Thursday, August 26, 2010
It happens to the best of us. Perhaps an injury or personal set-back derailed your exercise efforts. One day you woke up and you just felt like you would serve yourself best by just curling back into bed. Maybe after that you also decided to indulge yourself with comfort foods. Then this “one day” turned into several weeks and now you can’t seem to get yourself back on track. I’ve been there, we’ve all been there, but don’t beat yourself up over this slip. This experience can actually be a good thing.
Getting back on the path to health and fitness can be a wonderful experience. It can be a time for you to evaluate what was not working in your previous routine. Maybe you were bored, or it was too challenging, or you were not seeing the results you desired. Returning to a healthy and active lifestyle can also be an opportunity for you to do some soul searching and spring-cleaning. Maybe it is time to get out of that rut by shaking things up!
1. Change your routine. If you’re a gym rat, maybe you should pepper your workout a few times a week by going outside and walking or running.
2. If you’re a runner or walker, you might want to bring it indoors for some Pilates or weight training.
3. Yoga is a great way to clear the mind while working on flexibility and balance.
4. Love your current exercise routine but are just in a funk? Change the times of day you workout, or upgrade your workout clothes or gear. Freshen it up!
Just remember when you find yourself in these slumps that they do not have to last forever and beating yourself up will only keep you away from a healthy lifestyle longer. Accept that sometimes you are going to stray away from your commitment to fitness so give yourself either a number on the scale that will serve as your reality check, or an amount of time that you won’t allow go by without getting back to your routine. Remember, it is ok to fall off the wagon just as long you are committed to getting back on!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Back to basics!
There is a new trend gathering steam in the health and fitness world that encourages you to keep it simple. This trend delights me because the easier, convenient and economical you make healthy eating and fitness, the more likely you will stick to it for life.
I’d like to share these tips I’ve learned through the years from health and fitness experts that have kept me on track for years!
1. Shop from the perimeter of your grocery store, only going into the center to purchase non-food items. The wisdom here is that you buy fresh foods that are natural and healthier for you. Eating right might cost you a bit more upfront but you will save money by avoiding costly health issues down the road.
2. Move your body. Exercise does not have to take place in a gym. For the cost of a pair of running shoes you can hit the road and walk or run. If you prefer to stay indoors, many shopping malls open their doors early for walkers. Or you can visit your local library and get free DVDs or books on exercises you can do at home.
3. Breath and drink lots of water. These two items are my anti-depressants and stress relieving drugs. While going through Lamaze some 20 years ago, I learned the magic of breathing. It focuses you, it allows you to redirect your attention so you can regain control and it is extremely important to your overall physical health. Breathing is not just for just staying alive, it is a wonderful tool that will serve you both on and off the road! Finally there is hydrating. We all know the importance of drinking and now we’ve learned that your body burns off calories from processing water, making it yet another way it promotes weight loss. For me water is my go-to drink when I’m feeling stressed, helping me to avoid stress eating. It fills me up and gives my body and mind time to decide if I need more food, or just to take a deep breath, hydrate and hit the road!
Friday, August 13, 2010
So you've found the right clothes, and shoe and even the perfect music to motivate you through your workout but before you hit the gym or the road, make sure you have the right fuel to keep your body going.
I came into health and fitness in stages. It was a true evolution of weight loss using caloric reduction followed by exercise. Today I maintain my weight watching my caloric intake and by healthy food choices that not only feed me but fuel me.
Not long ago I was a lot like most people that thought that if the scale said the right number then I was healthy and fit. Soon I began to realize that I was feeling drained through my workouts and tired throughout the day. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to start introducing more effective and efficient foods into my diet. Foods that would sustain me throughout my entire day.
The world wide web has several sites where you can find an easy formula that will tell you what your healthy weight should be based on your height and age and the amounts of foods you should ingest based on your activity level. I armed myself with this information and I stopped eating those easy, on-the-go breakfast bars and I started to eat actual foods like nuts, all grain breads, fresh fruits, lean proteins. Before I knew it, I was still maintaining my ideal weight while feeling energetic. I compromised nothing, except the extra sugars and sodium that came with what I perceived to be healthy and quick food solutions.
The other benefit that came from adopting these new food choices was the overwhelming empowerment I felt. Until this point food was something that either fed me or brought me some form of enjoyment. Now food is a healthy and happy combination of those things but with an added bonus, that I can use it to build a better and healthier me!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Let’s face it, if exercise is not bringing you some form of joy, you will more than likely not engage in it or maintain it. This is probably why most people that stick to a fitness plan enjoy it, or at least, create a routine that makes exercise fun or enjoyable. Here are some wacky ways people inject fun in their routine:
The Musical. Most of us would not dream of starting a workout without our tunes. They pump us up and motivate us. Recently a friend confided to me that she listens to Broadway tunes during her weight training circuit workout and she images herself as the lead in the musical. So as she leaves the house for the gym she announces: “I’m off to the show.” To which her husband will say, “Break a leg!”
The Fitness Guru: My other buddy confessed that she pretends she’s leading the aerobic class that she attends. She says she arrives early to class to secure a spot on the front where she can watch herself in the mirror and can make sure she is using proper form in order to serve as a good example to her ‘class.’
Scavenger Hunt: This is my favorite and probably the most creative. Ben likes to run at very early in the morning so to fight off the boredom he has created a game of Scavenger Hunt that he plays with himself. Prior to heading out on his daily run, he picks five things he must look for and find while on his run. The list will include things like 1)wildlife such as spiders 2)random objects like a sock 3)litter, maybe a soda cup 4)person, be it another runner, bicyclist 5)shiny things like loose change, CDs, etc. This keeps him entertained while keeping him aware of his surroundings.
Myself, I like to just let my thoughts drift with each song that comes on my iPod. Sometimes I'm a rock star, and sometimes I'm designing my island home. (:)