America’s Fittest Cities

Americas Fittest Cities…

Who is the F.I.T.T.E.S.T. of us all? Recently Men’s Fitness released their annual list of the top 10 fittest and fattest cities in the country – did you see it? I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to point out the factors that go into making a city fit or fat, and how this filters down to our own lives and individual fitness levels.

But first, let’s take a look at the list…

Top 10 Fittest Cities
1. Albuquerque, N.M.
2. Seattle
3. Colorado Springs
4. Minneapolis
5. Tucson, AZ
6. Denver
7. San Francisco
8. Baltimore
9. Portland, OR
10. Honolulu

Top 10 Fattest Cities
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. San Antonio, TX
3. Miami
4. Mesa, AZ
5. Los Angeles
6. Houston
7. Dallas
8. El Paso, TX
9. Detroit
10. San Jose, CA

So what makes a city fit or fat? According to Neal Boulton, editor of Men’s Fitness, the survey examines lifestyle factors in each city such as number of fast food restaurants and the average amount of television each household watches. All of these lifestyle factors were tallied to rank each city as either fit or fat.

We will touch more on lifestyle factors later…

You may be wondering, as I was, what motivated Boulton to create such a list. His answer, “to motivate folks to look at simple things in their lives they can do to be healthy.” He is concerned that America is always going to be a fast-food nation where people have long commutes and busy lives. But instead of a soft drink during the commute, he suggests, they can choose water; instead of a fast-food snack, they can eat almonds.

Another reason he publishes the list is to grab the attention of mayors and governors – after all, what mayor wants their city to be named the fattest in the nation?

“There’s a consciousness among mayors that they can motivate the population and go beyond the PR.,” said Boulton. “It’s more than just having a mayor run the marathon. That doesn’t motivate people. What motivates people is starting a Fit City program. … It takes action.”

Let’s look at the top 4 lifestyle factors that were used to compare cities, and examine how each one has a hand in your own fitness level:

Number of Gyms: While you don’t control the number of gyms in your city, you do have control over your own workout schedule. Take the time to exercise, preferably 3-5 times per week, and watch you personal fitness factor skyrocket.

Nutrition: This is broken down into the percentage of people in the city that eat 5 or more servings of fruits and veggies each day. What a great goal to have for yourself – imagine actually eating 5 or more servings of fresh fruits and veggies every day. It is a simple goal, but one that will dramatically increase your energy level.

Exercise/Sports: This is calculated by the number of city residents who are involved in fitness-related activities. Here is a simple way to join in this number: get started on a fitness program today – simply call me and together we will create a program that is designed around your goals.

Junk Food: Surveyors looked at the total number of fast-food places, pizza parlors, ice cream and doughnut shops in each city. Again, you don’t have control over the number of fast-food joints in your city, but you do control the frequency in which you partake in less-than-fit-fare. Enjoy in moderation.

Frankly it doesn’t matter what city made the fit or fat list. The fact of the matter is that you and I have full control of our lifestyle and eating habits. And best of all I’m here to help guide you to your fitness goals. Now all you have to do is reply to this email or call me at the number above and we can get your journey to fitness started!

The Triple Threat

There are three main components to quick and healthy weight loss. These are
1) A balanced, calorie specific meal plan;
2) A consistent aerobic routine; and
3) Regular resistance training. Be sure to include each component into your weight loss plan for exciting results!

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken

Give your traditional old chicken dinner some spunk with this exciting new marinade. Your taste buds will celebrate over the tender taste of yogurt and garlic with a hint of spice. Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fat-free yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 bone-in skinless breast halves (6 ounces each)

Instructions

  • In a large re-sealable plastic bag, combine the first none ingredients; add chicken. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray before starting the grill for indirect heat. Drain and discard marinade.
  • Grill chicken, covered, bone side down over indirect medium heat for 20 minutes. Turn; grill 20 – 30 minutes longer or until juices run clear.

Nutritional Analysis: One chicken breast half equals 149 calories, 4g fat, 2g carbohydrate, and 25g protein.

How To Get Amazing Abs

You can have Amazing Abs: Learn How

So you want to narrow your waist, flatten your abs and become the envy of all your friends, right? Of course you do – who doesn’t?

Well, here is yet another reason to get flat abs: recent studies suggest that an excess of fat deposits around the abdominal region significantly contributes to the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions.

Whether your motivation for attaining great abs is rooted in the health benefits or, more likely, in looking phenomenal then this is one newsletter you simply must read all the way through.

Why is it that so many people wish they had great abs, but never attain it?

Contrary to popular belief, doing millions of crunches will not sculpt your abs. While there is a time and a place to use the beloved crunch in your waist slimming effort, this alone will not create the body of your dreams. The key to creating an enviable midsection lies in your ability to effectively challenge your abdominal muscles.

The “crunch” movement only targets your upper abdominal muscles, the ones found between your rib cage and belly button. Imagine you are doing a crunch – better yet, get down and do one – notice where you feel the burn. Those are your upper abs.

To effectively sculpt your waist, focus on strengthening your upper, lower and side abdominal muscles. In order to achieve an overall look of symmetry your flat abs routine should consist of at least one exercise for each portion of your midsection.

A surefire way to kick up the intensity, and thus the results, of your abdominal workout is to add resistance training. By working your midsection against resistance you open up the possibility for greater muscle stimulation which equals greater results. You can do this by using a medicine ball, cable machine, elastic band or dumbbell.

Oh yeah, just one more thing…in order to show off your breathtaking abs they need to come out of hiding.

This means burning off the layer of fat. (No matter how big or small it may be.) The following two pronged approach works every time:

First, consistent cardiovascular exercise is needed to burn off stored energy. Follow these three tips to ensure your success:

  • Choose an aerobic exercise that uses major muscle groups such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking.
  • Find an exercise that you enjoy. This will make it easy for you to stick with it.
  • Make sure that you are exercising aerobically for at least 30-60 minutes three times a week. However, feel free to do it longer and more frequently.

Second, to uncover your abdominal muscles we have to discuss….your eating habits. I’m sorry to say it, but the food that you put in your mouth will surely have an effect on the size and shape of your waist. Use these three pointers to slash fat:

  • Eat small meals frequently throughout the day and avoid overeating.
  • Processed foods should be kept to a minimum or avoided completely.
  • Load up on vegetables and lean meat before partaking in grains or starches.

There you have it – your plan for awesome abs. Do you have questions about the information presented in this newsletter? Or how would you like to slim down just in time for the holidays?

I am here to help. My passion is coaching people just like you to achieve their goals.

Contact me today – simply reply to this email or call my number. I look forward to hearing from you.

No Yoking Around

Did you know that most of the calories and cholesterol found in an egg resides in the yolk? Egg whites, on the other hand, are low in calories, contain no fat, no cholesterol and are packed with protein! Instead of making your omelet with whole eggs, make it with egg whites for a healthier, tastier meal!

Multigrain Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Looking for a healthy dinner that satisfies? This recipe for stuffed peppers mixes healthy grains and lean ground turkey in a dish that is high in fiber and bursting with flavor. Got leftovers? Pack them for the perfect balanced lunch. Yields 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 large sweet red peppers
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 3 sliced green onions
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 26 oz meatless spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1/2 frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup cooked medium pearl barley
  • 1/4 cup cooked bulgur
  • 1/4 cup cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove stems and seeds. Cook the peppers in a large kettle of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain, set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, cook turkey, onions and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in two cups spaghetti sauce, corn, currants, broth, barley, bulgur, lentils, brown sugar and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Spoon a heaping 1/2 cup into each pepper half.
  3. Place filled peppers in a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Top each pepper with remaining spaghetti sauce; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling is heated through. Enjoy!

Stretching Exercises

STRETCHING: Is it worth your time?

Have you ever started a workout with the intent of stretching—but you never seem to actually get around to it? This brings up an interesting topic, and a certain question that I am asked often.

Should you really stretch?

The single most overlooked component to any fitness program may very well be flexibility. Let’s face it, there’s nothing glamorous about stretching and frankly it’s pretty boring too.

But did you know that your sore back, stiff neck, and tight joints may be a result of tight or unbalanced muscles in those regions?

Stretching does more than just increase flexibility – it actually helps reduce tension. Stretching helps prevent injury, alleviates tight joins, and helps you gain more from your day-to-day exercise program.

For example, did you know that your sore muscles and tendons can actually heal quicker if you incorporate stretching into your fitness routine? And some studies suggest that you may be able to recruit more muscle fibers during your workouts through stretching as well.

But you should know that all stretching exercises are not created equally. Basically there are two categories for stretching: ballistic and static.

Ballistic stretching is just that – ballistic (ouch). Think back to the early days of black and white television where the fitness gurus of that era would demonstrate flexibility exercises in a bouncing, jerky kind of way. While ballistic stretching is still used in some circles today, the average person can do without it as it does increase the likelihood of an injury.

Static stretching is the safest way to increase the flexibility of a joint. In a nutshell, static stretching is where you hold yourself in a “stretched” position for a 30 second count or so and then relax before repeating the same stretch over again.

Best of all the results from a proper and balanced stretching program come quickly. Typically you could see greater range of motion in a joint that very day, and after only a few days of stretching many people begin to feel the pain-reversing benefits in their back, neck, and joints.

Can stretching really help you?
Yes, if you want to relieve muscle tension, to keep your muscles flexible—which helps with your posture and balance, and to help prevent muscle and joint injury. And the best way to start your flexibility program is to contact me today!
Set Reasonable Goals
So you have 30 pounds that you want to lose? Don’t intimidate yourself with a goal of that enormity. Rather, find smaller, time sensitive goals to guide you to your ultimate, large goal. So instead of focusing on the 30 pounds, focus on the 1 pound that you want to lose this week!

Guiltless Veggie Patch Pizza


Who says you can’t enjoy a slice of pizza without being plagued with guilt? This delicious vegetarian pizza combines zucchini, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes for a surprisingly enjoyable taste. Garlic and basil blend into a tantalizing flavor that will leave you wondering how you could ever go back to greasy store-bought pizza! Yields 4 servings
Ingredients:

  • 1 Boboli Pizza Crust
  • 1Boboli Pizza Sauce Packet
  • ½ Yellow Onion sliced
  • 2 Medium Zucchini sliced
  • 1 Cup Cauliflower, in bite-size pieces
  • 2 Teaspoons dried Basil
  • 2 Garlic cloves crushed
  • ½ Cup Shredded LowFat Cheese
  • 15 Calamata olives chopped
  • 12 Cherry Tomatoes halved
  • *Optional* Grilled Chicken Breast chopped

Instructions:
Pre-heat oven to 400. Place onion, zucchini, cauliflower, basil and garlic in medium saucepan coated in cooking spray. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft.
Place Boboli crust on pan, spread sauce evenly over crust. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and half of the olives. Spread cooked veggies over crust, sprinkle with remaining cheese, remaining olives and top with the tomatoes *and add chicken*.
Bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy!