Sunday, November 30, 2008

What Gets You Motivated?

It's been a long month for me and I apologize for the delay in posts. November has been a hectic month, mixed with both good and bad news. On November 3rd, my grandmother passed away. Although she was ill and lived a long life (to 93), her passing was not easy on me.
On a happier note, I am very excited about my new Zumba classes. I have a class every Saturday at 9am at Lady of America Fitness in Edison and every Sunday at 12:15 at CAN DO Fitness in Short Hills.
This month I read an interesting article related to physical fitness through dancing so I thought I'd devote this posting to the benefits of cardiovascular exercise through dance.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), dancing will help you lose weight, build and increase stamina, strengthen and tone muscles, relieve stress and improve mood (I can attest to this one), and increase flexibility and balance.
Dancing raises your cardio level and works every muscle in the body without constantly repeating and overusing the same muscle group.
The New England Journal of Medicine published a study in 2003 that found ballroom dancing was associated with a lowered risk of dementia. They attribute this to the mentally challenging aspects of dancing--following complex dance steps, moving in time, and keeping the beat. And, like all physical activity, dance tends to improve your nutrition and sleep, which in turn helps keep the brain active.
Now it's your turn. What are your favorite forms of exercise? Respond back to me and let me know if what gets you moving!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

But I have no time for... (Part 3 of 3)

On to the final portion of our three-part series, “But I have no time for…” This week’s focus is stretching. Even when we are on our best behavior with nutrition and exercise, it seems stretching is either left out of the program or not given enough time. Why? When there are so many benefits of stretching!

Stretching increases flexibility, improves range of motion, and improves circulation. Not to mention it can also relieve stress, improve posture, and prevent injury. In my opinion, preventing injury is the biggest reason you’ll want to make stretching part of your routine. Two years ago, I pulled my right hamstring. Not only was it painful, but it took months of rehabilitation to get it back to normal. My chiropractor, Dr. Carmen Romano of Madison Medical and Sports Rehab ( ), was a great help in healing my hamstring. And, on a side note, I am proud to tell you that Dr. Romano will be contributing to this blog in future posts so that he can be as much of a help to you as he was for me.

It is important not only to take the time to stretch each major muscle group, but to also do it correctly. Improper stretching can cause more harm than no stretching at all. For example, bouncing as you stretch can cause small tears in the muscle. The proper stretching technique is to stretch to the point of tension, not pain, and hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds (60 seconds on tighter areas).

I’ve been asked many times if it’s better to stretch before or after working out. While it is better to stretch AFTER (because your muscles are warm and more receptive to stretching), I highly suggest a brief warm-up followed by stretching the major muscle groups. Dr. Romano says, “Always warm up before stretching a cold muscle. You can do a light jog or jump rope.” I’ve found, especially in cooler weather, there is much less tension in my body when I do this before working out as opposed to jumping into the workout without a warm-up. Another benefit is that I am also more mentally ready to begin my routine.

So tell me, what is your biggest reason for skipping the stretches either before or after your routine? Is it lack of time, lack of knowledge? Let me and the “Body by Kelly” community help you out!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

But I have no time for... (Part 2 of 3)

Thanks for commenting on last week’s topic, “But I have no time for eating right.” I’ve posted a comment to answer all of your questions. And remember, even with the new topic being posted today, we can still discuss this topic and past topics by leaving a comment under the posting.

On to this week’s topic, “But I have no time for exercise.” Let’s start with how I found myself interested in fitness. After a long day at the office, I had so much pent-up energy! I used the gym as a “healthy” happy hour; a buffer between work and home. Whatever was on my mind came out at the gym and I was able to avoid bringing my work home with me. I now encourage my clients to do the same. Use the gym as a place for your own private time. Do you find yourself always saying, “I’ll go tomorrow?” Make an appointment to yourself to take at least 30 minutes a day for cardio and an hour every other day to include strength training. Just as you made the appointment to yourself to plan your meals, you’ll find it easier to work exercise into your schedule and you’ll be less likely to shrug it off. (Sometimes guilt can be a good thing!)
Maybe today you just could not find the time to walk, jog, or run. Well then break it up. Studies show that 15 minutes of cardio twice a day can be just as effective as 30 minutes once a day. And as for strength training, it goes without saying that I encourage all of you to get one-on-one direction from a professional, whether it be a personal trainer or yoga or pilates instructor. DVDs and at-home equipment are great, but only if you use proper form.
Now it’s your turn to tell me what’s stopping you from exercising as often as you should. Is it time, lack of knowledge, lack of energy? Do you hate gyms but find you don’t work out at home, even though you have the equipment? Do you belong to a gym but find yourself socializing more than working out? Take time now to think about what’s getting in your way. Let me and the “Body by Kelly” community help you overcome these obstacles.
Before I go, I wanted to pass on a link to another blog that I believe will be of help to all of my moms out there. was created by Rita Desnoyers-Garcia, founder of Meditating Moms. Although geared towards mothers, I’ve found this site to be perfect for anyone looking for inspiration to become spiritually bigger than they are today. I encourage you to take a look and read some of her experiences.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

But I have no time for... (Part 1 of 3)

Welcome to Part 1 of a three part series based on complaints that we have no time for eating right, exercise, or proper stretching.
This week's topic is based on the theory that we have no time to eat right.
Time and again I hear my clients tell me that their typical day starts off with a healthy breakfast, an okay lunch, followed by snacking and whatever they can get on their plate for dinner. My first response: planning! Make an appointment to yourself for an hour a week to plan out your meals for the week. And guess what? It's okay to have a day where we eat a few things we're not supposed to! If you've eaten right all week, you won't feel guilty when ordering that second glass of wine on Saturday night or sharing a dessert with your friend. So write down what you plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks throughout the week.
Can't find time to cook every night of the week? Not many of us can. So find a day where you can cook enough for at least 2 days. For example, I love my Foreman grill! So while I'm grilling some chicken cutlets or fish filets for tonight's dinner, I'll thrown on some more for tomorrow's dinner. Boiling water for some brown rice? Why not make another cup and then heat it up for tomorrow's dinner when you expect to be rushed.
Now, what to do when the unexpected occurs. Going out for lunch or dinner? Most menus in the past year have changed to accommodate those of us who don't want to ingest trans fats or oils. I know how good it tastes and the smell can be tempting, but be strong and keep your eye on your goal.
A client recently introduced me to I encourage all of you to take a look. This link in particular,, will be especially helpful in making the right choices at your local fast food eatery.

Now it's your turn! What's stopping you from eating healthier? Time, money, or just plain tired at the end of the day? Let me and the "Body by Kelly" community help you!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Traumatic Experiences and Their Negative Effects

When was the last time you let a traumatic experience affect your goals for becoming a healthier, more fit individual? When did you realize you had lost sight of your goals and what steps did you take to get back into the routine?
This does not have to be a life-changing event, sometimes it is the smallest things that knock us off course. And please keep in mind that you do not have to share your identity or even tell us what happened. We all have had something out of our control come between us and our goals and have found a way to overcome it. The key is finding out what still remains in our control, and how we use that to get our power back.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sticking to routine and late night cravings

First, make sure you schedule your workout days as you would any other appointment. Mark your calendar with the days and times that will work best for you. Make exercise become part of your routine, whether it is first thing in the morning or right after work.
Second, change your workout routine every 2-3 weeks, or as much as you need to in order to keep it interesting and challenging. This will stimulate you mentally and physically, as your muscles will become accustomed to the same movements and weight. Third, get a workout buddy. A buddy will help you stay disciplined and motivated.

Regarding your late night/ early morning cravings, I'd like to know what is your diet like throughout the day? The reason I ask is because many clients tell me they eat healthy all day but come home after work craving something sweet. This is because they’ve avoided carbohydrates all day, instead of ingesting slow digesting carbs throughout the day. Carbohydrates can be simple or complex, the complex being the ones you want to have throughout the day. Examples include brown rice, whole grains, baked and sweet potatoes, and oatmeal. These will keep you feeling fuller, longer. Simple carbs, on the other hand, spike your blood sugar, which will give you a quick rush of energy only to be followed by a lull, leaving you craving more sweets, thus putting you into a sugar craving cycle.
My advice is to make sure you’re eating enough complex carbohydrates throughout the day. Make the necessary changes to your diet and this should stop your middle of the night cravings for sugar.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


What's keeping you from following through with your goals? Is it time, money, lack of knowledge? Do you find that once you finally have time to get to the gym, you don't know what to do? When you make your grocery list, you don't know which foods are right for your goals?
The first step in making a change is finding out what's not working for you. Respond by letting me know what your biggest obstacle is. If you don't know how to overcome it, let me know that too. Me and the "Body By Kelly" community will help by giving you suggestions that worked for us!