A: Well, first of all, nutrition is the most important piece. You can workout all you want, but if you only eat junk you will never lose weight. Some people can change their diet and eat healthy and lose all their body fat. Nutrition is 75% of the battle in weight lose. However, being skinny does not mean you’re healthy or fit. The next piece is having healthy muscle structure which is achieved by strength training. Cardiovascular fitness, which is how healthy your heart is, and flexibility are also equally important.”
Q: What do you recommend in each of these areas?
A: I teach my clients to eat low-glycemic, organic whole foods. Even just cutting out processed foods as much as possible makes a big difference. For strengthening the muscles, I recommend the Power Plate because it’s functional, works all muscle fibers at once and is very little time commitment. If you workout on the Power Plate 3 times per week consistently for about 6 month, you will be in amazing shape. As for cardio, if you are not needing to lose weight I also recommend the Power Plate because it raises the heart rate to fat burning level just by holding static positions. You can also make the workout so intense that you feel as if you’re sprinting. If you are looking to lose more than 10 pounds of body fat you will need to do additional cardio. This is because the Power Plate sessions are only 30 minutes long and the first 16 minutes of keeping your heart rate at fat burning level you are only burning your sugars. For fat loss, you need to do at least 45 minutes of cardio, 3-6 days per week. In this case I suggest doing what you enjoy for cardio. My favorites are dancing and bike riding. The key is do what you enjoy because if you try to commit to running, for example, and you hate to run, the chances of you staying consistent are very low. The most effective way to keep your body flexible is through yoga. Although, the key to true fitness is consistency. You have to dedicate a minimum of 3 months consistently to an activity just for your body to adapt to your new routine and then at least an additional 3 months to start to see significant results.
Q: Tell us more about eating healthy.
A: Well, for one thing, your body cannot store protein. This means you have to continually feed your body protein at least 3 times each day. The most important time of day to eat protein (besides with every meal) is when doing strength training. If you do not feed your body protein within one hour of strength training your body will strip your muscles of their protein and all the exercise you just did will be in vain. Carbohydrates should be eaten at the beginning of the day because that’s how your body gets energy. Vegetables should be eaten with every meal and fruits can be eaten between meals as snacks. As far as portions, I like to make 50% of my plate vegetables, 30% protein and 20% carbs. Most of all, eating low-glycemic is very important. This means eating foods that take a long time to turn into blood sugar and avoiding the foods that quickly turn into blood sugar. When you eat high-glycemic foods, your blood sugar and insulin spike and send a signal to your brain that says, “For the next 2 hours, store everything as body fat.” You can eat the bread they give you at restaurants and then eat a salad for dinner and all of it gets stored as body fat. Now, I don’t teach people to give up their favorite foods forever because I don’t believe in depriving yourself. Psychologically this can be harmful. But I do recommend limiting high-glycemic foods as much as possible. Here’s a helpful tip: If you know you are going to eat something high-glycemic, say you’re going to a party and want to have wine and dessert, begin your meal with foods high in soluble fibers such as lentil soup. This will bring down the glycemic index of the foods you eat next.
Q: Who should use the Power Plate and what benefits will they receive?
A: The Power Plate is good for everyone except people who are not allowed to increase circulation due to health issues. But the older you are the more you will benefit. The elderly receive the most benefit because the Power Plate increases bone density, flexibility, coordination and balance. It can cure incontinence and prevent falls for older people. Power Plate is also good for detoxing because it drains the lymph system and reduces cellulite. Increased circulation helps reduce spider veins and repairs muscle, tendon and ligament damage. You will also see more muscle strength, tone and definition. I offer a complimentary session and encourage everyone to come and try the Power Plate so you can feel it for yourself.
Q: Why is it important to have a personal trainer…what difference can it make for me?
A: Unless you have strict self discipline, having a personal trainer will increase your chances of success because you know you have an appointment with someone and are more likely to show up and thus stay consistent. A good personal trainer will make sure your form and technique are correct, lowering your chances of injury. You can also learn a wealth of knowledge about nutrition and other types of exercise you can do to see results.
Q: Besides Power Plate, what other fitness activities do you teach or participate in?
A: For the duration of the summer Regina Lindsay and I are teaching a donation-based Cardio Dance BootCamp class every Tuesday & Thursday from 9am-10am at Garfield Park. The class is a combination of Bellydance, Jamaican Dancehall and calisthenics. This class is a great way to get some cardio while toning the muscles; and children are welcome. Every Sunday I also lead a donation-based Hike & Bike. On the hiking week, I lead a family-friendly hike where children and dogs are welcome. On alternating weeks, I lead the adults on a bike ride to
Medford and back. The hike is about an hour and the bike ride is 2 hours. For more details on meeting locations and times, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to our email list. You can also “Friend” me on Facebook under Mahalath Gordon and I will add you to our group for updates.
My favorite class that I’m currently taking to increase my fitness abilities is Aerial Conditioning at the Le Cirque Centre. We are put through a circuit using the various aerial equipment. The class is tough and fun, just the way I like it. The class is taught by Glory Pillsbury, who is an amazing teacher and is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-9am. For more info you can visit www.lecirquecentre.org.
Mahalath is the Power Plate trainer at the Hidden Springs Wellness Center. She is passionate about helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. More than anything she believes each person should continually strive forexcellence in all that they do. For more information visit www.hiddenspringswellness.com or call 541-778-5863.