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You’ve worked out for days or even weeks on end. It’s been endless hard work, and you’ve hardly skipped a step in terms of your fitness regime. But alas, after all, you put in, the results aren’t forthcoming. What are you doing wrong? Well, our San Diego fitness experts believe it may have something to do with how much sugar you take. It comes with a host of undesirable side effects and may get in the way as it’s not the best fuel for your body. Today, we unpack the dangers of too much sugar on your weight loss and workout goals. Let’s get started. 

What is sugar?

First, before we go any further, we should define what this famous substance that needs no introduction truly is. Sugar is essentially a form of carbohydrate that’s soluble and sweet-tasting. It can occur naturally or artificially, in simple or complex forms. Simple sugars are easily broken down by the body and consist of single-chain molecules. 

They are also referred to as monosaccharides in some contexts, which means sugar in its simplest form i.e. it cannot break down into anything simpler. Simple sugars include:

  • Galactose
  • Fructose
  • Glucose

Complex sugars, on the other hand, have much larger molecule chains and don’t break down as quickly. Otherwise known as compound sugars, they are the result of a combination of a pair of monosaccharides, hence they are aptly named disaccharides. For example, the compound sugar lactose is a combination of the simple sugars galactose and glucose.

Now enough with the chemistry lesson, let’s get into the good stuff now that you’re armed with the basics.

How does sugar limit your fitness potential: 

  • Too much sugar may counteract your weight loss gains

Sugary foods can be packed with calories, and taking too much might lead to weight gain. This isn’t particularly good news to hear if your fitness goals involve chopping a few pounds off the scale.

The simple sugar fructose is today found in many drinks such as sodas. This sugar can increase food-intake behavior more than glucose, for example, which is commonly found in starchy foods. According to a Yale study, glucose can influence brain activity in a way that discourages food-seeking behavior. Fructose, conversely, does nothing to dissuade this. Over the long run, consistent fructose intake can lead to overeating

Our gym in San Diego, also uncovered via reports from animal study findings that our bodies develop leptin resistance when we take too much fructose. This important hormone plays vital roles in terms of the: 

  • Appetite: Leptin regulates and even curbs hunger and keeps you from feeling hungry when you actually have enough energy to keep you going
  • Fat storage: Through the action of suppressing appetite and thus food intake, leptin also regulates fat storage

So, in a nutshell, too much sugar can work against any weight loss objectives. 

  • It’s so damn addictive – and draining 

One bite of sugary sweetness often leads to a second, and then another, and one more after that. It can be hard to stop, and that’s because sugar affects the working of your brain. Our bodies secrete dopamine, the hormone that gives us satisfaction and pleasure whenever we eat something tasty. 

This “high” can be so addictive that sugar has often been mentioned in the same breath as drugs like cocaine. With it hard to let go, sugar can send you down a slippery slope of weight gain that can be hard to break free from.

Moreover, sugar can mess up your mind. Some studies have in fact found a strong correlation between high sugar consumption and the following:  

  • Blood sugar swings
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability

Moreover, regular consumption of excess sugar can result in sugar crashes. These can sap your energy and kill your motivation to do anything, including working out. You’ll find it harder to get out of bed in the morning for a quick session with your female personal trainer San Diego. Self-worth, self-esteem, and your entire belief in yourself can also waver and knock you off your game.

  • Sugar messes with your hydration 

So how does hydration affect exercise performance? Our personal trainer San Diego had plenty to say about the matter. For one, when we don’t restore fluid adequately that is lost through sweat and physical exertion at the gym, then muscle function doesn’t recover fully.

This obviously means you’ll not be able to perform at your peak physical performance, which is also down to the mental toll that taking too much sugar can have on you. On top of that, there’s an increased heat stress risk when we don’t hydrate adequately.

Dehydration can be caused by high blood sugar, as it increases your frequency of urination hence excessive water loss. This is why you should prioritize water as opposed to sugary sodas when hydrating to avoid being chronically dehydrated, which will take away from your ability to perform at the gym. 

  • Sugar can set you back due to gut discomfort

Your digestive tract health also pays the price for high sugar intake. I’ve witnessed it one too many times as a San Diego personal trainer. That’s because your digestive system is biting off more than it can chew. Once your body reaches a certain threshold, it cannot absorb any more sugar.

In turn, the excess ferments in the bowel over time, feeding yeast and the not-so-great kind of bacteria in your digestive tract. In the long run, there’s an accumulation of gas which leads to:

  • Cramping
  • Spams 
  • Pain, and other symptoms

In the worst-case scenario, high blood sugar may also lead to diarrhea and/or constipation. When you’re battling all these discomforts, let’s just say working out won’t be that much of a priority. 

It’s time to fight back against sugar!

There is a lot of potentials for your body to reach greater fitness heights. But chances are, too much sugar may be holding you back from achieving them. It messes with your hydration, accelerates weight gain, and also brings little to the table as sugar is an empty calorie with little to no nutritional value. Work with an experienced personal trainer San Diego today, to learn how to fuel your body the right way so you can hit your fitness goals in no time. Contact us now to get started.

Sleep allows the body and brain to replenish and heal, influencing practically every tissue. Sleep deprivation raises the chance of developing diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Sleep deprivation for an extended period of time can also impair focus and other cognitive processes.

Symptoms of sleep deprivation

  • Slow thinking
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor memory
  • Worsened decision-making
  • Loss of energy
  • Mood changes including feelings of stress, anxiety, or irritability

Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Hormonal abnormalities
  • Chronic Pain
  • Mental health disorders

Why is sleep important in fitness?

  • Sleep provides recovery time in order to grow strength, mass, and endurance.
  • Production of Growth Hormone.
  • Help people keep to their workout programs.
  • More energy and power during your workout.
  • Improve your concentration, attitude, and focus.

How lack of sleep affects fitness

  • Not getting enough sleep can actually make exercise feel harder.
  • Exhaustion and difficulty working out.
  • Treadmill endurance performance deteriorates.
  • Physiological reactions such as autonomic nervous system abnormalities.

Sleep deprivation and autoimmune diseases

  • Sleep has a major impact on the endocrine, metabolic, and immune pathways.
  • Sleep deprivation leads to increased circulating numbers and decreased activity of immune cells.
  • Increases levels of circulating proinflammatory markers.
  • Sleep Deprivation can increase the risk of infection, as well as chronic inflammatory diseases.

Autoimmune diseases caused by Sleep Deprivation

  • Cell senescence
  • Unbalanced local/systemic inflammation
  • Dysmetabolism 
  • Immune derangements
  • Imbalance of bacterial populations within the gut microbiome
  • Cancer
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

How Much Sleep Do You Need Every Night?

  • Newborns (0 to 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep
  • Infants (4 to 11 months): 12 to 15 hours of sleep
  • Toddlers (1 to 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep
  • Preschoolers (3 to 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep
  • School children (6 to 13 years): 9 to 11 hours of sleep
  • Teenagers (14 to 17 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep
  • Young People (18 to 25 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
  • Adults (26 to 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
  • Senior citizens (65 years or older): 7 to 8 hours of sleep

Role of exercise in improving sleep:

  • Exercising has a chemical effect on the brain.
  • Physical activity creates more adenosine in the brain, and adenosine makes us feel sleepy.
  • The harder we work out, the more we are driven to sleep.
  • Maintaining your circadian rhythm, or internal clock, through exercise is another benefit.
  • The activity enables your body to understand the sleep cycle.
  • Morning exercise prepares your body for better night time sleep.

Exercises that are best for sleep

  1. Aerobics
  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Semi-hilly bike rides

      2. Vigorous-intensity Aerobics

  • Running 
  • Jogging
  • Lap-swimming
  • Intense bike rides

      3. Resistance Exercise

  • Lifting weights
  • Working out using resistance bands
  • Push-ups, sit-ups, and other resistance exercises

      4. Yoga

  • Wide-Knee Child’s Pose (Balasana)
  • Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  • Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Reclining Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  • Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani )
Getting enough sleep is essential if you want to perform at the gym and in all of your daily activities.

Contact Us: info@ironorrfitness.com

Exercise is as good for your brain as it is for your body, with benefits ranging from reduced stress to increased self-esteem. There are numerous studies that show how vital exercise is for our health, and it becomes even more crucial as we get older.

Lack Of Exercise Leads To

If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, you run the danger of:

  • Obesity
  • Heart diseases
  • High blood pressure & cholesterol
  • Stroke
  • Increased feelings of depression and anxiety
  • Keep Getting Sick
  • Can’t Focus Properly
  • Overweight or Lean

Psychological Benefits of Consistent Exercise

  • Improves brain functioning
  • Protects against chronic diseases
  • Helps with weight management
  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Lowers depression and anxiety
  • Increases life span
  • Improves balance  
  • Strengthens muscles, bones, and joints
  • Improves heart health 

Benefits of Exercise for Seniors

  • Prevent Disease
  • Improved Mental Health
  • Decreased Risks of Falls
  • Social Engagement
  • Improved Cognitive Function

Exercise Statistics In US

  • 82.1 million people in the United States aged six and above do not exercise at all
  • Overweight affects more than 97 million adults in the United States
  • Due to weight issues, 15,000 military recruits are unable to qualify
  • People with a higher education & money are more likely to exercise on a regular basis
  • During the epidemic, 17% of Americans increased their physical activity
  • On a global scale, the United States is regarded as the 7th most fit nation
  • The number of fitness apps downloaded increased by 46%

Exercise & Mental Health Statistics

  • Exercisers experience 1.5 fewer days of poor mental health per month than non-exercisers
  • 15 mins of running or walking for an hour each day can reduce the risk of severe depression by about 26%
  • After one fitness session, 33% of extremely anxious adults report feeling less stressed
  • Physical activity that is done on purpose can practically cure depression

Decreased Risk of Disease

  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Various Cancers
  • Arthritis

Tips to Stay on Track

  • Find an activity you enjoy
  • Go at your own pace
  • Find a workout buddy
  • Pick the same wake up and bed time of day
  • Pick the same time of day to work out
  • Track your progress on a exercise calendar

Exercise is beneficial to your health; all you have to do is make it a priority and a habit in your everyday life. Regardless of your age, we hope that this will inspire you to be doing some exercise

Developing a habit of doing regular exercise and indulging in healthy physical activity is highly beneficial to your overall health. Apart from offering numerous health benefits, regular exercise improves your mental health as well. Consistent workout sessions boost your mood, provide you with more energy and help you sleep better.

People who do regular workout sessions claim that workout gives them an enormous sense of well-being. Such people feel more energetic throughout the day and sleep better at night. They feel more relaxed and positive about themselves.

In short, regular workout sessions are the most potent medicine for dealing with mental health challenges.

Mental Health Benefits of Workout – 5 Less-Known Benefits

Here are a few less-known benefits of a regular workout.

1.   Working Out Reduces Your Stress and Anxiety

The most significant advantage of regular workout sessions is that they reduce stress and anxiety. A study conducted at Harvard Medical School found that developing a habit of doing aerobic exercise helps minimize stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and floods your body with endorphins that help you feel good. Endorphins are the hormones that help you feel good by minimizing the impact of pain, boosting pleasure, and promoting a feeling of well-being and positivity.

In addition to that, consistent workout sessions increase the quantity of serotonin and dopamine in your brain. These two chemicals promote relaxation and make you feel good.

2.   Working Out Improves Self-Confidence

If you lack confidence and find it difficult to face challenges in life, indulging in workout sessions can help you overcome this situation. Doing weight training or hopping on a treadmill can help in boosting your self-confidence.

Even a basic level of physical activity can help in boosting your self-esteem and help reclaim positivity in your life. Hence, physical activity is the best way to boost your self-confidence and prepare yourself to deal with life challenges.

3.   Workout Reduces the Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Consistent sessions of workouts help reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in adults. Workout improves concentration, boosts motivation, sharpens your memory, and improves mood. All these factors help in increasing the brain’s dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine levels and hence improve focus and attention. That’s how workout sessions help in minimizing the symptoms of ADHD.

4.   Working Out Helps You Sleep Better

Getting enough sleep is essential for boosting your overall health. Without proper sleep, you cannot progress very far and perform your daily tasks efficiently. That’s where workout sessions can help you.

When you spend a few hectic hours working out, your body gets tired. Hence, it needs to recover from exercise. During the recovery phase, your brain makes you feel tired earlier, and hence you sleep more soundly throughout the night.

5.   Working Out Boosts Your Brain Activity

Another notable benefit of regular workout sessions is they boost your brain activity and improve your cognitive abilities. Consistent workout sessions affect the part of your brain which is responsible for sharpening memory and improving its functioning. Hence, you observe an increased ability to learn and participate in activities related to memory. That’s how indulging in a healthy physical activity helps in boosting your brain functioning and improving your cognitive abilities.

As you can see, exercise provides success markers of good mental health as you work toward your goal achievement. If you have decided to take control of your mental and physical health, one of our personal trainers can provide you with a complimentary consultation to see what your baseline is and create a plan to attain your goal in an efficient and safe manner.








Exercise and the Depressed Mind

The Elephant in the Gym

We have all heard about the benefits of exercise for overall health. Regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, it can be a warrior against diabetes because it helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels better, it improves posture, and of course it can help fight off obesity. Though what is not often discussed is its effect on the brain. In fact, regular exercise has been used in clinical studies as an antidepressant and in some cases it has shown better results than Zoloft and other antidepressant medications. Depression is, understandably, a sensitive subject. I know, I’ve lived with it for most of my life. Though as someone who can attest that regular exercise can in fact save a life I cannot help but wonder why the conversation is not discussed more often. Well, no time like the present. The conversation about the effects of exercise on the depressed brain starts now.

Part 1: A Story with Hard Facts

As I mentioned, I’ve lived with depression for most of my life. The hard truth is that I have attempted suicide twice. The first attempt occurred during the summer I was 14. Had it not been for the Dolly Parton song, “Light of a Clear Blue Morning”, that came on the radio while I was in mid act, well…let’s just say there is a reason the lyrics are now tattooed on my left forearm. The second attempt occurred in my late 20s. Once again in mid-act, I got one look at the Dolly lyric tattoo on my forearm and from within a clarity got through the burning inferno of my brain and allowed enough time for me to call a friend who immediately came to my aid. The next day I turned myself into a clinic and asked for help, from there I began the rebuilding process. Depression is not something to be taken lightly or brushed off. Nor does it seem to truly ever go away because between the first suicide attempt and the second the thought of suicide had crossed my mind more times than I care to admit or reflect on.

Now, my career is that of a personal trainer, but that does not mean I’ve always been physically active. For the majority of my life I have had an on again off again relationship with health and fitness. When I attempted suicide at 14 I was also over 250lbs, loved a good 5 for $5 deal from Arby’s, mastered the art of “Netflix and chill” before Netflix was even a thing, and had not a clue what the difference between a barbell or dumbbell was. Not until a year later I would begin the journey of pursuing “healthy mind, body, and spirit”. Those blind beginnings included reading dozens of diet books and trying what they offered as solutions. By the end of most of them my only result was finding what Dolly Parton once said to be more than true, “I tried every diet in the book, often the book tasted better than the diet.” When I hit 18, after a flurry of trial and error, I finally managed to get down to 170 lbs. How? I simply adjusted my eating habits. Ate less, cut portions in half, and ate more from the earth and less from Nabisco. Nevertheless, my battle against a food addition and default behavior of emotional eating were just beginning.

As for exercise? Well, that was an even more difficult relationship since I grew up on a cattle farm in rural North Carolina with no access to an actual gym. At the start I made a makeshift gym in the woods behind our house using whatever resources I could find around the farm such as burlap sacks with rocks in them, rope, tree branches low enough to work as a pull up bar, and so forth. I also learned the art of bodyweight workouts which is still something I love today. It was not until I moved away to college that I finally had access to a fully functional gym. The summer leading up to my freshman year I was preparing myself for finally having a gym. I had a workout program lined up and all ready to start. I was determined to take my exercise to another level. Then I got to college and walked into the gym.

Fun fact about depression: It likes to hide off to stage left, only to make a impromptu return like Lucy Ricardo trying to get into the show dressed in a disguise. In my case, mine was finely dressed as paralyzing anxiety that demanded the stage as soon as I came into the college gym and saw all the athletes also in there working out. My well-laid fitness plans fell apart as that infamous inner voice began running incessantly, “Why are you here? You’re just a country hick without a damn clue. Look at all these toned and chiseled people who obviously belong here. You are not one of them. You never will be one of them. Leave. Leave right now. Get out! Get out, now!”

My anxiety won every time that first year of college. When I would finally think I was ready, I’d arrive to the gym, see everyone else who in my mind looked better and knew better, my body would begin shaking while my thoughts ran amok, and I would turn around and leave. To make matters worse, instead of just resuming my bodyweight exercises or trying to figure out a way to deal with the anxiety, I did what humans are prone to doing: I defaulted in my behavior. I once again found comfort in food, I stopped exercising all together, the weight slowly crept back up on me and the “Freshman 15” became “Freshman 50” for me. By my sophomore year I was miserable. Finally, I figured the only way to deal with the anxiety was to face it and force myself to stay at the gym no matter how much I wanted to run. So, I did. Eventually I managed to get back on track—for a while. This cycle would be the ongoing story of my 20s; get going, stop, gain weight, get depressed, get going again, stop, gain weight, get depressed. It was physically and mentally exhausting.

Part 2: The Turn-Around

By the time of my second suicide attempt at 28 I was in full self neglect. I had not been in the gym for nearly six months, I was thirty pounds heavier because I had discovered how much I loved Mexican food and just how comforting it was, add in a few other factors to the mix and a perfect storm was created that resulted in me experiencing a full physical and mental breakdown.

After I turned myself into the clinic I naturally was put onto an antidepressant to help me gain control of my thoughts and smother out the inferno that was my own brain. While yes the medication helped as it always did, there was something new tugging at me from within. I could not ignore that I had now survived a second attempt at taking my own life, therefore I felt deeply that if I was clearly meant to be here as it so seemed then something had to change. Two attempts, and I was still here; two hellacious battles won but the war was still on the horizon.

So, I did what I do best: I began to research and educate myself through whatever books I could get my hands on. Nothing clicked with me though, until, about two months into my research, I came across a book called, The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Dr. Stephen Ilardi. Dr. Ilardi, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Kansas, outlines a six-step process that all of us can utilize to help alleviate depression. What he found was that majority of depression cases could be traced back to environment: Humans were not designed to spend weekends “Netflix and chill”-ing all day while scrolling mindlessly through Instagram to then resume working indoors often in artificial light, sitting hours on end, all week to then go home and once again, “Netflix and chill”. Humans, by design, are meant to be active, exposed to natural sunlight, and let’s not even begin to discuss the modern day sleeping and eating habits of most Americans today, let’s just say that we were not designed to sleep a couple of hours only to be jacked up on two Red Bulls while waiting on Doordash to drop off a round of Taco Bell.

Dr. Ilardi list the six steps in his program as follows: Healthy Sleep, Stop Ruminating, Human Connection, Brain Food, Let There Be Light, and Movement is Medicine. Of the six, Dr. Ilardi considers Movement is Medicine to be one, if not the, most important. In fact, as it turns out, regular exercise can release natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) along with other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being.

While, all that was great to hear, the question still remained: What is the point if, like I was for most of my 20s, I could not even bring myself to get to the gym, stay there, let alone stick to a program? Not to mention the fact of when I read that regular exercise can serve as a natural antidepressant I begin to imagine what kind of regimen you’d have to perform to get the brain benefits. Images of grueling, hours long, high intensity, vomit inducing weight lifting workouts flashed across my mind. I saw myself near death due to running for hours on end—or not running at all after I was told to run for hours on end.

Turns out that is not the case.
Actually, a study conducted by Dr. Jim Blumenthal at Duke University found that patients who just took a brisk half-hour walk three times a week still got the beneficial brain effects that help fight depression. Even more remarkable is what Dr. Illari points out, “…this remarkably low ‘dose’ of exercise proved to be more effective than Zoloft in majority of patients.”

Ok, great, but what about that crippling fear due to “gym-idation” or just the horrifying idea of working out in public period rather that be in a gym or walking around the neighborhood?

Well, Dr. Ilardi suggested to his patients to start small with something that you enjoy. The key is to go out and find out what it is you like to do. After all, there is no sense in trying to exercise if you absolutely hate it. For me, all my life I have loved to swim so I found a gym that had a lap pool and began swimming again on a regular basis. It became almost mediative. However, swimming does not have to be your thing. Do you like to run? Bike? Yoga maybe? Get out and garden? If you do not know yet what it is exactly that you do enjoy then see that as a perfect opportunity to learn something new; challenge yourself in a different way. Go find out what it is then do it. Meet yourself there. Show up for you and not for anyone else. Will it always be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Definitely. Just set up small goals and go for it. When you achieve them, set more.

As for that business of not being able to hold oneself accountable and failing to follow through. Well, I took Dr. Illardi’s suggestion, one that I can say helped me begin again at 28 and eventually what lead to a career change in my 30s: I hired a personal trainer. For people struggling with depression, having someone to help give them a nudge to get up and get going can be a life changer—and in some cases, a life saver. Reduced initiative is a symptom of depression. In fact, a brain experiencing depression has an impaired ability to initiate activities, so those battling depression genuinely have a difficult time beginning anything new. Therefore, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge benefit. An obvious choice of someone to partner up with would be a spouse, family member, or a close friend that you trust to hold you accountable. Though, if you do not have anyone in your life to fill that role, or if you are like me and painfully introverted to the point that you prefer to work hard but quietly so you can fail and fail again without much fanfare, then a personal trainer can fill the role.


For a year, I worked with a trainer three times a week for an hour. He called and texted the evening before each session to remind me that we were meeting the next day. What I hated at the time but appreciate now was that when he did this, he was telling me we were having a session, he was not asking if I still could, if that time still worked, etc, he was giving me no choice: I had to be there. Good thing too because in the beginning I wanted to cancel every time but I knew if I did I’d lose the money I invested which, as a twenty-something in Southern California, I could not afford to do. Plus, I found that I really did not want to disappoint my trainer. Honestly, he intimated the heck out of me. He came across to me as some sort of gatekeeper to the world of Total Mind, Body, and Spiritual Health that I had wanted to be a part of for so long and if I disappointed him even once then he would make sure I was going to be locked out forever.

So, I showed up until one day I realized the person I was now showing up for was myself.
Showing up is sometimes the hardest part, being able to get over that hurdle means you have scaled one of the most difficult mountains. It was that idea of helping others get over that mountain and find a sense of happiness and well being that brought me to changing my career entirely in my 30s and going back to school to become a personal trainer. Two years had passed since my break down and I was now regularly at the gym, showing up for myself four times a week, and happily staying anxiety and depression free in the process. As a bonus, the confidence I slowly gained in the gym by showing up day after day carried over into the rest of my life. I felt I had been given an opportunity to give back what I had been given. As Maya Angelou said, “When you get, give, when you learn, teach.” Becoming a trainer was an opportunity for me to help others learn how to better manage the issues I had faced such as overcoming food addictions, “gym-idation”, finding a healthier mind space, coping with anxiety and depression, and finding just a greater sense of peace overall within themselves.

As I said before, depression and everything that comes with it is not not something to joke about, make light of, or worst of all be silenced. Some cases are more crippling than others but each case is still just as important as the other. What I am presenting here is the idea that there is indeed hope and finding that hope is in your control because you yourself can help heal your brain and establish a better sense of well being. Often I felt very alone in my own battles over the years but let me be the first to say that you are never actually alone. If you feel that you are suffering from depression and/or have thoughts of suicide then reach out, get the support you need . It is ok to not be ok. Please, I ask this of you: Give yourself a chance. Read Dr. Illardi’s book yourself, see if anything else there resonates with you. It is ok if it doesn’t, go find something that does. Just know that you can do it.

Exercise did save my life and in turn, yes, I did become a personal trainer with the hope of being able to save others in the same way. I know the idea of getting up and getting started sounds unappealing, but give yourself that fighting chance; it will be worth it. And as a final note, if you find yourself coming into a gym and looking around intimidated and unsure only to experience thoughts that leave you desiring to do nothing more than to turn around and leave: Don’t. You are not alone out there on that gym floor; for almost all of us have an elephant in the gym that we don’t want to talk about. Find a friend to go with or put in headphones and turn on music that inspires and motivates you. Just keep moving forward. And if by chance you walk into a gym where I am a trainer or even just doing my own personal workout, come talk to me, ask me anything you want to know and we will take care of those elephants together.

written by Justin ‘JJ’ Jacobs


If you or anyone you know is experiencing thoughts of self harm/suicide, please reach out to The National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org


If you would like to learn more about Dr. Stephen Ilardi you may visit his page on the University of Kansas website here:

And you can learn more about his book, The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs, by visiting Amazon at the following link: https://www.amazon.com/Depression-Cure-6-Step-Program-without/dp/0738213888

How Vitamin D Reduces Your Stress Hormones This Holiday Season

We hope everyone is safe and well!

With people quarantined away from their loved ones, and life coming to a standstill, they year of the pandemic has taken a severe toll on everyone’s mental and physical health.  The general level of stress and anxiety among the population have sky-rocketed, and self-isolation has not made things any better. However, stress is merely a reaction from your brain triggered by specific events, and managing stress is mostly in our control, albeit it isn’t easy!

What does Vitamin D do Beyond Helping My Bones?

While it is a known fact that sitting in the sun helps your body produce vitamin D, the specific benefits of the vitamin are seldom highlighted. Vitamins, in general, are organic substances that encourage certain reactions in your brain and body. One of these reactions is the production and release of the “happy chemical” serotonin and dopamine.

As far as Vitamin D is concerned, think about how you feel after you spend a day in the sun and how you feel in winters when the sun hasn’t been out for a few days. This contrast of emotions is what explains the subtle relationship between Vitamin D and your mental health.

Studies have shown that Vitamin D is one of the main vitamins that helps your brain cope with stress. On the other hand, stress can hinder your body’s ability to absorb vitamin D, creating a vicious cycle. When your body is under stress, it releases a hormone called cortisol. This hormone is the main culprit behind blocking the receptor called calcitriol, which essentially helps with Vitamin D absorption.

If you’re training for a particular sport and you’re anxious about how well you’re going to perform, you must keep your Vitamin D levels in check. Studies have shown significant improvement in athletic performance as a result of improved Vitamin D levels. Moreover, Vitamin D helps with preventing injuries and as well as healing after an injury. Ask your personal trainer about how you can supplement Vitamin D in your diet to reduce stress and increase focus.

On the other hand, if you’re not a fan of nutritional supplements, there are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle and diet to increase your vitamin D intake naturally.

4 Ways to Get Vitamin D Naturally

  1. Sun Exposure

10 am to 3 pm is the ideal time to be exposing your skin to the sun and letting your body produce its own vitamin D. According to a 2012 study, vitamin D from the sun circulates twice that of vitamin D from food or supplements.

  1. Seafood

The most potent natural source of vitamin D is seafood, especially fatty fish. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100g of salmon provides about 380 IU of vitamin D, which is about 50% of the RDI. The percentage of vitamin D varies among different kinds of seafood. Here are some sustainable seafood options to consume.

  1. Egg Yolks

When you go to the gym or workout at home, egg yolks are an essential item in your diet. The main reason behind this is the high amount of vitamin D.

  1. Dairy Products

Dairy products include Swiss cheese, cottage cheese, cow milk, and even butter. These products are highly recommended for muscle growth and repair because of their high vitamin D levels.


Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that has plenty of benefits for your mental and physical health. However, a surplus of Vitamin D can also be toxic to the human body.  If you have concerns about too much Vitamin D in your system, please call your doctor.  If you know you need more, we can guide you on dietary sources and help provide more exposure to the sunlight at the new OUTDOOR GYM! Our Award winning Personal Trainers are waiting to help you achieve your goals and be the best version of you!

Iron Orr Fitness has a NEW FULL OUTDOOR GYM available to our clients to train safely under Covid-19 shutdowns.  For your complimentary assessment please click here.  Like we mentioned, you can also get a personal trainer and/or specific diet help by clicking here to put you on a more direct path without “trying” to figure your body out with dozens of trial and error months.

If you’re concerned about your cortisol levels and would like to take action, contact us for the best Personal Trainers San Diego NOW!  

Here’s to living your life to its fullest!

We were voted BEST PERSONAL TRAINERS IN SAN DIEGO 2020 by San Diego Business Awards and rated BEST GYM IN SAN DIEGO 2019 by Expertise.  We only hire Elite Certified Personal Trainers in San Diego with varying levels of experience in athletics from the Olympics, Professional, Collegiate, Competitive Power Lifting, to general fitness.


We have a wide range of certified personal trainers that can help any individual at any experience level. We even have a Bachelor of Science degrees in Nutrition on staff for all your dietary needs and advice. CALL or TEXT 858.255.0367 to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation today!

We will do a full fitness assessment!  Covid-19 Safety precautions will be administered.


Your fitness assessment includes:

–            Full body comp assessment

–             20 min low intensity workout

–             Goal Planning

–             Nutrition Planning


Come into the gym or visit our website at www.ironorrfitness.com today!

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A Better Question: “What is Your Stress Level?”

With everything going on in the world, the stress hormone, cortisol, could easily be at high levels in your system.  The problem with cortisol is that when your body is on high alert for too long (most likely, you are not being chased by a lion 24/7), high cortisol levels lead to a number of potentially dangerous health problems, including:

What is Cortisol?

First, let’s see what cortisol is. Cortisol is a stress hormone; it plays an important role when it comes to stress levels in the body.
It’s best known for helping trigger your body’s instinctive “fight-or-flight” response in a crisis, but cortisol also plays an important role in a number of things your body does. For example, it:

  • Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Regulates your blood pressure
  • Increases your blood sugar (glucose)
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward

How to determine if your cortisol levels are high?

How to Decrease Cortisol Levels Naturally?

There are many ways you can decrease cortisol levels naturally. Below are a few ways to decrease cortisol levels.  If you need more help organizing your diet and creating a healthy routine, we have Personal Trainers San Diego with Bachelor of Science in Diet & Nutrition on staff ready to help you. Click here and ask for diet help!

  • Sleep
    • Create a consistent bedtime routine
    • No screen time 30 min before bed
    • Meditate yourself to sleep
  • Recognize stressful thoughts
    • Recognize the stressful thoughts as unwanted and pull yourself out (removed rest of it more emphasis on exercise)
  • Exercising can also help…and we know a little bit about that
  • Diet (click here to get personalized diet guidance)
  • Meditation, mindfulness, and even simple breathing exercises can help a person deal with stress more effectively.
  • Laugh and find JOY!
  • Seek healthy relationships with people…distance yourself from toxic people (even if it’s family, you can love from a distance)

Iron Orr Fitness has a NEW FULL OUTDOOR GYM available to our clients to train safely under Covid-19 shutdowns.  For your complimentary assessment please click here.  Like we mentioned, you can also get a female personal trainer and/or specific diet help by clicking here to put you on a more direct path without “trying” to figure your body out with dozens of trial and error months.

If you’re concerned about your cortisol levels and would like to take action, contact us for the best Personal Trainers San Diego NOW!  

Here’s to living your life to its fullest!

We were voted BEST PERSONAL TRAINERS IN SAN DIEGO 2020 by San Diego Business Awards and rated BEST GYM IN SAN DIEGO 2019 by Expertise.  We only hire Elite Certified Personal Trainers in San Diego with varying levels of experience in athletics from the Olympics, Professional, Collegiate, Competitive Power Lifting, to general fitness.


We have a wide range of certified personal trainers that can help any individual at any experience level. We even have a Bachelor of Science degrees in Nutrition on staff for all your dietary needs and advice. CALL or TXT 858.255.0367 to schedule your COMPLIMENTARY consultation today!

We will do a full fitness assessment with no strings attached!  Covid-19 Safety precautions will be administered.


Your fitness assessment includes:

–            Full body comp assessment

–             20 min low intensity workout

–             Goal Planning

–             Nutrition Planning


Come into the gym or visit our website at www.ironorrfitness.com today!

Logo of Iron Orr Fitness Personal Trainers San Diego

Personal Trainer San Diego Iron Orr Fitness: KO Your Stress Quickly! 😰🥊

Personal Trainer San Diego Iron Orr Fitness – Personal Trainer San Diego – Outdoor Gym San Diego
HIIT Training and Stress Relief

HIIT and How it Benefits Stress Relief

Stressed at home?

Stressed at work?


If the answer to any of the above is yes, well…we know how you feel!!
If you’re a student, have a job, or a stay-at-home parent, it’s almost inevitable that pressure and stress is going to get to you at some point. COVID-19 hasn’t helped in this area.

How you deal with that stress is what makes the difference.
While people feel stress in similar ways, each person’s body reacts to stress in its own unique way.
You might have to figure out an effective way of dealing with your stress according to what works best for you.
However, there is one thing that has proven to be useful for almost everyone; exercise!
It is a known fact that exercise can help relieve anxiety and stress in people of all ages.
When you take part in any physical activity, your body prompts your brain to release endorphins.
These “feel good” hormones help stress management and encourage your mind to organize its thoughts, think clearly, and be more energized. That’s a great thing, right?!!
There are plenty of different types of exercise that can help you cope with stress.

One of them is known as HIIT.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a fast way to get a good workout in. The workout combines high-intensity exercises with short breaks for recovery in order to maximize their effect. The workout’s primary purpose is to help you build endurance and burn calories in a short amount of time. Moreover, HIIT does not have fixed exercise routines, which means your workouts can vary each time you train.

One downside to HIIT training is if you have joint problems, have been sitting a lot, or your muscles are tight, HIIT can be counterproductive. While HIIT is great, we strongly recommend you DO NOT jump right into a HITT training program without the following:

  1.    1.) Learning how to properly foam roll. Foam rolling any knots or adhesions that may have progressed during your “time off” will help with tissue extensibility and mobility; thereby reducing the risk of injury.
  2.    2.) Doing a structured warm-up program that gets your nervous system and body in a state to perform prior to “putting a load” on your body.
  3. Working on proper form and technique to gain knowledge and proper movement patterns with your core lifts prior to doing a ballistic, high velocity workout such as HITT. This is essential and imperative for you not to get injured during a HIIT workout.


Ask Personal Trainer San Diego Iron Orr Fitness  about how to prepare for HIIT workouts successfully, so you can gain the benefits of HIIT without the potential muscle contusions, tightness, extreme soreness, and injuries that can come from going from a de-conditioned state into a HIIT program.

For any questions, please reach out to us.

For Lux Residents, please click here!