The Ultimate Guide for a Personalized Fitness Journey (Nutrition, Exercises, and More) – Silicon Valley
If you’re looking for ways to stay in shape and you’re around Silicon Valley, you are just in luck! With so many gyms, fitness classes, and organic grocers and restaurants in the area, we’ve created this guide to help you find the best options and make intelligent decisions to kickstart your fitness journey on the right track.
Fitness is a journey. But, what if you could take that adventure and personalize it to fit your needs? Whether you’re looking for strength training, planning to join a marathon, or debating on whether to get a personal trainer — we’re here to guide you on the process of decision-making before actually committing and taking out your wallet. So that when it’s finally time to hit the gym, all you need to focus on is having fun!
Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food, how the body uses them, and the relationship between diet, health, and disease. Understanding the basics of nutrition is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So, let’s talk about the general nutritional tips that you should always keep in mind:
General Nutritional Tips that are Factual-based
Hydration is essential to keeping your body functioning at its best. Staying hydrated helps regulate blood flow which boosts your energy to avoid feeling tired or sluggish.
Best way to stay hydrated? Drinking water! Bottled or tap – it’s up to preference – but just make sure your beverage options are low to no sugar and other additives like caffeine.
Limit Your Sugar Intake
Sugary drinks are American’s primary source of sugar in their daily diet. It is also the leading cause of heart disease in otherwise healthy adults. The study also shows that people who drink more than one sugary beverage per day have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%.
This habit should be practiced not only by adults but also children. The effects of sugar-sweetened beverages are uniquely harmful to children because they can contribute not only to obesity in children but also to diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. These often do not manifest until adulthood – a frightening thought considering how many children mindlessly consume these drinks regularly!
Avoid Ultra-processed Foods
The term “ultra-processed” is used to describe processed foods that are significantly modified from their original form. These products often contain additives like added sugar, highly refined oil, salt, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners, and colors or flavors of any kind.
Ultra-processed foods have a disastrous effect on your body. They are overly palatable, which means it’s easy to overeat as the taste activates reward regions in the brain. This has led to diets high in ultra-processed food, causing obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic conditions.
These foods include:
- fast foods
- canned foods
- snack cakes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil Is Good!
Extra virgin olive oil has some of the most potent antioxidants to keep you healthy and prevents inflammation.
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils out there. It’s loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help in reducing pain from arthritis. It can also help your heart health, as consuming extra virgin olive oil lowers the risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes.
Not All Fats are Bad Fats
Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad! Saturated fat may raise cholesterol levels, but it can also increase HDL (good) cholesterol while reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol found at increased rates in individuals who suffer from heart diseases like hypertension.
Sleep Is A Priority
You may have heard the old saying, “The early bird gets the worm.” but what about when you don’t get enough sleep?
Lack of quality rest can lead to many different health issues like insulin resistance and disrupted appetite hormones which could eventually result in weight gain. This could also affect your overall physical and mental health.
Make sure to always prioritize good, quality sleep.
Fish are friends
One benefit of eating fish in its natural, high-quality protein and healthy fat. This is especially true for fishes like salmon and tuna as those are high in omega-3 fats.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial component of a healthy diet. These fatty acids play an essential role in the membrane and cell receptors, managing blood clotting and regulating other bodily functions like contraction and relaxation for arteries walls.
The importance of Omega 3’s can’t be overstated: Omega-3 fats can help lower the risk of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Vitamin D Is The Magic Trick
Vitamin D deficiencies are not just a problem for the winter months. They can happen all year round, and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D is important for your overall health. Vitamin D helps strengthen bones, reduces symptoms of depression, boosts the immune system, and lowers cancer risks.
If getting enough sunlight seems improbable, you also have the option to take it in capsule form or increase your intake of vitamin D enriched foods!
Restaurants with Healthy Menu Options in Silicon Valley
Eating healthy requires some effort. From shopping for ingredients to preparing it, sometimes it can demotivate and hinders your progress.
Good thing Silicon Valley is an area with diverse cultures and health buffs! There are literally dozens of salad bars and vegan options to choose from. And we picked out these 6 restaurants with healthy menu options in the area to make your life a bit easier.
The Table – American Brunch
American (New), Breakfast & Brunch, Salad
” The Table is an urban neighborhood restaurant focused on seasonal ingredients, hand-crafted cocktails, and progressive wines. We are called The Table because we recognize a table’s unique ability to bring together delicious food, fun drinks, and good people. Many of life’s best memories have been created around a table Our cuisine is contemporary American, paying tribute to the people and cultures that call this valley home. We believe that the quality of our product begins at the source–with the farmers, ranchers, and dairymen that produce them. By establishing relationships with local farms and ranches, our goal is to understand the origins of everything we cook and seek out only those ingredients produced with integrity and care. We commit to delivering delicious food that highlights the quality of the ingredients we source, free of over manipulation.”
Jim and Angelique S., Business Owner
Phone: (408) 638-7911
Address: 1110 Willow St San Jose, CA 95125
Mediterranean, Turkish, Middle Eastern
“Despite its affluence, Los Altos isn’t heavy on good restaurant options, which has made this Mediterranean spot a welcome addition to the scene. Set in a strip mall, Urfa’s simple space boasts a small back patio for sunny days, with warm and welcoming service to boot. Homey and well-seasoned, the dishes here span the Mediterranean and the Middle East, with a particular focus on Turkey (Urfa is, after all, a type of Turkish chili pepper). The crowd of local families is always up for a round of the smoky chicken shish kabobs, piled on buttery white rice with char-grilled tomatoes and peppers; or the crisp, herbaceous falafel. For dessert, try something new: künefe, a Turkish sweet of melted, soft white cheese covered in crisp pastry threads and sweet syrup.”
Michelin Guide (2017)
Phone: (650) 397-5614
Address: 233 State St Los Altos, CA 94022
Pizza, American (Traditional)
“Starting from Natural food for next-generation, We, Organic Pisa, wish to bring the most natural and healthy food to all of our customers affordably. Our kids are deserved to feed with good food. We are bringing a bit salty from our natural sea, a bit sweet from California organic flour and a bit Mid-west flavor from Marinara sauce.”
Sam T., Business Owner
Phone: (408) 906-8000
Address: 106 Dempsey Rd Milpitas, CA 95035
Orchard City Kitchen
American (New), Tapas Bars
“OCK is a chef-driven restaurant owned and operated by Jeffrey Stout, a long-time bay area resident, and Chef having earned many accolades including a Michelin Star for three years running in his previous experience.”
Jeffrey S., Business Owner
Phone: (408) 340-5285
Address: 1875 S Bascom Ave Ste 190 Campbell, CA 95008
Nom Burger – Burger Joint
American (New), Burgers, Beer Bar
“Upscale burgers! We use a proprietary blend of beef for our patties that are ground in-house every day. Our signature brioche buns are made from scratch and also baked on-site daily. We use certified organic produce and Straus organic ice cream for our dangerously delicious milkshakes!”
Regina C., Business Owner
Phone: (408) 720-8880
Address: 251 W Washington Ave Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Merit Vegan Restaurant
Vegetarian, Vegan, Noodles
“We opened the vegan restaurant in South Bay by people request who frequent our restaurant in Oakland. The Vegan concept is to make people convenient to eat delicious vegan food. Vegan lifestyle is a win-win situation for everybody. Vegan benefits the environment, our health, animals. Vegan reduces animal suffering and is a green way of living. Vegan lifestyle is very noble, compassion.”
Merit Vegan Restaurant
Phone: (408) 245-8988
Address: 548 Lawrence Expy Sunnyvale, CA 94085
Eating a balanced diet plays a major role in living a healthy life, however, being active is also important to maintain/ improve health! There are several benefits to regular exercise that will positively impact your daily life, both physically and mentally. Exercising helps your body release dopamine and serotonin, thus helping improve your mood. In addition to boosting your mood, exercise can help you improve sleep quality. For some people, regular exercise decreases the amount of time it takes to actually fall asleep. Meaningless time lying awake at night and more time catching Zs! Exercise also helps boost your body’s immune system. This occurs because exercise affects your body’s white blood cells causing them to circulate throughout your body more rapidly.
Where to start
So, you’ve heard some of the great benefits of exercising… Now what? How do you go about building a plan that works for you? There is no single type of exercise that can take care of all your needs and everybody is different. In fact, to get the most benefit from your routine, you want a mix of activities during the course of a week. Otherwise, it’s like a diet consisting only of fruit—healthful as far as it goes, but lacking a lot of the nutrients you’ll find in other foods, such as fish, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
Developing a balanced exercise plan
Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urge all adults to include the following types of exercise in their weekly routines:
150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week (for example, 30 minutes on each of five days) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (or an equivalent mix of the two).
Two or more strength training sessions per week, with at least 48 hours in between to allow muscles
Making it doable:
If this all sounds overwhelming, workouts can be broken up into smaller segments. For example, three 10-minute walks can get you to your daily goal of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. It is also important to consider what your fitness goals are: gaining/ losing weight, building muscles, increasing endurance, etc. and planning your workouts around these goals. These goals should also be attainable. For example, a goal should not be “gain weight.” This is unattainable and untrackable. A better version of this goal is “gain 10 pounds.” This goal is clear and you will be able to know when it is met.
Getting a Trainer
Reasons to Consider Hiring a Personal Trainer
The health and fitness industry is booming, with more people pursuing a healthy lifestyle than ever before. A personal trainer can be a great investment for anyone looking to see results and exercise the right way. There are many reasons to consider hiring a personal trainer for your own journey toward better health. We’ll explore some of the most common reasons people choose to work with a personal trainer, rather than go on their fitness journey alone.
You Don’t Know Where to Start
It’s a common misconception that you have to be in shape before hiring a personal trainer. This is completely false! Your personal trainer will help you get started on the right path, and provide inspiration along the way. The internet is flooded with fitness content including new workouts, meal plans, and specific exercises that all promise the best results. Everyone’s body is different and what works for others may not work for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, a personal trainer will find a customized plan to guide you in the right direction.
You’re Not Seeing Results
As you get further into your fitness journey, you may notice that you’re not seeing a lot of progress. It can be frustrating to see other people without much fitness experience make significant progress and overcome their bad habits. Don’t worry! Your personal trainer is here for all the encouragement, motivation, and accountability you’ll need! As previously mentioned, certain exercise routines work better than others depending on your body type. Your personal trainer can recommend the right plan to target areas of concern and keep you accountable for your workout schedule.
You Want to Be Challenged
It’s easy to get stuck into an exercise routine that you’ve become comfortable with and eventually stop seeing results. The point of the exercise is to keep pushing yourself to do better than the previous week. A personal trainer is a perfect solution because they will push you harder than you can push yourself, while still prioritizing your safety. It’s a lot easier to take breaks or do the bare minimum when no one is holding you accountable. By working with a personal trainer you can make sure that every single one of your workouts is productive and leaves you feeling accomplished.
You Want to Learn How to Exercise on Your Own
Many people are very comfortable working out from home or just at the gym on their own. However, there are often questions and gaps in knowledge regarding proper form and technique. If you consistently do an exercise incorrectly it can have a negative effect on your joints, muscles, and eventually lead to injury. A personal trainer will guide you when it comes to correct form and give you the necessary skills to continue working out on your own, safely.
You Have a Specific Illness, Injury, or Condition
If you’re injured or have a medical condition, it’s hard to work out. You may not be able to do your normal workout routine and struggle to find what is right for you. Don’t push yourself! The best source for the proper workout routines is a trained physical therapist, followed by a personal trainer who is fully aware of the condition you are dealing with and is experienced in helping individuals with the same issues.
Qualities to Look for in a Personal Trainer
Finding a personal trainer is similar to finding a new friend; you have to be compatible. Your trainer will become one of your closest friends who will push you along your journey while keeping your best interest in mind. Below we will discuss a few important qualities to look for in your search for a trainer.
On any fitness journey, there are bumps in the road. Your personal trainer should be understanding of any issues you may face or be forgiving when you stray from your workout plan. Being patient is part of the process but they should still keep you accountable.
Personal trainers must get certified in order to take on clients and work in gyms. Certifications are crucial because it shows they have been educated on the proper techniques and are able to give informed advice. Do not work with uncertified trainers because you cannot be sure if they are giving you solid advice backed by proven science.
Effective Communicator & Listener
As always, communication is key. Your trainer should clearly communicate their expectations with you and be receptive to your ideas and expectations. Trainers are responsible for scheduling workouts and making sure that you are feeling good about the process. In terms of listening, your trainer should always hear your feedback and recognize when maybe you’re being pushed too far. Furthermore, your goals may change and a good listener will be receptive to your new goals and ideas.
Although you want your trainer to push you and hold you accountable you also want to just generally like them as a person. No one wants to work with someone who is in a bad mood, rude, or just generally not pleasant to be around. Compatibility between your personalities is key. If you are very sensitive then maybe a very strict trainer is not for you. The right trainer will make you feel comfortable, seen, and understood; someone you could see as a friend.
As previously mentioned, your goals may change throughout your fitness journey; a good trainer will be adaptable to those changes. Beyond that, adaptability could mean finding a new place to train you or catering their routines to any injuries or conditions you may develop. For example, you could sprain your ankle and a good trainer will have another set of exercises for you to do without wasting the session entirely.
Finding a Trainer that Fits Your Needs
Personal training is not one size fits all. Every individual has different weight and strength goals they want to achieve and should find a specialized trainer to help with that area. For example, you would not go to a trainer that specializes in cardio if you plan on entering a bodybuilding competition. While each trainer will be adaptable to different needs, looking for specialized help will make you reach your goals faster.
Here are a few specializations:
- Strength & Conditioning Coach
- Weight Loss Transformation Specialist
- Bodybuilding Specialist
- Corrective Exercise Specialist
- Athletic Performance
Online, In-Person, Hybrid?
Another important consideration is the type of training you would like to do. It could be in-person, online, or a hybrid. During the pandemic, online personal training experienced a boom. This allows you to keep working out from home, while still getting the advice of a personal trainer and maintaining proper form. For others, going to the gym in person and having that one-on-one connection is what keeps their motivation going. Additionally, you may decide to take a hybrid approach and work out from home during the week and take in-person sessions on the weekends. Your trainer should be adaptable and meet your needs.
How to Decide Which Gym is Best for You
It can be hard to distinguish which gym is best for you. There are so many different training centers that have a ton of different equipment, trainers, and group classes. We recommend going into the gym search with a list of “must-haves,” similar to when you are looking for a new house or apartment. From there, you can do your research with a set of criteria in hand. Below we elaborate on a few methods for deciding which gym is the best for you.
Do Online Research
The first step in finding the right gym is doing some online research on gyms in your area. Of course, you want to sign up for a gym that is close to your home or work so you are motivated to make the trip. Filter out places by proximity, price, training offered, and commitment requirements. Some gyms offer multiple locations so you can go to any within their network. However, some small local gyms offer more personalized training, better equipment, and better pricing.
Try it Out
Our second recommendation is to go and try out the gym for yourself. Many places offer a free first visit or a guest pass for you to try out the equipment and feel before committing to a contract membership.
Consider Pros and Cons
While visiting different gyms on your list keep track of the pros and cons of each place. Focus on the initial “must-haves” on your list and weigh the alternatives. While you’re there, ask about ongoing promotions or if they take referral discounts. Gyms typically have a variety of amenities or free promotions running throughout the year so you can strategically plan your time to join.
Type of Gym
While most gyms typically offer the standard workout equipment, others provide a more specialized focus, like weight lifting, or large swimming facilities. Depending on your fitness goals, you should find a gym that caters to that lifestyle. While personal training is offered at most gyms, a new type of experience is becoming popular. Gyms that only offer personal training services and pay-as-you-go opportunities are now an option for those looking to train with professional assistance.
Staying fit is not an easy task, but the rewards are felt on a physical and mental level. With a little time and effort, you can achieve your fitness goals. Silicon Valley is the perfect place to start eating healthy and working out because of the extensive resources in the area. From proper nutrition to effective exercises, you will be able to meet your individual goals. We also reviewed a few factors to consider when selecting a personal trainer and the right gym to sign up for. We sincerely hope this article has helped educate you on the path to fitness.
Organic resto: https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=organic+restaurant&find_loc=Silicon+Valley%2C+CA
Benefits of Regular Exercise:
Reasons to Get PT:
What to look for PT:
Quality of PT:
PT that Fits Your Needs:
Choosing the best gyms: