Too fat to get fit? – A client’s perspective

“I can’t breathe, I topple when I try to balance, and I am not strong enough. If only I was lighter, thinner and stronger I could get fit like the other people at the gym. I am just too fat to get fit

My fitness classmate was expressing what I had felt just a few years ago. These destructive thoughts would justify the delay of starting a fitness journey. “Why start, it’s beyond me”.

We have all had similar thoughts at times. Even the fittest and healthiest of us have binged over the holidays and thought “I have already broken my diet, and had a few days of inactivity, I’ll start the healthy eating and exercise next week”.

An occasional splurge should never be a problem, we all need one, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of being able live the active life and have fun adventures without feeling drained.

Nothing prevents us from taking action than ourselves. Who wouldn’t want to be enjoying fun activities and adventures? Feeling healthier is a choice, nature doesn’t have to take its course.

It’s never too soon to begin the process.  The two things that hold most of us back most are the fear of change, and a tendency to focus on the pain instead of the gain.

In the past I felt caught in the “too fat to get fit” mentality, I justified a delay of action, and became inactive. Eventually I realized that change doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to focus on.

How can we filter through the noise of commercial solutions?  We have all seen the miracle shakes, the latest fitness exercise equipment, apps, gadgetry and intimidating gyms full of people that look nothing like you. The fitness industry can be confusing, there are no shortage of gimmicks and exaggerated promises.

I was very overweight and unhealthy before I was lucky enough to find a great health professional that was able to clear through the fog of fitness technology, focus on the benefits of outdoor adventures and motivate a change that built from my starting point rather than the average, fitter, gym member.

Nicole was able to build a custom path to fun activities through fitness for me. She took a creative approach, focused on individual interests rather than the typical score sheet of reps from the gym. In the early days of the transformation Nicole would focus on finding the activity that would spark the interest to take the action to make change. For me, the activity that I found most pleasure in was hiking. The training activities focused around balance, strength and stamina that would support better hiking which would build confidence and drive continued fitness through increasingly challenging adventures.

With Nicole’s help I was able to gradually lose 100lb, and eventually conquer the Manitou Incline, then Pikes Peak, then a 100k bike rides and the Ascent. Next year I am signed up for my first ½ ironman.

I now know that you are never too fat to get fit, and it’s never too soon to start the transformation, at 53 I can attest to it never being too late. My advice is to find a health professional that has done it before, that makes fun adventures the goal and fitness the side benefit, and that can spark the motivation to conquer the fitness challenges.

-David Sweetman; Colorado Springs

 

© David Sweetman

David (before)

 

© David Sweetman

David (after)

 

Start training this week for a Thanksgiving day 5k

Ever consider running or walking a 5k event? Here’s your opportunity! Consider joining me in the 18th annual Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5k at the Briargate YMCA. What a great way to burn calories before putting yourself into a food coma! As I browsed through my September issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine I discovered an eight-week training plan (credit to Jenny Hadfield of CoachJenny.com) for a 5k–3.1 miles–that I thought was ideal. This training plan and the Briargate YMCA’s Turkey Trot go together like turkey and stuffing. Use the plan below to ensure that your body is prepared for the event. Before you know it you’ll cross the finish line saying, “Where’s my pumpkin pie?”

What do I need to do?

Make the commitment. Register for the Turkey Trot here. Out of town? Most cities offer a 5k run/walk on Thanksgiving morning. Check active.com for a race near by.

In addition to your regular physical activity, set aside one 30-minute workout every week — starting this week! Warm-up with an easy walk and lower leg stretches for 5 minutes. Follow the plan below for a duration of 20-minutes. Finish the workout with a 5-minute walk and/or stretch.

What’s the plan?

Weeks 1 & 2 (October 4-17) = Walk 2 minutes, run for 30 seconds

Week 3 (October 18-24) = Walk 2 minutes, run 90 seconds

Week 4 (October 25-31) = Walk 2 minutes, run 2 minutes

Week 5 (November 1-7) = Walk 2 minutes, run 3 minutes

Week 6 (November 8-14) = Walk 2 minutes, run 4 minutes

Week 7 (November 15-21) = Walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes

Week 8 (November 22-26) = RACE WEEK! Walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes. Do this on Sunday and Tuesday. Take Wednesday off and be prepared to run on Thursday, Thanksgiving day.

Questions? Just ask. Let me know when you’re registered and good luck!

 

 

40-minute Exercise Circuit

This month I’ve put together a great workout you can perform at home. Including the warm-up, it is approximately 40 minutes. You’ll need a space where you have room to move, the app Tabata Pro, access to the internet and a pair of dumbbells (somewhere between 5#-20#).

  • Set the app for 1 minute of work to 15 seconds of rest (this rest will give you enough time to transition to the next movement).
  • Complete this warm-up by following the video through two times.
  • Once your warm up is complete, press start on your app and begin with the first exercise.
  • Continue moving through each exercise until you’ve finished one circuit. Complete three circuits.

Questions regarding the exercises? Links for each one are provided. Review in advance to familiarize yourself with the movements.

ExerciseCircuit3

Exercise Circuit 3 (www.trainwithnicole.net)

Are you in good physical condition and able to participate in the exercises I shared? I hope so. If not, you probably shouldn’t try this circuit. When participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. For example, you could hit your knee on the coffee table or stub your toe on a dumbbell.  If you decide to try this exercise circuit or any other exercises on my site, you agree to do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these movements, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge me (trainwithnicole.net) from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of your negligence. With that being said, be safe and have fun.

Moving plank

Walking lunges with a twist (use a dumbbell instead of a medicine ball)

Tricep dips

Deadlift and row

Squat, curl, press

Side plank

Dumbbell high swing

Reverse curls for abs

 

5 Tips For A Successful Walking Program

Walking is one of many physical activities that can help you become fit and healthy–and stay that way. The activity is low impact, enables you to explore your surroundings, requires no equipment and offers numerous health benefits. Regular walking can also help manage your weight, and as an added bonus, your next medical check up may show physiological changes as well! Is walking an activity that you currently or could potentially enjoy? Here are five tips for a successful program:

Set a weekly mileage or step goal. Write down your weekly goal and plan for it. What time will you walk? Where will you walk? What distance will you cover? Your mileage or steps should be a planned activity, not part of your every day movement. With a moderate walking pace you should be able to complete 4 miles* in 60-65 minutes. Over the course of seven days, you could easily accumulate a minimum of 20 miles. If your are new to walking, start with 1-2 miles a week. Add a ½ mile per week until you reach your weekly goal. Work to complete the distance first, then you can work to increase your speed, if you so desire. If using a pedometer to record steps, work to accumulate 8,000 steps (steps to miles chart) a day.

Walk at a moderate intensity. Using a scale of perceived exertion from 1 to 5 (1 is very easy, 5 is very hard) your walking should be at a level 3 or 4. A steady music tempo can help maintain intensity. If you enjoy listening to music while you walk, use your own music playlist and set a steady tempo (general range is between 120-140bpm). You can do this by using the Tempo Pro Magic app. Yet another app, RockMyRun–yes, you can use it to walk–changes the tempo of the music you’re listening to in order to match your pace. Explore other apps that offer similar features.

Monitor your progress. How far did you walk today? What was your pace? How did you feel after your walk? Journaling, whether in a notebook or online, works well along with a pedometer. Those who are tech savvy can use an app, such as MapMyWalk. Within this app you can monitor your pace, record your distance and join in group challenges. Friends and family members (that use this app) can connect with you. It’s a great source for motivation, encouragement and friendly competition.

Eliminate barriers. No sidewalks where you live? Is there rain in the forecast? No excuses. Plan accordingly. Use the stairs at your office building or any other public walking area. Here are local options:

Mountain Ridge Middle School and Jenkins Middle School have tracks open to the public.

• Chapel Hills Mall’s route is 1.41 miles. A great indoor alternative!

Create a support system. Join a walking group or recruit a walking buddy (or two!). Discover local MeetUp groups in your area like this local walking club.

Are you local and looking for a walking buddy? Reply below with your contact information & let’s see if we can connect you with someone!

 

*As an alternative, 4 miles could be accumulated over a 24-hour period.

“Twelve in 12” Hiking Challenge

After the past few weeks of gloomy weather, it’s a joy to see the sun and know that summer is offically here. Why not enjoy Colorado’s scenic outdoors this season by hiking a few of our local trails! Do you think you could hike one trail per week? If so, you may have fun participating in the:

“Twelve in 12” Hiking Challenge

What does this challenge involve?

Simply hike each of the trails (found here: Twelvein12Challenge) within 12 weeks (Summer months – June 1 to August 31*)  while exploring different areas of the Pikes Peak region. Document your hike by taking a selfie on the trail. Post your photo to the Facebook group page titled “Twelve in 12” (more info below).

The trails are within the Pikes Peak region and range from easy to moderate in difficulty. The distance varies. Some trails offer more than one route – you choose!

How do I participate?

1) Tell me you are accepting the challenge by leaving a reply/comment in the box below. For example, “I, Nicole Miller, accept the Twelve in 12 challenge.”

2) Access Facebook.com and search for the private group “Twelve in 12“.  Ask to join this group; this is where you will post your photos.

What do I earn for participating?

Stronger legs, a more efficient cardiovascular system and bragging rights! Also, a chance to win a complimentary personal training session. For every trail you complete you earn one entry into the drawing.**

Any rules?

You may hike more than one trail in any given day or week. Hiking the same trail more than once doesn’t mean additional entries. If you hike trails not listed (encouraged) you will receive a pat on the back instead of additional entries. Remember this challenge is merely to provide you with a reason to move your body and a way to interact through social media.

Thanks to my client and friend, Karen Garbee, for sharing this idea and allowing me to put my spin on it.

Are you in or are you out?

*the date range actually covers 13 weeks, but I thought the “Twelve in 12” title had a better ring. **The drawing will take place the first week of September. Winner will be notified by email and on the group page. Winner has 6 months from that date to use complimentary session.

 

No Equipment Workout

I’m sharing this workout with you through ACE Fitness. It’s a great resource for everything fitness related!

No equipment? No excuses. This fun and effective equipment-free workout combines six creative exercises into one complete total-body workout that will improve your fitness using nothing more than your own bodyweight.

http://shar.es/1gXBc3

Cardio workout #2 for your in-home training pleasure!

Once again I’m supplying you with a simple, 10-minute cardio workout along with a kickin’ playlist. It’s a great way to change up your exercise routine, prevent boredom and stay active! For additional cardio training (and calorie burn) complete cardio workout #1 and #2 back to back. 

 

At home 10-minute cardio workout #2 - ©TrainWithNicole.net

At home 10-minute cardio workout #2 – ©TrainWithNicole.net