Category Archives: Fitness

Webcast with Dr. McDougall!!!

I am so excited that I was able to join 30 other people in a live webcast with Dr. John McDougall.  His book 12 Days To Dynamic Health is what educated me and encouraged me to change the way I eat.  Last night 5 or 6 people were able to ask Dr. McDougall questions and let him know how he changed their lives and he then had the opportunity to answer their questions.  He is such a nice, easy-going guy with a head full of knowledge.  I am looking forward to another opportunity to get to “meet” him. 

If you would like to find out more information, you can go to and sign up for one of Cathy Karpinski’s nutrition classes.  She is offering 3 of them, one in Prescott, one in Prescott Valley, and one online, so those who don’t live here in Arizona can take her class.  I have actually taken 2 of her classes and learned so much!  I now have control of my health, it does not control me! 

Here is the list of Nutrition Classes for you:

1. Together, diet & exercise make for the perfect weight loss combination!  PHE – 130H Weight Management gives you 15 lecture hours of nutrition, including a class project cookbook & 30 hours of closed-door weight room instruction…all in one 2 credit class!  PHE – 130H Weight Management Section #081017, Prescott Campus, Tuesday (lecture) – 2:45-3:55pm and Tuesday & Thursday (lab) – 4:00-4:55pm, starts January 28, 2008. 

2. If you’ve resolved to lose weight in 2008, our “Boot Camp Nutrition” is the class for you!  Start the year off right with this 2 credit, 30 hour nutrition course held the first 4 Saturdays in January.  Lots of delicious food is served, giving you the chance to find your favorite recipes!  PHE-130J Weight Loss Nutrition & Health Section #081641 at the Prescott Valley Campus.  Saturdays – 1/5, 1/12, 1/19, & 1/26 11:00am-6:15pm. 

3. Support is so important when investing in a healthy lifestyle change.  Our new 2 credit online course offers 12 weeks of education & open discussion with classmates from all over the country!  Sign up with friends & family who live elsewhere to get the support you never before imagined!  Together you’ll learn the only way to achieve permanent weight loss with the arrest & reversal of chronic disease!  PHE 130J Weight Loss Nutrition & Health Section #081748.  online:  Starts January 28, 2008.

Sign up for one today!

Physical Challenge for September

Physical Challenge for September

***Lower Body ***

Lets really focus on our lower body this week. Pick a part of your lower body that you want to focus on each week. The muscles to remember are the glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, & inner/outer thighs.

An example:

Monday: pelvic area – glutes, inner/outer thighs

Tuesday: Cardio

Wednesday: hamstrings & quads

Thursday: Core & Yoga/Stretching

Friday: calves

Saturday & Sunday: REST!

When you work these areas, don’t just go through the motions, really focus on what you are doing. Give a bigger range of motion this week, really sink deep into those lunges & squats, squeeze your backside with bridges & during squats. Just make sure not to work the same muscle group two days in a row.

August Fitness

Physical Challenge for August

***Upper Body ***

Lets really focus on our upper body this week. It is used so much in our everyday lives, but we don’t always remember to really focus with our weights, we usually use our time to focus on our hips & backside That we forget about our arms. The muscles to remember are triceps, biceps, chest, shoulders, back (upper & lower), & deltoids (medial, anterior, & posterior). You can separate your arms into 3 different workouts:

An example:

Monday: Chest & Shoulders

Tuesday: Cardio

Wednesday: Back & Triceps

Thursday: Core & Yoga/Stretching

Friday: Biceps & Legs

Saturday & Sunday: REST!

It doesn’t take 1 ½ hours at the gym to really work your muscles well, just focus on what you are doing & do each rep with all you have.

Physical Challenge for July

Physical Challenge for July

***Go Cardio & Weights ***

Since it’s summer time, most exercise is done outside, maybe taking a nice walk after dinner in the cooler evening time, a bike ride with your family, maybe playing on the beach & having a good swim. You want to make sure you are getting some weight work in as well. If you don’t have weights, use your own body weight. Do some push ups, squats, lunges, tricep dips, etc. to work in all of your muscle groups every week. Make sure you are not working the same body part 2 days in a row.

An example:

Monday: Upper Body & Core

Tuesday: Lower Body & Cardio

Wednesday: Cardio

Thursday: Core & Yoga/Stretching

Friday: Total Body

Saturday & Sunday: REST!

It doesn’t take 1 ½ hours at the gym to really work your muscles well, just focus on what you are doing & do each rep with all you have.

June Fitness

Physical Challenge for April

***Go for Cardio & Core ***

Let’s get ourselves ready for swimming, shorts & short sleeves by burning lots of calories & getting our abs into shape. I did a 1 hour Pilates workout today & was very depressed at how much strength I have lost in more core since I have been focusing on adding strength to my arms.

Here is a cardio circuit that can be done in 15 minutes. You can add it to any workout before you cool down/stretch, or you can do it the first thing in the morning or any other time of the day if you want to get your heart going!
1) Start with jumping jacks for 1 minute. You will probably do around 30.
2) Do some “squat thrusts”: squat down & touch your hands to the floor. Jump your legs back behind you & get into a push-up position. Jump the legs back in. Then stand up or hop up. Do 8 of these.
3) Power walk. Walk around your house, your office building, wherever you are, for about 5 minutes.
4) “Jump rope” for about 2 minutes. Hop with both feet, make it a skip, a little heel shuffle, whatever you want. You can even use an actual jumprope if you have one.
5) Alternate marching for 30 seconds & 4 plyo jumps for about 5 minutes.
6) Do squat thrusts again. On the last time down, stay down & do 8 push-ups.
Come up & march until you are either cool enough to stop or ready to finish the rest of whatever workout you were doing already. Have fun.

Stretch to try

Here are 4 hip stretches for you: These stretches encourage flexion, extension, abduction, & adduction.  If you are on your feet all day, spinal twists can relieve whole body strain.  Hold each stretch for 1 minute and work your way up to 5 minutes.  The eventual goal would be to hold each stretch for 20 minutes, but I know how busy all of our schedules are, so if you can start with just a few minutes for each stretch, its a good start.  If one of the poses starts to feel painful, ease yourself out of it until you are at a comfortable stretch again.

#1. OPEN HORSE STANCE – While standing, turn your feet out in a wide stance (think plie).  Open your legs about a width of 3 feet.  Bend your knees deeply until you are in a wide squat.  Drop your butt back & rest your forearms on your thighs.  Bring your weight off your thighs & onto your arms.   

#2. FOLDED POSE – Lying flat on your back, draw your right knee into your chest, clasping both hands at the knee.  Switch sides & repeat.  Then bring both knees into the chest. 

#3. DRAGONFLY – Sit with your legs at least 90 degrees apart.  Lean forward, trying to touch your hands on the floor in front of you.  Gradually allow your elbows to rest on the floor.  Only go as far down as is comfortable, this is all about stretching your muscles, not pulling them! 

#4. SPINAL TWIST (my favorite) – Lie on your back & squeeze both of your knees to your chest with your ankles together.  Cross your right leg over your left leg & drop both legs to the left, holding the top of your right thigh with your left hand.  Draw your knees up as close to your chest as your hip bones will allow.  Turn your head & look to the right.  Repeat on the other side. 

I hope you will feel relaxed after this & a little more limber.  Try some stir-fry or a yummy vegetable soup for dinner this week & have fun!  Debyi

How is your stretching going?

How are you doing with your stretching? I have been doing good by getting in my 3 days a week of yoga/stretching. I have included a couple more recipes to get in your veggies & another stretch, my second favorite stretch called Eagles Pose. For those of you who suffer from back pain: Yoga reduces back pain better than conventional exercises. “Yoga combines postures for strengthening & stretching with breathing techniques that help you relax, which can have pain-relieving benefits,” says Karen Sherman, Ph.D., author of the Annals of Internal Medicine study of 101 men & women. She says “To ease aches try doing a gently style of yoga, like lyengar or hatha, 3 or 4 times a week.”

Modified Eagle Stretch – strengthens your jaw & neck; stretches your shoulders & upper back.

Start sitting on your knees, then wrap your arms around your torso, left arm under your right, hugging yourself. Keeping your arms close to your body, bring your hands up, your right elbow resting in your left in front of your chest, with your palms touching each other. Relax your jaw & shoulder blades.

Hold for 10 seconds, breathing evenly through your nose. Release & repeat with your right arm under your left.

To make this harder, from a standing position, you can cross your right leg over your left & place your right foot behind your left calf. Squat slightly. Make sure you do both sides.


May Fitness

Physical Challenge for April

***Yoga/Stretching ***

Let’s really focus on stretching all of our muscles this month. I highly recommend taking a Yoga, Stretch and Flex, or a Pilates class somewhere. You can usually take these classes at your neighborhood YMCA, Community College, or Fitness Center. If you have kids, they YMCA is a great option. While you are working out, you can enroll your kids in something as well. If you don’t have kids, your Community College is a very affordable option. You can also get a video to do at home, just make sure you do it!

Try to do yoga, pilates, stretching at least 3 days a week this month. Add at least 2 days of cardio into your week as well, to keep that fat burn going. Yoga and pilates are also good ways to get some weight bearing exercising in by using your own body weight. If you are nervous about doing weight lifting, yoga and pilates are great places to start. They both also help you with balance as well as awesome core work. They help you to build and stabilize your back and ab muscles. If you can find a Yogilates class, you get a little of both and a little less of the “spiritual” side of yoga.

It is so important to keep your full range of motion throughout your life. Think of all the activities that get harder as you grow older because your body doesn’t move as well as it used to. Keeping yourself limber and stretched well will keep you able to do those activities even longer.

Are you overdoing it?

We all go through times when we wear ourselves out.  Be aware & listen to your body when it is telling you to rest.  If you keep pushing when you are overtraining, it will only make your body shut down more.  Rest is a good thing.  Take a couple of days off from your workout routine & you will come back into it refreshed, renewed, & ready to go.  Debyi 

Take a look at your well-being at the moment & notice if you see any of these signs of overtraining:
*Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
*Mild leg soreness, general achiness
*Pain in muscles & joints
*Sudden drop in performance
*Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
*Decrease in training capacity / intensity
*moodiness and irritability
*loss of enthusiasm for the sport
*decreased appetite
*increased incidence of injuries.
*A compulsive need to exercise

You don’t have to see all these things to be overtraining. If you notice any of them then you could be. Please be careful. Exercising too much is not a good thing. You have to find a balance. Kirsten – FIRM Master Instructor