Friday, October 29, 2010
After years of fighting the dangerous habit of smoking, my friend sought the help of an addiction specialist. She was surprised that the first suggestion her therapist made was to go home and rearrange her furniture.
This may have surprised her but it did not surprise me. I learned at Weight Watcher’s that in order to change your life, you have to change your surroundings. You must set up your home to motivate, inspire and encourage your health and fitness goals.
When it comes to your kitchen you may think it is just as simple as to empty your fridge and cupboards of all the bad foods. But that is just the beginning. Your home is an influential environment and taking a few of these steps may help you on your path or continued commitment to living a healthy lifestyle.
Once you have brought in your nutritionally sounds foods be sure not to hide them but place them front and center. Make them easy to see and reach. Place fruits on the counter or on the top shelf of your fridge. Put mixed nuts and whole grain chips and crackers in the spot once reserved for your snack foods.
Freshen up your living room in order to reenergize yourself in your home. Get rid of items that are no longer useful to you or your current and future health goals.
If you exercise at home, do a quick inventory of the items you want to keep and discard. Create an area in your home where you will use these items and then neatly store them for quick and easy access. Keep the area fresh and well stocked with a towel, full length mirror and your favorite tunes. As a runner I was always derailed by having to search the house for all of my gear, now I keep all of my running clothes and gear in the guest room which is right next to the front door.
By making your home a partner in your health and fitness goals you set yourself up to succeed daily!
Friday, October 15, 2010
If you thought that all of your diet and fitness routines could be set aside when you reach your golden years, think again!
Researchers are continuously finding the benefits of diet and exercise for people of all ages, especially our aging community. Exercise can decrease the chances of older individuals developing dementia. It also works to keep away stress that can plague an idle mind and body. Older adults can also enjoy better flexibility, balance and even improve their bone density. All things that can dramatically impact the quality of life.
Although the news is encouraging for the future, the time to start an exercise routine is now. By introducing exercise into your life today, you can bring with you a strong body and mind into your advanced years. This discipline and passion can keep your body younger and even reverse some of the signs of aging.
As I age, I am encouraged by the amount of older people I know that are involved in a variety of fitness activities. As a runner I meet lots of participants at races in their 60’s and 70’s, but they are not jogging, they are outrunning a lot of us youngsters! There are also lots of seniors bicycling these days and they are not riding a bike with a bell and basket, they are geared up to the teeth and seriously competing and winning. Tennis, golf and swimming are also very popular with this group of super seniors. Most of them report that they are not just keeping their body fit but also keeping an active social life that is health driven. Rather than only meet for lunch or card games where they find themselves either complaining about their aches and pains, or their kids, they are now involved in more proactive discussions and behavior.
Age and aging brings on a lot of stress. Be it physical or financial. It is for this reason that your best weapon is to bring a healthy and strong body into your senior years so you can enjoy a long and happy life.
Friday, October 8, 2010
We are living during some difficult times. Our nation is in financial flux. Unemployment and foreclosures are affecting us directly or someone we know. It is during these times that we are prone to using comfort food and isolation to cope but now is the time to realize that we must be fit to fight!
The reality is that life is in a constant state of change and evolution and it is for this very reason that we should not allow good or bad times to dictate our commitment to the one constant in our life that we should protect: our health and fitness.
One of the reasons we are terribly stressed during these uncertain times is because we feel as if we have no control over what is happening. Exercise will release endorphins in our bodies that help improve our outlook while also giving us a sense of control and purpose as we take responsibility for our health and fitness.
My mother has lived through her share of good and bad times and the best advice she has given and instilled in me is that no matter what you are going through make an effort to act and live beyond your situation or your pain. It is no wonder that at 88, widowed, and being the last sibling standing out of 11, she still laces up and walks twice a day. She used to walk for an hour a day but when her knees began to hurt her, rather than retreat, she now takes two 30 minutes walks. My friend Jodi has also been a wonderful example by refusing to let a breast cancer diagnosis, followed by a double mastectomy, chemo and radiation derail her fitness. The busy mother of two still makes time to go to the gym and watch what she eats. Like my mother, she understands that once the dark times are over, she will still have her body and health to sustain her.
Remember tough times do not last but tough people do. Stay healthy and fit so you can fight!
Friday, October 1, 2010
Holiday-Proof Your Fitness Plan
The holidays are almost here so now is the time to Holiday-Proof your health and fitness plan!
It happens every year around this time. Your well-intentioned co-workers, family and friends start baking and sharing treats. Someone places a small plate of cookies or brownies in the break room, or your sister stops by with some cupcakes or your friend gifts you with an autumn basket filled with candies and other confections. You nibble here and there and before you know it you’re consuming about an extra 500 calories a day. The other casualty of the holidays is your fitness plan. You find yourself putting your exercise routine on hold while you have to run to the store for gifts, visiting friends and family and attending a variety of holiday parties. Suddenly three months have gone by and you haven’t worked out and are 10 pounds overweight.
That is why now is the time to eliminate the stress caused by the feeling that you do not have the time or discipline to manage your health and fitness during the holidays. Create a plan that works for you and your particular situation. Begin each day by mentally reviewing your allotted daily caloric intake and then make choices throughout the day that honor that, even if it is with foods you do not normally eat. Apply the same strategy to exercise. Make a decision as to what your routine will be for the week. If you must shop or attend parties at night, switch your exercise time to the morning. At our home we have a few strict rules to keep the madness at bay. We designate one day a week where we shop for gifts and we only attend 2 parties a week, limiting our stay to an hour.
The most important thing is to enter into the holidays with the decision not to compromise your health and fitness. If you start planning and practicing with your schedule today, the end of the holiday season will find you healthy, fit and stress free!