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The following articles were authored by Sharon

#HealthyBody #StrongCore

#StrengthenYourCore

Do you have back or hip pain? Do you have problems with your neck or shoulders? Often these common ailments can be greatly improved if not eliminated by strengthening the core.

What muscles make up the core? Many more than you might think. The core includes not only the muscles in the abdomen, but also the thorax and every other muscle from your shoulders to your knees. It includes quadriceps and hamstring's since they attach to the pelvis.

Strengthening all the core muscles makes your whole body stronger. Every movement begins in the core.

As a professional, I always knew how important these muscles were, but I didn't realize experientially until I had major surgery last year. The core is involved in every movement ever so slight. Merely reaching forward from the sofa to lift a glass of water utilized abdominals in such a way that I had never experienced.

Here is a good starting exercise to strengthen the core. Planks.

Strengthening your core can be successful at improving overall body strength and stability. Of course it takes hard work, patience and consistency over time.

Care enough about yourself to do it!

#StrengthenYourCore

By: Sharon Powell
Female Fitness Trainer

Fitness Tip of the Day: Flexibility Training to Improve Squats

If you are unable to perform a squat, one of our body’s primal moves; flexibility may be the problem not strength. A properly performed squat requires flexibility through the kinetic chain from the ankles, up to the legs, hips and shoulders. If range of motion is limited, squat technique will be poor. The body will compensate with dysfunctional movement patterns such as the rounding of the back, head and chest may drop forward, and heels may lift off the floor. These patterns can result in injury.

As a fitness trainer, I first recommend developing flexibility through a progressive stretching program. I recommend stretching the same amount of time that you spend exercising. If you worked out for an hour, stretch for an hour.

Never stretch upon waking when muscles are cold. Optimally, stretch after a workout or before bed. Always go in to a stretch slow and controlled; no bouncing or jerking movements. Stretch each muscle 3 times holding each stretch for 30 to 90 seconds.

The better your flexibility, the better the squat.

Author: Sharon’s Personal Training
Female Fitness Trainer of Tucson

Personal Trainer Health Website Recommendation

As a Fitness Trainer, I am always looking for resources that provide valuable and accurate information on diet and health. One such website is:

www.FrankComstockmd.com

Dr. Comstock is a physician board certified in emergency medicine as well as antiaging medicine. He worked for over twenty-five years in emergency medicine, and for the past ten years has practiced antiaging medicine at Lifestyle Spectrum in Tucson, Arizona.

His website promotes better health through lifestyle changes. Dr. Comstock’s blog posts include important topics such as: “Anti-Aging Exercise”, “Fat Burning Metabolism: FAQs”, “14 Reasons You Should Eat More Fat” and “Why You Shouldn’t Count Calories To Lose Fat”.

Check it out and bookmark the blog page! Better yet – apply Dr. Comstock’s exercise and diet tips. Knowledge is useless without action.

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Female Fitness Trainer of Tucson

 

Personal Trainer Challenge: How Many Consecutive Days Can You Eat Real Food?

To attain all health improvement goals from weight loss to increasing muscle, or improving Type II diabetes or cardiovascular health – eat REAL food. What is real food? Any food in its whole, natural state that you can hunt, gather, fish or pick. If the food is boxed, canned, or frozen – it’s processed. If it has a label – most likely it’s processed. Charles Poliquin, world-renowned strength coach says, “If a caveman could find it, then it’s whole food.”

Avoid any and all processed foods. This includes fruit juice such as, orange juice. Eat the whole fruit! When you eat the whole fruit, you get all the nutrients and fiber. When fruit is juiced, i.e. processed; it destroys the fiber and many of the nutrients. What you have left is a high concentration of sugar. At that point, you might as well drink a soda. Processed foods also include dairy.

For most, eating real food and avoiding processed food is difficult. So much of our food product is processed. Think about it. Even ketchup and mayonnaise is processed. And how often do you eat out? Is everything on the menu fresh and cooked from scratch? I recommend eating a diet high in grass-fed, free range meats, organic, free range eggs, loads of fresh vegetables and fruit. If your goal is weight/fat loss, stick to low glycemic fruit and limit servings to one to two per day.

Take my EAT REAL FOOD challenge. See how many days in a row you can go without eating anything processed. Plan ahead. I shop every two to four days to keep a fresh supply of vegetables in stock. My freezer is packed with meats from local ranchers so that I always have a supply of quality protein available.

The longest I’ve eaten REAL FOOD was nine weeks. It was easier than I thought it would be. I cooked everything fresh and ate lots of beef, bison, salmon, chicken, eggs and as many vegetables as I wanted. No restricting calories! I felt great, leaned out quick and saved a lot of money since I avoided eating out.

So, take my EAT REAL FOOD challenge! Let me know how many consecutive days you can go with eating real food only.

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Female Fitness Trainer

Personal trainer nutrition tip

Make your own chai tea. Most chia tea mixes contain sugar, preservatives and artificial flavors. I recommend you make your own and it’s easy to do. Here’s how I make my own chai tea:

In a tea pot combine 4 cups of filtered water, 3 Green tea bags, 1 Yerba Mate tea bag, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 whole cloves. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain teabags and serve.

To enhance the spice, add the cinnamon sticks and cloves to the water the night before. Allow the spice to infuse overnight.

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Female Fitness Trainer of Tucson

Personal Trainer Tip: Build Muscle and Lose Fat Through Weight Training

Lose weight and that pesky belly fat through weight training. Here’s how. Perform supersets of lower body and upper body exercises with a short rest period of only 30 seconds. Here is a sample workout.

Perform Squats and go right into an Overhead Press. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat two more times.

Slow Step Ups with an Upright Row.

Superset Planks with Reverse Sit Ups

Superset Biceps Curls with Triceps Pulldowns

Start with 3 sets each, 30 seconds rest between each superset, use a weight in which you could perform 10 to 15 reps.

If you’re already in good condition, increase the loads to accommodate a rep range of 8 to 10, and perform 4 sets.

This is a great way to build muscle and lose fat at the same time. And an added bonus, if you do it at the correct intensity; it will be a cardio workout as well!

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Female Fitness Trainer of Tucson

Fitness Tip of the Day: Train Your Weak Link

The saying goes, A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

This is a literal fact about the structure of a chain and it also applies to the human body. The structure of the human body is a chain of skeletal bones linked together by muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia. If one “link” is damaged or weak, it will affect the function of the entire chain/body. I see many people in the gym performing exercises that come easy to them and that they’re good at. Basically, they focus on their strengths. Sometimes when I teach my clients a new exercise and it’s difficult or they can’t do it perfectly right away; they conclude, they shouldn’t do the exercise. The contrary is true. If a particular exercise is a struggle, that means you need to do it.

If you have this mindset, then you’re probably focused on your strengths and are neglecting to train your weaknesses. This routine will only perpetuate structural imbalances in your body. Strong muscles will continue to strengthen. Weak muscles will continue to be weak; thus, putting you at risk for injury or at best, prevent any significant progression in your training.

You probably already know which muscles are weak. Break out of your comfort zone and learn a new exercise or lift today. Make it one that emphasizes your weak area or muscle. It may feel unnatural or awkward at first, but keep at it. Once you learn the technique and improve in strength, it will become easier.

By training your weak links, will you will attain structural balance in your body. This will lead to higher levels of performance, greater strength gains and lower your risk of injury.

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Certified Female Fitness Trainer

TRX Suspension Training

I am now certified in TRX Suspension Training. Suspension Training is a system that uses your own body weight and suspended cables to give you a full body workout.The concept is that one part of the body is always grounded, similar to movement of everyday life. Most jobs are sedentary and require sitting for most of the day. Why do you go to the gym and sit more at a machine? Strength and mobility gains made on the TRX will transfer to activities of daily living and sports.

TRX is useful for all fitness levels and ages because you adjust the difficulty and load by changing your angle or position to the anchor. Even my senior clients and overweight clients perform well on the TRX and actually enjoy it. The suspended straps allow for greater range of motion than one might ordinarily have.

If you’ve never trained using Suspension Training, I highly recommend it! For more information or to find a TRX Certified Trainer in your area, click on the link below.

TRXtraining.com

Sharon of Sharon’s Personal Training

Fitness Trainer of Tucson

Nutrition tip of the day

Eat wild caught salmon for heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and an excellent source of protein. Here, I made salmon salad with homemade mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, organic red onions and organic celery.

I love eating something I know is good for me and tastes great!

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Sharon Powell

Female fitness trainer of Tucson

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