Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Best Things about GO Fitness!

Participants say the best thing about GO Fitness is:
“I like that I feel a responsibility to others, and the social aspects of working out together.”
 “Great workout before 7 AM, supportive & encouraging class” --Sue
 “Fun group, varied exercises, work to personal level”
 “By 7 AM I am done with exercise for the day.” –Gwen
 “The instructor and the format” –JK

GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is a monthly fitness program at Krusi Park, combining cardio, strength, balance& flexibility to motivate and help you attain your personal fitness goal.

Come join the program in December and experience your own “best thing” about it!

SHORTENED DECEMBER PROGRAM: Dec. 1-17 (8 classes), MWF 6:00-7:00 a.m.

GIFT CERTIFICATES are available!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why do GO Fitness in October?

Why should you do GO Fitness in October?

KIDS: The kids are back in school and the transition to the school schedule has taken place. Now’s the time to focus on improving your own routine by adding regular exercise.

LIGHT: Summer’s over, as is the early morning daylight. If you work out alone, outside in the mornings, October is when most people are chased away by the darkness. GO Fitness is a group; there’s safety in numbers.

FOOD: As the holidays begin to approach, people tend to exchange exercise for food. Keep up the exercise so you won’t have to worry about holiday weight gain.

Join GO Fitness! Have a great workout, 3x/week, and feel better all month long!

  • Cardio endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, balance
  • MWF, 6-7 am, Oct. 1-28
  • Krusi Park
  • $180 for 12 sessions, 10% off by the 24th, 25% off if you bring a friend!

Tell a friend!

Keep living the SWEET Life,


Monday, September 13, 2010

When a "Snack" is a "Meal"

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal on 9/8/10 entitled How Lunchtime Is Turning Into Snack Time. It discussed how there's a blurred line between what constitutes a meal vs. a snack. Americans consider almost anything a snack these days, as opposed to being an appetizer, side dish or something else. In addition to what kind of food is a snack, the time of day it's eaten can define something as a snack vs. a meal. Americans eat any time of day or night these days, which is a boon to the fast food industry, which is experiencing a huge increase in the amount of sales generated between traditional meal times. Nutritionists have always said it's better to eat several small meals, rather than 3 big ones.

However, the article did not get into the calorie consumption and lack of nutrition involved in all this junk food snacking! No nutritionist would recommend eating several 300-400 calorie, junk food "snacks" in addition to three meals a day! This is why 2/3 of the the American population is overweight or obese! Too much junk food! Both too much and junk food! It's exactly the opposite of what our bodies need: fewer calories and more nutrition.

Food nutrition labels always give their information based on a 2000 calorie diet, which may be more or less than what any individual actually needs. You can check how many calories you need at My Pyramid Plan. Just enter in your gender, height, weight, age and activity level. It said that I need 2200 calories to maintain my current weight, but 1800 calories if I didn't already exercise. If I was 20 yr younger & didn't exercise, it said I needed 2000 calories.

How many calories is the typical American consuming? Far too many! The article gave the example of the Angus Deluxe Snack Wrap from McDonald's, which has 410 cal, a mere pittance compared to the full-sized Angus Deluxe burger, which has 750 calories. However, compare 750 calories to a daily recommended total of 2000; that's more than 1/3 your daily calorie intake in one burger, not including fries and a drink! Multiply that times three meals and add in a couple 410 calorie snacks and you've consumed 3070 calories, 1070 calories more than most people need! Eating like that, you will gain 1 lb. every 3 days!

The other issue is the lack of nutrition junk food provides. MyPyramid focuses on the food groups and how much you need to eat from each food group. The different food groups provide different nutrients your body needs. The more variety, the better. We, humans, are lucky in that our bodies can make use of an enormous variety of plants and animals to nourish our bodies, compared to many animals that eat a very limited diet. In fact, if we eat a limited diet, we are likely to be missing valuable micronutrients our bodies need. Junk food provides an excessive amount of fat, sodium and sugar, carbs and protein, but insufficient amounts of the many vitamins and minerals our bodies need to performs important functions. Different colored foods provide different nutrients as well; for example, red vegetables contain lycopene and orange ones contain beta carotene, which are both important for our bodies. So it's important to eat a colorful diet! The more color, the more nutrition. Have you ever noticed that junk food tends to be brown? The only colorful things on a hamburger are the lettuce and tomato, the healthy parts!

The "take away" from this is: no matter what you eat or when, or whether you call it a snack or a meal, focus on limiting calories and increasing nutrition.

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Easy on the Joints" - Really?

On Aug. 31 the Wall Street Journal printed an article entitled, "Tough New Workout Gear That Goes Easy on the Joints," so I read it with interest because joint injuries are so common. The article started with a photo and description of the TRX Suspension Trainer, which I've used before and would hardly call "easy" on the joints! It's actually very easy to injure your joints if used incorrectly.

So what did the article mean by "easy on the joints"? I had to keep reading to find the answer. Actually, the author was referring to low-impact equipment, stating that Baby Boomers who have had years of high-impact aerobics classes, running, etc. may now need to participate in low-impact exercise.

The article also emphasized mostly equipment that is space-saving and inexpensive, which is a trend these days. I wish the article focused more on these aspects of the equipment, rather than on being supposedly easy on the joints, because the space and cost savings of this equipment was more significant that the ease of joint use.

In fact, almost all the equipment described can easily damage the joints if you just pick it up and start using it! Sure, they are low-impact, but if you tweak your shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee or ankle the wrong way in the process, you could have a long recovery period. There's a brief mention of risk of injury with bad form, but I believe it should have been stressed, with each piece of equipment, that instruction on proper use is vital, rather than repeating that each piece of equipment is easy on the joints.

Along with the TRX, the articles describes:

Valslide: I've used gliding disks before. They are a lot of fun and allow you to do a lot of circular exercises that you can't do otherwise. But you need to know how to use them in order not to injure yourself.

SelectTech Dumbbell: I own a pair of select-a-weight dumbbells. They are a great space-saver, by combining all the weights into two handles. If you are just starting out, you need instruction on correct form to prevent injury.

Kettlebell: I've seen these used before. They are "old-school" equipment that has returned to fashion. Like gliding disks, you can do a lot of exercises  that you can't do otherwise, using both momentum and strength, but you can hurt yourself if they aren't used properly.

P90X: I know of people who love these workout DVD's. My feeling is that any exercise program that you actually follow for 90 days will give you great results.

Elliptigo: I'd never heard of this outdoor elliptical bike. It looks interesting and would definitely get you looks on the street, but why not just ride a bike? A bike's cheaper.

Perfect Sit-Up: Here is yet another piece of sit-up equipment. It's amazing that they all sell! Certainly no one needs to pay $100 do to sit-ups!

Personally, I prefer the less is more philosophy of exercise, using body weight, a bench or chair, and resistance tubing. I do have a few other pieces of equipment, but I don't use them regularly. It's fun to try out new equipment, but once the new-ness has worn off, it mostly just gets dusty.

Save your joints by using all equipment properly, getting instruction from a Personal Trainer if necessary.

Friday, August 13, 2010

GO Fitness! add’l location: BAYPORT!

I'm very excited to be starting a new location for GO Fitness: Bayport! The first group of participants at the new Bayport location receives a 20% discount: only $96 for the month of September! (8 sessions, paid in advance)

It will be great to offer a GO Fitness Program on the West End in addition to the one on the East End, and Bayport is such a great, little community of families!

Scheduling is simple:
• Programs run the 1st -28th of each month
• MWF 6:00-7:00 am at Krusi Park (12 sessions/month)
• TuTh 6:00-7:00 am at Bayport Park (8 sessions/month)
• (Programs are subject to minimum enrollment.)

Achieve your health & fitness goal with GO Fitness!

For details:

If interested, contact: Suzanne Fong

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

GO Fitness Prorates for August Vacations!

Do you have a vacation planned and don’t want to pay for fitness classes you’ll miss? GO Fitness prorates for vacations, just let me know which dates you’ll be gone. I’ll also be gone for a week in August, so there will be 10 classes instead of the usual 12.

Goal-Oriented Fitness combines cardio endurance, muscular strengthening, flexibility and balance in order to attain your personal fitness goal. It focuses on living the SWEET Life, integrating the five essentials of a Balanced Healthy Lifestyle. It meets at Krusi Park, MWF 6:00-7:00 am, August 2-30.

What makes it different?
• The instructor doesn’t yell.
• Class is located on the East End.
• Scheduling is simple: Programs start the 1st of every month and last one month.

Otherwise, all three Alameda outdoor fitness programs offer well-designed exercise programs with certified, experienced instructors.

If you form a group of 5+ participants, the Group-Organizer is free! Get your friends to work out together!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Group-Oriented Fitness - 1st Anniversary!

I started GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS one year ago to provide a fitness program where a group of us exercised together, consistently, for a period of time. THANKS to all of you who have participated in the past year!

For the 1st anniversary (June 1), and to emphasize the power & success of working together in a group, GO Fitness is offering:
Group-Organized (GO) Fitness! Form a group of 5 or more, and the Group-Organizer is free! (or share the discount with your group) Alternate scheduling may be available.
Regular appointments for exercise, and meeting friends, will lead you to success! There was an article in the Wall Street Journal about that today! Set goals and achieve them together! Work out with your friends, co-workers, neighbors, or teams. Think about what other groups of people you know, for example: mom’s groups, daycare, preschool, school, organizations, clubs, etc.
Email me the names and email addresses of those in your group, and I’ll take it from there! (Individuals can also register for GO Fitness.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Ibuprofen is My Friend

Saturday, my running group, SOAR (Streets of Alameda Runners), trained along our 1/2 marathon course, to familiarize ourselves with it. The night before, Mary Grace and I marked the course with chalk: the turns and the miles. That morning, we parked a "pitstop" car at the halfway point with drinks, snacks and a first aid kit.

8 of us met at the starting line and met each other for the first time. We all had our SOAR running hats on, which looked great! Most of us took off walking, some as a warm-up and others as a workout. It was nice to see the mileage along the route! About 3.5 miles in, my right knee started hurting! Damn it! I'd been doing exercises and stretches for it for the past couple weeks, but learned that I need to be more diligent about it for the next 4 weeks before the actual race.

I made it to the pitstop, where I stretched a lot, ate, drank and took some ibuprofen. Mary Grace had taken some before she started running, and Annie said she always takes some before a long run! Wow! Why hadn't I ever thought of that? Ibuprofen is my new friend. It really helped decrease the pain in my knee for the second half of the run. I don't want to depend on it for pain relief; I'd rather stretch and strengthen my body than take drugs to kill the pain, but I will take it before long runs in the future, just in case.

I ran the 12.5 miles on my  training schedule and walked the last 1/2 mile to the finish line, where Laurie was there to congratulate me. That was fun! We laid out a picnic blanket and had more snacks and water for the finishers.

I finished 1/2 mile short of race length in 4 minutes over my goal time. On race day, can I run 1/2 mile farther in 4 minutes less time? Well, Saturday, I walked the first 5 minutes as a warm-up, which I won't do on race day. There will also be the excitement and adrenalin rush of the actual race, which will make me run faster at the beginning. Plus, I have four weeks to improve both my distance and time. On the other hand, I won't have a nice pitstop in the middle of the race, when I turned off my stopwatch! Hmm, I think I can do it. That's good to know. I can achieve my goal for my first 1/2 marathon!

One of the best things is that I felt pretty good afterwards and still do. I immediately stretched a lot, ate well, and drank even more. The rest of the day I felt pretty good, although I did take a nap in the early evening. The next day, my legs felt a little stiff in the morning, but I stretched again and they felt fine. Today (2 days later), I feel fine. That's great because I've heard of recoveries taking a week after a long race, and I can't do that!

Thank you, Ibuprofen and Mary Grace, for getting me to do this 1/2 marathon training!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Self-Discovery: I am a Teacher

I've been rediscovering things about myself that I'd forgotten about: I am not a jock; I am a teacher. My style of teaching is not the "Sage on the Stage;" I am a "Guide on the Side."

Because of these things, I do not compete in marathons and triathlons. I'm not addicted to exercise nor want to continually challenge my body to meet increasingly higher standards. That doesn't interest me. It also doesn't fit the image of a Personal Trainer. As a Certified Personal Trainer, I'm supposed to be completely focused on the body and how to improve everyone else's. I'm supposed to critique other people's form and lecture them to exercise more and harder. But I'm not a jock, and I'm not a "Sage on the Stage."
I'm a teacher, and I'm a "Guide on the Side." What I really want, is for everyone to live the SWEET Life. The SWEET Life integrates Sleep, Water, Eating, Exercise and Tranquility. We need all of these, in moderation, to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle. I want to guide people in ways to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle, with everything, in moderation, even exercise.

But what else I've rediscovered is that it's not my style to shout it from the rooftops. I don't meet everyone I come across and lecture them about living the SWEET Life. I'm a guide, and I'm on the side, not in your face. I'm not very out-going; I'm not larger than life. I'm here to support you and to encourage you and to help you create steps to achieve your goals.

I've been a teacher for 20 years. 5 years ago, I changed my teaching subject from ESL (English as a Second Language) to fitness. They are surprisingly similar. In both cases, the point is not to improve myself (i.e., the jock); the point is to help you improve yourself. The point is not to let you know how much I know (i.e., the Sage on the Stage); the point is to help you improve your abilities.

More surprising similarities the next time . . .

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eye-Opening 11-mile Run

I'm very proud of myself for running 11 miles yesterday. No one else cares, so I will take this opportunity to use this self-absorbed blog to pat myself on the back.

  1. It's the farthest I've ever run in my life! 
  2. I made a plan and followed my plan: 7:30-9:00 run around Bay Farm to Alameda Towne Centre. 9:00-9:30 eat, drink, rest and wait for the AEF, 5k, Run 4 Education, starting at 9:30. 
  3. I was well-prepared in appropriate clothing (it was hot), lots of sunscreen, fitness water, GU, energy bar, ID, AmEx, $20, health insurance card, and the usual iphone, GPS watch & heart rate monitor, sunglasses & hat.
Unfortunately, ~6 miles into my run my right knee started hurting badly! Oh no, smack in the middle! What to do? Should I keep it stiff? Or should I keep it flexible? I should pay more attention to correct running form. Should I stop running or run through the pain? Could I focus on what felt good and ignore what felt bad? After 8 miles I had my 1/2 hr break before the AEF Run 4 Education. I ate, I drank, I stretched, I rested.

4.   Fortunately, during the 5k my knee didn't hurt much. I haven't run a 5k, for time, in so long that I didn't know what time I was hoping for. I finished in 25:49. Hmm. ok. That works out to ~8:20 min/mi. I finished 21st overall (only 82 people participated); I was the 7th woman, and only 2 women in my age group finished before me. All that sounds pretty good, especially considering I had already run 8 miles before starting the 5k!

5.   After the race ProBalance had a massage tent set up and Ada Wells, a Physical Therapist whom I know, was there. So I talked to her about the pain in my knee. She analyzed my stance, squatting, flexibility, exact pain points, etc. and told me it was not my knee! It's my IT band. So the good news is that I know both the prevention (stretching and strengthening) and treatment (ice, foam roller and stretching) so that I can continue my distance training without making it worse. So, the lesson I learned is: don't ignore injuries & don't assume rest is the best treatment. See a professional health care provider!

Now I have a couple weeks to stretch and strengthen my IT bands so that I won't have any pain during my next LONG training run. I'm so proud of myself for my 11 mile accomplishment!

Monday, April 19, 2010

3:00 Pep Talk

So I have this idea I want to try out: 3:00 pep talk.

Isn't it true that we do great in our efforts to live a balanced, healthy lifestyle until mid-afternoon, then we lose our willpower? The mid-afternoon slump kicks in and we just want caffeine and/or sugar; we consider skipping the gym after work, and all our good efforts of the first half of our waking hours are shot to hell?

So I was thinking that at 3:00 I should, instead, give myself a pep talk and plan how I'm going to persevere in my healthy efforts for the rest of the day. I'll add to that a healthy snack and big glass of water (dehydration definitely contributes to our afternoon slumps).

I'm going to try it and I'll write about how it goes . . .

Saturday, April 17, 2010

GO Fitness! for Mother’s Day

Looking for a Mother’s Day gift idea?

Spread the word! GO FITNESS! makes a great Mother’s Day gift! It says, 
“Honey, you take care of everyone else all the time; this is to take care of yourself.” 
Gift Certificates are available!
- - - - - - - - - -

Right now, there are 3 options:

1. JUMP START PROGRAMS: (start MONDAY!) 2 weeks of intense cardio, strength, balance & flexibility training, at Krusi Park, at an affordable rate:

MWF, 6-7:00 am, 4/19-4/30, 6 sessions, $90
TuTh, 8:30-9:30 am, 4/20-4/29, 4 sessions, $60

- - - - - - - - - -

2. MAY PROGRAMS: our regular, one-month, Goal-Oriented Fitness program, integrating cardio, strength, balance & flexibility training, and including group discussions & encouragement to help you attain your personal fitness goal.

MWF, 6-7:00 am, 12 sessions, $180
TuTh, 8:30-9:30 am, 8 sessions, $120

10% DISCOUNT off the rates above, if you register by the 24th
25% off, if you refer a friend who registers for the month

- - - - - - - - - -

3. SPECIAL GROUP RATES: If you form a group of 5+ participants, the 5th person is free! Gather your mom-friends and work out together! (Alternative scheduling may be available.)

- - - - - - - - - -

Website (for details, registration forms & address):

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jump Start Program - 2 weeks of GO Fitness

Spring Break is the unofficial start to spring, outdoor activities, and warm weather clothes.
If all this inspires you to kick start your fitness routine, GO FITNESS has a special. Please share this information with your friends:

JUMP START PROGRAM: 2 weeks of intense cardio, strength, balance & flexibility training, at Krusi Park, at an affordable rate:

MWF, 6-7:00 am, 4/19-4/30, 6 sessions, $90
TuTh, 8:30-9:30 am, 4/20-4/29, 4 sessions, $60

(Babysitting available, add’l fee)
(programs subject to minimum enrollment)

10% DISCOUNT off the rates above ($81 and $54, respectively) if you know RIGHT NOW you want to do it: Email confirmation of your interest by April 4; then send your registration forms and check to be received by April 15. Otherwise, you can still register up to the first session (4/19 or 4/20).

Website (for details, registration forms & address):

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Longest Run of My Life!

I ran 8 miles yesterday as part of my 1/2 marathon training. I don't think I've ever run farther than that in my life, and it's certainly been since high school since I've run that far!

I felt good throughout the run! I felt better running 8 miles than running 6.5 miles two weeks ago! Why?
  • Was I better rested? Hmm, I don't know.
  • Was I better hydrated? I made sure to take a sip of water at every drinking fountain I came across. 
  • Was I better fueled? (My last post was about fueling your body before and after exercise.) I made sure to eat a good breakfast so that I'd have the energy for such a long run.
  • Was I simply in better running condition? It was my 5th run in 2 weeks; all of them were only 3 miles.
  • Was I more relaxed and less stressed? Hmm, I don't know.
It's  always something related to the SWEET Life! (Sleep, Water, Eating, Exercise, Tranquility) It was probably related to all of those, and I ran a different route, which was interesting, too.

Afterwards, I stretched, drank water, ate & showered, in that order. I felt great!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fueling Your Body

In last weekend's Food & Wine section of the SF Chronicle, 3/21/10, there was an article, Ready, Set, Eat,
about how to properly fuel your body, pre- & post-exercise.  It discusses how important it is to eat before and after exercising, and that many people don't do it!

People say they can't eat before a workout or that they just wake up and go. Afterwards, they shower and head off to work. Evening exercisers go straight from work (i.e., before dinner) after not having eaten for 4-5 hours. Whatever reasons people have for not eating before and after exercising, your body will pay you back for it, in a variety of ways. You might feel unfocused, forget things, feel lethargic, light-headed, tired, sore etc. Even worse, later, you might feel starving and overeat!

Our bodies need fuel to burn off in exercise, so it's important to eat a high-carb (read: high energy) snack of 100-200 calories before exercising. Otherwise, your body will burn what it has that it can convert easily to energy: muscle. No, not fat. Fat burns slowly, not during intense exercise. Your body needs easily digestible carbs before you work out, like a banana, yogurt, bread, etc.

Within 30 minutes of exercising, your body needs refueling to replenish what it has lost in exercise. Within 30 minutes! That's very soon after a workout! You need a good, nutritionally balanced meal afterwards. If you don't have time for a meal, try a banana sliced the long way and stuffed with peanut butter. Smoothies with added protein are another good snack option. Cottage cheese with pretzels is also good. Greek yogurt with granola and berries is quick and easy.

Many women don't eat enough protein, despite its importance in building and repairing muscle tissues. Some easy options are low-fat cottage cheese, a handful of nuts, small quantities of peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. However, read the labels because Greek yogurt varies considerably in its protein content and added fillers. Get the one with the most protein and the fewest ingredients.

Another problem is dehydration; people forget to drink a big glass of water after exercising. Water is the best because it doesn't have sugar, caffeine, calories or other added ingredients. However, you can kill two birds wtih one stone if you make a homemade smoothie with added protein. It's fast-food-and-drink-in-one for people in a hurry. Do consider it a meal replacement because it has enough calories to be considered a meal, and do make it at home, so you know exactly what's in it.

The articles states, "if you're trying to lose weight, don't try to cut calories - especially  carbs - around exercise times." Control your calorie intake throughout the rest of the day instead.

The final word is: EAT! Your body needs fuel before and after exercise.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Let’s Play in the Park!

Spring is springing. The weather is getting warmer and lighter. Makes you want to get outside and run around and play!

If so, come join us at GO Fitness! We meet outside at Krusi Park, run around the baseball fields, “play” in the various park areas, get toned, make friends, play with our dogs, and have fun.

Oh yeah, and it’s a goal-oriented program, so by the end of next month, you’ll have achieved a fitness goal as well.

Sounds like fun! Sounds like kids’ play! But actually, it’s for adults. (But babysitting is available, TuTh 8:30-9:30 am, add’l fee.)

The next GO Fitness program is starting earlier than usual: March 29. That’s only 2 weeks away! But we’ll take off Spring Break.

MWF 6-7:00 am,  March 29-April 30,  10 classes, $150.
TuTh 8:30-9:30 am,  March 30-April 29,  7 classes,  $105.

10% discount if you register by the 24th.
20% discount if you pay for 3 months in advance.
25% discount if you refer a friend who pays for the month.

Come play in the park with us!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Walk/Run Success!

My 6.5 mile walk/run was successful this beautiful morning!

I figured out how to program my workout on my Garmin Forerunner, so it would count down my intervals and tell me when to switch between walking (1") and running (4"). The only problem was that I couldn't tell it to repeat the intervals until I'd hit 6.5 miles; I had to tell it how many times to repeat. So I guessed: 12 times.

I missed the count down beeps once (to switch modes) so after that, I started looking ahead to predict how far I could run in 4 minutes. That added some interest to the run. I was surprised to find that I was often running 30 seconds faster than usual during the running portions! I also found that I focused more on my running FORM because I was restarting my run so many times. About 4 miles into it, restarting the run became more difficult.

About 5 miles into it, I started feeling it in my glutes, which was strange because I was focusing on leaning forward and landing on my forefoot with my ankles, knees & hips bent to absorb the impact. I was NOT focusing on pushing off my foot in the back, which would work the glutes more.

By the end, I was pretty tired out; it was a big workout for me. I stretched a lot and hope I'm not sore tomorrow. But it was great to see that I could eat 650 calories for breakfast!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Attempt at a Walk/Run

My 1/2 marathon training has me running 6.5 miles this weekend, longer than I've run in years. That's 1/2 my race length! Because of its length, I'm going to try the run/walk method, which has me running 4 minutes then walking 1 minute. It seems like a lot of watching the clock. If I could run it all, at my average pace, it would take about 58:30, so I'll see how much longer it takes if I walk 20% of it. I'm estimating: walking 16 minutes, running 50 minutes, total 66 minutes. I'm excited to try this new method. . .

More afterward . . .

Friday, March 5, 2010

In Trying Times . . . Live the SWEET Life!

I seem to know many people going through trying times right now. Some of the most stressful times of our lives, with exception of surviving a natural catastrophe, are birth & death, wedding & divorce, and changing jobs or houses. I seem to know people going through each of these stressful experiences right now!

When I have times of great stress, like above, I really focus on living the SWEET Life because it helps me get through the tough times.

SLEEP: In trying times, you are probably not sleeping enough because your mind is overflowing with ideas and you are too busy to go to bed at a decent hour. However, the busy-ness and overflow of ideas is exactly why you need ample sleep! Your mind needs time to assimilate all these concepts, which is what it does while you sleep. Sleep will help solidify your ideas and refresh your mind and body for the next day.

WATER: When you are stressed, you are probably thinking about drinking either coffee or alcohol rather than water. However, stimulants and/or depressants are NOT what your body needs in times of stress. These beverages also dehydrate you. Even mild dehydration causes fatigue, irritability, and loss of focus, three things that you already have plenty of if you are stressed and certainly don't need more of! What your body needs is the plain hydration that water provides, to dilute toxins, keep body systems running smoothly, maintian mental clarity.

EATING: Who thinks about what they eat when they are stressed? Even the healthiest of eaters will grab whatever comfort food is closest in times of stress. Some of us eat more when stressed, and some of us eat less. In either case, your body needs to be properly fueled to combat stressful times! To get through your day, to accomplish what you need to accomplish, your body needs the energy that healthy food provides in order to function, physically, mentally and emotionally.

EXERCISE: Exercise is amongst the first things to go when we are overly busy or stressed out. However, exercise releases "feel good" hormones, along with giving you strength and stamina to help your through the trying times, physically. Even a 30-minute walk can help relax you, take a break from all your stress, and let your mind wander, all of which are needed.

TRANQUILITY: How is it possible to have tranquility when you are stressed out!? Well, that's exactly why you need to focus on getting some tranquility, at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise is a great form of tranquility. So is chatting with a friend. Reading a good book can help distract you from your stress for a little while. Taking a bath instead of a shower might help you relax for a bit.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that your body releases. Human bodies are not designed to withstand long periods of stress; we are designed for short bouts of "fight or flight". When we are too stressed for too long, we gain weight, lack focus, lower our immunities, and get out of shape. All of these effects are negated by living the SWEET Life.

Live the SWEET Life for just one week . . .
  • Sleep - 7-8 hr/night
  • Water - drink 8-10 cups/day
  • Eating - a variety of nutrient-dense foods in small portions
  • Exercise - 30-60 min/day
  • Tranquility - 30-60 min/day
. . . and see how much better you feel!

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Month = time for a New Goal

So what's your goal for March? Good goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timely. "Lose weight" is always a bad goal because it's NOT Specific, Achievable, Relevant or Timely. Some examples of good goals are frequencies and aptitudes.

Frequencies are things like: run 3x/week or live the SWEET Life 5x/week. They give a Specific, Measurable number of times and that number of times should be Achievable (otherwise, you need to set it lower). Just make sure the goal is also Relevant and Timely.

Aptitudes are things like: be able to run a 5k or be able to wear my skinny jeans comfortably. I sometime call them BAT goals because they refer to something you will Be Able To do by the end of the month. Because they are aptitudes, they are necessarily Specific and Measurable. Again, you have to make sure to set an Achievable goal that is Relevant to you and Timely.

My goal for February was to start my 1/2 marathon training habit. As a frequency goal, it's Specific and Measurable (30-minute runs Mondays & Wednesdays, an easy walk Thursdays, & a longer run on weekends). Since I'm registered for the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon in June, my goal is Relevant, and the training program I'm using had me start 17 weeks ahead of time (Feb. 9), so my goal to start training is Timely. After 3 weeks I can say I "started" but it's not a "habit." I have to force myself to do it most of the time. I've run 1-2x/week; I've walked a couple times, and I've done a longer run every weekend. It took a week or two to work out the kinks in how the training schedule would fit into my own schedule in order to make it Achievable. That's always an issue with setting a goal: how to make the time needed to accomplish the goal, fit into your already-busy schedule. For March, of course, I'll need to continue my training.

After a weekend of over-eating and drinking on President's Day weekend, which followed 2 months of holiday over-eating and drinking, I set a longer-term SMART goal of fitting back into my clothes again. As an aptitude goal, it's Specific & Measurable: Do my clothes fit comfortably? Considering I gained the weight in 2 months, I should be able to Achieve my goal of losing the weight in 2 months. It's Relevant and Timely because I want the clothes I own to fit and now they don't. So, for the past 2 weeks, I've been tracking my calories on Lose It! and tracking how well I live the SWEET Life. Hmm, accountability always seems to work! Studies show that the more accurately people track their calories, the more weight they lose. I figured out a way to get around two obstacles of the Lose It! application. I try really hard to stay under the program's calorie intake because (1) it gives a bright red line for eating even one calorie more than the specified calorie intake! Then, at the end of the day, when I've eaten more calories than it says I should have, I add in my exercise for the day, which almost always takes me down below the specified calorie line because (2) it subtracts calories burned in exercise. After 2 weeks, my clothes fit better, but not great yet. My long-term goal date is April 5, the day we leave for Hawaii.

So the results of my February goals are:
  • I'm not as tired during the day as I used to be.
  • My clothes fit more comfortably
  • I see the beach more often by running along it.
  • I'm enjoying endurance cardio (running), which is different from the exercise I usually do.
  • My body's adjusted to eating smaller meals & feels more comfortable with it.
  • I have a better understanding of how many calories are in the foods I eat.
 Now, for March . . . What's your SMART goal?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

GO Fitness $99 Special Rate for March

GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is offering a special you’ve never seen before:

* -ONLY in March 2010, starting Tuesday, March 2 at Krusi Park
* -ONLY TuTh 8:30-9:30 a.m. (8 classes)
* -ONLY $99
* -ONLY $90 if you refer a spouse or friend (who pays $99 for the month)
* -Babysitting is available at Krusi Park (add’l fee)

GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is the perfect exercise program for you, or someone you know, if:

* -you work late at night, sleep in, or have a flexible schedule
* -you need a jump start
* -you need a routine to follow unconsciously
* -you’ve hit a plateau in your current exercise routine
* -you need a group to meet to get you to do it
* -your baby/toddler prevents you from exercising

GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is a total body workout, improving your cardio endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance.

We are also a supportive group of all fitness levels to motivate you to achieve your goal.

Instructor Suzanne Fong is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor who progressively increases the difficulty of the exercises, while focusing on proper form to reduce the risk of injury.

Check out the website for details:

The program starts 8:30 a.m. TUESDAY, MARCH 2 at Krusi Park.

To register, email or call 510-85-GOFIT

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Motivation to Exercise

Watching the Olympics is great motivation to get off the couch. Seeing the speed, agility, power and grace that Olympians exhibit, makes us strive for more from our own bodies. Here’s an online article about the Olympic Effect:  Do You Need Exercise Inspiration? Watch the Olympics

 GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is the perfect exercise program for you, or someone you know, if:

  • you need a jump start
  • you need a routine to follow unconsciously
  • you need a group to meet to get you to do it
  • you don’t have the time or motivation to exercise after work
  • your baby/toddler prevents you from exercising
  • you’ve hit a plateau in your current exercise routine

GOAL-ORIENTED FITNESS is a total body workout, improving your cardio endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance. We are also a supportive group of all fitness levels to motivate you to achieve your goal. Instructor Suzanne Fong is a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor who progressively increases the difficulty of the exercises, while focusing on proper form to reduce the risk of injury.

SCHEDULE: The next, one-month programs start MARCH 1 at Krusi Park.
-MWF 6-7:00 am (Get your workout done before getting ready for work)
-TuTh 8:30-9:30 am (Babysitting is available at Krusi Park (add’l fee))

PRICING for March:
MWF = 12 classes = $180
TuTh = 8 classes = $120
10% off if you register by the 24th
25% off if you bring a spouse or friend (who pays for the month)