Monday, June 27, 2011

Top Ten Summer Shape-Up Tips

Summer is here and everyone is thinking about getting healthy, fit, and looking great!  Here are some small changes that you can do that will help you look and feel great! 
1.       Eat fresh food not processed foods.  Anything that has more than 5 ingredients in the label should be avoided. 
2.       Eat small meals throughout the day. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Prepare your meals ahead of time
to avoid impulse eating. 
3.       Try to get 5 servings from protein a day, 5 vegetables, 1-2 good carbohydrates (this may vary depending on
your activity level) and 1 fat.
A serving size is about the size of your palm.  If you wait to eat when you are really hungry you waited too long.  When you finish eating you should not be
stuffed or really full.  Eat small meals every 2-3 hours.  Planning is the key to success!  Track your food intake on a log or phone application.
4.       Vary your workouts and don’t always do the same thing! Do a variety of cardiovascular exercise. The treadmill, bike, stair climber, swimming, and elliptical are all great options.
5.       Do resistance training at least 2-3 days a week. Resistance training (weight training) will build muscle and muscle fuels your metabolism to burn calories.  
6.       Drink plenty of water.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water.  If you wait until you are thirsty you are likely dehydrated. Drink frequently and if you are outside in the summer you should drink more than 8 glasses a day!  Dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued and get headaches.  Drinking plenty of water is essential for you to feel great and keep your skin healthy. Each day start with a full gallon and strive to finish it by the end of the day.
7.    Avoid caffeine, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol.  Some of these contain caffeine which will dehydrate you.  Some of them also contain sugar which is empty calories and can cause a sugar crash. A sugar crash will give you a quick energy boost for a short time and then you will suddenly crash and be really tired. Alcohol is empty calories and will dehydrate you. 
8.      Avoid sugar all together!  Don’t get your calories from sugary drinks either.  This includes fruit juices which may seem healthy.  You are better off drinking more water and less sugary drinks.
9.       Don’t eat just because you are bored. If you tend to snack at night, then find an activity that will keep you busy at that time.
10.    Take a good multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. When you are exercising and in the summer heat you sweat and lose minerals through your sweat.  It is very hard to replenish everything through your diet. Get a good multiple vitamin at a health food store.  Some good products are Alive Multiple Vitamin by Natures Way or GNC’s Women’s Ultra Mega. If you sweat a lot in the heat or when you exercise you may want to also get a mineral supplement in addition to the multiple vitamin.  One other supplement that is great for
keeping your energy levels high is COQ10.  Make sure you get the form Ubiquinol and take 100mg a day! This provides cellular energy. 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at:
Train With Cyndee

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Tips to Slim Down

Here are some easy things you can do to ensure success with your weight loss goals:
  1. Studies show that people that track their food intake have greater success with weight loss.  Track your food intake each day EVEN if you have a bad day!  Use simple phone applications to make it easy.  I like myfitnesspal!  Make sure to pay attention to all indicators not just calories.  Watch things like protein, sugar, fat, sodium, and fiber.  Fiber will keep you feeling full and more satisfied and the goal should be between 20-30 grams a day!
  2. Plan your week of meals on Sunday.  Prepare food for several days so you don't grab bad choices at the last minute.  Place each meal in individual containers.
  3. Don't have unhealthy food choices in your house and this means even if you have kids.  People often tell me they snack on their kids food sometimes when nothing else is available or because its easy.  Why would you want to feed your children junk?  Keep healthy choices around the house for you and your kids!
  4. Manage your time.  Use lunch hour to get a walk or run in.  Include kids on your walk or bike ride in the evening or on weekends.
  5. Track your water intake and ensure you are getting enough each day.  Start with a full gallon of water and strive to finish it by the end of the day.  Don't just estimate and assume you are drinking enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Losing Weight and Being Healthy.....It's Not Just About the Exercise!

Today was another great day for me.  I am so thankful everyday that I have a job that I love.  I worked training people from 5am to 7am.  Then I had a break so I ran 9-miles on the treadmill.  I had to teach aqua class from 9 to 11.  Then a little break to go home and check on the dogs.  Back to work to teach spin then go for a swim with Michael and Hollie.  After my swim one more client to train then home to the dogs!  I must say that was a good day.  I had people around me that made me laugh.  I have my dogs around everyday to make me smile. 

You might ask why I am telling you about my day.  Well my job wasn't always this great.  My life wasn't always this stress-free. I worked in the corporate world for almost 20 years.  I worked in retail as a district manager and supervised at times up to 30 stores.  It did not matter how many hours I worked, there was ALWAYS work to be done.  Lack of sleep and stress were always a battle.  I trained for 3 Ironman events while trying to manage my work, training, and life.  I finally came to the conclusion that there would always be work to be done, no matter how many hours I worked.  I stopped killing myself and still was able to perform within my bosses expectations. But eventually I gave it up to be a trainer and do what I really love!  Not everyone can do that. 

Many people begin exercising to become healthier, be fit, feel better, and lose weight.  The first thing they do is begin an exercise program.  That is a great start but there are MANY other components to leading a healthy life.  If all you do is start exercising you may be disappointed at your results.  If you are sleeping less to get up earlier to exercise you may be negating all your hard effort in the gym.  Lack of sleep could cause you to feel tired and could lead to weight gain!  Lack of sleep could affect your cortisol levels which is a hormone that if elevated could cause weight gain.  Cortisol also causes muscle breakdown.  So if you are going to the gym lifting weights to gain muscle you may be sadly mistaken. Lack of sleep and stress increase cortisol which causes muscle breakdown defeating all your hard effort weight training. Not to mention if your diet hasn't changed and you are not eating enough protein you will have a hard time putting on muscle. If you begin exercising don't sacrifice your sleep! 
So lets decide to workout because you want to become healthier. So you give up some sleep.  You still are stressed at work, haven't had time to really commit to eating healthy but are trying to make better choices.  You are frustrated because you are spending time exercising, your more tired, and not losing weight.  Sound familiar?
I see some of the same people in the gym working out everyday for hours.  Some of them come to my classes (aqua or spin), they do weight training, spending up to 2-3 hours at the gym each day.  I am amazed these people are overweight (seriously) for years....nothing changes.  All the time they spend in the gym and NOTHING!  If you are spending more than an hour in the gym and you are overweight, not losing weight, something is wrong with your program.

Becoming healthier, feeling better, and losing weight involves many things not just exercise.  We all have very busy lives but no matter how busy you must make being healthier a priority.  If you don't make health a priority and live at your job, there may be a point where you are forced to take time off due to a health related illness. You need to focus on all of the aspects of being healthy NOT just exercising.  Here are all of the important things you must do in order to be healthy:
  1. Eat Healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Flexibility
  4. Get 8 hours of quality sleep
  5. Drink plenty of water
  6. Take essential vitamins
  7. Reduce stress (yoga, meditation, relaxation)
  8. Surround yourself with positive people that make you laugh....remove   negativity as much as possible
  9. Time management and don't live at your job
I am sure there is more that I am leaving out but these are some of the important ones.  Take time to focus on all areas of your health rather than just exercise.  It is all important! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Here to Win - Great Book!

A week ago I was in the bookstore on a break from work looking for the follow-up book to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I only went into the bookstore for that book and I saw Chris McCormacks new book, I'm Here To Win.  Chris McCormack is a professional triathlete that recently won Kona in 2010 and also did in 2007. I decided to get the book and check it out.  I am not a huge fan of any professional triathlete in particular but I thought maybe he had something interesting to say.  When I told a few people I bought his book and was going to start reading it they said, "oh he is pretty cocky and full of himself."  I thought, well I am gonna read it and see what he has to say.  I must say it has been a really great book.  He has some great stories about his training in the beginning of his career.  Some of the stories  I have experienced myself even as an age group competitor.  I was amazed to see that even at his level he sometimes has some of the same feelings I have experienced while racing.  He also gives great advice to anyone who has trained for an Ironman or is thinking about training for an Ironman.  Lastly, I think after reading the book you may see why people think he is cocky and arrogant.  He is just plain honest unlike most people at his level.  He tells it like it is and I think that is the best anyone can do.  I can't stand people that say things that everyone wants to hear.  Chris McCormack is not someone who will tell you what you want to hear and because of that people may find him arrogant.  I would suggest if you are a fan of his or not you pick up the book and read it. I guarantee you will come away with some good advice. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Post Race Blues - Get Out of The Funk!

It never fails......I plan a big race a year in advance, train hard for months, the big day finally arrives and the excitement of getting there is amazing.  The joy of finishing almost indescribable.  The feeling lasts for several days and then a week later I find myself restless and ready for something else.
I raced at Ironman Texas May 21st, 2011. This was my 5th Ironman to complete.  The best feeling I have had in my life is crossing the finish line at an Ironman.  It is amazing and even better if the race went well like my latest one.  I was stoked and felt like I was in the best shape of my life.  I had my best performance and recovered better and faster than any other Ironman race.  Now its two weeks later and I am already restless without a big event right around the corner.  I have the same feeling I have had after every big event in my training history.  I don't have any big events immediately around the corner and to top it off I have cut back on my training.  All of which is good for my body to rest but I feel blah!  That is the only way to explain it.  No big workouts, light training and no endorphine rush!  Being an expert in fitness as a triathlon coach and personal trainer I know my body needs some easy weeks of training after an Ironman.  But my mind doesn't want that.  I get a rush out of training hard and having a goal approaching.  I can't explain why I am like that but it keeps me happy and my mind healthy.  My next big race isn't until October.  I have a few smaller ones throughout the summer but nothing major.  I know I am not the only person to experience post Ironman blues.  I have talked to others and they get what I am saying.  It is an uneasy and unfocused feeling. 

So what is my strategy to get me back on track?
  1.  Take this time to get personal stuff done that was put on the back burner for the past few months.
  2. Try some new things.  I recently bought the TRX training kit and will be doing this in place of strength training for a month.  I have been wanting to do this for a while. 
  3. Work on improving my speed and focus on a few shorter distance races throughout the summer.
  4. Focus more on flexibility by incorporating hot yoga into my schedule.  I will continue to see Coach Nancy once a week for my stretch session.....she is amazing and keeps my body healthy through all the training.  Check her out at
  5. Put more time into my personal training business and triathlon coaching business. My business is busy but there are several things I have wanted to do to make it better.  This is the time to do it!
Hopefully my mind will soon get out of the funk and get focused with my plan.