Do You Incorporate All Components of Physical Fitness Into Your Training?

There are 11 Components of Physical Fitness. Do you know all of them? If so, do you incorporate them into your daily workout routine? Learn about the Components of Physical Fitness by clicking HERE.

This gymnast on the balance beam is an excellent example of balance, power, coordination, agility, and flexibility.

This gymnast on the balance beam is an excellent example of balance, power, coordination, agility, and flexibility.

Tips for Quick Weight Loss

 

The following tips are just a few ways to shed pounds within a few weeks. However, following these tips alone is not enough to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition to these tips,  you must exercise regularly. Consistent healthy eating, decreased daily calorie intake, and daily exercise will certainly help you to lose body fat, decrease your overall body weight, and firm up your muscles. When exercising, be sure to incorporate all components of physical fitness into your workout. Not only will these components of physical fitness help you to lose weight, they will help you to get through your daily activities without being exhausted at the end of the day.

Weight loss

  1. Portion Control – Try eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. This may help to keep your metabolism higher. Three large meals in a day can be higher in calories and can be more difficult for your body to burn these calories up.
  2. Do not starve yourself – Your body can actually hold on to fat and go into “starvation mode”.
  3. Eat food slowly – This can have the effect of making you feel satisfied sooner, helping to consume less food and fewer calories.
  4. Reduce your intake of refined sugar and refined flour products – Substitute these with whole grain and multi-grain products.
  5. Limit use of sauces, dressings, and creams – Always ask for it “on the side”.
  6. Do not go grocery shopping when hungry – People tend to buy junkie snacks and unhealthy foods when they are wanting to eat.
  7. Avoid eating fried foods – Instead of frying foods when cooking, try to bake, broil, or grill.
  8. Try to cook without adding butter, margarine, or oils – These can add a lot of unwanted calories.
  9. Always start the day with a healthy breakfast that includes complex carbohydrates and lean protein Breakfast will boost your metabolism and keep your energy high and hunger low throughout the day.
  10. If trying to loose weight/body fat, try reducing your caloric intake by 500 kcal per day – 3,500 kcal equals one pound of fat. So if you cut out 500 kcal every day for 7 days, you can loose one pound in one week.
  11. Keeping a food diary can help to reduce your weight – Keeping track of calorie consumption has been proven to be effective in weight reduction and loss of body fat.
  12. Have a support group – Talk to close friends and family about your plans for losing weight. They will be there for you!
  13. Water is best – Avoid soft drinks and juice. These are high in calories and sugar. Your body is approximately 80% water. Drink up.
  14. Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories and interferes with proper physiological functions of the body. Drink alcohol in moderation or preferably cut it out until you reach your goal.
  15. A positive lifestyle change rather than a crash diet is most successful in losing weight. Exercise, healthy eating, and motivation will help you reach your goals.

Men’s Health Event Nov. 15

 

As most of you know, I am participating in a great event sponsored by the the Michigan Institute of Urology Men’s Health Foundation, The Men’s Health Event 20XIV. This free event will give men a better understanding of how to stay healthy, provide free health screenings to assess their current health, and offer free information about advances in healthcare. The Men’s Health Event is on Saturday, November 15, 2014 from 9 am- 3 pm at Ford Field in Detroit, MI.

Bring It Home Personal Training will proudly host a booth providing free health and fitness information and demonstrations of basic exercises that everyone can do at home.

This is a free family event that will have entertainment, on-field activities, special guest appearances, and food!

If you have any questions about the Men’s Health Event, please call me at 248.318.0132 or click on the link above.

Thank you for all of your support with this important health expo!

Back to School Fitness Tips for Kids and Parents

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Summer’s over. It’s sad to say. We had a great summer with our boys, Max and Will. Our summer trips were full of traveling around our great state of Michigan and a lot of physical activity such as swimming, biking, running, football, and throwing the frisbee just to name a few. With no school to worry about during the summer, it’s easy to keep our physical fitness levels high. Everyday this summer has been filled with exercise. I’m sure it’s easy for most families to stay active and physically fit during the summer. I see it on FaceBook all the time. However, school schedules are back in place and I know that for our family it’s a lot more difficult to get family fitness in. Vacation 2014 100

Teaching my kids about physical fitness, exercise, and proper nutrition comes naturally to me. Ever since the boys were toddlers, I’ve been teaching them the importance of eating healthy foods, such as vegetables and fruits, the health benefits of exercise, and how to incorporate physical fitness into their daily lives. My kids are 9 and 5 years old now and both know the difference between “good carbs” and “bad carbs”. What a lean protein is and why protein is important. They also know that in order to stay strong and physically fit, they should do some sort of physical activity or exercise every day.

With school starting back up, keeping up with daily physical activity will be a bit of a challenge for the boys. However, we, their parents, always find ways to keep them active in order to keep their physical fitness levels high. One of the best ways we find to keep our kids active during the school year is to get the kids involved in an organized team sport they enjoy. Key phrase here is “sport they enjoy”. If your child does not enjoy the sport you put him/her in, then it simply will not be fun for him or for you. When a child enjoys and has fun playing a specific sport, then he will certainly put more effort into getting better which will lead to more exercise and training. My son, Max, played on several organized flag football and basketball teams and never really enjoyed it. He was pretty good at both sports but never really liked either one. We’ve found that swimming is his sport. He loves it! Will, my 5 year old, loves any sport right now. So he wants to be on all the sports teams he can.

Participating on a sports team is great exercise and physical fitness for kids. However, this may not be for everyone. So, it is up to the parents to help figure out ways to keep their children active and physically fit during the school year. Remember to make exercise fun and educational for kids. Parents should incorporate the 11 components of physical fitness into kids’ exercise programs. These 11 components of physical fitness can be found by clicking here. The following physical activities and exercises are what I have my boys do outside of their team sports in order to keep their fitness levels high during the school year:

  • Set up an outdoor obstacle course that involves running around chairs, jumping over low brooms supported by chairs, bear crawling on hands and feet, and racing towards a finish line. Obstacle courses help to improve your child’s coordination, agility, cardiovascular endurance, and muscular strength and endurance. High intensity work-outs like this will help to burn a lot of calories and keep your child’s body fat low. Obstacle courses are not only fun, they are a total body work-out.
  • Have your kids complete 50 push-ups throughout the day. Ten when they wake up, ten after breakfast, ten on the playground, ten when they get home from school, and ten before bed. Push ups are a great way to improve kids’ muscular strength and muscular endurance.
  • Jumping rope is a great exercise for kids and it’s fun! Jumping rope will improve your child’s reaction time, speed, and cardiovascular endurance and will certainly help to keep your child at a healthy weight.
  • Go for a bike ride. This is my boys’ favorite exercise to do. Biking helps to improve your kids’ cardiovascular endurance, balance, and muscular strength and endurance. We love riding bikes with our kids!
  • After homework is done, we send our kids outside. We’ve found that our boys are always running around when they go outside. Instead of sitting inside and playing video games or looking at a computer, get your kids outside! Their imaginations will take over and they’ll be running around in no time.

Vacation 2014 102These physical activities for kids are just a few of my favorites. Remember to keep exercise fun and educational. Physical fitness should be fun for kids and adults. If exercise is not fun, kids will tend to not engage in it and their physical fitness levels will drop. Be sure to teach your kids the importance of  incorporating the 11 components of physical fitness into their daily exercise program. These components of physical fitness, along with healthy eating, are important for total body health and wellness. Just because summer is over, don’t neglect your child’s physical fitness. Make the time for exercise everyday, be creative with your child’s exercise program, and parents should exercise with your children. You and your kids can be healthy together!

Change is Good

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I could not have done this push-up 20 years ago!

 

Summer is almost over and it’s time to start thinking about fall weather, school starting, and, dare I say it, the Holidays. My youngest son, Will, is starting kindergarten at a new elementary school this year. This is going to be a big change for him and my wife and I. Our little Stinky is getting big! It’s time for both of my boys to go back to school. This summer has been full of traveling, staying up late, fishing, and just general craziness. They need a change in their daily schedule. A change that has more structure and discipline. They will certainly benefit from this change from summer fun to a structured school routine. As with my kids, I need to change my routine now. My exercise routine.

I’ve found myself getting into the same old exercise routine. A routine that has gotten a bit boring and mind numbing. I always use this time of the year to analyze my workouts and see where I need to make changes. I’ve really gotten into High-Intensity Circuit Training for the past 5 months and have neglected standard weight-lifiting. The circuit training has certainly kept me at a top physical fitness level and has kept off the unwanted pounds that so many people put on towards the end of summer. I also like to eat an occasional cheeseburger and drink a glass of wine or 2 (or 3).

Yesterday was my first day of change in my daily exercise routine. I got back into lifting weights or strength training. I am SO sore today. Pull-ups, chest presses, and flyes. Heavy weights. Circuit training is definitely a great way to stay in shape, but so is standard strength training. My body has gotten use to being beat up by circuit training. I had reached a plateau. Changing my exercise program to something a little different will certainly change my body for the better and progress me to an even higher level of fitness.

When working out, I don’t compare myself to others on the fitness floor. I compare myself to me when I was in the Marine Corps 20 years ago. I’ve found that consistently changing my exercise routine over these last 20 years has made me leaner and stronger. My cardiovascular endurance is equivalent, maybe even a little better, than when I was 21 years old. My balance and coordination have improved immensely since being consistent with changes in exercises. As a matter of fact, all 11 components of physical fitness have only improved over these many years of exercise and consistent change in my work-outs. There’s no reason to believe your body diminishes as you get older!

I’m 44 years old now. Making changes in my exercise routine along with consistency and healthy eating has kept me at the same weight I was in 1994 when I left the Marines. So don’t get stuck in the same pattern of exercise. Try to mix it up now. Get that body you had 20 years ago. It will take hard work and discipline, but so does everything else in life. Stay focused on your new exercise program and be consistent with healthy eating. Because the change you make in your daily exercise routine today will change your body and the way you feel about yourself for the rest of your life. Change is Good!

What is the Best Exercise?

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I have many people ask me this question every week. What I tell them is that there is no “best” exercise. All exercise is good. You just have to find the “best” exercises that suit your needs, physical fitness level, and lifestyle. For me, the best exercise is jumping rope.

I’ve been jumping rope for 20 years now. I had gotten out of the Marine Corps and got a membership at my local Bally’s Total Fitness. My first day working out there I saw a gentleman in the aerobics studio jumping rope all by himself. I watched him in awe. The way he moved.  Swift, steady, precise, and rhythmic. I had visions of watching the movies Rocky, Rocky II, and Rocky III from when I was a kid. Trying not to disturb this obviously “in-shape” man, I entered the aerobics studio, picked up a jump rope, and attempted to jump rope on the opposite side of the studio. I thought, “I’m a Marine, if he can do this so can I”. Ha! My attempts to find rhythm, steadiness, and precision were replaced with clumsiness, stumbling, and continued misses on the jump. I felt a little embarrassed, especially since we were the only two in the studio.

The expert rope jumper obviously watched me struggle and stopped to offer advice. He gave me these 3 following tips:

  • Start slow and low – “Low” meaning you should not jump high when jumping over the rope. You should jump just high enough to get the rope under your feet. “Slow” meaning when you are first starting out with this endeavor go slow to get the rhythm, coordination, and reaction time when the rope is coming around.
  • Keep your body tight – “Tight” meaning keep your arms and shoulders tight and let the rope turn from the wrists. Don’t waste energy moving your arms in big circles. The more movement you have, then the quicker you will burn yourself out.
  • Start with the most basic foot work that you learned as a kid – Meaning just try skipping over the rope. Don’t try the fancy “Rocky” moves right away. You must get a feel for the rope and learn timing and coordination. Once those 2 things are accomplished, then move on to more advanced foot work and speed.

Those 3 tips were just the beginning for me as they are for everyone else that has learned that jumping rope is much more than just skipping and jumping for 30 to 60 seconds at a time. Over 20 years of training with the rope, I have developed skills that are very advanced. Not only has my reaction time, coordination, agility, and speed increased, but I’ve found that my muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance has drastically improved also. I can easily jump rope at a high intensity level for 30 minutes now. Jumping rope can get boring just like any other cardiovascular exercise, but once you know a good routine of tricks, foot work, and movement, you’ll find that it is not boring at all. Quite the opposite!

You will certainly see the following improvements when you add jumping rope into your daily exercise program along with practicing healthy eating habits:

  1. Improves overall body composition by decreasing body fat, increasing muscle mass, and increasing weight loss (health-related component of physical fitness)
  2. Increased cardiovascular endurance (health-related component of physical fitness)
  3. Increased muscular endurance (health-related component of physical fitness)
  4. Decreased blood pressure
  5. Increased agility (skill-related component of physical fitness)
  6. Increased coordination (skill-related component of physical fitness)
  7. Increased reaction time (skill-related component of physical fitness)
  8. Increased mental focus
  9. Increased speed (skill-related component of physical fitness)

So, my best exercise is jumping rope. It improves 7 of the 11 components of physical fitness. It is a total body workout. It is challenging. Most importantly, jumping rope is fun! Thank you to that expert rope jumper I met at Bally’s. If it wasn’t for him, I may have given up and never found my “best” exercise.

Find Time to Increase Your Physical Fitness Level!

 

Physical fitness has been defined in many ways. I believe that physical fitness can be defined as one’s ability to carry out day-to-day activities without physical exhaustion and injuries and to maintain high levels of energy to accomplish daily tasks. I know that by the end of my 11 to 12 hour work day and after training 10 to 12 clients I am extremely tired and my energy levels have diminished. However, at the end of the day, I still feel capable to play with my sons, read books with my youngest, and help Stacie tuck the boys into bed. As my clientele base has steadily grown and my business demands more hours than I’m humanly capable, I’ve found myself losing time to work-out and less inclined to keep myself in shape. Sometimes I think some of my clients are in better shape than me. These clients have regularly set time aside in their busy schedules to train witbih-joggingh me or on their own. That’s what it comes down to, time.

We must set aside the time to exercise or incorporate physical activities into our daily routine in order to improve our physical fitness levels and be healthy. I’ve found that even a little bit of time devoted to a light work-out or high intensity work-out helps to keep me healthy and at a high level of physical fitness. Setting aside 15 minutes in the morning to walk outside or on a treadmill is certainly a good way to increase your physical fitness levels. I recommend this to a long-time client of mine at least every other week. He routinely asks, “Is that enough?’ My response is always, “YES! Fifteen minutes is better than doing nothing at all.” Studies have shown that small bouts of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, can decrease blood pressure, reduce your risk of strokes and heart disease, and pro-long life (along with several other positive changes).

Our lives have become overwhelmed with work, school, family, social events, and sports for the kids. Finding the time to take care of my health is a major priority in my life. It should be for you as well. So, make time in your busy lives to exercise daily, even if it’s for just a little bit, 15 minutes, even 10 minutes. A little bit adds up to be a lot in the long run. That little bit of time spent getting your heart rate up will help to increase your energy levels, lift your mood, and, overtime, will increase your physical fitness level. Make your health a priority and get moving. Find the time!

11 Components of Physical Fitness in Action

 

Ladies, being physically fit is not just about looking good in a bikini or having a tight backside or not having fat dangling from your arms when waving. Gentlemen, being physically fit is not about how much weight you can bench press, how big your biceps are or weather you have a four pack or a six pack for abs. Believe me, this is all good stuff.  However, everyone should consider all aspects of physical fitness in order to be defined as a physically fit individual.

There are 11 components of physical fitness. If you are not incorporating all components of physical fitness into your daily exercise program, then you are not doing enough to improve your fitness level and overall health.

The 11 Components of Physical  Fitness include:

  1. Agility
  2. Balance
  3. Body Composition
  4. Cardiovascular Endurance
  5. Coordination
  6. Flexibility
  7. Muscular Endurance
  8. Muscular Strength
  9. Power
  10. Reaction Time
  11. Speed

All 11 components of fitness are present in everyone’s daily lives. You just may not realize it. For instance, you use agility when walking quickly through a crowd during Christmas shopping at the mall. Muscular strength and endurance is being used when unloading a carload of groceries from Costco. Your reaction time is being challenged every day you drive your car to work or drive the kids to school. Your body composition is stagnating every time you choose not to go for a long walk outside and instead sit on the couch watching Real Housewives or your favorite sports team.

Trying to incorporate 10 of the 11 components into one workout may seem impossible.  (I say 10 because while body composition is impacted by exercise it is not an actionable part of a work-out). But, take some time and consider a training session that utilizes an exercise step or BOSU, some dumbbells, a medicine ball, and your body.  You will find you can incorporate the 10 components into one workout.

I’m not going to bore you with written details as how to set up a circuit of exercises that mix in all the components of physical fitness. The best way to do this is by showing you. My YouTube videos demonstrate some of the best, most efficient ways to include a number of exercises that will challenge you in all areas of physical fitness. These videos are just demonstrations that may educate you and hopefully make you sweat a bit.

Knowing all 11 components of physical fitness will help you to be stronger, leaner, and will increase your fitness level at any age. These components should not be forgotten when heading off to the gym or when heading out for an evening walk. You may find yourself doing an extra push-up or picking up your pace and starting into a light jog. Enjoy your training and have fun!

Core Strengthening Improves Balance and Posture

 

Core strengthening should be an integral part of everyone’s training regimen. Your core consists of several muscles coming together to support your spine and midsection. Those muscle groups include the rectus abdominis (abs), erector spinae (low back), internal and external obliques (on your sides), and transverse abdominis (the deepest muscle layer of the abdominals). Some experts also include the gluteus maximus/minimus (your rear end) pelvic floor muscles, and subscapcular stabilizers in the group of core muscles. All of the mentioned muscles come together to help you to do trunk rotations, lean forward and backward, and to maintain good posture. Your core is hard at work all day long, every day. Therefore, it is important to do weekly strengthening and stretching of these muscle groups.

Your core is directly related to your balance, strength, and power. So, you should be performing exercises that challenge these 3 components of physical fitness.  Strengthening your core will lead to better balance, posture, and stability. Having a strong core can lower your risk of injury and may help to reduce low back pain. Strong core muscles can help to improve athletic performance such as swinging a golf club, getting up on water skis, or keeping good balance while in-line skating. Core strengthening also helps to improve daily activities such as picking up your child, carrying groceries, or doing yard work.

In order to strengthen your core, you must do exercises that use the trunk of your body without support. Perform exercises seated on a fitness ball, standing or kneeling on a BOSU, standing on a balance disk, and standing on one leg. Performing a variety of planks and bridges will also help to improve your overall core strength.

I recommend two days a week of core strengthening exercises. You should also try to do your resistance training using a fitness ball and BOSU. For example, instead of using a bench for chest presses, lay down on a fitness ball and do dumbbell chest presses. Laying down on a bench does not engage your core. However, laying down on a ball makes you off balance which then requires your body to automatically engage your core in order to maintain balance. Another example is standing on one leg or standing on a balance disk while performing a basic biceps curl. You are required to maintain balance and strengthen your core while strengthening your biceps. Any exercise performed off balance will help to directly strengthen your core.

Do yourself a favor and work your core. Over time, with consistent training, you will see improvements in posture, balance, power, and overall strength. Remember, the core is the center of all you do so be sure not to neglect these muscles when you hit the gym.

Short on Time? Cardio or Weights?

 

Every week I hear from a client, “I don’t have enough time to get in my cardio and weight training this week, which one should I skip, which one is most important?” My response, “Don’t skip either, both are important and need to be done with consistency.”

If you are on a mission to lose weight, the cardio is going to help you burn off that stored energy, otherwise known as body fat. The strength training can’t be skipped either, your muscles need to be stimulated weekly in order to promote proper growth and development so your muscles become stronger and shapelier.

When you are short on time, the best way to get in your cardio and strength training is through what I call High Intensity Circuit Training (HICT). This type of circuit training involves high intensity cardio bouts mixed in with weight training. What makes this type of training great for people with little time, which is most of us, is that you combine your cardiovascular conditioning with resistance training. This will give you a total body workout. You’re not only burning calories and body fat, but you are also strengthening your heart and improving your muscular strength and endurance. High Intensity Circuit Training can be accomplished many ways with no equipment, minimal equipment, or with a fully loaded gym.

My favorite way to train clients is by incorporating basic calesthetics with strength training. You must first get your heart rate up high, at the upper end of your target heart rate zone, in a short period of time, usually 45-60 seconds. Once the heart rate is up, continue on to a 3 to 4 exercise strength training circuit. For example, do 60 seconds of jumping jacks, then, with no rest, move on to 15 push-ups, then on to 20 jump squats, then on to 15 ball push-ups, then do 20 lunges. Repeat the circuit 2 more times. Now this is just a very basic example of HICT, but nevertheless you are accomplishing your cardio and strength training in a short, very intense period of time. I have several of my advanced clients doing up to 16 different exercises in one circuit and burning over 700 calories in 60 minutes (I typically have clients do three sets for each circuit).

When choosing high intensity cardio bouts, you can’t go wrong with calesthetics such as jumping jacks, scissor jumps with jabs, squat thrusts, or mountain climbers. All of these will get your heart rate up very high in a very short period of time. The cardio bouts don’t have to be calesthetics. You can also incorporate cardio equipment such as the treadmill, elliptical, and stationary bike. However, I find that a high intensity cardio bout on a piece of equipment takes a little more time to get the heart rate up. So you might want to increase the time to 2-3 minutes rather than 45-60 seconds. You must be going as fast and as hard as you can on the piece of equipment you choose at the time.

The weight training circuit following the cardio bout can be set up in a variety of ways. This is where you have to be creative and piece together a total body circuit, or just lower or upper body combinations or super sets. If you want to view some great examples of this, go to my YouTube Channel. There are currently 4 circuits posted that will guide you through a variety of High Intensity Circuit Training.

High Intensity Circuit Training may not be for everyone. This is an option for more intermediate to advanced trainees that are short on time. However, beginners can go slow and at a lower intensity to accomplish such training. Remember to always check with a doctor or fitness professional to be sure this type of training is right for you.

Your options are endless when it comes to High Intensity Circuit Training. The combinations of exercises for your entire body will continue to grow if you are thoughtful in setting up your circuits. So, don’t skip weights or cardio when you have a busy schedule. Take advantage of what little time you have to exercise and maximize every minute of your workout by doing High Intensity Circuit Training.