Blog: Fitperf Fit Tips

What to do with those New Years Resolutions

Setting reasonable Goals1359127061ears

The New Year has started and you still haven’t implemented the changes necessary to make those New Year’s resolutions a reality.  You can’t get back yesterday, but you can change today.  Previous articles have addressed the difficulties humans have with change, so at this juncture we will take as a given that change runs contrary to human beings innate comfort zone.  This article will cover eating and diet: the next blog post will cover exercise.

Now that we started working on change we need to look carefully at the things we wish to change and establish parameters that are workable and reasonable.  Loss of body fat and improvement in diet is a common resolution.  Make a short term weight loss goal that coupled with further short term weight loss plans will result in permanent weight loss.  Individuals who have been eating very badly may find difficulty in eating a healthy diet. Many people may also have problems with proper timing and frequency of eating.  One of the major downfalls of peoples’ dietary practices is skipping meals.  One of the most skipped from eating meals is breakfast.  The metabolism does not quicken after waking from sleep till we either eat or exercise.  The best way to quicken your weight loss is to eat 5 small meals a day.  Many people may find that eating 5 meals is a lofty number to start with. Many people have only been eating one or two meals a day.  Dieters may want to start with 3 small meals a day and then expand that to 5 meals after an initial adaptation period.  Many individuals have problems with the morning breakfast start, so that alone might be an immediate short term goal.  Remember short term goals.

There is no necessity to carry a calorie book around, use good judgment.  Practice portion control when eating.  Keeping a food diary is a good way to be accountable to one self for ones’ diet.  You must write down what you are going to eat before you consume it. This writing prior to eating forces an individual to be accountable to one self before possible bad eating.   You may consume larger portions of low calorie food and small portions of caloric dense foods.  Remember to drink 2 to 4 quarts of water a day.  Water helps to give the stomach the feeling of satiation thus reducing the desire to eat more food

In closing make reasonable goals that are obtainable on a short term basis.



Benefits of an in-home Personal Trainer

The benefits and advantages of in-home personal training are numerous and significant. The success of ones’ endeavor to improve fitness and health is constricted by ones’ resistance to change.  The most important element in change of any type is the whole hearted effort to maintain movement towards ones’ goal or goals.  Human beings when making a choice by one’s own volition must be fueled by the energies necessary to achieve said task.

Embarking on a successful fitness program requires a steadfast, constant focus on the goal and conformity of the individuals’ actions needed to reach their goal.   Newton’s first law of gravity stipulates an object at rest stays at rest while an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Movement of even the smallest muscle takes energy.

Moving away from basic physics to people leaves us with “people who are sitting on their butts tend to stay on their butts while people who are active tend to stay active.”  The key to movement is removing the resistance against the object attempted to being moved.  Homeostasis can be a blessing or a curse all depending upon whether you are happy with who you are and where you are.

Having an in-home personal trainer removes some of the restraints of time and personal responsibility.  There is a certain lack of solace brought to a mother who feels conflicted leaving their small child with a sitter or gym daycare.  Removing the time traveling to a gym can facilitate embarking on a health and fitness program for the busy executive or professional. Stress and lack of adherence to fitness can be reduced by having an in-home personal trainer.  There is no question when or where you are working out.  There is no worry as to what to do, or what is safe.  The ease of conformity to an exercise regimen is directly proportional to ones’ level of success thereof.

Fitness Performance provides in-home personal training.  This in-home service is available in much of the Bergen County New Jersey area.  Towns such as Franklin Lakes, Saddle River, Upper Saddle River, Allendale, Wyckoff, Ho-Ho-Kus, Hillsdale and Mahwah are just a few of thje many towns of which we service.  Portable equipment is brought to the home and used solely or used in conjunction with available equipment.  Scheduling is around your wants and needs.

There is a further benifit to in-home personal training, that is a child seeing their parents eating nutritiously and exercising on a regular basis.  This type of repetitive behavior sets up a positive patterning for future health and fitness predispositions.  Children follow what their parents teach without the subjective decision of truth or validity.  So would it not be wonderful to impart healthy lifestyle practices onto the ones we love.

Being successful with health and fitness improvements involves removing the resistance against changing our lifestyles and the functionality of our bodies themselves.  One of the most important variables for change is the reduction of the resistance to change.  The time and energy needed to travel to a gym or fitness facility is impeded by the responsibilities and time restraints of the individual.  Parents and nonparents all tend to be overloaded with the Sisyphean nature of existencel.  Health and fitness is a gift we give ourselves.  With improved function and a prolonged life span we can further give ourselves to that and those whom we love.


Proper Holiday Eating

Survive the holidays without getting fat

Holidays are a time to celebrate life, give thanks for what we have, and to remember loved ones that have passed.  Holidays bring a mixture of joy and reminiscences that bring a plethora of emotions from good to bad.  Some emotions we don’t fully understand because time has faded the edges and yellowed the pages of our memories.  Sometimes this fading is an ego defense to spare us the recurring pain of traumatic childhood events that we don’t wish to deal with on a conscious level.  Unresolved subconscious anxiety can attempt to dimiminish itself by using food as a drug.

Carbohydrates are the food of choice for individuals seeking stress relief because they allow for more bio available serotonin.  Serotonin is the “feel good” neural transmitter.  Many people crave carbohydrates — especially cookies, candy, or ice cream — when they feel upset, depressed, or tired.Several research studies have uncovered interesting facts about carb cravers.  “Carb craving is part of daily life,” says Judith Wurtman, PhD, a former scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and co-author of The Serotonin Power Diet.  She and her husband, MIT professor Richard J. Wurtman, have long researched carbohydrates and their link to mood and depression.The Wurtmans published a landmark article about carbs and depression in Scientific American in 1989. They are convinced that the carbohydrate craving is related to decreases in the hormone serotonin, which is marked by a decline in mood and concentration. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago found that carb cravers who have a mildly depressed mood seem to be self-medicating.

Taking into consideration the aforementioned variables coupled with the added stress of gift buying, large meal preparation, added financial expenditures, and dealing with our loving but always slightly dysfunctional families we still wonder why we have problems with controlling our eating? Eating is a basic primal pleasure necessary for survival.  It is hard wired into us to ensure the proliferation of the species.  The sucking reflex is what keeps us alive as babies but can easily transform itself into an unhealthy relationship with food as other psychological issues stress us.  So what to do?

  • Put all your food on one plate so you can truly evaluate how much you are going to eat.  Fixing a small plate of food and then having seconds and thirds is living in denial.
  • High calorie food can be eaten, but in small portions.
  • Eliminate mixers with drinks unless they are low calorie.
  • Try to eat small meals throughout the day, not one huge meal at night.
  • Drink plenty of water to give the stomach feelings of satiation.
  • Try to keep consistent sleep patterns even with the holiday rush.
  • Maintain good exercise habits.
  • The old adage of leaving the table slightly hungry might also be applicable.
  • Enjoy the Holidays be joyous, not gluttonous, left overs taste good.

Why Use A Personal Trainer

Personal Training can help you reach your goals1352406012nal_trainer3

Having been a personal trainer for almost thirty years one thing I am sure of is that no change can ever occur in an individual without the conscious acknowledgment of the effort that will be needed to initiate and continually propel said change or changes. The problem with change is that as human beings we have the ability to adapt but as human beings we also have the subconscious resistance to change.

This subconscious resistance is the root difficulty with embarking on successful diet and exercise regimens.  Personal training helps people overcome this resistance by teaching them the tools needed to be successful and to clearly delineate the path that takes them where the wish to go.  Proceeding blindly without guidance in any endeavor is usually not prudent and enlisting the guidance of an expert is useful.  I’m an expert and can help you reach your fitness and dietary goals here in Bergen County NJ.  This blog will provide guidance and insight into proper techniques, strategies and implementation.  Everything from the proper mindset for training, to dietary tips and to philosophical questions.

If you have comments, questions or concerns please send them to me through the contact page.


What Is Fitness

An In Depth Look At Personal Training, Health and Athleticism1352406175ss1-18m33ah

The summer has come and gone, and once again you promise yourself to develop a body you can be proud of.  One thing everyone should remember is looking good is important, but looking good is the result of a healthy life style that results in a high function physical being.  This life style creates an aura of vitality and health that can be seen and felt by others.

Creating and following a balanced fitness program takes time and effort.  There are five major components to physical fitness and they are all equally important for the health and wellbeing of the individual.

Muscular Strength- The amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert during a contraction is muscular strength.  The degree of force generated is generally measured by the one repetition maximum (1RM).  There are specific exercises that are used to ascertain strength levels for particular areas of the body.  Exercises such as the military and bench press are used to evaluate the upper body.  The squat and leg press are frequently used for measuring strength in the lower body.

Muscular Endurance-   The amount of times a muscle or muscle group can contract and exert sufficient force to move a predetermined load defines muscular endurance.  Simple tests such as an individuals’ maximum number of pushups and the 60 second sit up test can be used to evaluate; upper body, abdominal and hip flexor strength.  Free weights and machines may also be used to grade muscle endurance.  Bench pressing a predetermined load such as a 35 pound barbell for women, and an 80 pound barbell for men for maximum repetitions is an accepted upper body test for upper body muscle endurance.

Cardiorespiratory Endurance-  The ability to perform dynamic exercise using large muscle groups in a moderate, to a high intensity level for prolonged periods of time gages ones’ cardiorespiratory fitness.  The best way for testing cardiorespiratory function is directly measuring maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max).  Measuring VO2max must be done in a lab setting and has all the inherent risks associated with maximum performance testing.  When working with the general population submaximal testing is: safer, cheaper, and easier to administer.  Individual submaximal testing can be done on a cycle ergometer, or treadmill.  Large groups can be tested via the three minute step test, the twelve minute run, or the Rockport fitness walking test.  Results of the fore mentioned tests are graded against established age adjusted norms.

Flexibility- The ability to move a joint through a predetermined range of motion is ones’ flexibility.  There are various flexibility tests that evaluate particular joints and muscle groups.  The sit and reach test measures trunk flexion ability in regards to the hamstrings and lower back.  Most individual’s flexibility decreases with age; this is why it is imperative to embark on a stretching program that will ensure full range of motion in ones’ later years.  The image of an elderly person stooped over and taking tiny precarious steps should be sufficient impetus to get one to stretch.

Body Composition- The percent of body fat in relationship to ones’ lean body mass is what constitutes body composition, and measured by body fat percentage.  Lean body mass is; muscles, bones, organs, connective tissues, and skin.  The standard accepted body fat percentage is: 21% for women and 16% for men.  It should be noted that body fat is imperative for proper physiological functioning of the body.  Body fat can be measured by various means the most accurate being the submersion technique and the easiest and cheapest being skin fold measuring.