Ask Joe: Fat Loss, Sleep, and Exercise DVDs- Rapid Fire Edition

Happy Friday! Here are some rapid fire Ask Joe Questions!

“Hey Joe! Why can’t I seem to lose the weight around my belly but everywhere else seems to get slimmer?”
You really can’t control where you lose weight from. The fat around your belly is surrounds your vital organs, so it’s likely that you will loose weight in your arms and legs before your mid-section. However, you still will lose inches around your waist. Just be patient and stay consistent!

“Is it okay to workout late at night?”
If you are a “night owl” and prefer to workout at night, sure! The one caveat is making sure you get enough sleep. Numerous studies are showing weight loss and sleep are related.

“I live out of town away from any gyms, what can I do to workout?”
Here’s what I would do: Try to get a group of you together and do an exercise DVD together. Make everyone in the group accountable to show up and track each others progress.

If you have any “Ask Joe questions” send them over to joe [at]!

Reboot! Action Plan to Getting Back on the Weight Loss Track

Fall is quickly approaching and you might of gotten of track with your weight loss goals this summer. It’s okay! It happens. You get busy with weekends at the lakes, fire pit nights, street dances, and all the good stuff summer brings. Now that summer is coming to an end, it’s time to start getting you back on track!

Reassess your ‘why?’
Last spring your goal might of been to look good for summer, but now it’s different. You need a new deadline, a new goal, something that will keep you motivated to get you past those pesky hunger pangs and sugar urges. Maybe it’s a wedding in September, or maybe you want to look good in your Halloween outfit! Whatever it is, make sure it is within the next three months so you have no excuse to monkey around.

Write down exactly want you accomplish by this deadline and in big bold letters write a one sentence that is in a present tense and says that today I accomplished my goal. Now I’m serious about this writing it down business. Most of you might think this is a silly thing to do. I bet less than half the people I tell to write down their goals and post them don’t do it. However, for the ones that do write down their goals and the ones that remind themselves daily what they want to accomplish, they are the ones that hit their goals.

“Unjunk” your diet
Summer is full of sugary drinks and not so good for you foods. It’s time to rid your diet of this stuff and start eating healthy. I’m not the biggest fan of cleanse diets, but when it comes to flushing your diet with all the bad stuff, sometimes a good cleanse is what you need to do!

If I wrote a cleanse diet for you it would look like this: Start you day off with a good homemade smoothie. Make sure you put plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables(you don’t taste them). Have fresh fruit for you mid-morning snack. For lunch eat a fresh spinach salad with black beans (from the can), tuna, a little bit of shredded cheese, and a little vinaigrette to give it some zing! A mid-afternoon snack would be a handful of raw almonds. For supper, you would have a small portion of salmon with a side of steamed veggies.

Sweat it out
Maybe you didn’t make it to the gym consistently this summer, but now is time to get your exercise schedule back on track. So get moving! The fall sets us up with perfect walking weather and there is nothing wrong with going for a half hour walk every night! Get back in the gym and do at least three days of strength training and five days of cardio workouts.

Find it hard to get back to working out? Maybe you should join a group exercise class or getting a personal trainer. The awesome thing about group exercise classes is you will be surrounded by people that all have similar goals you do and they support each other to push hard and keep you motivated to move! Look, it’s all about getting you awesome results right? So why not set yourself up for the best possible results by getting a little help by a professional.

Take action!
Starting (over) is by far is the hardest thing to do. Don’t get sucked into the “I’ll do it tomorrow” trap, just do it now. Maybe you are reading this at work and you were planning to go home and watch tv after work. Wrong! Go workout instead. You won’t regret it.

Having successful weight loss plan is all about momentum. Sometimes you get knocked off track and you need to fight to get back on. Being persistent and continuing to put in your sweat equity is what will get you the results you want!

Workout Challenge #2 Video!

Whew my last video workout was very popular! Here is another workout that you do at home or at the gym! We’re going to make a lot more of these!

Toe taps on a 18″ box or High Knees x50
Squats (butt below your knees!) x30
Push-Ups (all the way down, back straight!) x10

Complete As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) in 6 minutes for beginners and 10 minutes for more advanced!

‘Like’ this post on Facebook if you would like to see more of these workouts!

By the way you can check out the workout I post the other day here:

Challenge Workout #1

Hey Hey! I’m almost done with my two month blogging hiatus! For now checkout this awesome challenge workout we shot earlier today!

Round 1
30 Tire Hops (18″ High)
30 Cleans with the Ultimate Sandbag (38 lbs)
30 Rows with the TRX Suspension Trainer

Round 2
20 Tire Hops (18″ High)
20 Cleans with the Ultimate Sandbag (38 lbs)
20 Rows with the TRX Suspension Trainer

Round 3
10 Tire Hops (18″ High)
10 Cleans with the Ultimate Sandbag (38 lbs)
10 Rows with the TRX Suspension Trainer

Ultimate Sandbag:
TRX Suspension Trainer:

I have some good stuff coming next week including more challenge workouts, Ask Joe questions, and fat loss nutrition!

Fargo Needs An Adventure Race

We have a nationally recognized marathon that has shown great success and boasts high local participation. We have a very outdoor exercise friendly city. Maybe it’s time for a little adventure in Fargo.

At the end of June, Bismarck is hosting the Gladiator Rush, a home grown adventure race that features 12 natural and unnatural obstacles over a 3.2 mile course. The obstacles will include jumping over fire, crawling through mud pit covered in barbed wire, and running up a mountain of mud. May not sound appealing to you, but these races are popular, very popular. As of today, the Gladiator Rush has over 3,000 participants registered and only has room for a few more.

Over and over do I hear of friends, family, clients, and random people talk about how they are going to either a Warrior Dash in the St. Paul or heading out to Bismarck for the Gladitor Rush. It’s not that it’s just another race, it’s the enthusiastic tone I hear in people voices when they talk about participating in these races. I hear comments like “It’s different!”, “Running and crawling through mud is fun!”, “It’s a nice break from running road races!”.

If you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about here are a few races I’m referring too:

Gladiator Rush
Gladiator Rush is a 5k course carved out of the Huff Hills Ski Resort just outside of Bismarck. Featuring over 10 different obstacles, each one is sure to challenge the inner gladiator in you. Immediatly following the race there will be a band and beer to celebrate your victorious day of sport!

Next Race: June 30th, 2012

Warrior Dash
The Warrior Dash is a race that is featured all over the country and is one of the most recognized adventure races. They are estimated to have over 1 million participants in all the 2012 races. The Warrior Dash hosts 10 – 12 obstacles that you must navigate through on your race journey. From crawling through mud pits or jumping over 6ft tall logs, there will be a whole host of obstacles to navigate.

Next closest Warrior Dash: June 30th, 2012 St. Paul, MN

Tough Mudder
Tough mudder, like it’s name, is tough. A typical Tough Mudder is 10 – 12 mile long course covering about 20 different obstacles. The top 5% finishers become automatically eligible for a tougher course at a later date. These races are not for the meek, you must train to compete in a Tough Mudder!

Next closest Tough Mudder: September 8th, 2012 Wisconsin

Maybe it’s time for Fargo to get it’s own adventure race. I can imagine it takes quite a bit of leg work and financial obligations to get one of these races up and running. Also, there needs to be a space to do it. For the Gladiator Rush in Bismarck, the Huff Hills ski resort offers a perfect solution for an adventure race. I can see Fargo hosting an adventure race in the near future, however with enough interest and buzz maybe we can get that ball rolling a little quicker!

So let’s do this, if you are interested in an adventure race in the Fargo Moorhead area, leave a comment below and share this article with your friends on Facebook. Let’s get some FM area adventure race buzz going!

The Skinny On Sports Drinks

Ever since Gatorade was invented in 1965, the rise of sports drinks has grown into a billion dollar industry. Gatorade is now PepsiCo’s 4th largest international brand. So it’s not surprising that these sports drinks are being consumed other then during sporting events.

Sports drinks are a solution of water, sugar, flavoring, and electrolytes mixed together to produce sweet tasting and refreshing product. They are commonly endorsed by big names like Micheal Jordan and are often targeted at young adults and children. Sports drink marketing is everywhere from large aisle displays at the grocery store to Super Bowl commercials. There are few professional sports that you don’t see a Gatorade cooler.

Feeling the pressure of calorie conscious consumers, PepsiCo introduced a few low sugar versions of their famous sports drink. The lower calorie versions have artifcial sweeteners to keep the sweet flavor without the added calories. However, they’re original high sugar drink is still a very popular seller.

Do we really need to being drinking sports drinks? I contacted a food and nutrition expert from my alma mater to get the skinny on sports drinks. Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson is an associate professor at North Dakota State University . Here’s what Dr. Julie said about sports drinks:

Joe: When should you drink sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade?
Dr. Julie: If you are exercising at a high-intensity level for more than an hour, you might need a sports drink. However, for most people, water is the most important beverage for rehydrating before, during and after sports or recreational activities such as golfing, playing tennis, biking or gardening. As soon as you eat a nutritious snack or meal, you will make up for any nutrient losses.

According to some researchers, people who exercise less than an hour do not see an enhancement of their athletic performance as a result of drinking sports drinks. If you are an elite athlete exercising for more than an hour, then a sports drink may be needed on a regular basis. However, even elite athletes who are burning large amount of calories consider the nutrient density of the beverages they are consuming.

Bottom line: For most situations, bringing your water bottle instead of a sports drink bottle will work just fine. You will save money, too.

Joe: When shouldn’t you drink sports drinks?

Dr. Julie: If you are exercising less than an hour, you really do not need a sports drink. Some people sip sports drinks when they are not exercising, which simply adds calories to your diet and money out of your food budget.

Joe: What about electrolytes, are they important to keep replenished? If so, is there a way you can replenish electrolytes without all the sugar?

Dr. Julie: Some researchers call low-fat or fat-free milk the new sports drink. It provides protein for building muscle and minerals/electrolytes that active people may lose through perspiration. In some studies comparing milk to sports drinks for use in endurance and strength activities, milk has performed better.

Joe:What about kids, should they be drinking sports drinks?
Dr. Julie: Sports drinks often are marketed with “cool” names that appeal to kids, but children do not need to consume these as everyday beverages. Childhood obesity remains an issue of great concern nationwide, and many experts point to high-calorie beverages as contributing to the issue. Many sports drinks provide empty calories from the added sweeteners.

Sometimes children and adults may become confused by the nutrition information on the bottles of beverages, especially by the serving size. A large bottle might have two or three servings, and a child or teen might consume the entire bottle. The nutrition information listed on the Nutrition Facts label is based on one serving, not “one bottle.”

Consider the situation and intensity of the exercise. If children are very active playing sports on a hot day, then a reduced-calorie sports beverage might be useful, especially if it encourages the children to drink more liquid.

Joe: Is there a healthier alternative to sports drinks?
Dr. Julie: The most important beverages for growing children are water, low-fat or fat-free milk and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice. Many children fall short of the recommendation for three cups of calcium-rich milk per day. In fact, just 36 percent of boys and 14 percent of girls get enough calcium.

Parents need to be aware that many fruit-flavored beverages on the market contain no fruit, so they should look for the “100 percent juice” designation. Some of the calorie-free flavored waters also appeal to children.

You also can “eat” your fluids by consuming lots of fruits and vegetables, too. Many children and adults do not meet today’s fruit and vegetable recommendation (4.5 cups daily, on average). Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of water as well as nutrients. Be creative! Most kids like watermelon chunks or frozen grapes to cool down and rehydrate on a hot day.

Thank you Dr. Julie Garden-Robinson for the great interview!

How to deal with friends when you’re losing weight

“Hey Joe! I have a really hard time keeping up with my diet during this time of year. All my friends are constantly going out. What can I do to keep up with my diet but not become a hermit with my friends?”

The people that you are around most often will influence everything from what you wear, the movies and tv shows you watch, how often you exercise, and what you eat. It’s not surprising that you find groups of friends that are all similar body types. Your friends will definitely effect your weight loss as well. Here is how to deal with your friends when you are trying to lose weight:

Stand up for yourself
Stand up for yourself with your group of friends. No this doesn’t mean you need to yell and scream and create a bunch of drama, you just need to make it clear that you are trying to lose weight and their support is important to you. Be clear, sincere, and definitive about what your goals are and how your friends effect you getting to your goals.

Make your goals and intentions clear
I can’t say this enough, write down your goals and review them daily. Share your goals with the people around you. Broadcast your goals to the point it’s borderline annoying. The more public you make your goals, the more likely you are going to stick to them and the more supportive the people around you will be!

Have a heart to heart
Sit down with your friends and family and tell them how you feel about what you are trying to do. The best is to write a letter to them and read it out loud. This might seem a little extreme, but the really if you friends don’t know how you feel, it’s not going to get better.

Be a leader
Who says you have to do everything everyone else is doing. Maybe this is your calling to lead your friends to be healthier. Lead your friends by example, you’d be suprised how much motivation this gives you to succeed at your goals!

Remove yourself
If all else fails, sometimes you just have to remove yourself from unhealthy situations. It might not seem like fun, but if your friends are relentless on making you unhealthy, it might just be best to be not around them.

You don’t need to become antisocial when you need to lose weight. Bottom line you just need to be clear to your friends that you are trying to lose weight and their support is very important to you. If you can do this, you will be successful with your weight loss goals!

You Need A Foam Roller, Here’s Why

If you experience low back pain, knee pain or if you’ve ever had general muscle soreness from working out the foam roller can be your saving grace. For a device that you can buy for under $20, the foam roller is a must have fitness tool.

Why use it?
A foam roller is a tool for self myofascia release (aka self massage). Rolling over tense and sore muscles increases circulation and relaxes the muscle group to relieve pain. Using the roller daily for a few minutes can make a huge difference with people that experience chronic muscle pain. You are rolling over sensitive/sore muscles, so it might be a little painful when you first use it, but the results are worth it.

How to use it?
Using a foam roller is pretty easy. Simply place the roller towards the top of the muscle group and slowly roll back and forth over the muscle group. You should spend at least 30 – 60 seconds on each muscle group. For example, to roll out calf muscles, place the roller below your knee and roll towards your ankle and return to the starting position. You should maintain steady pressure by keeping your body weight on the roller the entire time. Start with your legs first and work your way up your body for best results.

Below are six foam rolling streches you can do by yourself:

It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or if you live at your office desk, foam rolling will make a big difference with your flexibility and muscle soreness allowing you to workout harder to get great results!

The 8 Laws Of Weight Loss

Losing weight has certain rules you need to follow to see solid results. Here is a concise list I put together of the most essential rules for weight loss success!

Eat Less – Eat less than your body needs.

Eat Clean – Don’t eat processed foods.

Exercise – You need to exercise to lose weight.

Measure & Track – Track your meals, exercise, and progress.

Plan Ahead – Plan and schedule your meals and workouts.

Eat Vegetables – Vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients that are essential to weight loss.

Drink Water – Your body is made up of mostly water, you need water.

Get help – Don’t depend on yourself, find someone that will motivate you and drive you.

If you are having trouble shedding pounds, take a look at this list, maybe there are a few rules you aren’t quite following!

You should pin this on Pinterest.

Simple timer app can make your workouts rock!

Forget the at home workout dvds, all you need is a simple app for your mobile device to give you the fat burning interval workout you need! Using a timer is a great way to keep yourself honest while working out on your own. Here’s how…

There are a few great timer apps for the IOS and Android devices that can help make your workouts rock. For iOS the ‘Bit Timer‘ is pretty good as well as ‘Seconds Pro‘. For Android the ‘Stopwatch & Timer‘ app is really popular. There is plenty of similar apps but these are the ones that stick out. I personally use Seconds Pro on the iPad for my workouts.

All of these apps give you the ability to set up your intervals exactly the way you want them. So it makes it really easy to customize your workout. The best part you can just start the timer and you don’t have to touch it until after your workout. Every app will vary on how you set it up, but they all seemed pretty simple when I was testing them.

For runners and cyclists, you can use the timer app and listen to music at the same time. You can use the audio cues from the timer to indicate when to sprint and when to walk. This makes it great way for getting your interval workouts outside without the need to keep an eye on your watch!

Setting up your workout is easy, just pick few exercises that you can do in a timed set. At least you should include a cardio exercise (jogging in place), a core exercise (situps) and a rest or isometric exercise (planks) to give you a chance to catch your breath. If you really want to turn up the intensity forget the rest and keep going all the way through!

Try these two simple interval workouts with your timer!

10 Minute Basic Interval Workout
Do Each exercise for 30 seconds, complete 4 rounds.
Jog-ups on a step or box (or jog in place)
Jumping Jacks
Mountain Climbers

15 Minute Core Interval Workout
Do each exercise for 45 seconds
High Knees
Bicycle Crunches
Plank to Hands

Working out is all about keeping it simple and having the right tools. With a simple timer app on your phone, you can get an awesome workout!

Sami-jo rocking the timer!

If you like this post you’ll LOVE this one: 5 Easy Ways To Stick To A Weight Loss Plan