Back on track–tips from top trainers

Photo: letsgorockets.com

Gobble, gobble, wobble, wobble, jiggle, jiggle. Those sounds–the after effects of too much EVERYTHING– are following you everywhere you go, aren’t they? It’s ok. Everyone overindulges from time to time. The mark of a wellness winner is someone who backs away from the pie, re-stocks the fridge with fresh fruits and veggies, and gets right back on track. To help you move on from your Turkey Day bonanza, I’m sharing a few tips from top trainers. These folks were recently recognized by some of the best certifying bodies in the field of fitness.

Jason Karp, 2011 IDEA Health and Fitness Industry Trainer of the Year: Karp, a running coach who works in San Diego, strives to be the “Jillian Michaels of running.” I think that means he wants to make his runners cry. His tips include:

  • Push harder, rest better–”Most people–especially gymgoers–make their workouts all in the middle,” Karp says. “It’s the same thing every day. With really hard days, you force adaptations that cause stress; then you recover by working easy.” Hmmm, that sounds a lot like what I was talking about here. Maybe I should be a top trainer too!
  • Start slow–whether you’ve been sedentary for years and want to start exercising again, or you’re dashing across the starting line of a race, Karp wants you to ease into activity.
  • Pump up your intervals–rather than running your intervals at a faster pace, Karp wants you to decrease recovery time between intervals, lengthen the interval time or increase the number of intervals you do. “When you can do more and more work at the same intensity, you’ll be getting faster,” he says.

Nicole Nichols, “America’s Top Personal Trainer to Watch,” according to the American Council on Exercise and Life Fitness: Nichols, a Cincinnati area trainer has a philosophy that works for the average person. “Fitness isn’t about achieving a certain physique or going to extremes,” she says. “It’s about exercising in ways that are fun, fit into your life easily and don’t cause you to give up other things,” (except eating too much pie and watching too much t.v., says me!). Nichols suggests:

  • Workout in the a.m.–studies show that morning exercisers are more likely to stick to a routine, something that may get even trickier during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. You don’t have do it every day, but a few days a week, set your alarm a little earlier and squeeze in a quick workout.
  • Eat before you move–I can vouch for this one. When I was teaching a 5:30 am cycling class, the idea of breakfast at 4:30 am was pretty unappetizing. But my performance suffered, and so did my diet the rest of the day. After burning 600 calories (on an empty stomach), I was too starving to make good choices, and playing catch-up the rest of the day. When I started eating a small snack of carbs and protein (about 150 calories) before class, my fitness, energy level and diet all improved.

Leigh Crews, IDEA’s Fitness Instructor of the Year: this 55-year-old group fitness junkie from Alabama is certified to teach classes ranging from step aerobics to TRX Suspension Training. She encourages:

  • Do what you like–find an activity you consider fun, be it dancing, horseback riding, running or rock climbing, and make that the basis for your fitness regimen. Then balance it out with some cross training. “If you don’t like it, you won’t stick to it,” Crews says.
  • Step to the front–group fitness can be a great place for newbies to start. Classes are encouraging, motivating and obviously, instructional. But if you slink off to the back row, you’re missing out on great feedback and cues from the instructor. Don’t worry, everyone in class was new once too.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, full of family, friends and yummy food. Now get back to work!

Btw, information for this article originally appeared in The Denver Post. Check out the full article here.

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