Spice It Up!

In my Arthritis Aquatics class this afternoon, I spiced it up but changing the starting side. We all had a good laugh when I started to confuse my left and right to theirs. If you feel you are in a boring pattern with your workouts, then spice it up. Try a new class, a new bike or running route, or a new sport. I will run some of my loops in a different direction to change the scenery or go run on trails. My running and biking friends, we will change our loop in the middle to check some roads. You will be surprise how much fun you will add to your workouts and how your body responds positive. Next workout Spice It Up!

Hitting the Wall

This past weekend I hit the wall from pure exhaustion. You all have heard “hit the wall” with marathons but you can have the same feeling without running a marathon. As we all try to be super humans, working out 6 days a week, work long hours can make you exhausted. When you hit the wall, your body is telling you it is time to take a real rest. One day doing nothing can rejuvenate the muscles and energy that will give you a spring in your step and workouts.

Another way to tell you are exhausted is with your resting heart rate. When your resting heart rate is elevated, 10+ points from your baseline, this is sign that you are: over training; totally exhausted; getting or will be injured.

When your body says stop, then it is time to stop to rest. Your body will appreciate it.

My clients say the funniest things during their appointments. John always has funny names for exercises, here a couple from last week:

  • Exercise: Side Raise on 1 leg, John’s name: Big Bird
  • Exercise: 1 leg Deadlift, John’s name: Sipping Bird

Running 101

This Tuesday, I started the Couch Potato to 5K Hero for the 10th year. Most ask, what should wear but never the running shoe. When they do ask about running shoe, they ask what I wear. My answer is there are so many running shoe companies that work for all types of feet. I always say go to a running shoe store that does a full analysis which will fit you to your proper running shoe. Go end of the day when feet have swell up as it does when you are running. Ask ½ to full size bigger than your shoes. Running shoes can run smaller than regular shoes. When your feet swell up during the run, you don’t want them to be cramp. We are lucky to have the Greater Boston Running Company in our area, which do a complete foot analysis.

Next, find a local coach that runs Couch Potato to 5K program in your area. It is a safe, fun way to get into running. Running with a group is fun and motivating to keep you going to achieve your goal.

Happy Running!

Insulin Resistance Part 2 – Sugar

Today, everybody is talking about sugar after watching 60 Minutes program last night. In short, the program says “new research finds sugar is toxic for our health”. I wish I saw the program but what I read online I totally agree. You be surprise what you find in processed foods as you read the food ingredients. Here is a list of those ingredients that you should avoid in your daily diet: sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil, enriched flour, and bleached flour. Surprise with enriched flour! Dr Roizen explains it the best: “[Enriched] means they took all the good stuff out and put a little back.”

What are good sugars? Go for natural: Stevia/Truvia, Honey and Agave.  When baking, I use honey and agave which works well with rising of breads and other bake goods. Some people use unsweetened applesauce when baking but needs to be used with other sweeteners listed above. Some use maple syrup in their baking. Stevia is good in coffee or tea. Fruit is fructose which is not the bad sugar.

Today, consumers have to be smart when shopping food. Next time when you grocery shop read the ingredients first before the food label; you will be surprise what goes into making your foods. When you start avoiding process foods including soda, going for whole foods your body will respond in positive ways including weight loss. Use spices and herbs to add flavors to your food. This is part of your lifestyle, which includes exercise that creates a healthy body and longer life.

Insulin Resistance

Beth in my Running Boot camp talked about her “muffin top” which the doctor said she has Insulin Resistance. Then she asked what Insulin Resistance is. Dr. Christine Northrup explains this as “Excess blood sugar over long periods of time eventually leads to insulin resistance. Insulin is produced in the pancreas and it is responsible for ferrying glucose from the bloodstream into our cells, where it is used for fuel.” Consuming refined sugars such as cookies, white bread creates the surge of the blood sugars. Over time these surges of high blood sugars is stored as fat which results in belly fat. When there is a lot belly fat there is an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Changing your diet to complex carbohydrates, good protein, low good fats, and exercise including cardio and resistance can reduce your risk and reverse it. This is not easy but it is a lifestyle change. I have clients who have workout did this gone off blood pressure medication and reduced their risk of diabetes. Think this as an investment to health living longer.

Photos and Clinics

Hope everyone had a good weekend of training with the cool weather. Many of you are starting to taper for the Boston Marathon.

Added the photos of the Gear Up For Triathlon clinics and Indoor Triathlon Race #3. Check photos at: https://gearupforfitness.com/indoor-triathlon-photos/

Added the Upcoming Clinics page for 3 clinics starting in April. Go to this page to check out the running and triathlon clinics: https://gearupforfitness.com/upcoming-clinics/


Everyone deals with stress different ways. Some go for comfort foods, for me I go for exercise. I have the best workouts because I am pushing myself so hard to let it go of the stress. It is the most constructive way to reduce stress. This week has been stressful with work and family crisis. Yesterday, I ran 6 tempo hilly miles in my sanctuary (Maudslay State Park). Today, TRX, teach class in the pool then bike 15 miles. After these workouts I am so relaxed from all those endorphins that I work more efficient, in a better mood and have good night sleep.

Next time, time you are stressed think before you grab that candy bar. Go for walk, run, bike ride, swim, spin class or exercise, you will be in a better place with yourself and have great workout.

Couch Potato to 5K Hero

Spring is here and many of you thinking of start running.  I will be doing a Couch Potato to 5K Hero from Greater Boston Running Company in Newburyport, MA starting Tuesday April 3rd. Check out the registration form for more information and sign up to be inspire.


“When I made the final turn home about 200 meters from the finish line I felt a wave of emotion. I knew that it was going to happen. I was going to be on the team to London. This experience reminded me that you need to keep faith in yourself. Never count yourself out, you never know what you can do. Happy training! ” Kara Goucher

Hydration for your workouts

Yesterday’s long run was better than last Sunday though it was warm. Before I started my long run, I set rules for my hydration: drink a Fuel Belt bottle ever 30-40 minutes and Cliff block every 4 miles or 40 minutes. This made my run easier and finished strong as temperature climbed to 70 degrees when we finished.

Hydration is the key to all workouts. So many forget or think it is crazy to carry a water bottle. Drinking when you are thirsty is too late. As the warm weather is hitting New England early, hydration is more important. As Boston Marathon approaches use the long runs to work on your hydration recipe. Hydration rules for warm weather workouts:

  1. Starting drinking at water or sports drink before you start your workout.
  2. Runs over 45 minutes with temperatures 70 plus or other workouts over an hour use sports drink. Powerade is great which is in grocery stores.
  3. Drink early and often.

If you don’t like the sport drinks, water them down or use water with gels or chews. Gels have gluten but chews don’t. Good chews are Cliff Shot Bloks and GU Chomps. The important electrolytes that should be in your sports drinks, gels or chews are potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.  If you do all the hydration rules but get cramps in feet or calves with very long workouts add salt tablets or caps.

Crunch Time

This week has been tough to incorporate my workouts. When your schedule is so busy with work and family, don’t skip your workouts but make most of the time. Go for quality not quantity and prioritize.

If you are a swimmer with only 30-45 minutes: warm up for 300 yards; drills 300 yards (picking 2 key drills to work on your form, follow by 25 swim); main set – pyramid of endurance and speed 50/100/150/200/150/100/50 yards; cool down 100 yards. Total yardage is 1500 yards.

If you are a runner with 30 minutes: warm up for 1 mile; do 4-6 hill repeats (surging the hill and fast down the hill to create leg speed); cool down for 1 mile. The hill should be .25-3 mile long. Surging hills create strength and endurance. Let body fly down the hill create leg speed and turnover.

Strength workout: pushups, squats, row or lat pulldown, ab crunch. First set 12 reps, then each sequential set remove 1 rep until the last set is 1 rep.

Remember when you workout, you feel better, resolve problems and your family will love you more.

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