As the holidays approach, we spend more time celebrating with family and friends. These gatherings often center around food (more of the fudge variety than the carrot stick kind). Are you already notching a new hole in your belt to prepare for these extra pounds? I spoke with Jon Arend, trainer to celebrities and athletes, to get his advice on banishing that holiday muffin top! And don’t miss the offer to get organized before the chaos of the holidays hit. Read on...
Is the 5 Pound Holiday Muffin Top Inevitable?
How to Simplify Your Exercise Routine
Interview with Jon Arend, Personal Trainer for Celebrities, Trainers, and Top Tennis Players
Jon Arend has been in the fitness industry for 15 years and has been training in Los Angeles for the past 10 years. Jon’s clients include Collegiate and top Junior Tennis Players, A-List celebrities, LAPD officers, business executives, moms, and retirees. Jon is the “trainer’s trainer” – providing real functional training strategies even for trainers to the stars.
I had the opportunity to meet Jon recently. I grew up with a body builder for a father so I’m not easily impressed by many people in the fitness industry. However, Jon blew me away with his immense knowledge, holistic approach, and his own calm demeanor.
AH: For people that don’t exercise regularly, it can be overwhelming to get started. What three steps would you have someone take to create a sustainable exercise program?
JA: First, it’s crucial to set realistic goals. So often people set themselves up for failure by setting goals – like I’ll go from working out 0 times a week to 6 days a week – that are simply not realistic. I also talk a lot about intrinsic versus extrinsic goals with clients. When you’re exercising to make the outside world happy (extrinsic) you will always have a dysfunctional relationship with working out. You need to work out for you and no one else (intrinsic). Second, make your work-outs fun. So many people go to the gym and are like rats on the treadmills. Getting outside, remembering what you loved to do as a kid – those are the things that will make exercise fun. And third, it’s so helpful to have a partner that will help keep you accountable. A good trainer, a friend, a spouse all can be that person. Success is directly linked with being accountable.
AH: I talk a lot about ways to simplify your life. For some, adding something into your life, like exercise, seems to be in opposition to the idea of making your life easier. Why is it so important to make time for exercise?
JA: We live in such a fast-paced, technology-driven world where we’re often sitting in front of a computer or in our car for extended periods of time. However, our physiology has changed very little over time. Our bodies still crave movement – walking, lifting, etc. It helps when you change your definition of exercising. Anything that gets your body moving is exercise. Taking your dog for a walk, playing the Wii sports games, etc.
AH: Let’s get into the specifics. For those folks that say they can’t spare more than 20 minutes a few times a week, how should their time be most effectively spent?
JA: If someone says they have only 20 minutes to exercise, something is off with their priorities. They work too much, spend too much time in front of the TV, waste time on the computer, etc. When I work with clients that say they don’t have any time to exercise – which is almost everyone – we start with the basics. I help them do breathing exercises, chi gong, and meditation. It’s amazing how our breath has the ability to change our mindset. Once you have switched your mindset to a calmer setting, it’s easier to prioritize the time for exercise. I also find it important to do a psychological profile with each of my clients. Everyone has different things that motivate them in life. For some it’s money, for others it’s their kids. Whatever their motivators are, I work with them. We learn how to incorporate their motivator into their work-out routine. My advice would be to start by getting in touch with your breath. Then start by incorporating any type of rhythmic cardio.