Sobriety and Squats: How Fitness Can Help You on Your Alcohol-Free Journey with Jesse Carrajat

Episode 164 May 08, 2024 00:50:52
Sobriety and Squats: How Fitness Can Help You on Your Alcohol-Free Journey with Jesse Carrajat
Alcohol Tipping Point
Sobriety and Squats: How Fitness Can Help You on Your Alcohol-Free Journey with Jesse Carrajat

May 08 2024 | 00:50:52


Hosted By

Deb Masner

Show Notes

Other names brainstormed for this podcast episode included Squats Not Shots, Get Fit Not Lit and Sweat not Regret. On the show today is Jesse Carrajat, the founder of Altum Fitness and host of the Live Deep podcast. He is a proud husband and father, veteran, athlete, certified fitness trainer and health coach, and former healthcare executive turned social entrepreneur. He’s here to share how fitness can help you on your sobriety journey, whether you’re sober curious or alcohol free. 

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:01] Speaker A: Welcome to the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. I'm your host, Deb Maisner. I'm a registered nurse, health coach, and alcohol free badass. I have found that there's more than one way to address drinking. If you've ever asked yourself if drinking is taking more than it's giving, or if you found that you're drinking more than usual, you may have reached your own alcohol tipping point. The alcohol tipping point is a podcast for you to find tips, tools, and thoughts to change your drinking. Whether you're ready to quit forever or a week, this is the place for you. You are not stuck, and you can change. Let's get started. Welcome to the show, everybody. Today I have Jesse Karajet. Jesse is the founder of Altam Fitness and the host of the Live Deep podcast. He's a proud husband and father, veteran athlete, certified fitness trainer, and health coach, and former healthcare executive turned social entrepreneur. He is proudly living the alcohol free life and helping others combine fitness and alcohol freedom in ultim fitness. We're going to get more into it, but I just want to send a warm welcome to you, Jesse. [00:01:17] Speaker B: Well, thank you so much. And thank you for having me on the show. It is a honor to be here, especially as a listener of your show. So thank you. [00:01:24] Speaker A: Awesome. Well, can you just give a little background about who you are and what you do? [00:01:31] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's funny, as I was listening to you introduce me, I had written down, you know, how I was going to introduce myself personally and also professionally, but I think you nailed it. You know, veteran, certified health coach, trainer, whatnot. But I think more importantly, I think as far as my identity, husband, father, I'm also, I have my faith. So I'm a Christian and I'm a lifelong, I would say struggler, if that's a word, with alcohol use disorder and also some mental health issues that I've kind of had my whole life, which has caused a major pivot in my life to go into what I'm doing now, which is, yes, founding altum fitness and a podcast called Live deep. [00:02:11] Speaker A: Awesome. Well, congratulations on all that. [00:02:14] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:02:14] Speaker A: So where to begin? How about with your drinking? What was your experience with drinking and then unwinding the habit? [00:02:23] Speaker B: Yeah. So unfortunately for me, I am a very experienced drinker, which is not a good thing for me or for my loved ones as I grew up. But if I try to tell the story concisely, I would say my life, and I'm 39 years old, my drinking, quote unquote, problems can be kind of broken up into two real seasons of my life. The first season would be from the first time I ever touched or drank alcohol, which for me was 13 years old, and the second season, and that would be like my adolescents teenage years, which we can dive into that. And then the second season of drinking problems was different. In the first season, it was all about chasing kind of euphoria, adrenaline, thrill seeking, and just socially, I was a drinker and a self destructive one at that in my later life. The second kind of, like, drinking problems was really when I started using alcohol to cope with. With stress and pressure and underlying issues that were just unaddressed. And that season is very different from the first season, I would say, just to start with the first season, I grew up in New Jersey, and for any listeners that don't know much about New Jersey, or maybe you do, there's a section in New Jersey called the Jersey Shore. And that section of New Jersey is basically a place where people go vacation. It's bars, restaurants, music, especially in the summer. But I was a local kid, and I grew up there, and the culture, the. The priority, the value system is partying. It's just partying. So for me, I. You know, the house I grew up in, irish catholic house, and that means that's the northern drinking culture of Europe. It's. Drinking is the thing that you do. I can remember St. Patty's Day being the biggest holiday. So there was alcohol in my home. There was alcohol in my family, my friends, in my entire environment, my town. So environmentally, I was set up to be exposed to alcohol all the time. And I would say on top of that, I was a very sensitive kid. I was diagnosed with panic disorder when I was just six years old. I had some obsessive compulsive disorder tendencies when I was younger. So I had this predisposition of, like, a highly anxious, sensitive kid. And we know. And, you know, as a practitioner, Deb, that, you know, when. When. You know, when you're born a certain way, when you're ner, your brain is wired a certain way to have a predisposition towards using anything to intoxicate. And when you couple that with exposure, access, environment, culture, all those things, you have a. You have a pretty bad recipe for someone to slip into some. Some bad habits. So my whole life growing up, run ins with the law. I mean, I was arrested. The claim to fame locally, anyways, I was arrested nine times by the time I was 19 years old. All alcohol related self destructive behaviors and things like that. And I'll stop there for a second, but that kind of closed my first season in my life. I can go into details if you want, but it culminated with the DUI and me wanting to just get away and start new. And I joined the Marine Corps at 19 years old after a DUI. My father had passed away from heroin, actually. And that was kind of the closing of a door in my life. My first kind of bad season with alcohol was when I was a teenager. [00:05:53] Speaker A: Thank you for sharing. And I really, I haven't heard people share, like, seasons, but it really makes sense to me. Cause I was thinking about how different my drinking was growing up, and it was very social, at least on my. That was the season of socializing and drinking, and then my later season was coping. [00:06:16] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:06:17] Speaker A: So, yeah, that's an interesting way to think of it. Yeah. [00:06:20] Speaker B: And I've only. This is, like, hindsight thinking, right? Like, when I was a 18 year old kid drinking, running around wild, getting in fights and all those things. I mean, I wasn't questioning why I was using alcohol. It just filled a void in my life. But in hindsight, what I recognize is that that season was about chasing a euphoria or a high. And of course, there was things going on underneath the surface that weren't being addressed. But totally different than what I identify with in my early to mid thirties as to why I was using and why I was using in my early thirties and mid thirties is it was more intentional. Like, I was stressed and pressured and overwhelmed with my corporate career and having a young family, and I was turning to alcohol very deliberately and intentionally, almost as medicine and get rid of the word almost. It was as a medicine. So. And I'll just say one more thing on that. For me, that's why alcohol is so. Was so hard to dislodge from my life, is because it embedded itself in both the, I would say, more of the joyful type experiences, like things like pregaming for concerts, going out to dinner, having fun with friends. So it was being used to enhance experiences, but then it was also being used to kind of dole and minimize painful experiences. So when it got its hold on both of those, it was almost this thing where, like, how the heck do I even do life without this thing? Cause I felt like I needed it on both sides. So it was really tough. [00:07:50] Speaker A: Yeah. I mean, because we're hardwired to move towards pleasure and away from pain in the quickest way possible. And, like, your bo, your brain learns, like, oh, alcohol will do this real quick. [00:08:03] Speaker B: Yeah, sure does. Yeah. And then it. And it becomes, if you're not careful, as you know. You know, it can be become the only source of dopamine that you can actually respond to. And it kind of. You move all those other things out of your life, and you just turn to that because it is, unfortunately, an effective tool, and that's what makes it. That's what makes it so dangerous, as, you know. [00:08:23] Speaker A: Well, walk us back. So 19, you joined the marines and then bring us back to. From 19 to 39? [00:08:33] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm happy to. And I didn't want to go into too many details, but. So, yeah, I went to the marines, and it really. It was exactly what I needed. And first, just for context, every male in my immediate family and even cousins, they all joined the military. So it was always something there. My father was a marine. I did mention he passed away when I was younger, but my stepfather was a marine as well. So for me, I went to college. My father, I mentioned he. He died from heroin. It was actually AIDS. He got sick my freshman year of college. And when he passed away, I was just like, equivalent of, like a rock bottom. So when I got the DUI and when I was just kind of at a place like, where am I going now? I look, my. You know, my. My dad was my true north. He was gone. I just thought, you know what? I'm going to join the marines. I got to turn my life around. I'm not going to sit around my town and just be sorry, but like a nobody, right? So I went to the marines, and frankly, I crushed it. I mean, I showed up. I was motivated. I was driven. I was seeking redemption, seeking identity. And, you know, I joined the marines. I went as a reservist. And what that typically looks like is you do all of your active duty training, and then when you complete that successfully, you go back to your. Wherever you live, you have a base. And for me, that meant going right to school. So I went to Rutgers University in New Jersey. I always had good grades and good test scores, so I can kind of do that. But the issue, Deb. And I'll bring you through to 39. But I never once addressed the underlying root cause of my drinking, or should I say, my. My need to intoxicate because there's other substances that people choose. I never saw a mental health professional. I never actually addressed, like, some of those things that were there. Things like trauma, anxiety. Um, but I did start school. I. Objectively speaking, grade wise, I crushed school. I started my career. I started my career in advertising and started navigating through. But I would say my twenties was fairly typical on paper, like this young man kind of going through college, entry level job. I worked in Manhattan, New York, actually, so we'll flash forward. I continued using alcohol even when I started having kids, and my career continued to advance. And I got to a point in 2023, so last year where it was just this look in the mirror moment. I was still drinking, I was still kind of dragging this thing behind me, and I just looked in the mirror and thought to myself, I can't do this anymore. And there's much more going on internally when a man has that kind of look in the mirror moment. But I just decided, you know, I can't. I can't do this. It's not working for me, it's not going to work for my kids. I've seen alcohol destroy people's lives later on and I just wanted to make a, make a stop and make a change. And for me, I had done many times over, I had done 30 days, 90 days, even longer. Most of it kind of just bootstrapping it. And, you know, I implemented different things into my life that would like, you know, prohibit me from having alcohol, like removing it from my house. But for me, I would say that the first part of that kind of step for me was just writing down and really thinking about strongly, like, why am I drinking and why do I need to stop and just really fixating on that motivation. And for me, it was my children and my legacy and not wanting to honestly repeat, and I almost pains me to talk like this, but repeat my father and my stepfather's mistakes and just carry it on into your later in life and then burning bridges and relationships and all those things. So. And I'm not sure if that answered your question, but it kind of brings you current to where I'm at now. [00:12:14] Speaker A: Yeah, well, I mean, your bigger why and just lining with your values and how you want to show up in this world as a dad, as a man. Yeah, yeah. And then you took a big change from being a healthcare executive and now with ultim fitness. So tell us a little bit about that. [00:12:37] Speaker B: Yeah, sure. So, so ultim fitness ultimate deep, by the way, we can get into what them. It's so. It's Latin for deep, deep waters, which means it's. But I almost started ultim fitness as a side kind of project six years ago, before we had our first daughter. And at the time, what I was seeking to do was, I've always noticed with fitness, people just associate it with sets and reps. They look at the surface level, things they think about physical movement, how do I look better? How do I feel better? And I think we all intuitively know this. Fitness is so much deeper than that. It's the heart. It's the core. It's emotional fitness. It's like, there's no point of looking good if you're not feeling good, and even better, feeling good and doing good in relationships with people. So I always loved the word deep to describe what our goal should be. How do you live healthy, purpose driven lives, something you cannot do if you are addicted and self medicating or using alcohol or anything else as a crutch. So alt and fitness was always out there. But when I had that kind of look in the mirror moment, when I left my corporate healthcare career and I was an executive for a private equity backed company, I was doing well financially and set up to do, you know, pretty big things financially, and I just walked away from it to start Altam fitness, because what I knew and understood is there's. There has to be thousands, if not millions of other people out there living a similar life to me, which is not connected to your core, not living a life that's present and using substances just to. Just to do life. And I know that there's so many people out there that can identify with that. And I thought to myself, what better way? And I took three months off from basically doing anything related to work, but I knew, like, what better. What better initiative for me than to start a company, a fitness company, which I've always had my certifications. I've always been involved with fitness despite my drinking. What better company for me to start than a company that comes alongside anybody that's trying to pursue recovery or pursue a better life, whatever program they're using, and take fitness as a powerful tool to help support and provide a foundation for that goal. So that was kind of the genesis of ultim fitness, and then it was, well, how do I do that? Right? It's like, because that's a pretty lofty, pretty lofty goal. So I started doing research, and one of the things that struck me was people talk about, like, total addressable market, but 41 million Americans are estimated each year to use technology to help overcome alcohol specifically. So people are recognizing they're having an issue, and they're not turning necessarily to some of the more well known programs to help with that. A lot of times, people want to try on their own, very privately, because there's, as you know, struggling with anything. It's very stigmatized. So when I saw that people, like, turn to technology or apps specifically to help them with recovery. I thought there's a great entry point. So decided, take what I know about fitness, and I think most people understand that fitness is a powerful tool for recovery and set out to build a team around me and to build an app and to make an awesome fitness app. But layer over that fitness app, habit change programs, specifically starting with alcohol. So we have the app, and then we have a community where we have habit change programs, including alcohol. And we have other things as well. Gambling, technology, digital media addiction, stuff like that. So I hope I answered your question, but that was kind of the genesis. It's like, I know I want to help people with alcohol. What's a way that. That I could do it that's specific to something that I have to offer? And in that case, it's. It's fitness. And. And using fitness as a tool, I love that. [00:16:29] Speaker A: And I love your. You know, when you're talking about fitness, you're not just talking about physical fitness, but, like, mental fitness. And as you were talking about core, you know, we're thinking our core abdomens, but it's like, core, like your whole heart. [00:16:46] Speaker B: Whole heart. [00:16:47] Speaker A: Spirit, heart. Wow. Okay. So, and the other thing that I love, I love about just. I've heard it said, like, modern recovery, it's just there's so many different ways to change your drinking. And, you know, for a long time, I don't know if you felt this way, but I did. I felt like, oh, there's aa or rehab. And I didn't, you know, feel I couldn't relate to either one. And so it's wonderful to have, like, all these different programs out here, all these different approaches, and do it, like, in a shame free, non judgmental way. [00:17:23] Speaker B: Yeah, I love that. I love that. And since I've entered this kind of, quote unquote space, you know, I've noticed, like, there's so many different ways to do it, right? I mean, and anyone that is seeking to help people, yourself included, has versions of different programs and step by steps to follow, and I love that. And I think the way that we all in this space should kind of treat each other is, look, however someone can get help, whatever it takes is great. It's perfect. I think ultimately, it's going to be a combination of different ways and different things. I think there's some blocking and tackling that any program should. Should include to help someone, especially people in early recovery. Kind of like taking those first steps, which are the hardest, you know, like, thing. Things like, okay, accountability is so powerful. Like, you can't not tell people that you're trying to do this, even if it's one person that you trust or maybe two people. And it's got to be like, real people in your life, not, you know, someone. Like, you have to tell someone that you have this effort. Remove alcohol from your house. You know, we know that distillation and access to alcohol are like the two veins of all of the problems that we see with alcohol today. People in 2024 are just. Are. Have such a hard time with alcohol because it's so accessible, and that wasn't the case even 300 years ago. So, like, remove all the alcohol from your house. Tell someone, yes, incorporate fitness. But my point is, like, there's certain things that I think we all should be advocating for, but outside of that, I just think it's so beautiful that people are kind of, like, developing their own ways to help people. And however someone can be helped, that's the right way for them. Forget the whole aa versus aud thing. It's like, whatever works for you, in my opinion. [00:19:14] Speaker A: Yeah, I agree. I think we need more unity in the recovery space. There's not. There are still people who will. Who will challenge different approaches. Well, but you are here because you're a fitness expert. So let's spend some time talking about fitness, and let's just start with how. How does alcohol sabotage our fitness goals? [00:19:43] Speaker B: So, fundamentally speaking, if you think about it, if you're using alcohol, you're already setting yourself up, so you don't have a consistent foundation that will allow you to stick with a fitness program. I mean, depending on how much you're using, it's more than likely that your energy levels are going to be zapped. You're probably not sleeping well. You could be waking up feeling a little bit hungover. All factors that would prevent you from actually following the program that you're committed to. And the number one most important, and I say this all the time, to people that are considering a fitness program. The number one kind of attribute needs to be adherence. If you're going to choose a program, it's not going to work if you can't stick to it, and you're not going to be able to stick to a program if you're drinking regularly, you're just not energy levels, all of those things are going to be off. But then if you think about physiologically, like, what's happening in your body as you're ingesting alcohol and what it's doing, the first thing is ethanol, right? Which is like the key proponent. It's the key ingredient, if you will, of alcohol that has the effects and also the bad effects on our body. It's slowing your metabolism down. It's going to, over time, you're going to have a hard time keeping off body fat. Or in other words, you're going to gain body fat because your body's going to be a. Your metabolism is slowed down, but then also the after effects of actually consuming the alcohol. Your body's working so hard to basically digest, metabolize and get that out of your body that anything else you're eating, it's not going to pay as much attention to, to put it simply. So you're going to, over time, cumulatively, have a. Have a. Have an issue with how you look and how you feel because of the body fat that you're putting on. Another real issue with alcohol is that you want to have an anabolic body, which means that if you're going to work out, let's just say it's resistance training, you're going to be damaging muscle fibers. And the way that our bodies get stronger is by regrowing and regenerating back muscle fibers that allow us to continue to increase weight or maybe even maintain the weight we're doing. Well, alcohol just completely destroys that process and makes your body so much more inefficient at rebuilding muscle. So, like glucose metabolism, all of these things kind of shut down. When you're. Let's. Let's call alcohol what it is. When you're putting a poison in your body, it's going to shut down. So your metabolism, your ability to regrow muscle, those things are going to be diminished. I mentioned sleep earlier quickly, but I think in 2024, it's great because there's so many great thinkers and fitness influencers and wellness influencers out there that are focusing on sleep. People like Andrew Huberman, Peter Attia. But when specific to fitness, if you're not sleeping consistently and you don't have good sleep hygiene, you're most definitely not going to get the type of sleep that really matters when it comes to regenerative growth and health, and that's your deep sleep and your REM sleep. It is scientifically 100% bulletproof to say that alcohol destroys your sleep. I, for the longest time, wore this really high tech sleep tracker. It's called WHOOP. I don't know if you ever heard of that. W h o o p. I'm not affiliated at all, but whoops showed me it was. It was. It was amazing. When you drink, it could be two drinks to, you know, whatever, low, low abv beers. If you look at your sleep, say three, four, five days in a row, even if it's not as much sleep without alcohol, and then you just have two drinks and you look at your rem sleep and your deep sleep, it's eye opening. It destroys your, your healthy sleep. And, and good sleep is absolutely imperative for a fitness program, both for being energized to do the workout, but then also on the recovery side of things as well. And then just to throw one more out there. And this ties into the sleep. You can see it if you wear a sleep tracker. But your heart health, if you look at things like resting heart rate and a little bit more of a complicated metric, but a really, really exciting and good one to watch, is heart rate variability, which is the simplest way I can explain that, is how flexible is your heart? Like, if you, if you need to run fast, can it move quickly to get there? But then if you're relaxing, can it get back down there? A flexible heart is a healthy heart, and heart rate variability is one way to track that. Alcohol just, it injures your heart, it hurts your heart. Over time, you can get an enlarged heart. Cardiovascular fitness is so important. And if you're drinking alcohol and dosing with, with that type of poison, you're just. Internally, you're just shutting down all of the vital organs and systems that are so imperative to start progressing and growing and getting more healthy and shit. [00:24:24] Speaker A: Yeah, thank you for breaking that down. And I think, like, the important thing to note is it can just be one or two drinks. [00:24:33] Speaker B: It can. [00:24:34] Speaker A: That have this negative effect. And, yeah, I'm really passionate about heart health also, because heart disease is the number one cause of death in the world. Yes, in the world. And for so long, we've been told, like, oh, red wine is good for your health. It's good for heart health. And so it's like, we really need to change that. [00:24:57] Speaker B: What did I hear last week? I forget where I read it, but I think it used to be acceptable. Drinking from a, from a health standpoint was, you know, two drinks a day, which, which equates to 14 over the week. I'm pretty sure that number down is down to, like, four a week. And tube, some people believe so, yeah. And the heart health. Sorry, go ahead. [00:25:19] Speaker A: I was just going to add. And then we'll go back to heart health. But the FDA there and like, the big food pyramid, the american nutrition, whoever does, like, the nutritional guidelines. They're coming out with new guidelines, so it will be interesting. And I think they do it like every, I don't know, five to ten years. So I'm interested to see if they change their alcohol guidelines. [00:25:46] Speaker B: I hope they do. I hope they do, and I hope people start paying attention to that, you know, because I think we're all in this life for the long game. We all want to live long, healthy lives. And I think what you lose sight of in the short term when you're using alcohol is that you could be slowly and surely taking years off your life as you continue to kind of, you know, imbibe. So. But, yeah, and the heart health thing, what's just kind of tough to comprehend is that yet heart disease, some people will develop heart disease outside of drinking and outside of some lifestyle factors. But heart disease can be considered a preventable disease, and it's all about your lifestyle over time, long term. So the fact that it's the number one killer, but also could be the number one preventable killer, it should be a wake up call for people, honestly. [00:26:34] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. I did, like, a really detailed episode about how alcohol affects your heart, and it's pretty amazing. I think it's cool that we have all these, like, gadgets where we can see, we can see, like, just in 30 days, like, oh, look how different my sleep is. Look how, how, you know, your heart rate decreases. People have come off blood pressure medicine. Like, it's been, been pretty amazing. Just by removing alcohol. [00:27:05] Speaker B: Yeah. Nutrition as well. I know that you're passionate about, you know, nutrition is a tool, but, yeah, removing alcohol, sleeping better. I know you're big with mindfulness, you know, implementing some mindfulness practices to reduce stress. I mean, all those things together, powerful tools to have a healthier, longer life. You just gotta get the word out, Deb. We gotta get the word out. [00:27:25] Speaker A: Well, it's good. It's good. We're doing it. Okay, so let's talk about then how. How can we use fitness to just help us stay sober, get sober, promote sobriety, talk us through that. [00:27:39] Speaker B: Yeah. So I think just some hacks, if I'll do it that way, and I'm happy to. I like that you, like, have elaborate things. So where should we start? I think one. One hack that has been really, really helpful for me is to intentionally work out early in the mornings. I know that some people feel more energized late afternoon, maybe early evening. I don't know who feels this way, but some people do it late at night. Good for you if that's you. But for me, outside of like choosing the right fitness plan, and I'm happy to go into that level of detail, but I think work out in the morning because I think most people choose to ingest alcohol in the evening. You know, you have your day drinkers, weekends, things like that. But assuming you're that person, you have a couple of drinks in the evening. A powerful motivator to either not drink at all or maybe early on have one less, right. Two less is to know that you have a date with yourself in the morning to work out. So if you are going to work out and you are going to choose a program, experiment with scheduling in the morning because it's an accountability tool. I think another little hack is it doesn't have to be every time you work out, but consider doing group style fitness, right? You know, you could be on a program where you work out in your home or at a gym, you know, Monday through Friday. But let's just say hypothetically, Saturday mornings, you're either in a class at your gym or you have a group of friends that decide, hey, let's kill two birds with one stones. Let's go for a 60 minutes easy jog. Let's catch up on life, make sure we can still talk the whole time, right? But that's another accountability tool where you're using fitness as a catalyst to hold yourself accountable on a Saturday. By the way, this is exactly what I do Saturday mornings. I invite a different friend every week. We go for a 60 minutes slow jog. For me, as a busy guy, busy dad, it helps me catch up with a friend. But also Friday night, it's just an extra little motivator for me. I got a date with a friend in the morning. I'm going to stick to it. Right, so just two little hacks that you could do with your fitness program. And then I would say for your program itself as it relates to sobriety and a recovery plan, I think I'll stick on the heart theme for a little bit. Make sure that you are not overlooking the importance of cardiovascular health, particularly, and I'll say zone two cardio, which is longer steady state bouts where you're not pushing your heart past, say, 130 beats per minute, something like that. Make sure you're doing that like twice a week in your fitness program. The benefits of longer bouts of cardio are multifold. One heart health, absolutely. But longer bouts of cardio, what you'll find is, and this is both objective and subjective experience for me. I'll hit this place where I'm feeling relaxed. Afterwards, I'm getting what is very, very true to be a dopamine type response where I'm enjoying it, I'm seeing objectively that I can run further and feel more comfortable, and that's motivating for me. You stick with it. So just make sure your program involves both resistance training and cardio. And I mentioned why cardio and I can go into that more. But on the resistance training side of things, I think any program, and particularly for alcohol, and I'll give you reasons why, should have resistance training in it, specific to alcohol, it's, you're going to, it's important that you're getting, you know, satisfaction and excitement and motivation from your fitness program because you are replacing something that was giving you some dopamine or some enjoyment. So to replace a bad habit with a good habit in general is good, but with resistance training, you're going to see weak over weak progress. Assuming you stick with it, which is exciting. It's going to make you kind of adhere to that program. But when you see weights going up, when you see your body changing, when you look in the mirror and start to kind of see progress, it's exciting and it's motivating and it's just another, it's, it's another tool that's going to help you stick with it. So don't, and I'll stop here in a second, but don't kind of like go too hard in the cardio realm of things like don't jump into a marathon if you were relatively inactive and don't go too heavy into the resistance side of things like jumping into crossfit and completely neglecting the cardio. Make sure you have a well balanced program because overall, what you're looking for is consistency and adherence because you are moving away from something that's very hard to move away from. So you want to make sure you're staying motivated and you're staying kind of dialed in. And then of course, over top of that, you work on the other things that are going to help you with alcohol, specifically things like programs, accountability, like we already talked about. [00:32:25] Speaker A: Okay, I have a couple questions. [00:32:27] Speaker B: Sure. [00:32:28] Speaker A: Are there any other benefits to working out in the morning? Like, you know, before, you know, it's like work on an empty stomach, work out, you know, have something to eat beforehand or, you know, can you talk about that? [00:32:42] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's, it's funny, if you ask that question ten years ago, you get a completely different answer. So what I'll do is I'll kind of synthesize all of the latest research. Strength wise, minimal, minimal benefits, whether you're, I mean, minimal, minimal difference, whether you're working out in the morning, late afternoon, evening, do not get caught up in those details unless you are a professional athlete trying to ink out, like these incremental increases in gains, whatever works for you energy wise, that's what you do. Strength wise, you're not going to have a serious drop in, in performance or any of those things. If you work out in the morning on an empty stomach versus the morning with a banana before nutrition, before, just work out and do what works for you. However, when it comes to the kind of, what's becoming an age old debate of empty stomach versus not, if we're talking about cardio, I would strongly suggest if you're going to do cardio and you're going to follow that recommendation, do it in the morning, do it on an empty stomach because you will be burning more fat, assuming you stopped eating the night before, a couple hours before you went to bed. So I would recommend if you're going to do cardio and you're looking for fat loss and you really just kind of want to maximize that session, both during it and after, do cardio on an empty stomach in the morning. Resistance training. Personally, I work out in the morning on an empty stomach, and I see no difference between if I do that or if I work on the afternoon having just had a meal. I see no difference whatsoever. And I'll stand by that. So I think if you're hearing my answer there, it kind of. It kind of doesn't matter. Just do what works for you. [00:34:23] Speaker A: Okay. And then with the cardio and being in zone two, can you give some examples of what that looks like? [00:34:32] Speaker B: Yeah, I can. So, first off, you're, you're working your heart in this case, so I wanted to focus in on that. You want to get your heart to a certain rate and keep it there for a long period of time. It. I don't want to say it doesn't matter, but it kind of doesn't matter how you get it there. So the modalities or the ways that you could do that, I think a really good one for people, especially if they have inclement weather outside, is to hop on a treadmill, put it on an incline. Now, depending on the person, that could be 7%, 8%, 9%, 10%, whatever that looks like, and put it at a speed, it could be 3.5 mph, could be four mines, 3.9. But put it at a speed and a height so that when you're walking and use a heart rate tracker if you can. A lot of treadmills have like handles that you can hold on to. They're pretty reliable. But find that zone two heart rate. For most people it's around like 120 to 130. And just stay there and then just walk for. If you can start with 30 minutes, do that if it's 45. Ideally, most recommendations are you're getting between 90 minutes and 120 minutes per week of zone two cardio. [00:35:38] Speaker A: But I think you're going to say per day. [00:35:41] Speaker B: I'm like, no, no, there are. Trust me, there are people out there that do that. But we're talking minimal. But treadmill is great. I personally go for a slow jog. For me that's, you know, nine minute miles to ten. That's slow. You could jump on a bike. A lot of people love that. Bikes and swimming have minimal interference on your resistance training. You're not going to beat up your joints, you're not going to beat up your knees, your ankles, things like that. But just pick a piece of equipment that allows you to go for increasingly longer bouts. Make sure you're keeping your heart, like really stick to that. Keep your heart in that zone two rate. Get a heart rate monitor. It makes it so much easier. Most people have apple watches. It helps. And just stick to it. [00:36:22] Speaker A: Okay. And then where does walking fall in all of this? [00:36:27] Speaker B: So walking. Here's the thing with walking. I think steps, getting up and staying active all like, not all the time, but as most as you can is. Is super important. Like your overall calorie burn throughout the day. The small portion of it comes from your actual training. A lot of it comes with how active you are. And that means walking. So walking is good physically to do because it is increasing your heart slightly. It isn't helping your cardio health. But I would say the cool thing about walking is, especially if you don't bring your phone or at least if you don't look at your phone is that and you know this it also getting outside, getting outdoors or even having a treadmill in front of a window, that does something for you, I think emotionally and spiritually. So for people that are working from home or even at offices, I would say great hack is if you have a call that you don't have to be on video and you can take it just walking around your block, walking around complex where your office is, or even walking around the building and that probably feels goofy, but walk as much as you can. However, I find it hard to prescribe walking as a, like, primary form of cardio later into fitness journeys. I think early on, some folks are going to find themselves in that zone two range, especially if they're relatively inactive. Just by walking. I mean, that's natural. You're progressing. But I think walking, in my opinion, for most people, should be like a daily goal in addition to your primary fitness program, whatever that looks like. [00:38:00] Speaker A: Okay, well, then that brings me to like you were talking about. For people just starting out, walking might be that cardio for them. So, yeah, if you're someone listening to this and you're like, I'm not doing any of this, Jess, where do I begin? You know, can, what advice do you have for the, the person that just doesn't really do cardio or strength training? [00:38:29] Speaker B: Yeah, that's good. And for them, I, you know, I would speak directly to them and say this. I think heart health is primary. If you're not walking at all, if you're not doing anything cardio wise, if you're not lifting any weights or doing anything like that, start with daily walks. I think that's the best thing that you can do. Choose a goal that's attainable to you. It could be go for a 15 minutes walk four times a week. That could be it. If that feels like that puts you at your max, then that's great. Start there. Increase the walk to 20 minutes four times a week. When you feel ready. When you feel ready. Maybe it's, you know, alternate maybe for that 20 minutes, do like a, as best you can do a five minute jog and then a five minute walk and a five minute jog and a five minute walk. But just slowly build, don't get stagnant and just focus there. The other thing, if someone is relatively inactive that can't be overlooked is flexibility and mobility. So I would say, I mean, you can, you can google, you can go like, you know, introductory stretching routines. And stretching is something you can and should do every day, and it doesn't have to be something that you even set aside time to do. So, like, think about stretching. Are you waiting for your coffee in the morning? What, what's to stop you from picking up your ankle and doing a front hip flexor stretch for 30 seconds each leg as you go? You know, what's to stop you, if you can, to putting your heel up on the couch and just kind of leaning into a hamstring stretch as you're waiting for something or even on a phone call? Point is, and there's different ways to do it. And deb, I can, I can spend hours talking about it, but if you're relatively inactive, focus on minimal cardio type events. And yes, it could be walking and grow and build on it, and focus on flexibility and mobility in every way. Because what you're going to be doing by doing both of those things is setting yourself up to have injury free resistance training in the future. Which is something, regardless of age, that I would strongly advocate for is that people eventually, when they're ready, incorporate resistance training. And that doesn't mean weights and dumbbells and gyms and barbells. Resistance training is just using your muscles to move a weight, a load. It could be your own body weight. Your, you know, gravity is pretty powerful when it comes to that. Things around the house can help with that. But resistance training is so important when it comes to your overall health, your fitness and longevity and bone strength in the future, especially as men and women age into their sixties, seventies, eighties. That answer your question? [00:41:02] Speaker A: Yeah, and I think it's like, good to, you know, there's kind of a range, like good, better, best, you know? So just start where you are and then progress. Yeah. And I just feel like I'm hearing more and more and maybe just seeing more and more about resistance training, and especially for women getting older related to osteoporosis and menopause and just the importance of that. [00:41:31] Speaker B: Yeah, 100%. And I'm feeling like I could give more specificity around, you know, for, especially for, for women. They might be thinking like, man, I know that it's important, but I just don't know where to start. I would say so just to build on the cardio and the flex mobility, if you're going to experiment with like a resistance style training, there's really, like, there's, gosh, there's different ways to structure a program, but most of them come down to these two different kind of versions. When you're talking about resistance training, you have like a full body type program, and people use the word split a lot, but it's basically every time you do resistance training, you know, it could be body weight stuff, things like body weight squats. It could be like, you know, kneeling, pushups, couch dips, things like that. Either you do your whole body together and then take a day off and then do your whole body again and take, that's called a full body type split. Or there are people like myself that break those resistance training sessions up into what's called more like body part or muscle group movements. So examples could be like a upper pushing. Right. So things like my chest, things like my triceps could be upper push pulling motions with, like, your back or even, like, your hamstrings, lower body, upper body. So those. That is context, I would say, for someone starting out, go for two times a week, a full body type resistance program. And I know we don't have the time to break down each, each day and things like that, but I would say start with two days a week, full body. Work out your whole body each time, twice. Layer the cardio on top of that with flexibility as much as you can, and then progress towards three days a week of resistance training. And you could honestly stay there. There's amazing effective three day a week programs that are out there, and we have our own. But three days a week of resistance training is, quote unquote, enough for 90% of the population. The other 10%, people that have very specific goals in fitness or sports and performance and things like that. [00:43:36] Speaker A: Yeah. And I. I kind of mix up my regime, but I love to do YouTube videos because they're free and accessible. I also have been a member of our Y for, like, 24 years, but, you know, there's all kinds of different group classes there. I love to walk. I love to dance. But I am thinking more and more, like, gosh, I should kind of bring it all together or hone it down. Like, I've never done the personal trainer thing or, like, religiously followed a program, but it's got me thinking, like, I should be open. I could be open to this. So tell us about what Altam fitness does. And I know you even have. You have, like, a 30 day program that focuses on being alcohol free. So kind of talk to us about what you do. [00:44:31] Speaker B: Yeah. And I'll first say this, that highly encourage you to get into, like, an overarching program, because I think when you kind of, like, piecemeal things, whatever feels right that day, you know? Right. Well, what you're. That's great. Look, like you said, it's better than nothing, right. But what you're missing is one of the key components of a fitness program. It's a nerdy word here, but it's. It's called progressive overload. All it means is being intentional about building, you know, getting stronger, running longer, tracking things like that. And it's very hard to do that if you're kind of just, like, picking things a la carte from different places. So that's my little. As your new friend. As your new friend, get into a program. But, yeah. So, Alton, fitness. We're a fitness community first and a fitness app second. And of course, as you mentioned, we have the live deep podcast. But what. What Alton fitness is really, as I mentioned earlier, what makes this different is it's an intentional effort to combine fitness and habit change programs. So specifically, I didn't say alcohol, habit change. I said habit change programs. Yes, we're focused on alcohol, but all of them because we recognize is that you can't be fit if you're dragging along this harmful habit. Right? So the fitness app itself, I would honestly put it up there against any fitness app. If you are going to choose an app to help you with your fitness, if you want that structure, we're an option. And in there you have custom programs. Some of them are eight week long, twelve week long, 1620, based on goal and experience level. So we want to cater to as many people as you can. So that kind of hypothetical person who I don't know where to start, I'm not sure what to do. We have one called foundations. It varies, kind of slowly, teaches you all the fundamentals of a program. You get a daily workout, video demonstrations. You can sub in exercises if you're not comfortable and don't understand. And it just kind of walks you through that whole program. So you get the option of choosing programs. But what I think what makes Altam fitness different is that there's a companion community called the tribe where all of the coaches, and it's not just myself, that design those programs that try to cater to everybody. They're in the tribe kind of engaging, interacting, hosting forums, virtual meetups and things like that. But it's primarily there to answer questions. So if you picture someone going in, they're taking a risk. They're saying, I want to try this new program. Let's just say it's their first day. And they're like, geez, I don't know what a lunge is. I'm not sure what it is. They move on. We want to have a space for them to go right into that community and open it up and it's connected to the app and literally find the coach that built the program and say, hey, I'm struggling with this movement. Do you have any ideas for me? One example of what happens in the tribe community. But the other thing, and I think this is the most important, is we have these on demand habit change programs. So one of them is called the AF 30. That's ultim fitness. You might even say alcohol free. The Af 30 alcohol reset. And what that is is considered a course. But it's a guided day by day plan where you learn something, you watch something, you do something, and you just understand two things better every day. What is alcohol and why do I have a problem with it? And I think, more importantly, Deb, like the second part, why? What is it about me that connected to this thing that's hurting my life? So it's science based. It builds, it's week over week. It just teaches you and helps guide you to ask those important questions internally, but gives you education around alcohol that hopefully helps you to understand why you are where you are, but helps you navigate forward to get wherever you want with alcohol. I think, and we were late on this is, Altam is not just about. It's not just for sober people. It's for sober curious. And what is sober curious? Right. People that are exploring their relationship with alcohol. We don't exist to tell people you can't drink, and here's how to get here. We're not on a mountaintop saying, like, get where we are and stay here. That that's not who we are. Who we are is. You're here for a reason. You've recognized that alcohol is having some. Some problems in your life. It's causing problems. How do we help you get wherever you want to go, but maybe even when you get there, you've learned something where your goal itself changes. Maybe you decided, hey, moderation isn't my goal, and I'm going to go all in on this alcohol free thing. But the point there is, and this is backed by the current medical model of alcohol use disorder. Any of us can be on a spectrum. It's just important to move in a healthier place on the spectrum. And that's what Altam fitness wants to do for people while also getting them ridiculously fit and strong and healthier before they met us. So, hey, amen. That's what we're looking to do. [00:49:02] Speaker A: I'm like, preach, Justin, preach. [00:49:06] Speaker B: Amen. Amen. [00:49:07] Speaker A: Wonderful. Okay. That is so great. Well, how can someone find you in Altam fitness? [00:49:14] Speaker B: First, I mean, that's where you can learn about the app. We have a podcast, as I mentioned, and look forward to hopefully having you on our show one day. Man, there's a blog there. We're filling it out. And then I hate to put it like this, but unfortunately, you can also find us on social media. I'm sorry. I'm not a big social media fan, but we were there because everyone's there, and we want to find people there so you can actually, we put out some great content. We just try to inform and bring value to people on social media. So it's, I mean, just look up ultimate fitness. You'll find us pretty much anywhere. [00:49:42] Speaker A: Yeah. And I'll be sure to put the links in the show notes. [00:49:46] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:49:47] Speaker A: Yeah. Well, thank you. You have motivated me. I love what you're doing. Keep on doing the good work. I'm so glad that we got to connect and I would love to be on your podcast and. Yeah, wonderful. Thank you. [00:50:01] Speaker B: Thank you for having me. Very gracious host and it's a pleasure to be here. Deb, thanks a lot. [00:50:07] Speaker A: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the Alcohol Tipping Point podcast. Please share and review the show so you can help other people too. I want you to know I'm always here for you, so please reach out and talk to me on instagram. I'llcohaltip and check out my website,, for free resources and help. No matter where you are on your drinking journey, I want to encourage you to just keep practicing. Keep going. I promise you are not alone and you are worth it. Every day you practice not drinking is a day you can learn from. I hope you can use these tips we talked about for the rest of your week. And until then, talk to you next time.

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