Holiday Exercise

I know its a bit early for the holiday exercise lecture, but ya know what? The stores are already gearing, the parties are being planned, and the frenzy is just around the corner. Many people dread the holidays because they feel they always put on weight. However, with a bit of pre-planning you can make it through the holidays without too much trouble.   First, look at your schedule. For many people the holidays either become overwhelmingly busy or they become a time to not go out because everyone else is so overwhelmingly busy. If you are in either camp or somewhere in between it is a good idea to take realistic stock of how your life changes during the holiday season now. This will allow you to begin to modify workouts that need it now.

Next, start adding intensity to your workouts now while you’ve got the time. This will allow you to continue to workout for the whole time but pump up the caloric burn while you do so. This allows you to begin to cycle your workouts so the upcoming weeks which have more going on you’ll be able to workout shorter durations saving you time but not sacrificing all you’ve gained.

Finally, remember the 80/20 rule. 80% is going to go as planned and 20% its not. This goes for workouts, party foods, and obligations. So don’t beat yourself up if you show up at the party and they are serving your favorite meatballs drenched in the best sauce ever – I used to cater and this was one of my favorite downfalls during the holidays! The trick is to honor its something you want, have a bit, and if you still have a bit more remember you want the overall picture of your diet and workouts to reflect the 80/20 rule so you might need to make a few changes in the next few days to get back into balance.

Oh – and don’t forget to prioritize your time. Its very possible you don’t need to attend every party, gathering, concert, or whatever you are invited to.

10 Ways to Add More Activity to Your Day

Here are 10 Ways to Add More Activity To Your Day:

1) Park and Walk
2) Take the Stairs
3) Play with your children or other people’s children
4) Walk the dog
5) Take a stretch break every 90 minutes – get up from your desk and do a couple of simple stretches
6) Pace with you are on the phone
7) Carry your own groceries out
8) Make your lunch or break an active one – replace a sedentary meal with an exercise routine and smaller lunch – if you sit down and eat healthy following a workout you might enjoy it more than a long, sedentary, routine eating habit
9) Each time you go to sit down do a squat first – Act like you are going to sit down but when your butt hits the chair stand back up. By the end of the day you’ll have done a whole set!
10) Add some intensity to your house cleaning routines. When picking up around the house add lunges, squats, and rows to your chores. If you are feeling really good add some jumps or run stairs.

Get creative about your movement and watch your energy rise, your sleep get better, and your motivation to move grow!*

*no guarantees, though 🙂

How Do YOU Walk?

Today lets talk about walking. In my opinion it is the best time of the year, spring, renewals, rebirth, growth, what a great time to recommit to your health. An added bonus: being outside. This week lets talk about walking, but lets mix it up.

Today we will just get a feel for your stride and how your movement effects your intensity levels. Then we’ll look at alignment and a walking workout in the next two posts. As always, don’t forget to talk with your health care person before you begin a exercise program. Most of us know the basics, put one foot in front of the other and move. Once you have the feet down you can add arms, and we’ve all seen the arm pumpers, man can they move. There is logic behind their wildly swinging arms. The additional movement gets the whole body involved, and what happens when more of your body moves? You heart rate climbs and the workout becomes more difficult.

Many of us walk everyday, but we don’t give it much thought. Today try something different. Begin with your regular stride. Notice how your body moves. How far apart are your feet with each stride? What do your arms do?  Are they swinging? Are they moving opposite your legs? Are they bent?  Are they extended? How does your back feel? What is your breathing like? Have you opened your chest or collapsed it? Where are your shoulders in relation to your hips, and where do your ears line up over your shoulders? As you answer these questions notice if this feels good or not.Today and tomorrow notice how you walk and how changing your stride, speed, arms, etc all effect your body. Next time, we’ll talk about alignment and working with posture while you walk.

It’s All You When It Comes to Being Healthy

People have all sorts of reasons why they can’t exercise more…or should I say excuses?  Working out doesn’t have to break the bank, take tons of time, or cause you to stress more.  Working out is about priorities and putting yourself behind your efforts.

Working out does not have to cost a dime. Many spend quite a bit on poor food choices, and then complain they have no money to spend on health. How much is your cable bill? What’s it doing for your body? What about your trips to the mall, eating out, the bar – how much are your habits costing you? Are they still worth the extra weight, poor sleep, added stress? See below for ideas.

Working out does not have to take much time. Ever sat through an episode of a TV show only to think it was dumb? Why did you waste your time? How about when you sit through one and because it ended you watch the one right after it? Half of many TV programs are commercials, so even if you like the show, you could do some activities during commercials, or better yet, you could do activity through the whole show! There is a half hour of activity and you did not spend any money or have to find any extra time.

Working out does not have to be a huge change. If you start it will snowball. What about working activity into your life? Quit driving around the parking lot looking for the closest spot – there is your extra half hour of time. Park as far away as you can and walk in. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Walk instead of drive, sometimes it’ll take you less time to walk, than to get in your car, start it up, move it, sit at the stop lights, move through traffic, and find another spot to park. Get wild buy a bike. If you don’t need a parking pass for your car – there is your extra money. (Worried about winter biking, there are many who bike all year long, and I am sure they could help you get started. Not to mention the cool fat tires you’ll get to use.)

It is no one’s responsibility to get you moving. It is no one’s responsibility to make sure you are choosing actions that correspond with your goals, and it is no one’s responsibility to make sure you follow through with your goals – its all you. Make the choice today to be accountable for your actions and in control of your choices and ultimately your health.

Move More Everyday

Movement burns calories, helps you feel stronger, gives you energy, helps you sleep, the list goes on. There are a million reasons why you should move more. Begin by adding more movement into your day everyday and then go from there.

Imagine picking up your grandchildren with out wincing in pain, or walking a whole round of golf. Imagine running after your children on the trail and catching them – not that you wouldn’t let them win. Imagine playing a game of backyard football and not hurting so bad the next day you are confined to the couch. Imagine having the strength to get the milk off the bottom shelf of the refrigerator and reaching up for a glass without worry. Imagine sleeping through the night, or life with less stress. You can do these things and more. You just have to want to move!

Begin by adding in activity all day long – park and walk, run your errands literally, plant a garden, spring clean the house, etc. Then begin adding activity with more intensity. Walk with purpose, add intervals into your regular cardio routine, add strength training (or cardio) if you don’t already do one or the other. It is a good idea to meet with a personal trainer who can help you determine what your exercise routine should look like to reach your fitness goals. (See 5 Reasons to Hire a Trainer from a previous post).

Set your sights on what type of healthy life you’d like to live. Are you looking to add strength, lose weight, gain endurance, reduce stress? Let your vision be your guide to moving more every day!