High Intensity Workouts: A no pain, no gain attitude can get you injured.

By Leslie Czarny and Carol Triest, P.T.

High Intensity Interval Training classes like CrossFit, Insanity, and P90X continue to be a favorite amongst exercisers. The draw – a quick intense workout (15-20min) in a fun and challenging setting. Pushing one’s self to extreme limits is an attraction to many who thrive in this type of environment. However, according to Bergeron, Nindl and Deuster, there seems to be a high occurrence of military personnel suffering from muscle strains and joint injuries as a result of participating in these types of workouts.1 If military personnel are getting injured, how about the rest of us?

“There are great benefits to high intensity workouts; however, I see a lot of patients who get injured from overdoing it, particularly those who participate in group classes”, says Daniel Alvarez, a Doctor of Physical Therapy at BaySport. “Poor form is one of the main culprits for injury and it’s harder for the instructor to gauge mechanics when in a large group setting.” He goes on to say, “…muscle weakness and going all out when there is poor postural alignment, history of trauma, overuse or instability of the joint promotes injury as well.” There is also the crowd mentality: Feeling like you have to push yourself because others in the class are increasing the intensity of the workout.

As with any type of fitness training, a good warm-up and cool down is necessary to limit risk of injuries. It is important to gauge how you feel: If you are suffering from soreness and fatigue, your body is telling you that you need a break. It is time to go for a walk, or perform a gentle stretching routine. No Pain, No Pain should replace the No Pain, No Gain slogan. It is a healthier and more sustainable attitude towards fitness.

1. Bergeron MF, Nindl BC, Deuster PA, . Consortium for Health and Military Performance and American College of Sports Medicine consensus paper on extreme conditioning programs in military personnel. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2011;10:383–389. Google Scholar CrossRef, Medline

8 Tips to a Healthy Holiday Season

winterBy Thad Phillips

Are you ready for the food temptations and lack of exercise that typically occurs around the holidays? Read through the tips below to make it through the season without compromising your health.

1. Commit to a plan of action.

Before the holidays sneak up on you, create a plan for incorporating fitness and good nutrition into your daily routine. Evaluate your holiday season and then determine how much time you have available to devote to working out and/or eating healthy.

2. Don’t put your fitness goals on hold until the New Year.

If you can’t exercise as much during the holidays, don’t use the excuse that you will wait until the New Year. Instead, accept the limited time you have and simply reduce the frequency and/or duration of your exercise. It’s much better to reduce the amount of exercise than to completely eliminate it.

3. Schedule your workouts.

Mark them on a calendar and set aside time to complete them. Consider them as important as any other appointment/event.

4. Always commit to some sort of activity.

On days you don’t have time for a complete exercise routine, commit to some sort of activity. Even a brisk 15 minute walk in the morning is better than nothing.

5. Choose wisely and watch the portions.

When you’re at an event you will be tempted to eat everything. Go ahead and indulge in the goodies just reduce the portion sizes.

6. Start with the healthy options.

When you are at an event and they offer vegetables, fruits or lean meats, start with those. The added fiber will create a feeling of being full and curb overindulging.

7. Watch out for the alcoholic beverages.

Most alcoholic beverages contain 200 calories or more per serving. Keep an eye on the amount you consume and if you are impaired you tend to overindulge in bad foods.

8. Be prepared.

Prepping your meals ahead of time will keep healthy food on hand. When you are busy running around during the crazy holiday season having healthy food on hand will eliminate that quick fast food dash.

About the Author:

Thad Phillips is the BaySport Program Director for Apollo Group in Phoenix, AZ. For the past 13 years he has served as the Fitness Director at Apollo Group, managing all aspects of the corporate gym, including creating and overseeing incentive programs, writing and monitoring nutritional programs, and conducting individual personal training. Previous experience includes owning a successful personal training studio, as well as working as a Fitness Director for LA Fitness.

Thad’s credentials include ISSA Level II certifications, and his expertise includes fitness, nutritional counseling and training. Thad has provided nutritional counseling and competition diets for bodybuilding, fitness and figure athletes and has also participated in natural bodybuilding competitions over the last 20 years. In 2008, he placed 1st in Class and 1st Overall in the Best of the West competition, which earned him his professional status as a natural bodybuilder. In 2015, he won his class in the highly competitive Mr. Arizona. Throughout his life, Thad’s dedication and passion has been to help his clients establish fitness goals and to provide them with the knowledge and motivation to achieve those goals and change their lifestyle.

EatWell: Simple Suggestions from a BaySport Nutritionist


By Sheri Berger, RD

It is Sheri Berger, BaySport Registered Dietitian/ Nutritionist here with more tips.  These days pumpkin spice is definitely the trend in food, beverages, candles, lotion, body wash – you name it!  The pumpkin spice food and beverage fad can be not so nice for your waistline if it is consumed with more sugar than spice!  A dose of fresh or canned pumpkin is an incredible source of vitamins A, B, and C as well as a great source of fiber, copper, and potassium.  When pumpkin is prepared in a healthy way, it can be part of a tasty and figure friendly feast.  To stay on top of your healthy weight goals during this splendid time of the year, steer clear of the pumpkin spice muffins, cookies, and pie and give these pumpkin treats a try:

Make a pumpkin soup.  Here are some healthy and easy recipes:

Roast your pumpkin seeds!  Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  A handful of pumpkin seeds and a piece of fruit (produce and protein) make an excellent late afternoon snack.  See here for some creative ways to spice up your pumpkin seeds:

Roast not only the seeds, but the pumpkin too.  Instructions here:

Make a homemade pumpkin spice latte.  Here is my favorite recipe (so much better than Starbucks):

Make a pumpkin chili!  Here are some recipes:

Make a healthy pumpkin smoothie:

Put it in your oatmeal!

About the Author:

Sheri Berger is a Registered Dietitian having completed her B.S. in Food/Nutrition & Dietetics and a dietetic internship at Loyola University Chicago. Sheri has a diverse professional background that includes hospital and outpatient clinic support, preventive wellness programs, corporate wellness services, cardiovascular disease management, and working with seniors. Sheri enjoys engaging her clients in pursuit of their personal wellness goals and leading by example with her healthy lifestyle. Sheri has been certified in adult weight management since 2005. She belongs to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetics Association, and the San Jose Peninsula District of the CDA. Sheri enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters and she loves to run marathons.