Sunday, December 19, 2010

Marathons Lead To Heart Impairment

Happy holidays, faithful readers!

Running over 26 miles is viewed as one of the great physical challenges in endurance competition. Health science repeatedly shows us that when it comes to athletic competition, a healthy assessment of risks vs benefits is vital in securing safety.

In a recent study from HealthDay News (October 25, 2010), 20 recreational runners with a mean age of 45 underwent MRIs of their hearts before, immediately after, and three months after running in a marathon. Researchers compared the information found to baseline tests of cardio-respiratory fitness and blood chemistry.

The most disheartening finding was impairment in just over half of the muscle in the left ventricle during the race. However, because overall heart function did not decline as a result, it is believed that the non-impaired section of the left ventricle picked up the slack.  The specific types of impairments found were not noted.

The most promising finding was that the more well trained the runner was, the least impaired his/her heart became. It was found that having an aerobic capacity, or VO2max, of 50 ml/kg/min (roughly 14 METs) or higher was best for preventing this left ventricle impairment.

Why does this happen?  According to an interview with the authors, it is speculated that acute inflammation and dehydration were the cause of these problems.  It is important to note that in all 20 participants, heart muscle function returned to normal by the follow-up scan at the three month mark.  (The exact recovery rates are not known.)  While this does not negate the severity of the health risks associated with left ventricle impairement, it is helpful to see that these risks were relatively short-lived in this study.

If you are considering running a marathon, half marathon, or any other race, your Perfect Personal Trainer will gladly implement an appropriate, progressive, and personalized regimen to go about minimizing risks to your heart or other muscles, while improving your run's time and maximizing your enjoyment of the competition!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Top 5 Ways to Stay Slim at Thanksgiving

We've all made the comments and jokes about gaining fat as a result of the Thanksgiving holiday.  As our focus shifts to family plans and relaxation, we tend to sacrifice our fitness focus, resulting in body fat gains and a reduced feeling of confidence, not to mention an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

So, here they are -- the top five methods of preventing body fat gains while still enjoying your Thanksgiving holiday.  Enjoy!

#1 - Perform just five additional minutes of aerobic exercise every other day, from now through Thanksgiving.  If you start today, then by Thanksgiving, you'll have burned roughly 500-800 more calories than usual, making more room for some indulgence at Thanksgiving.
#2 - Consume at least ten 8-ounce glasses of water each day, especially during the few days prior to Thanksgiving.  This will help to reduce your appetite, so you'll feel content with fewer calories.
#3 - Go skinless:  Removing the skin from your turkey will help you cut down on additional calories and fat, without reducing the pleasure of eating.
#4 - Enjoy and savor every bite.  This has a physiological effect on your body that will actually make you feel more "full" with less food and drink.  Chew slowly, and enjoy your food.
#5 - Make a decision now to limit yourself to one small dessert selection and one glass of alcohol.  Enjoy them while they last, but then shift your mental focus to the company of your family and friends, consuming more water if you need something to curb your appetite.

Please post any questions below, or call us at (877)698-3648.  Perfect Personal Trainers are eager to help!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Body Fat to Joint Disease -- A Slippery Slope

Joint disease is a common issue for Americans.  But what we often think of as a common sign of aging or short-term injury is, more commonly that you might think, heavy wear-and-tear on a joint that is related to excess body fat.  Yes, excess body fat can weigh heavily upon your knees, hips, and ankles, resulting in a loss of structural integrity of these joints.

Lose just a few pounds and you'll take some strain off your hips, knees, neck, and back.  Extra pounds add to the load placed on your joints, increasing the risk of cartilage breakdown.  People with excess body fat may also have higher levels of substances that cause inflammation.  The good news is that even a little weight loss can help:  Every pound that you lose takes roughly four pounds of pressure off of your knees and other lower body extremities.

In short, if you're overweight, then don't put off your fat loss efforts!  Not only are your risks for cardiovascular diseases high, but your joints are struggling each day to resist the extra pressures that they aren't built for.  For a free consultation with a Perfect Personal Trainer, simply call (877)698-3648 or click here:

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Fad Diet Solution

Hello, readers!

With another holiday weekend now behind us, we have to ask:  Did you make poor food selections?  And, more importantly, did you overconsume calories?

It's times like these that people start considering any of the number of fad diets out there...

Low carb, high carb, low fat, no fat, cookie diet, pure liquid, and one of the recent worst -- the “egg, vinegar, and water diet” -- all have some potential for weight loss over a moderate amount of time, but with unhealthy physiological risks.  It is important to remember that weight loss shouldn't carry risky side effects.  Low carb diets, for example, are especially dangerous because the dieter is cutting out the body’s main energy source.  As another example, low fat diets are dangerous because they minimize the body's ability to absorb and utilize vitamins.  Trading one health problem for another is no way to get things done. And, if you are doing some unhealthy for your body, the symptoms won't be obvious.  While you may feel just fine during a fad diet, there may be some dangerous underlying issues that you are not aware of.
So, before considering one of these fad diets at any point in the future, we suggest that you rely on tried-and-true science, using the labels' serving sizes as helpful quantity guides. Below is a list of foods and their respective serving sizes from The American Heart Association and the government's food pyrimid.  These suggestions are recommended for their cardiovascular health benefits as well as their ability to help maintain adequate body fat.  Not only will you be on the road to heart attack prevention, but these will help you to maintain energy levels while minimizing your body fat!  Have a look and compare to your current diet diary...

Below are the recommended daily number of servings for a 150-180 lb person:

Vegetable Servings Per Day:  3-7 Servings
Examples of a serving:
  • ½ cup of cooked vegetable
  • ½ cup raw vegetable
  • 6 ounces or ¾ cup of vegetable juice
Fruit Servings Per Day:  2-3 Servings
Examples of a serving:

  • 1 medium fruit (apple, orange, banana)
  • ¼ cup of dried fruit (raisins, prunes, etc.)
  • 6 ounces or ¾ cup of fruit juice
  • ½ cup canned, frozen, or cooked fruit
  • ½ cup raw fruit
Whole Grain Servings Per Day:  6-11 Servings
Examples of a serving:

  • 1 slice of bread
  • About 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal flakes
  • ½ cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta
Dairy Servings Per Day:  3 Servings
Examples of a serving:

  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt
  • 1-½ ounces of natural cheese (cheddar)
  • 2 ounces of processed cheese (such as American)
Legumes Per Day:  4-5 Servings
Examples of a serving:
  • ½ cup of cooked, dry beans
  • ½ cup of tofu or 1 ½ -ounce soy burger
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup of nuts
These are important considerations when meal planning.  As you can see, a "serving" is pre-determined, not necessarily the amount you can comfortably have in a sitting. 

We, at Perfect Personal Training, hope this helps as you plan your meals each day!  For more nutritional information, please comment below or send an email to  Our staff of highly trained exercise specialists and nutritionists are always eager to help with your personalized lifestyle change.

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Vitamin C -- How Much Is Too Much?

More important news that can change your life!

Finding ideals in vitamin quantity can be extremely confusing - especially since there is so much conflicting information out there!

The problem doesn't get any easier when it comes to vitamin C, a major player when it comes to preventing something as simple as the common cold or as serious as terminal cancer:  Conflicting viewpoints in the media make decision-making difficult, and often leads to frustration.  However, Perfect Personal Training is always seeking answers to questions such as these, with long and happy lives in mind.  Below, we explore the varying concerns and research...

The RDA for vitamin C is incredibly low by comparison to other scientific recommendations:  Only 65-125mg per day for adults, dependent upon gender and smoking habits.  Much research indicates that these numbers are far too low to obtain and maintain optimal physical health, and that these values are based on preventing "deficiency diseases" (such as scurvy) as opposed to chronic diseases like cardiovascular illnesses or diabetes.  Much of the information regarding vitamin C and the prevention of chronic disease is based on prospective studies, in which vitamin C intake is assessed in large numbers of people who are followed over time to determine whether they develop specific chronic diseases.

Dr. Linus Pauling is a twice-awarded Nobel Prize winner with tremendous research relating to both supplementary and dietary vitamin C intake.  A few of his discoveries are outlined below:

- Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen, an important structural component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone.

- Vitamin C plays a large role in the synthesis of norepinephrine, which is critical to brain function and affects mood.

- Gout is a condition brought on by high levels of uric acid in the blood.  Vitamin C supplementation (500 mg/day) for two months has been shown to lower serum concentrations of uric acid.

- Increasing vitamin C levels can increase the production and function of white blood cells, improving the immune system and helping to attack foreign bacteria and viruses. 

- Very high doses of vitamin C (up to 10 grams daily) are often used to battle cancer with some success, especially if taken intravenously.

- Oranges, grapefruit, and broccoli are all healthy foods that contain strong levels of vitamin C.  It is believed that vitamin C from foods such as these is more effective than in capsules, pills, or other forms of supplementation.

- The Linus Pauling Institute recommends a vitamin C intake of at least 400 mg daily—the amount that has been found to fully saturate plasma and circulating cells with vitamin C in young, healthy nonsmokers.  Smokers and those at risk for chronic diseases may benefit from higher amounts.

- A feeling of queeziness may be caused by overintake of vitamin C.  An appropriate daily amount, over time, often serves as a stool-softener without aches or discomfort in the abdominal area.

Thanks for reading!  We at Perfect Personal Training hope that you can use this information to better decide what amount of vitamin C is right for you and your family.  Questions or comments?  Please post below!

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is BMI Obsolete?

Hello, faithful readers!

This may be our most important post of the last year -- especially for those of you with an unhealthy body composition.  We encourage you to read this posting and respond with questions or comments, as the information below may help revolutionize the medical approach to weight management.

Since PPT's inception, we've declared that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is an inaccurate method of evaluating one's risk for fat-related disease.  Our reasoning?  BMI does not determine any difference between a person's fat weight and lean tissue.  This means that if you were to gain ten pounds of hard-earned muscle while losing ten pounds of excess fat, your BMI would stay the exact same, and your doctor would likely tell you that your exercise efforts were not paying off in terms of fat loss.  Imagine that... You lose fat, gain muscle, and then hear that your BMI hasn't improved.  You'd be making tremendous progress, but you'd be likely to become discouraged from a lack of understanding.  Unlike our methods of body composition assessment (also called body fat percentage assessment), The BMI is a simple system that looks at fat, bone, water and muscle as all falling into one category:  weight.

The medical community has continued to rely on the BMI because of it's simplicity and ease.  And, for non-exercisers, it has some merit (until they begin exercising and gaining muscle, at which point it becomes misleading).  From its inception the Body Mass Index has been questioned for its numerous flaws, and other quick and easy means have been evaluated.  But finally, researchers from the University of Michigan seem to have something on the horizon that is just as simple, but that illustrates a more accurate assessment of health risk.
After assessing anthropometrics, or body circumferences in more than 1100 children ages 6 to 18, correlations were found between neck circumference and risk for later diseases such as obstructive sleep apnea, diabetes, or high blood pressure.  Whereas abdominal obesity is not taken into account with the BMI scale, it does seem to correlate quite well to these neck circumference measurements, thereby leading the researchers to feel that neck measurement would present a more meaningful value to patients than the BMI.

Neck circumference and risk stratification charts are not currently available, but should become so in the near future. In the meantime, rely on direct measurements of body fat (body composition) with your Perfect Personal Trainer, along with anthropometric measurements to predict risks to health and to assess proper lifestyle modification.

Learn more about your risk factors and the best ways to reduce them!  Call (877)698-DO-IT (3648) to speak with a Perfect Personal Trainer.  We're even happy to schedule a free consultation, right in your home or office, and to evaluate your risk factors for you and your family.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Shocking Truth About Sit-Ups

What you don't know sure can hurt you!

Are you still doing sit-ups during your workouts?  Please think again!  More and more scientific research is stacking up against this long-time fitness staple.

Stuart McGill, PhD, studied the effects of varying exercises on the lower back. Sit-ups, crunches, varying plank and stabilization exercises, and many others were involved and analyzed.  What was found is that a sit-up generates approximately 3500 Newtons of pressure (roughly 786 pounds of force). According to Dr. McGill and The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), pressures above 3300 Newtons are more associated with lower back injury or pain.

Aside from this heavy pressure, sit-ups also involve spinal flexion, which has it's benefits but is also associated with herniated discs.  This little fact makes this exercise even more controversial -- especially for those with any predisposition to spinal disorders or a loss of bone mineral density.

Additionally, prolonged sit-ups tend to lead to aggressive, uncontrolled lowering of the spine back onto the floor or mat, adding even more risk for injury and pain.  To play your core training more safe, we recommend varying forms of planks and other core stabilizing exercises, lateral flexion exercises, and of course, static flexibility training.  Remember -- any exercise can easily do more harm than good if the selection, intensity, or frequency is inappropriate for you.
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Thanks for reading, everyone.  Please comment below with any follow-up questions or thoughts!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Back To Reality - The Holiday Is Over

Hello, faithful readers!

Yes, it's "back to reality" week as many of us have returned to work, returned home, and returned to our exercise regimen that was either abandoned or minimized during the long Independence Day weekend.

Many of you have emailed recently to say that your motivation was low. After all, we've just had two long weekends in the passed month, the kids are out of school, and we're enduring an exceptionally hot summer. And, for those whose goals included looking their best by summertime, the summertime is now here in full force, so those goals are no longer motivating or driving us like they were during the spring.

So, what's the solution? How do you find motivation for exercise and wellness during a scorching summer of vacations from work, and family trips?

First, we need to remember that what we're all doing with exercise goes far beyond your looks and confidence. If your level of sex appeal is your only motivator, then you're losing track of the other incredible benefits of well-programmed, personalized PPT exercise:

  • Stronger bones, so you're less likely to experience a fracture in your lifetime
  • Healthy, freely-moving joints, so you prevent or minimize osteoarthritis (yes, no matter how young you are, what you do today will greatly influence what happens down the road)
  • A strong, fully-functioning heart -- statistics show that without 20-60 minutes of cardiovascular training on most days of the week, one's chance of heart disease is very significantly higher
  • Improved cognitive function - have a look through our recent blogposts here for other related articles
  • De-stresser -- all forms of exercise help to battle the effects of stress as well as depression, thereby improving quality of life, the health of your skin (slow down those wrinkles!), sleep quality, and more
  • Longer life -- a maximally healthy lifestyle has been shown to outlive a minimally healthy one by two to three decades! That's more time with friends and family and a longer, more peaceful retirement!
  • And finally, you gain ENERGY through all forms of exercise... Loosen tight muscles and joints, improve circulation, and wake yourself up through safe, prioritized exercise... Why really on coffee and herbal stimulants when a simple calorie-burning workout can do so much more?
In short, if you want to grow older gracefully and with minimal time spent at your doctor's office, then your exercise needs to be consistent. Aside from the fat loss and muscle gains, you're doing your body a world of good by remaining on track with your exercise and nutrition regimen, regardless of the weather or your vacation time.  And, let's keep one more important fact in mind:  Each day away from well-designed exercise is a step backwards for your physical health.  We don't maintain our health by standing still, we slowly move backwards.
Need coaching? Call Perfect Personal Training, even if you're not a client, and one of our fat loss and Wellness experts will be happy to talk with you. With proper goal setting and slow and steady steps, there is nothing that you cannot do (and even enjoy!)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lack of Sleep... Slow, Sluggish, & a Bigger Belly?

We at PPT hope you had a safe & happy Mothers' Day!

The effects of sleep duration are gaining more and more attention among wellness professionals. Getting the right quality and quantity of sleep is not only essential to optimizing mental and physical recuperation, it may be essential to preventing obesity.

In a recent study published in the journal Sleep, researchers from Wake Forest University reported that getting less than 5 hours of sleep or more than 8 hours of sleep leads to increased intra-abdominal fat when compared to those who sleep for 6 or 7 hours.

More than 1,000 Americans were interviewed to obtain information on sleep habits, nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle. They also participated in a CT scan, which was used to assess both visceral and subcutaneous abdominal fat. Baseline measurements were then compared to a re-assessment five years later.

Participants who slept less than 5 hours a night experienced a 32% increase in deep abdominal fat over 5 years, while those who averaged more than 8 hours of sleep increased by 22%. Subcutaneous abdominal fat increased similarly.

After factoring in lifestyle factors such as total calorie intake, education levels, physical activity and smoking, sleep duration persisted as an independent risk factor for increased abdominal adiposity, especially in participants under 40.

Researchers offer broad speculation to explain the cause and effect relationship of sleep to fat gain. The primary explanations involved increased daytime fatigue, which limits energy to participate in physical activity. In addition, some believe in the potential for sleep deprivation to inhibit appetite-suppressing hormones, thus leading to overeating.

We hope you found this research to be helpful in your daily decision-making. And, if you're not already taking these supplements, then please do yourself a favor and include them in your daily routine to reduce your family's risk for athersclerosis and other chronic health conditions while battling the effects of aging!

Click any photo for more important information!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Should Your Muscles Be Sore? Important News!!

At Perfect Personal Training, we're privy to some of the more common misunderstandings relating to the struggles of fat loss.

Often, exercisers assume that a "good workout" is defined by the level of muscle fatigue and soreness. Basically, many people believe that if their muscles are sore the day following a workout, that they have done themselves some definite good.

Others believe the opposite: Some people believe that muscular soreness is an indication of overworking muscles, and that some damage may have been done unnecessarily. These people tend to lower their selected intensities after days of muscular soreness.

So, we now address the scientific truth of muscular soreness.

Muscular soreness that begins within 24 hours of exercising is generally associated with the buildup of biproduct within the muscles. It is common in both effective as well as in ineffective workouts. That's true! Muscular soreness that begins within 24 hours of a workout does not necessarily mean that you've gained significant lean tissue, nor that you have burned body fat either. Adequate sleep and water intake as well as a well-designed stretching regimen post-workout will minimize or eliminate this soreness and make you more comfortable.

Now, some muscular soreness doesn't begin for two or three days following exercise. While this type of muscular soreness can still be minimized through adequate water, sleep, and appropriate stretching, this is more of an indication of muscular growth. This "delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)" is a sign that your muscles are in the process of improving their contractile properties, strength, and endurance. But, keep in mind that you might make your muscles grow very nicely even without this DOMS occurance -- especially if you're getting proper nutrition, sleep, and flexibility training.

We at Perfect Personal Training truly hope that this will help you to make proper exercise-related decisions for the rest of your life. Do you still have questions on this or other related subjects? Please feel welcome to reply below, or to call us at (877)698-DO-IT (3648) anytime. We are here to help America get stronger, healthier, leaner, and more confident!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Creating New Brain Cells with Exercise

Faithful readers,

Perfect Personal Training would like to thank you for your trust in our wellness services. We're proud to stand apart from other health groups with our emphasis on science, careful progression, and personalized lifestyle change. Below is more emerging research that we'd like to share with you.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) has shown that cardiovascular exercise stimulates the growth of new brain cells and thereby improves the memory and the ability to learn. The dentate gyrus part of the hippocampus is one of just a few areas of an adult brain that is capable of creating new cells, and cardiovascular exercise has, indeed, been found to stimulate such creation.

Similar studies have also demonstrated that the normal decline in brain tissue (of 15% - 25% from age 30 to 90) is also very slowed with aerobic exercise. Memory loss, impaired learning, and other deficiencies associated with age all seem to be battled with regular, appropriate cardiovascular work.

It is to be noted that other forms of exercise, such as flexibility exercises, may or may not have this same effect, as they were not part of these studies.

For precise care in selecting appropriate methods and intensities for cardiovascular training, please schedule an appointment with a Perfect Personal Trainer.

Thanks for reading, and have a healthy and happy new week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Small Meals Every Three Hours

Hello, Readers!

Most of us grew up on the concept of consuming three square meals daily, aiming to avoid snacking between meals. However, the grazing technique of eating smaller meals every three to four hours throughout the day has many benefits over the more typical routine. Some benefits include:

- Curbing your appetite by limiting hunger, therefore limiting your binge-eating brought on by bigger cravings

- Supplying you with a readily-available energy source throughout the day

- Minimizing healthy lean tissue (muscle) loss that is sometimes brought on by long periods without adequate caloric intake

- Aiding in the stabilizing of blood sugar

- Likely to reduce cortisol levels

The key is to go to three meals daily without increasing your total intake of calories. If your goal is to reduce your body fat, then you will probably want to decrease your total calories as you switch to this food plan. On the other hand, if you aim to maintain your body weight without reducing body fat, then you should keep your total caloric intake at the same value that it is currently, while splitting up those total calories into more (and smaller) meals.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The TV Workout -- Part Three: Cardiovascular

Hello, Readers!

We have important news for you: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that cardiovascular exercise be performed at least five days per week for 20-60 minutes at a time. This helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol while promoting a stronger heart and lungs. This form of exercise doesn't have to be boring. Here are some great ways to burn bodyfat and improve cardiorespiratory health while watching movies and TV, right at home:

Marching in Place -- Alternate from one leg to the other, raising your knee up high and maintaining a neutral posture. Do not continue if this causes back pain. You can also step forward and backward with this movement or swing your arms with it for a more intense workout.

Jumping Jacks -- If your knee, hip, and ankle joints are in good health, then consider putting bouts of jumping jacks in your cardiovascular training. You can modify intensity by changing the height of your jumps or the range of movements of your arms or legs.

Kicks -- Stand on one leg and perform repeated kicks with the other. Or, alternate from one leg to the other while you continue. For greater intensity, kick higher or hold your arms out to the side while you kick.

Side Kicks -- Stand on one leg and kick out to your right or left. This is an unusual movement, so attempt it lightly at first. Eventually, you can kick higher and with more force if you are feeling comfortable and not experiencing any knee or hip trouble.

Punching -- Stand with your legs at about shoulder width for a strong base of support. Alternate from one arm to the other as you punch straight in front of you. Do not fully extend your arms at the end of each movement, as it may damage your elbows.

Back Kicks -- Stabilizing your hands on a couch or table, bring one leg back behind you. Act slowly at first, and gradually increase the movement over time.

Jogging in Place -- This is another great way to exercise your cardiovascular system. This may be abrasive, so avoid any heavy stomping and discontinue if your knees or hips feel painful.

We hope this helps! As always, we encourage you to consult your Perfect Personal Trainer with questions, or to call us at (877)698-DO-IT (3648). Stay healthy and strong!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The TV Workout -- Part Two: Strength Training

Two weeks ago, we introduced you to some simple exercises that can be performed while enjoying your favorite TV shows or movies. This article will continue that idea, but with more emphasis on resistive muscle training.

Squatting: Squatting is the most important, most functional strength exercise. Stand in front of a couch or chair, facing away from it so that it is behind you. It recruits from various leg muscles while also improving the health of your core's muscles. Placing your feet approximately shoulder-width apart with your toes pointed either straight ahead or out at a small angle (around 25 degrees at most) is ideal. Maintain balance on the bottom of your heels while you slowly lower your hips behind you. As you lower your upper body to the couch or chair, keep your lower leg perpendicular to the floor. Then return to a fully standing position, being certain to keep your knees above and in line with your heels throughout both phases of the movement. Breathe regularly and steadily during this exercise, and aim to perform between eight and eighteen repetitions each time you do this.

Pushups: This is an excellent exercise for your upper body muscles as well as your core muscles. With your knees on the floor, position your hands under your shoulders with straight arms (do not lock your elbows). Slowly bend your elbows to allow your body to gradually work its way toward the floor. As your chest reaches the floor, your elbows will be flexed. Then, straighten the arms to bring your body back up to its starting position. As you become more comfortable with this exercise, you should keep the knees off of the floor and, instead, press your feet into the floor. Breathe regularly and steadily during this exercise, and aim to perform eight to eighteen repetitions each time you do this.

Reverse Flies Held Still: Standing in front of a wall, hold your arms directly out to their sides so that your elbows and hands are parallel to the floor and in line with your shoulders. Press your elbows backward so that they are being pushed against the wall behind you. Hold this for five to thirty seconds, breathing regularly while you maintain this. Please note that this exercise is not ideal for some hypertensive clients.

You now have three new exercises that can be easily performed during your TV time. These will build lean mass, improve metabolism, strengthen your heart, improve joint health, strengthen your bones, and burn off unwanted & excess calories. Please also refer to our previous article for exercises that target your core/midsection muscles.

Enjoy the workout!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The TV Workout - Part One: Core Muscles

Good day, readers!

Today's lesson is the first part of our new TV Workout series. We at Perfect Personal Training hope that you will find these exercises to be helpful in improving your physique while still enjoying your favorite TV shows. These are not fat-burning exercises, but they are integral in improving balance, core strength, athletic ability, and in developing better postural and spinal health.

Perform each of these exercises at least once or twice at first, until fatigue. Stop prematurely if any of them causes you any pain. After a week or two, most people will be able to safely progress to doing these several times each, and for a longer period of time. Please consult a physician or your Perfect Personal Trainer to avoid injuries and to better understand this workout.

Core TV Exercise #1: Crunches
This exercise will improve your abdominal muscles' abilities. Lie back onto the floor or sofa with knees bent and hands behind your head (as pictured) or touching the side of your face. Keep elbows back and out of your sight. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise your shoulders off the floor or sofa. Return to starting position and repeat. Breathe regularly throughout this exercise.

Core TV Exercise #2: Side Crunches
This exercise is a modification to exercise #1 that will reach more into the oblique muscles that surround the abdomen. Simply position your legs as shown and spend an equal time with the legs facing in the opposite direction. Follow the directions from exercise #1.

Core TV Exercise #3: Ankle Wiggles
Lift your shoulders off of the ground with your palms facing down. Then, alternate from side to side, reaching one hand to one ankle and then switching to the other side. This exercise utilizes the obliques, which run alongside your body. Avoid straining your neck while you perform this, keeping your focus on reaching for the ankles. Lie back onto floor or bench with knees bent and hands at your side. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest.

Core TV Exercise #4: Planks
This exercise does not involve movement. Position your elbows directly underneath the shoulders and press them into the floor. Hold this for as long as you can without causing back pain. This exercise is not for those with stage 2 or 3 hypertension. Those with stage 1 hypertension should first consult a physician. Stop this exercise if dizziness, a light-headed feeling, back pain, or other issues occur.

Core TV Exercise #5: Modified Planks
In this modification, you can bring one leg up by several inches or more and hold it for up to three seconds. Be certain not to hold your breath. Consult a physician before doing this if you are hypertensive.

Core TV Exercise #6: Alternating Toe Touch
Lie back onto the floor or sofa with your feet up into the air. Your head should be in a neutral position with a space between your chin and chest. Leading with the chin and chest towards the ceiling, contract the abdominal and raise the shoulders. Extend one arm and reach for the opposite foot. Return to start position and repeat with the other hand. Remember to keep your head and back in a neutral position. Hyperextension or flexion may cause injury. To increase resistance, hold something in your hands, gradually increasing to heavier items for a deeper workout. To decrease resistance, position your hands closer towards the body.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Workout Wellness Success for 2010

The NEW YEAR is here!
Are your resolutions underway?

All New Years Resolutions Programs are not created equal! Many are lacking in fundamental areas while others overtrain you and leave you run down.

Need a few pointers? Here are a few bulletpoints that will make your exercising top notch!

* Work out your cardiovascular system at a moderate or high intensity at least three or four days each week. Spend at least 20 or 30 minutes for health benefits, or 40-60 minutes for weight loss.

* Work out with weights at least twice per week or more if you have time. Training bands and tubes are just as good when used appropriately. Be sure to target all of your major muscles and that you use good form. A Perfect Personal Trainer can help you in selecting exercises that are right for you.

* Stretch your muscles after every workout and hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds. If you do yoga, try to do some after your muscles workout.

* Keep lots of water or your favorite sports drink on hand for your workouts. You should also drink a glass or two before and after you train.

* Try not to workout on an empty stomach or right before bed.

* Eat small meals several times a day to boost your metabolism and burn more fat in your workouts. If you are trying to lose weight then consult a professional and consider limiting your consumption to around 250-300 calories each time you eat.

* Don't forget to workout your core! The muscles in the middle of your body should not be left out.

Do you have any questions for us? We're always here to help! (877)698-DO-IT (3648)

Happy New Year and Good Luck with your Resolutions!