Sunday, June 10, 2018

Stretching, Yoga & Their Effects on Health

Some of the most common misconceptions in fitness science come from the topic of stretching, muscle flexibility and what we "feel" when we move.  Unlike some of the less-consequential points of confusion, this is one aspect that you definitely want to fully understand in order to maximize the benefits of your health and wellness program.

First, it's important to understand why stretching should even take place at all, so here is a brief overview:


Every muscle has a healthy "resting length", which is simply the length that it should be when you're not particularly using it. 

This length, and the amount of tension it has, needs to be close to what is optimal for holding your body together.  If the muscle has become too short or too long, then that will affect its role in your musculoskeletal system. 

An easy example is when the biceps brachii muscle (front of the arm) is too short (too tight).  When too short, this muscle group actually pulls the lower arm UP when it should not. 

This disrupts your posture and ages the elbow, and because it moves that lower arm to being in front of you when you're standing or walking, we now have additional stressors on the low back and other muscles.  This changes the distribution of the forces you create when you move, which is unnatural to the body.



That example sounds pretty harmless, and sometimes won't have tremendous health consequences in and of itself.  But, imagine that small example taking place with most of your muscles - especially those throughout the spine.  It becomes easy to see that if the spine, arms and legs are all incapable of keeping their normal position, that tension aches, cramps and nerve pain all become more likely as the years pass.  Nerves often become narrowed or hardened when movement and posture are not close to the optimal, healthy levels that each body truly wants. For these reasons and more, tight muscles need to be loosened up and hypermobile, overly-loose muscles should get added tension so they can also be returned to a healthy status.

So, how does all of this relate to a PPT fitness or Yoga program?


Your Perfect Personal Trainer is making decisions as to which muscles need more tension, and which need less.  And of course, we're also making decisions as to just how much change is needed, and what's of high priority vs what is of lower priority.  Since many PPT clients only actually end up meeting with their assigned professional for fewer than three hours per week (factoring a client's sick days, vacations, etc), we generally need to keep our stretching time to just the high-priority needs.

Are there muscles that should not be stretched?

Absolutely.  For example, many Yoga classes spend a high percentage of time stretching muscles that are already too flexible for some people and that are, therefore, causing postural and muscular problems.  If the muscle is too loose to do its job for the body, then that aspect of Yoga is harmful, not helpful.  The same goes for many personal trainers out there - they're stretching muscles that don't need it while sometimes ignoring the muscles that do.  This is why the right education and intervention is so important to the long-term well-being and success of our clients.

How does PPT know which muscles need it and which do not?


Postural alignment shows us which muscles are pulling too much on a bone and which muscles are not pulling enough.  Spinal misalignments and pelvic tilts tell us a lot.  We use them as indicators as to where we need to change muscle tension levels.  We advise that clients contact our Client Services Department to discuss more in-depth and to ensure that their programs involve only the best decision-making.  Client input is te key to more sustained health outcomes.









So, what's the take-away when it comes to stretching and Yoga?


It's most important to understand that stretches should be performed if a muscle is too tight and tense, and not just because it is there.  The stretches should also be held for at least 30 seconds and generally to an uncomfortable point that is not quite painful.  Just "feeling" that a stretch is happening won't release much tension or improve health outcomes for the long-term, so we encourage that each stretch is performed to where it reaches mild discomfort.







Wednesday, May 9, 2018

40's, 50's, 60's? Should My Fitness Change As I Age?

We were sold a pack of lies about "normal aging".

We were told that aches and pains are normal and should be expected.

We were told that arthritis, poor posture and a smaller walking stride are just part of an older person's game.

And, we were taught that rigorous exercise was dangerous for those over 40.


In fact, just a few years ago, Michelle Obama turned 50 and told America that she would switch to lighter exercise to avoid injury. No, there was no physiological reason for the change - she just felt that age 50 should mean a change in her fitness programming.


At the same time, doctors across America were perpetuating the belief that the musculoskeletal system loses capacity due to years, not behavior, and that it becomes more susceptible to irreconcilable damage.

The title of this blog is "Should My Fitness Change As I Age?"  In short, the answer is that your fitness pursuits should always be changing, but not because of the number of years you've been alive.  Rather, it should change with your progression and regression, responding to where you are at that time.  

"Your cells don't have ticking timebombs in them", explains Client Services Director Val Fiott, "The body is self-healing and very adaptive to what we provide for it.  When we provide poor bodymechanics or low intensities, it reacts with pain and weakness.  When we provide the right strategy and resistance, it reacts to that with positive change."

Below are two critical truths for you to understand as you move forward with this aspect of your life:

#1:  A body that you let whither will wither.  The above scenarios are very common because people allow them to be, by lack of a scientific and in-depth program.

#2:  A body well-cared for ages with healthy joints, a lack of aches and pains, and tremendous energy.  See 95-year-old bodybuilder Charles Eugster run the 200 meter dash, or 80-something bodybuilders Ernestine Shephard and Art Peacock (both pictured below.  Yes, they are both in their 80s!)



We're not suggesting you become a competitive athlete (there is no need to, from a health perspective).  The lesson here relates to your preventive health and just how much control you have over it with each decision you make.  Do these people look like they suffer from the ailments of the average American?  Can you imagine them feeling "too tired" to get through their day?  

At Perfect Personal Training, we want every client to maximize their quality of life - to avoid medications, to stay out of the hospital, to wake up with energy and to enjoy the power of physicality.  Slouchy posture, back pain, lethargy, brain fog, and arthritis don't fit into our plans and they shouldn't fit into yours.  Those problems are a choice - and you can choose to avoid them with a steady, solid program (3+ days per week with us and following our meal planning and health coaching generally provides for this.)



"We have tremendous potential as human beings," explains exercise physiologist Brian Walters, "but most of us operate at a small fraction of what we're born to do.  This causes the rise in health problems we see in most of the world and it makes for an uncomfortable life. PPT is proud to lead clients to successful aging."

The time is now.  

Feel amazing.

Be strong.

Live right!









Sunday, April 15, 2018

5 Most Surprising Nutrition Concepts

Apple Cider Vinegar with Mother

From an aid in fat loss to a natural stabilizer for blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar with mother is a surprising part of almost every PPT meal plan, especially for clients who come to us as diabetics.

Our preventive health programs rely upon the right consumption of proteins, digestive enzymes and healthy bacteria to support the gut and the immune system (80% of which "lives" inside the gut), and apple cider vinegar with mother provides these beautifully!  Mix your dose with spring water for  great way to start your day.

Tap Water vs Tap Water

Sometimes a touchy subject, the debate between spring water and tap water is a bit of a hot button.  While tap water goes through a filtration and assessment process that spring water does not, it also carries fluoride in the United States, which Harvard associates with lower IQ and other studies have associated with some cancers, arthritis, thyroid disease and other health problems.  There are decades of conflicting scientific studies and anecdotal articles debating the values and risks of fluoride and other chemicals found in tap water, and for this reason, many opt for natural spring water or rely on methods of reducing the chemicals in their tap water.

Magnesium Deficiency

Chemical element atomic #12 is magnesium (Mg), and it plays an important part in PPT's personalized preventive health programs.  According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium plays a role in heart health, muscle and nerve function, and synthesis of DNA, RNA and glutathione.  Our clinical research team has analyzed hundreds of journal articles relating to the need for optimal magnesium intake, and we've found that keeping healthy levels plays a role in preventing anxiety, seizures, dysrhythmias, muscle cramping and other detriments to one's health.


Creatine Supplementation

Consuming supplements is always a tricky topic, as many supplements are either not helpful or are not as helpful as they claim to be safe. In some cases, supplements thought to increase health are actually more harm than good.  Creatine, however, has a great deal of science supporting it. Its consumption, when taken in appropriate doses, helps to sustain or develop muscle tissue and thereby can increase a person's metabolism. It is used in many PPT meal plans, either as a supplement or through foods like tuna and beef.  It has been used for decades to power workouts and to advance strength.  While many claim that people can get all the creatine we need from food, you'd need to consume more than two lbs of tuna or chicken in a day to get a helpful dosing of creatine. For this reason, it is generally taken as a supplement.


The Role of Omega-3s

Consuming too few omega-3s (or too many omega-6s) is an unhealthy dietary habit.  While many studies indicate that disease prevention involves an omega6-to-omega3 ratio of approximately 4:1 or even 1:1, the average American is often consuming ratios of 20:1 or higher.  As with most aspects of human health and disease prevention, there have been conflicting scientific beliefs as to just what that ratio should be, but two generalities are very certain:  (1) As compared to our omega-3 intake, omega-6s are certainly too high for optimal health (2) Deadly diseases in America are on the rise, with new disorders unheard of decades ago now common. There is evidence that the mysteries surrounding these health problems may link back to our excess of omega-6 fatty acids and our limited intake of the healthy omega-3s.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

How To Lose A Muffin Top By Summer in 5 Steps



The time is now.  Whether your plans for summertime involve boats, beaches, weddings or pools, losing the muffin top isn't just a health contribution anymore - it's the difference between sex appeal and self-consciousness.

So, how many sit-ups and crunches will it take to burn off this muffin top once and for all?


None.  Zero.  All the ab exercise in the world won't reduce your waist circumference or eliminate a muffin top. You can improve those muscles beautifully, but the excess fat around them isn't going anywhere without the right personalized plan. (See this video below.)



Your Muffin Top Melting Plan:

  • Cardiovascular training at the right intensities for your resting heart-rate and health factors (PPT will figure these optimal intensities out for you), 4-7 days per week depending upon how bad the muffin top is, for 30-90 minutes at a time (this varies also, and your PPT professional can determine what's BEST for your body's needs and when that should change).  Without this key component, you won't burn many calories from stored fat and your heart won't be strong enough to maximize this next step:
  • Muscle training that progresses properly (same intensities and duration week after week will NOT work).  All of the major muscles need to be trained moderately at first, then very heavily once the joints and heart are healthy enough.  Don't worry about stopping when you hit "the last rep"; most of your muscles need to train to the point where they can no longer safely perform another one.  Everyone's needs a specific to their physiology, but rest assured, muscle training for at least 90 minutes each week is always part of the program.
  • A Meal Plan that (a) provides precisely the right macronutrients (proteins, carbs and fats) and that (b) is followed with precision.  We determine your macronutrients based on your metabolic rate, your body composition, your amount of lean tissue, and many other factors, and update them as your body changes.  It's imperative that you follow your meal plan closely, as its generally the most important part of your Muffin Top Melting program!
  • Appropriate electrolytes, hydration, omega-3s and antioxidants for your body's specific needs:  You can't burn bodyfat very well without a well-functioning system.  Keeping these ranges appropriate will nourish your body and help it to be a fat-burning machine, incapable of sustaining a muffin top of any kind!
  • Basically the same bed-time every night, and very deep sleep (support with melatonin and essential oils as needed) for at least six hours.  This is critical for hormonal balance and in minimizing chemical stressors.
This might seem like a lot, but there is a very bright light at the end of the hard-work tunnel:

Once you drop the top, your plan changes to the Maintenance Phase, which is tremendously easier and requires NO calorie deficit.  It's a smoother, simpler ride from there on out with more flexibility and wiggle-room for your food intake, your exercise regimen, and your lifestyle habits.

Remember, cherry-picking and "sort of" following your guidelines will lead to disappointment instead of solid success. 



Serious about melting off the muffin top and other excess bodyfat?

Then don't wait for the time to come to you (because it never will).

Instead, make the time, get focused, and know that you can burn that muffin top off forever by just following these 5 steps and staying consistent in each one of them.




_________________________________________________________
Questions about the steps to your muffin top elimination?  Contact Perfect Personal Training, comment below, or call us at (877)698-3648.  Our team can assess your health history, bodyweight, heart-rate, body composition and other important fitness factors to properly identify just exactly what you'll need to make the MOST out of the next 7 weeks (yes, that's all that's left) before Beach Season begins. That way, you avoid fruitless exercises and make the most out of every workout and every food that you put in your mouth.


Our top team of fat-loss experts is always here to help!










Monday, April 2, 2018

5 Ways to Burn Upper-Arm Fat


Here is a question we get nearly every day:

"How can my fitness program burn off my upper - arm fat more quickly?"


Get ready, Beach Season!  PPT's science and research department has evaluated the TOP 5 most important steps to ridding yourself of unsightly, unhealthy excess arm fat so that you can look your BEST when it's time to show more skin:



#5.  Cardio Between Sessions!

Your Perfect Personal Trainer is maximizing the time that he or she has with you each day.  But, just because your session is over doesn't mean your body doesn't need more cardio.  Even while your muscles and core recover from exercise, your cardiovascular system will rarely overtrain if you exercise is once (or even more than once) daily.  Get at least 5 hours each week of fun cardiovascular exercise, between ad in-addition to your PPT sessions.  You'll burn more fat, strengthen your heart and keep your energy levels HIGH between sessions, so the next session is that much more productive!

#4.  Stay Hydrated!

What does this have to do with better arms?  Science shows that exercisers are often dehydrated, and therefore reducing their total output and calorie-burning.  This also leads to poor recovery, which - you guessed it - makes the next workout less effective, also.  It's an endless circle.  Finally, poor hydration leads to hormone imbalances, which slows fat loss and metabolic gain.  Be sure to reach your target numbers for hydration, and call us for health coaching if you don't yet know how much water to drink each day!


#3.  Cut Out Fried Foods and Carbonated Beverages


We're sad, too, but the honest truth is that fried foods, even without the trans fats, and all carbonated beverages are just plain trouble for the fit-minded, even when you're adhering to the right amount of proteins, carbs and fat each day.  With these culprits, even "moderation" decreases holistic function, making your system struggle when it doesn't have to.  People who lose fat more easily do so not just by calorie counting and a personalized exercise plan, but by all-out eliminating the dangerous intake that can only depress your physiology.  Steer clear of these and find less-destructive indulgences if you're serious about thinner, more defined upper arms!

#2.  Increase Your Metabolism

PPT has talked with most of our clients about easy ways to incorporate metabolic boosters into their lifestyles, and we can do the same for you!  From cold showers to deeper-sleep strategies to consuming cinnamon or green tea, there are hundreds (or possibly thousands?) of simple tricks to improve metabolism and lose fat more quickly.  Each one on their own is a small contributor, but if you take the time to incorporate ten, maybe twenty of these into most of your days, your resting metabolism will start to rev up pretty nicely, and that will show in your bodyfat percentage as well as in your upper arm definition!

#1.  Follow Your Macronutrients!
This is what is all comes down to, friends!  The absolute #1 way to burn off that excess fat around the arms isn't even exercise-related (though that's important too!):  It stems from your diet more than anything else!  As you know, we ALL have our own macronutrient needs, based on our weight, types of exercise, duration of exercise, lifestyle choices, diagnoses, metabolism, and fitness goals.  Everything you put into your mouth makes a difference either toward bodyfat loss or bodyfat gain.  

If you don't already know the right quantities for YOU, then let's solve the riddle and empower you to consume the right amounts each day. You'll be THRILLED with what the right macronutrients will do for your upper-arm fat, your confidence, your long-term health, and for everything "you"!

Comment, contact or call us today - PPT is here to help!
(877)698-3648


Not yet a client? Start Your Progress Today!










Saturday, March 10, 2018

3 Steps To Fast Motivation


The difference between lean, toned, seemingly-have-it-all people and those who struggle with fitness is not a giant leap.


When you barely want something to happen, it doesn't happen.

When you somewhat want something to happen, it doesn't happen well.

But, when you crave something... That's where the sacrifices stop feeling like sacrifices and start feeling like empowerment.




In fact, the steps to having a lean, trim body - to awesome muscle toning - to high energy levels and to an upbeat, confident personality, are all less critical than what we really need:

Motivation, at your fingertips, to keep your eye on the prize and moving forward through any obstacle!

Didn't sleep well?  Worked late?  Stomach upset? Problems at home?

These 3 steps to fast motivation will help you dig deeper, think clearer, and keep your health & fitness first:

#3. Remember The Consequences!

Remember how bad your back felt when you went a week without a fitness session?

Remember how lethargic you feel when you over-eat?

Remember the family member who suffered a heart attack?

Decisions have consequences, but we sometimes remember these too little too late. 

Take two minutes now to make your own personalized list of consequences to avoid, and put it in your car, or in your phone or on the refrigerator... Anywhere to keep you reminded of what you avoid by sticking to your fitness and wellness program.

#2. Positive Self-Talk!

It's important to turn negative self-talk into positive.  

While you might think, "My trainer's coming over and now I have to exercise when I'd rather watch TV", the other side of the coin is the one to focus on: 

"I'm so proud that instead of doing something fruitless, I'll be exercising, feeling great and taking steps toward a better life."

OR

"My fitness session is less than an hour, and I get so much done for myself in that time."

OR

"I know that every time I work out, I'm keeping my heart strong and my cholesterol healthy."


Statements like these encourage positive behaviors and will improve your mood during those healthy behaviors.  

PPT health coaches recommend actually declaring positive talk such as this out loud, multiple times. 

The more you say and think it, the easier it will be to make the right choices.


And, the number 1 step to FAST MOTIVATION is.......

#1. Keep Your Eye On the Prize!

This is the most commonly-used phrase at Perfect Personal Training, and with GOOD REASON!

The only way to achieve a goal is to stay focused on that goal and respect the steps it takes to get there!

You're not exercising to perform walking lunges, dead-lifts or shoulder-presses....

You're exercising to reach your personal fitness goals, and to make your heart, bones and joints healthy.  Whatever your goals are, they have been accomplished by others and can be accomplished by YOU!

Perfect Personal Trainers often recommend that you keep pictures available of what you want to look like (or of what you used to look like). 

Keep them by your bed or in the room where you exercise, or even in your purse, wallet or phone. 

We also suggest that you keep other incentivizers, such as any previous and favorable medical records or bodyfat scores, or a pair of pants you'll fit back into. If it's emotive, it can be a tremendous motivator for your success!



It's time to get serious, get motivated, and get fit!! 
Add 40 awesome sessions to your fitness program at an incredible savings with code HEALTHY200, available for one last time...
 this weekend only!












Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rid Yourself of Love Handles in 4 Steps!



With Valentine's Day well behind us, PPT is shifting the topic from Love to Love Handles as summer nears and we "firm up" our body toning and weight loss goals!

But don't struggle to drop the unhealthy and unsightly pounds; getting rid of love handles is no mystery for the Perfect Personal Training family and our top fitness and weight management educators.  

Here are the 4 big steps necessary to trim your mid-section and look your BEST without the extra "Love":


#4Longer Periods of Cardio

While it's true that short periods of high-intensity exercise can boost metabolism and build muscle quickly, losing the love handles is a different story:  Many bodies require at least 40 or more minutes to see quick fat-burning here.  Depending upon your carbohydrate intake and total exercise frequency, you might not be burning fat until the 20th or 25th minute of cardio, so we'll need 40 or more minutes to ensure that we're being productive and QUICK.  

#3. The Right Sleep

Sleep is where your muscles and hormones get what they need to lead to successful fat loss.  Have you ever really known anyone who was very consistently fit but who had poor sleep habits? Probably not! 

Sleep in absolute darkness, avoid electronics for 30 minutes before bed, and keep the same bedtime and wake-time throughout the week to maximize your sleep quality and improve your body's fat-burning abilities!



#2.  Macronutrients & Meal Planning

Sorry, but eating "healthy", alone, won't help you lose the love handles. If you're not familiar with macronutrients (or "macros" as they are commonly called), then it's important to know that everyone's "macros" are different, and that this term refers to the optimal amount of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that a person needs, based on many different factors.  We can't just think about your total calories if we're going to be successful:  We have to count your intake of these three macros and plan your intake accordingly.

Sounds hard?  We'll lead the way to make it easy.  This is truly an essential part of burning off the love handles and getting your mid-section sexy and slim! 

PPT Meal Planning is free with our 40-Session Commitment Package (or charged at the regular rate per session for those not on a Commitment.)



#1.  Consistent, Proper Strength Training

There is just no getting around it, friends: Your resting metabolism (the number of calories you burn to stay alive) is lower than it needs to be if you're not getting targeted, science-driven fitness sessions at least three or four times per week. 

This means consistency (making up for vacations, sick days, etc), the right intensity (usually 65-85% of your capacities), the right rest periods, and the right combination of exercises.  


What's stoppoing you?  Your Perfect Personal Trainer and our clinical research team have your answers to make each decision optimal!  

We're committed to your transformation!  Comment or contact us with questions so that we can take this information and apply it to your lifestyle, your needs, and your goals.

LAST CHANCE!
Save $200 and enjoy low-cost fitness training at home:
HEALTHY200 expires this Sunday, March 11th at 11:59PM!