Let's Talk About Fitness
Alright guys lets talk about fitness. I feel like exercising is like the diet thing, everyone wants it to be easy and painless, but I’ll be honest with you, it’s not. A lot of people hate it, and I completely understand why because I used to be one of them.
I hated having to find the time in my day to get myself to the gym. It was such an ordeal to change, stretch, exercise, stretch, change, etc. I hated feeling like I had to look cute at the gym (girls will understand this one!) I hated feeling dumb trying to figure out how to use weight machines. The list goes on. I really didn’t like it.
Yet, I would force myself to go because I knew it was good for me. I would get into a cycle where I’d either be really good at going everyday, or I’d be really really bad.
Sometimes I’d branch out, trying exercise classes like cycling and water aerobics, all were much more fun than the gym. But I was still hung up on the time commitment.
When I’m gone all day for school and work I just want to go home at the end of the day. It doesn't help that the sun goes down at 5pm. I want to go home and get in my pjs!
So that has been my life.
I was telling my husband how I’ve been really bad about making it to the gym this semester with my busy schedule. I just couldn’t find the time, or the desire to make time. He was in the exact same situation.
We brainstormed to figure out a better solution to our problem. And after doing our homework we decided we needed a home gym.
And holy cow, it has been the best decision ever.
I actually look forward to coming home and getting on my little exercise bike. I throw on my sweats, turn on my netflix and bike my heart out. I bike while my husband lifts, then we switch. All while enjoying an episode of our favorite show.
It seriously has made such a huge difference. It’s a win-win for us, we spend time together, watch an episode on netflix and challenge each other to see who can bike the furthest distance.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you to go and build a home gym. The point I’m trying to get across is that it’s important to find a way to exercise that works best for you.
I hated going to the gym, so the solution for me was to bring it home. But not only did I bring it home, I had to find something that I enjoyed to do at home. I love to bike so getting a cheap fold up exercise bike for our tiny apartment was my fix.
But like I said before, it took some time to figure out what worked for me and what got me excited to exercise.
Maybe it’s a pilates or Zumba class with your girlfriends, or running with your spouse. Whatever it is, find a way to incorporate it into your routine. Find a way to get excited about it. I promise it will be worth it!
And if you are wanting some guidance, like how much exercise you need each week or where to begin, we’ve got lots of information HERE on our website for you.
That’s the end of my exercise spiel for today. Let me know what unique way you find to fit your exercise in!
Balancing The Holidays
Everyone, and I mean everyone has a hard time being healthy during this time of year, there’s no way around that. We are surrounded by good food everywhere!
I’m not going to lecture you on how to say no to every cookie you come in contact with, that would be cruel. I don’t want you to cut out sweets or any other food that tempts you this season. I say yes to the food! But unfortunately we don’t live in a perfect world where we can eat everything and anything in sight without experiencing some sort of consequence. Ergo, a plan of action is in order.
I was talking to my mom earlier this week and she was telling me how the holidays are the worst time for her health, she works all year to lose weight and then come December she gains it all back. This can be really frustrating, especially since it comes only once a year so you don’t want to miss out on any goodies. However I, like my mom, hate feeling guilty and groggy all season long. Most of the time that 5th cookie isn't worth it and when I’m not exercising, my body is tired and sluggish.
This got me thinking that this year I want to be better.
No diets, nothing that will ruin the joys of the holiday season, but I want to create goals for myself so that I don’t have the “I ate too much” stomach ache all season long. I’m going to make 3 simple goals to keep me on track during this busy time of year. I challenge you to do the same! Whether it’s finding time to exercise for 30 minutes each day before chowing down, limiting yourself to trying just 1 of every cookie rather than 5, or simply maintaining your current weight through the holidays.
You decide what’s best for you!
Here are my holiday goals:
Try to eat a variety of non-cooked and cooked foods. Certain nutrients are enhanced during cooking while others are diminished. Cooking foods also protects us from harmful bacteria. For those foods you aren't cooking, be sure to wash them thoroughly.
As a general rule, try to minimize the amount of time, heat, water and air you expose to vegetables and fruits. Certain nutrients are sensitive to high heat and long cooking times and can seep out of vegetables and fruit into water which are lost by pouring them down the drain. Additionally, once produce is cut or peeled, nutrient breakdown begins to occur. To ensure you’re getting the most nutrients out of your vegetables and fruit follow these healthy cooking practices:
For more Nutrition help click HERE.
Many people believe that food products with the term "Natural" on the label mean they are healthy. Sadly, this is not the case. The term "Natural" doesn't have a legal definition set by the FDA. They say they don't, "[object] to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances."
A recent Consumer Report Survey found that 66% of people think, "...[natural] means a processed food has no artificial ingredients, pesticides, or genetically modified organisms..."
Don't be fooled by food companies who slap "Natural" on a processed food and try to pass it off as a healthy food. Read the nutrition facts and ingredients to find out what's really in the food. And when in doubt, stick with actual "Natural" foods like whole vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains.
Want more nutrition tips? Click HERE
The best way to ensure you are getting the most nutrients possible is to eat vegetables and fruits as close to coming off the vine or branch as possible. So be sure to take advantage of any local, fresh vegetables and fruits in your area!
The longer vegetables and fruits are off the vine or branch the more breakdown of nutrients occur. While buying fresh produce at the grocery store is good, this produce is often picked weeks earlier in another state or country meaning it’s been sitting for weeks of the vine or branch and is constantly losing more and more nutrients. For this reason planting your own produce or buying from a local farmer or farmer’s market is the best way to ensure it’s fresh and has the most nutrients possible.
Fresh then frozen, then dried, canned and juice last
Fresh is best followed by frozen which is actually a great alternative to fresh. This is especially true when a vegetable or fruit is out of season. Because of the way produce is frozen, minimal nutrients are actually lost in the process (make sure there is no added sugar). Dried fruit with no added sugar comes in third followed by dried fruit with added sugar. Next are canned vegetables and fruits because they usually have added sugar and salt. And in last place is juice, which actually counts towards your 10% of unhealthy food. To recap, the hierarchy for vegetables and fruits goes like this: fresh off the branch or vine, then frozen, dried, canned and juice.
Want to learn more about eating healthy? Click HERE.
Should you be avoiding legumes, fruit, dairy, wheat or other grains?
In short, no.
A lot of popular diets today single out one or more particular food groups and demonize them. And they then become the new scapegoat. Whether it’s wheat, dairy, grains, legumes, fruit, fat or something else, these fad diets obsess over one or more foods.
Truthfully, they are misguided. But what’s worse, they are scientifically wrong.
The result? It sends us all barking up the wrong tree and jumping from one fad to the next. But eventually we always end up right back where we started, confused and still unhealthy. For this reason, statistically speaking you are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and beat it, than you are to lose weight and keep it off. Diets don’t work long-term. Repeat after me. Diets don’t work long-term. Any diet can and will work in the short-term, but we've all seen that they don’t last. And the research has shown us this time and time again.
Here at LifestyleHealth12 we have developed plans to help you accomplish your health goals, these are most definitely not a fad diet or quick fix.
We are the ANTI-QUICK FIX.
Our plans don't single out any one food group for the entire population because the collective research doesn’t say to do so. The obvious exception is for those who have a legitimate food allergy or sensitivity to a certain food(s). They would be wise to avoid them. But these people are the exception, not the rule. For the rest of us, yes you can find a study here or there to support any fad diet you want. But in research it's important to look at the collective science. If you want to see the plans we've created, go HERE.
I Choose to be...
Ever talk to yourself when no one's around? We know you have. We all have. Well try something new today. Say these words out loud:
"Today I choose to be ___________!"
Fill in the blank with whatever you want to be for the day. What is it? Sad, pessimistic, ugly, out of energy, a quitter? Or would you rather be happy, optimistic, beautiful, energetic or a winner?
Each day we choose who we will be. Regardless of our circumstances, no one has the power to make you feel or be anything you don't want to be. We're not kidding...literally stop reading for a second, stop and think, and then say out loud:
"Today I choose to be ___________!"
Say it again, two, three, four times...with enthusiasm, till you mean it! Never blame others for the way you feel. Doing so makes you a victim. Life is a choice. Choose to be the master of your own fate and choose to be great, happy, optimistic, beautiful, energetic, and a winner!
10 Minute Body Weight Workout
Let's be honest, we all know we should do "strength training" exercises at least two times a week but most of us don't. Why? Because we don't want to go all the way to the gym and then have to wrestle with some guy twice our size just to use a weight machine or the free weights.
Well we no longer have an excuse!
Because we have a 10 minute strength training program that uses nothing but your body and a chair! That means you do everything in the comfort of your own home. No gym, no stress, just strength training goodness! Check it out.
Do each of the 12 exercises for 45 seconds, then you've got 5 seconds to start the next exercise. No breaks. Just go straight until you're done. That will take you ten minutes to do but you'll hardly notice because you're moving from exercise to exercise so fast you don't get bored. Then take a breather, get a drink of water and start over if you want. Do the circuit as many times as you want, once, twice, three times. If the following exercises are too easy, just swap them out for harder ones (burpees etc.). Then let us know what you think!
Ten minutes a day is all you need to get started! Anyone can find ten minutes...you can do it, we believe in you and know you can. If you haven’t been active in a while and are just starting out it’s important to remember to start small and build with time. It’s as easy as finding something active you enjoy and doing it for a total of 10 minutes each day.
Once 10 minutes seems easy, add on 5 more minutes and then 5 more after that. If you have bad or stiff joints, start with low-impact exercises like walking, biking, swimming, yoga, pilates or an elliptical. And remember, exercise is anything you enjoy that gets your heart rate and breathing up.
You can avoid injury by beginning at a low intensity and then moving up gradually to a medium intensity when you feel ready. Additionally, it’s often wise to consult with your physician before starting a new exercise program.
Click HERE for more exercise tips!
How much sleep do you need?
Sleep experts recommend most adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each day but it’s important to remember that every person is different. Some people can function on less than seven hours of sleep each day while others may need more than nine. Find out how much sleep is right for you. You’ll know you’re getting enough sleep when you stop feeling sleepy during the day.
Be aware that the average sleep cycle is 90-110 minutes long. Because of this, if you allow your body to finish a full sleep cycle before waking, you will awake feeling less groggy and more refreshed. If you need more sleep, begin by adding 15 extra minutes each night until you’ve reached your optimum level.
Sleep needs also differ depending on our age or stage of life. Getting our required amount of sleep often becomes more difficult as we age, but as adults, our sleep needs generally remain the same for the rest of our lives. There are also a few stages of life that are unique in their sleeping patterns, the first being newborns, infants and toddlers. This age group benefits from frequent naps as part of a regular sleeping schedule.
Second, parents should be aware that as children become teenagers, most of them naturally change and become “night owls.” This makes their bodies more prone to staying up and sleeping in later. Despite this change, teenagers still require 9-10 hours of sleep each night.
Third, pregnant women may benefit from additional sleep but often experience difficulty sleeping for understandable reasons. It’s important for pregnant women and their partners to make sleep a priority and find solutions to their specific sleep complications.
Finally, the elderly tend to spend less time in deep sleep and are more easily awakened. Because of this, regularly scheduled naps during the day can be an effective solution for this population. The chart below outlines the average sleep needs for each age or stage of life.
In addition to your specific sleep need it’s likely you’ve also developed a sleep debt that’s been building up over the recent past due to missed sleep.
Click HERE for more sleep tips!
About the Author
LifestyleHealth12 was developed by Rich Millar (MPH, CPT) who received his Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics and his Master’s Degree in Public Health and has over 15 years of experience in nutrition consulting, personal training, health coaching, employee wellness, and Health Care Administration.