Ideal Body Weight

Ideal Body Weight

Your ideal body weight is the body weight and condition that allows your body to function the most efficiently. It's not always a specific number. If you find a number, that number may change. When determining a weight loss goal, make sure you have a plan and allow yourself space to make adjustments as you progress.

Nutrition: "The Only Piece of Advice You'll Ever Need."

Nutrition: "The Only Piece of Advice You'll Ever Need."

When determining what route you're going to take for nutrition, it helps to set your goals first. Then it helps to find the principles that most appropriately address the goal. Finally, determine what tools you'll use to make your progress.

"Determine your goal and deconstruct the process."

Lessons from Lifting Part 2 - Making Adjustments

Since the start of Bodyshop Athletics X, I've learned a lot about running a business. It's been fun, but it is a up and down. There are times when things are going great, and before you have time to smile, something else just went sideways. That's not a complaint. Of course it would be awesome if things were always up, but that's not realistic. I get a kick out of learning, adjusting, planning and overcoming.  But in order to do that, you have to be willing to start and adjust as you move along. Bodyshop X has had to do that. Start, and adjust as we move along.

The weight lifting parallel-

When I started weightlifting, I thought I would get it right away. There are a lot of things I've done, that I was able to pick up fairly easily. Weightlifting is not one of them. But the key is I started it. As I've progressed as a weightlifter, my start position has changed numerous times. I've adjusted my hand position. The catch in my jerk has changed. I haven't been lifting long, so I've had conversation and trained with other lifters and coaches who have lifted longer than I have. It was reassuring to hear, that those changes are fairly acceptable. Because there are so many moving parts, as one area improves it requires an adjustment in others. ie, I started out with a narrow snatch grip because I was not strong in over head position and my mobility was terrible. I'm not tall, but by weightlifting standards I'm long, so my snatch grip position should have been wider to decrease the distance the bar has to travel. At a seminar I attended, Coach Wilkes, suggested I move my snatch grip out wider. It was difficult in the beginning, but the adjustment has been beneficial.

Both scenarios (among others) have made the point clear to me. Being perfect shouldn't be the barrier to starting something. Be aware that consistent change is going to occur. As time passes you get stronger, learn new techniques, and new strategies.  Applying the adjustments can some times seem tough, but worth the effort.

Welcome Back+Lessons from lifting part 1

Welcome Back

It has been a few years since I last posted a public blog. I was going back to read a few from a blog from 2014, Live life...Move. I've re-posted them to this blog as well. So please feel free to explore. They were all on fitness questions and responses to fitness questions. Speak Strength will not only speak on fitness, but it will also include information about being a business owner, and other things on life.

Lesson's from lifting part 1

That was not my weight.

That was not my weight.

Let's start with Weightlifting. I've decided to embark upon this ride of weightlifting. It's been an extremely fun ride. The process is slow and is an exercise in patience. Of all the things, this has been one that hasn't come easy.  There are so many moving and non-moving essentials in one maneuver that lasts less than 3 seconds.

So what have I learned?

When seemingly easy days are hard, you just have to fight to stand up.

That's pretty cliche right? I agree. But it's one of the truest statements one can get from weightlifting. Amidst all the fun singles at 90 percent or the max out Fridays, are the grinders at 70 percent. Expect in training, that some days that are checked off as easy to medium will out of the blue be extremely hard. There are a number of reason's for this, but that doesn't really matter. Those are days you test your gut. You tell yourself to finish whether you like the way it finished or not. That's when you learn weightlifting is just as much mental strength as it is physical strength. 

At the end of the day, I started the sport of weightlifting because it translates well to other sports. But in the midst of making athletes better on the field, this sport has immediate lessons in humility and patience. Two "intangibles" that will prove to be beneficial outside of sport.

Jason

 

Lose Weight...Then What :-/

"Weight loss" is probably the most used phrase in the fitness industry.  Weight loss is extremely important for people who are carrying unhealthy amounts of weight on their body, but using weight loss as a measure of one's success often causes confusion.  Media is filled with information that encourages the general population to lose weight.  Media's fascination with "weight" and weight loss has painted a picture that weight loss is health. IT'S NOT. The problem that arises with losing weight is that the body is not designed to lose weight.  The body is designed to function in a physical/mechanical/performance capacity.  The body adapts to stressors or lack of stressors to perform most efficiently for it's current state.  That is why muscle is gained and/or muscle is lost. 

Why does weight loss cause confusion?  Have you ever heard seemingly "healthy sized" people mention, "I just need to get these last 10 pounds off?  Absolutely, you have!  For some people, there is a healthy amount of weight loss to be pursued, but for others, it would be better to pursue performance based goals. 

When should we start to pursue performance based goals?

Pursuing performance based goals should happen once a healthy bodyfat % is achieved.  Once a healthy bodyfat % is achieved to continue to pursue weight loss would require an unhealthy decrease in calories and high quality nutrition.  Once we lose the ability to adequately fuel our body for performance in the process of pursuing weigh loss, we essential have replaced one form of an unhealthy lifestyle with another unhealthy pursuit. 

When programming for weight loss, make sure a reduction in weight is not the sole measure of success.  Pursue health.

Bodyshop Athletics X

www.bodyshopx.com

YOUR Self Image

Many coaches, personal trainers, and fitness professionals will agree that one of the biggest obstacles in achieving goals is a persons self image.  Often, individuals compare themselves to others and in return devalue their own effort, relationships and appearance.  There are many things coaches can do to influence and encourage clients and athletes, but there are also things people can do on their own.  Truthfully, self image is "your image of yourself."  With that being said, developing a positive self image can be hard with the stampede of negative and inappropriate messages that you can't always control.  Television, internet, and social media are filled with images of "pretty" people, students are corrected all day at school, our music presents to us the death of a gentlman and a lady, and parents belittle themselves in front of their children. (ie. saying "I look fat" in front of your 9, 12, or 16 yr old daughter is as detrimental to her self image as it is yours.)

How do we combat issues of self image? This will be a discussion that will go on for ages as will the actual internal battle for yourself.  Let's take a look at two points for this discussion: input and effort.

Input:

"What goes in, will ultimately come out."  If there is an understanding that what passively enters our awareness is greatly negative, then there should be positive and uplifting information that intentionally enters our awareness.  Put yourself around people who respectfully, "Keep it real."  When they mention improvement, it's for your benefit and not because you don't match up to the next.  When you do well, they encourage you to continue doing well.  Among the music that you listen to, find something that uplifts you.  Read information that is educational and encouraging. 

Effort:

Appearnce can be more about the effort we put into ourselves than the actual look itself.  People put effort into the things they care about, and care about the things they put effort into.  Our appearance and our health are among these.  Sometimes it does a person well, to put effort into themselves when they feel just the opposite.  It's hard to feel yourself into an action, but more feasible to act yourself into a feeling.  Have you ever said to yourself, "I didn't feel like doing it, but I'm glad I did."  Despite feeling one way, following through on action can provide a bit of accomplishment.  Accomplishment helps improve image of self. 

 

Psalm 139:14

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

Bodyshop Athletics X

www.bodyshopx.com

Get Strong...Burn Fat

It's no secret.  The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn at rest.  Please understand, this does not mean the "leaner" you are, the more calories you burn at rest.  Unfortunately the term "leaner" is widely used to describe a slender body type often lacking muscular definition.  If that's the bodytype you prefer to point your focus toward, then by all means focus on your goal.  If burning fat is your focus, here are a few pieces of information that should help.  1) Getting strong does not require you to feel "dead" after every session. 2) You must eat to get strong 3) Long bouts of cardio can delay strength gains.

1) Getting strong does not require you to feel "dead" after every session.

One more thing that is not a big secret...There is a big movement of fitness professionals moving toward "metabolic conditioning."  Metabolic conditioning is an excellent tool in an arsenal of training methods and often requires maximum output throughout the workout, however most professionals will tell you if you want to get strong, find a strength program and stick with it.  You can sprinkle the occasional metcon in your programming, but understand it does not create maximum opportunity for maximum strength gains. You don't have to feel like you "just died" to get in a beneficial workout.  Find a strength program and follow it.

2) You must eat to get strong

It's true.  Food is a necessity in building strength.  If you break your muscle down you must replenish the nutrients to rebuild it.  Not that this needs to be stated, but we are talking nutritionally dense food.  Find a nutrition program that allows you to rebuild with high quality calorie content.  Just to make the point clear;  Food must be high in nutritional value with protein, yes, some good carbs, and good fats.

3) Long bouts of cardio can delay strength gains.

Cardiovascular activity is never a bad thing, but an excessive amount of cardio can hender your strength program.  To keep this simple and to the point, when your body does cardiovascular activity for a long time, it requires your body to break down muscle tissue for energy.  When doing your cardio within your strength program,  keep your cardio session around 20 minutes.  This will allow your body to burn calories through cardiovascular activity, but will prevent the excessive breakdown of muscle tissue.

If your goal is to burn fat by increasing muscle tissue, take a look into a strength program, assess  your nutrition and don't overdue the cardio.

Bodyshop Athletics X

 

 

Self Discipline=Patience+Determination+Consistency

This is the time of year when people decide to re-engage themselves in their own health and well-being.  New diets are introduced, workout routines are started with vigor.  Unfortunately, much of the excitement of starting a new "lifestyle" fades into the background of the daily hustle.  Many people begin their new "lifestyle" changes with every intention of seeing them through only to find themselves slowly sabatoging their own goals by allowing other "priorities" to take the place of their new "lifestyle" routine.  Self-discipline is the term often used to describe the ability of a person to stick with a goal or create a habit.  How do people remain discipline in their new "lifestyle" changes?  Three key principles help foster self-displine: Determination, Patience, and Consistency.

1) Determination

Determination can be defined as "firmness of purpose."  When deciding to act on changes in lifestyle the decision needs to be firm, resolute, clear, without wavering question.  Entering into the process determined to see it through is an enormous first step.  No one can go into a lifestyle change at %50 and expect to succeed.  Once the goal has been determined attack it at %100 of your effort and feeling.

2) Patience

While determination is a great way to start, when things get hard, we question ourselves.  Having patience allows us to absorb a setback and keep going; in essence, maintaining our determination. It's important to understand, situations will not always go according to plan.  Having the mindset to make adjustments to our plans when undesirable circumstances arise is one way to stay on task.  Maintain a "plan b."

3) Consistency

When chopping wood, the wood chopper must approach the wood, 1 chop at a time.  Same with remaining self-disciplined.  We must approach our goals one day at a time and trust the process.  When planning to accomplish your goals and make new "lifestyle" changes, you set out a plan.  That plan should be efficient, result oriented, and taken seriously.  If the plan was created with that in mind, then staying on the plan consistently should be enough to take you where you need to go.  Switching from plan to plan, or diet to diet is a sure way to see no results or even go backwards.

As you pursue your new lifestyle, remember to go in with determination, have patience and remain consistent!

Bodyshop Athletics X

 

What About Cardio?

There is and always will be on-going debate on how much cardio and what kind of cardio a person should do.  The response to the question, “How much cardio should I do?” should always be based on goals and current fitness level.  Cardio programs can have endless degrees of variation for each person.  For people who just want somewhere to start, let’s take a broad look at cardio.

What is Cardio? Cardio is short for Cardiovascular Exercise.  Cardio can be used to describe any number of exercises or programs that increase the heart rate, but for our purposes we’re going to use the term cardio to describe single exercises that maintain a consistently elevated heart rate for an extended period of time (not including classes with cardio components.)

Why cardio?  There are many benefits of cardio to include but not limited to a healthier and stronger heart, increased lung capacity, increased work volume,  and more efficient use of nutrients in the body.  When grouped with resistence training and sound nutrition, cardio plays in important role in developing overall health.

Where to start? If someone is looking to start,  or just started their fitness lifestyle; or if someone has seen success without much cardio at all, where do you start?  First, congrats on all levels.  Investing time in your health is a big step.  Here are two ideas you can take and run with.

1) A person looking to start or just starting.

If you are brand new to fitness, walking is a great first step! (ha, more puns) Take some time out of your day and start walking.  Remember to walk at a pace where you can consistently, but non exhaustively maintain a higher heart rate.  Start out with 10 minutes, then 15 and 20.  As you find the distance covered increases and the activity seems easier, continue to steadily change your intensity.

2) A person looking for more results

Strength training and nutrition play a huge factor in fitness success, but at some point without cardio, your programming may become stagnant.  If running or jogging are not the cardio exercise of choice, there are other options. ie. stepper, elliptical, bike, airdyne and many others.  At this point in your programming, length and intensity of cardio should be considered.  The length of a productive cardio session can last between  (but is far from limited to) 20-45 minutes.  The length of time spent doing cardio can be based on the intensity.  Shorter sessions would require higher intensity/effort.  Longer sessions can have a more moderate approach.  Remember the goal is to increase the heart rate for an extended period of time.  An easy stroll should not be considered cardio.

**: If you are doing steady state cardio for 1 hour with little to no results, your intensity is too light.  You should not have to do cardio for 1 hour to see desired results.  Shorten the length of cardio and increase the intensity. **

Please remember there are other ideas of cardio.  Research other methods and find one that helps accomplish your goals.

Create Your Environment: Don’t lose the battle to yourself

TRUTH IS: Too often the limiting factor behind accomplishing our goals is ourselves.  Excuses come in all varieties, from truthful reasons, to made up circumstances.  (ie. “I need to sleep.” “My body just doesn’t do that.” “I work until 6:30.” “I just can’t eat that.”)  Battling our own thoughts is one of the hardest habits to overcome.  Recognizing that you are in your own way is the first step to overcoming self-limiting thoughts.  Here are several strategies to deal with self-limiting thoughts.  These are not the only strategies, but hopefully they may help you or may spark another strategy that gets you by.

Set a Schedule:  Take some time to write down a schedule.  Seeing the actual plan gives us a more concrete bearing in our direction.  When we see what direction we’re supposed to be going it makes it easier to stay on path.  Eventually the schedule will become a habit and you’ll feel better about completing the task and worse about talking yourself out of it.

Find a Partner: Having someone to hold us accountable can be of more value than you can know.  It’s one thing when we are accountable only to ourselves, but when we have to be responsible to someone else as well, it’s much harder to talk yourself out of it.  Make sure your partner is someone you respect and they respects you and your goals as well.  Being in like company makes the journey a little more enjoyable.  Once you guys have created a habit together, you look forward to completing your tasks together.

Rain or Shine: Be prepared to complete your task in the best of circumstances and the worst.  Have a plan A and a plan B.  Create an environment where you can be successful in more than one circumstance.  If you planned on running outside and it rained, be prepared to find a place  inside and/or a suitable plan B.  If your alarm didn’t go off, have clothes ready in the office for a quick lunch time sweat.  Understand, we don’t always get perfect circumstances, but we have to somehow make things work, have alternative options.

The biggest factor in these three strategies is creating an environment where you have no option but to pursue your task whole heartedly.  You’ve taken the option to quit away from yourself.  As you set new goals continue to create strategies that have your success in mind and DON’T GIVE UP!

Light Weight, High Rep Mythology #GetFit

In the fitness world, the statement is often heard…”light weight, high reps.”  What does that mean? “Light weight, high reps, is one of the most misunderstood statements in fitness.  Honestly, I usually hear this statement from people who shy away from hard work. (not just in the gym, but many times in regular life)  In an attempt to clear up this statement, and maybe take it out of your vocabulary, let’s look at some false assumptions.

False Assumptions:

1) Heavy makes you bulky

2) The more I sweat the harder I worked

3) Light weight makes you toned

Let’s take a look at false assumption #1) Heavy makes you bulky

Heavy is not the culprit of bulk.  Yes, it is true, when you want to gain bulk, you left heavier.  There are other factors that contribute to gaining bulk.  ie. Increased calorie content, decreased repititions, increased rest period.  There are also genetic and hormonal factors that contribute to bulk.  The point of the weight is to break down the muscle tissue to repair stronger.  If you remain with the same weight, you remain at the same strength.  This essentially defeats the purpose of weight training.  TRUTH: The stronger you are, the more calories you burn at rest.

Assumption #2) The more I sweat, the harder I worked

Sweat is a poor indicator of work intensity.  Yes, when you work, your body produces heat, and sweat is used to cool your body down.  However, people sweat at different rates.  Again, there are more factors than intensity that lead to sweat.  ie. temperature, hydration, clothing, and other genetic and hormonal factors.  People sweat when seated, nervous, or merely strolling through the mall.  The point of sweat is to cool you down.  Merely “breaking a sweat” does not constitute a workout.  It just means your body is not at it’s normal temperature.

Assumption #3) Lightweight makes you toned

Before the season, bodybuilders may lower their lifting weight and raise their reps to “cut” in preperation for a show/comptition.  However, given the circumstance, this is not “light” weight.  They also follow a strict diet to ensure their success.  For the general population, “light” weight tends to fall somewhere between a bag of sugar and the 2lbs dumbells used for aerobics videos.  ”Light” weight still needs to have the ability to break down muscle.

Conclusion

Resistance training is an important part of fitness.  The goal is to break the muscle down.  Weight needs to be appropriate enough to break down muscles.  The body needs to learn to move efficiently.  If exercise doesn’t challenge our body to become stronger, we lose it’s purpose.  Exercise increases the body’s efficiency on all levels.  As the body adapts, our workouts and resistance must change.  That will include increasing the amount of weight lifted.  Avoid the idea of “light weight, high reps,” and embrace the idea of “right weight high reps.”

In order increase bulk however more factors than weight lifted are needed.  In the grand scheme, just because you’re looking to be toned doesn’t mean you should avoid lifting heavy.  Lifting heavy weight is actual important in toning muscles.  If you find yourself “bulking up,” DO NOT blame it on your heavy weights. Examine the entire picture. ie. calorie intake, cardio activity, sleep, food quality etc.  Some days, you just need to “lift heavy”, regardless of your goal.

As a side note, credit can be given to the statement, “anything is better than nothing.” It may be the first step of motivation, but don’t stick with it. Continue to improve.

Start Early…No Excuses #riseandgrind

Having trouble getting in that workout?

Life happens.  The plan is to leave work at lunch, and get a workout in and eat at the desk; or the plan is to work hard all day, and workout after work.  Neither of the options are bad, but there are many times when they don’t work.  Working out at lunch is often spoiled by an invite from a co-worker or pushing that deadline through lunch.  Lunch with co-workers has great rewards, both social and professional, so it’s often good to keep that time open.  Sometimes, work has to come first.  After a hard days work, you may want to go home to your family or catch up with friends and co-workers.  Depending on your day, it’s not uncommon to feel drained after work.  Your daily workout routine is then half-hearted.  No one wants a half-hearted workout.

If life happens to you, try an early morning workout.  If you’re not used to waking up early, then it might take getting used to.  Working out before your day starts can increase your motivation through the rest of the day.  It’s one less thing to worry about squeezing in your work day or after work routine.

How do you get started?

Working out early may alter what you do before bed.  You may have to go to bed 1 hr earlier, but if you’re going to bed at 11 or 11:30 you probably needed to go to bed earlier anyway. If you’re worried about the late night show, a combination of smartphones, tablets, and ipads with dvr, netflix, or hulu allow you to enjoy them during your workout.  Now you have a great reason to get up!  If you need something light to eat before you “go hard” at the gym, try some peanut butter toast or no sugar added apple sauce.  After the workout is done grab a post-workout shake or high protein breakfast.

Be commited to getting up a couple days and compare the feeling you have when you just get up and go to work. Or do it 21 days in a row just to make it a habit!  Good luck!

Bodyshop Athletics X

Twitter: @bodyshopx

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bodyshopx

www.bodyshopx.com

Did you just say Calories? (part 2)

In a general statement, calories are the units by which we measure our  food intake.  Scientifically, calories are a measure of energy.  Both statements are vital for individuals who count calories.  Knowing how many calories are present and how our bodies use the calories we consume can make the difference in a successful nutritional lifestyle and “yo-yo” dieting.  One of the most common issues with counting calories is not consuming enough calories to provide the body with enough energy for the day or a specific activity.

Truth: the body needs calories

Truth: you’re supposed get hungry

Understanding the above truths create a firm foundation for counting calories.   With those truths let’s approach the following statement:

“When I eat, I get hungry just an hour later.”

Consider this: Two things we deduct from that statement, 1) You didn’t eat enough calories 2) Your calories weren’t nutrient dense.

Nutrient dense food naturally has more calories, but the usefulness of the calories does not take away from the body’s function.  To the contrary, useful calories add to the body’s function.  Calories from protein, complex carbs, and good fats, are more sustainable than calories from pure sugar.  Foods that are nutrient dense generally sound “unhealthy” to people who count calories because they come with more calories.  “Health” fads that include 100 calorie packs or variations of poorly nutritious foods like cookies and snacks in smaller portions, leave individuals hungry, sluggish, and tired shortly after consumption because of the uselessness of the consumed calories.

Now consider: When consuming nutrient dense food, energy and hunger should be sustained for 2.5-3hrs.  Becoming hungry shortly after consuming a meal of nutritious calories, simply means, you didn’t eat enough.

If you are used to counting calories then consuming nutritious calories to sustain energy and body function for everyday activity will more than likely increase your daily calorie intake.  That is fine.  The body needs food to survive.  It’s counter-productive to starve the body and expect it to work to it’s fullest capability.

When counting calories, remember, the source of the calories is just as important as the number of calories.  Increasing calories for nutrition and sustainability is better than cutting calories with junk.

Did you just say Calories?

CALORIES ARE NOT A GOOD INDICATOR OF HOW HEALTHY YOUR FOOD IS…EXCLAMATION POINT!  STOP COUNTING…PERIOD. That’s me yelling at you.

Let’s think about the logic behind counting calories.  First understand, calories are a measure of energy much like gallons are a measure of volume.  The sources of the calories are far more important than the actual calories themselves.  If a 20 Gallon gas tank for a vehicle is filled with 20 Gallons of Gatorade, the vehicle is definitely not going to work.  Honestly, the vehicle may work for a few miles.  Eventually, the engine breaks down because the fuel source causes damage.  Put this concept in perspective.

Counting calories works for a little while because the body will use itself as energy if it does not have enough calories to be fueled.  Muscle is the body’s energy source in times of starvation.  Essentially, the body uses muscle for energy, and stores fat.  Cutting calories with no regard for content trades good, for bad.

Fact, the more muscle/lean body mass, the more calories burned at rest. Fact, without feeding the body protein, lean muscle mass is depleted. Therefore, counting calories with disregard to content is the exact opposite of the desired outcome. (That may be why “that diet” failed.)

Counting calories with disregard for content breaks the body down instead of, the common misconception of making it healthier.  EAT NUTRIENT DENSE FOOD! (Lean meat, low sugar, mixed nuts, and a colorful array of fruits and vegetables-nutritional lifestyle change is for another post.  For now, research options.)

Hypothesis: People who understand and eat nutrient dense food (Group A) will have better success with more calories than those who count calories with disregard to nutritional content (Group B) and reduce calories.

Possible Outcomes:

Group A will build lean body mass while slowly increase their overall health, improving daily alertness, decreasing daily fatigue, increase desire for physical activity, and improve ability to be active.

Group B will lose weight fast in the beginning, fluctuate on motivation, feel tired throughout the day, and complain about lack of desired outcome.

 

Bodyshop Athletics X

Twitter: www.twitter.com/bodyshopx

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bodyshopx

April is Autism Awareness Month (Guest Blog by S.B. Kreidler)

For many people it takes a lifetime to find their purpose.  For me, that purpose presented its self when I was in kindergarten.  Of course I didn’t realize at the time that becoming friends with Sam would be my introduction to autism.  I only knew that Sam needed a friend.  I don’t remember the exact moment I met Sam but I do remember helping Sam and the other students get along.

Sam moved away during our 2nd grade year and it wasn’t until middle school that I recognized I had a natural talent for working with the students with special needs especially those with autism.  In honor of April being autism awareness month, I want to take this opportunity to help you understand the amazing world of autism and ask for your support.

What is autism?  Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are general terms for a group of disorders that affect social, communication and behavioral development.  People who have autism/ASD are affected in different ways and symptoms can range from mild to severe.  They have deficiencies in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction and play activities.

Autism now affects 1 in 88 children. It is 4-5 times more likely to affect males than females. This year more children will be diagnosed with autism than those diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, leukemia and AIDS combined.  About 1.5 million people in the US have some form of autism.  In South Carolina over 42, 000 people have autism with many still undiagnosed.

The causes of autism are unknown and currently there is no cure.  However, there is hope. Early diagnosis and treatment are keys to success.  The most obvious signs and symptoms of autism appear at 2 to 3 years of age.  Eighty percent of individuals with autism learn to speak with the help of therapy and with vocational training; these individuals with autism can lead productive lives.  Current statistics report 47.7% of youth with autism spectrum disorders work for pay.

How can you help someone with autism?  A simple and easy way is by going to theautismsite.com and clicking every day.  It’s quick and it’s free.  Sponsors of the website donate money for therapy and research.   Since June 2011 they have donate 1,805 hours of therapy.  It takes is less than one minute of your day to make a difference in the life of someone with autism and their families.

To learn more about autism visit these websites:

http://scautism.org/   The South Carolina Autism Society

http://www.autismspeaks.org/  Autism Speaks

Sincerely,

S.B. Kreidler

Ms. Hartsville Teen

Keep Going! #allornothing

Setting goals is natural, unfortunately so is giving up.  When we set our mind on a particular goal, in the beginning, it’s all out (#allornothing).  All plans change to accomplish the goal! You eat, sleep, and dream your goal.  Depending on who you are, the enthusiastic mindset may last a short period and for others it may last a longer period.  Either way it goes, the fire doesn’t continue to burn.

Hear this…It’s the last 10 min. of a soccer game where teams are most vulnerable.  It’s the last quarter of a basketball game where championships are won.  A simple race can be won in the last 15-20 yards.

All of these examples represent the approaching finish where the completed goal is in reach.  The victors will be the ones who continue strong or who keep going when odds don’t appear favorable.

When we’ve set fitness goals or health goals we have to continue strong.  Many people quit before they realize how close they are.  If you quit, chances are you’re going to want to do it again.  Then you have to start aaaaallll over. Really? Is that what you want to do?

It’s important to maintain momentum.  Start strong and finish strong! Uh oh.  Here it comes… “but I’m not seeing the results I want anymore.” THAT DOESN’T MEAN QUIT. THAT MEANS DO IT BETTER (aka Step up your game.) Continue with strong lifestyle choices, continue with good fitness. Quitters NEVER achieve.

Read carefully. It’s just this simple…KEEP GOING! You’ll do great!

Eating Out? Know Your Options. (Guest Post by Laura Wooten)

WHY DO WE HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME EATING HEALTHY WHEN WE EAT AWAY FROM HOME?

Two common places we eat away from home are restaurants and family or friends’ houses. Neither place do you have TOTAL control of what you are eating but there are certainly ways to make it easier to eat more healthfully.

Why is it so hard though? Self-discipline and self-control seem to fly out the window as soon as we walk in a restaurant or Mom’s house and smell those aromas. Then, you hear what is being offered….the fancy “specials” being offered and those pretty pictures on that menu, it seems pointless to even try to eat healthy.  BUT YOU REALLY CAN!

Things you cannot control:

  • Restaurant food is often very processed and contains EXTRA additives and preservatives to stay fresh until they can use it.
  • Restaurants cook with oils, butters and creams to tantalize our taste buds as much as possible…they want you to come back and rave about their food to others.
  • Moms and friends will serve what THEY like and what they cook best.
  • Moms and friends will also cook with ingredients that will make food taste “better”…again oils, butters,  and sauces that you probably would not choose when you are trying to “do better”.

Yet, there are still SO many things you CAN CONTROL and prepare yourself for a healthier meal away from home:

  • Have an idea of what you want to order BEFORE you look at the menu. They don’t pour all that money into those pictures for nothing.  Check out their website!
  • You WILL get more food than you need. Your protein should be the size of a deck of cards and your starch (rice, bread OR pasta…not all 3) should be the size of a small computer mouse.
  • Ask for a doggy bag before you get your meal and put ½ in before you start eating

 OR split your meal with someone at the table and save $$$!

  • Avoid the bread and butter that are often served before a meal. Sip on water or ask for raw vegetables and dip to nibble on.  Ask if they have whole-wheat rolls or bread. Or if bread is your thing, skip the starch on the side of your entrée and have a little bread. It is even a great substitute for dessert.
  • Ask your server how the food will be prepared prior to ordering. Make specific requests such as “no butter or oil” or “please serve the sauce on the side”.
  • Order an appetizer and a side salad instead of an entrée
  • Choose the smallest portion of meat available; loin, flank, and round are the leanest steak to choose from.  Substitute fruit, steamed vegetables (no butter), tossed salad with light dressing, and sweet potatoes (plain) for high-fat side items.
  • Always ask for sauces and dressings on the side so that you may control the amount of the empty calories you eat. Hollandaise, cheese, and cream sauces are the worst. Tomato and broth based sauces are better.
  • Try using vinegar (red wine, balsamic) or lemon juice to flavor salads and vegetables.
  • Try the food before you salt. You may be surprised how much flavor food has all by itself.  Smoked, cured, pickled and canned meats are all high in sodium. Also, sauces, seasonings and marinades that use soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, dried stock, and MSG are high in sodium.
  • When you start to wonder IF you are full, YOU ARE! Stop eating and ask the server to take your plate.
  • Think about what you are drinking! Soda and alcohol are empty calories and will add up fast if you are sitting and socializing during a meal!!
  • After eating the entrée, wait at least 10 minutes before choosing to order a dessert.
  • Split a light dessert with someone or choose fresh fruit and yogurt if available.

Try these suggestions and if you have any further questions or need of nutritional consulting, let me know.

Laura Wooten, Bodyshop Athletics, M.P.H, N.S.

Cooling down probably could have been included with Part 5.  There is not a lot of meat to this post.  Cooling down after a good run

1) allows the body to gradually return to it’s relaxed state

2) allows the body to slowly remove lactic acid and waste material out of the muscle

3) allows the body to maintain post workout mobility (decrease stiffness)

4) allows the body to decrease onset of muscle soreness (this is always up for debate…learn how your body responds)

5) feels really good.

Studies show a proper cool down aids in the prevention of and recovery from injuries related to running and other  physical activity (ie IT band syndrome.)

Beyond all the scientific information you can find, it all boils down to maintanence. Make sure you keep up with your body like you do a race car, guitar, motorcycle, or any other utility used for performance.  Take the proper measures to ensure maximum performance, maximum recovery and minimize injury.  Cooling down is as much a part of proper maintanence of an athlete’s body as much as keeping your oil changed in your car.

A cool down may last 5-10 minutes. It should involve stretching or exagerated movement and progressively lighter cardiovascular movements. Sometimes cooling down is as simple as reversing your warm-up.

Sample Cool Down:

200m light jog

Dynamic stretch routine (high knees, butt-kickers, etc.)

200m lighter jog to a walk

Dynamic stretch routine

100m walk

Static stretch

Run?! (Part 5: Warm-up)

Warming up is possibly one of the simplest parts of learning to run, but can be well over looked by first time runners.  Common thought among many first time runners, “I don’t want to waste any energy.”  Fact of the matter is the body needs to be warmed up before performing at it’s peak.  The intensity of the warm-up will change depending on the intensity of your session.

What is the purpose of Warming?

Warming up prepares the body for work.  The body works most efficiently when the heart rate is safely elevated, breathing is heavier, and blood is flowing through the muscles of the body.  This state of readiness is not attained directly out of the car or by rolling out of the bed.  A proper warm-up will include some form of light cardiovascular activity and/or stretching or exaggerated body movements (which is another blog in itself.)  Without a proper warm-up studies show the body has an increased likelihood of injury.  A runner may also be able to work through a slight injury by warming the body up properly before activity.

How do I gauge the intensity of a warm-up?

As stated in an earlier post, it’s extremely important to learn how your body responds to certain activities. The intensity of a warm-up will depend on the intensity of the training session.  Slow running sessions may not need as intense of a warm-up as a speed session or a hill session.  During a long slow session, the body has time to safely adjust to it’s ready state.  In the case of speed sessions or hill sessions, the body needs more preparation before performing.  Hill and speed sessions start out at an intense level of movement requiring the muscles to be warm and “loose.”  (This science  applies everywhere. Increased temperatures increases fluidity/decreases viscosity.)

Warming up serves us well. There is a choice. Make time to warm-up, or take time off to heal. Warming up would be the preferable choice.  Espeically if you have a deadline or race date.  If you’re planning on using your body, you might as well keep up the maintenance.

Sample Warm-Up:

1/4 Mile easy run

Dynamic Stretch Routine (i.e. high knees, butt-kickers, lunges, etc)

1/2 Mile (slightly faster pace)

Dynamic Stretch Routine

1/4 Mile  Steadily increasing tempo to race (or session) pace

Run?! (Part 4: Rest and Recover)

For the first time runner resting can be a complicated issue.  First time runners sometimes attack running full steam ahead, running 7-10 days straight to find themselves hurting shortly after.  They may also find themselves taking unnecessary rest periods of 2-3 days with nothing else to supplement their activity.  Any signs of significant progress are then few and far between.

Importance of Resting:

When the body does strenuous activity is essentially breaking down muscle tissue to allow the muscles to repair themselves stronger.  And/or it is taxing one of the body’s energy system enough to where the body makes necessary adaptation for better efficiency.  (It’s just making you tougher.)  If something is consistently broken down with no time to repair, the breakdown becomes detrimental.  The body becomes weaker instead of stronger predisposing the body to injuries, both acute and overuse.  Rest is just as important as the exercise.  Overtraining is just as important an issue as undertraining.

How much resting (not taking into account resistence training)?

The amount of rest needed is not a set science and varies from person to person.  With that being said, learn your body and how it responds.  Also understand, there are more ways than your way or my way that are just as effective.  Here is a sample run schedule and by no means the end all be all of run schedules.  The more you run, the better you understand your body and you then find the best schedule for you.

Day1: run

Day 2: run

Day 3: core/yoga/pilates/stretch (no run, recovery day)

Day 4 run

Day 5  light run/cardio (spin class, rowing etc.)

Day 6: run

Day 7: no run (optional anything: spin class, rowing, working out, or nothing)