On the Road to Recovery IV- Cardio – Keeping the Heart Healthy when Using Your Legs is a ‘Hard Limit

What’s worse not being able to train your legs or not being able to do cardio?

Not being able to train both is catastrophic to both your metabolism and your heart health. Since both control your heart rate and both control the rate at which you burn fat, maintaining your weight or keeping body fat levels at bay can be challenging if not straight up difficult. (Continue reading for the answer…)

Finding ways to keep my heart rate up without using my legs was challenging for me.  Here are 2 ways I found to keep my heart up at least at a recovery rate of 120 bpm:Bouey

•The first was to put a buoy between my legs and swim with my arms for 30 minutes.

•The second, the arm bike, I would slap on my heart rate monitor and monitor my heart rate for 30 minutes to stay within a recovery heart rate fat burning zone.

armbikeThis is turn does a few things:
1. Put me in a recovery-training zone, which helps to speed up recovery.
2. Helps to circulate blood around the body, to the working muscles and into the healing area to once again speed up recovery.
3. Keeps my heart rate just high enough to burn a minimal amount of fat and train my heart without overstressing the body and again helping to speed recovery.

I can’t say this was fun but I was determined to keep some semblance of physical fitness throughout my recovery to make things easier on me both during and after.

It helped keep me focused and maintain a positive perspective and help attain that feel good serotonin release, even if just for a little bit.

The answer: Leg Training

When training your legs you can elicit both a rise in heart rate for a cardio benefit and strength training to maintain strength and lean muscle for a speedier metabolism and increased circulation for a speedier recovery.

Keep moving people.

DO WHAT YOU CAN WHILE YOU CAN’T DO!

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Go Slower to Go Faster -Heart Rate Training with Phil Maffeton

So you got the fit bit with the heart rate monitor and you want to know how to determine your zone for increased fitness and fat burning potential…

If you really want to increase your fitness level here are the rules…

Taken from Maffetone’s Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing:

1. Subtract your age from 180.

2. Modify this number by selecting from among the following categories the one that best matches your fitness and health profile:

a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (heart disease any operation or hospital stay, etc.) or are on any regular medication, subtract an additional 10.
b. If you are injured, have regressed in training or competition, get more than two colds or bouts of flu per year, have allergies or asthma, or if you have been inconsistent or are just getting back into training, subtract an additional 5.
c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times per week) for up to two years without any of the problems just mentioned, keep the number (180 – age) the same.
d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

Stay within the 10 beats do not go lower or higher.  The hard part is not going past your zone.  Staying slower will actually help establish a baseline and then you can improve your heart rate conditioning.  It will get frustrating but it will give you you a chance to practice patience and it does work!

What this does is stimulate the full spectrum of slow-twitch muscle fibers to rely on fat for fuel. Besides burning fat, it puts you in a recovery zone and helps improve heart and lungs, increased circulation, and better brain function.  This also helps the joints, bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles prevent injuries, avoiding chronic pain conditions in areas like the low back, knee, shoulder, wrist and neck.

Going slower to go faster Check it out..  “The Phil Maffetone Method”

GO for Life! ™ jefitthumb2

In peace, health & with much love, 

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Thank you Edgar Romero for turning me on to this.

Another Bit About the “Fit Bit”

You’re still addicted and you’re still counting your steps and you think that this will burn those extra calories.  Counting your steps and counting your calories will keep you in that same vicious cycle getting you no where :/

You can only drop your calories and work off calories for so long before your metabolism slows down.  The idea is not to decrease your caloric consumption it ‘s actually to eat the required number of calories for your BMR Basal metabolic rate and then get your body to burn excess fat through cardiovascular exercise in your target heart rate zone!

Keeping your calories high while working in this zone will actually increase your metabolism and work in your favor to once again decrease fat, improve heart rate conditioning and improve your overall fitness level, after all isn’t that the goal?!

Do you still believe in your Fit Bit now?

Did I also mention the golden gate bridge was for sale and you can charge people to walk across it?

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,
Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

 

A True Bit on “Fit Bit” and What Marketers Don’t Want You to Know

fit bit

You got your Fit Bit and you’re addicted to counting your steps.  Unless you’re a couch potato this is useless information and here’s why …

If your Fit Bit doesn’t have a heart monitor and you are not working in your heart rate zone, counting your steps will have no bearing on your fitness level or your ability to burn fat.

If you’re an active person, and I mean someone who moves around all day doing all sorts of things and are not sitting around, this gadget is not for you. Unless you have the one with the heart rate monitor and are using it to work in your heart rate training zone to either burn fat or improve your heart rate in which case you can forgo the Fit Bit and move right into a good old fashioned Heart Rate Monitor which actually does the trick of burning fat and improving your heart rate to increase your fitness level, none of which counting your steps on the Fit Bit will do.

So maybe you burned a few more calories by taking a few more steps but you could burn a ton of more calories by monitoring your heart rate and working in your heart rate  zone all of which is more efficient and leads to greater success to achieving your fitness goals of the afore mentioned burning fat, improving heart rate conditioning and increasing your fitness level.

Then there’s your nutrition, IF you’re still keeping to your same dietary habits then all of this effort will go to waste and you will remain just the same and you should just as well stay on the couch and be a potato.

Unless you are a couch potato, PLEASE don’t waste your time counting your steps this will only keep you walking in circles.

Why be a couch potato when you can be a track star? : )
Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™

In peace, health & with much love,contact

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Insulin Resistance and The Rx

Here is the Rx …

sugarI too am insulin resistant and this has been a constant struggle for me in managing my weight. How I manage it is by keeping my complex carbs in small amounts. For instance I take one baked sweet potato and cut into quarters and only eat that quarter at that serving, in combination with protein so that it slows down the insulin rush. Adding a small amount of olive oil to them will also slow down that rush.

As my complex carbohydrate sources, I stick mostly with sweet potatoes, and some white, yucca and butternut squash. Generally, I don’t eat grains or legumes. When I start to get a reaction I pull them out completely for a few days until my system is balanced. Your energy levels, sleep patterns, and hunger pangs will tell you when to put them back in, it’s a cycling effect.

Insulin is a natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood and allows the cells to use the glucose for energy.  When glucose floods the bloodstream the pancreas has to pump out enough insulin to drive that glucose into cells. The more glucose, the more resistant your tissues eventually become to the effects of insulin so the pancreas has to secrete even more and work overtime.

Diet certainly plays a factor but exercise can greatly improve insulin resistance.

Resistance training- is one of the best ways to improve insulin resistance and glucose control. Creating more muscle tissue creates more insulin receptors, improving the absorption of glucose into muscles so that it’s not floating in your blood or being converted into fat for lack of storage space.  As the muscle absorbs the glucose, the pancreas can now relax.

Interval training- which alternates a relaxed pace with bursts of high-intensity movement – like HIIT Training, generates better glucose control than steady-state cardio. The intense contractions that fatigue muscles also break down carbohydrate stores in muscle. The muscles then become much more responsive to insulin as they attempt to replenish these stores.

As discussed in previous blogs  another reason to get a heart rate monitor. This will help heal yourself while you’re getting in shape and losing weight.

Insulin resistance, is a major risk factor for the development of Type II diabetes.

The prescription…exercise!

GO for Life! ™joycethumb

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

HIIT Cardio for Intense Fat Burning

heart rate watchHigh Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time.

In this type of training  you give one hundred percent all-out effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active, recovery periods.  Because This gets and keeps your heart rate up it burns more fat in less time.

By taxing both the anaerobic and aerobic systems you are able to increase your endurance while improving your conditioning level, improve glucose metabolism and burn more fat.

HIIT increases the resting metabolic rate  (RMR) for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption , and may improve maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts.

However, HIIT is not an everyday activity!

Repeat

DO NOT try this everyday.. it WILL lead to overtraining, injuries and metabolic disorders and this will lead you nowhere fast!

Because the central nervous system (CNS) is primarily affected by this high-intensity work it takes a minimum of 48 hours to recover.

HIIT sessions may vary from 4–30 minutes. These sessions are short but intense.

HIIT Cardio sessions can be performed on a bike, elliptical, treadmill running, or even on stairs.

For example 20 sec intensive work 10 sec rest – repeat 4 minutes, also known as Tabata Training.

Training intervals once/week can improve body composition along with conditioning levels.  To improve your conditioning levels aim for 2 x week.

This type of training puts serious demands on the body and should leave you physically and mentally drained after a good workout.

Recovery antidote for this is old fashioned steady state cardio training : )

Use slow fat burning cardio at about 120 bpm the other 4-5 days/week to recover and continue burning fat : ).

*HIIT Training can be incorporated into your routine only after you have safely built an aerobic baseline.

More on this soon…
Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

How to Calculate and Determine YOUR Specific Heart Rate Zones

Now it’s time to get specific YOUR training heart rate.

We are all different, with different fitness levels, with differing Resting and Maximal Heart Rates.  All this will play a factor in calculating your numbers so you can stay in YOUR zone.

An acceptable approximation:

MAX HEART RATE  (MHR) 220- Age

*After the age of the 30

MHR = 190- (age-30)/2

Now calculate your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

Take your pulse for 60 seconds when you wake up in the morning before you start fiddling about.

Then you’ll need your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR), to determine a more accurate training zone.

MHR-RHR=HRR

Now you can figure out YOUR specific Fat Burning Range at the bottom range

RHR+(HRR*.5) @ 50%

RHR+(HRR*.6) @ 60%

*MHR for swimming and cycling may be lower by 5 to 10 bps.

Got It!

Hit me up if you have any questions

Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

Staying in YOUR Heart Rate Training Zone

Now that you understand the effectiveness of steady state aerobic training, understanding the importance of staying in your zone, depending on your goal, will help improve your fitness level and get you those RESULTS!

50-60%- Fat Burning & Recovery – (Aerobic)
In this range you are developing your basic endurance and aerobic capacity. This zone is great for burning fat compared to the effort you put in. Other zones will also burn up your fat but you will have to work harder to burn up the same amount.

60-70%- ENDURANCE –(Aerobic)
This zone is great for your cardiovascular system. This helps your muscles become stronger and more efficient and you develop your body’s ability to transport oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from your muscles. You should be spending the majority of your training time in this zone.

70-80% STAMINA – (Aerobic)

80-90% ANAEROBIC
Entering this zone is a sign that you have become serious about your sport. In this zone your body develops its ability to handle lactic acid. An anaerobic workout takes place when you are working so hard that your body cannot keep up with the production of fuel and oxygen and so you need to dip into your reserves. When you dip into your reserves you produce numerous waste products – principally lactic acid. Training in this zone will help improve your body’s ability to process lactic acid and may increase your lactate threshold.

90% and over – MAXIMAL – (Anaerobic)
ALL OUT INTENSITY- You should only train in this zone if you are very fit and for short periods of time. The value is increased fast twitch muscle fibers for increased speed.

Heart Rate Monitor ( No Chest Strap)

With Chest Strap

Next post I’ll show you how to calculate YOUR specific zone

Until the next…

GO for Life! ™ contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal

*Information for this blog can be referenced to Calculate Now

So You Want to Burn Fat- Slow & Steady Does It

Your goal is to burn fat, right?.. It doesn’t have to be so hard or intense. Steady-State Cardio improves heart function,  recovery and burns fat.

Since Steady-State Cardio (SSC) does not place a large demand on your body it can be done everyday and used as a recovery tool from your intense weight training or HIIT routine.

SSC will help you RECOVER faster by improving blood flow to the trained muscles without placing an additional load on the body.

SSC is also optimal to specifically train the heart and IMPROVE HEART FUNCTION by increasing your cardiovascular endurance.  Over time your lung capacity will increase causing your heart rate to drop both at rest and during exercise.

Yes HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) burns calories, improves high level conditioning and does burn fat, but slowing down allows your body to draw more of its energy from fat stores.

Body fat burns off best at a lower intensity level.  The body uses oxygen to help draw on and break down fat stores. This is your aerobic zone.  Once you increase your intensity you have entered the anaerobic zone, (without oxygen) and your body will burn more sugars for fuel and become inefficient at burning fat, which is your goal, right?

So generally what you want to do is keep your heart rate at around 120 beats per minute.  The best way to monitor this is by using a heart rate monitor. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, a simple one will do.

Keep your slow sessions between 30-45 minutes in length or two 15-30 minute sessions a day.

I’ve listed a couple below. You can click on picture to purchase your own.

Here’s the one I use (I don’t particularly care to wear a chest strap)

 

Here’s another option with a chest strap for about $40:

Go as simple or as fancy as you like. Just pick the one the best suits you and your budget.

Old Fashioned Steady-State Cardio still has its place in the heart.

GO for Life! ™contact

In peace, health & with much love,

Joycelyn Bejar
Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer