Exercising in the Heat – Repost

As the Spring and Summer approach yet again…..it’s always wise to remind ourselves how to exercise properly in the heat. Therefore – we’ll repost this every year with any new data that may come along.  🙂



The "I" in F.I.T.

Reposted from June 2011

For some of you – the heat has already reared its warm, delightful head as Summer edges closer.  And for some of us, we’re still waiting for a consistent weather change (welcome to Chicago).  Regardless, we thought it would be great to give our readers some basic guidelines when exercising in the heat.

You m

ay wonder why it’s sometimes difficult to keep your pace or complete the distance in the heat. Well, extreme conditions such as heat or cold can add significant stress to your cardiovascular system, so special precautions must be taken before you head out for that blistering run.

To be somewhat scientific – a significant amount of metabolic heat is produced when exercising. To reduce the internal heat, venous blood is brought to the surface to be cooled – and then…..we sweat – which works to cool the underlying blood.  In optimal conditions, these mechanisms prevent the body from raising the core temperature by more than 2° to 3° F  even during heavy exercise.

Exercising in the heat, however, stresses the body’s system. Relieving that internal body heat is compounded by the external heat from the environment resulting in a higher heart rate than normal at ANY LEVEL of exercise. The risk of heat overload is compounded if excessive clothing is worn, improper hydration is practiced OR if someone is overweight because the body has added body fat over the muscles which traps the heat from escaping – thus leaving the person more susceptible to heat overload.

The most difficult type of weather to exercise in is hot and humid.  When the air contains a large quantity of water, sweat will not evaporate easily. And remember, since it is that whole evaporative process that cools the body, adequate cooling may not occur.

So – what are some precautions that we may all take (again – at ANY level of exercise) during the heat filled months of Summer?

*       Begin exercising in the heat gradually. Let your body get used to cooling itself effectively before heading out into 95° weather.

*       Wear lightweight, breathable fabrics (cotton, light-colored, etc.)  Extra padding or inadequate ventilation will only SLOW your body down.

*       Replace fluids as they are lost – but do not over-hydrate (as that is just as bad as dehydration – more on that in a separate post).

*       Record daily body weights before and after exercising. If you lose 5 pounds of fluid during exercise, make sure to replenish this amount before you exercise again.

As always – Health is in you.

Be thirsty, be smart and be healthy.

Exercising in the Heat PDF Download

May 1, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Self-Efficacy – 4th Component of the Transtheoretical Model of Change


Transtheoretical Model of Change, Component #4

Self-Efficacy is defined as the belief in one’s ability to complete a task. As one progresses through the Stages of Change, we begin to see one’s belief in himself grow and grow. It is similar to self-confidence in that an individual begins to believe in himself.

However, self-efficacy is task-specific. It is influenced by past performance and experiences, support from others that build trust, physiological responses (heart rate, increased lung capacity, perceived exertion, etc.) as well as any emotional responses associated with the accomplished task.

People with a strong sense of self-efficacy:

  • View challenging problems as tasks to be mastered.
  • Will CHOOSE challenging acts to complete and pour more effort into achievement of that task.
  • Develop deeper interest in the activities in which they participate.
  • Persistent in their efforts to complete the task.
  • Form a stronger sense of commitment to their interests and activities.
  • Recover quickly from setbacks and disappointments.

Additionally, those individuals with a strong sense of themselves will further increase their self-efficacy by accomplishing the tasks they set out to achieve.

Working to improve your self-efficacy level will improve your probability of achieving a desired behavior. To learn a little more about Self-Efficacy, lows and highs, please visit our blog on Self-Efficacy.

And as always, health is in you, let’s find it together.

To your health,

DietTrifecta Logo only.jpg

Patti Zikmund
CPBA, CPVA, Spinning®, WKC® Fitness Trainer

Web: www.diettrifecta.com

April 8, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Decisional Balance (3rd Component of the Transtheoretical Model)

Decisional Balance

Transtheoretical Model of Change, Component #3

This is the 3rd component of the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TMoC) about which we highlighted a few weeks ago.

Decisional Balance assumes that making changes about a healthier lifestyle involves a weighing of good vs. bad OR benefits vs. losses. As one progresses through the Stages of Change, a shift from risk to benefits occurs.

In the early stages of change (precontemplation and contemplation), individuals typically see more risk than benefit to changes in healthy lifestyle. Why? Because they have little understanding of how to go about making this change in behavior. Additionally, they are sometimes even unaware of the problem or believe that it cannot be solved. In the mid stages (preparation), the risks and benefits appear equal, which may sometimes leave individuals stuck in this stage. In the late stages of change (maintenance ad action), the benefits outweigh the risks, which pushes the individual towards desired results.

So – you see, as an individual progresses through the Stages of Change, he begins to weigh the risks against the benefits. Our goal is to shift our behaviors and insight to “see” the power of the benefits and turn risk into gain.  Your goal – eliminate anxieties and any irrational beliefs.  This will lead you on a path to continued success. 🙂

-Patti Zikmund

April 1, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Processes of Change (2nd component)

Processes of Change

 Transtheoretical Model of Change

This is the 2nd component of the Transtheoretical Model of Change about which we highlighted a couple of weeks ago in an email to you.

Individuals use different strategies to pass through the stages. The processes of change allow us to understand how shifts from one behavior to another occur. This movement is divided into 2 categories – cognitive process and behavioral process.

Cognitive processes (CP) are based on experiences. Relevant information is gathered based on the individual’s own personal experiences.

Behavioral processes (BP) are based on behavioral experiences. relevant information is gathered through events from the environment and experienced behavior.

There are 10 (ten) relevant Processes of Change involved in the Transtheoretical Model.

  1. Consciousness Raising – Learning new facts and gathering more awareness of healthy behaviors or change.
  2. Environmental Evaluation – Determining what effect unhealthy behaviors have on your own environment (for example – how do your unhealthy habits reflect on your family, work, etc.)
  3. Dramatic Release – Experiencing negative emotions associated while engaging in that unhealthy behavior (keep a journal of these emotions).
  4. Social Liberation – Increasing your social interactions  and opportunities to make healthy choices (joining a gym).
  5. Self-Evaluation – Reviewing and analyzing how you feel after engaging in an unhealthy behavior.  What image do you want to reflect? Imagining yourself and seeing yourself as that healthy, fit individual.
  6. Self-Liberation -Believing that you have to change your life from within and being driven by that self-efficacy (belief in oneself to complete a task).
  7. Helping Relationships – Gaining the trust and support of others as you mold yourself into those healthier behaviors.  Friends, family or outside support groups who are accepting of the “new” you.
  8. Counter Conditioning – Changing your response to a new behavior. Making that once unpleasant feeling associated with a behavior into a positive response (exercise when stressed instead of eating for relief).
  9. Stimulus Control – Changing those triggers of unhealthy behavior around you and adding triggers that prompt you to a healthy lifestyle (if going out to eat, avoid restaurants where portion size is out of control and rather seek a place where healthy options are available).
  10. Management – Rewarding yourself for healthy behaviors and changes and decreasing any rewards for unhealthy behavior (buy something new when you lose weight instead of rewarding yourself with a piece of chocolate).

During each stage of change, a person can and will use each one of these processes to advance forward to the next stage.  I’ve attached a chart for easy reference and downloadable here -> Processes of Change.

And as always, health is in you, let’s find it together.

To your health,

DietTrifecta Logo only.jpg

Patti Zikmund
CPBA, CPVA, Spinning®, WKC® Fitness Trainer

Web: www.diettrifecta.com

March 25, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Transtheoretical Model of Change

Transtheoretical Model of Change

Stages of Behavioral Change

The Transtheoretical Model of Change is a framework developed to describe the varying stages of acquiring and maintaining a healthy behavior. It is based on the assumption and evident fact that people progress through stages at different rates.

Perhaps you were just curious when you took the assessment and weren’t sure you were quite ready to begin. That’s okay. We are all different and are sometimes at potentially different stages of acquiring and maintaining a healthy behavior. As you embark on your journey, ask yourself these important questions:

  • Are you making the decision to change a behavior for yourself?
  • Will your friends, family or loved ones support you on this journey?
  • Are you willing to make a commitment to this change, even though it may be tough and challenging at times?

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, the more ready you are to commit to change. Design a strategy based on what stage you fall – not the stage where someone else WANTS you to fall. Be appropriate to your goals.

The Transtheoretical Model of Change has 4 components which are hypothesized to influence behavior:

  1. Stages of Change – where exactly do YOU fall in changing your lifestyle?
  2. Process of Change – what strategy do YOU use to move through the Stages of Change?
  3. Decisional Balance – weighing the benefits
  4. Self-Efficacy – belief in yourself to complete the task

We will highlight each of these components separately in the upcoming weeks. Make sure to check back here as we post new information!

And as always, health is in you, let’s find it together.

To your health,

DietTrifecta Logo only.jpg

Patti Zikmund
CPBA, CPVA, Spinning®, WKC® Fitness Trainer

Web: www.diettrifecta.com
Blog:  https://diettrifecta.wordpress.com/

March 19, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Stages of Behavioral Change

Stages of Change

 Transtheoretical Model of Change
By Patti Zikmund
This is the 1st component of the Transtheoretical Model of Change about which we highlighted a week ago in an email to you. There are 5 stages of change presented in the Transtheoretical Model which we will describe briefly below:
  • A person in this stage of change has no plans or ideas to change his/her behavior within the next 6 months.
  • He is neither engaged nor contemplating change.


  • An individual in this stage is contemplating change within the next 6 months.
  • He/she will weigh the costs and benefits necessary for this change.


  • A person in this stage is preparing to commit to change within 30 days and has made some steps toward a healthier behavior.
  • He/She is mentally and physically preparing for change.


  • A person in this stage has been active for less than 6 months and has shown improved behavior.
  • He/She has a high desire to change his/her beliefs or attitudes about a healthier lifestyle.


  • A person in this stage has been active for more than 6 months and shows a high level of self-efficacy.
  • He/She has developed a strategy to cope with any possible lapses in activity.

Every individual progresses through these stages at different rates. They may lapse into an earlier state or even stay stagnant in one phase for an extended periods of time.

And as always, health is in you, let’s find it together.

To your health,

DietTrifecta Logo only.jpg

Patti Zikmund
CPBA, CPVA, Spinning®, WKC® Fitness Trainer

Web: www.diettrifecta.com

March 17, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

Setting SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

You are now on your way to choosing a weight loss plan that best suits your needs and aligns with your behaviors – those which you discovered through your DIETtrifecta assessment report. All types of fitness, weight management or health programs begin with goal-setting. A simple and invaluable method for goal-setting is the SMART approach.

The SMART goal setting process is effective for developing focused goals. And it’s easy. That’s always a plus. SMART makes it simple for identifying the right steps of action to take in a successful weight loss, fitness or health plan. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

S pecific:

Answers these questions: Who? What? Where? Why?

  • Who is to achieve this goal and with whom (do you plan on enlisting a trainer)?
  • What would you like to accomplish?
  • Where will you most likely meet this goal – gym, at home, at work?
  • Why is this goal important to you?

M easurable:

You need to be able to measure your goals. Without proper progression or where you are in achieving your goal, you are unable to track your progress. It will also help you know if a goal needs to be modified during the process.

A ttainable:

A goal needs to align with your abilities, skills and or attitudes toward a particular outcome and honestly determine if it is indeed within your reach. If you truly believe that you CAN accomplish a set goal, you will have more drive and motivation to strive for it. 🙂 When you identify a goal that is really important to you, you manage to find ways to make it happen and build your self-image.

R ealistic:

A goal needs to be realistic. The key word here is: REALISTIC. If your goal is relevant for where you are at this moment, you will be motivated to strive toward achieving it. Therefore, make sure you create your goals around your unique interests and abilities for increased success and satisfaction. BUT – makes sure the goal has some level of effort! On the other hand, if it’s too difficult to attain, you set the stage for failure. And no one wants that! 🙂

T ime-Bound:

Here’s the last question to ask yourself – WHEN? When do you hope to accomplish this goal? Devise a timeline outlining specific target dates to check your progress.

We also encourage you to fill out the Action Plan that is included in your DIETtrifecta Report. You may also download a copy from the DIET-Coach page (http://www.diettrifecta.com/action.php). Additionally – we have devised a SMART Goals worksheet to help you commence the process which is attached herein.Enjoy! And as always, health is in you, let’s find it together.

To your health,

American Council on Exercise, Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach Manual, The ultimate Resource for Fitness Professionals, 2nd Edition, 2011
Arina, SMART Goal Setting: A Surefire Way to Achieve Your Goals, February 20, 2010, http://www.goal-setting-guide.com/goal-setting-tutorials/smart-goal-setting

March 16, 2012 at 07:00 Leave a comment

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