Want a better solution? Eat well 85% of the time and allow for treats and splurges.
You’ll be more likely to stick with your plan if you have a bit of wiggle (not jiggle) room!
Now go run!
Looking to reduce your risk of Type II Diabetes?
Research in PLOS Medicine suggests that muscle-strengthening and conditioning activities (resistance exercise, yoga, stretching, toning) is associated with a lower risk of Type II Diabetes. Furthermore, middle-aged women who participate in both moderate to vigorous cardiovascular conditioning and muscle-strengthening activity is associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of Type II Diabetes.
Now go run!
It’s easy to get into a rut. Most of you probably walk the same path, run the same loop, swim the same number of laps in the pool, or hop on the elliptical at the gym,open a magazine and do your 45 minutes. It’s time for a change.
Doing the same workout, while convenient (because you know what to do, how long it will take you and you can kind of zone out) will stop providing the same health benefits. So while we’re in the beginning of summer I want to challenge you to crank up the intensity of your workouts for maximum results.
Step 1: I want you to pick a loop with a big hill or even better, many hills, or add intervals to your elliptical, treadmill or swim (for a sample interval workout click on this link: Interval Workout for Challenge). Your workout should be challenging and something that you cannot do easily or be able to zone out on.
Step 2: Try it out. How do you feel doing it (again, let’s aim for challenging) and time how long it takes you.
Step 3: Do it at least twice per week for the next 30 days. Surprise – it’s a 30-Day Intensity Challenge!!
Step 4: On your last workout in the challenge note how much stronger you are. How much faster you are. How easy that monster hill is now! (Or at least how less monstrous it seems).
This is something everyone of every ability can do. If you stick with it and stay on track you will notice marked improvements. Let me know how you’re doing.
Now go run!
If you are having “challenges” reaching your goals you may need to tweak your approach. Here are 5 very important things that you should do to reach your goals.
You’re on one week, off the next. You eat well for breakfast and then all hell breaks loose the rest of the day. You work out hard for a few days then nothing for a few days or worse, weeks! In order to start seeing results, whether in your fitness or weight loss you must be consistent with your eating and exercising. Think scheduling. Think planning. But above all else, be consistent.
Do the Work
If you don’t put in a hard effort you will not yield any results. When you exercise you should sweat and feel pushed. When you are making healthy food choices, it will take effort to resist the urge to dive into a plate of cookies and opt for the fruit platter. The more effort you put into it, the more you will get out of it. You can’t fake hard work.
You cannot reach your goals by “winging” it. If you can’t stay on task during a 12 or 16-week training plan you may not be able to run the race. Same for weight loss. If you aren’t paying attention to proper nutrition, portion sizes, healthier options or swaps for your favorite comfort foods, you will not lose weight. Having laser-focus doesn’t mean you can’t have a day off. But it does mean that you are fully aware and are able to regroup quickly and get back on track.
Don’t Think – Just Do It
We over-think things and that gets us into trouble. We waffle, waver, pause and ponder. You need to become a walking, talking, Nike-inspired cliche. You don’t think about going for a run, you just roll out of bed, lace up your sneakers and do it. If you are trying to lose weight you have to become good, no, great at saying No. (So I guess here, you just don’t do it). No to samples. No to food pushers. “No, thank you, I’m not hungry”. “No, really, I brought lunch”, etc. Pretty soon, you’ll be doing it without a second thought.
When people ask me if I still run (obviously from people who don’t read my blog) I tell them that I keep running because I don’t ever want to have to start again. The truth is, once you reach your fitness or weight loss goals, your journey is not over. In order to maintain what you’ve fought so hard to achieve, you will need to continue to work at it. Otherwise in a very (very, very) short period of time that 20 pounds will find its’ way back onto your frame or you will be starting your Couch to 5K plan from Day 1.
So if you are frustrated with your progress or if your progress has stalled, I hope these tips will help you find that fire and strength to keep going and get where you want to be!
Now go run!
Our weekly focus point is about garnering support for your new active lifestyle! Courtesy of ACE Fit.
Staying active and fit in a largely sedentary culture takes effort and, at times, may feel like more than you can handle. Even the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts and athletes go through times when they just don’t feel like exercising. Set yourself up for success by creating a personalized support system to help you stay on track.
First, pinpoint the obstacles that sometimes keep you from being active. Examples include long working hours, home responsibilities, procrastination, lack of energy and bad weather. Next, think about the kind of support that would make a difference in getting you up and out the door when hitches happen.
Could your supervisor lighten your workload, so you can leave on time? Could your spouse or partner cook dinner 2-3 times a week, so you can squeeze in a workout? Could you purchase some rainproof outerwear? Sometimes, all it takes is some planning, preparation, and problem-solving to get the job done.
Identify friends, family members, neighbors or co-workers who share your enthusiasm and interest in staying active. Talk about your fitness goals, and ask about theirs. Invite others to join you for a group fitness class, a brisk walk, or a fun run. Exercising with a friend offers both accountability and social fun. And hanging out with an active crowd increases your odds of sticking with your exercise program.
In fact, one study found that people tend to imitate the positive or negative behaviors of others around them. Subjects had a greater level of self-control when surrounded by others with strong self-control and exhibited poor self-control when surrounded by subjects who behaved badly. The effect of role modeling was so strong that even when subjects simply thought about someone with strong or weak self-control, they behaved similarly.
Researchers concluded that self- control, or lack thereof, is contagious. If you’re serious about leading a fitness-focused lifestyle, foster friendships with people who will reinforce your healthy habits.
Tell It Like It Is
One of the most important ways to get support for staying active is simple. Just ask for it! The key is to be specific. Your spouse may believe that nagging you to get up early to go for a run is supportive, but you may feel differently. The people in your life aren’t mind-readers. Chances are, they’d be glad to offer support, if they knew what would be most helpful.
You might not even know what you want. So, give it some thought before you recruit support partners. Write down exactly what you’d like to say and then say it. Review these examples, and jot down a few of your own:
* Would you like to meet me for a 30-minute walk, twice a week?
* If you could watch the kids after work on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I could visit the gym for a workout on the way home.
* It would really help me to check in with someone about my exercise progress once a week. Would you be willing to do that?
Tap Into Everyday Resources
Gather reliable fitness news updates via magazines, books, podcasts, and online portals. Staying up-to-date with fitness research, trends and training tips supports your active lifestyle, helping you cultivate a fitness mindset and keeps your exercise program fresh.
Smartphone apps, online programs and even auto-alerts can help you remember to exercise and track your progress. Your employer may offer discounted gym memberships or personalized health coaching as part of your health benefits package.
Getting fit and staying active can be work at times, but offers priceless rewards. You are not alone. Check around to see what’s available and take advantage of every opportunity to build support for physical activity into your daily life.
Good luck on your journey and let me know what I can do to help!
Now go run!
Pick a meal, but just one
Say you are driving to your destination and you stop at a Waffle House. It’s been ages since you’ve indulged in waffles and would really like them. So have them, with butter and syrup and maybe some bacon.
Then, when lunch and dinner rolls around – go light. Have a bowl of soup, salad, a sandwich or share a lighter entree.
That’s Day 1 in the books. The next day, maybe decide that you’ll eat a lighter breakfast and would like a burger for lunch and for dinner you can eat lighter again. Picking just one meal to splurge on (if you so desire) is a great way to eat foods you may love without going hog wild!
Now since you’ve been eating so well before your trip you may decide that waffles aren’t all they are cracked up to be or that you enjoy the lighter menu options. So don’t force it by eating waffles just because they are there but don’t deny yourself local delicacies because you’re worried it’s too “pointy” or has carbs.
I mean, how sucky would it be to go to Maine and NOT have a lobster roll or blueberry cobbler? Life is meant to be living but you also don’t want to come back 10 pounds heavier from a trip.
You will read this in every diet article in every fitness magazine because it works.
Taking time to pack healthy snacks will help in 2 ways.
1) you can control what you eat instead of relying on the offerings at a 7-11 and
2) keeping the edge off your hunger will help when you sit down to eat.
Remember, letting yourself get too hungry never ends well.
Move your body
Get up and out for at least 15-20 minutes every day on vacation. It can be as simple as a morning walk, jog through the neighborhood or a circuit in your hotel room.
If you are on a driving trip you may be limited to what you can do so lace up those sneakers and walk around the parking lot at a rest stop or even around the hotel complex.
If you’re camping and don’t want to get eaten by bears, plan group hikes or bring your suit and swim like a kid again.
Sure, enjoy your umbrella drinks, wine, beer, or tequila! But drink lots of water as well. While you’re on the airplane, in the car, on the lounge chair at the pool. Your skin will thank you and your digestive system will thank you (we all know how wonky our bodies can be while traveling).
Ok, that’s my 4 tips to stay on track while on vacation. Have fun and send me a postcard.
Now go run!