Does your workplace sabotage your weight loss goals?

When trying to lose weight, the workplace can sometimes be your worst enemy. Maybe it’s a vending machine, a colleague’s candy dish, or baked goods for special holidays and celebrations, that test your willpower. Every office has these obstacles and the only way to fight them is with a plan. Below are a few common workplace saboteurs and strategies to fight them:

Saboteur #1: Candy Jar/Baked Goods Station - There is always that colleague who keeps a jar of candy on their desk or that brings in donuts or baked goods for the office. How do you resist the temptation of digging in for a bite or two (that we all know start to add up quickly)? Keep a stash of healthy snacks at your desk such as: nuts, fruit, or protein bars. This will make it easy for you to have healthy options and resist the temptations. Allow yourself one day a week to indulge in a couple of treats. This prevents binging and actually helps willpower.

Saboteur #2: Sitting for long hours – A study done by the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences indicates that even as little as a few hours of continuous sitting causes metabolic changes that increase blood sugar levels and decrease the amount of fat used as fuel, therefore increasing the amount that goes back into storage as body fat. The good news is that short bouts of physical activity, spread throughout, can help reduce the negative effects of too much sitting. It doesn’t have to be high intensity activity, like formal exercise-simply getting up and walking around the office or the house for 5 minutes every hour can really help.

Saboteur #3: Busy Workload = Skipping meals – We have all been there, pressure is on to get something done and we don’t feel like we have time to go out and get food or even take a lunch break. Along with your healthy snacks, you should keep some meal replacement shakes in your desk (We like Advocare Meal Replacement Shakes, or Genesis Pure non GMO and organic Health Trim shakes). That way you can mix up your shake and drink it while you work.

There will always be things that tempt you when you are trying to change a behavior, like eating healthy and exercising. Planning is always going to be your best strategy to lose weight. Taking time on Sunday to map out your meals for the week, and packing your lunches with snacks the night before will help you succeed and overcome the workplace saboteurs.  Choose to change one small thing at a time and continue to build on your successes.

“A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one single step.” Chinese Proverb

Why I Don’t Set Goals Anymore…

By: Ann Corwin Marix, ACE-CPT, LMT


Goal: object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

Habit: a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

The definitions alone are pretty self explanatory as to why I have decided to nix the goal making and start on the habit forming. Do you see what I’m talking about?  Yeah, it’s that simple…I know, you are probably giving yourself the palm to head and saying “Geez that makes sense!”

If you don’t get it, that’s ok, it took me 50 years to figure it out, so I’ll cut you some slack.  Creating a goal (i.e. lose 10lbs for the beach trip, workout to fit into your new outfit for the company party, etc,) has its benefits. It provides a motivation to do better, look better, or feel better.  The challenge with goal making, however, is the end result is just that, the end.  Think back to how many times you “set goals” and once they were achieved, you quit doing what it was that helped you achieve that goal?  I can see you thinking and shaking your head because you know exactly what I mean!  No…that’s not you?  Really? Ok, then dig a little deeper and tell how many of your ‘goals’ are repetitive?  In other words, can you just go back every year to your Resolutions list and basically do a ‘cut and paste’?  I’ll pause here a moment as you have just been slapped by the reality glove.

Think about habits and we automatically add the word “Bad” to the front.  We generally think of habits as those acts that are bad for us.  Yes, there are some bad habits out there; smoking, excessive drinking, too much time playing video games, too many to mention. Once again, I ask you…think of your “bad’ habits?  Now, think about how often or long you have been doing them?  See where this is taking you?  Again, I’ll give you a break and say it plain and simple:  Start creating good habits that are in line with your ideas and dreams of a better life, better health, and better world and see what happens.   What are good habits?  Well, it can be anything that makes for a more positive, productive, and happier you.  Create the habit of drinking more water, walking 30 minutes 4 days a week, getting to work 15 minutes earlier, and so on.  Those three habits alone can result in meeting your desired goals.  How?  More water…flush the fat and lose weight, walking…lose inches and fit into the outfit for the party plus build endurance to dance the night away, arrive early at work…get a jumpstart on the job reduces stress and makes you feel better.  Good habits become second nature to what you do and who you are hence, your goals, dreams, and ideas are resolved by default…Ok, I think you getting the picture! I can see the light bulb shining brightly over your head…you’re welcome!

So the short of it…Goals are an idea, a way to define your dream…habits are something you do to put your idea into action, make your dream a reality forever, not just a day!

About the Author – Ann Corwin Marix

annAnn’s start in health and wellness was (and still is) as a masseuse after, believe or not, hiring a personal trainer.  See athletics, exercise and activity have always been a major part of my life; but over time life seemed to take over – work; raising a child; keeping a household took its toll and my “Me-time” seemed to disappear.  Long story short, what was going to be a time to make myself feel better (by getting a massage after some a personal training session) became an eye opening experience and drove me to obtain my massage license and help others in relieving pain from injuries, trauma, or simply everyday life. Wanting to get back into exercise, I became a Jazzercise instructor and then wanting a closer relationship with clients, followed that experience by becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified TRX Instructor.  I love providing my clients with a unique and fun approach to help motivate and drive to obtain the results they want.

Confidence is Key

By: Jamie McIntyre, BS Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

“So much of this game is about believing in yourself and believing that you will succeed.” Those were the words I left my softball team with after another tough loss. During the game I watched each player timidly approach the plate and walk away with their head down after they were called out. After only a couple of weeks of coaching, it was clear to me that we needed to focus on building confidence. I believe that confidence is a key success indicator in every sport. When you watch the best players in the NFL (or any other major sport) you can see that they are confident, they hold their head up high, they are aggressive, and everything about their body language exudes confidence. So, I built a practice that would not only enhance my players’ physical ability but also increase their self-confidence. I provided critical feedback along with praise. I made sure they knew I was giving that feedback because I had confidence in their abilities to make the proper adjustments. This is also something I needed as a softball player. When I knew that my coach believed in me, I believed in myself. As a collegiate athlete I struggled with confidence at the plate. I felt that my coach and my teammates didn’t have the confidence in me to hit the ball and they were right. But it wasn’t because I didn’t have the skills or ability to hit the ball, it was because I didn’t believe I could hit the ball. However, when I was playing defense I was the complete opposite. I owned the field, I knew that every ball that was hit to me would be an out and it usually was. It is funny to think back on that now. To see how in one game I could have two completely opposite views of my skills and abilities.

This experience is what I bring to my coaching, my training, and my life. I know that if I want to accomplish something or I want someone to accomplish something I need to believe in myself/them. There are three things that I do to work on improving my self-confidence everyday:

  1. Practice – “Practice makes perfect.” Not a single person in the world can truly succeed without practice. Practicing and honing your skills whether it is for sports, work, or everyday life, is crucial to improving self-confidence. Knowing that you can do something outside of the game or presentation will help you succeed.
  2. Visualize – Visualizing a time when you made the big play or you gave a great presentation will help boost your confidence to go out there and do it again.
  3. Positive Self-Talk – You can have everyone in the world believing in you but at the end of the day you need to believe in yourself. Always speak to yourself in a positive way. Even if you fail, know that you can learn from that experience and you will use it in a positive way to succeed the next time.

Confidence is the key to success in everything you do. But it doesn’t come easy and it doesn’t come without putting in the work and a strong support network. I know that a consistent, daily approach is worth the time and effort and will in having a lasting positive effect.

Jamie McIntyre, B.S. Exercise Science, ACE-CPT

meJamie McIntyre is the Marketing Coordinator and a personal trainer at Ascension Fitness. She came from San Diego, California where she recently completed a Master’s degree in Business Administration at San Diego State University. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dickinson State University. Jamie received a softball scholarship to play at Dickinson State University. During her time at Dickinson State she completed an internship as a student athletic trainer which led to her passion of fitness.  Jamie loves training, softball, ringette, and watching movies.

Fitness Calendar – September 2014

EXECUTIVE BOOTCAMP:    Aug 27th – Sept 24th, 5:30 – 6:20AM M/W/F - (3 SPOTS LEFT) Reserve Your Spot

TRX CHALLENGE MORNING:  Aug 27th – Sept 24th, 9:10 – 10:00AM M/W/F (limited space available)Reserve Your Spot.

TRX CHALLENGE EVENING:   Aug 27th – Sept 24th, 6:00 – 7:00PM M/W (7 SPOTS LEFT) Reserve Your Spot.

MOMMYMOVEMENT. NEW BABY. NEW BODY. NEW LIFE: Sept 9th – Nov 1st, 6:00-7:00AM T/Th & 7:00-8:00AM Saturday (5 Spots Available) Reserve Your Spot.




The Paths We Travel

By: Erica Dammon, NASM- CPT

The paths we go down in life are only worth what we learn along the way.  Good and bad they make up our life experience and the experience is fueled and directed by what we pick up along the way.  My journey has had its fair share of dark roads, but none as encompassing and influential as the battle I have had with my eating disorder.  The toll it takes on your body can be brutal but it is nothing compared to the scars it can leave on your self-worth.  Crawling out of that hole was ugly and hurtful to so many.  Coming through it though and finding out how strong of a person I truly can be has made it seem all the more worthwhile.

I can tell you first hand that this very rapidly growing problem can tear apart a life very easily.  Eating disorders carry the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.  Statistical briefs carried out between the years 1999 and 2000 compared to briefs done between the years 2008-2009 show a 24% rise in hospital diagnosis for eating disorders, 72% rise in the under 12 year olds, 30% rise for ages between 19-30, and a 88% rise in those ages 45-65.  According to the National Institute of Health, Anorexia Nervosa carries a higher mortality rate than any other cause of death among females ages 15-24.  This is a serious issue and the epidemic is growing. 

Psychiatrist’s separate eating disorders into two main diagnoses. My diagnosis was Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa is the other.   While both disorders revolve around an unhealthy obsession with food and unrealistic worries about body image and weight, they manifest in different ways.  Anorexia is characterized as someone who is 15% underweight; refuses to gain weight, instead seek to lose weight by starvation, excessive exercise, vomiting or laxative abuse. This can weaken the heart muscles and cause cardiac arrhythmias. Patients diagnosed as Bulimia Nervosa are not necessarily underweight and have bouts of binge eating followed by vomiting or abuse of laxatives.  These habits will lead to severe dehydration and severe digestive complications.  Both diagnoses are devastating to the physical body, but even more crippling to a person’s basic value in themselves.

My crossover into the disorder started off very simply, a typical teenage girl drama.  I fell for a boy and got involved in a scene that was quite different than the world I was from.  As the situation grew I found myself playing out dual roles, the one I maintained with my new friends, and the one I upheld for my happy caring family.  Conflict began to brew inside me.  Torn between the very real things happening to my teenage self and the need to not spill the beans and pretend to my family that things were okay.  Most eating disorder victims actually suffer from a feeling of lost control in varying degrees.  Loss of control due to a horrible situation or action taken upon themselves or just being overwhelmed by difficult moments in life, for me, I was just in way over my head and was unable to ask for help.

My mother had her suspicions.  A mother’s bond to her children is absolute, so when one part is hurting the other feels it too.  When I blacked out in the shower getting ready for high school one morning, it was pretty much out of the bag.   There was the usual start, doctors then counselors and I can’t say that I was cooperative in the least.  She must have been so scared, 18 years old 5’4’ weighing in at 90lbs.   Eventually hospitalization at an in-patient facility, where I met so many others struggling with this disorder and heard their stories.  Stories of abuse, neglect, horrific experiences that manifested into this need for control of something.  They all shared this intense self-hatred that this disorder breeds, and it is that self-hatred that is truly the hardest obstacle to overcome.  Over the course of my “Girl Interrupted” moment I began to see that places like these were never going to instill the power these girls needed to make them believe in themselves again the way they so desperately needed to. 

Those girls and their stories did have a profound effect on me, seeing what others struggle through made my issues seem more mountable.  By following the rules I ended my in-patient stay, and life moved on.  My struggle with Anorexia continued, more subdued and hidden, but ever present.  A couple more ups and downs led me to Mike, my future husband.  Falling in love always helps lift you up!  Suddenly I had a family on the way; coming from such a wonderful family like mine created the need to start facing this demon paramount.  Having a baby changes your life, you have to get stronger.  My mom and dad’s endless support and love, along with that from my husband and a desire to be a healthy mom were a huge hand up.  However finding true comfort in my own skin was the actual cure.  My accidental stumbling into the fitness industry was the final piece of the puzzle I was missing to truly kick this disorder in the butt.

Working out and learning the science that goes with it, not only made me feel strong and confident but gave me a sense of control in a healthful way that I had never had before.  Learning what I was capable of doing changed the way I saw myself.  Watching the change in others self-belief inspired me more.  Positive thinking can be so contagious. Being part of such a rewarding experience can do wonders.  I believe that is what fitness is truly for, to make this mind body connection and to strengthen and care for both.  True fitness incorporates physical ability and mental wellness and builds them up.  Anorexia, like many disorders and addictions, is something I have to be vigilant about.  Old habits can return, and stress will always trigger them, but now I have weapons to fight Anorexia off.  Coming through the other side I feel stronger for going that way, which allows me to help others find their inner strength.  Sometimes in life we can walk down pathways that lead to a dark hole, my belief is that it matters less why you walked down the path and more how you climbed out of the hole.         

 ericaAbout the Author – Erica Dammon, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

I was born overseas but hail the great city of New Orleans as my home town. My husband Mike and I have been married for 12 years and we have three amazing boys, Nicholas, Cody, and Benjamin. They have been the biggest adventure yet!

Training is a huge passion for me and I embrace core fitness values in both my training programs and my lifestyle choices.  I believe that food should be chosen for what it can do for you, not just for the flavor you crave at the moment. I believe in pushing yourself in all aspects of life because how else will you know what you are capable of accomplishing?  Pushups should never be done on your knees and core is where it all begins!

I am a huge football fan and a big part of the Who Dat Nation!!  I look forward to meeting and helping you achieve any and all fitness goals you bring in to Ascension Fitness!


Sources:  Statistical Briefs based on Data collected by HCUP 1999, 2000, 2008 & 2009

            ANAD from their website

Exercise and Pregnancy

There has been a lot of controversy about women exercising while pregnant. One article in particular takes a look at a new book, “The Pregnant Athlete”, which depicts a woman with a serious baby bump flipping truck tires, swinging large hammers and leaping over barbells. While this book takes exercising while pregnant to the extreme and we would never recommend these exercises, exercise during pregnancy has many benefits. The American Council of Gynecology (ACOG) recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise on all or most days of the week. There are many benefits to exercising during pregnancy including reducing backaches, improved mood, improved posture, increased muscle tone, better sleep, and it can make it easier to get back into shape after the baby is born.

There are some guidelines for exercising while pregnant. Here are some things you should know:

  • Try to avoid activities that include jumping or quick changes in direction because they can put you at risk of injury and put extra strain on your joints
  • Drink plenty of water and stay cool to help keep you from overheating and getting dehydrated
  • After the first trimester, avoid any exercises laying on your back
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes to help you remain cool
  • If you have not exercised prior to pregnancy, start slow
  • Avoid exercise in hot and humid weather
  • Make sure you consume the extra daily calories you need during pregnancy
  • Avoid sports that require balance or changes in direction such as gymnastics and racquet sports, as well as downhill skiing, contact sports, and scuba diving

While exercise is a great way to stay in shape during pregnancy there are some risks and you should immediately stop exercising and consult a physician if you experience any of the below:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Calf pain or swelling
  • Uterine Contractions
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Fluid leaking from the vagina

Before starting an exercise program you should always consult your physician. Follow these guidelines for safe and effective exercise during pregnancy. Click here to read how Brittany is staying in shape while pregnant.


The American College of Obstetritiand and Gynecologists. (2002). Exercise during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Washington, DC, USA.


Staying Fit During Pregnancy

By: Brittany Claverie, TRX Certified Instructor

In case you didn’t know, I am now in my 27th week of pregnancy and our baby boy is expected to arrive in July!  It really is incredible to think of how fast time is going lately.  It feels like I just found out I was pregnant and now I am counting down the days!  While I can’t say I’ve had an easy pregnancy, it has been one thing after another.  I started experiencing morning sickness at roughly 8 weeks, and it continued until about 20 weeks, and nothing could ease the nausea.  Believe me, I tried everything.  The nausea turned into acid reflux which kept me up for hours every night.  Thank goodness this has subsided, and I only suffer occasionally. For the past four weeks I have been nursing my right foot, which the podiatrist believes is a stress fracture due to my “weight gain” and the hyper mobility I have in that foot. With all of these pregnancy symptoms and obstacles, I take each day as it comes, I live minute by minute, and I thank God for blessing us with this miracle.

I have always been told this is the time to eat whatever you want, and over indulge in as much sweet and salty goodies as you possibly can. Well, I beg to differ.  Thus far, I have only gained 15 pounds.  Since finding out back in November, I told myself I did not want to “let myself go” and just eat anything and everything in sight. You are told you only need 300 extra calories per day during pregnancy, which is roughly an orange and a low fat yogurt. Or you can choose to spend those calories on a piece of chocolate cake.  Which would I choose?  The fruit and yogurt, of course!  From the beginning, I have been making my own smoothies filled with spinach and fruits, to provide nutrients for both me and the baby.  During the day I try to make healthy choices by snacking on fresh fruit (frozen green grapes are my favorite!), a protein or granola bar, Greek yogurt, rice cakes with peanut butter, veggies and hummus, unsweetened applesauce, or whatever catches my eye in the grocery!  For my meals, I do not over-indulge, but eat a sensible portion. I have to honestly say I have not had any strange cravings yet, but I do not deprive myself if I want a snowball or a shrimp po-boy!  Another thing that I have found to help tremendously is keeping up with taking some of my Genesis pure products. I take the Daily Build which is a multi vitamin, and I also take the superfruit juice, Go Yin (a hormone balancing juice).  I truly believe these products have my body in the best shape, keeping both me and the baby in good health, and I feel the Go Yin has helped suppress the cravings.

Overall, I am very pleased with my body and physical condition at this point.  I am very thankful I was in shape and extremely active before getting pregnant, and I look forward to the challenge of getting back in shape after the baby arrives.  Stay tuned.

About the Author – Brittany Claverie

brit 2Let me take you back to about 10 years ago at the age of 18 when I was at my heaviest and was battling self-image issues. I don’t recall precisely what ignited my determination to get fit, but at that point it became a priority and I decided to take control and started exercising. Over the process of consistently exercising and watching my nutrition, I lost 40 pounds and 5 dress sizes! It was amazing to me how good I felt, and how my self-confidence improved.

After losing the weight, I decided that I would never go back to that place of feeling so low, and I realized my lifestyle needed to change for good. That decision drove me to become an aerobics fitness instructor and a certified TRX instructor. My passion is to help others feel good about themselves, help them stay true to their fitness journey and most importantly have fun working out!


IMPACT Challenge 2014

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the IMPACT Challenge. We saw some serious competition and are proud of everyone who pushed to beat their numbers. The top 10 Beasts this year were:

1. Angela Deichmann, 2. Jessie Burr, 3. Yvonne Ferina, 4. Jason Burkhardt, 5. Marcy McMenis, 6. Jenn Thelen, 7. Erica Sharp, 8. Erin Cerise,9. Keith Hicker, 10. Brandy Bazile



To Diet or Not To Diet? That Is The Question.

By: Larry Gruber, CSCS, MES

It’s now April.  A time when rain showers bring way to flowers.  A season that strikes fear in all Americans when we realize just how much we owe the government on April 15.  It’s the month of French Quarter Fest, Patriot’s Day, and the much-celebrated Boston Marathon.  And, it’s the month that we put our winter clothes in the back of the closet and bring those summer clothes front and center.  That simple act of pulling our bathing suits out of winter storage can be scarier than writing those checks to the state and federal governments.

This is the month when many of us begin scouring the web in search of that perfect diet to get us in shape for the summer.  However, does dieting really work?  I’ve had many clients who have told me about this year’s great, revolutionary diet or about a diet in Europe that is all the rage and how people are losing a lot of weight on these plans.  Let’s analyze for a moment why any diet actually causes people to lose weight.  Basically, a diet restricts caloric intake because diets, by their nature, limit the items we eat.  When there is a caloric deficit (less calories taken in versus calories expended in normal activity plus exercise), we lose weight.  Even the man who ate nothing but McDonald’s for two months lost weight because the foods he was permitted to eat was limited, so he ate less.  A plan like the Atkins Diet takes an entire macronutrient (carbohydrates) out of the picture.  So, your food choices become less and less.  When this happens, people will eat less and lose weight.

Now, let me ask you a question.  How many times have you been on a diet and then gained all the weight back?  The purpose of this question isn’t about bringing up past failures, but to show you that dieting itself doesn’t get us the end result for which we are searching.  When you lose weight on a diet, you lose both body fat and muscle.  Then, when you have achieved your goal, you go back on a regular eating plan and most of us end up gaining that weight back.  Realize, when this happens, we gain back fat, not muscle, which skews our body fat percentage even more so that we are, in reality, fatter than when we actually began the diet.  To prevent this from happening, we need to learn how to eat healthy on a day-to-day basis, and dieting doesn’t teach us this.  When we re-introduce the entire Whole Foods or Rouse’s grocery store back into our life, panic ensues because now our food options are unlimited again and most of us go back to our pre-diet habits.  Don’t diet.  Break those bad habits.

I know I’ve painted a fairly bleak picture.  However, allow me to clear away those cloudy skies for a sunnier view.  Think about what your ideal weight should be–the weight that, through proper diet and exercise, you can maintain without extreme measures for years to come.  Unfortunately, this means the size we were when we were 18 is probably not a realistic weight for us in middle-age (did I just call myself middle-aged?).  The next thing I always have my clients do is keep a food diary so that together, we can analyze what they are eating, how much they are eating, and when they are eating it.  Then, I like to introduce one or two changes at a time so that my clients may acclimate to those.  By slowly integrating change into their day-to-day diet, they gradually become healthier and slowly lose body fat.  A one to two pound weekly loss is what is recommended for healthy weight loss, and to keep that weight off.  Also, exercising, especially resistance training, will help maintain the integrity of your skin and muscle mass as you lose weight.

When analyzing a client’s food diary, I look for a myriad things.  To begin with, are you having a sensible breakfast to begin your day?  Are you eating periodically throughout the day–approximately every three to four hours?  Both of these will actually help to speed up your metabolism and help you burn more calories.  Are you limiting your intake of sodas, fried foods, cheeses, mayo, and fatty spreads and sauces?  Do you substitute cakes, cookies, and ice cream with yummy alternatives such as fresh fruit, yogurt, and crunchy vegetables?  Are you drinking plenty of water throughout the day?  And, are you giving yourself the pleasure of one “free day” per week?

Dieting (the verb), doesn’t work.  A healthy diet does.  I urge you to think of exercise and a proper diet as a welcomed life-style change.  Just as we have to brush our teeth every day to prevent cavities, we have to be consistent with working out and eating well in order to lose body fat and to keep it off.  So bring on those warm, sunny, humid southern days.  Unpack those bathing suits and book that Destin hotel room.  This Chicago boy is excited about summer.  And, if you need a little assistance in getting excited, just call me and let’s work together to get you looking great, feeling awesome, and moving like you’ve never moved before.


larrygruber-headshot2Physical fitness used to be just a pastime for me, until more and more friends began asking for my opinion concerning their fitness regimen.  In 1999, after a successful restaurant management career in some of Chicago’s finest restaurants, I became a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I’m also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

As a personal trainer, I strongly feel that exercise should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.  I structure the workouts so they are fun, combining traditional weight training with functional training, cardio-respiratory training and flexibility training, all aimed at helping you look, feel and move better.  In order for the sessions to be successful, the personal trainer/client relationship must be a very interactive one, requiring constant feedback from both parties.  I want and need your opinions and suggestions.

After training for 13 years in Chicago, I made the move south in search of warmer weather.  I’m so excited to be part of such a vibrant city, and I can’t wait to try its world famous restaurants.  Thanks so much for welcoming me to New Orleans!!

Help, I’m Injured, and I Can’t Workout!

By: Ann Corwin Marix, ACE-CPT, LMT

In the midst of your workout, you feel it…a grind, a sharp pain, a pop…uh oh.  After you realize you’ve incurred an injury, your first thought is “UGH…I will need surgery…, there go my workouts for the next 6-8 weeks.”  That does not have to be the case!  I can say this as I speak, first hand, from my own experience.  My parents endowed me with bad knees as a trade off for a great personality.  I incurred a complete acl and partial meniscus tear in my right knee almost a decade ago and most recently suffered the exact injuries in my left knee.  The cliché holds true, if I only knew then what I know now, I would have had a better recovery because I would have continued to exercise.  A few modifications to your existing regimen is all you need to stay healthy and strong before, during, and after surgery.

First and foremost, do not ignore the injury as that will not make it go away and it will definitely make the injury worse.  Learn how to redefine your workout to create a ‘pre-hab’ game plan!  In the past, people have followed the rule of surgery first, physical rehabilitation second.  Research has shown the more we do prior to surgery in regard to maintaining our physical health and strength, the rate of recovery improves and, in some cases, surgery may be avoided.

Most injuries are isolated to a specific area, so injuring your knee will not affect you pumping out a chest press or some bicep curls, unless your knee is connected to your arm and if that is the case…well, there is no workout that can fix that! In fact, in the case of a knee injury, it is recommended to continue performing lower body exercises.  This will strengthen the musculature surrounding the knee, offering protection as well as prepare for better post surgery recovery.  It is important to know what exercises to do to assist in healing and which ones to avoid that could worsen the injury. So here are a few exercises to do and not to do with common injuries:


Avoid: Running, overhead lifting, leg press machine

Try:  Walking, stretching, protected ab exercises, recumbent bike, yoga, Pilates


Avoid: Repetitive overhead exercises or lifts with free weights

Try: Front shoulder raises, lateral raises


Avoid: Running frequently

Try: Cross training combined with cardio such as swimming or biking


Avoid: Repetitive impact such as running, jogging, and cardio dance

Try:  Upper body exercises, stationary bike, swimming, drawing letters of the alphabet with your toes


Avoid: Any exercise that recreates the pain, running, weighted lower extremity exercises

Try: Swimming, yoga, Pilates, hip/thigh/knee strengthening exercises.


Avoid: Yoga positions that put pressure on the neck, running

Try: Walking, cycling, Pilates, yoga


Avoid: Running, any lower body impact moves

Try: Elliptical trainer, bicycling

If you do have an injury it is important to talk to your doctor, personal trainer, or a physical therapist as they can recommend specific modifications, exercises, and stretches that allow you to continue your training regimen.  As always, you should consult a doctor prior to adding to or changing your workouts.

Injuries happen, but when they do, don’t let them keep you down. Instead, let them be the reason you educate yourself on how to work with them and how to avoid them in the future!

About the Author – Ann Corwin Marix

annAnn’s start in health and wellness was (and still is) as a masseuse after, believe or not, hiring a personal trainer.  See athletics, exercise and activity have always been a major part of my life; but over time life seemed to take over – work; raising a child; keeping a household took its toll and my “Me-time” seemed to disappear.  Long story short, what was going to be a time to make myself feel better (by getting a massage after some a personal training session) became an eye opening experience and drove me to obtain my massage license and help others in relieving pain from injuries, trauma, or simply everyday life. Wanting to get back into exercise, I became a Jazzercise instructor and then wanting a closer relationship with clients, followed that experience by becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified TRX Instructor.  I love providing my clients with a unique and fun approach to help motivate and drive to obtain the results they want.