Take Away or Add On to Improve Fitness

Take away to add in

When to Take Away

As you get further along your path of fitness you may find a need to take away from your training choices.

You may be wanting to add something else, or what you’re doing is simply not working for you.

How do you know?

Measuring performance, body markers, pain levels, or injuries are ways to know if your current program and activities are working for you. Are they giving you the results that you are looking for?

At my highest level fitness I was in the most pain. My left shoulder hurt all the time. The same for my right hip, which kept making this odd popping sound and causing spikes of pain now and then.

Looking at me then, you may have thought I was the picture of health. I felt confident and I liked the way I looked.

But at what cost?


Since that time, a little over three years ago, I feel like I have reset.

I no longer feel pain, and no longer have elevated stress from obsessing about what, when, and how I eat.

Yet the results are not what I hope for either. I do not fit in clothes I would like to, and feel a little uncomfortable doing the activities I prefer to do.

A piece of clothing I want to fit in is a traditional costume worn on the 17th of May in Norway (National day celebration). I inherited it from my grandmother. It fits a bit too snug and alterations are not an option.

I can still run and do parkour, but I feel my movements are not as quick and smooth as I would like.

I am real happy to not to feel pain or anticipate feeling pain anymore.

Learn and Add In

I now have the opportunity to look back and see what worked in the past.

I can add those things in and be assured that the problems that came with my higher degree of fitness last time will be avoided.

How about you? What lessons can you apply, and what works for you?

What would you take away, or add, to get and keep the results you want?

Choose getting and keeping fit by training today. Cheers!

Grub Bubble Of Knowledge and Experience

Grub By T.K. Naliaka (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Know Your Grub Bubble

Grub is what you like to and know how to, eat. The size of the grub bubble is determined by preferences, experience, and knowledge of food.

The word diet comes with the assumption that there will be limitations to adhere to.

There is little talk about new experiences and knowledge gained by trying new foods, and cooking styles.

Science tells us that what is important is the adherence to a selected healthy diet,  not really the foods that are in it.

Our grub bubble is very personal.

What is Healthy?

For food, “healthy” is subjective.

For Nutrition Science there aren’t too many areas where we have scientific agreement. The where they agree  have less to do with what you eat and more to do with how you eat.

Is it important to tune into satiation cues? (Keep in mind that satiation cues register in the brain about 20 minutes after you start eating.)

How does that play with how fast you eat?

Or that you follow a vegan or paleo lifestyle?

If you care about long term healthy eating habits, the only thing we know makes a difference is how fast you eat. It has a direct impact on your adherence to any food regimen.

If you eat fast and never feel satisfied it will be harder to stay on track.

Debate on Fast And Processed

There is even a debate in nutrition about processed and fast food. Right now it comes down to quantity and satiation.

What do you find it easier to eat more of? Fast food or complex whole foods?

Consider the environment you eat it in; your car, or the fast food restaurant. How have they set up your food experience? Is their setup for speed? How about your enjoyment of the food?

There is a lack of complexity in fast food. They create fast food to hit your sweet, salty and fatty spot.

Whole foods made by you normally have less sweet, salty and fatty. You can spice whole foods to your individual tastes.  Serve salt at the table for more individual choice.

Your grub bubble can grow as you gain knowledge, experience and choose to try new foods. Maybe even real grubs (high protein and high calorie).

Will this help you to jump into training to get ‘er done? Cheers!!

Share Your Vision, Make a Connection

share a vision make a connection

Share to Connect

Have a vision to share? Sharing a vision of what you want or value and use that to create connections with like-minded people.

I remember when I finally watched the documentary “The Secret”. I thought to myself, “don’t most people already do this from when they first communicate?”

If you grew up in a home where adults and other children listened to you, then you practiced the secret as soon as you could. You asked for what you wanted.  You did not care who you asked.

I wanted a doll, “Baby Alive” when I was six years old. Any person I came in contact with around that time I told that is what I wanted.

Did I get a”Baby Alive”?

I got a great knock off with baby alive accessories.

Vision to Vision

It makes sense that if you want something to happen, you talk about it with everyone. You never know what insights and connections the person you are talking to will have.

Want to run a marathon, talk about it. My guess is that in a short time you will come across someone who has run one, is training for one, or knows someone who is training for one.

They may become a training buddy, or a great resource of what to do next for your own goal.


I think people do this naturally. We talk about what is on our mind when we talk to others. Sharing a vision you have for a future you want then comes naturally.

Are you aware of when you are doing this? Not sure?

Do you ask yourself insightful questions about who you want to share your vision with?

What information do you hope to get from sharing your vision?

Is your vision realistic?

When I was in real estate a colleague of mine was fresh out college and decided to become a sales manager in under six months.

He thought by speaking with the director of sales weekly, to build a rapport, would short-cut his rise. It did not. He may have gotten some great insights and tips, but he did not jump the line for promotions.

If you have a goal you want to achieve, ask around and see if someone else shares your vision.

Enjoy your training today. Cheers!!


Getting Focus Can Ease Stress

Getting Focus

Focus on Getting Focused

Use getting focus on your what, why, who, and how to help lessen the stress in your life.

While listening to one of my favorite podcasts, “Introvert Entrepreneur” with host Beth Buelow, her guest Jeffery Shaw suggested that in order to connect with an audience, you need to know your values and speak to them. In doing so, you will connect with your people authentically by using language.

I have heard business coaches say this before. It was the way Mr. Shaw said it that spoke to me. It was the words he choose and how he focused his intention.

He came across as wanting to genuinely understand the people he served so he could be better at it.

Instead of imagining who is going to buy your product. Or wh you want to provide a service to.

He narrowed his focus down to values – your values – so that when you talk with people about what you do, the ones who hear – because you use words that click with them – feel connected. Then you can serve them better.

Room For Everyone

We share humanity, but our experience of humanity is individual and nuanced. This whole idea and taking in this idea gave me a sense of relief.

No longer feeling like I had to justify and sell who I am. That mindset taps into my need for everyone I come in contact with to like me.

Wanting everyone to like me makes me compromise my values and bend my boundaries in ways that are not necessarily helpful. For me, that way of thinking adds a world of stress from feeling scattered to sometimes used.

Life Skill

Try using the life skill of creating goals based on your want, and why, in areas of your life you have not considered. Breaking it down into action items to do daily, weekly, monthly.

Feel the relief?

In what ways do you use goal setting? Can you think of another area of your life that you can apply it to?

Time to get your heart a pumping. Cheers to a great training session!!

What is Early…Two Thirty…Why Are Eyes Open?

to early for open eyes

Early = Two Thirty = Eyes Shut

At two thirty – way too early(!) – my eyes popped open because I was overheated. I had to throw off my covers and get up to cool down.

This has been happening more frequently. As a woman in her late 40’s I know what this means. The big M is knocking on my door.

I just wish it would knock at some other time.

I had pre-ordered a book of my favorite authors that evening and because it was past midnight it showed up in my Kindle app. That was a positive discovery.

When six thirty came and I was still awake it did not feel like such a great thing anymore. And I was having a hard time regulating my body temp, still…

Body Temp Regulation

One of the best ways to regulate body temp is to have good circulation. The hypothalamus is the regulator (thermostat) of your body. It adjusts your body temp by fine-tuning hormones and chemicals released, body fluid balance, and salt concentrate.

I found this great article that uses a thermostat in a house to describe the function of the hypothalamus. For details read here.

It helps make more sense out of why anecdotally based advice given to women going through menopause, or peri-menopause, is to stay well hydrated.

An educated guess would be that doing activities that promote good circulation would be a good thing as well.

Yesterdays’ younger heart program may help with today’s overheating experience.

What To Do

Before heading to the doc’s to check on hormone levels and chemical balances to see what is going on with the hypothalamus, I could make sure my fluid balance was in check daily and then up my game with intervals and endurance training.

If you know someone, or have experienced body overheating yourself, what did they/you do keep it in check? Was sticking a foot out from under the covers enough?

Get moving and help regulate your body temp. Cheers!!

Twenty Eight Minutes to a Younger Heart

twenty eight minutes to a younger heart

Younger Heart in Twenty Eight…Let’s Go

Twenty eight minutes seems like a reasonable amount of time to add a little youth to your heart, doesn’t it?

If you want to add a little extra on a high intensity interval day, try this program out. It is pretty intense and you will need 28 minutes plus warm up and cool down time.

It is a simple 4×4 interval like the Norwegian cross-country ski team uses (the one that won all those gold medals during the Winter Olympics). You may have heard about it or done it before if you are involved in training for running, cycling, or swimming.

If you want you can watch this video to learn more. Enjoy the Norwegian accent!

What Does it Do For Your Heart

A study published in January showed that middle aged adults who participated in a two year exercise training, including the 4×4 interval training program, improved their “maximal oxygen uptake and decreased cardiac stiffness”.

As part of Virtual Personal Training (VPT) programming each week you are given two interval days and one active recovery or longer endurance day.

You should be more than ready to take on this program. We have already included “Fartlek” (speed play) 30/20/10 intervals. Those are something I personally find real user friendly.

Improving Race Time

Oxygen uptake and a better functioning heart may help improve your race times, if that is important to you.

That is one reason we included the interval days in the first place.

We knew that you may want to be ready to take on other challenges. Doing so with a body that process oxygen well will make it easier.

Easier in the sense that you will not be distracted by your body saying “no we are done here”. You may still have two left feet at first, but that learning curve is faster won.

We already have an interval program set for you today, but if you have the time, try the 4×4 program during your training session.

You know… For fun!!

Inflammation and Food Sensitivities

inflammation and food

Inflammation and Sensitivity

Inflammation can be caused by food items that trigger a reaction. The usual suspects for sensitivity are dairy, gluten, nightshades, and wheat.

An allergic reaction can be serve and life threatening, but that is not always the case.

In order to find out if you have any food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities it is a good idea to work with a registered dietitian (RD).

They will use elimination diets, and maybe other tests to help determine if you are experiencing side effects from certain food types.

Foods that commonly cause reactions are nuts, eggs, shell fish, wheat, and dairy.

There are other foods that can cause sensitivities or allergic reactions that a RD will be able to help you identify.

Life Style Inflammation

I am calling alcohol and tobacco a life style inflammation. Either of these can cause an inflammatory response in your body.

I do not know the details as to why this is. It’s honestly something you would need to speak with a specialist doctor or scientist about.

If you’ve had a drink or two, you know that alcohol can cause dehydration which can leads to water retention and bloating.

Tobacco is well known to cause irritation of the tissue it comes into contact with. As in your lungs (smoking) or lips (chewing).

Feeling Off

Most of the inflammation  the average person will feel is digestive. Eating something that does not agree with you.

Since a lot of meals are made up of many parts, even those we make at home, it can be difficult to figure out which food is causing the issue.

I remember having digestive issues when I would have a shake at a fast food restaurant.

At first I thought it was the whole experience. Then I noticed when I did not have a shake I did not have the same reaction.

Over time I have come to think it is a milk fat issue versus an actual milk allergy. I can have plain yogurt, cottage cheese, and butter without problems.

Have you noticed any issues with inflammation that you know, or think, is related to a certain food group? How did you discover it? What would you try different to figure it out?

Welcome to a new training week. Cheers!!

Wandering To Create Connection and Ignite Imagination

wandering in Boston so many stories

Wandering To Connection

Wandering is something that I enjoy doing very much. I like to live in a place that allows a lot of wandering.

At times I find it easier to allow myself to wander if I have a purpose. Walking to get somewhere always helps. The best is if I am dropped off away from home and have to get back.

Older places geared more towards walking are filled with discoveries along the way. I like to learn a place by taking my time strolling through it.

For me, it is harder to feel connected to places where walking is not possible.

Wonder of Wandering

To wander creates wonder in me. I tell myself stories of the places and people I see. As I stroll around and come across different scenes, I wonder what the story is behind it.

I do not think I am alone in this.

With more focus on the worlds within the internet, is this questioning and imagining of the world around us coming to an end?

I find it harder to not fall into the “fear of missing out” and “comparisons” when immersed in social media.

This problem does not exist in “live” forms of social “media”. I feel more curiosity and less insecurity.

Image vs. Witnessing

Is there a difference between an image and witnessing a live moment?

When I see something live I am very aware that there is no predetermined next moment.

Watching two people interacting as they walk down the street, play in a park, or a dog being walked is unpredictable. It is without a predetermined outcome.

Images and video are all complete. There is nothing left to happen. They just do not capture my imagination and wonder the same way.

The last time you wandered around, what did you notice? What was your inner dialogue and reaction? How does it compare to an image or video experience?

Have a great day, and even better training session. Cheers!!

Cut Out Stress By Being Still

Cut out stress by being still

Cut Out Daily Stressors

To cut out daily stressors sounds like a great idea to bring down your overall stress. A great idea which brings hard choices.

A choice not to reach for the phone, remote, or log in to social media.

These things are distractors. It may seem like you are doing something that is helping you chill out because it is different than “work”.

Is it cutting stress or distracting you from being aware of stress? I find that after I watch TV, I do not feel relaxed and rejuvenated.

Ready to take on the next challenge?

Not really.

I do better if I take a little time out. If I get caught up in watching a bird of prey hunt, or simply watching long prairie grass dance in the field across the street.

Those hypnotic moments that help me to appreciate that the world is bigger than my section.

Forest Bathing…Again

This idea of cutting out stress by not distracting but connecting with the world reminds me of forest bathing.

I referred to it before as a way to take a time out and give yourself a mental health boost, like they do in Japan.

I do not have a forest near me. We are surrounded by buildings, concrete, construction, and grass lands.

Finding connections to nature through birds, and plants can be done in most urban settings.

If you are lucky enough to live next to trees and woodlands, see what happens if you spend a little time just hanging with them.

A patch of grass in the middle of a busy area may also allow you to at least feel the blades on your hands.

What helps you to cut out stress? Does watching nature give you relief, how do you know?

Hope you have a great bout of training today. Cheers!!

How to Grow Muscle While Sleeping

grow muscle while sleeping

Grow Muscle While Sleeping

To grow muscle while sleeping we all need a few ingredients. Some of them will take a little more time than the others, but overall it will be worth it. Especially if you are pushing 50 or older.

The first ingredient is some strength training. It can be body weight, free weight, machine weights, or how about milk jugs?

Focus on doing between 10-15 reps for three sets. Lift as much weight as you can, until you fatigue. That means if you can do 15 reps and feel like you got a few more in the tank, it is time to digging around for something heavier.

Every time you increase the weight, try to increase it enough so you tap out at 10 repetitions. Then keep that weight the same as you work your way back up to 15 reps.

Luckily VPT “basic training” has you covered. Usually you are doing 10, 12 or 15 reps in our program. To individualize this, select a weight or level of difficulty that you are ready for.

Second Ingredient

Now try to get in a few servings of protein throughout your day. There is a little bit of protein in most foods, but focus on getting a lean protein either from animal protein or well structured plant based protein between three and six times per day.

If you want to include a protein shake after strength training, go for it!

There is Whey (dairy protein), plant based options (pea, soy, brown rice, or a mix of these) and the new option is bug based protein (mill worm or crickets).

You may need to try a couple of kinds until you find one that is easy to digest and does not scare your taste buds (Protein powder shouldn’t taste much of anything when added!)

A Third Ingredient

Include some endurance training. With VPT we offer two days of high intensity interval training and up to one day of long distance endurance training.

How to individualize? Do you feel like you are gaining muscle and strength? If not, consider adding a few extra rest days. Since we offer a full body resistance program three days a week, you can try dropping down to two days, if you find you are losing strength.

You can also rest on one day of high intensity interval training, or change that to a more low key activity like pilates, yoga, or a “simple” flexibility and mobility session.

Finally sleep as much as possible to let your muscles recover and grow. While you are at rest is when you gain strength and muscle volume from the training you already got done.

Integrating and maintaining these habits now will make it much easier to keep it up as you age.

Get your training reward today by lifting some body weight. Cheers!!