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Food for Thought: Just Push Yourself

First of all, I just want to say it’s… FRIDAY!! What does that mean? It’s the weekend!!

Something I wanted to share with you all is a few thoughts I had last night and this morning. As you probably know by now, I am very into the health and fitness industry. I am a newly Registered Kinesiologist and I am pursuing my certificate to become a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Health Coach. I LOVE motivating people to exercise and eat healthy. I know that seeing someone go from being sedentary to being active and just becoming happier and healthier is why I was put on this earth. I’m almost on an emotional high when I help people become active. Okay, enough about that… I’ll get to my point.

Despite my background and love for exercise and being healthy, I do still have to push myself to do exercise. I know it’s good for me, I know I’ll feel amazing after, but I still feel like I need that push. Last night, after work, I felt so burned out and tired. I even fell asleep for probably 5 minutes (SUPER POWER NAP!!). When I woke up from this SPN, I did not want to exercise. What did I do though? I pictured myself being on the beach… 16 days from yesterday and asked myself… would I be happy and satisfied with the way that I looked currently? The answer was no. Then I pictured myself sticking to my exercise routine and how I’d look… would I be happier with the way I looked then? Much more. Would I feel better after I exercised? Definitely. So, what did I do? Before I could change my mind, I whipped on my workout clothes, put on my running shoes, turned on my workout DVD so I could hear the music in the background while I set up my equipment and went to town. I completed the Tone It Up High Intensity Interval Training DVD2. How did I feel once I completed the workout? Awesome. I’m so glad I did it! I’m so glad I pushed myself to the next level to complete. Losing weight and exercising is not easy. One thought that came across my mind was “I wish there was a fast and easy fix and I didn’t have to go through the rigmarole to reach my goals”. Change is not easy. Doing exercise is not the most comfortable thing in the world, but you wanna know what? It gets easier. The harder you push, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Again, I’ll get to the basic point. Don’t feel like exercising? You are not alone. I’m sure even the professionals will tell you it’s so tempting to lay in bed or sit there and watch tv instead of spending 40 minutes doing High Intensity Interval Training. We are not perfect and don’t expect you to be perfect either. What should you do? Just push yourself that little bit more and you will be so happy you did it. Exercise is for you! It’s your time to do things for yourself — your time to feel better, function more optimally, look better and increase your self esteem. I know I said this once recently but remember the quote: “I totally regret that workout”  said NO ONE EVER!

Have a fantastic weekend, everyone. Push yourself, be yourself…. you can do it!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night... boy was it awesome!

This is the video I was doing with the girls last night… boy was it awesome! Yes, I looked that sweaty and was red-faced.

 

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Good News for Over-Eating in the Holiday Season

Do you overeat during the holidays? I do too. There are just so many good foods that are enjoyed during this time of the year. Some of my favourite: Candy Cane ice cream, mashed potatoes with cream cheese, stuffing and short bread cookies. Apart from the food being so delicious, there is just SO MUCH of it!

I read an article from the New York Times called the Power of a Daily Bout of Exercise (You will see the link for it at the bottom of my blog). This article examines a study published by researchers in Bath England that looked at exercise when you’re over-consuming calories. Here are some key points from the article:

– Participants in the study were told to reduce their physical activity and over consume food for one week (Physical activity was reduced from ~10,000 steps per day to ~4,000)
– Half of the participants were told to exercise for only 45 minutes once per day, moderate intensity and the other half was told to remain sedentary for the whole week

Results:
– Non-Exercise Group: decline in blood sugar control (bad thing), fat cells developed a malicious streak (having a big impact on metabolism)
– Exercise Group: Not similarly afflicted, blood sugar control remained robust and fat cells did not drastically change
– Quote from the article: “Exercise seemed to completely cancel out many of the changes induced by overfeeding and reduced activity,” said Dylan Thompson, a professor of health sciences at the University of Bath and senior author of the study. And where it did not countermand the impacts, he continued, it “softened” them, leaving the exercise group “better off than the nonexercise group,” despite engaging in equivalently insalubrious behavior.
– Quote: “if you are facing a period of overconsumption and inactivity” — also known as the holidays — “a daily bout of exercise will prevent many of the negative changes, at least in the short term,” Dr. Thompson said. Of course, his study involved young, fit men and a relatively prolonged period of exercise. But the findings likely apply, he said, to other groups, like older adults and women, and perhaps to lesser amounts of training. That’s a possibility worth embracing as the pie servings accumulate.

BOTTOM LINE:

This holiday season, spend approximately 45 min each day being active and you will greatly reduce your chances of packing on the pounds. Get up, move around, but still enjoy your holiday goodies.

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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/11/27/the-power-of-a-daily-bout-of-exercise/?_r=1&

Accountability is Key to your Success

Often times while reading my notes, I have found that accountability is key to successfully reaching your healthy goals. What this means is you tell someone, whether it be a family member, friend, coworker or even a health coach, about your goal and they check in with you regularly to see how your goals are coming along. Since you’re having to be accountable, you’re more likely to stick to your goals for many different reasons. It may be because you are embarrassed if you do not reach your goals, maybe you’d be excited to tell someone that you have been achieving your goals or maybe for some other reasons. You can even be held accountable by making a contract with yourself. For example, your contract could state, “I will exercise 3 times per week starting today, November 20th, 2013” or even “I will do one exercise video every night until my vacation”.

I make myself accountable through an exercise group called “Tone It Up”. Tone it Up was created by two personal trainers, Karena and Katrina. K&K have made meal plans, exercise videos and a community where girls can talk to each other, check in by telling others what they were eating that day and writing down their goals. Girls can even ask questions to other girls that are a part of the community. For example, I vowed that I would do one exercise video every night (unless I am able to do a full hour of exercise at the gym or a wellness program) until I go on my vacation. Once I reach my vacation, I will commit to daily walks on the beach and also will want to do some form of activity 3 days of that week.

Make yourself accountable to help you reach success easier. On the days/weeks you don’t reach your goal, it’s okay! Everyone has off days. We can’t be perfect 100% of the time.

The last thing I want to leave you with is this. Someone posted a fun little quote up on their facebook that I wanted to share.

“Wow, I really regret that workout.” – No one ever.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Tone It Up, check out their website here: http://toneitup.com/

Cheap and Easy Ways to do Cardio this Winter!

Winter is coming (boo!) which means the cold weather is coming. Less people are walking outside, which means more of us are sitting on the couch, trying to be warm. Don’t let the cold weather detour you from your goals of living an active life. If you were walking outside because you aren’t a fan of working out in the gym, you don’t have time to travel to the gym and workout or your finances do not allow you to go to the gym, there are many different ways you can be active instead.

There are many different ways to beat the cold, stay indoors and still get a really great exercise in — some are even for free! Here are a list of cardio exercises you can do at home:

1. Run or walk up and down the stairs for 10 minutes at a timeimagesCA6T61J6
2. Jumping jacks
3. Burpees (yeah, yeah… I know… but they are AWESOME for you!)
4. Jumping on a mini trampoline
5. When watching TV, briskly march on the spot on TV commercial breaks
6. Youtube exercise videos (my personal favourites are the Tone it Up videos by Karena and Katrina)
7. Skipping – either with or without a jump rope
8. Running on the spot with high knees
9. Dancing around the house while cleaning/playing with your kids

Remember, you do not have to exercise for an hour at a time in order to reap benefits. Research says that exercising as little as ten minutes at a time can have significant health benefits. Just remember, activities should be moderate to vigorous.

What is moderate and what is vigorous?

Moderate activities: you are able to talk, but you wouldn’t be able to sing
Vigorous activities: you can say more than a few words without pausing for a breath

Want to brace the cold and do some winter activities outside (when the snow gets here, of course)
1. Cross Country SkiingDSC_0026
2. Horseshoeing
3. Downhill skiing
4. Tobogganing (you have to lug your sleigh back up the hill, right?)
5. Skating
6. Building snow forts and throwing snowballs at each other (now, play nice of course)
 
Hope this list helped you figure out some great ways to stay active this winter! What are some of the things you are doing for physical activity? Comment below!
 
Pictures from: http://www.sceniccaves.com/activities/nordic-centre/cross-country-skiing/ and http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/exercises-commercial-breaks-2755.html

25 Essential Fitness Tips to Get you Going this Fall

I read some great tips from Dr. Mercola on how to get yourself active this fall. Here are the 25 tips, but if you want more information, check out the whole blog at http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2013/09/27/25-fitness-tips.aspx.

Exercise-running-in-fall

 

By Dr. Mercola

There’s no need to enter into ‘hibernation mode’ when the weather turns cooler. Fall is the perfect time of year to begin or ramp up your fitness program, and this way, by the time the holidays hit, you won’t be easily sidelined (or fattened up) by all of the festivities.

Getting into your groove now also ensures that when the deep winter chill comes, you’ll be in the right place mentally and physically to continue staying active until spring.

25 Top Fall Fitness Tips

Sneaker Report recently compiled 25 top fitness goals that virtually everyone can take advantage of:

1. Set Goals

Set short simple goals, such as exercising for 20 minutes as soon as you wake up on Mondays. This makes achieving them realistic and allows you to progress to longer-term goals.

2. Make a Motivation Board

Grab a bulletin board, or go digital using Pinterest, and attach a list of your goals, progress photos, inspirational sayings, updates with your accomplishments and more. Place your motivation somewhere prominent – like your bathroom mirror or your office at work — so you’ll see it regularly.

3. Adopt the 3 “C’s”

Commitment, Convenience and Consistency: Adopt these three strategies into your lifestyle to help you stay active and eat right for good.

4. Make It Fun

Mix up your workout by trying out new activities like hip-hop dancing, yoga, kickboxing and Pilates.

5. Plan Ahead

Plan your workouts for the week ahead of time, and also plan your meals so you’re not scrambling for something to eat at the last minute (which often leads to unhealthy choices).

6. Stock Up on Healthy Food

Keep your kitchen well stocked with unprocessed, whole foods that are quick and easy to munch on. Cut-up veggies, lean meats, olive oil, coconut oil and nuts are all great options.

7. Schedule Your Workouts

Schedule your workout sessions into your calendar like you would an important meeting, and don’t miss them. You can also fit activity in throughout your day by walking, standing, climbing stairs and stretching (as opposed to sitting) whenever you get the chance. You just have to place a HIGH PRIORITY on it and schedule your day around the exercise, not the other way around.

8. Grab a Friend

Partnering up with a friend who has similar fitness goals will boost your motivation and your accountability. Plus, it’s more fun to exercise with a partner.

9. Get Outdoors

Get out of the gym and head out to your local park, sidewalk or forest preserve. Take in the changing leaves and scenery while you fit in a great workout.

10. Change It Up

Add variety to your favorite activities, such as swapping your step aerobics class for kickboxing or yoga for a day of strength training.

11. Moderation Is Key

It’s OK to indulge once in a while with your diet, just be sure to keep your goals in mind each day. If you do veer off course, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply make better choices at your next meal or try the 80:20 rule (eating right 80 percent of the time and being more lenient for the other 20).

12. No Gym? No Problem

Many of the best exercises can be done anywhere using just your bodyweight in lieu of equipment. Consider jumping jacks, push ups, squats, crunches and mountain climbers, which you can do in your home, office or hotel room. Workout DVDs and apps for your phone are also widely available.

13. Gear Up

Update your old baggy sweats with some new yoga pants, running shorts or shoes. Looking good makes you feel good and will motivate you to exercise more, and harder.

14. Snack Right

Rather than letting unhealthy snacks sabotage your diet, keep healthy snacks like apples, almonds, whey protein powder, hummus and carrots handy. Focus on what you should be eating, instead of what you shouldn’t.

15. Try Fruit for Dessert

If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a piece of whole fruit provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants without an overload of sugar. A piece of dark chocolate is another healthy treat option.

16. Stay Hydrated

Pure water is essential for healthy metabolism and detoxification, and for warding off dehydration. Try adding sliced cucumbers, lemons and limes to your water for added benefits, like help with indigestion, heartburn, headaches, and preventing water weight gain.

17. Get Proper Sleep

Lack of sleep is strongly linked to weight gain, low energy and fatigue. Without adequate sleep, you’ll have a harder time sticking to your diet and your exercise plan. Get 33 sleep tips here.

18. Workout to Music

Music helps keep you motivated while you exercise, as listening to music while exercising can increase your endurance by 15 percent. Ideally, choose upbeat music; in one study when the music’s tempo slowed, the subjects’ exertion level reduced as well. And when the tempo was increased, their performance followed suit.

19. Track Your Progress

Write down your daily workout details (how long you exercised, how much you lifted) so you can track your progress. There are many useful apps, such as Fitness Builder, if you’d rather do this digitally.

20. Ditch Your Scale

Pay attention to how your clothes fit and how your body feels rather than the number on the scale. If you must monitor your fitness more closely, body fat calipers are one of the most trusted and most accurate ways to measure body fat.

21. Take Time for Recovery

Overdoing exercise is counterproductive and can actually damage your muscle tissue and cause injuries. Give yourself adequate recovery time between workouts and be sure to alternate muscle groups or body parts in your exercise sessions.

22. Grab a Little R&R

If you’ve fallen into a workout rut, take a few days to recharge and regroup. Sometimes, taking a break from your routine can do wonders to renew your motivation.

23. Reward Yourself

When you reach a fitness goal, reward yourself with a massage, an evening out or a new piece of clothing. After all, you worked hard; you deserve it!

24. Don’t Give Up

The greatest goals are achieved one step at a time. Keep persevering one day at a time and you will eventually reach your dreams.

25. It’s All Up to You

You have to make the decision to get fit. When you commit to it, you’re making a contract with yourself. Be the change you want to see in your life!

Sitting is the New Smoking

Ever heard the phrase, “sitting is the new smoking”? Research is finding that being sedentary for long periods of time can be attributed to many chronic diseases. For example, those who spent at least 4 days of their day sitting and watching TV had an 80% increase risk in death from heart disease compared to those who only watched 2 hours of TV. Take every opportunity you can in order to be active. My suggestion? Just get up and moving! Join us on the walking club running every day at 12:30pm.

For some more evidence and facts about the risks associated with sitting for prolonged periods of time, read the rest of the article here:

http://news.discovery.com/human/is-sitting-the-new-smoking-120301.htm

 

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