Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Beginning a Lifestyle Challenge

Getting started with a healthy lifestyle is the hardest part for most people. Often we start out too aggressive, and then cannot stick with it. An easier way is to start with small goals and build on that success. The following is an idea of some very basic goals to get started. Stick with the plan for 21 days. If you are already accomplishing any of these items just replace with your own goal. You can set new goals every few weeks, or even every few months.
  1. Eat 3 meals a day
  2. Meals should be eaten sitting at a table with real dinnerware and utensils
  3. Drink water with every meal
  4. Eat a minimum of one vegetable serving and one fruit serving with each meal
  5. If hungry between meals have a healthy snack, plan ahead to have the right food on hand
  6. No fast food 
  7. Try at least one new healthy food 
  8. Be active a minimum of 20 minutes each day
  9. Walk a mile at least 3 days each week
  10. Try at least one new exercise during the 21 day period 


Keep a journal during the 21 days making notes on how are doing, how you feel, what you should change next, etc. If you start this challenge August 10 it will take you through the end of the month. At the end of the challenge reward yourself in some small way. Then come up with your own September Goals. Keep making small changes. Over a period of time you will have a whole new YOU.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

What About HIIT Workouts?

I was recently ask "What is HIIT and should I be doing it?" The answer is the same as the answer to many fitness questions: "It depends".

HIIT is an acronym meaning High Intensity Interval Training. Many fitness professionals, workout DVDs, and fitness studios have made a name for themselves promoting this style of workout. The big benefit is that you can get a hard workout, and fitness improvements, in a shorter period of time. The problem is that the workout style has been so highly promoted many individuals are over doing it. If done correctly HIIT workouts are very high intensity short duration workouts. If you do this type of workout too frequently or for longer periods of time you are at an increased risk of injury or burnout. Plus you will likely not be able to continue putting in the correct intensity.


It is recommended to only do HIIT workouts 1 to 3 days per week, alternating with more moderate workouts. Also, if you are new to working out, or have injuries or health issues, you likely need to skip HIIT completely. First improve your baseline fitness. Then you will be able to gradually add more variety to your workouts. Be sure to master a specific exercise before including it in your HIIT workout.

If you need assistance with your fitness routine contact me for personal training. www.coach-patty.com

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Walking For Fitness

I am a huge fan of walking for fitness. Almost anyone can walk. So it's an easy entry level fitness activity, a good base for your overall fitness program, a fun workout for an active recovery day, and also a good way to add activity to your normal day.

Spring is a great time to get started before the weather heats up. If you are new to walking start with an easy walk in your neighborhood or at the local park. Fifteen to twenty minutes several days a week is a great starting point. Once you have walked a few weeks you can increase your walking workout by going longer or faster.


If you already walk for fitness you might challenge yourself to walk farther this month, work on improving your walking speed, or sign up for a fun walking event.

Don't be fooled into thinking walking is always an easy workout. Walking can be as strenuous or as easy as you like. You can make walking more intense by walking faster, improving your technique, walking hills, or going for a challenging hike. Did you know the fastest walkers in the world can walk a mile in about six minutes! 

In addition to exercise walking, everyone can benefit from adding steps to their day. You can even benefit simply by standing when possible rather than sitting. Consider these very easy ways to add steps:
  • park farther away from work or the store
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • take Fido and/or the family out for a quick walk around the block
  • walk over to visit a neighbor
  • take a walking break after lunch
  • walk while talking on the phone or during a conference call
  • walk while waiting for your child at ball practice or dance class
If you have a desk job set your alarm and get up to move around at least once each hour. Every 30 minutes is even better.

You can challenge yourself by training to walk in a local event, learning to racewalk, or adding additional workouts to your walking routine. If I can assist you with your fitness plan contact me any time. www.coach-patty.com

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Why Everyone Should Lift Weights

Weight lifting is not just for athletes, strong men, and body builders. Weight lifting is recommended for all adults as part of their regular fitness program. Exercises can be adjusted to suit a persons individual ability and fitness goals.


Some of the benefits you may experience due to strength training include:

Improved muscle strength
Improved bone density
Decreases in body fat and improved muscle to fat ratio
Increased ability to perform daily task
Stronger tendons and connective tissue
Improved muscle definition and appearance
Higher caloric expenditure due to higher muscle mass
Improve posture and reduce back pain
Lower health risk and disease
Improved body image and self confidence
Improved mood, sleep, and more

Strength exercises should be part of an overall fitness plan that includes cardiovascular exercise, balance and flexibility, and healthy eating habits. Beginners to strength training can benefit from a full body workout performed as little as once or twice weekly.

When beginning a strength training program start out with 8 to 10 basic exercises. As you get stronger you can do more variety, add more sets or reps to your routine, or workout with heavier weights. Your exact program will depend on your current fitness level, previous workout experience, and also your fitness goals.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Beginner's Running Plan

I have been ask by several people recently about starting a running program. There are many different options. In general you should start with walking and gradually add running. The following is a basic beginners schedule. As you can see it starts with very little running and progresses at a slow steady rate. This gives the body time to adapt and seriously reduces the risk of injury.

During this plan you should not be concerned with speed. Do the running workout 3 to 4 days a week, and rest or cross train on the other days. Be sure that every workout starts with a warm up and ends with a cool down. Stretch at the end of your cool down.

If you feel you are progressing too quickly you can always repeat a week before moving on to the next one. If you are overweight, have suffered previous injuries, or have any health concerns you should 1) consult with your physician before beginning 2) consider walking for more time prior to adding running to your plan.

 Don't think of all the reasons you can't. Instead focus on all the reasons you can.


Week 1: Walk 20 minutes

Week 2: Walk 30 minutes

Week 3: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 30 seconds with walking 2 minutes 8 times, walk to cool down 5 minutes

Week 4: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 1 minute with walking 2 minutes 6 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 5: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 2 minutes with walking 2 minutes 5 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 6: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 2 minutes with walking 1 minute 6 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 7: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 3 minutes with walking 1 minute 5 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 8: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 4 minutes with walking 1 minute 4 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 9: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 5 minutes with walking 1 minute 4 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 10: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then alternate running 7 minutes with walking 1 minute 3 times, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 11: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then run 10 minutes walk 1 minute run 10 minutes, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Week 12: Walk 5 minutes to warm up, then run 20 minutes, walk 5 minutes to cool down

Once you have maintained running 20 minutes for several weeks you can start working on longer distance, increasing your speed, or even start training for a fun short distance event. Have fun!

Custom plans, coaching, and personal training available: www.coach-patty.com