Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING

When it comes to getting things done, often finishing something is easier than starting out. But how do we keep ourselves going and continue to reap the rewards of past effort, long after our original goals have been reached?

Take a moment to think why you let good intentions slide. What types of things make you commit to them and not others, no matter what? For example, keeping the lawns mowed; getting our kids to school on time; routine servicing for our vehicles are tedious “maintenance” tasks that we build into our schedules, yet somehow we know that in the long run it will improve the future situation, it will pay off. And we are right, in several ways.

Since the battle to stay in shape is also a constant one, it is helpful to remember that much like cleaning the house, we don’t have to like “exercise,” we just have to do it. And if we don’t take action, then we must be ok with the consequences and health issues that may occur as a result. In addition to the physical benefits from regular movement, pride posture and confidence will develop just by doing such deliberate activity. This can change how we appear as people: more happy, stronger, and focused through committing to ourselves in these ways.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Slow-Change is the Shortcut

Have you ever wondered how long it should take to reach your fitness goals?

In the last 20 years, our world has become obsessed with three things when in pursuit of what we want: the speed of getting it; paying the lowest cost; and spending the least amount of personal effort acquiring it. It may sound like the holy grail of gratification- so why should we question its validity when deciding on a fitness program that promises such ideas?

The main problem lies in the fact that a human body is already an amazing and complex machine of processes, an intricate, innate system of checks and balances that keeps us alive while we get on with our external version of living.

Without our conscious help, the body takes specific time to do many things we take for granted such as: produce antibodies to fight a cold; cells to heal a wound, time to grow tissue and to properly use and digest food. Unable to control these involuntary actions, our best efforts are spent keeping its natural abilities optimal by maintaining good health, enough exercise and rest.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Half The Weight

Looking to drop a few pounds and change your palate for the long term?

One of the easiest ways of consuming less sugar, salt, fat and calories is by halving your usual servings of those items. You can also combine a lower calorie version with half your normal item to satisfy taste while trimming your waistline. Instead of drinking sugary beverages, use half juice and half water or club soda. Like whole milk in your coffee? Try mixing equal parts of skim and whole milk- you won’t notice the difference. Have a craving for scrambled eggs? Halve the fat and cholesterol by using one yolk, both egg whites and keep all the nutrients, taste and color of the food. Want to cut unnecessary carbs or extra protein? Toss the bread top of a sandwich or a few slices of the sandwich meat and then eat. Don’t want to totally ditch dessert? Blend low fat ice cream with a scoop of the stuff you like… and share. A half can always be halved and then halved again!read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Take a Stand 

With technology forcing prolonged periods of sitting at a computer, looking down at a mobile device, or constantly turning our attention toward some type of screen, these unconscious repetitive actions can create postural and movement patterns that create painful imbalances. There are many static positions where flexion at the joint is common (hip, knee, elbow, wrist), often presenting as tightness, weakness and chronic discomfort on one side or both.

When deciding how to structure a workout, think about the positions you take during the day and create exercise stances that are in direct contrast to those such as standing, kneeling, or leaning in a way where the core trunk muscles are activated to be the base for the main movement. An example of this would be to hold a side-plank body position while lifting a weight with the free arm. Also choose cardio equipment that requires standing like a stair climber, elliptical or treadmill and finish with abdominal and core moves that focus on creating length in your torso and limbs, adding rotation and deep breathing for maximal training effect, improved flexibility and control through extension.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Ten-Pound Heaven or Hell?

Wherever we start on our fitness journey, the last leg toward the destination can feel like treading water- we are exercising hard and eating right, yet the last ten pounds seems the hardest to drop. After many months of consistent workouts and controlling daily caloric intake, staying on track with our food and fitness regimen is made tougher when we believe somehow that the end of our road should be the easy part. What is happening to us here?

Bodies are not machines, so frustration occurs when they do not respond as predictably as we would hope- after all, we can program computers to do our bidding down to the last second. And even then, that technology can exasperate us by stalling, shutting down or producing error messages when we least expect it! So we have to prepare to reboot.

Unlike technology though, humans carry a more magical hard drive controlled instantly from within… this is our mind and spirit… and this is a crucial difference. We can change our perception of obstacles along the way, constantly rebooting ourselves without crashing completely, remembering the high points of our journey as we go, harnessing the feelings of joy, triumph, pride and success to propel us forward.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Finding Awareness to Alleviate Pain

Do you have aches and pains that come and go or just pain in specific areas that never seem to improve or disappear, despite treatment? Some discomfort from workout progressions are a normal part of a balanced exercise regimen but when pain is not the result of accident trauma or an injury from overtraining, you may want to think beyond applying chiropractic, acupuncture or massage treatments as the only cure. If you are treating the pain without correcting the source, you may instead be stuck with an ongoing cycle of pain, healing by superficial treatments and drugs only to return to the same (and sometimes additional), pain experience.

Repetitive, unconscious actions fill our lives from the moment we wake, from speaking to walking, to dressing to driving. Common examples of repetitive pain include carrying a heavy bag on the same shoulder all day at school; getting down on the same knee or getting up on the same foot; twisting to pick up a child with the same side of the body; sleeping in the same stance or on the same arm; reaching up to a high shelf with the same shoulder hiked up or back arched too far; leaning into a mirror on one hip to apply makeup; kneeling while gardening and putting pressure into knees, wrists and hips.

One unconscious source of pain may come from the simple act of driving. The hips and back can be affected by poor seat position, slumped posture, road stress and the effects of long hours of sitting in traffic then traveling up into the neck and shoulders.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Breakfast: The Miracle Meal

Have you ever wondered about working out before breakfast, if your body “uses up more calories” and whether it’s a good idea? With so many fitness and diet “rules” yet no factual regulation on these ideas, it can be tough to sort the modern miracle from the popular myth. But you can be sure that getting in shape, losing weight and maintaining the results is always a combination of multiple factors that include nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress management and most of all, consistency in all those areas.

Waking up from a night’s sleep, your body has been without fuel for six hours or more. Many people don’t experience hunger at this time of day but breaking the “night-fast” with a small meal is crucial to preventing snacking and overeating later in the day. If your car had no gas in the tank, it would be unable to perform for you, and so it is the same with your body. It needs food energy up front in order to be productive on any level. Whether that includes running a mile or wrapping up a work project, the first meal will shape how you feel and perform for the rest of the day. It also allows better brain and muscular function, keeping the metabolism high while accessing stored fat as an additional energy source.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

One key ingredient for a meal plan to work is consistency. Many of us fail to keep consistency in our lives when wanting to change; yet we stay consistent with our bad habits. Two common examples of this include skipping meals and not eating breakfast and waiting until lunchtime to fuel our day.

Failure to “break-the-fast” every day upon waking increases the chance that you will fail to reach your weight goals. Eating breakfast and consuming small meals (4 to 6 per day) prevents binge eating, nighttime snacking, and inhibits weight gain. It also keeps your metabolic rate at an optimal level.

The body requires regular fuel to keep your metabolism burning. Think of metabolism as a campfire. To keep a fire burning strong, it must be fed small doses of wood (i.e., fuel). Dropping a large log onto the fire will keep the fire burning, but not as effectively as if it was fed small portions of wood.

With the fire still in mind, you have to look at its preferred fuel choice. Adding paper or “empty calories”, the fire will burn through it very quickly. As a result, the fire becomes starved and must be fed very often. Now if you added a mixture of paper and wood, the fire will have enough fuel to burn for a longer period of time. The wood will satisfy the fire’s appetite more than the paper. Wood is to fire as protein is to humans. Your diet should always include a source of protein at each meal and snack.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

Gluten is a substance is found in wheat, kamut, spelt, barley, rye, malts, and triticale.
It is often used as a food flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent called “dextrin”. The term “gluten-free” is generally used to indicate a supposed harmless level of gluten rather than a complete absence and the exact level at which it is harmless is uncertain.

“Gluten-free” diets have become a recent trend in the food industry and they are the only medically accepted treatment for a diagnosis of celiac disease or wheat allergy.

Yet the choice to remove gluten from a diet without medical diagnosis is controversial and not proven as a path toward controlling weight or for gaining any additional health benefits.read more

Health Tip

Katieby Katie Barnes

The Truth about Fitness Fads

As a busy private trainer and Pilates specialist in Hollywood, I’m often asked for my opinion when new exercise equipment or the latest workout hits the market. With so many promises of the “perfect body” or the “real secret to weight loss,” how do we separate fact from fiction and choose movement that will sculpt regular, constructive exercise into our lives while making us feel good and look even better?

A fad is considered a fleeting behavior, something driven by emotional excitement, peer pressure, societal trends and normally fades quickly once the perception of novelty has gone or been replaced by another similar activity. If you know about yo-yo dieting, then fads are the same in fitness, with their premises being counter to the sustainable workout regimens that can actually prove a client’s continued success.

Not all exercise is equal, suitable or effective for all people. Watch for workouts that involve unverifiable testimonials or sudden “cures”; celebrity-endorsed products that encourage radical cleanses or diets that remove entire food groups; and fitness programs that demand too much workout time per day (two hours + or the “30-60-90”-day promises); or too little exercise time (only 10 minutes for total fitness, abs etc.) Instead find challenging yet uncompetitive classes, small group or private training where you will get correction and feedback on your progress, learn how best to work with your body and find a place where you can see yourself still going strong a year from now- fitter, leaner and happy you found a real fitness “home.”

www.katiebarnesfitness.com

Facebook: KatieBarnesFitness

Tweet Katie: KatieBFitness

Email Katie


Disclaimer: Use of the information contained in this site is at the sole choice and risk of the reader. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only.