The Fitness Lab

Saturday25 October 2014

Crisp Days of Fall


fall fitness programs“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fall in Seattle is spectacular. The colors are coming out and the air is crisp. The rains haven’t hit their stride and we can still bask in warm, sun filled days a little longer (after the fog burns off). One of the nice things about fall, much like spring, is it feels like a time to reset and start again. The second big push of the year is how I view it.

Looking at the year as a whole, I tend to think of the New Year as a time to get reorganized and plan for the upcoming year. There are things I start or resolve to do but it’s with an eye in the rearview mirror. What worked last year and what didn’t. What can I resolve to change to make this year better. The downside of January is it’s still winter and often feels like drudgery. Yeah, I have these resolutions…sigh…I’d better get at it.

For me, spring starts “mentally” around March and April, that becomes my first big push into the year. I say “mentally” because in the Pacific Northwest it’s rainy, the skies are grey and it’s cold. Still I feel ready to go because I know better weather is coming, the days are getting longer and I can feel change brewing. I want to be ready for those nice days and with summer around the corner it’s always a perfect time to ramp up.

4 Things You CAN Start Saying No To


candy bowlNo Will Power Required

We all need that little reminder to just say NO to those seemingly insignificant samples, candy bowls and up-sizers that are lurking everywhere we turn. Cut these tricky treats out and you’ll notice a difference. All of these “little” tastes add up but here are 4 tips to put the brakes on them.

The Candy Bowl

At the doctor’s office, at your co-worker’s desk, even at some gyms and grocery stores! The candy bowl is usually filled with cheap, highly processed, sugary ‘treats.’ But if you really think about it, is the candy in the bowl really that appealing or irresistible? Usually not. Next time, take yourself off of automatic grab-n-go mode and just say no.

Free Samples

Whether at Costco, Trader Joe’s or your local coffee shop, scarfing down high calorie pastry samples can add up. Usually, whatever you’re sampling isn’t worth your time or taste-buds. So, you can happily push your cart right on by without taking a taste.

Make Exercise a Lifelong Habit

power of habitIt can be a struggle to get a new habit going or stopping a bad habit no matter how much we know it would be good for us to to do so.  Here are 6 ideas for establishing a new habit and if you really want to get into the nitty gritty of habits, read The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg. 

  1. Tell yourself how much you love the benefits. I used to wake up in the morning bemoaning the sleep I was missing out on and how achy I felt, but I soon realized that my grumpy attitude wasn’t very motivating. Remind yourself how great it feels to exercise. Praise yourself for working hard. Come up with a mantra you say to yourself after each completed work out.
  2. Give it your all. If you don’t keep things interesting in your exercise routine, you can get bored quickly. One way to avoid burnout is to constantly look for ways to challenge yourself. If you’re currently working hard to master plank, make a goal of doing plank on your forearms. If that’s easy for you, move onto one leg in the air during plank. You get the picture...set higher standards and give yourself something to constantly be working toward. Check out this video: The Planks You Should Be Doing. 

6 Simple Swaps For a Speedier Metabolism

fitness lab ballardDo you ever wonder what you could do to amp up your metabolism without having to do much? Here are six simple ideas to get your metabolism back up to speed. 

  1. Swap 2 days of cardio a week for a fat-blasting circuit training session. If you’re like me, you need to maximize every spare minute you have for yourself. Weight bearing exercises build lean muscle mass, which speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more calories all day long. Classes like Body Revolution combine weight training with high intensity movements that keep your heart rate up AND strengthen muscles at the same time. In other words, you can work harder and smarter.
  2. Swap cereal for eggs at breakfast. You’ll stay satisfied for longer with eggs’ protein power and get your metabolism burning at the start of your day. Plus, you’ll reduce your intake of hidden sugars found in most cereals (even those dubbed as healthy.) To make even better, top your eggs with fresh veggies and you’ll enjoy a breakfast with all real-food ingredients and no extra, unwanted additives.
  3. Walk instead of drive. If you live in Seattle, there is no reason you can’t walk most places you go. Build in the extra time and make it a habit to walk or bike everywhere. You’ll enjoy the scenic route, hit a higher level of fitness and health, and torch calories! It’s a win all around.

5 Ways to Slash More Calories This Week

boy drinking waterWho doesn't want a simple way to cut a few calories out of their day? Here are 5 easy tips that you can start doing right now - in fact why not do number one right now!

1. Drink More Water. 

Replace every other drink you’re drinking: morning coffee and creamer (120 calories), mid-day soft drinks (100+ calories), and evening alcohol (200-500 calories) with water.

Total Calorie Savings: 720 calories

2. Nix Nighttime Noshing.

No matter the snack, your body’s metabolism slows down closer to bedtime as melatonin levels start to rise to prepare your body for sleep. It’s a good idea to cut late night snacking all together. The average bowl of cereal with milk is about 300 calories. 2 scoops of your favorie ice cream are 480 calories.

Total Calorie Savings: 500+ calories.

3. Add a Day of Exercise.

If you’re currently only working out 2-4 times a week, an easy way to burn more calories and up your game, is to work out more days a week. A typical Body Revolution class burns 400+ calories for me. And, a typical high intensity workout for you should burn about the same if not more calories.

Total Calorie Savings: 400+ calories.

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