Tag Archives: Physical exercise

Learn to Love Exercise

20 Oct
Rock Climbing in Utah

Climb trees as a kid like me? Try some rock climbing or wall climbing!

Say what?! That’s right… whether you are a hater or just need some variety to get your sweat on, here are some questions to ask yourself so you can discover your inner athlete and get your body moving.

1. What Do You Enjoy and How Can You Incorporate That Into Your Life? Did you love to dance as a child? Then check out a Zumba, Barre or Modern dance class. Maybe you’ve never liked a physical activity you’ve tried, but you do dig Robert Downey, Jr.’s moves in Sherlock Holmes or watching Buffy kick vampire butt (back when vampires were evil and didn’t sparkle). Then try kickboxing or join a martial arts studio. Love to walk and spend time with your family? Then walk around the block together before sitting down to a healthy family dinner.

2. What Are You Willing to Invest In Your Health? It’s not just about the Benjamins, but expertise and time as well. So you found an activity you like–awesome! Find an expert who will teach you correct technique to reduce injury, but also so it is scheduled and organized (i.e. walking into a gym and not knowing what to do can be intimidating and wastes your precious time). Brilliant! Your health is the most important investment, so schedule it like any other crucial appointment in your life. If you like to lift weights, invest in a few private or semi-private sessions with a trainer (having a workout buddy makes exercise even more fun and cost-effective). If you enjoy yoga or Pilates, go to a studio with a knowledgable instructor. If the instructor teaching the class isn’t walking around correcting form or if your trainer is on their cell phone, then find a new teacher. You are hiring them to give you a safe and effective workout, not paying them to do their own workout or text their friends on your time.

3. What One Simple Thing Can You Do Right Now to Incorporate It? The best way to build an exercise habit, is to start slow. Maybe you go to your Martial Arts or Barre class one time per week for two weeks before adding in a second class. That’s cool. And if that is too much of a time commitment, then pop in some Daft Punk, dance your little heart out for 15 minutes and see where your dance parties take you. And if you honestly do not have the money right now to invest, then try this 30-minute workout I designed to get you moving towards your fitness kingdom. Doing something is always better than nothing.

If you incorporate these three steps, you will slowly build lifelong exercise habits and be an inspiring example for your loved ones too. Exercise doesn’t have to be something you sweat (…too cheesy of a pun?). You can choose fun activities and you can choose to make it a part of your life. Now go out there and be awesome!

For more info, please contact Stephanie Bell (hey, that’s me!) at 402-819-8970.

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Top 3 Workout Mistakes That Hinder Results

12 Aug

If yofruit dumbbellsu are exercising daily, but not seeing the results you want, then you might be making these common workout mistakes.

1. Performing Long Duration Cardio for Fat Loss. Running has always been perceived as the Holy Grail for fat loss, but it may very well be one of the biggest factors as to why you ARE NOT burning fat. Say what?! While cardiovascular exercise is an important part of a well-rounded exercise program, pounding the pavement or doing any repetitive movement consistently for 60 minutes will actually make you an efficient fat burner. Less energy needed to do an activity = fewer calories burned. Long duration cardio also produces more cortisol which makes a nice, squishy home around your mid-section. Not cool. Rather than kickin’ it on the treadmill for 60 minutes every day, opt for strength training and interval training instead. Strength training builds muscle for an around-the-clock fat burning party and interval training improves cardiovascular health without boring the body. A perfect pairing is 3 days of strength training and 2 days of intervals. Add in stress-reducing walks or yoga on your recovery days.

2. Skipping Your Post-Workout Meal. Not eating within 30-45 minutes after your workout is like Daniel Craig keeping his shirt on throughout an entire movie–a complete muscle waster! Resistance training breaks down muscle fibers so we can rebuild them and gain strength. The only way we can repair our bodies is through proper nutrition and recovery. So after you finish your challenging weight training session or metabolic intervals, grab some grub. An ideal recovery meal consists of clean and lean protein, vegetables, fruit and a healthy starch like a yam. If the thought of a full meal after your sweatfest makes your stomach churn, blend a protein shake with pea protein, fresh and frozen fruit, raw unsweetened cacao, kale/ spinach and 6 oz of water/ coconut water/ almond milk.

3. Staying in Your Comfort Zone. Change happens when you push yourself out of your comfort zone. This can be accomplished by increasing weights in small intervals, switching your exercise program every 4-6 weeks and putting forth 100% effort. If you are squatting for 10 reps and feel like you could do 10 more reps, then the weight isn’t heavy enough–challenge yourself and increase it so you can only do 1-2 more reps with good form. Not tired after your 20 second interval and feel like 30 seconds is too long of a break–push yourself and go faster (without sacrificing form). Going out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean entering your pain zone. “No pain, no gain” is lame. Challenge yourself to be your best. You are your greatest competition.

Incorporating these 3 tips along with healthy eating (you can’t out-train a poor diet) will help you achieve the life you deserve. After all, a little daily sweat equity and optimal nutrition is well worth a lifetime of happiness.

For more health and fitness tips, visit Stephanie Bell Wellness on Facebook.

The 30-Minute Workout

30 Jul

Tight schedule? Busy juggling life or simply not ready to commit to a regular exercise program? Let’s remedy that, shall we?

Now, I’m not a fan of generic exercise programs (hence all of my words of caution you will read). It is extremely important to work with your doctor (to make sure you are cleared for exercise and do not have any orthopedic issues, etc.) and a certified trainer (like yours truly) who can properly assess and design an individualized exercise program for you that effectively reaches your goals while keeping your safety and needs top priority. With that being said, I don’t want to leave you hangin’ either. So, here is a simple program that you can do at home three days per week for 30 minutes with zero equipment to jump start your healthy habit. Hooray!

Before beginning any exercise program, always check with your doctor and stop exercise immediately if you experience any pain, dizziness, etc. There are four things you need to execute with each exercise to ensure proper technique: 1) activate abdominals (as though someone was going to poke or punch you in the stomach), 2) lift your chest, 3) breathe and 4) drink water. Let’s rock this!

EXERCISE PROGRAM***

5-Minute Warm-up: foam roll and perform any corrective stretches and exercises followed by 10 supine double leg hip bridges and 16 (8 each side) walking knee hugs.

20-Minute Resistance Training: perform three sets of 15 reps of the following exercises to fatigue with perfect form. Execute each exercise in a row, rest 30 seconds and repeat additional sets until you’ve performed each exercise three times.

1. Squat. Stand with feet hip width apart. Sit back like you are going to sit in a chair, keeping knees behind and in line with second toe (Figure 1). Squeeze the butt and push through the heels as though you are pushing the ground away from you to return to start. (Note: my arms are in a prisoner’s squat position. This is not the best position for those with shoulder issues, tight pecs, etc. Please keep hands on hips or folded at your chest. I simply posed like this because it was the best view to demonstrate proper technique in the photograph without blocking my lower body.)

2. Prone Cobra. Lie on your stomach with arms by your side. Squeeze your butt  and shoulder blades together and lift your torso off the ground, rotating palms away from your body so thumbs point to the ceiling (Figure 2). Hold this pose (yes, that butt and shoulder blades of yours stay squeezed!) for 1-3 minutes rather than doing 15 reps.

3. Lateral Lunge. Stand tall with feet together. Step out to the side and sit back into your right heel, keeping the right knee behind and in line with the right second toe. Left foot stays flat on the ground (Figure 3). Squeeze the butt and push through the heel of the right foot to return to start. Perform all reps then repeat on the left leg.

4. Push Up. Start in a neutral spine position with your wrists under your shoulders (Figure 4). Squeeze your shoulder blades to pull yourself towards the ground, elbows pointing back at a 45 degree angle. Once your arms are level with your torso, push up to start (Figure 5).

5. Plank. Start in a neutral spine position with your elbows under your shoulders and your weight back in your heels (Figure 6). Hold this for 30-60 seconds rather than performing 15 reps.

3-Minute Metabolic Training: choose an exercise that gets your heart pumping but doesn’t cause any pain such as jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, etc. Perform that exercise as fast as you can with good form for 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat two more times.

2-Minute Cool-down: walk around until your heart rate slows and returns to normal. Foam roll and stretch as needed.

***This program is designed for healthy individuals with no medical concerns. Always speak with your doctor before performing any exercise program. If you are new to exercise or haven’t exercised in a while (but your doctor has given you the A-OK), start with one set and build your endurance and strength from there. Optimal results can only be obtained with a customized exercise and nutrition program.

For your customized exercise and nutrition program, contact me at 402-819-8970 or at Stephanie Bell Wellness.

Squat

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 2

Figure 3
Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 6