By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer
One of the toughest parts of getting in shape is nailing down healthy eating habits. Jim Sulima knows this all too well and has developed a method of eating that has helped him in his foray as a natural body builder.
THE WEEKENDER: How do you watch what you eat?
JIM SULIMA: I count my calories and use a rotation. It goes high, low, medium days, and you repeat that cycle. Typically my high day would be somewhere around 2,200 calories and my low would be around 1,600.
W: That seems like a lot of counting.
JS: There is definitely a lot of math involved, but after the first month or two, it becomes second nature. Basically it‚??s four-four-nine. For every gram of protein, it‚??s four calories; for every gram of carbohydrates, it‚??s four calories; for every gram of fat, it‚??s nine calories.
W: How many meals do you eat a day?
JS: I typically do three whole meals and two supplement shakes, like a protein shake, for five a day.
W: What type of foods do you nosh on?
JS: You want high protein, which you can get through things like chicken and fish, but nothing over-the-top with a lot of cheese and spices. Lean red meat once a week. You also want good carbohydrates. There are two types of carbs: complex, which would be pasta, wheat bread, and oatmeal, and simple, which is just sugar. Avoid simple carbs.
W: What are some staples in your kitchen?
JS: Tilapia, sold in the frozen section at Wal-Mart, is very easy to make and has tons of protein, not a lot of fat. Birds Eye vegetable steamers are great. I also always have wheat wraps to make sandwiches, and eggs.
W: What‚??s the best advice you could give someone looking to eat healthy?
JS: You have to do what works for you, to find foods that work according to your lifestyle. Last year I was not only working, but trying to finish up my Bachelor‚??s at King‚??s College, so convenience was a huge thing for me, and I‚??ve found a way to cater to that.
By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer
It seems the fitness world can be inundated with a particular type of workout or class that everyone is clamoring to try. With all these options out there, each claiming to be the next big thing in exercise, how do you decide which is right for you?
We talked to some local fitness gurus about the workout routines they gravitate towards to find out just what each one is about.
-Information provided by Brennan Morton, head coach at NEPA Crossfit (125 Wilkes-Barre Blvd., Wilkes-Barre, 570.579.3544)
What is it? Constantly varied movements performed at high intensity that draws on the best ideas from all of fitness and sport and puts them together in short, fun workouts. We do everything, from body weight movements such as pull-ups, push-ups, jumping rope, and sit-ups, to powerlifting, to Olympic lifting, to running, to rowing, to kettlebells.
What does it do for your body? Makes you fitter. With CrossFit, people lose excess fat, gain lean muscle, and become stronger as a whole.
How in shape must you be to do it? In any class, you can see the most elite athletes working out beside a 55-year-old man who has never worked out before in his life, and each of their workouts has been custom tailored to make them feel the same sense of fatigue and accomplishment when they finish together.
Time consumption? Classes at NEPA Crossfit are one hour.
Cost? NEPA Crossfit offers a free week to anyone who wants to try it. Unlimited classes for a month are $105.
Schedule: Mon.-Fri.: 6 a.m., 7:15, 8:30, 11, 12:30 p.m., 3, 4, 5, 6:10, and 7. Sat.: 7 a.m., 8, 9:30.
-Information provided by Molly Cornell, owner of Melt Hot Yoga (Gateway Shopping Center #16, Edwardsville, 570.287.3400)
What is it? The typical class consists of 26 poses done in two sets in a room heated to around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The poses thoroughly exercise and stretch every major muscle group in your body, unlike gym workouts which tend to focus on one muscle group at a time.
What does it do for your body? You will get stronger and leaner, develop a calmer mind and increase flexibility. Also, the heat has a tremendous healing effect on aching joints and bones.
How in shape must you be to do it? At Melt, we have all types of students in class: people who have never done yoga, teenage athletes, moms, dads, and people in their 60s and 70s. We don‚??t offer beginner classes. Instead, we ask you to just do what you can do. If you need to sit during class and take a break, it‚??s OK.
Time consumption? Classes are 60 and 90 minutes. I‚??ve come to believe that for physical fitness, stretching, strengthening, and mental de-stressing, yoga is very time efficient. What I have witnessed is that most students feel so good from taking a class, they come at least three times a week.
Cost? $20 for unlimited classes in your first week; drop-in, $15; 10-class package, $135; one month unlimited, $99; one year unlimited, $1100. Student rates available.
Schedule: Mon.: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (one hour); Tues. 9 a.m. (Hot Power Fusion), 4 p.m. (one hour), 5:30 p.m.; Wed.: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. (one hour); Thurs.: 9 a.m. (Hot Power Fusion), 4 p.m. (one hour), 5:30 p.m.; Fri: 9 a.m., 5:30 p.m. (one hour, Hot Power Fusion); Sat. and Sun.: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. (one hour, Hot Power Fusion), 3 p.m.
-Information provided by Lauranel Banks, instructor at Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA (40 West Northampton St., Wilkes-Barre, 570.208.9622)
What is it? Weightlifting to tone and sculpt the body choreographed to music; 10 tracks each target a different set of muscles. The point is to totally fatigue each group since we do not return it. The progression is: warm-up, squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abdominals, and cool down.
What does it do for your body? Lean and sculpt. It makes you fitter and stronger. It has an interval effect, raising and lowering the heart rate to add cardio for what I like to call the ‚??afterburn,‚?Ě what allows you to continue to burn calories after class is over.
How in shape must you be to do it? It is as difficult or as easy as the participant chooses to make it. Class members choose their own weight and can push as hard as they feel comfortable with.
Time consumption? Classes are one hour long. I recommend taking the class two to three times a week.
Cost? Classes are open to YMCA members, with additional $1. Y is now running a promotion that any new members that join during the month will have the joiner fee waved and save $100. An adult membership is $43 per month.
Schedule: Mon.: 6:15-7:15 p.m.; Thurs.: 6:15-7 p.m.; Sat. 8-9 a.m.
By Sara Pokorny, Weekender Staff Writer
Maybe you don‚??t particularly like lifting weights or running for miles and miles. Thankfully, there are many alternatives out there for those of us who prefer a non-traditional workout.
‚?Ę Beauty Lies Within
School of Pole Dance (32 Forrest St., Wilkes-Barre, 570.793.5757, email@example.com): Hours by appointment, free sample appointment. Call or e-mail for details.
Traditional Egyptian Belly Dance (Downtown Arts at Arts YOUniverse, 47 N. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, 570.343.2033): Wed., beginners 6-7 p.m.; intermediate 7-8 p.m. $10.
‚?Ę World Class Boxing (239 Schuyler Ave., Kingston, www.wcbboxing.net, 570.262.0061): Boxing & Kickboxing Fitness Bootcamp: Mon.-Sat. non-contact program, call for details.
‚?Ę Riot Hooping and Aerial Dance (210 Division Street, Kingston, www.riothooping.com, 912.656.4649): Intro classes, Mon./Tues., 7 p.m. Aerial Silks Beginner Series (four classes), Mon./Tues., 8 p.m.
‚?Ę Snowshoe Loaner Program (Nescopeck State Park, 1137 Honey Hole Rd., Drums, 570.403.2006): Sign-outs from 8:30 a.m. with returns by 3 p.m. Must be at least six inches of snow on the ground, valid driver‚??s license provided by one person in the group required. Call ahead for availability.
By Rich Howells, Weekender Editor
While attending St. Joseph‚??s University in Philadelphia, Matt Byrne won three Atlantic 10 Conference championships and was inducted into its Track & Field Hall of Fame. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon in 2004 and 2008 and represented the United States in the World Mountain Running Championships in 2008 and 2009.
Locally, he set a Scranton High School record in the 3,200 meters and earned three-times All-State honors; he‚??s also a three-time winner of the Steamtown Marathon.
It‚??s safe to say that Byrne knows a bit about running.
After serving as a manager of Philadelphia Runner for several years, the now 37-year-old came back to his hometown and co-founded the Scranton Running Company (3 West Olive St., Scranton), which opened in July 2010.
‚??I figured, ‚??Why not give it a shot here in Scranton?‚?? It seemed like a void; it seemed like a need in the area. There‚??s always been a good running community up here, but they didn‚??t seem to have a real home. That‚??s what we wanted to give them. Other than the sneaks and the clothes, we wanted to create a community and gather that community,‚?Ě Byrne explained.
‚??Running isn‚??t just about, I don‚??t think, getting in shape. I think it brings people together, and most of the time, it spurs on good causes or movements.‚?Ě
Following a week of free exercising events to help kick start people‚??s New Year‚??s resolutions, the Scranton Running Company has just started its winter ‚??Barrier Breakers‚?Ě program, which is nine weeks of training to help men and women build up to running a 5k or 10k marathon.
With a customer base that ‚??runs the gamut‚?Ě but mostly includes the average Joe ‚??looking to keep pounds off,‚?Ě The Weekender asked Byrne for his suggestions on easing into running as a beginner. He had three main pieces of advice:
1. Stay consistent: ‚??Your body responds to a routine. It takes months and months and months for your body to respond to that and take hold of it. ‚?ĽDon‚??t take any long breaks.‚?Ě
2. Join a group: ‚??The biggest thing, we‚??ve noticed, is getting around people that do it. I think that‚??s what we‚??re trying to do (at the Scranton Running Company) ‚?? create an environment. ‚?ĽYour body and your mind respond to a community activity, and it‚??s justified more that way. It just becomes organic.‚?Ě
3. Be patient: ‚??Take it slow. ‚?ĽDon‚??t add 10 percent more of your activity one week to the next. You‚??ll see people that kind of do too much too fast. They want results, and they want results now. It‚??s kind of the society we‚??re in. If I‚??m going to start this, I want to see results by the end of the month. Sometimes, that doesn‚??t happen at all. It takes your body a little bit of time to get used to it.
‚??And don‚??t do too much too fast. ‚?ĽPeople want too much too soon, and they just get frustrated. We see that all the time.‚?Ě
Before you sprint off, Byrne suggests staying off the sidewalks and choosing flat areas to run, such as Lake Scranton or the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail so as not to strain your Achilles and calf muscles, and he believes that jumping, side-to side lunges, and other activities that get the blood flowing will better prepare your body for a run.
‚??There‚??s been kind of a pushback on this slow, static stretching routine that we‚??ve accepted for years and years and years, holding stretches for 30 seconds or longer. That seems to be falling by the wayside and going towards a more active approach,‚?Ě he noted.
‚??Get you muscles ready for the activity you‚??re going to do ‚?? short, little spurts of stretching, three to five seconds of stretching your hamstring and your quads. Get your muscles responding to a propulsional activity.‚?Ě
It may seem like a lot of work and dedication, but Byrne said it‚??s that runner‚??s high that motives him more than any other exercise.
‚??I don‚??t get that buzz and that feeling of freedom when I‚??m out running, to be honest, than I get when I‚??m in the gym or doing exercises with the weights and stuff like that. I don‚??t think there‚??s any other activity that exerts freedom as much as running, and the high you get from it,‚?Ě he emphasized.
‚??You don‚??t burn as many calories doing other stuff. If it‚??s about the average Joe trying to keep the pounds off, I think everybody knows that running exerts the most energy and gets the heart moving more than most activities out there. ‚?ĽRunning is what gets the heart rate up for an extended period of time to stay in that fat burning zone.‚?Ě
For more information, visit scrantonrunning.com and facebook.com/scrantonrunning.
By Tim Hlivia, owner of Leverage Fitness Studio (900 Rutter Ave., Forty Fort, 570.338.2386)
New Year‚??s resolutions are a great way to get a jump start back onto the fitness path, but they can often bring with them an overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to begin.
January is actually a great time to get started; it‚??s not only the beginning of a new year, but it‚??s also the dead of winter. Use these bundled up, cold months to your advantage and shed excess body fat. When summer arrives you can unwrap the new, sleek, and sexy body you‚??ll be dying to show off.
How to start
To begin or maintain a fitness program, you must first look at your lifestyle and how much time, realistically, you are able to commit to it. A consultation with a local, reputable fitness trainer is a great place to start. The first step is usually the most difficult, and getting a game plan can ease your fears on what to expect. A random, shotgun approach to exercise won‚??t usually work. Building a house without a blueprint will probably yield less than desirable results. So arm yourself with information and hit the gym knowing you have a solid plan of attack.
After the initial consultation and fitness assessment, consider purchasing a few sessions with a personal trainer to help you through the first workouts. This is also a great time to ask about the most beneficial exercises and nutritional approach specific to your goals. Trainers are likely to steer you on the best path and away from fad approaches. While trainers can take the guesswork out of what to do, help you with correct form, and also assist in accountability, motivation is entirely up to you.
Stay on track
Reward yourself with a new outfit for each five, ten, or twenty pounds lost. This will help you stay motivated. Another way to stay on track is to partner up with someone who has already accomplished what you are setting out to do. They will be able to understand your frustrations and struggles and can offer the best tips for overcoming them.
Engage in activities you enjoy. Disliking a certain exercise is a surefire way to veer off-track. Remind yourself that this is a long-term plan, and if you break that new resolution, don‚??t give up. Tomorrow is a new day to give it another shot.
My tip for resolution success
Make one little change every day. Changing too many things at one time is too drastic. It will be overwhelming and will often lead to a downward spiral. Once you adapt to the first change, slowly introduce more changes. Before you know it, you will be living a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.