Creating a Stronger Metabolism

Your metabolism is the rate that your body burns calories. While there are very few people in the world who are blessed with a rapid metabolism, most people have to build a better metabolism in order to lose weight and stay fit. Creating a stronger metabolism can make it possible for you to lose weight without starving or depriving yourself.

Think of your metabolism as a fat-burning fire. There are things that you can do to make it burn bigger and brighter, while there are also things that you can do to make it smolder.


Build Strength and Muscle

Your metabolism is muscle and the best form of exercise to improve and increase lean muscle is resistance training. Muscle mass is the most important factor in determining the amount of calories and fat that your burn during the day. The more lean muscle, the higher the metabolism, leading to more efficient fat burning.

By doing too much cardiovascular exercise, being inactive or just by growing older, you can lose muscle. Around the age of twenty-five, you begin to lose around 1-2% of muscle mass each year. Over the course of your lifetime, you will eventually lose as much as 50% of your muscle mass.

Doing some form or resistance training at least three times a week in fifteen minute bursts is essential. Your plan should include a full body workout that is progressively challenging. If you do the same exercises every day or practice high reps with light weights, you not following an effective plan and you are missing out on benefits that aid in creating a stronger metabolism.



Eat Enough and Eat Often

If you think that you are too busy to eat and that eating less is going to help you lose weight, you have got another think coming. When you restrict your calorie intake, it reduces your metabolism by at least 30%. By not eating enough, you cause your body to go into a mode of starvation and start conserving calories. This means that it holds onto the fat and uses muscle instead, leading to a slowed metabolism.

Consuming the right amount of food every three to four hours will provide your body with the fuel it needs to keep you feeling energized. In addition, it will help maintain muscles to keep your metabolism strong.



Foods That Boost Metabolism

Research indicates that not getting the proper nutrients can lead to a 20% to 40% decline in muscle mass and a slower metabolism. It is best to eat healthy foods that are rich in nutrients to boost your metabolism.

However, eating the right foods is not always an easy task. Even though you know you should eat enough of the right kind of calories to fuel your body, without following the right meal plans, this can be difficult.

The key is to eat foods that contain quality proteins, healthy fats and high antioxidants with every meal. Quality proteins are found in nuts, beans, fish, chicken. Produce, such as fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. Make sure to include servings of colorful fruits and veggies in your meal plans.

Berries are an excellent choice, such as raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries. Apricots, grapes, peaches, pink grapefruit and oranges are also packed with nutrients.

Leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli are wise additions to your diet. Other great options include tomatoes, beets, spinach, Brussels sprouts, carrots and red peppers.

It is also important to include healthy fats in your diet. Some of the best choices are avocados, seeds, nuts, fish and extra virgin olive oil. Fish oil contains Omega 3s, which have powerful antioxidants and also work as an anti-inflammatory, prevent cancer, heart disease and depression as well as alleviating symptoms of PMS.

Building a strong, healthy body is the best method for creating a stronger metabolism. Boosting your metabolism will keep you feeling amazing as the pounds and inches melt from your body.
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

How Does ONE stay MOTIVATED??

I think we have all been a victim of lack of energy and motivation.  The question is HOW do we avoid falling off the fitness wagon and truly reaching our ultimate physique and fitness goals?

I will go over the following that have helped me through ruts, lack of motivation and energy.

    SOLIDIFY YOUR GOALS:  
Firstly I would look at “What are my Goals”.  Let’s say you want look like the one of the Magnum Male Athletes or You want to look like one of the Magnum Female Athletes.  Those are great goals to have :0).  Now lets look at breaking down that goal into weekly micro goals.  If you don’t have much experience of knowledge on how to achieve those goals.  I would look at possibly hiring someone that has experience with goal you are looking to achieve.  They will not only help you keep motivated but they can help you break your goal down.

    SUPPLEMENTS FOR LOW ENERGY AND FAST RECOVERY:
Some days or all days we need an extra push to help us get out workouts done AND get the most out of them.  Magnum has really helped me out in that department.  A-bomb, DNA, Big C, Opus, Serum, Quattro, GREENS, Glutamine are just a few that help me on my DOWN days and on my GO Days.  A-Bomb I find really helps me with my concentration in the gym.  DNA helps me with FAST recovery and Strength gains. Big C helps fast lean muscle gains.  Quattro and greens are necessary for fueling my body.  Serum is amazing for giving me an extra push when I need it.  Opus is great for late night workouts it’s a non stimulant product for cellular energy. Glutamine is an awesome immune support amino acid.

    RETAIL MOTIVATION:
Sometimes I when I am not feeling motivated I will go and buy a new piece of fitness gear weather that be a piece of clothing or equipment to fire me up to want to TEST IT OUT :0).

    DREAM BOARD:
Creating a dream board is always one of my favourites.  What is a dream board?  A dream board is a large poster board that you display and look at once a day.  I create mine out of my fitness magazines.  I cut out all the images out of the fitness magazine that remind me of my goals.  I then glue them on the board in a creative way.  I will even cut out words of encouragement and paste them on there too.  So when I feel like NOT going to gym or eating my prepped meal.  I look at my dream board.




    POST PICTURES AROUND THE HOUSE:
As it states of above.  Some of my favourite places are my fridge(where I need it the most ;0))  Bathroom mirror.  These are just some of mine but feel free to post them anywhere in your home.

    FAIL TO PLAN AND PLAN TO FAIL:
When I say that line above I mean put your workout into your Day Timer.  Think of this appointment to be unchangeable.  If you postpone your workout it sometimes will be done so till there is no time left in the day to complete it.  Also, prepare your food in advance and bring your days worth in a cooler where ever you go.  This will help if unforeseen events prevent you from a healthy option. I can also admit to feeling too tired after the gym to cook.  If it’s already prepared then the quick unhealthy version won’t happen.

I hope that the above will help you keep on track with your fitness goals!  

Happy Strong Training!

Erin Crawford Pro Figure Athlete
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

NUTS FOR COCONUTS

Some tips for introducing the benefits of coconuts to your every day cooking regime to promote a healthier, leaner lifestyle.

In the l940s, farmers attempted to use cheap, industrial grade coconut oil to fatten their animals for market. More fat in the diet = fatter cattle, right? Wrong! The farmers found that coconut oil made the cows lean and active. By the late 1940s, the solution was found and remains in place today – feed animals soy and corn and they will get fat quickly and on less food – largely because of the oils in soy and corn.

Its proponents say it relieves stress, promotes increased immunity, metabolism and weight loss, fights viruses, Alzheimer's disease, kidney problems, heart disease, high blood pressure and much more. Topically applied, it is said to prevent wrinkling and be good for dry skin and hair.

The question is why is it so good for you if it’s a saturated fat?  We have been told to decrease our saturated fats to reduce our cholesterol, right?  Well coconut is considered to be an exception because it is about half the saturated fat in the oil is medium-chain fatty acids, which are easier to digest than the more prevalent long-chain fatty acids in most other oils, including butter.

Other great benefits to storage of coconut oil.  The unsaturated oils in some cooked foods become rancid in just a few hours, even at refrigerator temperatures, and are responsible for the stale taste of left-over foods. (Eating slightly stale food isn't particularly harmful, since the same oils, even when eaten absolutely fresh, will oxidize at a much higher rate once they are in the body, where they are heated and thoroughly mixed with an abundance of oxygen.) Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it.

Simply replacing your other cooking oils with coconut oil can benefit your waistline, metabolism, immune system and many more areas of your life.

Erin Crawford
Body Tempo Health and Fitness
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

Let’s Be Proactive and build better bones!

This months article is for all the mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, and aunties and nieces.  Lets be proactive to prevent osteoporosis.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects bone strength (the word osteoporosis literally means "porous bones"). Bone is made of collagen fibres (tough, elastic fibres) and minerals (gritty, hard material). It is a living tissue and contains cells that make, mold and resorb (take back up) bone. Initially, as you grow, bone formation exceeds bone resorption. But, as you get older, this reverses and, after about the age of 30 for women and 45 for men, you start to lose a certain amount of bone material. Your bones become less dense and less strong. The amount of bone loss can vary.

Osteoporosis alone does not produce any symptoms. Most people with this condition are unaware that their bones are thinning until they experience a fracture.

One of the best ways to prevent this disease is to weight train and to build of your bone density.  Women stop building bones by age of 30 and from there begin to lose bone mass.  Keep in mind its never too late to start recreating or maintaining bone mass.


One of the best ways to prevent this condition is Exercise. The pulling and tugging on the bones by your muscles during exercise helps to stimulate bone-making weight-bearing exercise throughout life is best, but it is never too late to start. This means exercise where your feet and legs bear your body's weight, such as brisk walking, dancing, weight training, etc. For older people, a regular walk is a good start. However, the more vigorous the exercise, the better. For most benefit you should exercise regularly - aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise or physical activity at least five times per week. Excessive exercise such as marathon running may not be so good. (Note: because swimming is not weight-bearing exercise, this is not so helpful in preventing osteoporosis.) 



Muscle strengthening exercises are also important. They help to give strength to the supporting muscles around bones. This helps to increase tone, improve balance, etc, which may help to prevent you from falling. Examples of muscle strengthening exercises include weight lifting but you do not necessarily have to lift weights in a gym. There are some simple exercises that you can do at home.

If you are new to exercise or have not been properly trained in weight lifting it’s important to hire a personal trainer or weight trainer to make sure that you are executing the exercises properly to ensure safe training without injury.  Training incorrectly can create a whole another series of problems in your structural health that can affect other areas of your life.

If you are looking for small group training in a private gym or one-on-one training I would be happy to sit down with you for a FREE consultation to discuss your goals.  


May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

Pre Injury rehabilitation and strengthening. Pre Hab training?

Pre hab training is a term I use with my clients.  Pre hab means to me: Pre Injury rehabilitation and strengthening.

It’s important to take care of your body for the long term.  Have you ever heard the term “Take care of your body, because it’s the only place you have to live”.   We all love a good workout session, soccer game, running clinic, football game, and whatever suits your fancy.  

Even if you do everything right and sometimes even more so aches and pains can occur.  If those aches and pains go uncared for you can develop even worse problems.  Your joints can break down, muscle tears or tendon tears.  These types of problems can keep you from doing what you love best.

This is where Prehab can help.  I teach my clients how to warm up properly and fire the appropriate muscles prior to working them.  This is another method to help you prevent wear and tear on your joints.

Foam rolling is another great tool for helping roll out tight muscles.  This is a type of self myofascial release technique.  Other self myofascial release techniques can also help.  Myofascial release breaks up adhesions in the muscle created by your sport or activity.  Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between muscle tissues.  If untreated may cause pain, decreased Range of Motion (ROM), fascial restrictions, and injury.  This can even help you come back from injuries even stronger than you once were.

Another Prehab tool is to allot some of your time to your smaller postural and stabilizing muscles.  If you only focus and work on your mirror muscles (larger visual muscles) they can pull your smaller muscles out of balance and can even stop them from firing appropriately.  Again this can cause down time from your sport and may even cause pain.  


I hope this article helpful to you to be physically happier in 2014 and achieve all your goals both inside and outside of the gym :0) with ZERO downtime from these pesky problems :0)

.
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

PREPPING FOR SUCCESS

This article has the intention of making your life less stressful.  Giving you some tools that I use to be prepared and make your fitness journey less stressful.  NEVER BE TIED TO YOUR FRIDGE AGAIN.

  We have all been in a rush, unprepared once or twice before.  I know I can be unpleasant when hungry, A.K.A. HANGRY.  Rushing round the house to get something clean to eat or just plain grabbing something quick and not on target with nutrition your goals.  

Ever felt like you couldn’t go out because it doesn’t comply with your fitness goals?  It can sometimes feel like you are chained to your house because you might be tempted.  I know I have.  Or give the line “ I have to go home because its time to eat”.

Here are some simple steps to make your fitness Journey more freeing and empowering.

I will spend Saturday morning grocery shopping for everything I need for the week.  I find less trips going to the grocery store the less money I spend on unnecessary items.  I will go to the local butcher and pick up all my local free range and grass fed meat.  Then off to get my produce.

The fun part.  I will spend my Sunday morning BBQ’ing my meat for a fast and easy way to cook multiple types of meat such as extra lean beef patties, chicken, steaks, turkey breasts and I will even throw on the grill romaine, and zucchinis.

Pre chopping stir-fry’s is a great way to have fast freshly cooked veggies in less than 10 mins.  I will stir fry onions, carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, coloured peppers, mushrooms, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale.  I will cook the first batch on Sunday that will be enough for at least 2-3 days. The rest of the veggies I will layer in large storage containers uncooked and ready to be flashed in the pan in minutes for the next batch during the week.  This way I am not eating veggies that have been cooked and sitting in the fridge for 4 days.  It also gives me the option to change seasoning.  The more variety the less chance of hating your meals.

For the first few days I will divide up the meat portions and veggies in marked containers.  I like to use an erasable marker to mark the containers contents.  After I have used up the first few days of meals, the night before I will then prep for another couple of days only taking a no more than 20 mins.

I will prepare all my shakes in measured seal plastic bags.  So it’s easy and just grab worthy.

I like to have all the food I need in a cooler bag for the day.  Less chance of being stuck somewhere with nothing to eat.  Keeping my hangry side at bay.  Again not being tied to the house and your perfect eating schedule.

I even keep a back-up can of tuna, can opener in my cooler along side a container of olive oil just in case.  It can be pretty easy to pick up some veggies from a grocery store if need be.

All in all spending a few hours on a Sunday morning will save you hours during the week.  If you think about it chopping veggies and cooking for every meal can be about 2 hours at the very least every day.  It you spend max 4 hours on Sunday preparing you are saving 6 hours in the week.  Giving you more time to do whatever it is you love doing besides cooking ;0).

I hope these tools will give you some benefits to helping you pursue your fitness journey.  As you know it’s a lifestyle and not a diet.

Keep training and living a healthier lifestyle.

Erin Crawford, Pro Figure Athlete
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

Sleep does your hormone levels GOOD!

Exercise can improve your sleep but can sleep improve your exercise?  The answer to the this question is YES.  Sleep can also improve, not only your exercise but every other function in your life.  Lack of sleep can really effect your cognitive functions.  Which then relays to your work life, family life, training life.

Many people may not realize that when you exercise with some intensity it elevates cortisol in your body, because basically you have placed your body under a physical stress to achieve fitness.  Normally, that is OK.  When you rest after exercise, cortisol levels will return to normal as your muscles go to work repairing and rebuilding.  That is how we get fit.   The question is what is Adequate sleep?  The National Sleep Foundation suggests that for the average healthy adult should get at the very least 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

In my experience training hard with only 6-7 hours put aside for sleep my body does not have enough time to repair fully.  Thus my gains started to fade and fat loss would not budge. When I tried to sleep I was just WAY to amped to fall sleep.(keep in mind no stimulants or coffee was involved)  It was almost 2 weeks without a solid 2 hours of sleep.  You can image what happen.  It was a vicious cycle.  My cortisol levels were high due to a lack of sleep and my sleep was nil to none from my cortisol levels being high.  After much research and chatting with my very knowledgeable mentors we nailed it down.  I began to include in my routine cortisol support.  It helps to relax and control Cortisol levels.  My sleep has improved vastly as well as my fitness goals and gains.  


May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

What is Low Testosterone or commonly known as Low T?

Testosterone is a hormone that is produced by the body. In men, testosterone is mostly produced in the testicles and is responsible for stimulating sperm production and sex drive, as well as building muscles and bone mass. As men age, testosterone production decreases.


Signs of low testosterone (low T) are often subtle and are mistaken as a natural part of aging.

Here are some of the symptoms of low testosterone:

  •     Low sex drive
  •     Difficulty achieving an erections
  •     Fatigue and Lack of energy.
  •     Hair loss
  •     Muscle loss
  •     Increase of fat mass
  •     Decrease in bone mass
  •     Mood changes


Ok so now we know what exactly Low T in men can do.  Lets talk a bit about some strategies on how to prevent or even reverse low T.

If you're overweight, shedding the excess pounds may increase your testosterone levels, according to research presented at the Endocrine Society's 2012 meeting. Overweight men are more likely to have low testosterone levels to begin with, so this is an important trick to increase your body's testosterone production when you need it most.

Strength training is also known to boost testosterone levels, provided you are doing so intensely enough.

Vitamin D, a steroid hormone, is essential for the healthy development of the nucleus of the sperm cell, and helps maintain semen quality and sperm count. Vitamin D also increases levels of testosterone, which may boost libido. In one study, overweight men who were given vitamin D supplements had a significant increase in testosterone levels after one year.

Focus some efforts towards decreasing your stress.  When you're under a lot of stress, your body releases high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone actually blocks the effects of testosterone, presumably because, from a biological standpoint, testosterone-associated behaviours (mating, competing, aggression) may have lowered your chances of survival in an emergency (hence, the "fight or flight" response is dominant, courtesy of cortisol).

Limit or eliminate sugar. Testosterone levels decrease after you eat sugar, which is likely because the sugar leads to a high insulin level, another factor leading to low t.

Adding in a supplement by Magnum Nutraceuticals called Thrust.  This is a way to boost natural testosterone. http://www.hardmagnum.com/product/thrust Here is a link to further read about how this Pharmaceutical grade formula can help.

Lastly but not least increasing your healthy fats can also help decrease low levels of Testosterone.


I hope you found this article helpful and if you think you might be experiencing any of the symptoms of Low T its best to book an appointment and get your levels checked by a physician.

If you are in need of guidance on what to do at the gym or nutritional advice on how to increase your levels of T.  I would be very happy to book a free consultation.

Erin Crawford

Body Tempo Health and Fitness

May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

When is it time to change your fitness routine?

Tired of your old routine at the gym or even worse you stopped getting results from your workouts.

Here are some tips on how to get the best results when training at them gym:
  1.     Change is your best friend!  When I say change it can even be just as simple as changing your back day from Wednesday to Friday.  You could even try from morning training to night training.  Just ANY CHANGE IS GOOD :0)
  2.     If you are a person that likes to take classes.  Try something new.
  3.     There are also many different types of training out there.   if you are someone that weight trains regularly, try some of the styles out there such as metabolic training or if you are a runner try swimming.  Just to put something different into the mix.  Training should be fun and challenging in a good way.
  4.     It is very beneficial to change your routine up every 4-8 weeks depending on your full recovery time.  
  5.     Writing down your routine will also help you fulfill your intentions at the gym. GO WITH A PURPOSE.  It also helps you stay on track while you are there.
  6.     If you have been training for years and have seen minimal results, consult a Personal Trainer to help you succeed in your goals. Results can come faster than you might think .
  7.     Change up your tempo up during reps.  Tempo is the speed in which your perform your reps.  Different tempo will develope different types of muscle building.

I am hopeful that these tips will help you bring your training back to life and your results to a new level!  If you need any further help please let me know I am always here to help and I also offer FREE consultations to help you reach your ultimate goals.

Erin Crawford, owner of Body Tempo Health and Fitness
Pro Fitness Model
May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford

What is Plyometric Training

Plyometrics- also known as jump training—is a training technique designed to increase muscular power and explosiveness.  Originally developed for Olympic athletes, plyometric training has become a popular workout routine for people of all ages.  It consists of fast, powerful movements. This improves the way the nervous system works.

If you've ever been at the gym and spied someone in the corner jumping up and down on boxes, hopping around wildly or catching and throwing medicine balls, you've seen plyometric training. You may have been curious but, more than likely, you wondered, "Why would anyone do that to themselves?  Even adding a little plyometric training at the end of your workouts can be an added benefit to get your body to that next level of training.

Plyometric training has many benefits:

  •     Increases muscle mass, which means faster metabolism
  •     Burns more calories than traditional cardio
  •     Increases muscular endurance
  •     No extreme equipment necessary and can be done anywhere
  •     Can easily suit many different people needs
  •     It increases mobility in your joints
  •     It's a way to change your workouts, adding both challenge and intensity

 Plyometric training Requires strength and endurance, so make sure you build both with a complete program of both cardio and strength training before you try it.  This type of training should be done when you're fresh, not when you're already fatigued, and should be followed by a day of rest to let your body repair and recover.
Again, being cautious and doing basic exercises at first can help you ease your way into plyometric training. Now, how can you incorporate plyo into your routine?

Start slow its best to work your way up to high intensity training.  You could start by adding in at the end of your regular training, for example; 25 jumping jacks fast, 10 burpees and finish with 10 squat jumps (squat jumps are squat down and jump up as high and as fast as you can and slapping both knees at top).

If you are unsure about plyometric training and trying on your own.  I run a 10 week workout challenge that consists of :
  • Learning how to eat properly
  • Learning how to workout anywhere with plyometrics and other exercises
  • Training with me 2x per week.
  • Home workouts emailed out weekly to stay on track.
  • Full sets of body fat testing and girth measurements to make sure you are meeting your goals.
Erin Crawford
Certified Personal trainer and Lifestyle Coach
Follow me on twitter @BodyTempo

May 15, 2015 by Erin Crawford