Are you here for something … or something more … 

If you haven’t heard her music … it will move you… if you check her out she will change you. 

Nina Grae (ninagrae.com) wrote this: 

Regardless of where your emotional set point is, as the year winds down (and the interesting-ness seems to intensify) I’d like to share a little love with you. 

Over the past month, more than a few people have reached out, telling me the song, “I Am” has been really helping them during these interesting times. Many of you saw and shared (thank you!) the #ichooselove hashtag that was launched with my Kickstarter campaign in May – right now it feels more important than ever to be VIGILANT about CHOOSING LOVE as a way of thinking, behaving, and responding to LIFE. At every moment, in every situation, we have the opportunity to CHOOSE LOVE or… something else:

  • Pretend you don’t see someone or wave + smile?
  • Lurk and silently hate on what someone’s doing/sharing/creating or give them actual props and encouragement?
  • Look back on all the things that annoyed you about your ex or appreciate all the ways s/he helped you grow into the person you are right now?
  • Spill that piece of juicy gossip or let the story end with you?
  • Waste an hour on social media or make that call to someone you’ve been thinking about? 
  • Eat like shit and not workout until January 1st or treat your body right, today?
  • Complain about the President Elect or come up with some ways you’re gonna BE THE CHANGE in 2017 and beyond? (hello, #LOVEARMY!!)

May you keep “I Am” close to your heart this season as a reminder that you, Stacy, always have a choice!

 #ICHOOSELOVE

chosen something more 

Cardio vs Strength

When we think about workouts, we break them down into all sorts of categories. The biggest two are Cardiovascular Training vs Strength Training. Both are important components of a healthy program. Cardiovascular, cardio for short is about building endurance. Endurance is all about how long, fast, far can you go. You are asking your body to do repetitive work over time. Remember our discussion about energy systems a few months ago? Here’s where you really train your aerobic system.

As you do the work, your body gets better at making energy (out of fuel you’ve eaten) and utilizing it in efficient ways to get the most out of it. Cardio work is anything that uses large muscle groups (chest, legs, glutes) and raises your heart rate over time: things like walking, running, swimming, hiking, biking, etc. You can go for one session, say 30 min or break it into 3 – 10 min sessions depending on your other time demands.

Strength training on the other hand is about your Creatine phosphate and Anaerobic Glycolytic energy systems, although aerobic is also used. In strength training we are looking at power, force, and speed. We want to see how much weight can I move one time (that’s considered your 1 rep max). There are many ways to set up a strength program. You may have heard about things like pyramids, blitzes, slow training, circuit training, etc. The choice you make in your program is about your goals. Some emphasize building muscle mass others power and speed. Some are just about being able to complete daily life activities in healthy ways to preserve your body’s ability to move efficiently through them for years to come. Think about taking the milk jug from the fridge, reaching for a glass, pouring the milk, then drinking it. These movement patterns may sound simple and routine, however for the body they require movement in multiple planes, rotation, strength (that full gallon weight about 9lbs and is away from your center of gravity, thus making it harder to lift), and numerous neuromuscular junctions all working together.

Consider your goals, think about balancing out your routines, and then have fun creating all sorts of cardio and strength combinations to keep yourself motivated and interested!

Exercise and Mental Health

There is much research that shows the links between exercise and enhanced mental health. Exercise has been found to help decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, bi-polar, schizophrenia, and trauma. In addition, performing exercise helps us create a more positive thought structure about ourselves, our abilities, and our strength to care for ourselves. This translates into a concept called Mastery.

Mastery is important because it helps us build a healthy self-esteem – or how we see ourselves in the world and as worthy of love and belonging. Love and belonging matter because as humans we are hard wired to need other humans. We build our brains off each other, our somatic system picks up on the connection we have with other humans (and animals) and we regulate each other – for better or worse.

By participating in regular exercise you are building the systems of the body, mind, and spirit that enhance the human existence, thus creating a more positive disposition and coping in everyday life. (Just so you know … you still have free choice, choosing to participate in activities or with groups that hurt you in some way. Will not make your life better just because you are moving. Make sure you choose wisely when choosing who you surround yourself with and how you balance your workouts to meet your individual needs).

If you are someone who struggles with mental illness and would like your personal trainer to know how to best help you OR you are a personal trainer who wants to better serve clients with mental health struggles. Please use the contact me page to send me an email, I’m putting together an article series to help make sure mental health doesn’t get left at the physical health door.

What is Lean Mass and Why Does It Matter?

Lean mass is everything but the fat. Fat mass only includes adipose tissue. Lean mass is like your house – it takes plumbing, electricity, lighting, running water, etc to make it comfortable, not to mention the amount of energy you pour into living your life that operates between its walls.

On the other hand adipose tissue cells are big storage units. The body’s systems are on the outside of those cells more like a storage unit. You don’t pay for heat, extra lighting, plumbing, etc to create a more comfortable space. It’s just a place to put your stuff. When you increase lean mass you need more energy to manage it.

Fat is energy – it’s just fuel for the body. When there is more items within the body requiring more energy guess what gets used up?! FAT. The body goes into its storage unit and pulls out what it needs, thus you lose weight. By increasing your lean mass through strength training and cardio vascular work you decrease your fat mass by using up the fuel you’ve been storing.