Archive for ‘Nutrition’

September 7, 2011

5 Components of Fitness

by Ashley

Happy Hump Day!  It sure does come a lot quicker when it’s only a four day week, eh?  I definitely won’t complain there!

For those of you that don’t know, I am a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).


I have been certified for about a year, and I even worked at a gym as a trainer for about six months.  (That’s a whole other story I’ll share with you some other time, but in a nutshell…I hate sales, so I didn’t enjoy it.)

When I worked as a personal trainer, one of the biggest things I realized hardly anyone knew was that there is more than just a couple components that factor into being fit, living a healthy lifestyle, and/or achieving fitness goals.  Many people assumed that it was only nutrition and cardio that made you fit, others assumed only supplements and resistence training, and still others had no idea at all what exactly it is that contributes to a person’s fitness and health. 

NASM goes through five components of fitness that they believe all contribute together to result in a fit and healthy lifestyle.  Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or maintain, all five components work together to help achieve whatever your end goal is. 

Let’s go through the five components (in no particular order):    


According to NASM, cardiovascular exercise decreases:

  • daily fatigue
  • anxiety and depression
  • coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • hypertension
  • non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  • cancer
  • osteoporosis
  • obesity

According to NASM, cardiovascular exercises increases:

  • flexibility
  • work, recreational, & sports performance
  • sense of well-being
  • blood lipid profile
  • insulin sensitivity
  • glucose tolerance
  • immunity

So I say get out there and start moving! 🙂 

Resistence Training


According to NASM, the benefits of resistence training include:

  • improved cardiovascular efficiency
  • beneficial endocrine and serum lipid adaptations
  • increased bone density
  • increased lean body mass
  • decreased body fat
  • increased metabolic efficiency
  • increased tissue tensile strength
  • increased power
  • increased endurance

Pump that iron folks!



There is a TON that could be said about nutrition.  In a nutshell, my advice (along with NASM) is to:

  • choose whole grains and fresh vegetables over refined grains and simple sugars
  • eat every 2 to 4 hours
  • avoid empty calories and highly processed foods
  • drink a lot of water
  • distribute protein, carbohydrate, and fat throughout the day and at each meal
  • be aware of portion sizes


When people hear the word, supplementation, most will say they think of protein powders, creatine, etc.  However, supplementation is so much more than that and should be used by everyone, whether you’re a body builder or not.  In fact, the definition of a dietary supplement, according to NASM is: “a substance that completes or makes an addition to daily dietary intake”.  Even the gummy multi vitamins that I buy my husband are supplements! 🙂


Unfortunately, it is quite rare that someone gets enough of every vitamin and mineral solely within their daily calorie intake each day.  Therefore, it is crucial to at least take a multivitamin.  I am not one to condone taking every supplement that they sell on the shelf, but I do believe that it is important to take a multivitamin.  If you’re wanting to see changes at all in your body (losing weight, gaining muscle, toning up, etc.), it’s crucial to create a positive environment within your body that will respond well to it.  If your body is not a healthy “environment”, it is unlikely that your body is apt to change as quickly.    

Professional Assistance

There are so many various resources out there to give people facts and advice about their diet and exercise routine.  However, some of these resources are completely bogus and not professional.  It is important that you follow professional advice when you are trying to change or alter your diet and/or fitness routine.  “Professional assistance” can include (but not limited to): personal trainers, registered dieticians, physicians. 

In closing, I challenge you to look at ALL five of these components as you are working toward your health and fitness goals, not just one or two.  They are all equally important and will get you the best results if you incorporate all of them within your routine and lifestyle.

Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any questions!

Disclaimer: This information is solely from what I have learned through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).  I agree with what I have learned from NASM, but others may disagree or have varying opinions on what I have mentioned within this post.  I am not a registered dietician or a physician.


August 24, 2011

Yogurt, Yogurt, and More Yogurt! (Plus FREE Yogurt Coupon!)

by Ashley

This will be a yogurt filled post just FYI…from frozen yogurt to Greek yogurt.  Obviously I love yogurt in all forms! 

FIRST, frozen yogurt… oh yes, the oh-so-wonderful froyo.  Cody and I had a little frozen yogurt date last night after an overwhelming day for both of us.  It was definitely needed!  It did the trick, and we came home smiling again.  I’m tellin’ ya, a good froyo treat can do great things for a rough day (or a great day for that matter). 

His bowl (his usual…vanilla yogurt with mini Reese’s PB cups):

Her bowl (vanilla and peanut butter flavored yogurt with Butterfinger and mini Reese’s PB cups sprinkled atop…PURE BLISS!):

You can never go wrong with a peanut butter inspired mixture! 😉

SECOND, Greek yogurt!  The thick, creamy, healthy, tasty yogurt that has been selling in the grocery stores like it’s nobody’s business.  I didn’t quite understand the “rage” when I first started hearing about Greek yogurt several months ago.  I saw the price compared to regular yogurt, and passed it by.  Then I started reading more articles about the health benefits of Greek yogurt compared to its counterpart, regular yogurt. 

Some of the benefits:

  • Greek yogurt has almost twice the amount of protein that regular yogurt does.
  • Greek yogurt is lower in carbohydrates than regular yogurt.
  • Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier, making it that much more delicious!
  • Greek yogurt has a lower sodium content than regular yogurt.

I started to realize that paying a little bit more for the Greek yogurt is worth it to me.  Its health benefits and the way it satisfies me for an easy snack makes me want to eat it more often than I would eat regular yogurt.  I’m not trying to say regular yogurt doesn’t have any health benefits or that I don’t like it by any means (because I pretty much love any kind of yogurt!).  I just thought I’d point out some of the great benefits that Greek yogurt offers that you might not realize. 

And last but not least, you can try Greek yogurt for yourself FOR FREE!  Make sure you “Like” Oikos Greek Yogurt on Facebook, and you can download and print a coupon for a free Greek yogurt!  Hurry because it expires soon.  I just cashed my coupon in today to get a “fruit on the bottom” blueberry yogurt. 

It was very yummy!  It had a creamy, rich, thick texture, and the blueberry mixture at the bottom reminded me of blueberry pie filling.


I’ve had plenty of Greek yogurt, but I haven’t tried Oikos “fruit on the bottom” yet, so I was glad I got to try it for FREE!  Make sure you get your free yogurt and let me know what you think! 


  • What’s your opinion on regular yogurt versus Greek yogurt?
  • Do you think the extra cost of Greek yogurt is worth it?
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