10-20-30…Will It Make A Difference In Your Fitness?


I ran across this article on a study completed in Denmark, regarding interval training and sticking with an interval program for the long term. Unless you are getting ready to run a marathon or some other fitness accomplishment, most of us do not think about pushing ourselves to an intense limit.

This study showed if you can incorporate an interval training in place of one of your sessions a week, there are major benefits to be experienced. The best part is holding that intensity for short bouts of time, meaning 10 seconds (not 4 minutes, as many interval workouts are structured) at a time! That’s it!

The study definitely sparked my interest in gaining better fitness from just 10 seconds at a time.

What are the benefits?

According to the article, improved health, lower blood pressure and perhaps, logging faster times when jogging, et al.

How do you do it? (excerpt from the article)

Warm up with an easy jog (or pedaling or rowing), then ease into the intervals. The 30-second portion should feel relaxed; the next 20 seconds moderately hard; and the final 10 seconds a full gallop. “The aim is to cover as much distance as possible in those 10 seconds.” 

Do five of the 10-20-30 intervals in a row without pause, then rest for two minutes by standing or very slowly walking about. Repeat the five consecutive intervals one more time, cool down, and you are done. The whole session, minus warm-up and cool-down, will have lasted 12 minutes.

If you are already in fine shape, add another set of the five uninterrupted intervals.

Rest the next day, he said, or very lightly exercise; don’t do two of the intense interval sessions in a row.

Interested in learning more? Please feel free to email me and find out how I can help you with your fitness needs.

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From Couch Potato to The Treadmill : 5 Tips On How To Start


Many of us have busy schedules, whether you’re a professional trying to accomplish all your errands and tasks after 5 p.m. or on your weekends, or you’re a stay at home parent, running around taking care of everyone else and what they need.

Often, it’s easy to look at that couch as a respite from the duties of the day…an escape. But is it really? Especially if the voice in your head inspires guilt rather than relaxation?

How can you find the energy in an already busy schedule with very little free time to get moving and commit to exercising a few times a week? It all starts in our heads, when we put ourselves into the position mentally, the body will have no choice but to follow.

Here are a few tips:

1. Ask yourself, if you think exercise is truly important?

If you’re not convinced, then it is an uphill battle. Create a vision for convincing yourself that it is what you want to do. See the positive results, from short to long term, which come from exercising in your vision.

2. Figure out what you like to do.

Some of us want to go inside a gym, get on a treadmill and read a magazine, others of us want to experience the outdoors or have some chest days or other workouts. Get to know what it is that resonates with you and fit this into your vision, see yourself happy, calm and really spending that time with yourself…for yourself.

3. See yourself, if you decide to not exercise.

What will happen, if you continue to not exercise? How will you feel about yourself? How will your clothes fit? If you take a vacation, will you be wearing that swimsuit, and if you do, how will you feel it in if you don’t exercise? This is all meant to really give you an idea of what it’s like to have positive results in your mind’s eye versus the reality of what will happen if you keep avoiding movement.

4. Recognize your timing.

Are you more apt to stick with a routine when you roll out of bed or is it easier to go for your work out when you leave the office? (Or perhaps, you have a gym in your office building and lunch time works best for you?). Ask yourself what you would be doing in that time period if you were not exercising? Sitting on the couch? Watching TV? Eating because you’re bored? And look at how you actually feel in doing something different at that time–breaking the routine of not moving your body, make sure you don’t feel like you’re missing something at that time of day–otherwise you’ll feel deprived.

5. See yourself as a participant in life rather than allowing it to pass you by.

By increasing your physical abilities, what will it allow you to do? If you have more stamina, perhaps you’ll be spending more time on the dance floor, or going for a longer swim with your kids, or having the wherewithal to instead of being dragged through the amusement park, you’ll be taking them by the hands as you glide through the crowds without feeling worn out.

For more information on changing your mindset, please check out the article: Get Psyched For Fitness by psychologist James Prochaska.

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How to Keep Lactic Acid From Holding You Back!


Most of us at one point or another have experienced muscle ache, burning, rapid breathing, nausea, and stomach pain during exercise, caused by lactic acid build up.

Our bodies utilize oxygen to break down glucose for energy during a workout; we begin to breathe faster as we attempt to get more oxygen to our working muscles. Sometimes there’s not enough oxygen available to complete the process, which results in a substance called lactate being created in our muscles. Our body can convert this lactate to energy without using oxygen, but the painful part is if the buildup happens faster than we can burn it off.

This means our body is trying to slam on the brakes, in essence, telling us to stop what we are doing; thankfully, it’s a temporary condition. There’s too much acid built up in our bloodstream, which causes the muscle fatigue and other physical discomfort during a workout.

Our bodies are intelligent machines and it’s the natural defense for the body to prevent permanent damage by slowing down the vital structures needed to preserve muscle contraction.

Once our bodies slow down, oxygen is more readily available, allowing continued aerobic metabolism and energy for the body to recover from the exercise we are doing.

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If we want to go the extra mile to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the buildup of lactic acid, we can manage it through diet too. Increasing our intake of magnesium, foods rich in fatty acids, and high in vitamin B, are extremely helpful to our bodies in processing lactic acid. If we really want to help we can take baking soda, because it is an alkaline substance, it helps to neutralize the lactic acid that may build up in the muscles.



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The Importance Of Electrolytes


Electrolytes are essential to physical activity. During intense exercise they begin to shift in the body; dehydration is about electrolyte loss, not just water loss.

What are electrolytes?  They are minerals, which break into small, electrically-charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water. They regulate bodily fluids and are found in our blood and cells.

How much do they matter in physical performance?

They matter quite a bit.

Electrolytes are critical for any kind of performance. We should be just as concerned about replenishing them as we are with replacing any lost fluid. If we eat a balanced diet we’re probably consuming adequate quantities of electrolytes for normal human function.

But if we are working out….

The balance begins to shift, by increasing the concentration of electrolytes in the body and then, over time, depleting them. We can actually witness improvement in our immediate performance with replenishing our electrolytes when working out. Physical function may hang in the balance if electrolyte levels remain low after a workout.


Our bodies lose electrolytes through sweat, which can result in an imbalance. This may bring on symptoms such as; muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and mental confusion. If these levels stay low, it can effect our next workout and possibly cause longer term health issues.

 Key electrolytes:

  • Sodium and Chloride – help “excite” nerves and muscles
  • Calcium – aids muscle contraction
  • Magnesium – aids healthy cell function
  • Potassium – helps regulate pH balance
  • Phosphate – helps regulate pH balance

During workout sessions lasting at least an hour, the plan for electrolyte replacement will depend on the following:

  1. Keeping in mind, men tend to sweat more than women, so the amount of electrolyte replacement will depend on our size and how much we sweat. Do you sweat a lot when working out?
  2. Are you working out in warmer weather? (Excess water without electrolytes in heat, actually washes electrolytes out of the body, increasing the risk of dehydration.) Also–individuals who are salty sweaters, which is indicated by skin and clothing covered in salt residue during and/or after exercise, should eat a salty snack or drink a sports drink instead of water for pre-exercise hydration–especially in higher temperatures and humidity.
  3. The length of our workout. Endurance athletes would need the most fluid with electrolyte replacement, as we lose more water than some electrolytes when sweating (where we lose more sodium and chloride), so we need to be preemptive in replacing them before we hit the wall. How long do you work out? More than an hour?A general rule of thumb is to never begin a workout session thirsty or dehydrated. Start electrolyte replacement at the beginning of your workout.

How to best ingest electrolytes?

Besides looking at our diets and seeing foods, which contain the above key electrolytes, there are several quick and easy items we can grab to have with us during and after our workout.

  • Sports Drinks
  • Milk (chocolate milk is best)
  • Coconut water
  • Emergence C
  • Energy gels
  • Dill pickles
  • Tomato Juice
  • Table Salt
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Potato with skin
  • Greens
  • Mixed nuts
  • Baked potato chips
  • Pretzels

Electrolytes are important to our physical health, especially with an active lifestyle and warmer temperatures of summer coming up!

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5 Benefits of Pilates


Ever looked in a Pilates studio and scratched your head, wondering what all those strange-looking contraptions do?

Many people who engage in Pilates as a form of fitness spend time working out on those machines and also practice regimes on their mats. They both offer the same benefits.

The main thrust of Pilates is the building of core strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone. Choosing whether to do you resistance workout on the machine called a “reformer” or on the mat is really just a matter of preference.

Although, many experts agree that beginners should start with mat Pilates classes, because of its attention on learning how to control your muscles during exercises. The work of Pilates is very specific and if you were to start on a Reformer, there may be muscle confusion, leading to over-taxing or under-working certain muscles.

Most people should give Pilates a try, as part of their overall workout program. Pilates is a full body workout. In taking just one mat pilates class a week for a few months, most students receive the following benefits:

1. Improved strength: Building toned muscles creates strength to work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole. As a result of the sequences using several repetitions, your body is learning to endure exercise for longer periods each time, which improves stamina and strength.

2. Well-toned muscles: Pilates gives the appearance of long lean muscles. Traditional workouts with weights tend to build short, bulky muscles. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility.

3. More agility and flexibility: Although, yoga is known for being the optimum way to improve flexibility, for some people–Pilates is more effective. It places attention on movements while stretching. Your muscles are warm as you stretch, allowing you to stretch farther with less pain.

4. Improved posture: Any ache you have from your head down your spine can occur from bad posture. Pilates improves posture, by getting muscles into alignment, so they are not straining to hold your body up, instead it allows muscles to work effectively without creating strain on one muscle group over another.

5. Strong core: This focuses on the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. In Pilates, control of this area is achieved by incorporating the pelvis, trunk and shoulder band.

If you are interested in trying Pilates out, please contact us for our classes or private Pilates instruction. Carina AT profitnessnetwork.com

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How Do You Choose A Fitness Training Program?


Many people choose training programs by default.

They sign up for the gym, because that’s what they’ve been told will help them manage their weight, or help them to feel better physically. After a few weeks, they’re bored, or just plain dread going there a few times a week, so they make excuses and stop showing up.

The key to choosing what you want to do in caring for your body is to understand what you need before committing to something, that just doesn’t suit you.

If you actually love what you do for fitness, it doesn’t become a burden or something you just do to burn calories. It becomes part of your life and lifestyle.

How do you get clear on what would work for you?

Here are a few ways to set you in the right direction:

The first items to explore are what your goal is in having a fitness routine?

Is it to lose weight, gain strength, flexibility, have aerobic fitness, build muscles, eat what you want or something else? Write down what your reasons are for wanting a workout program. Be clear about your ongoing and ultimate goal. Separate the goal from all the fears around you not being able to sustain your choice in programs.

Once you have the goal in mind…

The second item is to look at how this would be best accomplished.

Look in and out of the gym for activities, and write down all the options available to achieve your goal.

The third item is to ask yourself how much time you want to give, what activities from this list sound fun, what type of environment suits your personality and how much structure you need to stick with the program?

This question is important, in being honest with your self-evaluation you will know your interests. There is no reason to do something you don’t like, there are so many options available that you are bound to find a routine that will feel good to you. When you choose exercise, which fits your lifestyle and seems fun to you, it is much easier to stick to and frankly, even if it is not a 90 minute Zumba class, it’s better than starting something and quitting after a few weeks.

Fourth on this list is to try the routine out.

Go do some of the activities that interest you, see how they feel. Do you enjoy the experience and could you do this often? Can it fit in your lifestyle? Really get clear on what you personally enjoy, for some of us we want an experience that would give us our ‘alone’ time and for others of us, we want to be part of a group or a class.

Figure out what feels right and start incorporating it into your life regularly. It is much easier to stay committed to something we enjoy and that gives us the benefit of working toward our goals. 




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