pulled out from under our feet. It’s natural to start any process with high amounts of motivation only to see it slowly dwindle away. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 3 principles that I use to help me keep my motivation levels where I need it. You can use it to keep you going when times get a little rough and you need an extra boost.

 

1. Release the pressure of perfection.

Nothing stifles motivation more than the desire to do things perfectly. It prevents us from taking action due to the paralyzing fear of not fitting this self imposed idea of perfection. It also guarantees that you’ll feel discouraged at some point even when you’re making progress. That’s a boat load a pressure that you don’t really need.  This mindset will not serve you on your journey and it really does more harm than good. So let it go, you can do it.

 

2. Celebrate every small success.

Did you make it to the gym today? Celebrate it. Did you walk a mile? Celebrate it! Did you reach a major goal or accomplishment? Then you need to go right now and celebrate it. You see when we don’t celebrate the small victories we end up feeling like we haven’t really accomplished anything. This makes it harder for us to keep going. Every little success is a step closer to your goals. Each step provides a little burst of momentum that keeps you moving forward. Recognize that progress every step because no success is too small to celebrate.

 

3. Remember your reason why!

What’s the big picture here anyway? Are you just working out to lose a few pounds or are you making lifelong habits that will have a tremendous impact on your life? The reason for doing something, your why, has the biggest effect on the motivation you put forth. Wanting to be a good role model for your children or wanting to achieve your full potential are great reasons as to why you need to keep moving forward because it has more to do with an internal drive to be better rather than just to look better. Though looking better will be the end result, you need to have a strong enough why to keep moving forward when the times get tough.

 

When you reach that struggling point and we all will, remember to let go of any ideas of perfection, celebrate every small success and keep reminding yourself of your reason why because you are worth the work!

I hope this can help you on your journey and if there’s anything else I can do to help you along, please let me know.

Edward Scaduto

Move Well and Live Better!

The Movement First Approach

03 March

yogaHave you ever asked yourself any of the following questions?

What’s the best way to lose weight? How do I get my energy back? Can I recapture the strength and vitality I had when I was younger? I want to feel like I did when I was 20, is that possible?  How do I work around this nagging injury? What’s the best way for me to get back into shape?

Whether you’ve asked yourself one or more of these questions there is one simple answer to them all.

Move well and Move often.

 

The Movement Connection Between Every Fitness and Performance Goal

You see, before you can lose weight, improve your fitness or athletic performance you must have a solid foundation in proper movement.

Before you can be flexible your joints must feel safe enough to allow full range of motion in the joints. In order to increase your strength your movements must be resilient enough to tolerate the constant stress of resistance training.

Trying to build endurance? Can your joints remain healthy while absorbing the enormous amounts of stress from the many steps, miles, or reps of Burpees that you may do.

And what about athletic performance? You’re going to need optimal levels of stability, flexibility, and strength for your body to generate the power needed at high levels of performance.

You need proper movement patterns to reach any of your goals, with out it you’ll plateau and greatly increase your chance of getting hurt.

 

Why the Movement First Approach Will Work for You:

1. Learn the Fundamentals: Mastering the fundamental movement patterns will open the door for you to safely progress to the more challenging exercises and movements. I know, I know the basics can be so boring and even a bit tedious but if you stick with them you’ll get the results you want in a safe and effective manner.

2. Pain Relief: Often times the pain we feel in our body is due to a muscle imbalance which alters the way our joints are moving. The end result we put undue pressure on our joints and less on the muscles designed to handle the stress. By taking a look at your basic movement patterns it’s possible to identify areas that need attention and with a movement focused program you can bring your body back into balance.

3. Results with out Injury: On your journey to improvement the last thing you need is to get injured. By keeping the focus on the quality of movement versus the quantity (weights, sets, reps, time) you can achieve the results you’re working towards and significantly reduce the chance of injury.

4. Keep the Focus on learning movement skills: There’s a difference between working out to acquire movement skills and working out to just burn calories. If you’ve ever done a martial art, played a sport or musical instrument, you know what it’s like to struggle, to practice until you improve and then to finally get the technique correct. It provides a great sense of accomplishment and talk about sustaining motivation, it’s like nothing else. Your exercise program should be no different. It should provide a challenge and a sense of accomplishment that only smart work and movement mastery can provide.

 

How to Apply the Movement First Approach

Allow yourself the time, no matter your goal, to master the basics of movement. Get help if you see or feel that your movements just aren’t where they need to be, especially if you have had injuries in the past or are currently working around painful areas. Finally, keep your focus on the quality of your movement patterns and you’ll increase the enjoyment and effectiveness of your exercise program.

 

Move Well, Live Better

Edward Scaduto

 

As part of our complimentary fitness consultation we offer a  7 part movement screen that will help identify movement patterns that you may need to improve. If you’re interested you can sign up below. 

Simple Workout Recovery for Better Results

10 July

quotescover-JPG-92Achieving your fitness goals require you to show up to your workouts feeling rested and ready to work. That’s what it takes to make consistent progress in your fitness program.

How can you ensure that you’ll do your best at every training session?

Focus on proper recovery between your workouts.

It’s often an overlooked aspect of training yet small changes here can yield big results in how you look, feel and perform. It can be achieved with simple changes to your post-workout nutrition.

Get this right and it can help you recover and allow you to maintain high levels of training more often and for longer periods of time.

 

The window of opportunity

You have a small window of time to get nutrients into your body after your workout. Miss out on this chance to refuel and it will take you twice as long to recover from fitness sessions. Whether your training to lose weight or increasing sports performance, if it takes you 48 hours to recover instead of 24 hours, you’ll be missing the intensity you need during your workouts which can limit your results.

 

Timing is everything

Get your nutrition within 30 to 45 minutes after your workout. You can even start immediately after you stop exercising. As soon as you stop moving, your body begins the recovery process and it starts to look for nutrients immediately. Make sure your body gets what it needs, when it needs it.

 

What works best

Here’s what the research has shown. A 4 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein works best. For example, if you take in 40 grams of carbs, add 10 grams of protein and you’ve provided your body the perfect ratio to jump start the recovery process. Use higher glycemic carbohydrates (rice, pasta, bananas, etc) after your workout because it elicits a greater insulin response which is necessary to trigger the replenishment of energy stores. Remember to keep the fat intake low because it buffers this insulin response.

 

How to do it

You can either eat your post workout nutrition or drink it, it’s totally up to you. If ingesting whole foods right after your workout is difficult then have a nutrient enriched drink instead. Think along the lines of a meal replacement shake or even Gatorade recovery. The advantage of liquid nutrition is that it makes it easier for your body to digest and deliver the nutrients to your cells.

 

Taking these small steps of eating a higher carb meal or having a post workout shake within 45 minutes after your workout will help you take full advantage of your body’s ability to heal and recover. Using a 4 to 1 carb to protein ratio with little fat will ensure that you get optimal recovery between your training sessions.

Cheers for better recovery!

 

Move well, Live better

Ed Scaduto

 

 

What You Need to Know About the Fat Burning Zone

25 May

1357002749-Screenshot_2013-01-01-09-35-43-1.jpg-scaled

 

Ever wondered what the Fat Burning Zone really is?

You’ve probably stared at the heart rate graph above while training on cardio equipment.

It made you question, is there really a ‘magical’ heart rate zone where you burn the most fat?

Is that how the body really works?

 

Here’s a few things you should know about the ‘fat burning zone’ that will help answer those questions.

 

1. The fat burning zone burns a higher percentage of calories from fat but…

When you work out in the ‘fat burning zone’,  45-65% of you max heart rate, you do tend to use more fat for fuel but you’re burning less calories overall.

Weight loss (or fat loss) comes down to burning more calories than you consume (eat).

It doesn’t matter if you’re burning those calories from fat, protein or carbs.

So if you can burn more calories per minute by exercising at a higher heart rate, would it make more sense to work out in a higher training zone instead?

Speaking in general terms, the answer is yes. At higher heart rates you burn more calories (and more fat) increasing the rate at which you lose weight.

 

2. The more efficient you are the less calories you burn.

Fat burning zone training is often times called long endurance training because it allows you to train for longer periods of time.

This gives you ample time to get really good at your chosen activity.

So if your preparing for a marathon, running many miles per week, you’re going to start to improve your running technique and the body will start to adapt to the demands of the training.

This adaptation allows you to be more efficient and perform better, exactly what you want with performance related goals.

But if you have fat loss or weight loss goals, you don’t want to become more efficient because you’ll end up burning less calories per workout.

Now you’re going to have to run longer (or faster) to burn the same amount of calories.

 

3. Long endurance training can compromise muscle and lower your metabolic rate.

Doing long endurance ‘fat burning zone’ training doesn’t stimulate muscle growth.

In fact, it can make your muscles smaller slowing down your metabolism.

How important is muscle mass to your fat loss efforts?

It’s everything!

Your metabolic rate hinges upon how much lean muscle you have and how often you are training those muscles.

That’s because your body uses a tremendous amount of energy (calories) to build and maintain your muscle tissue even while you sleep.

You must spend the greatest portion of your training time on resistance training, the second largest time on conditioning or interval type training and the smallest amount of time on the long endurance fat burning training. This will help you maximize your fat burning potential.

 

At this point you’re probably thinking the ‘fat burning zone’ has no place in your or anyone’s training program.

But it does.

Like any tool, it just needs to be applied correctly.

 

Here’s how you do it.

 

1. Take short walks of 30-60 min on daily basis. This can improve your health and overall well being. First thing in the morning is recommended.

2. Once a week, go out for a long hike, jog or bike ride. It’s really important to train the body to exercise for hours at a time because along with improving health, increasing work capacity is something we all should strive for.

3. If you’re preparing for a an aesthetic event (fitness or body-building) or have severely restricted your calorie intake then this may be the only zone you can effectively work out in.

4. If you’re just starting out with an exercise program the fat burning zone is a great place to build up your cardiovascular foundation.

5. After training at high intensities for long periods of time we all need light days to rest and recover. See number 1.

 

If you follow these recommendations you can use the fat burning zone to get the specific results you want and keep your muscle at the same time.

 

If you have any questions on heart rate or endurance training please feel free to contact me at 719-640-0141 or email me at info@precisionfitnesstrainer.com.

 

Move Better, Live Well

Edward Scaduto

How to Manage Your Calorie Intake Without Going Crazy

23 March

DietCrazyDo you ever think about, worry about, get frustrated over, or constantly obsess about food and calories?

Are you tracking every morsel you eat, every calorie you burn?

Are you engaged in a full out battle to lose weight?

Does it ever feel overwhelming and make you just want to pull your hair out?

Before you do anything too drastic let me offer you a different option.

 

Why we track calories in the first place

For many dieters, counting calories is the method of choice. We are taught that it’s all about calories in versus calories out.

That If you eat less than you burn you lose weight. It’s that simple and it works just about every time. The idea of tracking calories to lose weight is an easy one to understand yet it’s difficult to execute.

If you’ve tracked calories before then you know exactly what I mean; it’s easy for the first few days or weeks then it just becomes down right tedious.

So what are you to do? You can’t forget about the whole idea and go back to eating the way you did before. That’s what caused the weight gain in the first place.

 

The other way

We have to track something but it doesn’t always have to be calories, especially if the process of tracking everything you eat and drink makes you feel a bit obsessive and compulsive.

There are a few situations where tracking calories becomes very helpful but it may not be right for you, right now.

So what should you do instead?

Look at why you eat those extra calories in the first place.

I’m not talking about the cravings and desires to indulge in the double chocolate cake with brown sugar coconut frosting, we all would love a slice of that.

What I’m talking about is what controls HOW we eat the majority of the time, much more than we like to give it credit.

I’m talking about tracking your habits.

 

 

What’s really making you eat

Habits are what we do by default. They are the behaviors that we do naturally and automatically, like brushing our teeth and eating breakfast (or skipping it).

Be careful what you repeatedly do because your behaviors good or bad soon become habits.

There’s a lot of power contained in a habit which is why we really can’t ignore them. I’ve always said that our day is a collection of the many habits we’ve accumulated over the years.

Behaviors become habits because it frees up our mind to work and concentrate on higher functioning tasks like closing the big deal or presenting your proposal to a potential client. By creating habits you can do the mundane tasks and dedicate more of your brain power to create or solve bigger problems.

That’s why the way eat so easily becomes a habit. It’s something we repeatedly do and it easier to eat out of convenience or taste. It’s easy to pick up fast food, skip breakfast, stock our shelves with processed foods, drinking soda, eat out at restaurants, etc. The problem is if we do these behaviors long enough they become habits.

So what are you to do?

Are you at the mercy of your habits? Doomed to track calories every day for the rest of your life?

Of course not.

 

Take control of whats controlling you

I wrote about creating healthy habits a couple of years ago. You can check out the full article here.

Here’s a quick summary of how to change your habits so you can get back the control you want for your weight loss goals.

1. Start with one. Be aware of your habits and pick one that you want to permanently change. Just one.

2. Anchor it to an existing habit. It’s much easier to create a new habit when it has an old one to anchor to.

3. Track it. Track your habit every day. Use an notebook or calendar and write it down. There’s also great apps, like Lift, that will help you adopt a new habit.

4. Get an accountability partner or coach. Publicly announcing your habit and having someone to hold you accountable increases your chances for success.

 

Make it a habit and keep your sanity

By tracking your habits you don’t have to track your calories and you get to keep your full set of hair.

You also get back the control to eat well and replace bad habits with good ones, which results in managing your calories.

It’s like putting your weight loss efforts on cruise control. Your good eating habits will always be there for you.

But this time they’ll help you reach your goals. You’ll eat healthy when faced with stress, travel and any other obstacle that comes your way.

Just remember it’s a process and it’s going to take time.

Changing one habit at a time is a slower method but you greatly increase your chance of success and you get to keep the results forever.

 

Move Better, Live Well

Edward Scaduto

 

Ready to end the frustration by building healthy habits? I am a Certified Nutritional Coach and can help you make the healthy lifestyle changes you need to reach your goals. Contact me at 719-640-014 or info@precisionfitnesstrainer.com to schedule a free consultation.

photo credit: Robert Semk via photopin cc