WESTFIELD, NJ — Tony Bianchino, owner of Westfield-based personal training and nutrition center Out Run Your Fork, has a lofty goal of educating Westfield about what it takes to be healthy,…
If You Feel Like You’ve Been Stuck For A While, Then Maybe It’s Time For A Very Simple Change.
There are lots of reasons why many of us are not quite at the level of fitness that we desire. Maybe we want to lose a few pounds around the midsection or maybe we want to tighten and tone our arms and legs. Whatever the goal is we need to keep in mind that weight management is 70% nutrition. Now, I am not discrediting exercise in the least. But as our name “Out Run Your Fork” suggests: if you exercise a lot and continue to miss step on your nutrition, then you’ll never get where you want to go. Exercise alone is not enough. You simply can’t Out Run Your Fork.
So let’s start by focusing what is in your control. If we think about it they’re only four things we can control:
- our thoughts
- our words
- our attitudes
- our actions
While there are many root causes as to why people don’t do what they’re supposed to do, we are going to leave the first three items for future articles. This article was going to focus on the final one of these: our actions.
I heard somebody say once, “It all starts with your hand.” He went on to explain that when you’re making a choice you could choose to reach for a healthy food or you can choose to reach for an unhealthy food. It’s what you reach for that’s going to determine what you put in your body. If you don’t put it in your hand, then you can’t eat it. Think about it for a minute. It’s so simple, so why is it so difficult? The answer is determined by one word: desire.
Desire: that which we fix in the foremost of our minds is what we focus on minute after minute, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. It creates a burning desire to reach that goal. But a burning desire without a plan of action will not yield results. Without a plan of action there will be no action. So, the first step is to create a goal and that an action plan on how to reach that goal. The next step is to simply move into action. The simplest action is to make better choices. The way you can make better choices is by reaching for foods that will move you closer to your goal and leaving the food alone that will prevent you from moving toward your goal. Is everyone with me so far? Good!
Let’s turn that desire into action:
- The next time you are given the choice of reaching for an apple or a muffin, choose the apple!
- When you know you’ve eaten your portion of food, don’t reach out for more!
- If given the choice of baked potato or french fries, duh!… (yes, go for the potato)!
Set friendly reminders. Write a note on your hand that says “It starts here.” Put a note on your debit card or wallet. On Your refrigerator door. On your water bottle. Anywhere you can see it prior to grabbing that piece of coffee cake and ramming it into your face. Keep healthy snacks nearby: an apple in the car or desk drawer at work. A small amount of nuts (look at the serving size!) in your purse. A protein shake in your gym bag. A low calorie protein bar in your briefcase. Sneak in healthier alternatives wherever and whenever you can. TIP: Just be sure to watch total calories!
STOP reaching for the Bad and START reaching for the Good!
Ok, imagine this: You’re in the pool playing volleyball with the kids in the pool club. You’re having a great time, the sun is out, the sky is clear blue and everyone is having a good time. It’s super hot outside, but you don’t feel it because the pool water is the perfect temperature. Ahhh, heaven!
You get to take the next serve set after winning the previous point. You’re winning and feeling a little more than confident. You smile as the ball comes at you again, but it starts falling a little shorter than you anticipated. You thrust off your back foot to lunge for it and *pop!* … You feel a pain in your groin. It gets worse but you keep playing. You finish your gamed think it just needs a little rest so you lounge out the rest of the day. The day passes and as the sun begins to go down the pool starts getting ready to close up. You get up to gather all your loose belongings and *ouch!* … your groin hurts. Really bad. Holy chips. What’s going on? This is more serious that you thought…
Injuries happen to all of us and if left untreated can hang around for a looooong time. But what if there were a way to help prevent these types of injuries? Well, the good news is: There is! Mobility training combines stretching and functional movements to keep muscles loose and to identify fix deficiencies. See this example of mobility training using a sledgehammer.which is kind of fun.
Why Mobility Training? When we are born we have full mobility: flexible joints, full range of motion, no impingement or tightness. But as we age we slowly lose our pliability. Now, I’m not talking about aging as a 40, 50, 60-year-old person and up. I’m talking about 5 years old, 10 years, 15 years and further.
So many things happen over time that cause us to lose mobility. Small injuries and mis-steps cause up scar tissue to build up and may have caused you to walk differently or move differently, favoring one side over the injured side. The effect is we never we train ourselves to move quite the same again. Our bodies are amazing mechanisms that constantly compensate for various deficiencies.
But trauma isn’t the only way to lose mobility. Repetitive movements can cause elongation in one muscle and tightness in the opposing muscle. The two most prominent examples for all of us are:
Repetitive strain injuries of the wrist, fingers and hands as a result of typing, texting, and similar repetitive movements. Typing type of motions use the “flexors” of the fingers, hand, and wrist. More than 95% of us don’t take the time to work the “extensor” muscles. These are the muscles that open the fingers, hands, and draw the wrist backward. Overtime the extensor muscles get weaker and the flexor muscles get stronger. This causes constant tightness in the forearms, elbow, hands, fingers and wrists.
In order to “fix “this in balance it is recommended for different types of massage, rolling, and strengthening of the extensor muscles. A quick and easy way to exercise the extensors is to wrap a rubber band around The fingers and Open your hand and spread out your fingers as far as you can. Do this repeatedly and I guarantee you will feel the burn. Those little guys really good worked and they’ll be protesting at first.
A second example is the computer and electronics usage syndrome. Slight rounding of the shoulders forward slight pitching forward of the head. The chest muscles and shoulder muscles get very tight from the slouching we do over our electronic devices and computer keyboards. At the same time The upper back and neck muscles get very weak from not holding your posture correctly.
So how do we fix these issues? In part, mobility training. Here a few example of what you can do to increase flexibility and mobility in your hips. The movements below are mainly for hip mobility. They can be held for 10-30 seconds or you can slowly work through the range of motion for 10-30 reps.
Now, a word of caution: if you’re already suffering from an injury you should NOT engage in any physical activity program without consulting your doctor. You might make it worse by further injuring the body part or you might be further weakening a deficient part of your body that might seem unrelated… but it is really the root cause of the problem.
I’ll explain more in my next article and include pics and videos to demonstrate various mobility training movements.
Leave a comment below to let me know which body parts you’d like to see me address first.
Until Next time…
“The most important thing that Tony did for me was (be) my cheerleader. He encouraged me every step of the way and if I slipped up …he was there to get me back on the wagon in a positive way. When I first started was in the worst shape of my life. I had never enjoyed exercising…Tony ‘got the ball rolling’ and I am currently in the best shape of my life. I love keeping myself healthy and I’m a much happier person now. Thanks Tony!”
When I first started working out with Tony I had turned 30 and was in the worst shape of my life. I had never really enjoyed exercising before and did not understand anything about nutrition. When I was younger I had tried several fad diets and running but none of it worked because I did not enjoy it and I did not know what I was doing. I was determined to not turn another year older and be even more out of shape. When I talked with Tony he helped me figure out my goals and gave me easily understandable facts about what I should eat. Together we worked on various types of exercises which included a lot of strength building. I found that I actually really enjoy exercising but I had never known that since I never tried anything other than running.
The most important thing that Tony did for me was encourage me every step of the way. There were some days I was not able to perform as well as I had the previous week. Instead of letting me get discouraged, Tony was my cheerleader and the next time I came to see him I was able to do better. If I slipped up on my nutrition he was there to get me back on the wagon in a positive way. He was always able to find some progress for me to be happy with even on days where I was not the best I could be. These little victories encouraged me to come in to the gym on days where I did not have a session with Tony and work out on my own. Tony also gave me plenty of information about proper form so that I was able to successfully work out without injury and increase my progress.
It was a sad day for me when Tony told me he would no longer be working at the same gym where I was a member. However, he had helped me so much that I still continue to go to my local gym. I am currently in the best shape of my life and I work to ensure that I keep improving myself. Tony is the person who really “got the ball rolling” for me so to speak. My only regret is not starting ten years ago! I love keeping myself healthy and I’m a much happier person now. Thanks Tony!
It’s been great forging a friendship with you and even better to know I’ve had such a positive impact on you! All the best, Caroline!
… like most people, it seemed that the fitness gains I sought always seemed just over the next hill …
“I have been active my entire life, including playing competitive sports and spending ample time in the gym. But, like most people, it seemed that the fitness gains I sought always seemed just over the next hill to be climbed. And I always seemed to have a little more body fat than I wanted despite all the “work”. At the half-century mark I decided to change my focus and really attempt to change my body’s muscle/fat composition.
After losing nearly 25 lbs over the course of a year, I was looking to add lean muscle weight by focusing on lifting heavier than I had previously done. Tony was instrumental in this. He helped me focus on the right things inside , as well as outside, the gym, and showed me how one supports the other.
Working with Tony for a few months showed me which exercises were the most important for delivering strength gains, and what type of diet was critical in fueling those gains. Now, my workouts and diet work for me and support my fitness and health goals. Tony helped me take it to the next level.
What’s YOUR Story?
Happy New Year! How many of us resolve to lose weight this new year?… Again. Me too. What separates those who succeed from those who don’t. The answer is not a huge amount of effort, a strict diet with chicken and steamed broccoli or even doing an hour or two of cardio every day.
The answer is weight training or resistance training. Resistance training increases your resting metabolism so you could burn more calories (think body fat) at rest. Research shows that 30 minutes of resistance training 3 days per week can have a profound effect on a weight-loss program. Resistance training can be done at home for any of us who do not wish to go to a gym. Personally I prefer going to the gym for my workouts because it ensures that I’m there to do a job and I get the workout done. But the truth is many people are intimidated by Jim’s or are not yet ready to make a commitment to join a gym. Don’t forget to drink water to stay hydrated. More on that here.
Walk don’t run: Three days a week of resistance training and 3 to 4 days of cardiovascular training perform consistently week after week over the course of time can change anybody. If you’re new to working out was almost to walk one quarter of a mile three times over the next two weeks. After those two weeks resolve to walk a quarter-mile three days in one week. That will be enough to start getting you feeling better and begin to increase your energy levels on the day you do walk. The motivation would be to walk so you could have more energy because it makes you feel good.
Our next entry will focus more on phase 2. If this is working for you drop us a note or a comment as a form of encouragement to our readers.