Wednesday, December 20, 2017

5 Healthy New Years Resolutions

Drink More Water

Proper hydration is an essential requirement for healthy organ function, and it is very much taken for granted. Keep yourself hydrated by purposely adding four glasses of water (not liquids) to your daily routine. Try drinking a glass before each meal and drinking two glasses of water when you wake up each morning. You can do this during meetings or workouts as well.

Replenishing after a long workout is vital to replacing fluids you sweat away while exercising. If you do not like, or get bored with the taste of water, you can always add fruit slices like orange, lime, or lemon to jazz up the flavor.

Find an Accountabilabuddy and Show Up!

Do you know someone that needs to exercise for various health or physical reasons? One way to ensure that you will stay on track for your exercise goals is to pick someone that needs YOU! When you know someone else is counting on you to help them feel better about themselves or lose some weight, then you are more likely to stick to your personal training exercise plan.

Some ways to keep this routine going strong throughout the year is to contact each other about exercising each day, motivational texts when not together, and compete with each other a little. Remember that your partner is counting on you for success!

10 Minutes of Meditation a Day

Or try Beginners Yoga personal training! 75 percent of the people who said they have insomnia report that they can fall asleep in about 20 minutes when they begin meditating daily. There are more than 1,500 studies on meditation, and one Detroit business found that employees with a meditation plan were 120 percent more productive and made more than 520 percent more money.

Meditation is known to relieve stress and help you maintain a calming Zen. If all you have to do is meditate for ten minutes a day to get results like that, then why are we leaving it out of our routine? There are clips on YouTube that can help you begin a meditation program. Even counting your breathing in and out for a few minutes every day can help you reduce stress and feel better.

Create and Share A New Playlist

Music can be an immediate mood booster and motivator for any situation, and especially when exercising. A simple, easy way to improve your mood and make it easier to get things done is to create a new music list. Add your favorite songs from 2017, and think about what you need from a new playlist. Do you want to relax after work, or do you listen to music when you workout? Choose new tunes that fit the need for your playlist and get busy filling it up.

If you go blank when you try to think of singers or you want a longer list, just type a few favorites into YouTube, and it will pop up similar artists. You can do the same thing in the search bar on the Spotify free version. For even more fun, send your energized playlist to your workout buddy, or the relaxation playlist to a friend that could use some chill time!

Plan Your Sleep

You may not think it is that big of a deal to miss an hour or two of sleep here and there, but how much sleep do you give up each week when you do it day after day? Regular sleep loss can cause you to develop high blood pressure and diabetes leading to stroke and heart disease or heart attacks. A simple way to get the sleep you need is to set two alarms, one to go to sleep and one to go to bed. This way, you never let binge watching keep you from a productive day at work.

To make your 2018 a healthier and more productive year, consider adding these five easy tips to your daily routine. A few minutes of time each day to take care of yourself helps you become the BEST version of you!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield, Director of HomeBodies is a leading home personal training service in NYC with over thirty years experience helping fellow New Yorker's lose weight and get shape. Learn more by visiting their website at

Monday, May 8, 2017

The 7 Best Exercises for Pregnant Women

The 7 Best Exercises for Pregnant Women

Upon receiving the great news of your budding bundle of joy, you must be super-excited to make healthy changes in your life, which include regular exercise. Exercise during pregnancy is not only important to get you lively and ready for your baby, but it is also the fastest way to weight loss post pregnancy. It also helps you have less back pain and a shorter labor.

The following seven best exercises for pregnant women will help you look and feel your best during this special time in your life.


Prenatal yoga stimulates circulation, strengthens your muscles, and helps you relax, which can help you stay strong and calm during your pregnancy.

You can also use the techniques to stay relaxed and have more muscle control during labor. In fact, a study conducted on more than 70 first-time mothers showed that those who practiced regular yoga experienced less discomfort and shorter labor.

As your bump grows, keeping your balance can become more challenging, so skip positions that require more stability. Additionally, in your second trimester and beyond, avoid poses that require you to lay flat on your back because as your uterus gets weighty, it can put too much pressure on major veins, which can limit blood flow to your heart.


A leisurely stroll around the park is an excellent way to get a cardiovascular workout without putting too much strain on your ankles and knees, and it can be done at any time through the entire pregnancy. However, remember to wear supportive shoes and try to walk on smooth surfaces because as your pregnancy progresses, it can affect your coordination and balance.


Swimming is the safest form of exercise during pregnancy because there is no risk of toppling and harming your baby. In addition, exercising in water allows a broad range of motion without putting pressure on the joints; therefore, you can swim, dance, or walk in the water throughout your entire pregnancy. However, avoid jumping or diving in because it could cause abdominal pain. You should also avoid warm pools, hot tubs, and saunas, etc., which could cause you to become too hot.

Light Weight Training

Mild weight lifting helps strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints, which can prepare your body for the abundant lifting and carrying that will be required once the baby arrives. Doctors warn that lifting weights that are too heavy can put a dangerous strain on your abdomen; therefore, stick to light weights (about 5-8 pounds) and perform more repetitions for a good workout. Furthermore, avoid lying on your back when training, which could decrease blood flow to your baby.


Pliés strengthen the hamstrings, quadriceps, and butts, which helps improve balance.

To perform a plié, stand parallel to the back of a stable chair with the hand nearest to the chair resting on the top of it.

With your feet parallel and hip distance apart and your toes and knees turned slightly outward, while keeping your back straight, slowly bend your knees lowering your torso as much as you can. Slowly straighten your legs to return to starting position. Repeat as many times as you would like, or as guided by your Prenatal Personal Trainer.


Squatting is helpful in preparation for delivery because it increases the pelvic opening
an additional quarter to a half inch, allowing more space for the baby to descend, so you should practice it regularly to strengthen the muscles required.

The wall slide squat is especially beneficial because it does not require much balance. To perform a wall slide squat, stand with your back flat against a wall with your feet about six inches from the wall and shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms relaxed at your sides and your back flat against the wall, gently slide down the wall into a squatting position until your thighs are in line with the floor. Hold the squat for up to 10 seconds, then gently slide back up the wall into standing position. Repeat this exercise 5 to ten times.

Pelvic Tilts

Pelvic tilts strengthen abdominal muscles and ease delivery. It can also improve the flexibility of your back and ward off back pain during pregnancy and labor.

To perform a pelvic tilt, get comfortably down on your knees and hands with your head in line with your back. Tuck in your pelvis while arching your back upward. Hold this pose for a few seconds, then flatten your back and relax your stomach without allowing it to droop. Repeat this exercise three to five times, gradually working up to ten reps.

As with any exercise, you should consult with your doctor first to be sure you have no limitations and that the exercises are safe for you and your baby. Once you receive the okay from your doctor, indulge in exercises for pregnant women knowing you are doing your part in growing a healthy baby as well as taking steps to ease your labor. 

Additional Resources

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies NYC Personal Training at Home, a leading personal training service in Manhattan NY with over thirty years experience.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Benefits of Home Personal Training

Benefits of Home Personal Training

Benefits of Home Personal Training

Whether you really love your current workout, would like to try a new workout, dread working out and are looking for a way to make it more enjoyable, are athletic training, training for an event, would like to try a new sports activity as part of your bucket list, want to achieve weight loss, and more NYC Home Personal Trainers can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Personal trainers are highly skilled in various exercise techniques and can develop a personalized fitness plan based on your specific needs, as well as provide the inspiration you need to achieve effective results. Also, trainers work on your schedule and, in many cases, can even come to your home or office for added convenience. Some benefits of incorporating a personal trainer into your fitness routine include:

Motivation and Support

Whether you are stuck in an exercise rut, are having a bad day, or are simply not into fitness, a personal trainer can provide the motivation you need to both get and keep you going. Personal trainers are enthusiastic about fitness and are eager to pass this enthusiasm on to you. Not just as a quick fix, but to help make you enthusiastic about fitness as a lifestyle choice, which can greatly improve your overall well-being.

Your trainer cares about you and your success. In addition to providing motivation, your personal trainer also provides ongoing, non-judgmental support, which can help give you the confidence you need to stick to your workout.

Each time your trainer is with you, their focus is you and only you. During your workout, your trainer will provide constant feedback and help you improve your routine, as well as yourself, in a caring but non-judgmental way.

Trainers do not judge or belittle, instead they help you see your success throughout the process, even when you do not realize it yourself. Through this continuous support, your trainer can motivate you and help you feel good about yourself.

Develop/Improve Your Routine

Whether you have a beloved routine, would like to try a new routine, or you are new to fitness and don't know where to begin, your personal trainer can help you develop a routine that is realistic to you and improve upon fitness routines already in progress.

Trainers are educated in various exercise techniques and can help you with meeting your fitness goals. A trainer will consider your fitness level as well as your exercise preference and help develop a routine that fits your lifestyle, so you are not overwhelmed. This will help maximize your workout time and motivate you towards success.

Proper Form and Technique

It is very easy to injure yourself while working out if you are not exercising the proper form and technique. Having a personal trainer by your side can provide instant feedback on the proper way to perform exercises, learn how to properly do cardio and aerobic training, and how to use exercise equipment to help avoid injury. As a result, you will develop a mind and body connection, develop proper form, improve your posture, burn more calories, and increase your strength.

Even if you are a recreational athlete, NYC Personal Trainers can help you develop your sport. Trainers have studied movements and body patterns and know the best exercise to help you develop endurance, strength, agility, and speed to excel in your sport.

Injury Rehab

In the event you have suffered an injury, trainers can work with you to safely exercise and improve your range of motion, so you get your strength back. They can even work with your physical therapist to develop a plan to maintain the rest of your physique while you rehab your injury.


Personal trainers are adamant at holding you accountable. Once you have a set, paid appointment, your trainer will be there with a smile on their face ready to help you achieve your goals. Also, they will not let you make excuses, and they will continuously challenge your abilities, so you take your workout to the next level and continue to see results.

Education on Nutrition, Health, and Fitness

As part of your trainer's job, they are required to remain up-to-date on health trends and continued education to continuously provide you with the healthiest and most fact-based information in the industry. Trainers can use this education in addition to their experience to provide you with effective tips and tricks to help you develop a healthier lifestyle. This includes addressing obstacles to your nutrition, how to manage eating while dining out, sharing recipes, and they can even refer you to the appropriate experts if they notice that there is a deviation in your health and well-being.

Home Personal Trainers in NYC are motivators, nutrition guides, and life coaches, which many people may find they need to achieve their fitness goals.

Additional References

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Slow Cook for Fast Weight Loss

A slow cooker meal is a delicious, healthy, and time-saving alternative for making weight loss meals.
Because of our fast-paced culture, even the things we eat are prepared and processed with such speed. While this may be good because we can have food on the go, this "fast food" is incomplete when it comes to the nutrition that our body needs. What it lacks in the nutrition department, is made up for in added carbs and calories. This is why a lot of us who eat fast food and processed meat almost every meal and are continuously gaining weight even if we moderate our food intake.

Instead of eating fast food, try preparing a slow-cooked meal in the Crockpot that you can prepare before you go to work and by the time you come home it will be ready for you and your family. This style of eating is not only a time-saver, but it also is good for weight loss. Today, we will look at the benefits of the slow cooked meals as well as a good recipe that you can make yourself.

Slow Cooked Meals Help You Lose Weight

In addition to a proven home personal training program, slow cooked meals help you lose weight because they have a complete set of nutrients in them thanks to healthy ingredients that are involved. Because of this, the body absorbs the necessary nutrients it needs without the extra ingredients that happen to be in processed foods.

This is a fabulous way to lose weight because you don't have a bunch of unknown ingredients in your meal. Having healthy ingredients means lower fat, fewer calories, and more fiber, which makes you feel fuller. Don't think you have to cut down on the flavor, either, as any meal in a slow cooker can be seasoned with a variety of spices providing a delicious savory meal.

Slow Cooked Meals Are a Time Saver and Save You Money

When you get up in the morning, you perform your morning routine, which includes breakfast and getting everyone else in your family ready to go. When you actually get off to work, you work hard all day, only stopping briefly to have lunch. By the time it's time to get off work, most of us are too tired to make a meal, as we just want comfort food and to basically veg out in front of the TV.

With slow cooked meals, you don't have to worry about making a delicious meal for you or your family at nighttime since it is already done for you when you get home. Not only are there a variety of recipes available today that are delicious, but these recipes are healthy as well, which will help you if you are trying to lose weight.

Going out to eat at fast food restaurants all the time will not only add inches to your waistline but will take away your hard-earned cash as well. With slow cooker meals, you can have a delicious, healthy alternative for a fraction of the cost of going out to eat.

A Recipe to Try

Chicken Adobo

This Asian recipe is enjoyed throughout Asian-Pacific countries on a daily basis. This recipe will serve 4 people.


    6 skinless chicken breasts cut into small bite sized pieces
    2/3 cup soy sauce
    1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
    4 cloves of minced garlic
    1 small sliced red onion
    2 bay leaves
    1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    2 tablespoons of sugar (can be replaced with alternative sweetener)
    Salt to taste

In your slow cooker, place all of the ingredients together, and set on low for five to six hours. This Chicken Adobo is best served on rice.

In Summary

Eating slow cooked meals is a great way to provide healthy nutrients that your body needs. Not only are these meals healthy, but they can help you cut down on fast food while saving you money. Why not try replacing one meal every day with a slow cooker meal for one month and see how much weight you have lost and how much money you have saved.

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, an NYC home-based personal training service that has been helping New Yorkers lose weight for over thirty years.

Additional Slow Cooking Recipes for Weight Loss:

5 Ways Your Slow Cooker Can Help You Lose Weight

14 Best Crock Pot Recipes for Weight Loss


Saturday, January 2, 2016

New Year New You? 3 Strategies to Realize Your 2016 Fitness Goals

New Year New You - 3 Stategies to Reach Fitness Goals
2016 is finally here, but your six-pack abs from 2015 never showed up. What happened? There are 1,000 reasons why you fell off the wagon in 2015. Time to let it go and game plan for success in 2016.

1. Set Realistic Goals with Small Improvements

No matter what, you can get there. Maybe focus on the short term as well as the big picture. Every day you have the opportunity to be better than yesterday. Maybe not 100% better, but 1% better is possible.

Think of it this way: Can you lose those 20 lbs in 1 month? Probably, but not safely. Slow and steady progress, consistency and determination will ensure long-term success.

Break up that big goal into smaller monthly goals. Even set your intention for each week with a Monday mantra.

2. Set Aside the Time

Schedule it in. Schedule it in. Schedule it in. Use your planner reminders, set your alarm clock and use a light timer for those dark wintry early mornings. Sometimes having ten backup alarms is worth it if you get yourself to get moving.

Also, begin now! If you miss your Monday mantra, Tuesday through Sunday are all fantastic days to begin anew. Missed the morning workout? There's no time like the present to take 30 minutes and do something for you.

Sometimes we justify that we are not ready for the next phase because our ducks are not in a row. Have you ever seen a mamma duck line her ducklings up? NO! She starts moving and the little fledglings fall in line. Boom. Begin, again and again.

3. Ask for Help

You don't have to do this alone. You are surrounded by resources:

  • Find a buddy.
  • Make your workouts social and fun.
  • Try a variety of different classes because the best workouts are ones you enjoy.
  • Schedule sessions with a personal trainer to ensure that you are progressing consistently without worrying about injuring yourself 
Breaking old habits is extremely difficult. Focus instead on building a new routine. Man is a creature of habit. We weave a thread of it every day until it becomes a cable so strong it cannot be broken.

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies NYC Personal Trainers at, a leading fitness and weight loss service for personal training at home for thirty years.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Benefits of a Postnatal Personal Trainer at Home

Postnatal Personal Trainer helping a new mother
Many say, "Motherhood comes naturally," but sometimes pregnancy and childbirth can put too much strain on the body. This can increase the likelihood of postnatal complaints and complications. The postnatal period begins at childbirth and ends after the baby is six weeks old. While all available care and information are focused on prenatal care, the major challenges after childbirth are left to be experienced and figured out. This makes the transition to motherhood all the more difficult.

Every woman will undergo different postnatal changes in their lives, including physical, psychological, and social adjustments. The amount of support given to her, as well as preparation, can make a difference in shaping her new experience as a mother.

What are the Challenges and Changes During Postnatal?

The changes during the postnatal period can be dramatic and come with no warning. During the first weeks after childbirth, the body begins to adjust to no longer being pregnant and heal.

The first sign of change happens in the uterus. Once the baby is born, the uterus begins to shrink, but the process is gradual. After childbirth, the uterus weighs a little over 2 pounds, and within the next six weeks, the muscle fibers are slowly broken down up until the uterus goes back to its original size and weight of 3.5 ounces.

Mothers may also experience hormonal changes soon after childbirth. Their breasts enlarge as their breastfeeding hormones begins to rise and blood supply is increased. At first, the breast will feel soft, which contains rich and creamy first milk called colostrum that is full of antibodies to protect the baby against infection. After three to four days, the breast milk production usually starts. Normally, mothers may feel uncomfortable; especially when the nipples feel very sensitive, and the breasts are swollen and tender

After nine months of respite from menstruation, some mothers will experience postpartum vaginal discharge known as lochia. It can be characterized as a heavy menstrual period where for the first 12 hours, the mother continuously discharges bright red, thick blood that is normally the sloughed-off cell lining of the uterus. After a few days, the lochia gradually lightens in volume and turns to pinkish-red in color.

Other physical changes may include incontinence and hemorrhoids. Incontinence does not always happen to every mother, but it can be expected, especially since the muscles that keep the urine continent are temporarily numb due to the contractions and the banging of the baby's head during childbirth. The same can be said for hemorrhoidal veins since they become irritated and swollen as a result of the same pressure they get as the baby is being pushed out of the vagina.

Psychological and emotional changes may also take a toll right after childbirth. Many women start to feel messed up from the intense pressure from the family and the responsibilities to take care and nurse the baby after birth.

First-time moms may experience an unbelievable amount of stress and challenges to care for their babies 24/7. Adjusting to their new role as parents may even contribute to marriage problems, such as in cases where the woman might feel that their husbands are not being sensitive enough to their needs, or that they are leaving all the responsibilities to their wives.

Other women may find themselves getting irritated every time they see themselves in the mirror because they think they are too fat. This also goes along with the fear that they might have a hard time getting their shape back or their husbands might find them unattractive because of the weight they have gained. Added to the worries of most mothers is their new belly paunch, experiences of hair loss, swollen feet, and a feeling of looseness or falling sensation in their vaginal area.

Pregnancy and childbirth leave their battle scars, whether it be their physical or emotional changes. And while some women may find it easy to overcome these challenges, sadly, others do not. Depending on their adjustment period and the amount of support they get, some mothers may take over a year to finally get their old selves back.

Why Postnatal Exercise is Important

Finding time for postnatal exercise can be just as challenging as being a mother to a newborn child. However, making time to exercise is very important. During pregnancy and for six months after giving birth, supporting ligaments tend to become lax, stretchy, and softened due to the hormonal changes and imbalances. As a result, mothers become prone to injury, such as back and pelvic injury as well as ankle sprains.

Researchers have found out that postnatal exercise can help strengthen muscle core, joints and ligaments, and improve mother's overall well-being. Exercise may also decrease body pain, promote weight loss, and increase energy.

Other benefits include:

  • Boosts mood by releasing high levels of endorphin hormones in the brain, which relieves stresses and makes mothers feel good and happy
  • Reduces risk of developing high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Improves cardiovascular fitness
  • Improves abdominal recovery and increases core stability by conditioning the abdominal muscles
  • Reduces risk of incontinence
  • Reduces risk of shoulder and back injury when carrying the baby by increasing upper-body strength
  • Improves posture
  • Improves circulation

How Soon Can You Exercise After Childbirth?

Six weeks after childbirth, most of the bodily changes that occurred during months of pregnancy have returned to normal. For those who have had a caesarean section and had difficulty during pregnancy, it may take a longer time to be ready for exercise. Then again, postnatal exercise can be started as soon as mothers feel up to it, but it is best that they get their doctors' okay first before jumping into any program.

New mothers must keep in mind that their muscles, joints, and ligaments after childbirth are still weak because of the hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy. They are still susceptible to injury, so a little extra effort in stretching and twisting can be dangerous. To start, mothers can begin with easy and mild exercises and slowly build up to harder ones.

What Kinds of Postnatal Exercise are Best For You?

There are numerous recommended postnatal exercises recommended for mothers. They can start with brisk walking for 15 to 30 minutes every day in the morning, climbing the stairs up and down four times a day, or doing more strenuous work like tummy and pelvic floor exercises. If mothers find it hard to start off with these few exercises, they have the option to bring their baby along with them, for example, walking around the whole house while carrying their newborn.

Other options for postnatal exercises are Yoga, Pilates, cycling, and low-impact weight training and aerobic or cardio workouts. Mothers may also begin to do swimming and aqua aerobics, as long as their vaginal bleeding has stopped.

Where to Get Help for Postnatal Exercises?

Personal trainers, whether at a gym or in the privacy of the new mother's home, can be the perfect choice for postnatal exercise. They are certified and trained in various exercises that can help their clients get back into shape and fight off postnatal depression and challenges that come along after childbirth.

Personal exercise trainers who are trained in postnatal care will provide customized solutions for new mothers depending on the individual's level of fitness and amount of weight they put on during the pregnancy. Choosing the proper postnatal personal trainer can play an important role in keeping a new mother's regular postnatal exercise regimen at the proper pace and safety mode that will give better results.

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies NYC Personal Trainers at, a leading fitness and weight loss service for personal training at home for thirty years.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Healthy Habits of Thin People

Improve Your Fitness and Weight Loss Efforts with Tips from NYC Personal Trainers, HomeBodies
Have you noticed a thin person and wondered what their secret is? You might be thinking they never eat, or they never eat anything good. In truth, there are many habits thin people practice, and enjoy life just the way you do. This month, I'd like to share many of them with you.

Whenever you want to make a lifestyle change, it's always best to do it gradually. If you find some tips here you think will help you maximize your workouts, try adding one or two at a time, and build on your progress. Chances are, it's the same way you exercise today. Gradual process is an ideal way to build new, and healthy habits.  

  • Eat an early dinner (3 hours before bedtime) 
  • Weigh yourself regularly (knowledge is power)
  • Eat a routine diet (save the "special meals" for special occasions)
  • Eat Breakfast - start your day right
  • Plan healthy snacks
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces
  • Scan the whole menu and order a la carte in necessary - if it's on the menu, you might be able to create your own meal
  • Eat whole grains
  • Sleep 6-8 hours nightly
  • Manage stress - yoga, meditation, exercise
  • If there is a choice between stairs and an escalator, take the stairs or take the stairs whenever you can 
  • Chew your food thoroughly and don't be distracted during your meals
  • Move after meals
  • Have healthy food on hand and keep the enemy out of the house
  • Eat protein
  • Keep a food journal
  • Take home doggie bags
  • Use the 3 bite rule for fattening foods
  • If it's not worth it, don't eat it! 
About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies NYC Personal Trainers and, a leading fitness and weight loss service for personal training at home for thirty years.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Benefits of Kickboxing Personal Training

The Health Benefits of Kickboxing Personal Training
Doing the same workout day after day can become boring, but adding a dynamic twist can bring back the enthusiasm in physical fitness. Kickboxing can offer alternative methods that provide cardio and strength exercises without removing the fun and variety of mixed moves. With every thrown punch and kick, one may feel the energy build that leads to the toning of the body and increased endurance.

Kickboxing is often a sport that takes place inside a ring where combatants may use kicks, punches, head butts, elbow strikes, knee strikes, and random throws against one another. Generally, kickboxing is a martial art that can be used for self-defense.

Many kickboxing classes are offered for a duration of 30 to 60 minutes can burn anywhere from 300 to 700 calories, depending on the intensity of the workout. This makes it a total-body workout that gets a person in shape while also toning and developing muscle strength.

Benefits of Kickboxing

Kickboxing is perfect for anyone regardless of age and purpose. Whether it is used for the purpose of finding a new and exciting way to exercise, finding a higher dose of adrenaline for one-on-one competition, or simply learning self-defense, kickboxing is an excellent way to exercise the heart while burning a lot of calories.

Practicing kickboxing requires focus, quick reflexes, and the willpower to allow one's self to push its body to their limits.  Aside from the challenge it may bring, kickboxing is very fast-paced, and that eliminates the feeling of boredom of a routine that seems to drag on for hours every single session.

Anyone can participate. Whether a long-term exercise aficionado or a fitness newbie, kickboxing has a lot to offer. Not only does it boost energy; it also includes benefits such as:

  • Reduced stress level -kicking and punching all your pressures out is an effective stress reliever 
  • Improved coordination - kickboxing is a fast-paced exercise that requires quick reflex of the feet and the arms, and improves the coordination that helps one to execute their movements successfully 
  • Better posture - many muscle groups are challenged through kickboxing, including the core and the back muscles. Targeting these areas that do not get enough attention can improve strength and awareness to better their posture 
  • Improved cardiovascular - participants keep moving all throughout every session, which keeps the heart pumping, improving circulation of blood and heart rate level 
  • Better oxygenation - as one tries to catch their breath through every punch and kick, the lungs are exercised, pumping more blood carrying oxygen to every part of the body 
  • Improved strength - every punch and position made is done with precision that helps build up upper- and lower-body muscles, which in turn strengthen the body 
  • Boost energy levels - kickboxing leaves one breathing hard and profusely sweating out toxins, which in the process provides the needed energy for a high-energy workout
Kickboxing is a great choice for getting out from the fitness rut and it brings about as many health and fitness benefits as other available workout routines offer. And for anyone working hard in their usual routines, kickboxing offers a break to retain momentum, which becomes a perfect cross-training workout.

Just one or two weeks of wearing wrist weights or ankle weights while mixing a combination of punches and kicks provides such an adrenaline rush that it may cause one to actually leave their other workout regimens and transition into a kickboxer fitness enthusiast. Anyone thinking of starting with kickboxing training should consider hiring a personal trainer.

Kickboxing Personal Trainers

Choosing a kickboxing personal trainer can be a challenge, but they are perfect for anyone interested in acquiring a personalized training far beyond any large exercising class. Personal trainers are capable of giving focused attention by adhering to their clients' preferred schedule and location in which to do their routines; a different convenience that a general gym class could not offer.

Home personal trainers can assess the course of the path towards achieving their client's goals. They will determine which best practices or exercise routines will best suit the fitness level of their clients, from beginners and intermediate to advanced.

The starting point should be all about red flags that may come up during sessions, such as health concerns, previous injuries, or any medical condition referred by their client's physician. This is to evaluate and assess safety before any training starts. In fact, many personal trainers will go to the extent of contacting their client's doctors in order to discuss their health issues and to personally get their medical clearance.

In addition, kickboxing personal trainers must have a better understanding of their client's personal fitness goals, whether specific or general. Some may simply want to get motivation, and a designed workout planned to help them get back in shape, where others may only have a couple of problem areas in the body that they want to fix, such as their core or the back.

With this information, personal trainers are able to assess how frequently they have to meet with their clients, whether meeting them only twice a week, or working with them more intensively for several months. However, more than that, they are there to provide motivation if training becomes hard, or interest starts to fade away.

When you work alongside kickboxing personal trainers, you will learn various jabs, hooks, uppercuts, and kick techniques that may be used not just for fitness alone, but also for strengthening the body for use in everyday activities and chores. They are ready to modify exercises to meet their client's initial goals.

Another benefit of working with a personal trainer is the additional experience they have with nutrition and dieting. With this knowledge, they can help in designing ideal nutritional diets that will help their clients achieve their goals.

Personal trainers help to evaluate their client's progress and may recommend a change of exercise regimen if they are far from reaching their goals. All in all, your trainer should be a certified professional that is ready to take on the challenge of training, encouraging, and helping their clients meet their fitness goals.

Elizabeth Crutchfield 
Homebodies Personal Trainer in NYC

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ten Foods to Avoid

Luncheon meat and hot dogs are two of the unhealthy ten foods to avaoid for proper nutrition.
Let's play a numbers game. There are at least ten foods that compromise the health of your body. These ten items offer no nutritional benefits and can actually damage your body.

Here's our list of ten items of food and why they're a threat.

1. Luncheon Meat - Processed meat is heavy in chemical additives designed to increase shelf life. There are large amounts of sodium to raise your blood pressure, placing your otherwise healthy heart at risk. Other nitrates present in the meat increase the odds of cancer appearing later in life. The combination of sodium, nitrates and fat can slow your metabolism, resulting in weight gain.

2. Hot Dogs - This kids’ favorite is also part of baseball culture. Echoing luncheon meat, a hot dog is a nitrate and sodium sandwich capable of placing all kinds of negative effects on your body. Amounts of sodium beyond your recommended daily intake can weaken your blood vessels. Trace quantities of other nitrates preserve the meat, but they also increase the likelihood of diabetes and cancer.

3. Bacon - Yet another salty treat to steer clear of. You can taste the salt in your mouth and almost feel your heart laboring to cope with the rise in blood pressure. It certainly fulfills one of the quoted reasons for consuming terribly unhealthy food in that it's tasty and smells wonderful, but bacon is full of saturated fat and cholesterol, more than enough to contribute to heart disease.

4. Soda and Heavily Sweetened Drinks - The sugar and caffeine alone are enough to send a robust metabolism into a roller coaster of negative actions. The caffeine is a powerful stimulate, while the sugar can be responsible for diabetes in young and old. Strong acids combine with the sugar to cause cavities in teeth, weakening tooth enamel. On top of all this, there's no nutritional value to be found in soda.

5. Mayonnaise - This condiment is a creamy delicacy, but it's full of fat and cholesterol. A single tablespoon of the substance equals 5 mg of cholesterol. Sodium is also present here, and it's an important part of healthy muscle function, but, as usual, the quantity of salt is too great. High amounts of sodium can increase a risk of stroke.

6. Butter and Margarine - Pay attention to the label on the margarine you buy, as this simple act will make a difference in your healthy diet. Butter is typically a fatty dairy product, and margarine is afloat with trans-fat. The hydrogenated vegetable oil used in margarine solidifies to create fatty acids and bad cholesterol. Check the label and purchase products made from Canola oil and other oils consisting of unsaturated fats.

7. Candy - Kids love them and adults pretend to hate them, but candy and chocolate is made with formulations rich in sugar, a sweet trap to capture a sweet tooth. The sugar in the candy, the fat in the milk chocolate, are the bait in that trap, causing obesity and an increased risk factor for metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

8. Breakfast Cereal - It's the same old trap, with companies adding lots of sugar to lure kids into trying their latest variety of cereal. The sugar is encrusted in each tiny piece of cereal. If that wasn't bad enough, kids raid the closet for extra sugar to pour on an already over-sweetened breakfast food. Even “healthy” cereals can have a lot of sugar.

9. Certain Varieties of Seafood
- Some species of fish have relatively high amounts of mercury in their tissue, a chemical that could build over time to affect the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to heavy metals.

10. Bagels - Made from refined white flour, the typical bagel is a nutritionally empty package of at least 300 calories. That's extra inches to the waistline without any vitamins to offset the damage. Just as with sugar, refined flour can lead to diabetes and spikes in blood sugar.

Overall health can be improved by looking closer at labels while you're in the market, substituting soda with diet drinks, white flour with whole grain, and simply shopping smarter. Try taking a holistic approach to the nutrition and be kind to your body and eat healthy.

Elizabeth Crutchfield
Nutritional Guidance and Home Personal Trainer in NYC

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cortisol, Stress Management and Diet Adjustments

Man with gastrointestinal issues due to stress
Cortisol is a type of hormone known as a glucocorticoid or steroid hormone. It is naturally produced and released by the body as a response to any type of stress. It can also be released due to caffeine consumption and low glucose levels in the blood. Its main function is to increase blood sugar, which increases your energy level. This is accomplished by boosting your metabolism. Cortisol triggers a response specifically targeting fat, carbs and some proteins to burn and then turn into glucose.

The Dangers of Stress

Any significant changes in your life, both positive and negative, can cause you to experience stress. We've all experienced stress at some point or another and we know that it can sometimes be unpleasant.

It causes feelings of nervousness, anxiety and in some people it can even result in stomach upset and other gastrointestinal issues. Stress can actually be dangerous, especially chronic stress. It weakens your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness, puts increased strain on your heart causing it damage, and it can even slow down bone formation as well as healing if you're injured. People with high stress jobs are significantly more likely to experience heart problems and even heart failure.

How Does Cortisol Effect Stress Management?

Some of us tend to perform better under stress, but prolonged stress can have what are obviously very bad repercussions.  Cortisol attempts to manage that stress when it first begins and this initial response is very beneficial. It increases glucose levels, which gives us a surge of energy to fight the stress, whether the stress is caused by a sudden fright, sickness or even a promotion at work. Like adrenaline, it allows us to flee from danger and it makes us feel motivated to accomplish tasks we wouldn't normally accomplish.

Prolonged, constant stress causes a prolonged, constant release of cortisol. Too much cortisol decreases your white blood cell count and leads to a suppressed immune system. This is also what slows down healing and can even result in peptic ulcers. Intermittent cortisol is a vital part of recovering from an injury. Similarly, intermittent coristol release burns calories while prolonged, high cortisol levels increase appetite and fat storage. Cortisol is truly subject to the "too much of a good thing" adage. Too much cortisol often results in the exact opposite effect of regular cortisol fluctuations.

Exercise, Cortisol and Stress Management

You may not think of it this way, but exercise causes your body to experience stress. The stress is usually mild compared to other types of stress. The physical activity of exercise still causes an immediate cortisol response as your body tries to manage the stress. The cortisol plays a significant role in the burning of fat and calories. Losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight are the reasons why most of us exercise, so cortisol is important for these goals. Different types of exercise actually cause different types of stress and different cortisol responses. In general, cortisol levels increase as exercise intensity increases, which correlate with more fat being burned.

Interestingly, another factor that goes into cortisol release during exercise is when you eat and what you ate. Most people will experience anywhere between 7 and 15 spikes in their cortisol levels throughout the day, which coincide with meals. If you've just eaten a meal high in carbohydrates, then your glucose levels are going to be up. If you then exercise, not as much cortisol will be released. Your body will try to avoid increasing your glucose levels beyond their already elevated state. This means fat will not be burned as significantly during your workout.

What You Should and Shouldn't Be Eating

In order to maximize the effects of cortisol and avoid the negative effects of excessive cortisol release there are a few rules of thumb to follow. First, you want to get most of your daily calories from non-processed food. Non-processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables will give you your needed calories without a lot of bad fat and additives that come with processed foods. Drinking a caffeinated beverage before exercise gives your cortisol a jumpstart.

If your workout goal is weight loss, you want to steer clear of foods that are high in carbohydrates before you exercise, but after exercise you can eat a moderately higher carb meal or snack. Carbs are fuel for the body, so you need some in your diet so that your body has something to burn if you're working on maintaining your weight. Regardless of your goals, after exercise you want to consume foods with higher protein levels in order to promote the formation of muscle and replenish any proteins that your cortisol metabolized during your workout

Elizabeth Crutchfield
HomeBodies Personal Training

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips, From the Pilgrims

Healthy roasted Thanksgiving Fall harvest vegetables for good nutrition
Sticking to your diet and enjoying Thanksgiving are two things that may seem to be mutually exclusive. You don't even have to miss out on the delicious celebration in order to stay in shape and avoid adding on extra pounds. Instead, you can prepare a Thanksgiving dinner more closely based on the one that the pilgrims ate in 1621.

The original Thanksgiving was a three-day long feast to celebrate the first fall harvest, but it was much lower in fat, calories and carbs than today's traditional Thanksgiving dinners. It was also very high in vitamins, minerals and nutrients thanks to that bountiful harvest. It definitely didn't skimp on flavor either.

Tips for Thanksgiving Proteins

Turkey probably popped into your head immediately. It's unknown whether or not the pilgrims and their Native American neighbors had turkey. They ate fowl, but along with wild turkey, swans, geese and ducks were also plentiful. Today's turkeys are different from their wild cousins and also different from the turkey found in the Plymouth area 400 years ago.

The domestic turkey that is a staple of our Thanksgiving menu is bred to be eaten. They're huge and meaty creatures to provide lots of that tasty, lean white meat. Along with that healthy meat, though, comes fatty skin and the greasier dark meat that has about 20 grams more fat. You may want to try duck or goose instead of turkey this year.

Another meat option is deer. The pilgrims most definitely cooked deer for their first Thanksgiving. Deer, or venison, is one of the healthiest meats. It is extremely lean and only has about 1 gram of fat per ounce. It definitely gives turkey a run for its money and is very high in protein. Deer is also versatile. There are as many cuts as there are of beef and there are numerous ways to cook it.

Skip the stuffing. The pilgrims didn't have any bread-based stuffing or dressings. Instead, they used herb and spice rubs or cooked their meats with onions and nuts. If you insist upon stuffing your fowl or want to add flavor to your venison, then try creating a vegetable stuffing as an alternative. You can use butternut squash or even pumpkin and add in pecans, walnuts, raisins or scallions and other seasonings.

Seafood on the First Thanksgiving Menu

Shellfish and fish are probably some of the last items you'd think to add to your Thanksgiving meal, but the pilgrims ate them. Mussels, clams and oysters were plentiful and easy to gather during that time period. They're a great way to mix up your dinner and offer more options if you have guests.

The pilgrims also likely ate bass. Bass is high in omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein. The mercury content is a little higher than other fish, so if you want to create a fish entree you might want to consider salmon or tuna instead, but definitely don't count out seafood.

Fruits and Vegetables

You probably know full-well that fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. The first Thanksgiving was heavily weighted in the fruit and vegetable direction. Spend time in the produce section of your local grocery store and look for green leafy vegetables. Spinach was one of the crops the pilgrims harvested. Also consider cabbage, carrots, onions and a variety of fall squash. Beans were also grown and they're extremely high in protein and fiber. Fresh vegetables are a great source of important nutrients and antioxidants for health and wellness.

Cranberries and cranberry sauce are Thanksgiving staples. Though cranberries were indigenous to the region they are very tart and by the time of the harvest celebration the pilgrim were likely completely out or very low on sugar. Potatoes, both white potatoes and sweet potatoes, weren't yet being grown in the colonies either, so there were no mashed potatoes or candied yams. There were though, plenty of other fruits and berries - blueberries, raspberries, gooseberries, grapes and plums. They were used and can still be used to create sweet sauces and relishes.

The corn of the pilgrims was different from our yellow corn today. It wasn't eaten the same way that we eat it today either. After the corn was harvested the kernels would be removed from the cob and then made into meal. That meal was then used to create either a mash or porridge. It may have been sweetened with molasses.

Pumpkin Pie

Without ovens and without access to wheat flour, there was no way to either make bread stuffing nor pie crusts. Pumpkin was a very common crop, but it was never made into pumpkin pies. It was more likely that it was just cooked alongside other squash. It may also have been made into custards, which make fine desserts. Pumpkin is an often overlooked source of fiber. Cutting back just on bread and sugary foods, which the pilgrims didn't have, will wipe out a lot of calories and carbs from your Thanksgiving meal.

Elizabeth Crutchfield
HomeBodies Personal Training

Nutritional Guidance

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Healthy Fall Foods

Apples are among the best healthy fall foods.
Fall is harvest time. There is a veritable cornucopia of delicious as well as healthy seasonal foods that are readily available as summer comes to a close and we head into winter. Pumpkins immediately come to mind, but you should keep your eyes peeled for other healthy dining options and ingredients.

Winter Squash

Winter squash are actually harvested any time from the early fall to late fall and pumpkins are in this category. Winter squash have much thicker skin than summer squash and they can serve as a main dish, side or even a dessert.

All of the winter squash are pretty much interchangeable in recipes depending upon your tastes as they have slightly different flavors. Try butternut or acorn squash. They can be baked, boiled, broiled, grilled or sautéed. Don't forget your pumpkin pie and remember to save your seeds for roasting. All winter squash have ample vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber.

Brussels Sprouts

These small, flavorful cabbages are considered a superfood. Brussels sprouts are full of vitamins K and C as well as minerals and antioxidants. Steaming is the best way to prepare them to maximize their flavor without affecting their nutrient content, but you can also sauté, braise, roast or boil them. They are an excellent side to accompany any fall meal.

Sweet Potatoes

A lot of root vegetables are harvested in the autumn months. Sweet potatoes are actually only distantly related to other potatoes, but they are one of these staple fall crops. Though more closely related to nightshades they can be cooked many of the same ways as other potatoes from baking them to making fries or chips. They have a rich, sweet flavor that is also great for soups. They are a great source of fiber and are also rich in vitamin A.


Another fall root vegetable to consider are parsnips. Parsnips are closely related to carrots, but have a sweeter taste especially after being cooked. Some people like to snack on raw parsnips, but they are often used to make extremely savory fall soups and similar dishes. Like sweet potatoes they are full of fiber.


Apples are arguably the most popular fruit on the market and though they are available year round, they are really a fall crop. Apple pie is right up there with pumpkin pie in the realm of fall desserts. During autumn you will often find more varieties of apples than during other times of year. Eating an apple will give you a hearty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants.

Turnip Greens

Don't overlook the leafy tops of your turnips. Turnip greens are absolutely full of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C and K, fiber and more. Steaming them and serving them as a side or topped with a Mediterranean style dressing is the way to go in order to take full advantage of their nutritional value as well as distinct flavor.


Kale is rapidly rising in popularity because it is another superfood. It is a dark, leafy vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cooked in a variety of ways. Unlike spinach it stands up better to heat and doesn't wilt as quickly and begin to lose nutritional content. Kale contains vitamins A, B, C and K as well as beta-carotene, which is a major antioxidant that may prevent cancer.

Fall Seafood

For a fall fish meal, try trout. It is one of the healthiest fish.  Trout can be easily braised, sautéed, grilled, baked and more. Like salmon it has plenty of omega-3 fats. If you are looking for fall shellfish then prawns are often easier to find at this time of year as well. Prawns can be used to make a variety of hearty dishes and they are a great source of protein. They are also relatively low-calorie compared to other sources of protein.

Some of the most nutritious seasonal fruits and vegetables are harvested in fall and many are versatile as well, which make your dining and cooking options very diverse. Also, be on the lookout for cool weather seafood.

Elizabeth Crutchfield
HomeBodies Personal Training in NYC

Certified Wellness Coach and Nutritional Specialist

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Low Cost Fitness Equipment to Buy for Home Workouts

Woman using low cost exercise equipment at home to boost her cardio workout.
To get more variety out of your workout and prevent a rut, try performing various routines on different exercise equipment. Exercise equipment doesn't have to cost a lot. There are many low-cost options you can keep in your home that will give you a great workout with effective results.

Varied workouts on different types of equipment not only prevent workout boredom, but it also works different muscles for more effective results. With varied workouts, you can change your routine according to your mood, so you are less apt to dread your workout, which will help promote long-term commitment to exercise. 

Some low-cost fitness equipment to consider for personalizing your home workouts include a variety of weights, exercise mat, resistance tubes, Physio ball, ankle weights and a jump rope.


A variety of weights will allow you to perform a number of exercise routines, and stores easily out of the way. They also allow you to switch quickly between exercises and weights without having to move things around. When purchasing weights, experts suggest purchasing a 5-, 10-, and 15-pound set of dumbbells or a good-quality adjustable set.

Exercise Mat

An exercise mat is great for providing a cushion and level ground while performing yoga, Pilates and other exercises. A good mat protects the knees and tail bone during a workout and improves balance and control. The Pilates mat is thicker for even more protection of sensitive areas. Since the mat also absorbs perspiration, it can become slippery, so be sure to keep it, and the surface beneath it, clean. According to experts, be sure your mat is durable, long lasting, and easy to clean. Environmental friendly mats are also available.

Resistance Tubes

Resistance tubes, also known as resistance bands, are great for providing versatility. They are great for resistance training, improving your range of flexibility and for performing Pilates and other light to moderate routines. Some bands come with attachments that allow you to strap them to a door or other stable surface for performing exercises such as standing chest presses, pull-downs, squats and various other shoulder and chest routines. According to experts, they are very inexpensive but sturdy enough to perform 50 to 100 reps with them.

Physio or Bosu Ball

A Physio or stability ball is a large ball that allows you to work on your core strength. By performing exercises such as crunches, hamstring curls, body bridges, squats and even dumbbell exercises on the ball, it forces you to stabilize, which engages the muscles responsible for building a strong core. According to experts, when selecting a ball, steer clear of transparent balls, because they can burst while performing exercises. Instead, opt for a high quality Physio ball from a fitness store or reputable web site which has been tested several times for stability.

A BOSU ball as it is often called, is a fitness training device, consists of an inflated rubber hemisphere attached to a rigid platform. It is also referred to as the "blue half-ball," because it looks like a stability ball cut in half.  It also engages stabilizer muscles and challenges your balance and coordination. 

Ankle Weights

Ankle weights added to your routine can increase leg and core strength during your workouts.  Used correctly they can challenge your leg routines and create long lean muscles in your legs.  They can also help strengthen your upper body when used while performing pull-ups, to increase arm and shoulder resistance.

Jump Rope

No workout is complete without some cardio. A jump rope is the weapon of choice for many professional boxers, and not without reason. A jump rope improves cardiovascular fitness and tones muscle at the same time. According to experts, jumping rope burns more calories than an eight-minute mile run. Just 15-20 minutes of jumping rope burns off the equivalence of a candy bar. When selecting a rope, experts suggest a beaded rope for beginners, because it is fairly easy to control and holds it shape versus other materials. When jumping rope, always jump on a safe surface such as a section of plywood, wood floors or a mat to avoid injuries.

These are just a few fun ideas for incorporating budget friendly fitness equipment into your home workouts. Feel free to mix and match various low cost fitness equipment until you find your perfect combination.

Elizabeth Crutchfield
HomeBodies NYC Personal Trainers

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Why You Should Try Ballet Bar Workouts

Women doing a ballet bar workout at the gymThe ballet bar workout is a low impact, strength and flexibility training program that can be used in conjunction with your regular fitness routine.

It targets a variety of muscle groups for a full body workout, and if you've ever wanted to try ballet, this is your chance.

What is a Ballet Bar Workout?

The ballet bar workout consists of a combination of long, sweeping and small controlled movements using a ballet bar or the back of a chair. The ballet bar has long been a favorite of professional dancers who need to maintain the long, lean physique necessary to perform their craft.

During the ballet bar workout, various muscles in your core, legs, arms, calves, thighs and glutes are engaged for a high-energy workout that will leave you with a leaner, stronger body. This workout will help you develop more stamina, better posture and feel lighter on your toes.

Benefits of a Ballet Bar Workout
  • A fun way to get in shape-this workout can be done in front of the mirror and along with your favorite music for a fun and upbeat workout
  • Works a variety of muscles-the ballet bar workout works various muscles for improved muscle strength, tone and control.
  • Low impact-this workout is a great alternative for days when you don't want to perform high impact routines such as jumping and running.
  • Gentle on joints-this workout is low impact, so it's perfect for all ages.
  • Improves flexibility-this workout incorporates stretching routines that lengthen the muscles for increased range, and decreases soreness and injuries afterwards.
  • Encourages long, lean muscles-the stretching and long sweeping motions help lengthen and tone the muscle fibers and encourage a long, lean dancer's body.
  • Builds new muscle fibers-the repetitive movements create muscle fatigue, which help build new muscle fibers for stronger muscles.
  • Provides a full body workout-engages arm, core, leg, glutes, calve and thigh muscles for a whole body workout. 
  • Live your ballet dreams-this workout, in no way shape or form, constitutes the training or discipline of a professional ballet dancer, however, it does incorporate basic ballet moves, so you feel like a ballet dancer.
  • Provides and affordable workout-whether you choose to take classes in a ballet studio or at home, a professional trainer can provide an affordable ballet bar workout.
Ballet Bar Personal Trainer

Working with a ballet bar personal trainer allows you to create a customizable plan that you can look forward to. A personal trainer ensures you are getting a workout plan that is specifically tailored to fit your body type and goals, and that you perform each movement with precision for maximum results.

When you want to get in shape, your certified personal trainer is your partner in fitness. He or she can provide the treasure map you need to find the best body of your life, and in the shortest amount of time. Your ballet bar trainer will stand beside you and motivate you towards your fitness goals and help you remain on track.

There are many benefits to working out such as improved health, weight control, improved muscle tone, increased oxygen intake-which is great for cell and organ rejuvenation, boosts your brain power and it improves your self esteem and overall well-being-which encourages you to eat right and make better choices.

It can also improve your sleep habits and lead to a better night's sleep. According to experts, for maximum results, you should strive for a workout program that incorporates cardio, strength training and stretching as part of your regular fitness routine. Workouts such as the ballet bar workout provide a fun, low-impact way to whip your body into shape while providing a full body workout that increases your oxygen intake, improves your muscle tone and stretches your muscles and joints for relieved tension, pain and a longer, leaner body.

Elizabeth Crutchfield

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Health Benefits of Protein Powders

Man drinking a protein powder shake to help with weight loss.
Protein powders are one of the most helpful resources for convenient weight loss and good nutrition.   Protein shakes can lead to a healthy loss of fat and are helpful in building lean muscle. Protein shakes are easy to make and can incorporate other nutritious and delicious ingredients to make a tasty, energizing drink. There are many other benefits associated with protein powder as well.

Appetite Suppressant

Protein is one of the key components to feeling full and satisfied. Protein powders are obviously going to be a great source of protein. A protein-rich breakfast is one of the best ways to ward off feeling hungry and snacking before lunch or overeating at lunch.

A protein powder shake is a fast and easy way to achieve a high-protein meal in the morning, much faster than cooking breakfast and much better for you than stopping for a fast food breakfast. Many people find that they do not have much of an appetite when they wake up, and a shake is a great alternative. If your goal is to lose weight, skipping breakfast is definitely not how you do it - instead, try using protein powder to keep you satisfied until it is time for a healthy lunch.

Stay Lean and Healthy

Recent studies have shown that a mineral or nutrient-fortified meal replacement is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy weight. Whether you want to lose weight or seek to stay at your current weight, protein powder is a safe and effective way to do so. Protein powder is one of the safest meal replacements and, again, a protein shake is an incredibly convenient meal option anytime.....breakfast, lunch or dinner.  If you don't have time to make something healthy, fix yourself a nutritious shake instead of grabbing bad choices. 

About Whey Protein

Whey protein is one of the most popular protein powders, but its purpose is really workout recovery. It absorbs very quickly and makes you feel energized almost immediately, much like high-carbohydrate foods do. It is not nearly as satiating as plant-based protein powders and thus not as effective for weight loss. It also cannot be consumed by anyone with dairy-sensitivities.

Whey protein does have its benefits, though. It is great for building muscle and developing your physique. Consuming a whey protein shake after any workout will help to repair any micro-tears that your muscles developed during physical activity. A shake digests much more quickly than solid food, so it gets to work fast. Most whey protein powders are also fortified with amino acids and amino acid chains, which give it some added nutritional value. Add more nutritional value to your shakes with ingredients like spinach or kale (you won't even taste it!), fresh coconut, cacao and fresh organic fruits.

Other Protein Powders

The best protein powders for weight loss or maintaining your weight are going to be plant-based. Look for rice, chia, pea, chlorella, cranberry or a combination of these. If you choose to go the animal-based route, you should consider de-fatted beef that is GMO and hormone-free. If you are trying to build muscle or sculpt your body, then choose whey protein and drink your shakes immediately after your workout or strength training. Soy protein can be a good option as well, unless you are soy-intolerant. The same goes for egg protein.

Stay away from powders with lots of preservatives and sweeteners, regardless of your intention. Instead sweeten your protein shakes with fresh organic berries or fruit. If you do want a sweetened protein powder, look for one with natural sweeteners like stevia or monk fruit. Artificial preservatives and sweeteners can quickly make your protein shakes unhealthy and take away from the benefits.

Choosing A Protein Powder

There are an array of protein powder options on the market today. Choose your powder based on your goals. The best powders will contain 20 to 25 grams of protein per serving. Those seeking to lose significant weight, athletes and people recovering from surgeries or injury should increase their daily protein consumption by 10 to 20 percent for the best results. You also want a powder with other nutrients as well like fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to get the most out of your shakes and truly make them into meal replacements.

Elizabeth Crutchfield
HomeBodies NYC Personal Trainers

Friday, May 23, 2014

The Health Benefits of Wheatgrass Supplements

Wheatgrass Juice can provide nutritional health benefits for wellness.
Do you believe in the healing power of nature? Some believe that because animals consume grass when they are ill, that wheatgrass can help cure many ailments and diseases. According to wheatgrass enthusiasts, this "wonder grass" is great for treating common conditions such as inflammation, infections, common cold, skin conditions, digestive problems and more.

What is Wheatgrass?

Wheatgrass, also known as couch grass, is a nutrient-rich creeping grass found in the milder climates of the United States and Europe. It is carefully harvested under strict conditions in order to preserve its nutrient content, and then sold for use in many dietary supplements. It is the root, or young shoots, of the grass that is said to contain the wonderful health benefits.

The Wonderful Benefits of Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is extremely high in Vitamin B-12, E, A, selenium, calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, 17 amino acids, and chlorophyll, the basis of all plant life. It is the chlorophyll content in wheatgrass that is said to provide the miraculous health benefits to the body, because of its high oxygen content. Some benefits of chlorophyll include:
  • Rich in oxygen, which the brain and tissues need for optimal function
  • A natural anti-bacterial agent that can be used outside or inside the body for healing
  • Helps prevent tooth decay
  • Helps ease toothaches
  • Increases heart function
  • Helps remove acne and scars
  • Purifies the liver
  • Neutralizes toxins in the body
  • Improve blood sugar problems
  • Refines and builds tissues
  • Contains over 100 minerals needed by the body
  • High in enzymes
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps improve arthritis
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Helps heal and cleanse the internal body
  • Improves mental clarity
  • Helps make a stronger immune system
What Does the Government Say About It?

There is little evidence or government support that backs the health claims of wheatgrass. However, there are many scientific studies that have reported positive results with the use of wheatgrass for certain ailments. In the American Journal of Surgery, Benjamin Gruskin, M.D supports the claims of wheatgrass, accrediting the grass as effective in the healing of wounds, strep infections, ear inflammations, typhoid fever and more.

In a 2002 study, wheatgrass juice consumed in conjunction with standard medical care seemed to help ease the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, the inflammation of the large intestine. In another study, patients with thalassemia, a blood disorder, were given 3.5 oz. of wheatgrass daily for 3 years. The study concluded that at least half of the patients required fewer blood transfusions afterwards.

Side Effects

Wheatgrass is considered fairly safe for most people to consume; however, some individuals have reported allergic reactions such as headache, hives, nausea, and swollen throat within minutes after consuming wheatgrass juice. Whenever wheatgrass is consumed raw, there is always a risk of mold, bacteria, or other substance contamination, which can also cause certain side effects.

Types of Wheatgrass Products Available

Wheatgrass is available in many forms. Fresh wheatgrass can be purchased via shots or planted in trays of soil at your local health food store. Or, grow your own using wheat grass seeds. Other options for consuming wheatgrass include liquid extracts, tinctures, capsules, tablets, or powder. Because, dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration, some wheatgrass products could contain less amounts of the active ingredient or contain other substances and contaminants. For this reason, it is always best to purchase wheatgrass products from a reputable company.

The most natural form of wheatgrass comes in small frozen packages you would add to a glass of water, juice, or smoothie. Dynamic Greens is a company that sells it in this form. The product is grown organically, processed raw, and flash frozen. offers numerous sources of powered wheatgrass, and even kits to grow it yourself at home.

How Is It Taken?

According to experts, to reap the maximum benefits of wheatgrass, it should be consumed from the live plant. As a result, wheatgrass is usually made into juice, tea, or smoothies to preserve its nutrient content. Some individuals prefer to chew the grass straight from the plant to preserve both its nutrient and enzyme content. Just one ounce of wheatgrass equals one ounce of fresh vegetables; however, if you opt for the processed form of wheatgrass, simply follow the manufacturer's serving suggestion.

Elizabeth Crutchfield and HomeBodies Home Personal Trainers have been servicing the New York City and Westchester County areas for over 25 Years. Learn more about the benefits of regular exercise, nutritional guidance, and improving your health and well-being by visiting their website at