Health and Fitness During the Holidays

This post addresses exercise and nutrition during the holidays from a psychological perspective. It discusses how your mindset can either potentially derail future positive results or set you up for continued success for months to come.

     Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to focus on the rest of the year. In many ways, this is one of the most important times of the year when it comes to health and fitness and it’s not just because people tend to gain weight and exercise less during the holidays. The critical element is your mindset, because the attitude you have from now till the end of the holiday season can affect your results well into next year.

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The Thanksgiving Meal: Turkey, Tryptophan, and Tiredness

This post examines the Thanksgiving meal and explains the real cause for your post-meal tiredness.

     Since Thanksgiving is this week, I wanted to write about the Thanksgiving meal, specifically the relationship between turkey, tryptophan, and tiredness. Turkey is a staple of the traditional Thanksgiving meal and you have probably heard that it contains in ingredient that makes you sleepy. The ingredient is tryptophan and it is an amino acid, which is a component of protein. People often get tired after eating their Thanksgiving meal and tryptophan typically gets blamed. This post will explain why tryptophan gets a bad wrap and what the cause of post Thanksgiving meal sleepiness really is.

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Exercise Intensity: What it is and Why it’s Important

This post is meant to be an introduction to intensity, with a focus on explaining that intensity has different meanings and implications, depending on the situation or type of exercise being performed.

     Exercise intensity is one of the most important variables in any workout, because if the intensity is not correct, your workout won’t have the intended effect. Exercising at the wrong intensity level is one of the most common mistakes people make and it should definitely be avoided, if you want to experience optimal results. Intensity seems like a fairly simple concept, as it typically refers to exercise difficulty, but intensity is a little more complicated than it first appears.

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The Importance of Recovery Workouts

This post introduces the topic of recovery workouts and explains how they can help you feel better and achieve long-term health and fitness success.

     A lot of my writing has been about the importance of doing challenging workouts (instead of just doing activities to burn calories), if you are trying to lose fat and increase your fitness level. However, even though challenging workouts are the most effective for producing positive results, it doesn’t mean you should do them all the time. In addition to doing challenging workouts, you should also incorporate recovery workouts into your overall exercise program.

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The Truth about the Fat Burning Zone

This post is all about the fat burning zone. It explains what the fat burning zone really is and discusses what is most important when exercising for maximal fat loss.

     Chances are you have heard or read something about the “fat burning zone” or if you belong to a gym, there is probably a chart on the wall by the cardio machines telling you about different heart rate zones, including the fat burning zone. The fat burning zone is used to describe a specific physiological occurrence, but it is often used incorrectly. Misunderstandings about the fat burning zone and its implications have caused many people to become confused about how to exercise for optimal fat loss. My goal today is to sort out any existing confusion about the fat burning zone and explain what is really important when it comes to burning fat through exercise.

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Turning Activities into Effective Exercises for Fitness and Fat Loss

This post describes how to take common activities that basically just burn calories and turn them into effective exercises to improve your fitness level and stimulate fat loss.

     Previously, I wrote about how exercise, not just being active, is the key to fat loss and fitness. That post (click here to review previous post) provided the theoretical background information to explain why activities that do not challenge your body are basically just burning calories and not much more. Now I will provide you with more practical information, specifically showing you how to take regular activities that have a minimal impact on your body and turn them exercises/workouts to improve your fitness and stimulate fat loss.

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Cutting Calories too much Prevents Fat Loss

This post discusses the problems with low-calorie diets and explains why cutting too many calorie results in short-term weight loss, a slower metabolism, and muscle loss.

     In my previous post, I discussed the common belief that decreasing your caloric intake and increasing your activity level is all you need to lose fat and improve your fitness. I explained why exercise, not just increasing your activity level, is essential for long-term fat loss and fitness. In this follow-up post, I will focus on caloric intake part of the belief and explain why decreasing your caloric intake is not always good for fat loss or overall health and fitness.

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Exercise, Not Activity, is the Key to Fat Loss and Fitness

This post explains why increasing your activity level and exercising are not the same thing and discusses why exercise is essential for increasing your long-term fat loss and overall fitness level.

     There are many different opinions about fitness and fat loss, but one of the more common viewpoints suggests that all you need to do is increase your activity level and/or decrease your caloric intake to be successful. While this may have some truth in theory, it does not always hold true in real life and it is certainly not the best strategy for improving long-term fitness and fat loss.

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Welcome Message

A message to welcome new readers to my blog.

Welcome to Austin Personal Trainer Ross’ Blog about all things health and fitness.

     If you want to get right into reading my posts, I will simply say this blog is all about providing quality health and fitness information to help you achieve your goals. On the other hand, if you are not already familiar with me or my writing, you can click on “About Me” and “Purpose of this Blog” for more information.

     I will have new posts at least twice a week and I will cover a wide variety of health and fitness issues, particularly topics related to nutrition and exercise. I will discuss both general concepts, such as how to approach fat loss, and more specific topics, such as providing the definitions of commonly misused or misunderstood fitness terms. I also intend to provide information on less frequently addressed issues, such as the psychological aspects of health and fitness.

     However, having said this, what I spend most of my time writing about will really depend on you. I encourage everyone to write me and let me know what you thing of the current posts and tell me what topics you would like to see covered in the future. If I get feedback that you want to read more about certain topics, then those topics are where I will put my focus.

     If you have questions or comments about a specific post, just click on the comment link at the end of the post and tell me what you think. If you have suggestions, comments, or questions unrelated to a specific post, the best way to reach me is through my Precision Health & Fitness website. Thanks and I hope you enjoy my new blog,


P.S. If you want to receive email notifications when I write new posts, just click “Subscribe to Austin Personal Trainer Ross’ Blog by Email” in the upper right corner. If you prefer to receive RSS feed updates as opposed to emails, then click “Subscribe in a reader” instead.

P.P.S. If you want to learn about my new book, just click Finding Fitness and it will take you the page on my website with more information.

Top 5 Tips for Deciphering Food Labels – Part 4

This is the fourth and final part of my series designed to help people understand the information on food labels. Part 4 is all about carbohydrates, but the main focus is on net carb labeling.

     Today I will finish my series on the top 5 tips for deciphering food labels and for those of you who are carbohydrate conscious eaters, this post may be particularly interesting. However, even if you do not watch your carb intake, the information in the final tip can still be very useful for deciphering food labels and learning some general information about carbs as well.

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