Connecting with the Why: Achieving Lasting Change in Exercise and Nutrition

By Dave Hildebrandt, FitELITE, IGNITE, FE24 Fitness

Have you ever been on the roller coaster of exercise and nutrition and found yourself doing a particular program for a while and then fall off? Thousands of individuals do this every New Year. You set your intention to make this change, and it seems to fade just a few months later. We ALL strive for lasting change.

Well, the New Year is not yet here, and we don’t need the New Year to make a permanent change. That “someday is today.” Let me explain. I’ve been in the fitness industry going on twenty years. Lifestyle, health, and fitness is my passion—rather, helping individuals find their path to becoming the best they can be in all areas of life is what I truly set my intention for, why I do what I do.

Going back to lasting change, I truly believe change in anything you set out to do has to start with your mind. Your thoughts lead to decisions and decisions lead to actions. Many of us have set the goals to change that are more surface laden and not deep rooted and concrete. Over my twenty years, I have had many clients come to me and set the goal of weight loss. I truly honor this, but I challenge all of my clients to get more concrete and specific as to what they want and “WHY” they want their goal. I believe with absolute certainty you need to be specific about what you want and why you want it. Your goal has to be mapped out.

What is the key ingredient to lasting change? What will this specific weight loss do for you in your life? Will this weight loss bring you renewed energy to get down on the ground and play with your kids? Will this energy bring you the self-confidence that you may have been wanting for so long in your life? Will this weight loss give you the vitality to enjoy your retirement in the coming years? Answering these questions shows you how specific you need to be. What does it truly mean from deep within you to obtain the goal you are after? What is the internal (personally for you and you only) and external (for family or another external reason outside of you) meaning as to why you NEED and WANT to conquer the goal you set out to accomplish?

Once you established your “WHY,” make it a concrete statement and place the goal in front of you where you read it on a daily basis and as a constant reminder of the importance of conquering this goal to make it lasting. It is a constant reminder of how badly you truly want lasting change. Put it on your bathroom mirror, in your planner, your fridge, etc.

Just like nature has seasons of change, so does life. It is inevitable that you will encounter the winter and with it the trials will come, but you will have the power of your “WHY” to help guide you through to find the springtime and ultimately your lasting change. Truly anything and everything that leads to growth in your life comes through challenge.

So, the next time you set out to establish the next area in your life of personal development, take the time to reflect “WHY” it is so important to you. Make this “WHY” statement concrete, very specific, and get in depth within yourself to find the importance of conquering it for lasting change. Just like in the weight room, to make a muscle grow, you have to continually do repetitions just like we do in the personal development area of our minds. Read your “WHY” statement through daily repetition. You become what you focus on.

Define: Hunger

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire

Ever feel hungry? Of course you have. Feeling hungry is our body’s natural way of letting us know it is time to eat. What is often misconstrued is understanding how truly “hungry” we actually are. As a trainer who is dealing with nutrition questions on a daily basis, one of the first questions I ask people is, “Do you feel hungry during the day?” Often the answer I receive is, “No.” For many people this is simply because we are undereating and need to gradually increase calories in order to boost our metabolism so we can actually burn MORE calories by putting better food into our bodies on a more consistent basis.

On the other end of the spectrum are those of us that eat a sufficient amount (or too many) of calories on a regular basis. If we are eating enough calories during the day, odds are we feel hungry, or at least we certainly would if we missed snack time! Some foods make you hungrier without actually doing anything for you, like sugars and refined carbs. Whereas foods high in fiber, healthy fats, and proteins can assist to not only increase your metabolism and nourish your body, but can also help so you aren’t hungry constantly. From here, I put “hungry” into six different categories to help explain what type of hunger we are actually experiencing, and how to combat those types of hunger!

  1. Starving – The feeling that you could “eat a horse.” At this point you are more than likely shaky, lightheaded, and possibly sick feeling.
  2. Pretty Hungry – This is go time! Time to definitely be eating some food. You are maybe even a little past the point of when you should have last eaten. Right now there are some pretty empty sounds coming from your stomach, and this feeling more than likely came on gradually.
  3. You Could Eat – This is my typical response when I am not all that hungry, but know I will be within an hour. At this point there is no reason to be eating. Drink some water, see how you feel, and then start to plan or prepare for your next meal.
  4. Content – If you are not hungry, and also not full, why would you need to eat? This is one that gets a lot of people late at night. You have had dinner, you are going to bed in an hour, and there is no reason to eat! Don’t feel bad though, this is a common, learned, habitual movement (my favorite suggestion is to do air popped popcorn with light olive oil!). Typically I tell people to either drink some water or substitute something with essentially no caloric value to wean themselves away from late night snacks.
  5. Full – Stop! Slow down, put that fork down between bites, eat slower, take a drink between each bite, use a smaller plate, put the rest of the food away in containers for tomorrow! Going beyond this point is usually what makes us sick, wastes our money, and keeps our waistband tight.
  6. Overfull – Typically overeating happens often when we waited to eat until we were starving. You get all excited to eat again and start to cram anything and everything we can into your face too quickly! Afterward you feel sluggish, slow, tired, and sometimes quite uncomfortable. This can be easily avoided by trying to stay between numbers 2 and 5 at all times!

Pure Fitness 4 You has your Barre Needs!

by: Pure Fitness 4 You

Top 5 Benefits of adding in Barre to your workout routine!

1. Strength and definition. When you work your thighs in a barre class, you target that muscle group from all angles. Three thigh exercises will work to fatigue the front, inner, and outer thighs, strengthening the muscles from joint to joint. The same goes for your butt, abs, arms, and back. By strengthening each muscle group thoroughly, you are not only creating amazing definition, you are also strengthening muscles that are often underused and underdeveloped.

2. Endurance. Each barre class is known for its use of isometric contractions and small isotonic movements. In an isometric contraction, you tighten or contract the muscle without changing its length. Think plank position or those poses where you hold completely still as your legs start to quiver and shake. These Barrcontractions utilize slow-twitch muscle fibers that can increase stamina and improve your endurance.

3. Flexibility. You don’t need to be flexible to practice barre, but the amount of stretching in each class can help improve your overall range of motion and reduce your risk of injury. Tension and tightness in your muscles and the tendons around them can lead to back pain and poor posture, and can make everyday tasks like bending down to tie your shoes more difficult. Stretching out your muscles will help relieve stress and allow you to move through your day with a little more ease.

4. Posture. Core muscles are engaged throughout the entire class, and they can be used for the primary focus of an exercise or for stability as you perform a move that targets your thighs or butt. The most common issue that clients come in with is back pain that usually stems from weak core muscles and hours spent sitting at the computer. As you strengthen your core, you will notice that you can sit and stand taller and your lower back will take less stress and tension throughout the day.

5. Mind-body connection. Barre classes challenge you to not only go through the motions of the workout but to focus your thoughts on each and every tiny muscle you are working.

Barre Class Schedule (More class times coming soon)

Sundays: Barre/Ab Combo

3:30pm – Legs and Abs its a win-win

Mondays: BarOga

4:30pm – Combination of Barre & Yoga/PiYo.

Wednesdays: Barre Express

5:30pm – 30 minute class w/a cardio barre feel.

Fridays: BarOga

9am – combination of Barre and Yoga/PiYo.

Let’s meet at the Barre!! It will be soooo worth it!!

The Secret to Sleeping More, and Better!

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire 

I am the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire, which if you don’t already know is a gym where 99% of our camps are female only! In my time here, I have learned that strong, hard working women seem to value the little sleep they get. 🙂 Aside from getting in your workout, sending the kids off to school, running to work, somehow putting food on the table, tucking your kid into bed for “the last time”, your day is full of time for naps, I am sure!

I am ready to let y’all in on a little secret about how to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and overall, sleep better. Exercise. Really, it can be that simple!

Exercise helps the release of chemicals in your body such as serotonin, and dopamine which are some of your “feel good” chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in your sleep cycle. This chemical helps to influence your mood, and high levels can assist in decreasing anxiety and stress. One way to elevate this is through consistent exercise! Aside from directly helping you sleep, it also is a destressor which allows you to wind down after a long day and get to sleep quicker, rather than lying awake thinking about everything!

Dopamine is another chemical that is released during exercise. People commonly refer to this chemical as the one that makes you happy. Again, increased levels of dopamine help to decrease stress, and give you the feeling of a “runners high”.

Even though this is an article relating to how exercise affects sleep, it is still important to know that one of the first changes you will notice, when you begin exercising is having more energy! Exercise does make you tired, and will help wear you out to sleep better at night, but when in a regular exercise routine, those people have more energy throughout the day, and have an easier time getting up and out of bed in the morning!

Sleep is important in your day to day life, and is especially important when in a regular exercise routine. The time that your body is asleep, is the time that your body uses to recover! This can often be overlooked, when we are a society driven by success, and we don’t typically give ourselves 6-8 hours a night for quality sleep. A suggestion I usually make is set an alarm when it is time for you to go to bed, and stick to it!

There are so many various benefits to sleep, and we need to unlock ways to get more rest, maybe, as it turns out, we have had the answer right in front of us the whole time. So next time someone tells you they go to bed at 8:30, you should follow their lead!