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Motivation: When You're Ready Come and Get It

 

 

We have all been there. The alarm goes off and the snooze button finds your finger, or you are scrambling to find a matching pair of gym socks and you think to yourself “I don’t really want to work out right now…”

 

Maybe you have been over training, your body is aching, sore and the thought of flexing your quads to stand, much less do a weighted squat, sounds miserable. Or perhaps the opposite is true. You haven’t caught your stride, and so when you DO work out, you are sore for days and hate the idea of doing it all over again.  So here you are, forcing yourself to do something you know is good for you, and you are not really having any fun…

  1. Change it up!  Take a look at your routine and evaluate what it may be lacking.  If you have been strength training for a long time, try to integrate some high intensity interval training. If you have been doing a lot of yoga or Pilates, it may be good to hit the weights for a few rounds of heavy lifting.  Haven’t taken a spin class in a while? Maybe you hire a trainer for just a few sessions and learn some new fun ways to work your muscle groups that you have never thought of! Even just 3 sessions with a trainer can teach you some great new techniques that may be just the spice your routine needs.
  2. Find a work out buddy.  Doing anything with a friend is more fun.  Ask your co-workers who head out the door with their gym bags to join you! No one in the office wants to play? But what if your boyfriend/girlfriend works late or your best friend just had a kid and can’t leave the house? Try joining a group on www.meetup.com. They have meet up groups for a wide variety of fitness related adventures. Or ask your trainer or coach if they have any recommendations for your workout buddy. Chances are, they know someone who has similar fitness goals as you, similar time frames for a work out, and would even be happy to offer buddy-session training at a discounted rate!
  3. Get outside.   Maybe going from the fluorescent lights of your office to the covered steel box of your warehouse gym isn’t what your summer-thirsty skin wants right now.  Go for a walk run, hit up a local park for sprint training, or find a local outdoor work out gym https://www.arlingtonva.us/portals/topics/FitArlingtonGetOutdoors.aspx or grab a kettle bell, a jump rope and try Nina’s park work out! (check out Nina at the park) Breath the fresh air and let the sounds and feel of summer soak into your skin and get more than just an endorphin boost from increasing your heart rate, but also vitamin D, a vitamin your body needs to absorb and store in large amounts to last the upcoming winter.
  4. Don’t workout.  De-stress instead.  Yes you heard me right. Sometimes answering your body’s cry for a break is the right thing to do. If you are surviving a stressful job in a stressful season on a pot of coffee, chances are your parasympathetic nervous system (the one that keeps your body revved up) is in high gear and could use a little down time. This doesn’t mean you just go home and catch up Hulu reruns. Be intentional with your recovery plan and treat your body to a wellness-related service such as massage, or a detoxifying foot bath. Does your body feel tight and stiff? Try Swe-Thai, an hour of stretching-based massage. (link to massage page of website) Acupuncture can be a great way to give your immune system a boost, or target any sore area of the body that needs healing.  Integrate sessions in our Infrared Sauna, which uses infrared light to penetrate your tissue, increase your circulation, loosen up myofascial tissue and invoke a fantastic sweat response for detoxification! (Attach link to our website on the sauna page here)  Finding a beautiful balance between working your body hard and allowing it to recover properly is what a healthy fitness routine is all about.
  5. Get competitive.  Are there any feats of athleticism you have always wanted to achieve? Find something measurable that requires you to push past your limits!  This is something we foster in our studio because we KNOW competition can be super motivating.  Check out our record board! It is FULL of fun, interesting fitness challenges designed to push our clients toward friendly competition and a tangible goal to work toward. We’ve got 2 of our current and former record holders, Helene and Stefanie, to talk about their motivation! Check them out here.

 

 

 


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How Bad Can I Feel and Still Function?

I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU: Do you consider yourself healthy? If I had to put money on your answer, I’d wager you answered “yes”.  And why not?  You know someone worse off than you right?  I mean, at least you’re not in as bad of shape as so and so – she is really unhealthy.  You see, despite the fact that we are the most obese nation in the world, where the overwhelming majority of us die from highly preventable diseases, in general, we consider ourselves healthy.  In fact, in an interesting study released in 2009 by the Deloitte group, it was reported that 7 out of 8 Americans consider themselves to be healthy.  Strangely enough, 55% of those same responders reported that they wrestle with at least one or more chronic conditions.  Hmm – I think it might be safe to say we are looking at the concept of health from the wrong end of the telescope. Our collective understanding of what’s healthy is more along the lines of “How bad can I feel and still function?” rather than “How many different aspects of wellness am I currently thriving in?” Perhaps this ironic disconnect between perception and reality starts with how we have defined health in the first place.  If you look up the word “health” in the dictionary, you’ll find a definition like “soundness of body and mind” or “freedom from disease or ailment”.  With simple definitions like that, it’s not difficult to see how we could consider ourselves to be healthy.  Who of us would say that we don’t have “soundness of body and mind”?  If we are free of symptoms or a named disease, we must be healthy, right? Well, my goal here is not to try to convince you that you’re unhealthy.  Nope; it’s much simpler than that – namely, to see if we can’t come up with a better barometer of health than “soundness” or “freedom from symptoms”.  Soundness is too nebulous and subjective, and symptoms are just a sign that something went wrong a long time ago; they are not the beginning of disease.   We can do better than these benchmarks. I would like to present the idea that “health” is about “wholeness”.  It’s about being well in many different ways.  Author Cheryl Townsley, in her book Cleansing Made Simple, offers what I think is a one of the soundest definitions of health you’ll find.  She says health can be described as:
  • Having a good appetite and digestion
  • Having daily comfortable elimination
  • Having healthy eyes, shiny hair and radiant skin
  • Having a flexible body and stable emotions
  • Maintaining good memory and clear thinking
  • Being free from anxiety, worry or depression
  • Being able to enjoy activities, recreation and relaxation
  • Having energy for all required activities and a surplus for recreation
  • Having good communication skills to express your innermost thoughts and feelings
  • Participating in regular and spontaneous outbreaks of humor and laughter
  • Having healthy esteem of self and of others
Now we’re talking!  That’s a definition of health I can get behind.  Can you think of something she missed?  To put a more, perhaps manly slant to the definition, I might add, “having strong muscles and joints that work well”, but other than that, I think she nails it.  Defining health in light of the above would mean that when we talk about the body we consider the whole person – spirit, mind and body.  If we looked at health that way, we might give ourselves more realistic marks in line with the national statistics, and we might also begin to see how other aspects of our lives are tied to our physical health. So, I pose the question again… do you consider yourself healthy?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some work to do. - Christian

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Tackling Serious Pregnancy "Weight"

 

 

Yea Ladies! We are talking about lifting weights and moving your body while pregnant this month. We are going to bust open some myths about exercising while you are pregnant. In addition, we have awesome videos (see end of article) to demonstrate some moves you can try at home or at our studio. The lovely and pregnant Nina Elliot will be my muse. Hopefully most of you have heard how beneficial exercise is to you in general and certainly while you are pregnant. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising during pregnancy is associated with:

  • Easing/preventing back pain
  • Boosting your energy level
  • Preventing excess weight gain
  • Reducing your risk of gestational diabetes, pregnancy related high blood pressure and postpartum depression
  • Increasing muscle stamina and strength in preparation for labor

In addition, exercising will help improve swelling in your extremities, increase confidence in your new body, improve your sleep, avoid injuries and uplift your spirits. With all those awesome reasons, let's get started!

 

Myth: Starting a workout program when I'm pregnant is not good H&W Response: If there's any time to give yourself motivation to start moving, pregnancy is a great way to do it! While we wouldn't recommend training for a marathon as your first conquest, there's no better time to start. We can help you start a workout program that matches your current starting point.

 

Myth: My heart rate should never go above 140 beats per min (BPM) when pregnant H&W Response: Let's be honest, when you're pregnant, your heart rate goes above 140 bpm when you walk from your car to the grocery store! This advice is outdated and inaccurate. Considering how 140 beats per minute can feel completely different from one body type and fitness level to the next, you can see how this ‘blanket’ statement is too general to be truly helpful. Secondly, a pregnant woman's heart rate naturally rises more quickly because her heart is working hard to pump blood more places. This is a reason to be aware of how your body is responding during exercise but not a reason to shy away from pumping some iron. Instead of monitoring your BPM, see below on our tips for "Signs of Exhaustion" as a better indicator of when you should take it easy.

 

Myth: I should stay away from ab and core exercise H&W Response: No way!! What muscles do you think help you push that baby out?!? Let me give you a clue, it's not your biceps. Your core strength is the key to so much more than pushing a baby out. Even if that is not part of your birth plan, core strength will help speed your recovery, stabilize your body as relaxin loosens your joints in preparation for labor, ease lower back pain, and prevent injury. Instead of avoiding abdominal work all together, check out the tips below and our video for some of the best ways to work your ever expanding core!

 

Myth: Lifting weights is too strenuous and/or dangerous during pregnancy H&W Response: We would beg to differ. With the proper technique and appropriate weight selection, weight lifting can be a great way to increase or maintain your muscle tone during pregnancy. Weight bearing exercise is one of the best ways to work on your bone density, prepare your body to lift that little one all the time, and, again, build stability as your joints loosen up.

 

General Pregnancy Exercising Guidelines

  • Always support your core! No matter the exercise, you should be holding your abs tight, like you are wrapping your abs around your belly button and pulling towards your back. This will prevent you from spreading your abs too far and injuring your back. Do this in your every day routine, it's a small, gentle way of working your abs.
  • When you do get your heart rate up in the hundreds, work in small bouts. Try 30 seconds up to 3 minutes at a high heart rate and then rest for at least 1-5 minutes depending on your fitness level.
  • Any movement is better than none! At the very least, begin a walking routine (enjoy the stroller free hands while you can!). If you need more accountability, grab a friend! I found walks with my friends to be a great way to get my exercise in and catch up with my friends. No one can turn down a pregnant lady for a walk :)
  • You will want to avoid exercises that have you lay flat on your back, which is why exercises such as crunches, hip raises and flat lying chest presses should be off limits, especially in your 2nd and 3rd trimester. Do not despair, we have plenty of options to target those muscles! Don’t let that little "bump" in the road stop you from staying in great pregnancy shape!

 

Signs You Should Stop Exercising Immediately

  • Dizziness, light headed
  • Nausea
  • You think your water might have just broken
  • Cramping
  • Headache
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Having trouble catching your breath
  • Chest pain

 

Check out the videos below where Nina and Lindsay demonstrate some of our favorite pregnancy approved weight bearing activities. Warming Up The Exercises Cooling Down  

 

 


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The Best of Boot Camp!

I know you've seen our Boot Camp fliers...I know you've seen our Facebook posts...but maybe it’s time that you hear from someone other than us how much you will LOVE our Boot Camp classes! “I went from feeling like a worn-down mom to shopping in the Juniors' department--thanks to Nina--no "mom jeans" for me! With work and a toddler, I don't get much "me time" - Boot Camp has become my escape from stress, runny noses...Nina motivates me to push myself farther than I ever thought I could go, and after just 4 weeks I went down a pants size. Health and Wholeness takes the traditional boot camp we fear (harsh motivation, military style motivation) and adds the sparkle. Never have I felt so pushed to do better, feel better AND look better! The positive energy I get from boot camp feeds me all day long!” – Melissa D. (photo left)   “Health & Wholeness Boot Camps are actually fun for a lot of reasons, but here are my Top 3:
  1. Nina has a lot of interesting "toys" that she will figure out how to use in unique ways to challenge you.
  2. The boot camp group really forms a bond and it's fun to come together a few times a week and know that you are doing this together.
  3. Nina is a refreshing mix of tough yet encouraging, making it enjoyable to push yourself to your limits.
I'm not a morning person, but for these reasons I look forward to the early boot camp sessions!” – Jen C. “I call myself a lot of things, but an athlete is not one of them. Never has been - I mean, I've never done a pull-up in my life. However, almost two years ago, I took a leap of faith and tried boot camp with Nina and Health and Wholeness. Countless sessions later, I have lost close to 20 pounds, lowered my cholesterol by more than 60 points without medication, ran countless 5K's and 10K's, regularly lift weights with confidence during my own workouts, and - dare I say it - even catch myself thinking like an athlete! I started at a lower fitness level than many in the class and found the workouts to be challenging but doable. Now, the workouts are just as challenging because Nina designs them for everyone, no matter how long they've been training or what their starting weight is. I continue to enjoy the sessions, continue to get up at 5:20 am, and continue to see progress. I no longer do "girl pushups", and may even see a pull-up in the future! I needed someone to hold me accountable, and Nina's my person!” – Ginger N. (See Ginger's "Before" picture below, left, and her "After" picture, below, right.)                   “I am a fitness professional, so my personal training schedule does not often offer me opportunity to try a new trainer or workout.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend Nina's "Last Chance Boot Camp" on New Year's Eve 2012.  The 60-minute circuit workout was TOUGH.  Each station presented it's own set of challenges - cardio, strength, endurance.  Nina allowed us just enough recovery time between each set to recharge to tackle the next challenge.  She set up each exercise clearly, and gave options and modifications throughout (because she was closely monitoring each of us, and paying attention to when we needed a little help, and when we needed to be pushed harder).  Nina's approach was just the right balance between driving us when she felt we had more to give, and encouraging us when she could see we were almost tapped out. I was very impressed with how well she manipulated a group in a fairly small space, and enjoyed every minute of being pushed to my limits. I would HIGHLY recommend Nina's Boot Camps to anyone, at any fitness level! She truly has the tools to help you reach your goals.” – Kate F. “Nina is an inspiring, energetic, and motivational instructor who continues to help me improve my personal fitness. Her classes are the perfect combination of fun and challenging. They are so enjoyable that you want to come back every time, but challenging enough that the next morning you are almost too sore to get out of bed. Nina also does an excellent job of motivating you with a kind, but firm approach to help you strain to meet your personal fitness goals. During each class, it feels like you reach new heights that you hadn’t previously thought possible. Her classes are the highlight of my week, and she has given me many great pointers to help me improve my weaknesses. I also appreciate how Nina takes a personal interest in each of her students and helps them to get the most out of exercise. Some people love exercise and others hate it, which is why I appreciate that Nina’s classes are equally effective for die-hard exercise fanatics as well as newcomers. I have been doing exercise classes for almost 10 years, and I haven’t encountered a better teacher or motivator than Nina.” – Joey K. “What's good about Monday? How about a super-charged workout with the Nina-monster!? Thrilled to have found an energetic and motivating instructor who challenges me to get stronger every class and keeps me coming back for more "strong" each week. #TheBest!” – Colleen M.
We look forward to having you join us for one (but hopefully many!) Boot Camp classes!
Come see for yourself what the buzz is all about...we can't wait to work you out!
Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Client Spotlight: Q&A with Brandon Millett

What brought you to Health and Wholeness? Simply put, I had just “let myself go” too much. I was in the worst shape of my life. I was low on energy. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was having all sorts of aches and pains, and I knew if I didn’t get a handle on it now, then I’d probably never do it. I’m middle-aged (40’s) and figured it’s now or never. Plus, I know myself. I have tried many times over the last 20 years or so to get in shape on my own. And I’d get into that cycle…in shape, out of shape, in shape, out of shape. I needed more than a workout. I needed a totally new approach to my health and my life that was interesting, challenging and sustainable. And that’s what Health and Wholeness provides for me! How many days a week do you train? I train two days with my trainer (Christian) and work out one additional day on my own. What are your biggest motivators? If you asked me before I started working out, I’d say that I just wanted my energy back. And that’s certainly true. I also would have said that I didn’t want to be one of those overweight, unhealthy guys later in life. That’s true too.  But now, I’m starting to see other major changes in my body that I would not have thought possible! And while my initial goal was to just get back to "average," I know now that there is nothing standing in the way of getting in phenomenal shape. My goals and my motivations are evolving as my health and my body and my confidence improve. What is the most significant change you have noticed since you started at Health and Wholeness? I can say that my work with Health and Wholeness has changed virtually every aspect of my life. My energy has vastly improved. I am healthier and feel stronger. I am sleeping better and less stressed. In terms of the “quantifiable” changes, in just a few months of working out, my body fat went down by 6% while I added 5 lbs of muscle. And that’s without yet addressing my diet...(I’m “in process” with my diet now)...I’ve hit some key benchmarks in the gym, too.  But most of all, my work at Health and Wholeness has given me a ton of confidence, and that permeates every aspect of my life, from my relationships to my business. This is the best decision I ever made with regard to my overall health and well-being! What have you learned about yourself since you started working with us? A few years ago, I had a back injury as a result of a car accident. I thought my days of lifting weights (especially heavy weights) were over. Not true! I just needed a trainer to work with me to make sure my form is correct and to guide me through the process of getting in shape enough to really get into shape. It has been a revelation! Now my favorite part of the workout is hitting the weights. What advice would you have for others just starting their own health journey? Don’t go it alone. Don’t talk yourself into believing that all you need is to surf the net for some health tips and re-dedicate yourself to heading to the gym and you’ll hit your goals. Has that really worked for you? Or do you just hit the same “in shape, out of shape” cycle I’ve hit in the past? Do yourself a favor and hire a true professional, like you would in so many other areas of your life. And then just promise yourself you’ll stick with it for three months. That’s it…just three months. In that time, you’ll move past the hardest part of the process and the workouts will begin to be fun! You’ll also start to notice changes in your body (other people will notice, too!) and it will be harder to avoid the gym than it will be to make your workouts. When I’m not working out now, I find my body craves the gym, and I never thought I’d say that. I was never the “gym rat” type. But I am now, because I found the right place to train. What would you want others to know about Health and Wholeness? This is a welcoming and friendly practice. Everyone at Health and Wholeness is so positive and upbeat and they really want to help you reach your goals. At the same time, they are not afraid to challenge you when you need it. As I said, setting up that initial consultation at Health and Wholeness was among the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re on the fence, just make the appointment and see what these guys are all about. Believe me - it can truly change your life! *Want to be the next client highlighted? Email us at info@healthandwholeness.info and tell us your story! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Ready to Run? Join our Team!

Ever thought about running your first 10k or half-marathon? Or maybe you're already a cardio king or queen, but you'd like to improve your time and knock a few minutes off of your personal best? Whatever your motivation, the Health and Wholeness staff can help you reach your goal this year! Train with Certified Running Coach, Susan Colarco, for the St. Michael's Running Festival this Spring. What can you expect from the Training Program?
  • 16 week start-to-finish training plan with experienced coaching tailored to your pace and fitness level
  • Weekly coached training runs
  • A Health and Wholeness “in training” t-shirt
  • Informational email updates and training tips
  • Seminars on running gear, form, running nutrition, common injuries, and other hot topics
  • Motivation, inspiration, and camaraderie that can only be found with a like-minded training group!
Mark your calendar for our info session this Saturday, January 26th @ 9am - Meet us in Studio C! Get on the road to make 2013 your fastest yet...We promise you'll meet great new people and enjoy every step of the journey! Can’t attend the info session? No problem! You can still Register online for the Training Program (registration note: select "Running Club")...Still have questions? Contact Susan at 401-529-0625 or coachsooz@gmail.com. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Nina's Boot Camp gets a new "Kick" in 2013!

We hope your 2013 is off to a great start and that you're looking forward to a year full of fun and challenging fitness routines!  We are kicking off this year of Boot Camp starting this coming Monday, January 14th and would LOVE it if you could join us! We have made some great changes to our Boot Camp offerings that we're sure you'll still love! So, grab a sip of something hot, envision yourself looking *hot* and read on...we know you will find the perfect option below!

1.  Enroll monthly for the reduced price of only $15 per session! Yep, you heard that right! This pack is the perfect solution for the Boot Camp junkie (you know who you are!) Whether you have been coming to our camp for the past 4 years or just recently realized you can't live without it, commit to coming Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings and set up an automatic payment plan for only $180 per month. 

2. Option 2 is the perfect solution for the person who is out of town a lot and can't commit to the consistency needed for option #1. Will you need to skip a few classes? No problem! Purchase our *NEW* 10 Class Pass for $200 and come and go as you please. This pass can be used for not only our Boot Camp, but also for our 6am Tuesday/Thursday mat Pilates classes! We like flexibility, so go ahead, touch your toes...and come whenever it's convenient for you! 

3. After recently hosting two successful, 10-day-straight Holiday Boot Camps, we couldn't ignore the praise. People LOVED the perfect compliment of an oh-so-gentle (but don't underestimate it!) mat Pilates class sprinkled between the intensity of Boot Camp days.  If you are thinking of giving your exercise routine a serious KICK IN THE PANTS in 2013, consider this 1 Month Boot Camp/Pilates Combo Pass: 1 month of 6am sessions, 5 days a week for $300 a month...that's only $15 per class

During the next four weeks, we'll meet at the indoor basketball court at Avalon at Arlington Square (2350 26th Court South, Arlingto, VA 22206) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 6am. Sign up now online (click on the "Boot Camp 2013" banner) while our best availability is being offered! Need more info before you commit? Check out our Boot Camp page for more details.

Oh, and one more thing for you over-achievers out there: Refer two friends and get a month totally FREE!!!

We look forward to seeing you sweaty...Hu-rah!

Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!


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"Turkey Burn" Testimonial

Our 10-day Turkey Burn Boot Camp ends tomorrow, but to get you revved up for the next edition starting on Monday, December 10th - "Holiday Hustle" - we asked one of our participants to reflect on his experience of working out for 10 days straight...here's what he had to say... "The Turkey Burn Program had a catchy title and I thought I'd give it a shot after my frustration over how much I ate with family over the Thanksgiving holiday. The first boot camp workout occurred the Monday after Thanksgiving, and it was one of the most challenging 45 minutes, requiring me to take a long pause in the middle to get through to the end. After the workout, helpful nutritional tips and reminders were provided to "avoid celebrating every day in December as a holiday."  This routine continued over the next 8 days and it boosted my energy, reduced holiday stress, and I gained strength...now I can persevere without having to take a long break from the group during challenging training exercises. By meeting at this early morning hour, you simply take care of yourself first before taking care of other things, and that's a good investment in health. Furthermore, it's a good way to get a head start on next year's resolution to be more healthy. Overall, I highly recommend the program!" - David Jones Where do we meet? The indoor basketball court at the Avalon at Arlington Square leasing office (2350 26th Court South, Arlington, VA 22206) What time? 6am-7am When? "Holiday Hustle" runs every morning from Dec. 10 - Dec. 19   David trains at Health and Wholeness, a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Super-Charge your Holidays with Sonja's Total Body Transformation Secrets

Written by Sonja Lyth It’s hard to believe that December is already upon us! As the holidays kick into high gear, allow yourself at least a small portion of the day for exercise so you don’t have to wait until New Year's resolution time! If you’ve been diligent about working out - practicing moves to stabilize your core, improve balance and flexibility, and increase endurance - you should already feel more in control of your body. So don't let up on your progress or let those holiday "treats" derail your efforts...now is the time to kick your routine up a notch! But how? Read on for my top 5 tips...you’ll be burning lots of calories while building lean muscle...and that's the best gift you can give yourself this season! 1. "Supersets" - One of the best ways to build lean body mass and burn fat is through supersets. A superset is two exercises performed back to back with no rest. For example, you could do a bench press and immediately go into a set of push-ups. For best results, repeat two times before going into the next superset. 2. Keep your Reps High: For each exercise, perform 12-20 reps. This will depend on the difficulty of the exercise. If you can’t do 12 reps, you need to lighten your weights or do a modification if you’re using your own body weight. If you can do more than 20, you need a more challenging weight or exercise. 3. Rev up your Heart Rate: Circuit training, particularly with supersets, is equivalent to interval training. You want to get your heart rate way up, then let it come back down. Do your superset back to back, then rest 30-60 seconds before moving on to the next set. 4. Switch up Muscle Groups: It’s good to switch up what muscle groups you're working so that you can improve endurance without over-training one area. For example: Do a superset (such as bench press and push-ups, which focuses on your chest and arms) and then go into one that focuses on the legs. It will give your arms a chance to rest before moving on to the next set. 5. Slow Down your Eccentric Movements for Long, Lean Muscles: When you do a  movement, such as a bicep curl, the curling up part is a concentric contraction (the shortening of the muscle). Make sure that as you return your arms back to your side, you lower them slowly (eccentric lengthening). This will help reduce the "bulked-up" look, and  improve your body’s functional efficiency. Sonja is the newest team member at Health and Wholeness – a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Glory takes the Gold!

BIG CONGRATS to our own Glory Billman who took home 1st Place in the Pro Figure Short Class World Title at the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF) Pro World Championships in Atlantic City last weekend! We did a little Q&A with the Professional Figure Athlete, Registered Nurse, and Health and Wholeness ACSM Certified Personal Trainer to give you a glimpse into her winning experience: 1. What are your favorite (and least favorite) parts of competing? My favorite part of competing in the sport of bodybuilding is the challenge. I love to push myself to a new level and being able to mold myself physically and mentally a little differently each prep. It has taught me discipline, self-worth, and confidence. And after stepping off the stage, I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to. The most difficult thing, which is very common among competitors is finding balance in life during prep. I have managed to do so better and better each time, but it's still hard. I don't like missing out on family time and shifting my focus off of my career goals. But at the end of the day, I would say there are more positives than negatives, and I have met such wonderful individuals, inspiring people, and some of my very best friends through bodybuilding. 2. What do you attribute your success/win to? My perseverance. When I set my mind to something, I just don't stop. And I have an amazing support system of friends, coaches, and fellow athletes who have encouraged me and inspired me to do my best and never give up. 3. How did it feel to be standing on stage getting awarded 1st place? UNREAL!! I was trying to hold back tears since they were snapping photos. It is a serious head rush!!! 4. Please describe the actual competition itself... I am part of the World Natural Bodybuilding Federation (WNBF). We are a league of professional, elite, drug-free athletes from around the world. In the figure category, we are judged on strict criteria in 3 posing rounds. In a line up of 'quarter turns' the judges do side by side comparisons based on beauty, overall symmetry and physical conditioning. A figure competitor should have an "X-frame"  appearance (a small waist with nice shoulders and quad sweep), be lean and muscular, but not as hard or vascular as a bodybuilder. We also do individual stage walks and get judged on stage presence...it's very important to be able to walk in heels! When most people think of preparing for a competition, the first thing that comes to mind is strict diet and training. While this is HUGE, there are so many other things that go into it. First is mental preparation: A positive attitude and mindfulness go a long way. Without having that mental edge, show prep can be a disaster. One must also consider skincare, the right tanning product, suit choice, shoes, jewelry, and posing; These are all necessary parts of preparation to show off all of your hard work the right way on stage! Glory trains and works with clients at Health and Wholeness - a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. *To read more about our wonderful trainers and staff, visit our "Meet our Team" page!*

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