Archive for the ‘Exercise Tips’ Category

Hey all, it’s that time of year again, Happy New Year! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. I thought I’d start off the year right and get one in the books.  Some of you have surely set out on a mission to get healthy, lose weight, and get in shape. This happens every year at this time.  I’m not a big fan of the New Years Resolution but they happen and I’ll deal with it. Although, my business does see a slight increase so it does help the pocketbook, whick I like. 

I’m a firm believer in a lifestyle change to get healthy and in shape. It’s a process that takes time, patience, and alot of consistency.  Making changes doesn’t happen overnight.  If you go into this gauging your success based on a number on the scale, you Will Not Succeed!  You need to develop a passion for your health and fitness.  You don’t necessarily have to like going to the gym or enjoy eating lots of vegetables.  But, if you are passionate about being healthy, then you will incorporate some of these into your daily regimen, every day for the rest of your life.

commitment

So, here a few tips to guide along the way:

  1)     Choose an obtainable goal. To say you are going to look like a super model is not realistic  for most of us, but promising to include more daily physical activity in our lives is very possible.

 2)     Avoid choosing a resolution that you’ve been unsuccessful at achieving year after year. This will only set you up for failure, frustration and disappointment.  If you are still tempted to make a promise that you’ve made before, then try altering it.  For example, instead of stating that you are going to lose 30 pounds, try promising to eat healthier and increase your weekly exercise.

 3)     Create a game plan.  Write a comprehensive plan.  All successful businesses start with a business plan that describes their mission and specifics on how they will achieve it.  Write your own personalized plan and you’ll be more likely to succeed as well.  Make your health your own business that you work on day to day.

 4)     Break it down and make it less intimidating.  Instead of creating one major goal, break it down into smaller pieces.  Setting several smaller achievable goals throughout the year, will help you to reach your main goal. Then, if you aren’t able to reach your final goal, you will have many smaller, but still significant, achievements along the way.  For example, if your goal is to complete a 10K race, your smaller goals could be running a 5K in less than 30 minutes and adding strength training weekly to help with your endurance.

 5)     Get Support for Motivation and Accountability.  Just be sure to set limits so that this doesn’t backfire and become more irritating than helpful.  You want people to help  you but not too pushy.  You just need a little kick in the rear on occasion.  For example, if you resolve to be more positive ask them to gently remind you when you start talking negatively.

 6)     Reward yourself with each milestone. If you’ve stuck with your resolution for 2 months, treat yourself to something special.  But, be careful of your reward type.  If you’ve lost 5 pounds, don’t give yourself a piece of cake as an award.  Instead, treat yourself to a something non-food related, like a pedicure or a massage.

 7)     Get professional assistance.  Everyone needs help and sometimes a friend just isn’t enough. Sometimes you need the help of a trained professional.  By hiring a fitness professional, the chances of injury and burnout will be diminished.  Research studies have shown that assistance from a fitness professional greatly improves peoples success rate.  Just make sure you do your homework and find the most qualified person.  Ask around, get reviews.  Training with a friend also reduces the total cost of the fee.

 8)     Limit your number of promises. You’ll spread yourself too thin trying to make multiple changes in your life.  This will just lead to failure of all of the resolutions.  Stick with what you can attain and don’t make promises you can keep.

Start today and begin to better your health and fitness by making a commitment to yourself to change.  It only takes a few simple steps to make a difference.  Maybe you are stuck in a rut, maybe you have been hitting the fitness thing for awhile and have hit a plateau, whatever the deal just make one change for the better.  This change could be with regards to your nutrition.  A change to your activity level or workout.  Everyone is eligible.  No one person is Perfect!

The change in your diet can be a simple one. You can start with adding a serving of fruit or vegetables to each and every meal and snack.  That is it.  All you have to do is have a half cup of cooked vegetables or a cup of raw or leafy green vegetables or a medium sized piece of fruit.  Another step would be to eat 80% of your meals at home.  That means cooking your meals and not using pre made dinners or take-out meals.  If 80% is more than you are ready for then start with 50% of your meals, or just pack a healthy lunch for work everyday.  Any step, even a small one is a step in the right direction.

Steps to your activity level to becoming fit and strong can be simple too.  If you have not been working out then just make a commitment to walk 10 minutes a day and build from there.  If you cannot make it 10 minutes yet, then do what you can.  If you’ve been walking regulary, challenge yourself to get in a certain number steps each day.  You just have to start somewhere and work towards improving your time or distance.  Maybe you want to get in a workout and going after work is not cutting it.  How about waking up early each day this week and going before work? I bet your body will feel better for it.  Your energy levels will increase. 

Your change doesn’t have to be just diet and fitness.  Find ways to reduce stress, to get more sleep, or even spend time with loved ones.  All of these changes will make your body more healthy and will increase your longevity. 

But, whatever it may be, just choose one this week and challenge yourself.  Then, next week or in a couple weeks, choose another.  Even if you cannot see results right away you can start feeling better about yourself and the body that you are in. A few small changes can lead to big results over time.  Just make manageable changes and stick to them consistently.  If you do that you can start feeling better today.

Happy Monday Everyone!

Stay Focused, Eat Right, and Move

Eating right and getting fit is just not about trying to change your appearance to look and feel good.  Getting healthy is a Full Body transformation that takes time and patience.  Your body is an ever changing machine.  You will come across many obstacles, various bumps in the road.  Stay focused on the matter in hand and continue to be strong toward your final destination.  Make sure you have a plan set in motion.  This plan has to have the ability to adapt to change.  Stick with it.  Make the necessary changes.  And, continue to strive forward to reach your goals.  You can do it!

Research shows that people who are more physically active throughout the day can burn an extra 300 calories per day, over 12 days that can add up to an extra pound of weight loss.  Our bodies were meant to move so don’t become victim of the “sitting disease.”  By just doing a little more throughout your day you can increase the total number of calories you burn.  To accomplish this just reduce the time you spend sitting, while adding calorie burning activities to your day.  Challenge yourself to sit for no longer than an hour at a time even if that means just walking around the office for 2-3 minutes at a time.  This summer wash your own car, mow the lawn, garden or weed, get out at lunch for a brisk walk, take a bike ride, etc.

To be more in tune with how much you are really moving you may want to invest in a pedometer.  First, determine how many steps you are averaging each day.  Then,  set goals for yourself to increase those steps.  You should be getting in at least 10,000 steps a day!

Here’s a sad fact: About half of those who start a new exercise program abandon it within 3-6 months.  The reason is no mystery- people often are lazy.  We can thank technological advances for that.  Modern humans walk less, sleep less, and eat more.  Years ago we had to work for our food via hunting, farming, and/or foraging.  Add cars, computers, and fast food to the mix and people literally don’t even need to move to get what they desire.

So, how do you get lean, get healthy, and have a better quality of life?  Make the choice a Lifestyle change.  Make health and fitness a priority in your life.  Change your habits.  If you see it as, “I need to lose wait before my next vacation”, or “my wedding is 6 months away, am I going to fit into my dress”,  chances are your successes if made will soon be failures.  Conquering the short term will only last for a short time.

I was talking with one of my clients the other day and I was amazed by the story she told me.  Actually, I wasn’t because she has spoken of her family many times over a period of sessions throughout the years.  But, some of her reflections on her past with her family were truly remarkable.  Her dad, who turns 97 in a week or two, just got released from rehab and back into assisted living.  This fellow had fractured his hip and had a total hip replacement within the last 6 months.  He is fully recovered at 96.  Wow! Impressive!  This wasn’t at all a shock to my client.  Maybe he was lucky and was given some high quality genes.  But, my client stated her father once recorded his stretching activity for 3000 days straight.  How about 8 years worth?  That’s commitment.  The same person who was an avid skier into his 70’s and lifted weights into his 80’s until dementia began to set in.  This style of healthy living has been a lifelong priority for my client’s father.  He instilled the same standards for his children, all of which are healthy eaters and very active people. 

Start slow, incorporate daily movement into your day.  Begin to write down a food and activity log.  Determine what changes you can make for the better.  Make a healthy lifestyle a part of your day.  Put it on the to do list.  Mark it on your calendar.  Get other people involved: family, kids, co-workers.  You don’t have to go overboard, just add small changes to your week to develop healthier habits.  Use a macro, long term approach.  This way you won’t burn out in 3-6 months.

Write down your goal for positive affirmation. Put it in present tense, as if it is already real and draw a picture or photograph to make it more powerful.  Pick one goal and write it on 10 sticky notes. Place these around the house, office and car to remind you of your goal and personal strength.  During moments of vulnerability we are prone to negative thoughts and mindless binge eating.

Next steps:  Share your positive affirmation with your accountability partner.  Do one thing, just small thing to help you reach your goal each day.  You can plan it out (if you are a planner) each day on a calendar.  Then you know what to do each day and you’re not scrambling or feeling overwhelmed.

Insulin – a hormone produced in the pancreas regulates the amount of sugar in the blood.  In diabetics, the pancreas produces no insulin at all, too little, or it is defective.  Only about 10% of the people with diabetes are Type I where their bodies do not produce insulin.  The majority of the diabetic population produce too little or the system is defective.  The major function of this hormone is to distribute the broken down food (glucose) to leave the bloodstream and enter the cells of the body for energy.

Obesity is the excess accumulation of fat.  The excess fat is stored in the fat cells (adipose cells), which, collectively make up the adipose tissue.  So, how does this fat get into the fat cells?  The answer is Insulin.  It’s well known that insulin stimulates an enzyme on the surface of the fat cells that moves the fat into the cell.  So, if you produce a lot of insulin, there is going to be large amounts of fats moving into the fat cells.  People always ask about the fat in their diet.  You would assume a lot of fat in your diet would increase your fat storage.  That is not the case.  Take a look at Type I diabetics.  They can have large amounts of fat in their diet and eat ravenously but cannot store fat because their bodies don’t produce insulin.  So, dietary fat, even in enormous amounts, won’t even find the way to the fat cells without insulin.  The opposite holds true for a low amount of insulin.  With it low, insulin’s sibling, glucagon, plays a role in retrieving energy from the fat cells for usage.  Problems arise when this system becomes defective, which most commonly happens when people develop insulin resistance.  Insulin talks, but the cells don’t listen.  In other words, the pancreas keeps producing insulin and the blood levels continue to rise until the cells finally get the message.  But it’s a message that has taken a lot of insulin force to deliver. 

If all the different types of cells developed resistance to insulin at the same rate, we wouldn’t have as much of a problem.  But they don’t. Different cells develop insulin resistance at different rates.  Typically the first cells to become insulin resistant are the liver cells.  The liver cells are continuously producing sugar and dumping it into the blood.  Insulin shuts this process down.  If the insulin level drops to zero, as it does in type I diabetes, the liver dumps a huge load of sugar in the blood causing all the blood sugar problems associated with this disease.  Under normal circumstances, just a little insulin stops the liver cells in their tracks.  But if these cells are resistant to insulin, much more is required to get them the message to turn off the sugar flow.

In most people, the fat cells develop insulin resistance later, which creates the problem.  If insulin levels are high to control the liver’s sugar output, then these elevated insulin levels are sending a strong message to the non-insulin-resistant fat cells.  The message is take this fat and store it.  High insulin not only drives fat into the fat cells, it prevents it from getting out.  Fat is packed into the fat cells and kept there.

Between meals when insulin levels would normally fall, allowing the fat to freely feed all the body’s tissues, insulin remains high in an effort to keep the liver in check.  Fat can’t get out of the fat cells, and the tissues begin to starve.  Even though there is plenty of stored fat, the body can’t get to it because elevated insulin is preventing its release.

Starving tissues send a message to the brain, saying ‘we’re hungry.’  The brain responds by increasing the drive to feed.  We eat, and the carbs we eat are consumed by the cells for immediate energy, and insulin stimulated by the dietary carbohydrate drives the fat into the fat cells where it is trapped with the rest of the fat already there.  The fat cell mass gets larger and larger, and we become obese.

We make too much insulin because we eat too many carbohydrates, especially sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  The key is to stay away from these kinds of foods, increase your amounts of lean proteins, choose healthy fats, and moderately eat fresh fruits and vitamin packed veggies.