Friday, April 24, 2015

Next Month!

Hi All!

Grad school, work, home ownership and wedding planning has taking me away from writing. As they say, "something has to give." BUT... Next month I have 30 days off school starting 5/8. I intend to paint the inside of our house rearrange our furniture, work in the backyard, cook, bake, and blog! And my favorite pastimes, working out outside and spending time with friends!!! Until then, here's some new ideas I'm working on...

1. More Small Group Yoga Classes

2. Meal Prep Meet Ups

3. Women on Weights (an educational series)

4. 30 Minute Outdoor Small Group Cardio Meet Ups!

Do you see something you like or have thoughts about? Other ideas? Let me know!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Now Offering E-programs!

The new year brings new offerings! The first program I'm offering builds cardiovascular endurance and core strength; each day has specified objectives and designated exercises, sets and reps as well a recommended weekend flexibility training practice.

I'd suggest repeating this weekly plan for 2 consecutive weeks or more depending on how quickly your body adapts and where you're starting from (keep thorough notes and measure your progress). This can serve as your weekly routine or compliment your existing exercise practices, but having visible abdominal muscles takes healthy eating & exercising. This program is just one piece of the puzzle so I'll be publishing an accompanying "Meal Plan" and "Next Level" programs soon! Click the "Buy Now" button at the right to get started with this program for a STRONG foundation! 

**After your purchase on PayPal click on return to E.S. Fitness to retrieve downloadable link.**

Hopefully at this point in your exercise journey you've learned the names of several exercises and you're pretty confident in your ability to navigate the gym (if not, YouTube will be very helpful in identifying exercise names). On the other-hand, if you're feeling entirely overwhelmed, contact me directly and let's chat!

In Health,

Friday, December 19, 2014

New Years Resolutions and Exercise as Punishment...

While working on a discussion question for school, a classmate and I started chatting about self awareness and really thinking about what your body needs. It made me think about this study I saw not too long ago which I don't have a citation for at this time. To sum it up, it concluded that if personal trainers can re-frame the way their client views exercise (specifically making it enjoyable) the client would be less likely to consume excess calories post workout. An example could be running around playing Frisbee verses running on the treadmill. If the client burned the same amount of calories in both activities they were less likely to consume extra calories after playing Frisbee verse running on the treadmill. Sounds crazy, right?! But it makes perfect sense to me because I've seen and experienced it. 

Many people exercise because they don’t like the way their body looks. They see exercise as punishment (not a healthy perspective because they're so many great reasons to exercise). Then, they’ll eat badly as a reward for surviving the so called punishment or vice-a versa (think New Years Resolutions, eat bad through the holidays and then beat yourself for it). In some cases this becomes a vicious cycle; eating poorly, and exercising too much to make up for it....repeat, repeat, repeat. In the end, the person becomes over trained, exhausted and frustrated. Be cautious because if you're thinking this sounds like a eating disorder, you're right. 

If you've been in this trap maybe next time take a rest day, sleep in, and relax. What if we could view exercise as a means of rewarding ourselves for taking care and listening to our body? If we can change the way we think about and exercise, we can change the way we view our health and wellness disposition. I like to remind my clients to exercise and eat well because you love your body and take care of it because you only get one.

If you find yourself in this vicious cycle don't be afraid to ask for help, but feel free to try some of these tips too:

1. Drink lots of water and throw some sliced lemon and cucumber in there too for their cleansing properties

2. Focus on green vegetables in your diet (especially at holiday meals). Load up on filling fibrous veggies, like broccoli and brussel sprouts.

3. Limit exercise in duration or intensity or take time completely off if that's what your body needs. Get outside for a walk or play in the park with friends or kids. Just be active without thinking about intentional exercise. 

4. Spend quality time with family and friends (it's amazing how powerful this in almost every situation).

5. Finally.... Don't look in the mirror naked and set short term goals this New Years. Instead, look in the mirror fully clothed and set long term, meaningful goals. Get my drift? Short term vanity based goals don't last, dig deep and think big picture so you don't fall in the "New Years Resolution"  or " Exercise as Punishment" trap.

Happy Holidays! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2015!


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fiber One Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

I made these for Gertrude's 15th Birthday at Fitness Rehab. If you've been to FR then you know Gertrude...she's kinda famous!  This recipe is quick, easy and high in fiber. It's still sweet, just a little less sinful!


Layer 1: (From the bottom up)
1.5 cup Fiber One, 3/4 c Coco cripsies, 1.5 c rice crispies, 1/3 c all natural peanut butter, & 3 c mini marshmallows
Layer 2:
1/2 cup Semi sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips, 1/4 cup all natural peanut butter
Layer 3: 
1.5 c Fiber One, 3/4 c Coco cripsies, 1.5 c rice crispies, & 3 c mini marshmallows, 2 T butter

I don't typically measure things exactly and this time of year my house is freezing so when I made this I had to move even more quickly because everything was setting up before I could mix it all together! That said, these measurements are not exact, but the nice thing about these kid of treats is that you can always add more cereal if the ratio's don't seem quite right when you mixing the wet and dry ingredients.


1. Prepare large baking dish with butter or coconut oil.
2. In a medium sauce pan, melt marshmallows and peanut butter for layer 1, stirring constantly on medium heat, when well combined mix with dry ingredients for layer 1 and press in to the prepared pan.
3. Wash your pan in warm water while the marshmallow is still easy to get wipe off. Put 1/2 inch water in sauce pan and place it back on the stove on low-medium heat (or if have a double boiler use it). Place a glass bowl inside the sauce pan and melt/stir layer 2 ingredients together.
4. Evenly pour layer 2 ingredients over the top of  layer 1, spread with spatula.
5. Empty out sauce pan and dry thoroughly. Replace sauce pan on stove and melt butter for layer 3 on medium heat, stir in marshmallows until well mixed and melted, combine with remaining cereal and spread on top of layer 2.
6. Use a buttered spatula or hands to press layers together. Let cool, cut and enjoy. This a huge recipe and could probably serve 20ish people.


Monday, October 27, 2014

Scapulohumeral Rhythm

Hi All!

More educational ramblings to share... 

In teaching group exercise, and more frequently in Crossfit, I've experienced and seen many shoulder injuries. What may cause these injuries is weakness in the middle trapezius and serratus anterior. Most group classes and Crossfit include tons pushing and pressing movements without tons of pulling to counter balance all the anterior work. Even pull ups cannot address the lack pulling alone, but including seated rows, band rows from high and low angles, as well as scapular stabilization exercises can greatly reduce the risk of injury for group class and Crossfit participants. To further understand the shoulder joint, below is a description of the relationships between various parts of the shoulder and the muscles involved in upward rotation of the scapula, as well as the description of one shoulder condition that inhibits healthy movement patterns. 

Scapulohumeral rhythm describes the coupling of shoulder girdle movement with arm movement, Muscolino also states that the motion of the clavicle is also required; therefore perhaps a better name would be “scapuloclaviculohumeral rhythm” (2011). Two separate joint actions that must occur simultaneously are called coupled actions. In the case of the shoulder, only a small degree of movement can occur solely at the glenohurmeral (GH) joint, so when the shoulder moves, movement occurs between the clavicle of the shoulder girdle and the sternum at the sternoclavicular (SC) joint and between the scapula of the shoulder girdle and the rib cage at the Scapulocostal (ScC) joint. A scapular force couple is produced by the trapezius and serratus anterior muscles in upward rotation of the scapula (Donatelli, Ruivo, Thurner & Ibrahim, 2014). Upward rotation of the scapula occurs in arm elevation, for this movement to happen with a full range of motion the shoulder must be healthy.

Having the condition known as “frozen shoulder,” or adhesive capsulitis, may result in the failure of the scapular force couple because of pain and stiffness that can inhibit normal movement at the shoulder joint. Although the cause of frozen shoulder is unclear, it is characterized by the process of thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint (Soviero, Gucciardi, & Geraci, 2008). When a client is experiencing frozen shoulder their mobility will be greatly reduced, particularly in external rotation and overhead movements. The three muscles that are traditionally attributed as upward rotators are the upper trapezius, lower trapezius and serratus anterior. Due to the complexity of the shoulder joint, there are many conditions that may cause force couple failure, but frozen shoulder can be treated with low load stretching, end range tensile stress, and progressive loading (Donatelli, Ruivo, Thurner & Ibrahim, 2014). Most often frozen shoulder will be improved through treatment and then scapular motion can be reassessed to see if there are other factors inhibiting force coupling such as forward head posture, rounded shoulders or hyperkyhposis.

1) Muscolino, Joseph E. (2011). Kinesiology: The Skeletal System and Muscle Function.  St. Louis, MO. Mosby, Inc., an affiliate of Elsevier Inc.

2) Soviero, F., Gucciardi, S., & Geraci, A. (2008). THE FROZEN SHOULDER: UNKNOWN AND KNOWN KNOWNS. (English). Capsula Eburnea, 31-14.

3) Donatelli R, Ruivo R, Thurner M, Ibrahim M. Masterclass: New concepts in restoring shoulder elevation in a stiff and painful shoulder patient. Physical Therapy In Sport [serial online]. February 1, 2014;15:3-14. Available from: ScienceDirect, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 23, 2014.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Flight Attendant Voice

This post is for Mike M and all the folks who come to my classes and think, "Geeze it's like she's reading a script," or "Hey, she'd make a great flight attendant, she talks just like one!"

This voice or style of delivery I've apparently developed was unintentional, but hilarious to me because I can't help it. Anyway, I haven't been blogging much because I'm in a Exercise Science Graduate program that requires a lot of reading and writing (as I type I should be doing homework, but I needed a little time away)! All of this studying is making the flight attendant voice more unavoidable when I teach classes. In fact, I was proof reading one of my discussion posts aloud and caught myself using the voice. Since the post was flight attendant voice worthy I thought I'd share.
As a Yoga Instructor I talk about posture and breathing with class participants to try to improve their Yoga experience. Individuals who are new to Yoga often find it difficult to maintain steady breathing in poses because they are unfamiliar with having their body twisted or compressed in ways that makes breathing feel constricted. For example, in Cobra Pose (prone with spinal extension, with knees and ankles contacting ground, but hips, chest and shoulders lifted)  it can be difficult to maintain full breaths because of the constriction that may be felt in the abdomen and chest if the head is fully lifted and cocked back.
The constriction new practitioners feel is real as inspiratory ventilation requires an increase in thoracic cavity volume (Clark, Corn, & Lucett, 2008, p. 47). When lying prone and creating a back bend or spinal extension as experienced in Cobra Pose the thoracic cavity is put in a compromised position relative to the anatomical position. In addition, often in Cobra pose the head is cocked back therefore potentially compromising some of the respiratory passageway such as the Pharnyx and Larnyx.
This is one example of how body positioning (posture) can affect breathing. I encourage all of my clients to practice Yoga because it helps them understand anatomy in a practical way. When they understand how the cardiorespiratory system functions with the kinetic chain we can began implementing more advance concepts like lifting with the Valsalva maneuver thereby increasing rigidity of the entire torso to support heavier loads (Baechle & Earle, 2008, p. 85). Incorporating more advanced concepts and teaching clients about the human body helps to keep them safe and consistently progressing in their training.
Clark, M.A., Corn, R. J., & Lucett, S.C. (Eds.). (2008) 3rd Ed. NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Baechle, T.R. & Earle, R.W. (Eds.). (2008) 3rd Ed. NSCA Essentials of Strength and Conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics. 
If you want more exercise science/school stuff I'll keep sharing or if you just want to read stuff in your best flight attendant voice I'll share for that reason too! 
One a side note, in what Yoga pose do you find it hardest to breathe?