There is absolutely nothing worse than a cold and they always seem to hit at the most inopportune times. A proud, card carrying member of Germ-A- Phobes-R-Us, I shudder at the thought of all the different viruses and bacteria that resides on door handles, grocery carts, gym equipment and table tops.
The truth is, if we could actually see what lives on these surfaces we would never leave the house again.
Well, I wouldn’t, but since living inside of a bubble isn’t an option, we need a solid plan to boost our immune system to cut down your risk of getting sick. We also need some solid strategies to implement when you do inevitably end up sick. Luckily, the five steps listed below cover all bases.
There are a lot of different thoughts as to how staying hydrated can help prevent a cold or flu but at the most basic level, staying properly hydrated makes all things run effectively in your body. When you are hydrated, your body’s systems all run like they are designed to do including your immune system.
We believe that whether you are healthy as a horse or have a case of the sniffles, make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. An easy rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and that number should be the amount of water in ounces you should consume daily. If you are sick, hydrate using one of our favorite products, Organic Echinacea Plus Tea by Traditional Medicinals.
Wash your hands: This might be one of the most important strategies you can implement but depending on your personal habits, could be one of the most difficult to employ. Basically, wash your hands before you put anything in your mouth. This goes for food but for those of you who have habits that include chewing on your nails or putting ink pens in your mouth, you are upping the odds of getting sick…even if you wash your hands frequently.
Why? Because even though you may be washing your hands on a regular basis, those around you aren’t. Hence the reason I never open bathroom doors without a paper towel. Out of all the cold and flu prevention strategies we can suggest, washing your hands and staying aware of nervous habits like chewing on your nails or putting objects in your mouth will significantly reduce your risk of catching cold.
Stay away from sick people: This sounds simple but for the worksite warrior who refuses to take a sick day, all it takes is a few coughs in your cubicle and some germs on the office phone to relegate you to the couch. You may not always have complete control of your work environment if other cold/flu carriers share the love by bringing their sickies to the workplace but you do have control over where you go and who you hang out with outside of the office.
There seem to be two types of people in this world: Those who avoid sick people at all cost (me) and those who have the “you’re going to get sick anyway, so you might as well go” to that:
Sure, I have been called a germaphobe by family members who claim the latter (you’re going to get sick no matter what) and avoided family events but a strange thing seems to happen when I opt out of the hot zone of coughs and sneezes. Everyone there gets sick while I do not.
Stay away from people who are actively sick and if you are the carrier, especially if you have a fever, stay home. Everyone loves you but trust me, they don’t want that kind of love.
There are two supplements we highly recommend to our clients on top of using them ourselves to bolster our immune system. They are Designs for Health Probiotic Synergy Powder and Immunitone Plus.
Most people take probiotics to improve digestion but what many fail to realize is that our gut health has a major impact on our immune health. Problem is, most people’s probiotics are useless. Designs for Health Probiotic Synergy Powder is a high-powered probiotic that mixes easily into a protein shake or any cold beverage. The reason we recommend this product is because we know it is more effective than other products on the market. It is the only probiotic we know that comes shipped to you in cooler bags. This is incredibly important because in order for the healthy bacteria to stay alive, it must stay cool. If your product comes shipped on the back of a tractor trailer that is not climate controlled in the middle of July your product is most likely worthless.
Probiotics are a good option should you choose to include it in your supplementation regimen.
To purchase Designs for Health Probiotic Synergy Powder check it out in our sidebar.
Immunitone Plus is our go-to product when one of three things occurs:
1. We are run down
2. We are exposed to someone with the cold/flu
3. We actually have the cold/flu
So unlike a multi-vitamin, you wouldn’t use Immunitone Plus on a daily basis.
It is okay to be skeptical. We certainly were…until we used the product and saw for ourselves that this is a supplement you want to invest in. It helps boost your immune system and if you do catch a cold, helps aid your recovery.
To order Immunitone Plus check it out in our sidebar as well.
Last but not least, regular exercise will help bolster your immune system. When you exercise you increase circulation and blood flow. It is thought that these processes help bolster our immune systems. Anecdotally, I see the effects on immune system every day in the gym. While I have never conducted a double blind study, I see less colds/flu in people who exercise regularly than those who do not.
Is this a coincidence? We don’t think so. Lifting weights or taking a Zumba class won’t prevent a cold but for those who exercise regularly and have a high level of fitness, there seems to be a point where the person succumbs to colds less often.
Can exercise prevent a cold 100%? Of course not but there are studies that show exercise can reduce your risk of catching a cold and possibly the flu. Bottom line, exercise is good for you and it will give your immune system a boost.
Just remember that if you are sick, you should never exercise if you have fever or the cold has moved into your chest! At that point you are breaking yourself down; not building your immune system up!
Implement a few of these tips and you will reduce the likelihood of succumbing to the cold or flu. Use all five tips and prepare to kick the sickies to the curb! Will doing these things guarantee you will never get sick? Of course not but what we do know is that when you do the things that create optimal environments in your body for it to run the way it was meant to run, you reduce your risk of getting sick.
And if you do get sick, you should be able to use these tips to reduce the duration of your cold/flu.
So start implementing today….and if you are sick….please stay away from me!
Organic Echinacea Plus Tea
by Traditional Medicinals
Probiotic Synergy Powder
By Designs For Health
by Designs For Health
Get 20% off your first order with: FIRST20
If you work in health care or have friends and family in the industry, you have probably heard of a term called universal precautions. In short, it means that you treat every drop of blood or body fluid as if it contains that the nastiest of the nasty diseases known to man and encourages health care workers to use the appropriate safety precautions such as:
1. Latex gloves
3. Eye protection
4. Proper handwashing/hand hygiene
Is every drop of blood and body fluid a healthcare worker comes across infectious? Of course not but you cannot tell by looking what is infectious and what isn’t; by treating every situation like it could be infected body fluid, the theory is the worker will always utilize the appropriate safety precautions thus minimizing a health risk to that worker.
A few weeks ago I was scrolling on Facebook and came across a post on a client’s timeline that I found to be brilliant. It proposed adopting the mindset and habits of a person who has been diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease even if you don’t have heart disease or are diabetic. If your first thought is “Huh?” please bear with me for a moment.
For people who are diagnosed with diabetes or heart disease, there are certain exercise and nutrition habits that are recommended in order to manage the disease states. Things such as:
1. Regular exercise (aerobic and strength training)
2. Improved nutrition (less processed foods and more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins)
3. The utilization of stress management techniques
4. Encouraging activities that promote balanced wellness across the spectrum
As a personal trainer, these are the same themes we promote on a daily basis to our clients at Integrated Wellness Concepts. The only difference is the mindset of “pretending” to be diabetic. You see when we are “apparently healthy,” it is really easy to bag an exercise session when we don’t feel motivated or make poor food choices and give into cravings because in our minds, we are healthy.
Now, do people with heart disease and diabetes do the same? Sadly, there are many non-compliant individuals who still engage in poor habits despite a diagnosis, but there are also many people who go to great lengths to employ healthy habits to reduce the effects of diabetes or risk having a heart attack.
So if you don’t have diabetes or heart disease should you train like someone who has had a heart attack or diabetic complications? Of course not but you should train at a level, volume and intensity that is appropriate for your current fitness level, goals and interests. By the way, the same can be said for the magnitude of your nutrition changes as well.
The key to this concept is developing the mindset of pretending to have one of these diseases so you are less inclined to make poor food choices and sit on the couch. The team at Integrated Wellness Concepts are masters at helping you develop a program that meets your goals, interests and fitness level and can help coach and hold you accountable to accomplish great things in the coming year. Your goals are our goals and we would love the opportunity to work with you.
by Jeremy Koerber, ACSM exercise physiologist
I’m sorry. Did you click on this link thinking you were going to find a super-secret ninja-like tip that would allow you to lose all the weight
you wanted and more?
This isn’t a late-night infomercial that will show you before and after photos, along with folks in bikinis imploring you to buy their boxed set of workout DVDs for three easy installments. But since you’re here and still reading, I think we need to give you some knowledge bombs of awesomeness that will help you drop body fat, increase muscle tone and feel amazing in 2017.
There is no magic weight loss hack:
Almost without exception, when I consult with a new client (and even some longstanding clients) I’m asked two things.
1. What’s the best exercise to lose weight?
2. What foods should I eat to lose weight?
There isn’t a specific food (how many people are eating hot peppers to boost metabolism?) or one exercise (crunches) that will expedite fat loss or help you lose inches around your waist. This is a diet mentality — and it’s one that will sabotage you before you even begin your weight loss journey.
Repeat after me: There is no diet, only lifestyle choices!
Right now, you are a product of your environment and your habits or behaviors. Of course, it’s hard to fit exercise into your already over-
programmed life, and if you’ve never meal-prepped, jumping into the realm of healthy eating will be overwhelming. Start small.
The all-or- nothing mindset has derailed more lifestyle modifications than can be measured. In a perfect world, I would have you chose one — and only one — “thing” to work on beginning Jan. 1, 2017, but I know you’re an overachiever so I’m going to let you splurge. You can
select two lifestyle strategies.
Why only two?
1. You are a flawed, messy human. (Don’t worry, I am too, so don’t take that as a slight. It’s fact.)
2. Most research shows you have an 85 percent chance of making one strategy successful. Add two strategies and your success rate plummets to 33 percent. (That’s why slow-change strategies are so important.)
Our clients sometimes think we’re crazy when we suggest they implement a strategy like eating breakfast three days a week (when
they used to not eat breakfast at all). Most of the time, they look at us with a slightly puzzled look and reply, “But aren’t there seven days in a week?”
Right you are! But seeing as you haven’t been eating breakfast on any of those seven days, show us you can eat something worth 20 grams of protein, along with a piece of fruit, on three of those seven days! If you can be successful with that strategy, we’ll consider something crazy …like asking you to eat breakfast four out of the seven days.
The exercise question is even more of a quandary, because all notable sources say you should be getting 30-60 minutes of exercise three to five days a week. But there have been times I’ve started a new client with sessions as short as five minutes. Why? Because if they’re telling me they have no time, we have to discover together that making time and adding physical activity minutes as appropriate can and will work for them.
Your program isn’t only a set of processes. It’s a living, breathing plan that will need to be adjusted as you progress. Don’t box yourself in to only one strategy, but don’t overwhelm yourself in the beginning, either. Unlike walking into a salon and getting a new cut or color, I
promise you’ll look exactly the same after workout number one. Stop thinking with the diet mentality, and start focusing on the lifestyle
What does your system look like?
If you look at anyone who’s lost a significant amount of weight, runs marathons, looks amazing in a bikini or appears to dominate in the
gym, I promise you, they all have one thing in common that produces success. They have a personalized system of processes they implement — either daily or weekly.
Folks from the outside looking in use words like “will power” and “discipline,” but the root cause of success isn’t as much about those
things as it is about having definable action plans with tasks that are performed routinely (daily or weekly).
For example, Christy is a mother of three who has a few things going on, such as a full-time job, beating breast cancer and participating in fitness competitions — all in her spare time. While some of us see the exact systems and processes she’s created to get in the kind of shape she possesses, many may look at her and say, “Wow, she’s lucky to look like that.” I’m going let you in on a little secret: luck has absolutely nothing to do with her success.
1. She exercises with purpose. Never does she walk into the gym without a plan for that specific workout session. Whether cardio or weights, she knows what she’s going to do when she walks in the door. It’s simple, efficient and productive.
2. She “preps” her meals. On Sunday Christy cooks a lot chicken, beef, pork or other lean protein, and she makes five lunches and stacks them in the fridge. She doesn’t fret about lunch during the work week and is never forced to grab something from the cafeteria or vending machine. She simply grabs lunch as she walks out the door each morning on her
way to work.
3. She tracks things. I see her writing down important stats, thoughts and other miscellaneous notes in a small journal. I suspect it helps her measure her success — And if you can measure it, you can improve it. If it works in your department, I promise, it will work for you.
How do you develop a system as detailed as Christy’s process? First, you may never get to that stage. Christy’s goals are probably way
different than your goals, so clearly identifying your goal or “why” is numero uno. Second, pick a tiny strategy (for example, I’ll drink 20
ounces of water five days a week) and implement it. Third, continue doing that strategy until it’s second nature and then consider strategy number two. As you continue down this path, your plan will create itself.
Still overwhelmed? No worries. This Integrated Wellness Concepts Personal Training and Coaching was created to do! If you want to
develop a plan, but you are scared, have no time, are overwhelmed (or all of the above), this is what we do for a living.
Call us at 314-807- 8634.
Intended vs. realized result
How patient are you? I ask only because implementing two small lifestyle strategies most likely won’t do much to change the way you
look and feel in the beginning. This is about building the groundwork for a personalized program, developing base conditioning and building confidence. Once that happens, and the more strategies you can assimilate, you can assume you will see greater results.
Here’s the one thing I’ll guarantee: If you employ a series of positive lifestyle strategies and are consistent over a four- to eight-week
timeframe, you’ll get a positive result. What will that result be? I have absolutely no idea. Of course, the intended result is to lose body fat, increase muscle tone and feel better. Chances are, that’s going to happen — but at what rate? That depends on factors such as the
volume of exercise you perform, how/when/what you eat, age, gender, genetics, etc., but once you’ve deployed your strategies over a
definable period of time, you’ll be able to assess your actual or realized results.
If you got exactly what you wanted, then awesome. If you need to add more of something, cool. However, you also need to understand that if work, life and other commitments only allow you to exercise three days a week for 30 minutes, you probably won’t have the physique and fitness level of someone who works out 60 minutes five days a week.
Then you need to come to peace with that fact.
Doctors practice medicine. We practice fitness. This means we apply a dose of physical activity, along with a script for a nutrition strategy, and see how it works for you. If we need to increase the dose, we’ll consult with you and adjust accordingly.
The good news is you don’t have to do this alone. The exercise professionals and registered dietitians at Integrated Wellness Concepts
Personal Training and Coaching are here to help you modify your lifestyle and help you develop your personal process. If we can be of
assistance, we’re but a phone call away.
This is Nick Martin, the newest personal trainer and coach at Integrated Wellness Concepts and I would like to share with you my fitness story/journey of how I overcome obesity and took my life back!
Five years ago I lost 80-90 pounds. I didn’t have the intention of losing that much and didn’t set a goal weight (till later on); I just knew I was not taking care of myself and needed to do something before it got worse. I was about 240-250 pounds at only 5’8 in height with an extreme amount of belly fat. I was constantly teased about my weight, called names and had zero self-confidence/respect. I needed to
make a change and better myself.
I started heading to the gym, hitting the weights 5 days a week and doing cardio for a good 30-40 minutes 6 days a week. The major aspect I turned around was my nutrition. I was eating terrible, drinking alcohol and regular soda numerous nights a week. I made a decision to eat better/clean (chicken, rice, steak, fish, vegetables, whole wheat pasta, sweet potatoes, etc.) throughout the week.
Usually once a week I would have a cheat/treat meal of whatever I wanted to eat. I was losing weight and dropped 40 pounds with just diet and exercise. Then I started putting on muscle in the process! I set a goal weight of 190 pounds that I knew was attainable. I just had to keep working and focus on the finish. In 4-6 weeks, I reached my goal weight! It was an amazing feeling having numerous people congratulate me and ask for advice. I ended up losing another 20 pounds a couple months later.
During the experience, it taught me discipline, self-respect, confidence, competitiveness, and that if you do the work, you will accomplish your goal! So with that being said this experience helped me find my career choice. I recently graduated from Southeast Missouri State University (SEMO) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Management with an emphasis in Health Promotion’s and a minor in Nutrition. Along with personal training and providing nutrition counseling for people struggling with weight loss, I also plan to consult within the corporate wellness community. I want to help people accomplish the same barriers and fears I overcame. What sets me apart from a lot of personal trainers is the fact I have been in their shoes. I can look them in the eye and say “I’ve been there, you can do this, and I promise it gets easier. You just have to keep working.”
So this is my next chapter in my transformation; putting everything I’ve learned from school, self-discovery and my mentors and put it into action for my clients (while of course working on my overall fitness goals as well). When you’re passionate about your health and wellness, that’s what will get you over the hump. Knowing that I can help save lives and inspire others to get healthier while still enjoying life is my overall goal and I’m ready to make this dream come true!
Until next time!
-Trainer “Turbo” Nick
Would you like to schedule a session with Nick? Call 314-807- 8634 to get started today!
We received a comment in our last customer satisfaction survey that read:
Your trainers are too attractive. Please hire less attractive trainers.
Now, I will let you know this was a wonderful compliment that caused our team member’s self-esteem to soar through the roof, but even though I understood the meaning of the suggestion, I couldn’t help but wonder the true “why” behind the statement.
For someone who is unhappy with the way they look, walking into a fitness center is scary. Like really, really scary. It is something I address with each and every client I get to interact with who shares trepidation when exercising in front of people.
I have been told things such as:
I’m being watched
All these fit people make me feel bad about myself
I’ll come workout after I lose a little weight
I’m too fat to do those kinds of exercises
In a nutshell, making judgments about anyone no matter how fat, thin, muscular, tall, short or middle of the road isn’t going to help you find balanced wellness. Here are some concepts that may help you get passed your own insecurities and help you focus on ways to improve your personal health and wellness.
You don’t know their story
I can understand the trepidation of joining a fitness center only to be matched up with a trainer who could give Arnold Schwarzenegger a run for his money. After all, how could a man or woman who looks like that have any idea what I feel like or need? And in some cases, you might be correct. Especially if they give you an exercise program for a body builder. That is a red flag and you should run away as fast
as you can.
However, if that is not the case, please take these thoughts into consideration. First off, their goals are probably way different than your goals and secondly, if the trainer is worth their salt, they will produce an exercise prescription and plan that is perfect for your current fitness level, experience, readiness for change and personality.
I have trained clients next to a professional bikini model and it always hurts my heart when I hear snide remarks or comments that put her down. What many of these folks don’t know is that this model is one of the sweetest people you will ever meet on the planet. A trainer herself, she helps women build their self-esteem and has a great deal of compassion for women struggling with body weight and image. Especially women who have had kids. Many think she can’t relate until they realize she has three kids of her own (daughter and twin boys). That old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover? It goes both ways.
How full is your tire?
Your personal wellness can be thought of like a tire on your car. If you are under or over inflated, the tire will be out of balance and will not roll very well. Fill that tire with the proper air pressure and it will roll beautifully. I have known people with a very high level of physical fitness but a very poor level of overall wellness? Aren’t they one and the same? No.
I have seen relationships dissolve because one partner becomes so engulfed in their fitness, they ignored the other areas of wellness (relationship, environmental, financial, spiritual, occupational, intellectual, emotional).
One example that pulls on the old heart strings is watching a parent completely ignore her son during his baseball game because she was too busy posting about her fitness accomplishments on Facebook. This person is fit. One of the fittest people I have ever been around but I would have to question her level of wellness when social media and feeding the ego is more important than watching a six year old
play baseball. By the way, the kid notices mom isn’t paying attention.
Physical wellness, which includes fitness and nutrition, is very important, but so is finding balance in the other dimensions of wellness. One can never be perfectly balanced. Humans are flawed, messy creatures but so long as we have an awareness and the resources to work on these 8 dimensions, you will find yourself becoming happier with who and what you are.
You may not be the most fit person but if you can find ways to include exercise, clean eating, a date night with your partner, a means to tap into your spirituality, you develop (and follow) a budget and find ways to develop personally/professionally, your tire will roll quite nicely.
Ditching the negative thoughts
Which leads me to my final thought: How do you look in your swimsuit?
As many do, this story comes from the most reputable source for all knowledge known to mankind: Facebook.
In the story, a woman was at the swimming pool with her kids who were having a fantastic time. The woman however, was spending the afternoon staring at and resenting another woman across the pool who looked better in her swimsuit. Both of these women had children. After a few minutes of fixating on the body she doesn’t possess and the one the lady across the pool does, she realized the second mother was not focusing on others but playing in the pool with her young children. The first lady was spending her afternoon focusing on her body.
At that point she made a decision. She knew that with her job, raising two kids and her other responsibilities, she may not ever have a body like mom #2 but there was one thing she could do. Stop wasting time worrying about other people and start playing with her kids (who are getting older each and every day).
So for the rest of the summer, mom #1 put on her swimsuit; muffin top, stretch marks and all and went to the pool to have a good time with her kids. She did try to exercise a little more and eat a little healthier but she refused to let negative thoughts infiltrate her mind and as a result, her overall level of wellness rose.
Is this a true story? We’ll have to ask Mark Zuckerberg but regardless, I have seen these situations play out in real life. Work on ditching the negative thoughts that put you down. You are after all, your own best friend.
So in reading this are you ready to throw on your swimsuit and never be self-conscious or put yourself (or others) down again based on the way you look? No. Not by a longshot. Remember when I said we are messy, flawed humans? It will happen again I promise. Shoot, it happens to me from time to time and fitness is kind of like my job (some accuse of hanging out for a living).
Please understand that the road to wellness isn’t a destination. It is a journey. Concepts like what is written in the paragraphs above are resources for you to find your way. If the team at Integrated Wellness Concepts can be of assistance, we would be honored to help you on your way to better health and wellness.
Developing, implementing, sticking to and getting results from any fitness or fat loss program is a major undertaking for anyone. As a personal trainer who has helped numerous clients lose body fat, run 5K’s and half marathons, build muscle and balance their wellness, I can attest there is nothing fast or easy when it comes to producing results. Unfortunately for many, perception dictates expectations and too often, discourages them to the point they quit. Perceptions that they can’t do it, they are broken or don’t have the willpower to stick to a program. Of course, all of these perceptions are wrong but there is a way you can change your perception to fuel your motivation indefinitely.
First, let’s start with a few examples we are all familiar with to set the tone. For years, viewers have tuned in to weight loss reality show The Biggest Loser to watch morbidly obese people drop enormous amounts of weight by being put through the rigors of exercise and healthy eating by celebrity trainers. What I have experienced as a personal trainer from clients who watch the show is twofold:
1. The perception that weight loss is easy is perpetuated by watching contestants participate in a highly controlled and overly-produced television show.
2. Contestants on the show are held to very low-calorie diets and exercise for hours each day. Yes, I said hours; not minutes like the majority of exercisers do three to four times a week.
A recent study has shown that the majority of contestants on the show have regained as much as 80% of their weight within a few years of their appearance. That should be a pretty astounding fact because the perception the show gives is that these people have changed their lives forever and now eating healthy and exercising is super simple. Due to the magic of TV, fat loss results are their new norm. What we are seeing now is that the perception is not reality.
Another example that illustrates the point that perception isn’t always reality is network marketing. I am not bashing the concept of a home-based business but I am questioning the ease at which network marketers, especially the super successful ones, promote how fast you can make money selling supplements, cooking utensils, candles, smell good items, etc. We see pictures of vacations, working by the pool, attending sporting events and other attractive lifestyles that make us want to achieve the same. There is only one problem: If you find a person who is making a great living running a home-based business, rest assured they have worked their buttocks off to get there. They did not obtain their wealth lying by the pool, attending sporting events, taking lavish vacations or getting rid of their day job.
It took years of hard work, dedication and sacrifice yet the perception that sells is that sales are easy. Trust me. It isn’t. These folks work hard but the perception is that this lifestyle magically happens.
Recently, I worked with a young woman who since the beginning of 2016 has made exercise a major part of her life. The reason she came to IWC is because after two solid months of grueling workouts, she hadn’t seen the fat loss results she expected. Her perception was she was broken, a lost cause or somehow unable to lose body fat. Here are a few things we did for her:
We revamped her workout to include High Intensity Interval Training to help her boost metabolism and blast fat
We developed a strength routine that had purpose. Not just a bunch of exercises tossed together
We prescribed a cardiovascular routine that alternated moderate and higher intensity sessions
We broke down the data from her My Fitness Pal account to ensure she is eating the right amounts of protein, carbs and fat and getting enough calories on a daily basis
And after four more weeks, she still didn’t get the results that she expected. Her perception was she was a failure and she became frustrated. She couldn’t be more wrong. In less than a week she had received three unsolicited compliments about how much weight she had lost by three different people. Well, one suggested her booty was somewhat rocking but we’ll stick to the fat loss narrative. Still,
because the scale hadn’t moved, she was disappointed and her motivation plummeted.
In the six weeks we have worked with this young woman she has:
1. Increased her muscular strength and endurance (without experiencing an overuse injury or set back)
2. Boosted her cardiovascular fitness
3. Learned how to select foods that are lower in sugar, high in protein and clean
4. Built multiple tiny habits that have not uprooted her life or caused her to feel overwhelmed
What do you think would happen if she were to start looking at all of the things she has accomplished in 10 weeks and focus less on the things that haven’t happened yet? Would her perceptions about her success and self-worth change? Absolutely they would! In fact, that is my newest mantra for this client. I told her in no uncertain terms I want her to own the gym when she goes to exercise. I want a little
swagger and I want her to strut a little bit. When she makes a good food choice I want her to visualize those nutrients feeding the muscles and fat melting away. I am asking her to change her perception about herself and her situation to one where she focuses more on what she has accomplished and less on what she hasn’t.
At Integrated Wellness Concepts we have a simple saying: Change the mindset change the man (or woman). When you perceive things differently your mindset will change. Change your mindset and you will change your belief in your ability to wear that swimsuit with confidence, run that 5K or lower that pesky cholesterol number. Once you believe it, the gym no longer seems foreign. Eating healthy, clean food is no longer a punishment; it’s a welcomed blessing. All of sudden, you pay less attention to the scale and more attention to the lifestyle, for it is the lifestyle that will produce the result you seek. You will bust your butt to get results. There is no easy way out but it won’t matter. Change your perception and you will change your results. Or maybe a better way to state it would be change your perception and results will come.
How do you stay positive? Leave a comment below and let us know how you have changed your perceptions about exercise, nutrition and fat loss.
By Jeremy Koerber
Damn it Carl! Just when I thought about hiring the kid up the street to mow my lawn, Carl, my next door neighbor and client, went out and bought a lawn mower and began mowing his own yard. To set the context, Carl (not his real name) came to Integrated Wellness Concepts in June of 2015 with the goal to lose body fat and get in shape. A savvy business man who knows he can make more income in the hour it takes to mow his yard than it costs to have a lawn service knock it out, I was convinced this was the play I was to take in 2016.
I trained Carl and his good friend Phil multiple times over the next few months and each session was awesome. They left the gym covered in sweat with the butts sufficiently kicked but neither their body fat or waistlines were changing. You could tell the frustration was setting in and Carl was beginning to ask the question many of us ask:
“Why should I continue to bust my *ss when I am not getting any results?”
But it wasn’t that simple. As we dug deeper Carl was exercising hard (when he exercised), not getting great sleep and really hadn’t changed his nutrition. Instead of employing the 85% rule (eat clean 85% of the time) he was very sporadic in how and what he ate. And, there was the sitting. Like, a lot of sitting. Being in the insurance industry Carl sits a lot and that was one of the biggest reasons he wasn’t losing weight. He was kicking tail in the gym but that was all the movement he was getting.
This is a very common issue with clients we personal train and coach. They have great workouts in the gym but work extremely sedentary jobs and are not able to take advantage of a little something called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT. Essentially NEAT is everything we do that is not sleeping, eating or sports/exercise. It can entail fidgeting, long walks on the beach and yard work. Any
movement not in the planned activity category can be classified as NEAT and it can be the missing piece of your weight loss puzzle. Just get up and move!!
Carl and I sat down in February to go over his nutrition and as suspected, there were several improvements to be made. Carl made the changes and began to lose both weight and inches around his waistline.
Then it happened. As the temperature warmed and the grass greened up, you can imagine my surprise when I heard a lawnmower across the fence and saw Carl in command of a shiny new Toro mower. Soon after that sighting, Carl began to text that he had dropped a few pounds. Then came another text, then another and another. The extra movement in combination with the nutrition changes were the missing pieces of his weight loss puzzle.
Will fidgeting, parking remote, taking the stairs or mowing your yard (let me be clear that this entails using a push mower…that is not self-propelled; I know I’m a buzzkill) be the missing component? Hard to say but it falls into the category of “it won’t hurt and it might help”.
The bottom line is to focus on moving more and sitting less. The more you focus on moving, the more you will move and that equates to higher levels of fitness, better heart health, more calories burned and lower levels of body fat. Be like Carl and you too can be NEAT.
What do you do to get more movement in your daily life?
By: Jeremy Koerber
I struggle with balance. It isn’t something I am ashamed of because as I have written about for years, it is impossible to achieve total wellness. It isn’t like I am the type of personal trainer or wellness coach who stands over you smoking a cigarette while you do push-ups but I am human. The best we can hope for is to train our minds to both become aware of our wellness (and when it is getting out of whack) and to do the things in our lives that will help us stay balanced.
My biggest flaw is also what makes me good at what I do. I care deeply about the people I work with. This causes me to say “yes” when I should be taking that day off to re-charge, answering that text at 10pm or posting on social media when I should be focusing on family. I also get cases of the “what if’s” a little more frequently than I care to admit. Case in point, I was driving down the road this past
weekend and happened to go past our old condo; the one we lived in when we got married. At the time we couldn’t wait to get out and into the house we are living in now. It was exciting and new and something we probably should have held off on because we had a very low mortgage. That and they mowed the yard for us.
My mind tends to gravitate to the financial side of the wellness spectrum so in this moment I started pondering the possibilities of life had we stayed in that condo. Would we have it paid off by now and be debt free? Could I have saved and invested more putting us on a more solid path to retirement. Would that decision have an implication on the jobs my wife and I hold today?
Remember that wellness isn’t just about how many push-ups you can do or how many servings of fruit and vegetables you eat. It is multifaceted and covers many areas; Areas that a lot of people don’t know about or don’t take the time to work on.
Regarding the aforementioned financial freak out, the decision to sell the condo and buy a home is a done deal and has been for over a decade. No sense crying over spilled milk right? I also am the kind of person who believes we are in the place we need to be for a reason. Nothing happens by chance. If we had stayed in that condo we would not have met the people we now call friends that have impacted our children’s lives, our personal relationships and our businesses. Our stock portfolio might be slightly bigger but I would have missed out on so much more.
Just yesterday I was training a fairly new client. A client who has tried every diet, potion, gimmick and book to lose weight over the past 66 years she has walked the earth. 10 weeks ago I got the chance to work with her. As we have mentioned before, our style of personal training isn’t just to design weight loss programs and count reps. We want to help our clients find overall balance. This client has some
personal struggles with family. Struggles that undoubtedly have contributed to her weight gain over the years. She is also a Godly woman who knows her stuff when it comes to the spiritual side of wellness. Jesus is spoken about a lot in our sessions and the ability to link her faith to her fitness is something that has motivated her to keep going. She’s a deep thinker.
In between exercises we talk. We talk about nutrition, fat loss and recovery; all good personal trainer chit chat. We also talk about her struggles, her faith, her household “to do” list and what plans she has for the weekend. This is important stuff because these topics are what make up this client’s personal wellness; not an exercise or meal plan. And if she is going to find success on the scale, it will come
through developing more balance in her life.
She was having an especially tough time in this session. Not physically, but emotionally. The time has come for her to let go of a situation that she can no longer control and it is consuming her. I know how she feels because I do the exact same things in my life. As she spoke she talked about how intellectually she knew she had to trust in God and have faith that what will happen is not in her control. My lone interjection was the same philosophy I mentioned earlier: “We are in the position we are in at this very moment because we are supposed to be.” Or maybe a better phrase might be “We are in this moment right now because He needs us to be.”
As she was performing her hip lift I simply asked “Have you ever considered the concept that maybe you are here to help me?” She stopped mid-rep and just looked at me. I doubt paying clients have never pondered the implication of being a spiritual guide to their trainers. It should be the other way around right? Angels come in many sizes and shapes and the road one takes to find balance in their wellness is a two way street.
This client is 10 weeks into her program. I don’t know how much weight she has lost but I do know she has never lasted longer than four weeks with anything she has tried before. Her waistline is smaller and she bounced in last week to let me know she was able to zip up a skirt that hasn’t been zipped in many years. That makes me happy.
What this client has done for me in these last 10 weeks is to re-think what is important in this life. You need balance in all areas of wellness but when one area gets over inflated; your wellness wheel will be just as imbalanced as if it were flat. You won’t roll very well. I am grateful for the time we get to spend together and the conversations we have. It also begs the question, who is helping who? In the end, I don’t think it matters because at the end of our sessions, we both feel just a little bit better than when they began. That is what finding balance in your wellness is all about.
What do you do to find balance in your life? Please post a comment below.
At the beginning of my career I wasn’t unlike any other personal trainer who thought they would spend the majority of their work days training athletes and bikini models. Well, there have only been a handful of “athletes” in my repertoire and 18 years later I have yet to work with my first bikini model. I have made a career out of training regular people; many in the 55-85 age range. In the beginning, I was simply trying to help them fend off old age. Now that I am in my 4th decade and have experienced for myself the cruel jokes of Father Time, I now help both men and women of a certain age judo chop the traditional views of old age into submission.
The only thing certain in life is death and taxes right? Wrong. What we know with absolute certainty is that after the age of 30 you stop being able to build bone density. After 40 you will start to lose ½ pound of muscle per year (which slows metabolism and encourages weight gain). Around age 40-45 women will go through a wild hormone induced ride that will lead to fluffy arms and a rounder mid-
section. And based upon your numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose) if you ignore your doctor’s advice to take action you are looking at possible heart disease, diabetes and stroke. I have witnessed family members who have had all the opportunity in the world to take control of their health ignore their doctor’s warnings and then feel victimized by having to go on insulin or choke down a
regimen of pills morning, noon and night. If you fail to use it, you lose it.
And there was a time when I would train people in fear. Fear that if they exerted themselves they would…I don’t know…pop or something. What I have learned is that while you must take age and medical history into consideration, there are many baby boomers that can run circles around some of the 20 and 30 year olds in the gym. I have folks in their 60’s who can run further and faster than people half their age. They can do squats, push-ups and the mere thought of falling and not being able to get up doesn’t even cross their minds. I have now realized I was wrong; I have been training athletes all along. I just didn’t realize it.
The functional fitness trend is here to stay. We just need to embrace the concept that functional fitness isn’t just for the youngsters; when done the right way it will allow a person to do real life things because their training centers on activities to prepare them for real life. And it is okay to exert themselves. There is no rule that says after 50 you are regulated to the pink hand weights. Pick something up heavy and lift it!
I have had the pleasure of training a 95 year old who year after year won his age group in the Missouri Senior Games. He said it was by default because he was the only one competing (or alive to compete) to which I maintained that wasn’t his fault. He showed up. Then we had an 83 year old who was able to travel to Egypt, Italy, Vietnam and more. A 75 year old who hiked up a volcano in South America. And
now, a 70 year old who is hitting the golf ball further than she did at 60, a 64 year old who ran in a Zombie 5K and a 60 year old who climbed a mountain.
I have long maintained that what you do at 30 will directly affect your physical health at 60 and beyond, so for you youngsters reading this take action now. You may be able to do everything you want carrying that extra 50 pounds right now but I promise it will catch up with you. If you are further down the road (40’s and 50’s) we can develop a plan that will knock 10-15 years off your chronological age and give you back your physical freedom. In that 60+ category and feeling like there is no hope? Bring it on. If you are willing to put in the work, we can develop a personalized system that will allow you to do things you thought were long past you.
So why isn’t there any “how to” tips in this blog? Because this blog isn’t about the process; it’s about changing your mindset! Age happens. Sit too long and the fight to regain your health and freedom will be a little more challenging, but not impossible. In fact, I love seeing the smiles of those who felt there was no hope learn their belief was nothing more but a silly, silly myth.
I fully realize there are some who feel there is so much weight to lose that why bother. I know there are some who have heard every year for many years that their blood pressure is too high, they need to lose 30 pounds or their blood sugar is borderline; if that is you, I implore you to take action. If your doctor is telling you being put on medication is probable if you don’t make lifestyle changes please don’t be shocked or upset if you fail to make those changes and get put on medication. We also know there are some people who simply do not like to exercise. Believe me, there is a way for every person out there to move their wellness needle a little closer to healthy if they have the right program and the mindset; and it may or may not even include exercise.
Answer me this: Why in the world would you want to work 40+ hours a week till you are in your 60’s only to retire and be sick, weak, frail or disabled? Isn’t that the time when you should be out enjoying 40 years of hard work? Playing with grandkids, traveling and living life on your terms? To work that hard to swallow down a handful of pills and sit in a chair makes no sense.
You have the power to kick old age to the curb. All you have to do is decide when you want to begin.
I had an impromptu consultation last week with a client who has been training with us since October to discuss her results. I could tell she was uneasy about where she is in her training and was expecting more than she has seen through her training. So I started asking questions.
Have you lost any weight? No.
Have you cut out sugar like we talked about? No.
Are you going to cut out sugar? Yes. Since the beginning of January I have cut out sugar.
Have you weighed yourself since then? No.
Have you increased the time of your walking sessions since your last progression? No.
Are you still walking on your non-strength training days? Yes; 6 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes at night.
Are you stronger and have more stamina? Yes.
My reply to these questions was this: Then you are ready to lose weight.
For the record, this is a client who has tried everything to lose weight. Every diet, book and program known to man and she has had success in the past only to regain the weight plus more. The two things missing in every attempt was physical activity and a coach. This client also has a health history and list of surgeries that would make your head spin so when we say “baby steps” we mean it. Her walking sessions began at 2 minutes twice per day and her 30 minute training sessions twice a week started with only eight sets. In that time she has progressed to longer walking sessions and more sets in her strength training sessions and has improved her base conditioning and balance.
The holidays are an impossible time to lose weight and for this client, reversing 40 years of bad choices isn’t as simple as waiving a wand and PRESTO you are thin. Due to physical limitations, medications and her initial level of conditioning, the first three months of training was to get her to the point where we can start adding more concepts, exercises, volume and intensities. Something she wasn’t ready for
when she came to us in October.
If this approach still doesn’t make sense to you understand that we build muscle and lose weight from the inside out. It starts at the cellular level and any attempt to rush the process will result in serious muscle soreness or injury. This results in a negative outcome and most often that person quitting. For the client in the story above, it was paramount that she feel:
If any of these three components failed to make the grade she was gone. Therefore a workout volume that slowly conditioned her muscles without soreness or pain was a must. Explaining to her that 2 minutes on a treadmill is better than no minutes on a treadmill and that tiny increments are indeed a success (remember she has gone from 4 minutes a day to 11 minutes a day), and making the sessions enjoyable by providing a pleasant atmosphere where she wants to go is everything. Despite the fact the scale hasn’t moved, this client is ready to lose weight because she has conditioned her body to the level where she now can accept workouts with greater volumes and intensities. Her recovery is better but most importantly, so is her confidence.
Will your program start this slowly? That is a question we cannot answer. Each individual is wildly different but what we can say with 100% certainty is that the slow change process, while not as glamorous as the massive change programs being touted in multiple media outlets, works and has a track record of keeping weight off permanently.
If you are interested in how our training or coaching works, please call us at 314-807-8634 to discuss how we can assist you. Whether one-on-one, semi-private or online, we have programs, services and products that can help you improve your health and wellness for the long haul.
Jeremy Koerber, MA is the owner of Integrated Wellness Concepts. An ASCM certified Health Fitness Specialist with 17 years’ experience in the health and fitness industry, his philosophy is to create wellness