Sunday, November 25, 2018

Tips to Keep Your 2019 Fitness Resolutions

Research shows this is about the time of the month that most people lose track of their New Year's resolutions. It's really no surprise because we create them with good intentions, but our strategy can be too focused on the end result and not the process that helps us get there.

At this point in your life, being excited about setting a New Years Resolution might only last as long as your sugar high from the office cookie swap. But goal setting for the new year is a socially acceptable way to make self-improvements with little judgment and why not NOW. Use the coming new year as an excuse to make some changes and 11 months from now get ready to impress the only person that matters - YOU!

The problem with many New Year's Resolutions is that they often mirror a 2nd graders declaration to be “the fastest runner alive,” they can be dauntingly unrealistic. Here are a few ways to take those sweeping New Years Resolution declarations and break them down into bite-sized goals to give you a happier healthier you.

Get My Dream Body

As an NYC personal trainer, I get this one from my clients a lot, but often what they mean is they want the body of a 20 yr old supermodel. The problem is not that it is unrealistic but that there is no way to measure it. Try instead “I want to lose 10 lbs by April 1st,” or “I want to spend 3 hrs a week in the gym.” This first step of quantifying your goal will force you to reflect on your current habits, see your hurdles, and begin to daydream about the process. You may find out very quickly that your dream body, is the one you already have.

Be Happier

Studies show that the biggest hurdle to feeling satisfied is sleep. Today we get about 1hr less a night than our grandparents, leaving us irritable, having less energy, and feeling unsatisfied. Everyone agrees that dealing with problems both big and small are easier after a good night's rest. But simply stating that you’re going to “get more sleep” isn’t a solid goal either.

Let’s try “I’m going to turn off my phone/laptop/tv at 930 pm every night” or “I’ll be in bed before 10 pm.” This way you’re encouraging good sleep habits with the same bedtime every night, not fixating on counting the number of hours of asleep or shifting your TV watching around a changing wake-up time. Going to bed earlier will solve this problem on its own giving you ample time for a good night's rest.

Make More Money

Of course, you want to make more money, but for what? Being clear on why you want to make more money can help give you a clear “how to.” If you want to make more money so you can enjoy your vacation weeks, maybe you’re already making enough money, but your saving techniques could use some reflection. You can turn that into “I will put away $50 a week AND NOT TOUCH IT until Nov 2019.”

Maybe make more money means a career change. Are you capped at your job? Talk to other people who have expressed similar feelings and are pursuing their own dream jobs, changing your new year resolution to “I will explore other career options while maintaining my current job.” Or maybe make more money can be “I will be more conscious about my spending” forcing you to look at credit card statements, or maybe even talk with a financial advisor about keeping money in your pocket.

As we can see, getting specific with your New Years goals can lead to actionable steps, accountability, and more self-fulfilling success. Other steps include writing down your goals and ideas, keeping track of progress, being flexible in how to achieve your goals, and taking time to celebrate those little milestones to a new and better you.

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a Manhattan Home Personal Training Service in NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Nine Healthy Flavors of the Fall Season

Nine Healthy Flavors of the Fall Season

We are spoiled enough that we can get most foods all year long- but have you tried fruit or veggies during their peak of the season? You'll never go back. Keep yourself smiling, even if it's behind a scarf with these fall foods.

1 - Apples
A signature of the season, there are dozens of varieties to choose from! Try a Granny Smith for a tangy taste, a Braeburn for a subtler sweet, and a Honeycrisp instead of a candy bar! Sure, they are delicious in a pie, but core and bake an apple by itself, top with cinnamon, and you have a truly healthy and incredibly tasty dessert! Full of vitamin C and antioxidants, this favorite food will not disappoint!

2 - Parsnips
This lighter and sweeter carrot twin does a fantastic job satisfying those comfort food cravings. Boil and mash a parsnip, top with a little butter, garlic, and Italian seasoning and you have a low carb and low-calorie version of mashed potatoes! Full of potassium, vitamin C, and copper, becoming fluent will be a skill you'll want to put these to use all year long.

3 - Grapefruit
We might think of grapefruit as a summery drink, but its peak harvest season is in the winter months! Bring some sunshine to your glass and taste the difference of a winter grapefruit! This fruit contains pectin which helps lower cholesterol, vitamin A & C galore, and an excellent source for many antioxidants.

4 - Turnip
This often-forgotten root vegetable has a great many health benefits that include strengthening bone density and preventing cancer! The coolest part is you can eat the green stem for amazing flavor also! That should give you enough of a push to try turnips roasted in olive oil and garlic, or turnip greens seasoned with lemon, salt, and pepper.

5 - Broccoli
Broccoli is loaded with sulforaphane, a sulfur compound known to prevent the growth of cancer, and especially breast cancer. You can get all your daily Vitamin C and K requirements just by eating a cup.

6 - Brussels Sprouts
Similar to Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts contain sulforaphane, but also bring a healthy number of vitamins and nutrients to the table. Brussel Sprouts are packed with Kaempferol, an antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals and enhances detoxification.

7 - Beets
Beets are easy to prepare, roast them in the oven for an hour, or dice and steam them for ten minutes. You will be rewarded for your efforts with a vegetable that comes with Vitamin B and Betanin which helps your body generate healthy new cells and improve your immune system.

8 - Cabbage
In addition to fiber, cabbage is loaded with Vitamin C and Isothiocyanates, chemicals that boost the immune system, and are known to reduce cancer risks, especially breast, lung, and colon cancer.

9 - Winter Squash
All varieties of Winter Squash bring healthy nutrients to the dinner table including Vitamins A, K, and B6, potassium, and folate. Eat just one cup, and you have doubled your daily recommended intake of Vitamin A.

Whatever flavors you are attracted to, take advantage of the changing of the season and see how you can change up your diet for the better this fall, not to mention how these healthy additions might add to your Thanksgiving table!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a NYC Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Life Hacks for Tackling Food Prep

Life Hacks for Tackling Food Prep

By now it's no secret that you can't outrun your diet, meaning that what you put in your mouth matters to your waistline, heart, blood sugar levels, mood, and athletic performance. To ward off making bad food choices when you're hungry, having already prepared food to eat is your first line of defense against those processed packaged snacks calling your name. Feeding yourself healthy foods can be daunting, so we've come up with some non-traditional "hacks" that might help you help yourself.

App Swap:
  • Clean House: If you're serious about making food changes, stop giving yourself an out! Go and DELETE your coveted GrubHub, Seamless, Slice, or "Click and Bring Me My Favorite Food" button.
  • Add: To eat well you've got to physically have the ingredients in front of you! There is nothing worse than making the long haul to the grocery store only to forget something. Be like Santa and make a list and check it twice! These days you can download apps to help you keep lists so whenever you think of something you need, open the app and write it down. You can also tell Siri to add something to a list, or go old-school and keep a list on your fridge for quick last-minute notes as you take inventory.
  • Compromise: Can't find time for shopping? Download the Instacart, Postmates, or Amazon app and have someone else do your shopping and deliver them to your front door. No more lines, no lugging of heavy food, and no more wondering if that cantaloupe is ripe, you can pay to have someone do it for you! 
The Step Before Cooking
  • Wash and Chop: No matter how you get your food, as soon as it's in your kitchen, wash all produce. I repeat: Wash all produce. Then make it cook ready by chopping it and storing it in the fridge.  You'll also now have raw veggies to munch on in a pinch! 
  • Chopping For Babies: Not ready to get chop happy? Invest in a food processor. No more crying over onions, salsa can be yours in 60 seconds, and clean-up is just as quick!
Cooking for Dummies
  • One Sheet Meals consist of a protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu) and chopped veggies (green peppers, onions, kale) all spread out on a big baking sheet, drizzled with oil, and baked for about 30 mins. You'll have more than one meal out of this so high five yourself for making dinner and lunch faster than it would take to order and have it delivered.
  • Hard-boiled eggs take the guesswork out of a snack when you're hungry. Bring a pot of water to boil, add your eggs and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 12 minutes. They will last 3-5 days in the fridge. Add salt and pepper, ketchup for sweetness, mustard for zest, or pair it with a slice of cheese.
Add these small habits into your routine, and soon you'll be redefining fast food from McDonald's to healthy and quick home-cooked meals. It's time to take ownership of your diet, and a little prep goes a long way!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a NYC Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Why You Might Want to Become a Runner

Why You Might Want to Become a Runner

September and the Fall season, in general, is a great time to start a running regimen to your exercise program because of the colder weather. You don't have to run marathons to get a benefit. A simple jog around the block is a great way to warm up for your personal training session.

As you advance past jogging, extend your running time by a little more each day. If you get too tired, walk until you feel you can jog some more. Like your personal training sessions, you'll feel your body metabolizing energy long after your run.

Be sure to invest in a good pair of running shoes and try to create a consistent schedule, where your body learns it is time for your run. If you think you need help getting started, ask your personal trainer.

Running isn't for everyone, but it IS something nearly anyone can do. Some people flaunt their anti-running status with pride, bragging about their utter hatred of the sport and others prefer to defiantly state, "I DON'T RUN' when asked about their personal training routine.

But what about those converted?

We all know someone who "became a runner." And what about those who secretly desire to find the elusive "runners high." I won't say you SHOULD become a runner, but I will say that these are some perks you might experience should you decide to give running a try:
  • Relieve Stress - The physical act of running will release endorphins into your body that act as natural painkillers and make you feel better! You'll also probably sleep better which will help your body handle spikes of cortisol and adrenaline, the hormones responsible for that stressed out feeling. It only takes about 5 minutes of aerobic exercise to gain these benefits!
  • Me Time - The best way to get someone to leave you alone is to suggest the two of you "go for a run." This habit almost guarantees you will have 20-90 minutes of time with the most important person you should be taking care of you.
  • Change Your View, Literally - Your street might seem boring and bland at 9:00 am, but how about at 6:00 am when the sun has just risen? Or how about running in a crisp light rain, or when spring is just beginning? Running gives you the opportunity to start to see the same old things, differently.
  • Traveling Is That Much Better - When you're traveling, you're also more likely to indulge in all sorts of exotic treats. Running as a skill is a great way to alleviate some extra indulgence guilt, but it's an even better way to see more of the location you're visiting! Walking around a city is great, but you'll see three times as much by running!
Don't take my word for it. Lace up your shoes and give it a try. The next thing you know you might be *gasp* a runner!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Exercising Outdoors

Exercising Outdoors

Exercising outdoors, also known as "green exercise" provides many benefits for the body. These benefits include inducing more feelings of being invigorated as the wide, open air offers the opportunity to take in fresh breezes while basking in beautiful views as opposed to exercising in indoors, which can be stuffy and drab.

In fact, various research studies show that outdoor activity in healthy, earthly environments provides many positive effects on overall well-being and makes you feel good. Even being in nature's surroundings when it's rainy, extremely hot, or very cold has been shown to improve our sense of well-being.

What is Green Exercise?

Green exercise refers to any physical activity, such as running, cycling, walking, kayaking, hiking, skiing, gardening, fishing, and more, that is purposely performed in natural or "green" environments, including city parks and campuses.

What are the Findings?

Concluding evidence on the benefits of exercising outdoors found that many types of outdoor activities lead to many enhancements in mood and overall well-being that go way beyond the effects of indoor exercising, including reduced feelings of depression, tension, anger, confusion, and frustration.

Reports show that physical activity in outdoor environments also provides many health benefits, which include lower blood pressure, boosting the immune system, improving athletic performance, and even providing a boost of Vitamin D.

One study found that enjoying nature through green exercise can be compared to a sort of natural therapy, since being outside, even without physical activity, helps us live in the moment, which makes it easier to shed anxiety, mental confusion, and stress. In other words, being outdoors increases our awareness of ourselves and helps remind us what is more important in life. Studies show that it also helps nurture our sense of connection between ourselves and nature as well as other people.

Another study found that exercising outdoors provides similar benefits for athletes. In fact, according to the study, most of the athletes performed their best at the most natural sites. Exercising outdoors not only helps burn more calories because of the increased wind resistance, but it also provides more stimulation for greater enthusiasm, which helps one work out longer and harder.

Some other benefits of green exercise include:
  • Improved self-esteem
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced stress
  • Improved focus and mental clarity
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Enhanced mood
  • Reduced tension and pain
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved sensory and motor skills in both children and adults
  • Increased awareness
  • Boosts the body's self-healing
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Increased gratification
  • Increased perceived athletic training
Underlying Factors

So when it comes exercising outdoors, just how long do you have to work out in order for it to be beneficial? Furthermore, does the type of natural environment you are exposed to during your outdoor activity help contribute to these outcomes?

Well, a multi-study conducted by the University of Essex in the UK found no significant variances in the before and after effects of mood and self-esteem in woodland, countryside, and urban environments. However, according to the study, natural settings with water, such as a river, a lake, and coastal areas, had a more significant impact, which further added to the benefits.

When it comes to the duration of green exercise, the study suggests that all periods of outdoor activity produce positive results, but the initial five minutes of activity has the biggest impact on boosting mood and self-esteem. The study also shows that although extended periods of outdoor exercise also provide positive effects, it does not necessarily produce greater results.

The research further concludes that low-intensity activities produced the most significant results and that individuals with mental health issues benefited the most. The study also showed that inactive individuals received the most substantial instant mental health benefits.

Long-Term Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

Studies show that one of the most significant benefits of outdoor exercise is that it has a positive effect on long-term memory as well as cognitive development, which helps contribute to a better quality of life. Studies also show that exercising outdoors tends to help people adopt more healthy behaviors, such as being more active, eating healthy, and connecting with others, which helps improve overall mood and self-esteem. It also helps them be more resilient to stress.

On the other hand, people who live an inactive lifestyle tend to have low self-esteem, eat unhealthily, be overweight or obese, be in more stressful jobs, and be more likely to experience mental illness.

Green exercising has also been shown to help establish good behaviors in children by encouraging exploration and free play, which has been shown to motivate children to keep learning.

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Monday, July 16, 2018

How to Avoid Dehydration When Exercising

How to Avoid Dehydration When Exercising

It’s hot, and you’re sweaty, and everyone "knows" that drinking more water is essential, but do you understand WHY dehydration has such a negative impact on how you feel? Knowing what happens on a cellular level may give you some insight into why you feel so bad, reasons to take preventative measures, and give you tools to feel better should you become dehydrated.

Dehydration is when your body loses excess fluids (sweating, diarrhea, fever) and is no longer able to carry out its normal functions due to the loss of electrolytes. Electrolytes are chemicals in the body that regulate everything from muscle contractions, to food absorption, to mood, to blood pressure, to nerve signaling.

Disrupting the balance of these levels can leave you feeling more than just thirsty- including feeling tired, anxious, getting headaches, joint pain, changes in appetite, and cause significant weight fluctuations. Your body can send you messages that something is wrong, so you need to pay attention to getting yourself the care you need.

To keep you and your body happy, drink enough water where you are using the bathroom every three hours, and your urine is clear. Eat foods like:

  • Broccoli and bananas which are rich in potassium
  • Watermelon, and cucumbers which are mostly water
  • Cheeses and yogurts which have high levels of calcium to maintain optimal functioning, and monitor your sodium intake by eliminating packaged foods

Finally, if you start to feel the effects of being dehydrated such as fatigue, lightheadedness, muscle spasms, and an irregular heartbeat the first step is to drink water - NOT a sports drink. Sports drink have other ingredients that can continue to confuse your body!

However, AFTER water supplementing with a sports drink might make you feel better. Don’t drink sodas, diet or otherwise, they will not help to hydrate you in this situation and avoid alcohol at all costs - it will only dehydrate you more!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a Home Personal Training Service in Manhattan NY. Learn more by visiting her website at

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tips To Cure Exercise Laziness

Occasionally, nothing can be more refreshing than enjoying a "lazy day." From binge-watching TV or movies to sitting outside sipping refreshing drinks, a day of lazy can help us recharge. The same cannot be said for exercising and maintaining our long-term health through fitness. In this case, exercise lazy can lead to continued uncharging more than recharging. You can't "yawn" your way through an exercise program and expect results.

Feeling lazy is a phase we all experience, and it applies to many things. This month, we have some tips for you on how to correct exercise lazy and stay on your plan for weight loss, fitness, and overall good health.

Often during the summer months our routine changes, responsibilities shift, and suddenly we get an opportunity to reflect on ourselves. Inevitably one will see an opportunity for growth and change. Some people seem to thrive upon this awakening, signing up for painting classes, races, and volunteer opportunities, while others feel a desire to do something different but somehow can’t seem to “get motivated.”

These continually conflicting feelings of a strong desire to change but no action can lead to feelings of self-loathing, frustration, and the biggest trap of all, defining yourself as “lazy." Taking on this characteristic for yourself will only lead to more frustration and inaction, so before you’ve decided “its just the kind of person you are,” take a look at some micro-movements that might help shift you from a sloth to a superhero.

Take Your Big Goal and Start-Off Small

Let’s say your goal was “To Be Smarter,” we can infer that you’re looking to gather more information, and one way to gain knowledge would be to read. Instead of trying to find the right book, or even the right topic, the small version of this step would be to read ANYTHING for 1-5 minutes a day. Literally ANYTHING. Do this for a week and see if you can expand on it.

Make the Goal Just To Do It

Often we think that if we are going to do something we have to do it well to get the maximum levels of enjoyment. Many people desire to learn a new skill but fear they will be bad at it, so they don’t want to “waste” the time or the money. If we remove this fear and decide that the goal will be to show up and try instead of show up and be perfect, this practice will break down other mental barriers into the habits and behaviors of someone who is always trying new things.

Remove the pressure to “have fun” and instead push to show up and you might find real enjoyment can come a little later.

The Pre-Routine Ritual

If your goal were “To Lose 20lbs”, we can infer that you moving your body more would help this. Set the alarm for when you’ve determined you’re going to go for that walk/gym trip/cycle class and immediately put on your shoes, OR fill your water bottle, OR tie your hair in a ponytail. Whatever it is, do it every single time.

This easy first step won’t catapult you into change but offers a simple behavioral shift that eases you towards the next level.

Set Aside Time for Curiosity

If you’re thinking about improving your aerobic personal training workouts and you want to try your first 5k marathon, or going vegan for a month, set a timer of 10 mins to do some research that doesn’t require an outcome or answer. Most of this time will be daydreaming through google typing “5ks happening locally” or “easy vegan dinners,” but you could also leaf through a vegan cookbook, or stop in at your running store to ask questions. 

Allow this information, and your body might slowly make space for this new idea or habit to form on its own!

About the Author

Elizabeth Crutchfield is the Director of HomeBodies, a NYC Home Personal Training Company servicing New York City residents over for over 30 years. Learn more by visiting their website.

Monday, March 26, 2018

5 Ways Muscle Activation Techniques Can Improve Your Workout

If you work out on a regular basis, but you are not reaching your goals, there is a very good chance you are ignoring the benefits you can achieve with a muscle activation technique personal trainer. There are many benefits to utilizing muscle activation techniques and understanding how they can improve your workout. Your exercise regimen can benefit greatly when you graduate from regular strength sessions into activating your muscles before your workouts.

What is Muscle Activation Technique?

Maintaining muscle using strength training is important in increasing your strength and maintaining joint stability. However, when an exercise routine becomes too easy, it can become a waste of time and reduce the benefit you receive from your workout. You need to increase the amount of active communication between the muscle groups you are exercising and your brain, which is a major part of what this exercise technique focuses on.

How does Muscle Activation Technique Work?

When muscles are not strong enough to create full stabilization in a joint, the brain automatically triggers alternative muscles to tighten up and create stability. The problem most people suffer from is that all the muscles in the region do not receive the same signal or respond to the information the same way. This causes some muscles to be worked out more in-depth than others, leading to the needs of the weaker muscles being ignored.

Exercise Benefits?

As we teach in our NYC Personal Training Programs, you want all your muscles to obtain an equal benefit. You want weaker muscles to be enhanced and be strengthened so they can provide the support and strength that your body needs. Muscle Activation Technique Personal Training allows you to teach your brain to communicate more effectively with your muscles, creating deeper, more evenly distributed muscle contractions that provide greater benefit. You will obtain better results from each exercise session and see more noticeable improvement in muscle strength and definition. Here are five benefits you will achieve from personal training in muscle activation training.

1. Increased Muscle Strength

If your brain and muscles are not properly communicating, you are not exercising to your full potential. You may not be able to determine exactly what percentage of your muscles are responding to your exercise but adding a personal trainer can dramatically increase the overall percentage. There is always room for improvement in an exercise program, and most people can double their strength by improving their muscle focus. Increased strength can also increase muscle coordination, decrease pain, and improve flexibility.

2. Improved Muscle Coordination

The brain focuses on keeping the body safe from being injured. Unfortunately, it can develop blind spots and instruct your muscle groups to utilize the strongest muscles in your daily life. Sometimes, the brain chooses muscles that do not function together properly. This creates abnormal gait, improper lifting, poor posture, and even decreased ergonomics.

3. Increased Muscle Flexibility

Decreased muscle strength and improper muscle usage can create improperly or scrambled feedback to the brain. This improper feedback can limit the range-of-motion your body is capable of and greatly broaden the range of stretch you can achieve, providing a better workout for your muscles, and better oxygenation before and after activity.

4. Reduced Risk of Injury

Muscle Activation exercise techniques help increase muscle and joint stability by isolating weaker muscles and triggering them to carry more of the weight in your exercise. This allows them to strengthen and take their natural place and do their job much better. By having your muscles function as they are intended, instead of how they prefer, you will greatly reduce your risk of joint and tendon injury.

5. Helps Reduce Pain

The development of pain is typically caused by a dysfunction of the muscle. It can also be caused by improper movement patterns that have been carried out over a period of years. After a period, the brain interprets these movements as normal and begins communicating the actions as you have been performing them. If the movements are carried out in a manner that the muscle is not equipped to handle, pain can develop in association.

Why You Need a Muscle Activation Technique Personal Trainer

It can be difficult for someone who is learning about their body and exercise to target isolated muscle areas. If the brain and muscles are not properly communicating, and this communication can be difficult to achieve. A personal trainer can provide a wealth of information and teach you how to better communicate with your muscles. A personal trainer can help you isolate muscle groups that your brain has been ignoring and strengthen the weaker muscles you are compensating for.

If you are looking for the perfect way to supplement your workout, a personal trainer can help you learn Muscle Activation Techniques and boost the results you achieve from your workout. Get the most from your workout, starting on day one!

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 in shape. Learn more by visiting their website at

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Top Ten Foods that Support Regular Exercise

When you spend time working out at the gym or pounding the pavement, you understandably want to enjoy wonderful results from the effort. Your ability to remain energized and to put forth your best effort will help you to get the most out of your exercise sessions. However, it seems like many health foods leave you zapped of energy. Try some of these healthy and energizing foods before your next personal training workout.

1. Oatmeal with Fresh Fruit

You may have heard that carbs are bad for you if you are trying to lose or manage weight. However, carbs are essentially your body’s primary source of energy. There are healthy and unhealthy carbs, and steering toward healthy carbs can give your body the energy it needs. Both oatmeal and fresh fruit are great examples of healthy carbs that do not come with unnecessary fats and refined sugars. They can give your body healthy energy to get the most out of your workouts.

2. Coffee with Low-Fat Milk

Coffee may not be the first thing that you think about when preparing for a long workout session, but it has excellent benefits. First, it can give you an energy boost. Second, it may help you to reduce muscle pains after your workout. Add low-fat milk to enjoy a stream of healthy carbs and protein to go with your caffeine boost.

3. A Fruit Protein Shake

Another way to get the healthy carbs that you need is to down a delicious fruit smoothie before exercising. Extra protein in the shake can help you to build muscle while the carbs in the fruit energize your body. This is a one-two punch that is available in your choice of fruit flavors. A simple protein shake light on the fruit may also be a great post-workout snack.

4. Almonds

Nuts are another type of food that you may have heard mixed things about, but almonds offer clear benefits for fitness enthusiasts. Studies have shown that regularly eating almonds can improve your performance and increase your capacity for antioxidants. Plus, they are loaded with vitamin E, protein, and other nutrients.

5. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt

Low-fat Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and healthy carbs that are essential for a great workout that builds lean muscles and burns fat. For added benefit and extra flavor, add oatmeal or fresh fruit to your dish.

6. Cottage Cheese with Fruit

Cottage cheese can be heavy in fat, but you can purchase a low-fat option that is loaded with protein, and that is easy on the fat. This is typically an excellent source of healthy carbs as a stand-alone food, but you can add fresh fruit to the mix for flavor and additional healthy carbs.

7. Salmon

When you exercise, your body actually produces more free radicals, and you need more antioxidants to counter those free radicals. Salmon is loaded with healthy fats and is a great source of protein. It also has the antioxidants you need and a solid dose of vitamin D.

8. Tomato Soup or Juice

While many of these foods are ideal for consuming before a workout, you also need to think about your post-workout nutrition. When working your body hard, you lose water and electrolytes. Hydrating with water alone after a workout only meets half of your re-hydration needs. Because tomato juice and soup are both loaded with sodium and potassium, they are a great post-workout option. If you are concerned about electrolytes before you get started, enjoy tomato juice or soup before your workout.

9. Chicken with Rice

Chicken is a lean meat that is an excellent source of low-calorie protein. When you combine chicken with rice, you add much-needed carbs to your diet. Remember to choose brown rice over white rice to get the healthy carbs that your body needs.

10. An Egg Sandwich

Bread is generally considered to be a bad carb, but there are high-protein options that have healthy carbs. Look for whole wheat bread made from unenriched flour. Top your bread with an egg to get extra protein with your carbs. While the yolk of an egg is filled with nutrients, it is also filled with fat. If you are watching your weight, opt for egg whites only.

Remember to consume pre-workout foods approximately 45 minutes to one hour before you exercise. After a workout, opt for foods that are higher in protein and electrolytes and that are lower in carbs. Each person's body is unique, so you may need to adjust your diet periodically to find the perfect combination of nutrients to support the type of exercise that you regularly do.

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 in shape. Learn more by visiting their website at

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