It's About Time

If you have ever spent more that 5 minutes with me, it is fairly obvious that I love fitness. I have learned so much (sometimes the hard way) in the 30 years that I have been teaching. What better way to share my passion than to start a blog and pass on the information that I share with clients on a day-to-day basis.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't Snore When It Comes to Core

Even though we know certain things to be true about the importance of core strength, it is nice to be reminded of why we should incorporate it in our training sessions. I promised my boot camp group that I would  do a lot of core on Friday and it got me excited and motivated to make sure I educate them on the many benefits that will come their way.  I like to empower clients with knowledge so they will feel confident about exercising.  Here is some core basics.
What is Core Strength?  Core strength is the balance of the strength of the abdominal muscles with the strength and support of the middle and lower back plus hip flexors  helping to ensure proper neutral alignment. It generally refers to the muscles of the lumbo-pelvic region, abs, hips and lower back.  The objectives of core strength are good posture, balance, stability and function.

  • Objective-Posture-To be able to stand, walk or sit with correct neutral position, with shoulders retracted, hips in neutral, abdominals contracted, and chin retracted. Muscles usually work as integrated groups.  Many work by providing opposing, directional, or contralateral pulls at joints to achieve alignment or movement.
  • Objective-Balance (Both Standing and muscle balance)-To be able to perform activities of daily living both standing and in motion using the strength of the back and abdominal region while maintaining a neutral position.  Balance is a foundational element of exercise.
  • Objective-Stability-To be able to safely position or move the body effectively without compromising proper muscular balance of the back and abdominal regions. To promote stability of the core you need to improve the reflexive function of the core muscles for control through the movement and motion and force of distal muscles.
  • Objective-Function-To be able to perform and improve doing all tasks safely and effectively while enhancing quality of life.
Lets not forget all of the benefits that come from core strength training.  Once you read this list, I'm sure you will be motivated to not to snore through your core workouts.
  • Improved body function
  • Improved body appearance
  • Increased abdominal strength
  • Increased back strength
  • Improved posture
  • Increased stability
  • Increased balance-Both standing and muscular balance
  • Increased confidence
  • Empowerment
  • Increased quality of life
I'll have all of the above.  

Abs after two major abdominal surgeries-No excuses- Good Job Marcus

Abs after three kids-Lookin' good Annette 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Testimonial-Chris Westover, Beaverton, Oregon

Chris' Boot Camp
I have come across many people who love fitness as much as I do.  I want to share with you how others inspire people to move and get healthy.  Chris Westover is one of those people.  I met Chris in one of my fitness classes.  She was one of those people that you loved to have in your classes because she always had a great attitude and would consistently come and work hard.  Now she shares her work ethic and passion with others through her boot camp classes.  This is what she had to say.
I really do love my boot camp girls. They are an amazing group of ladies who are very supportive of each other and me! I love them all. I can honestly say that I get up on boot camp mornings thinking..."I have the best job in the world!" These girls let me use them as guinea pigs before I started the camp and have stuck with me for almost a year now! A couple of my gals completed they're first half marathons this year!! I'm so proud of them! With summer here, some of the girls are bringing their kids to join in the fun. I love to see them sharing their love of fitness with the family. I could go on and on, but you know why I love what I do! We get to help people change their lives! How cool is that? There's nothing like seeing someone get stronger and watching their self esteem get a boost. 
Keep up the good works Chris.  You're amazing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Strength In Numbers

We all know that we should be incorporating exercise into our daily routine.  That is easier said than done  Sometimes we need help to get going.  It's time for you to get an exercise buddy or support group.  I'm not just talking about a group to sit and discuss exercise but one that will move with you.  I have always used groups as a way to keep me motivated.

  • Athletic Teams-I had teammates who competed and challenged me to work at a higher level.  When you see someone else pushing, it is hard to sit back and watch.  (Some may disagree and would love to just observe- For Shame.)  Your teammate can be a friend who knows how to push you to run a little farther or to do 5 more push ups when you don't want to.
  • Group Fitness-I had students who motivated me to be a good example.  I wanted to promote consistency and fun  We used each other's energy in the classroom to make the exercise environment bearable.  We built friendships and encouraged each other to come to class.
  • Running Groups-I loved my Saturday running crew in Oregon.  Anyone was invited.  Varied routes, distances and social issues kept us entertained.  Fun conversation is always a good distraction on a long, hard run.
  • Adventure Fitness-Annette and I put this group together to motivate our clients to try different activities and different settings every time we met for our workout.  Changing up your routine can help reinvigorate you to get out and work.
  • Boot Camp-This year I have ladies in the neighborhood meeting at the local park to get both their cardiovascular and strength training in.  It is proven that women adhere to an exercise program more when they have a good social support system.  We giggle, work and get a little sassy (You know who you are and I love it.) as we get fit.
Exercising in groups is the way to go.  Your group can support, encourage, and inspire you towards a healthier lifestyle.  A fitness buddy can commiserate with you, spot you, hold your hand, hold you accountable, whine and sass with you but when you do it together, it makes it just a little easier.

Adventure Fitness on outdoor basketball court
Boot Camp at the playground

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Burn Calories Cleaning

You are probably thinking I am a little crazy.  I just promoted June as the "Great Outdoors Month."  Why would I encourage you to stay inside and clean?  Well,  as much as I would like to stay outside all day, there is cleaning to be done.  Uggggg.  It is bad enough to have to clean your own house but cleaning after a bunch of college boys is not glamorous in the least. The next thing you are thinking is, "Why is she cleaning her 22-year-old son's apartment?"  We had some friends ask us if their son could stay here in Utah while he attended a basketball camp.  We volunteered our son and his apartment because it seemed like it made perfect sense for the visitor to stay right by campus.  That rational came into question when we dropped by to visit Marcus.  OH MY!  I secretly convinced myself that my son was too busy with practice and school work to maintain his apartment.  (Do you believe that one?)  It wasn't that bad.  They pick up their garbage.  It is just a struggle to take it out.  There were 5 full garbage sacks tucked behind the couch.  Hmmmmm.   I didn't think the kitchen was too bad.   There were hardly any dirty dishes.  I asked Marcus where all the dishes were and he signaled me down the hall.  In his roommate's bedroom there were several boxes.  Marcus opened one and ABRACADABRA-there appeared all the dirty dishes.  His roomies thought that if they hid all the dirty dishes they might pass the cleaning inspection.  They thought wrong.  I saw their cleaning report card in the kitchen.  All "F's"   Ugggggggg again.

This is one of the boxes of dirty dishes

Where does fitness come in?  I seriously got my workout in cleaning that apartment.  I wanted to let you know that you can burn some serious calories when you tidy up.  Check out the chart below to see your calorie burning potential.  You can also use calories calculators found online to help calculate how busy you have been.  I will share a link to a calculator  but there are many out there.

These statistics from are for a 150-pound, 35-year-old woman doing 30 solid minutes of everyday chores around the house. Plus, to help you burn even more calories, here are a few other activities to give you a really beneficial in-home workout.

Type of housework
METs (metabolic equivalent total)
Calories burned per half-hour
Add light calesthenics (119 cal.)
Add disco dancing (153 cal.)
Add jogging in place (272 cal.)
Doing laundry
Making the bed
Washing the dishes
Scrubbing the floors
Rearranging furniture
Yard work
Washing windows
Washing the car
Mowing the lawn
Shoveling snow
Carrying a small child (up to 15 lbs.) up and down stairs

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June-Great Outdoors Month

Erickson Family on a hike-Photo by CSS Photography

Different months can be recognized by a presidential proclamation.  June has been designated as “The Great Outdoors Month."  I thought I would share pictures of friends and families taking advantage of the sun and all the beautiful scenery that surrounds us.  
Waterslide Fun-CSS Photography
Marcus on Utah Lake
Mitch in Everglade mudhole

Pool Fun

Kati and Logi taking advantage of the Great Outdoors-More Than Words Photography

Friday, June 17, 2011

YUM-Healthy Recipe

Proper nutrition plays a big part in our health plan.  While checking out one of my favorite cooking sites I came across this recipe.  It is loaded with nutrient rich ingredients.  The two main ones in this recipe are Quinoa and Edamame beans.  You are probably asking Quin-what? and Ede-who?  It hasn't been until the past few years that I have really tried to incorporate them more into my diet.  Protein is important for muscle regeneration and many don't love to eat meat.  This recipe is full of protein rich alternatives.

Quinoa is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America. It was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Edamame is just a fancy name for boiled green soybeans and they are much yummier than they sound.  Edamame is a star legume! Just 1/2 cup of them a day really punches up the fiber, protein and vitamin/mineral content of your diet. 
Enjoy this recipe.  It is wonderful.  Thanks to "Our Best Bites."

The recipe called for black Quinoa,  I used red.  I buy white at Costco.  It all tastes the same.

Quinoa Edamame Salad
Posted By Kate @ Our Best Bites On 06.14.2011 @ 10:12 pm

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Protect Your Joints

"If exercise is supposed to be good for me, why does it make my joints ache?"  First, exercise is good for everyone.  If you are experiencing joint pain, you should reevaluate the exercises you are doing and make sure they are appropriate for you individually.  There is no "One size fits all" when it comes to your workout routine.  Your cardio and strength training exercise choices should be driven by your fitness goals, your current strength, and postural alignments.  Form and correct biomechanics are critical for joint happiness and integrity.  Most of us never focus on our joints until there is pain.  Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease is the most common disorder which affects over 20 million people.  It is caused by wear and tear on the cartilage within the joint.  You can start promoting joint health by following these simple guidelines.

Protect Your  Joints With Correct Alignment
  • Strength Train-The stronger your muscles are, the more they help align and maintain the joint.  Muscular support can help avoid and alleviate extra strain put on joints.  Exercises should promote health and strength not pain.  Increasing speed of movement also increases risk.  Make every exercise count and make sure it is what your body needs.
  • Stretch-Muscles are attached to bone by tendons.  When a muscle is in a shortened or tightened state, it will pull on the tendon; therefore, it can have an affect on surrounding ligaments and joints.  You should try and feel the gentle pull in the belly of the muscle when stretching.  Avoid feeling the stretch at the origins or insertions (Where the muscles attach) of your muscles.
  • Biomechanics-Always be aware of your alignment.  If you feel pain in a joint as you are moving, it is a clear message that something isn't right.  Listen to your body.  It will definitely give you feedback.  check your angles.  Mirrors can show you a lot about your posture and movement patterns.  An experienced personal trainer can also be a big help in recognizing movement deviations and help you recognize how your body moves.
  • Vary Workouts-Many scientific studies suggest alternating or periodizing your workouts.  Vary your training to incorporate "easy" and "hard" training days, weeks or months.  It is also suggested that alternating training is more effective than training more or less the same every day. (Hansen et al.2005) Cross training is a good option and may help avoid joint overuse issues.
  • Rest-Incorporate recovery into your workout routine.  Your muscles need time to recover and repair.  Lack of recovery can affect muscle and joint integrity while putting muscles and joints at a greater risk.
  • Weight Management-The overweight or obese have an increased chance of developing joint issues.  Gait and joint movement is often altered resulting in pain and the breakdown of joints.  Laura Thorp's, PhD, study on arthritis and rheumatism showed that losing 1 pound resulted in the fourfold decrease in knee joint load.  Basically if you decrease your weight, the load on your joints will go down.  For every pound you are overweight, the stress and load on your joints increases up to 3X.  Example:  If you are 15 pounds overweight, the load felt on the knees is 45 lbs.
Our body is intended to move.  It really needs motion and exercise.  Take steps now to protect your joints.  By doing so you are promoting a quality of movement for a long time to come.

TRX Suspension Training

Many people avoid the gym setting.  Crowds, loud music, screaming instructors or even smells can deter a person from exercising.  You should learn more about TRX Suspension Training.  I love, love, love, this piece of equipment.   You can take it anywhere and get a great workout.  My deck or the local parks are my favorite places to workout.  You get scenery, privacy and clean air to enjoy while you kick you own butt.  Below is a little background.
Born in the U.S. Navy SEALS and developed by Fitness Anywhere®, Suspension Training® is a revolutionary method of leveraged bodyweight exercise. Easily set up the portable TRX® Suspension Trainer™ and you’re in control. Safely perform hundreds of exercises that build power, strength, flexibility, balance, mobility, and prevent injuries, all at the intensity you choose.  The TRX® is more than just the most versatile piece of exercise equipment available, it’s a complete training system.

Sounds just like an infomercial doesn't it but everything is true.  Check out their website for more information.  

Celebrate the 80's

I am having a proud parent moment. Please just tolerate me for a brief post.   Both of my boys play football and both of them wore #80.  Marcus, my oldest is still #80 and Mitch, my younger, is serving a church mission in Orlando, Florida.  Below is a post from a football fan. (No it wasn't me or his dad)

80 Days! Happy Marcus Mathews Day!

This was the scene of losing his spleen.  

Mitch.  His practice jersey was #23.  Redshirt 2009
By: Mitch Harper 
80 days till BYU vs. Ole Miss.  Today we look at a Wide Receiver/Tight End on this year’s squad.
Marcus Mathews, #80, Sophomore, Wide Receiver/Tight End
Last season, in a year where Mathews returned from an LDS mission, he was tops in receiving yards amongst BYU Tight Ends with 136 yards.  Until his season was cut short with a ruptured spleen injury suffered in the win against UNLV.
This year, Mathews will play Tight End, but is also expected to see many reps at the Wide Receiver spot.  Mathews was a heralded recruit out of Beaverton, Oregon.  The first ever 4-star Wide Receiver recruit from Oregon in’s history.
Historical #80′s

Marcus-Freshman 2010

Mitch-Las Vegas Bowl #80

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I had a wonderful surprise when I left for work.  The streets of my neighborhood were lined with our American Flag.  My family has always been very patriotic and just like the song says, "Proud to be an American."  I want to use a blog post to thank all those who serve to protect our country.  Many have sacrificed so much to give us the freedoms we enjoy.  My thoughts went from pride, to thankfulness and then to fitness.  Strange I know.  It is pretty predictable how my mind works.  Navy Seals designed  the TRX which is a piece of training equipment that they use to stay in peak physical condition no matter where they are serving.  I don't want to take away from my tribute so my post tomorrow will be about TRX training.  Thanks again to all who serve.

Don't Fall For A Quick Fix

My son was a good sport and let me use him to show how deceiving before and after  pictures can be.
Luckily for Marcus the after pictures were easier to pose for because that is really him.  That probably isn't the case for the rest of us.  I picture a lot of people holding their breath.  (Giggle)  

We have all been enticed by those get skinny quick promises or drawn in by the impressive "before and after" pictures.  Doesn't the phrase "Lose 14 pounds in 14 days" make you consider taking the risk?  Oh, if only it were that easy.  We want that skinny summer body and we want it now!  It can be achieved but we have to patient and put in the work.  With a sensible combination of exercise and healthy diet you can achieve your goal.  Here are some factual exercise tips that will enlighten your weight-loss journey.

  • Exercise plays an important role in weight loss and weight management.  Both cardiovascular and strength training should be incorporated into your exercise routine.
  • When considering how much exercise to implement into your daily routine think "more is better."  The recommendation for weight loss by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is a minimum or 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week and if possible you can increase up to 225-420 minutes per week.
  • Individuals undertaking non-medically supervised weight-loss programs should reduce their calories by approximately 500 to 1,000 calories per day to elicit a weight loss of approximately 1-2 lbs. per week (ACSM 2009) Even though you reduce your energy intake, make sure you are adequately fueling your body with your increased activity and don't drop below 1,200 to 1,400 calories a day without supervision.
  • Find modes of exercise that you enjoy so you will stick with your exercise program.  Consistency is important.
The best way to transform "You" is to do it gradually and implement a healthy and active lifestyle that will promote longevity and happiness.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Speed, Agility and Quickness Camp/Adult Adventure Fitness Camp

I am offering a couple of different camps this summer.  The Speed camp is for youth, grades 4-12.  The adult camp is for any teenager or adult looking for personal training or boot camp style format.  Please contact me for registration information.

Pictures by Katie Speith

Get Healthy As A Family

A close relative and friend asked me, "I want to get our family healthy.  What would be ONE thing that we could do to get started?"  She is on the right track because having the desire to make change is a good first step.  Changing eating, exercise and lifestyle habits can be pretty overwhelming.  You should pick your battles and decide just one area to start making changes.  Of course my first answer is exercise and there are several ways to start making healthy choices.

Take a Hike Together.  You can enjoy the scenery and each other's company.
  • GET YOUR FAMILY INVOLVED-Sit down and make a list of all the activities you like to do or would be willing to try.  Take a walk, go on a hike, pitch in to do a neighbor's yard work, hit a bike trail, or go to the playground.  Those are just a few ways to get moving.  Once you have the list, set a goal to choose three of those activities a week to do together.  Weekends can be an opportunity to incorporate a larger activity as an award for implementing your weekday activities.  Hit a national park, an amusement park, or the zoo for fun.  Scavenger hunts or geocaching are another way to get going together.
  • SCHEDULE YOUR ACTIVITIES-Put them in your weekly family calendar just like you would for all practices, lessons and church and community obligations.  Don't just wing it.  There are too many excuses that can come up.
  • PLAN HEALTHY SNACKS-Prepare ahead so you don't make poor choices.  The worst thing you could do is sabotage your family activity with a quick stop at a fast food restaurant on the way home.
  • KEEP AN ACTIVITY JOURNAL OR BLOG.  It is a fun way to chronicle all the good times you are having as a family.  Your documentation is a measurable way to make sure you are on track.  Pictures can show your progress and can be very motivating.
  • BUY PEDOMETERS-Get one for everyone so they can keep track of how many steps they are taking in a day.  The recommended number of steps is 6000 for health, 10,000 for weight loss when you count all steps during the day.  For weight loss, an uninterrupted walk each of 4000-6000 steps is recommended.  Set up a healthy reward system to those who get the most miles in a week.
Find some water to play in.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has become more challenging with the influence of TV, internet, and gaming.  Add hectic schedules plus full calendars and daily exercise can seem impossible.  Make your family's health a priority.  Get active and moving together.

Pick an activity where you have to chase each other around.  Tag,  Duck, Duck, Goose or a friendly game of paintball.