CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

Is COVID-19 the Tipping Point for Healthier Living

The coronavirus crisis has become the “new normal,” and so far, local leaders are using the strategy of imposing social distancing restrictions to contain the spread until a cure can be found. But even in the best-case scenarios, developing a vaccine will take a long time — if it’s possible at all. And there’s no way to know how effective it would be. Given this, we need to prepare for an unpleasant potential outcome: the threat of COVID-19 might be something we’re living with for a long time.

While we can’t control our access to things like testing and vaccines, the good news is, we do have one incredible remedy within our power: our personal health. Here are the key takeaways of this post:

  • There is no guarantee that a vaccine for COVID-19 can be developed, and we should prepare to live with it for the long haul.
  • So far, the data shows that healthier people have largely avoided experiencing complications from COVID-19.
  • To date, many Americans have been resistant to living a healthier lifestyle. Will the threat of COVID-19 be the impetus for society to make this important change?

We’re still learning about COVID-19, but so far, one trend is clear: People with chronic health conditions and/or weaker immune systems are the most likely to experience coronavirus-related complications, while people with healthier lifestyles and without these conditions are the least likely.

In fact, research shows that 96% percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations had a pre-existing condition and the most common were high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes — and these conditions are typically caused by lifestyle choices such as lack of exercise, poor diet, high stress levels, drinking alcohol and smoking. By comparison, among healthy people, even those who do contract the virus may never even know they had it; testing of the abnormally healthy population of sailors aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt crew, for example, found that fully 60% of its 600 infected sailors were asymptomatic.

The bottom line? Your personal health is a key factor in your risk of complications from COVID-19.

Despite sheltering in place for weeks or months and widespread concerns about combating COVID-19, it seems most Americans aren’t willing to make the lifestyle changes needed to truly fight the virus. Many would rather take a pill, get a shot, go under the knife or remain on permanent lockdown than live a healthier lifestyle.

But the dangers of poor lifestyle choices go far beyond the coronavirus. Obesity and physical inactivity have proven to be two of the most dangerous conditions yet:

  • Despite, or maybe because of, our relatively high standard of living, America has the highest obesity rates of any country in the world: Over 40% of Americans are obese, a number that has actually increased 40% the past two decades.
  • A shocking 80% of Americans still don’t get the recommended amount of exercise, despite one in 10 deaths being linked to physical inactivity.

Relying on our bodies’ natural defenses is an effective way to prevent COVID-19 complications and many other health conditions. Living a healthier lifestyle will strengthen our immune systems and improve our chances of beating this terrible illness while we await a vaccine, if there is one. COVID-19 is a global pandemic that has cost trillions of dollars  and changed the way we live. Whether we can make a change for the better by choosing healthy living is the challenge our society must face.

Flow Fitness can help you create a custom exercise and nutrition program to help you reach your goals and provide the support you need.  All can be done virtually as well.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit. Move. Nourish.

We’re staying home, but are we staying healthy?

Key Points

  • Shelter in place orders have created the unintended consequence of people living unhealthier lives
  • An unhealthy lifestyle compromises your immune system and can lead to higher risk of catching COVID-19 or increasing the severity of its symptoms
  • Social distancing will likely end before a vaccine is available. Until then, your best protection to COVID-19 is to have a strong immune system through a healthy lifestyle

As the COVID-19 crisis continues, cities and states around the world have enacted “shelter in place” regulations, encouraging citizens to “stay home and stay healthy” to slow the spread of the virus. But while we’re doing a great job staying home — we aren’t doing a good job of staying healthy.

Recent studies since many states enacted shelter in place acts show:

Health is more than simply whether you have COVID-19. While local governments have restricted movement and forced fitness centers to close, they’ve classified alcohol as “essential,” loosened rules around its sale and encouraged us to eat takeout food to support our local businesses: a dangerous combination. It’s in our nature to turn to alcohol and comfort foods during times of stress, but this is the opposite of what we should be doing during a health pandemic.

Our leaders and the media have focused their attention on social distancing and sanitation as the best ways to mitigate the damage of the coronavirus, but they are missing a  key piece of the puzzle. To truly protect our bodies from COVID-19 and the severity of its infection, we need to strengthen our bodies’ natural defenses by focusing on comprehensive, personal health.

Here’s how we can do that:

Boost your immune system. Research shows you can strengthen your immune system through lifestyle changes such as regular exercise, eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, managing stress and getting enough sleep. These steps can help prevent illness by strengthening your body’s ability to defend itself from disease-causing microorganisms.

Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity may be one of the most important predictors of severe coronavirus illness, especially among younger people, studies show.  In fact, the chance of hospitalization due to COVID-19 for those under age 60 doubles if you are obese; obesity may also increase the risk of dying from the virus.

Limit alcohol consumption. Many believe drinking alcohol can help kill the virus; this is false. The World Health Organization recently issued a warning that alcohol consumption can actually increase the risk of catching COVID-19, as well as the severity if you do get it.

Exercise regularly. Recent studies show  that not only can exercise strengthen your immune system, but regular exercise may also help prevent one of the major causes of COVID-19-related hospitalization and death: acute respiratory distress syndrome.

Until there is a vaccine, there will always be a risk of exposure to COVID-19, even with social distancing. By making these changes to our lifestyles and keeping our bodies as healthy as possible,  you will not only reduce the likelihood of catching COVID-19 and the severity of its impact but you will also help society by reducing the spread and the number of hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Our training staff at Flow Fitness can provide you the guidance and accountability you need to help you reach your goals of living a healthier life.  Email if you would like to speak to someone about how we can help you.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit. Nourish.

You can and should eat carbs at night

There are several myths in the nutrition and fitness world surrounding carbohydrates (or “carbs”) and their effect on our health. Most people believe carbs are “the devil” — the reason they gain weight. One of the biggest myths we hear is that if you eat carbs at night, they will turn to fat.  There is nothing farther from the truth.

Carbs are an important macronutrient, required for your body to perform at its best. In fact, consuming carbs at night can actually reduce stress while helping you build muscle and burn fat. Don’t believe me? Then keep reading.

When we are stressed, our bodies produce a naturally occurring hormone called cortisol.  Cortisol is released in response to fear or stress as part of our body’s “fight or flight” response, and it can affect every cell in our body.

Cortisol activates our sympathetic nervous system (sending commands to our brains such as “Run, Lift, Fight, Act Now”). When we are unable to properly shift from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode (commands such as “Rest, Digest, Recovery”), we can become caught in a vicious cycle of stress overload.

We should manage our cortisol levels so they peak at the right times, which include when we wake up in the morning, during our workouts and when we need to be alert and focused. However, we don’t want to spike our cortisol levels at the wrong times, either (i.e., just before bed or when meditating or relaxing), as this will lead to a state of stress. Reducing cortisol production allows our bodies to calm down so we can rest and recover.

Carbs can help us control our stress levels by blunting our cortisol response. Consuming them in the evening allows our bodies to tap into that parasympathetic mode, so we can ease into a more restful state of mind and eventually into sleep.

But that’s not the only benefit. Your body undergoes most of its repair and recovery while you’re sleeping, utilizing both protein and carbs as energy sources to repair your muscles. By eating carbs at night, not only are you blocking cortisol production, but you’re also providing the necessary resources for your body to build muscle and burn fat.

Of course, don’t take this as a license to eat pizza before bed; you still need to eat healthy and ensure your calories are in check, maintaining a caloric deficit or at neutral if you want to lose weight. You should also focus on carbs that are unrefined carbs such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.  Your diet should be evaluated based on weekly nutritional behavior and objectively based measurements, not by a singular item or meal-timing strategy. But at least now you know the truth about carbs — so go ahead and have that slice of bread with dinner!

Need help creating a fitness and nutrition plan? Sign up for a personalized training session at Flow Fitness today.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

5 Tips for Successful Goal Setting

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Goal setting can be intimidating, but then again so can our goals. That does not make them any less achievable. We all have desires in life, whether in fitness, business, or relationships. Without goals, you can lack focus and direction. Setting personal goals puts you in the driver’s seat, giving you the power to take your life into whatever direction you desire. However, in many circumstances, the initial goals we set out to complete are abandoned somewhere along the way.

To accomplish your goals, you need to know how to set them. This process begins with careful consideration, followed by ample amounts of hard work in order to achieve what we set out to do. In order to make the most of this process, here are five tips for effective goal setting:

1) Establish your end result and do your homework to understand a realistic time frame. If your goal is to run a marathon and you can currently only run 2 miles, spend some time on google to understand how soon you can expect to reach 26.2!

2) Make sure that all of your goals are MEASURABLE. “Get in shape” is not a goal! A Real goal is something that you could test at the end of your progress to see if you achieved it. Examples of real goals are:

  • Run a marathon
  • Squat 225 pounds
  • Lose 10 pounds
  • Get a new job
  • Save 10,000 dollars

3) WRITE IT DOWN.  Commit yourself entirely to your goal. Write it on a sheet of paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Set it as your desktop background. Set a reminder on your phone to alert you every morning to chase that goal.

4) Establish periodic goals and celebrate your victories along the way. Sometimes our goals can seem enormous, so how do we achieve them? The same way you’d eat an elephant: one bite at a time. Let’s look at some of the example goals we talked about to understand this breakdown.

Ex 1: Run a Marathon (20 weeks)

  • Weeks 1-4 build up to running 5 miles without stopping
  • Weeks 5-9 build up to running 10 miles
  • Weeks 10-14 build up to running 15 miles
  • Weeks 15-19 build up to 20
  • Week 20 try for the full 26!

Ex 2: Lose 10 pounds (12 weeks)

  • Week 1 establish your nutrition and workout programs
  • Week 2 hit your targets every day
  • Week 3 first weigh in
  • Weeks 4&5 escalate your workout intensity
  • Week 6 second weigh in
  • Weeks 7&8 escalate workout intensity
  • Week 9 third weigh in
  • Week 10 Celebrate your success

5) Reassess your progress at each checkpoint.  This one is critical to reaching success, but perhaps not for the reason you think. Notice that periodic weigh ins are built into the structure of the weight loss goal. We do this for two reasons: first, if you are not making progress as quickly as you should be to reach your goal in the target time frame, these reassessment periods leave you enough time to attenuate your program to still achieve your goal on time. Second, if you are in fact making adequate progress it is important to celebrate yourself for achieving that success! If you lost 3 pounds in 3 weeks, sure it’s not the 10 you want to lose, but you still put in work and got a good result, and that’s no small feat.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

Discover Your Fountain of Youth

Getting older sucks!  With each year, you notice more aches, have less energy and feel weaker. Will you concede to old age or will you do something about it?

Recent studies have shown that loss of muscle may be the one of the most significant contributors to your decrease in quality of living and life expectancy. By incorporating strength training into your fitness routine, you can maintain or even increase muscle mass as you age and combat Father Time.

Here are 3 reasons why strength training will help you feel younger and prolong the effects of old age.

Live Longer

Sarcopenia, the aging related decline of muscle mass, does not only greatly reduce performance in daily living activities but is also linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

A recent study from the University of Sydney suggests that strength exercises are just as important as aerobics and may reduce your risk of all-cause and cancer-related death.

This study found that individuals who engaged in strength exercises had a 23 percent lower risk of death by all causes, and a 31 percent lower risk of cancer-related death.

Live Better

Not all strength training is created equal.  Functional strength training emphasizes exercises that will improve your overall quality of living and performance (rather than pure aesthetics).  Not only will these exercises help you to move like you are younger, but they will also reduce your risk of injury.

To maximize results, most of your strength training should consist of the following movements:

  1. Hip Hinge (Deadlifts, Sumo Deadlifts, KB Swings.)
  2. Squat (Back squat, goblet squats, Front Squats)
  3. Push (Bench press and variations)
  4. Pull (Pull Ups, row variations)
  5. Single Leg (Split squats, reverse lunges.)
  6. Carries (Farmer’s walks, suitcase carries)

Live Happier

Strength training elevates your level of endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), which increases energy levels and improves your mood.  While it is true that all exercise boosts mood because it increases endorphins, there is additional research that’s looked at neurochemical and neuromuscular responses and suggests strength training has a positive effect on the brain that not all exercise has.

As if that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s evidence that strength training may help you sleep better, too.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

How to Create Lifelong Fitness Goals

by Mackennon Klink, CSCS, PN1

It’s one thing to know what to eat, which exercises to do, and how to do the exercises, it’s a completely another thing to actually do all that – consistency.  If you have tried and failed to establish a long term, healthful habits, then you know all too well what I’m talking about.  Changes, whether they come in the form of a job, responsibilities, new home, or healthful habits can feel stressful.   

Without question, your habits are more powerful than desire or motivation.  Motivation is an excellent tool to kick your butt into gear and get started, however it will be your habits that will power you throughout to the end.  You see, in order to successful change, you must prepare for that change and understand that it isn’t a linear path. 

1. Set goals – TODAY 

You know you need to make improvements, so it’s time to create some goals. . Goal setting is both a science and an artform.  The majority of individuals think goal setting is simply choosing something they don’t have (i.e. lose 20 pounds) there’s more to it than that.  Saying you want to lose 20 pounds isn’t a goal, rather it’s a statement.  In order to set your goal, you’ll need make it specific, realistic, with short and long term components, and focus on our behaviors rather than outcomes. 

 2.  Set goals that are specific and measurable: 

“I want to lose 20 pounds” isn’t much of a goal because it doesn’t really give you anything measurable or specific to work on.  Simply depending on a scale number isn’t too reliable for our daily weight can fluctuate up to 5 pounds throughout the day depending on what we are eating.  However, changing your goal to  “I want to lose 20 pounds of body fat” is specific since it is refers to losing one thing – body fat – and it’s measurable, since it specifies a number – 20 pounds.  

 3. Set goals that are challenging, yet realistic: 

 Goals must be big enough to inspire you into action, yet not so big that you get frustrated with the impossibility of accomplishing them.  A goal like “I will lose 80 pounds and be on the cover of GQ magazine” is a bit too lofty for most people (#sorrynotsorry).  Instead, a better goal for someone who weighs 160 pounds and has 25 percent body fat, challenging, yet realistic goal is something like “I will be 130 pounds and 12 percent body fat after a full year of training.”   

 4. Frame your goals around behavior, rather than outcomes: 

 To be clear, a behavioral goal is based on something you can directly control and do yourself whereas an outcome goal is based on the end product of a series of behaviors.  The sad truth is too many individuals only set outcome based goals such as: 

  • I want to lose 20 pounds 
  • I want to make $100,000/year 
  • I want to squat 315 pounds 

While these goals are specific, measurable as well as challenging and realistic, they are focused only on the outcome.  Outcomes are beyond your control.  You cannot control your rate of fat metabolism, or force your boss to pay you 100K.  You can, however, focus on your behaviors. So, how do you pick behavior based goals?  Try these: 

  • I will exercise 5 times a week 
  • I will eat protein with every meal 
  • I will have either fruit or veggies with each meal 
  • I will drink 150oz of water daily 

In the end, if you make goals out of your behavior and things you can control, your outcome goals (i.e. lose 20 pounds) will fall right in line – without you having to worry about them (Sorry, but I cannot help you with getting 100K job; still working on that one myself) 

5. Set goals with short term and long term components: 

In order to achieve your challenging, yet realistic goals, you must break them down into smaller behavioral-based goals.  Make the behavioral-based goals applicable for today, the bigger goals applicable for next week and so on.  Save the biggest goals of all for later.  In this way, you’ll create mile markers on your road to metabolism-boosting success.   

 6. Tell someone your goals: 

 Once you set your specific goals that you are committed to achieving,  tell someone your goals right away.  If you keep your goals a secret, it’s easier to blow them off to either ignore or completely forget them.  By telling someone your goals, they will help keep you more accountable.  If you have someone holding you accountable to a higher standard, you’ll be more likely to get it done. 

7. Actively Pursue your Goals 

It’s one thing to know what to eat, and how to exercise, it’s a completely different thing to actively pursue your goals by actually doing the things you said you are going to do.  If you have tried to establish a long term, healthful habit many times overs, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  Change can feel stressful, however, focus on the thing you can control – your actions, mindset, and behavior.   Remember, what gets managed, gets measured.  Focus on creating small behavioral changes, and you’ll be in a prime position to succeed.   

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

Three Super Top Secret Reasons Why You Need to Add Yoga to Your Fitness Regime

You’ve likely heard of the health benefits of yoga: reduces stress, improves posture, increases flexibility, and much, much more. You may have even heard some things that may be questionable…however, regardless of your age or fitness level , or what you may or may not be training for, yoga is one of the best things you can do for your body.

Here are three stellar reasons to add some yoga to your fitness routine:

1.) Balance. Take a moment and stand on one leg. Then shift, and stand on the other. If you can, kick your free leg out in front of you and then behind you, very, very slowly. How hard does your standing foot/ankle work to keep you stable and steady? This is a good indicator of your ability to balance. In every day life, walking or running requires balancing on one leg. As we age, this balance becomes more and more critical. Yoga gives you the opportunity to practice balance. You may suck – and some days are better than others, but yoga provides a practice to strengthen your balance and the muscles in your feet (your future self will thank you later!).

2.) Identifies tightness/weakness. In practicing yoga you will inevitably discover (if you didn’t know already) where you are tight, and/or weak. Your balance on one side might be off – that ankle might be weaker. Your left hip might be tighter than your right. In practicing (which requires you to go to more than just one class) you begin to notice your body’s imbalances, how you compensate, and how you might favor one side vs. the other. Through this awareness, you can begin to make changes and strengthen those areas that may be weak.

3.) Practice with discomfort. Yoga gives you the opportunity to practice holding discomfort. In exercise (and in life), your mind will stop you waaaaaay before your body is ready to give in. The practice of Yoga gives you the opportunity to hold discomfort and breathe through it. This is immensely helpful in that third set of deadlifts, at mile 23…or while staring down your three year old in a battle of wills.

In the end, yoga has many, many benefits and applications to most any athletic discipline. This practice can only make you better, in more ways than one. Give yoga a try today – and know that it may take more than one class to decide if it’s for you. Find a teacher you resonate with, and a class in which you feel comfortable – again, your future self will thank you later!

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

Five Fitness Principles for Long Term Success

The health and fitness industry is full of myths and misconceptions. Everyday we are bombarded with ads, instagram videos, and articles claiming they have discovered the new diet or exercise.  There’s so much conflicting information on what we should and shouldn’t do. 

That is why I wrote this article.  I wanted to cut through the noise and simplify fitness for you.  When it comes to fitness,having a solid foundation of principles are essential to achieving your goals.  

Why does this matter? 

 Principles are your bullshit detector.  By adhering to principles, you’ll be able to sniff out all the crap information out there.  This will help you eliminate information overload, simplify your decision making, and guide you to achieving lifelong results you deserve. 

 1) Focus on the basics 

The principles for losing fat, building muscle, and having Energizer Bunny levels of energy have remained unchanged throughout the years.  

 In the gym, 80% of your exercises should be big, compound exercises such as deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press, and rows. You must also adhere to progressive overload, the oldest and most research strength principle.   

For nutrition, have protein with every meal, plenty of veggies, eat foods that once had a face or came directly from the earth instead laced with numerous chemicals or created in a lab.  

Drink plenty of water (half your bodyweight in ounces of water.) 

Manage stress levels and get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. 

If you are unsure what to do, follow the listed advice above and make sure you’re nailing these daily.  The majority of individuals don’t.  They waste their precious time searching for the “Holy Grail” of hacks.  This is a mistake and we’ll get you nowhere.  Focus on fundamentals first and foremost. 


2) The 6 Month Principle 

The honest truth is the majority of individuals already know what they need to do in order to see the necessary changes they desire.  Instead of being consistent with their approach, they are embarking upon the never-ending search of that perfect training plan, the next best thing, and that one “secret”. 

The “true secret” to losing fat, building muscle and looking your best isn’t one program, nutritional approach, or method.  It’s a plan based on the principles engulf in what you can consistently for months and years, not for weeks and 30 day challenges.  

 I call this the 6 Month Principle and it’s about creating what is sustainable for you.  In order to lose that weight once and for all, you need to focus on being consistent, patient, and staying the course.  Ask yourself this one question: “can I do this for 6 months?”  If not, it’s time to reassess. 

3) Focus on behavior, not the outcome 

Harsh truth coming in hot! 

The uncomfortable truth isn’t your training program nor your nutritional approach; it’s your inconsistent and lackluster commitment that is the problem.  If you want to make dramatic changes to your physique you need to modify your behavior. 

Without question, it’s a difficult process to alter our behaviors without seeing the immediate gratification of doing so.  Sometimes in life, it makes sense to suck it up and make that tough decision (i.e. getting out of a trouble relationship/friendship).  However, when it comes to training and nutrition, you need to delay immediate gratification in favor of greater rewards down the road. 

By focusing on your behaviors, you’ll be better to consistently adhere to your goals.  This is why you need to find a program that you can stick to when life is crazy, not one designed when the stars aline and everything is perfect. 


4) Do the things you enjoy 

If you are not having fun in the gym, then it’s going to be damn near impossible to stick with it.  Thankfully, there are many different ways to get into shape.   

Find what exercises you enjoy and challenge yourself with that exercise.  If it’s weightlifting, then aim to add five more pounds every week.  If it’s running, aim for a faster pace or do one more mile.  Whatever your preferred endeavor is, challenge yourself and work harder than you did last time.   

You’ll stay engaged.  You’ll stay committed.  You’ll stay consistently.  I promise you that.   At the end of the day, consistency is far and away the most crucial factor in achieving long term health and becoming a better version of yourself.   


5) Track, Assess, Adjust 

When you are tracking your spending, it becomes easier to budget your expenses, pay your bills, save for that summer vacation, or car you always wanted.  When you aren’t tracking?  You are walking in the dark without a light and have no idea what’s happening. 

This same principle applies to fitness.   

To lose fat, you must be in a caloric deficit. 

To gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus.   

To get stronger, you need to challenge yourself with the weights.   

You with me on that right? 

Good 🙂 

When it comes to tracking your metrics (bodyweight and macros), you need to adhere to your budget.  If you don’t track these metrics, you’re essentially trying to set a budget without knowing what your income, expenses, or where they’re going.  Except it’s your health, not your money. 

With nutrition, track your macros.  It may be tedious at first, but I promise you’ll gain the necessary knowledge to reclaim control over your health. 

In the gym, track your workouts.  Write down your entire workouts (exercises, sets, reps, and weights), and improve your weights.   

The first step in making better decisions and improving your overall well being is awareness. 


By Mackennon Klink, CSCS, PN1

CategoriesBlog Live Fit. Move.

Create Success in Fitness

It’s one thing to know what to eat, which exercises to do and how to do them — but it’s another thing altogether to do all this consistently.  If you have tried and failed to establish long-term, healthful habits, then you know all too well what I’m talking about.

Any kind of change, even toward healthful habits, can feel stressful. Without question, your habits are more powerful than your desires or motivations; while motivation can kick-start you, it’s your habits that will power you through to the end.

The key to making successful changes is understanding that the path isn’t linear. Follow these steps to create healthy habits that will last your whole life.

1. Set some goals — TODAY!

The first step toward making improvements is to create some goals. Most people think goal-setting simply means choosing something to work for that they don’t have (e.g., losing 20 pounds) — but there’s more to it than that.

Saying you want to lose 20 pounds isn’t a goal; it’s a statement. Successful goal-setting is both a science and an art form. Your goal should be specific and realistic; involve both short- and long-term components; and focused on your behavior, rather than on the outcome.

2. Make them specific and measurable

Going back to our example, “losing 20 pounds” isn’t a solid goal because it doesn’t give you anything measurable or specific to work on. What’s more, scale numbers are unreliable, as your weight can fluctuate up to five pounds throughout the day based on what you’re eating.  However, simply changing your goal to “losing 20 pounds of body fat” is specific, since it refers to losing one thing — body fat — and it’s measurable, since it targets a number: 20 pounds.

3. Challenge yourself, but be realistic

A good goal is big enough to inspire you to action — but not so big that you can’t accomplish it, leaving you feeling frustrated. A goal such as, “I will work out 5 times a week” is a bit too lofty for someone who hasn’t been working out.  Instead, pick a goal such as “I will work out 3 times a week”. That’s challenging, yet realistic.

4. Frame your goals around behavior, not outcomes

Make sure to set behavioral goals — those based on things you can directly control — rather than outcome goals: the end product of a series of behaviors. The sad truth? Too many people only set outcome-based goals, such as:

  • I want to lose 20 pounds.
  • I want to make $100,000 a year.
  • I want to squat 315 pounds.

While these goals are specific and measurable as well as challenging and realistic, there’s one problem: They’re focused on the outcome, which is beyond your control. You can’t control your rate of fat metabolism, or force your boss to pay you more.  You can, however, focus on your behaviors.

Try these types of behavior-based goals:

  • I will exercise five times a week.
  • I will eat protein with every meal.
  • I will have either fruit or veggies with each meal.
  • I will drink 150 ounces of water daily.

In the end, if you set goals based on your behavior and things you can control, your outcome goals — such as losing that 20 pounds — will fall right in line,  without you having to worry about them. (Well, except for that $100,000 salary; I’m still working on that one, myself!)

4. Have both a short- and long-term vision

In order to achieve your challenging yet realistic goals, you must break them down into even smaller behavior-based goals. Set the smallest goals just for today, the bigger goals for next week and so on. Save your very biggest goals for later. In this way, you’ll create mile markers on the road to success.

5. Share your goals with someone else

Once you set specific goals that you’re committed to achieving, tell someone else your goals right away. If you keep your goals a secret, it’s easier to either ignore or completely forget them.  But sharing with another person helps keep you accountable; they can hold you to a higher standard, so you’re more likely to get things done.  If you’re up to the challenge, share them on social media and create your peronal online support group.

Remember, what gets measured gets managed. Set goals you can achieve, focus on small behavioral changes, share your plan with someone else — and you’ll be primed to succeed.

CategoriesBlog Live Fit.

Acupuncture and the Athlete

Enhance Your Workouts, Decrease Recovery Time and Stay Healthier, Longer.

You may have heard rumors or come across videos or photos online of elite athletes using
acupuncture (and cupping) to enhance their performance and speed up recovery. It is very
exciting that the effectiveness of acupuncture is starting to become more recognized in the
athletic community. Acupuncture fits in really well with newer models of sustainable health and
wellness because in the last decade, culturally, we have started to move away from the idea
that being healthy revolves around fixing things once injuries or ailments have already
occurred, and instead, approaching health from an overall sustainable and preventative
standpoint. We are embracing the idea that to be healthy requires a continuous commitment
and intention. Athletes tend to already have a dedication to being healthier so acupuncture is
an easy addition to that wellness model.

How does acupuncture work?

Acupuncture works on the energetic level of the body (the Qi – pronounced “chi”), or energy
channels called meridians. There are many meridians in the body- such as the Liver or Lung
meridian and each one has a specific function and location. During a treatment an
acupuncturist looks for key signs and symptoms of any imbalances with how your energy is
moving through the body and then chooses key acupuncture points on different meridians to
fix the issue. The needles used are very thin and typically don’t cause any pain. Patients rest on
the table for about 15 minutes and most people feel incredibly relaxed afterwards. Additionally,
at my practice, I add cupping or fascial release massage before the needles are inserted to
amplify the effectiveness of the acupuncture treatment.

How does acupuncture enhance performance?

Acupuncture is very effective for a few key things:
1) reducing body pain and inflammation
2) increasing circulation, which speeds up healing
3) loosening muscles
4) feeling more grounded and balanced in the body
5) soothing the nervous system for things like stress, anxiety, or an overactive mind.

Athletes who use acupuncture in conjunction with workouts or sports report an overall feeling
of better physical balance since areas of pain and tension, which are usually held on only one
side of the body have been loosened up and resolved. They also notice more range of motion
due to looser muscles and a reduction of any inflammation that may have been present. Finally,
they tend to have a feeling of more groundedness and focus, enhancing their performance with
each work out.

How does acupuncture speed up recovery time?

Acupuncture is so effective when it comes to reducing pain and inflammation and enhancing
blood flow, and as a result the body heals and feels better faster. Many people come into my
practice before starting or after completing a half or full marathon, after intense workouts, or if
they feel restricted in movements or in pain. Across the board, patients report feeling less sore,
being in less pain, sleeping better, feeling less tight and overall feeling looser in their bodies.
Beyond this, patients who receive acupuncture tend to carry less stress due to their nervous
systems being turned down and therefore sleep much deeper which allows the body to truly
heal. Further, since Chinese medicine is a holistic form of medicine, we take into account the
entire person not just specific injuries, goals or restrictions. This leads to having bigger
conversations about lifestyle, emotional well-being, sustainable health and strategies to
consider in order to optimize the full person. This ultimately leads to better habits that allow
someone to heal quickly day to day with the added amplification of acupuncture treatments.

Did you know acupuncture is covered by insurance?

Many people don’t realize it but if you have good health insurance there is a high likelihood
that you have acupuncture benefits. What is nice about acupuncture versus physical therapy or
massage is that you don’t need a referral to be able to use your acupuncture benefits. You can
just book an appointment and as long as you have benefits, you can use them.

Acupuncture is a wonderful modality that not only enhances people’s workouts and fitness
goals but also their lives. Although the process of acupuncture may be intimidating at first,
since it’s a foreign type of body work and involves needles, patients are usually pleasantly
surprised by the ease of the acupuncture process. Beyond that, people tend to be very
impressed by the effectiveness and positive impact that acupuncture can have on your physical
and emotional body. If you are trying to optimize your health, don’t wait any longer, try
acupuncture today!

You can book a FREE 30-minute consultation to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit
you at or you can find me on Instagram

To your health,

Ben Dorfman, LAc, PCC

Owner/Practitioner of Seattle Acupuncture and Coaching