March 24, 2017

Start your fitness journey TODAY with walking

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Get a pedometer.

How do you know how to improve if you don’t know where you are? Head to your local sporting good store and check out the options. There are many! Basic pedometers display total steps only. However, if you enjoy technology and data, the sky is the limit on functions of advanced pedometers. Sophisticated pedometers track not only total steps, but other aspects of healthy living as well. Both categories of pedometers are reliable and effective.

Wear the pedometer for a solid week, then average your steps.  Taking the average offers a great starting point to building your fitness. Remember, it’s the overall volume of your physical activity that’s important when beginning to prevent physical injury and mental burnout. The Surgeon General recommends logging 10,000 steps each day. Your goal is to increase steps gradually to 10,000 steps a day. As always consult your physician before beginning an exercise program.

Pedometers offer motivation to be active throughout your day. Instant feedback takes the guess workout out of your fitness. Simply put on your pedometer and GO!

 

Your healthiest year yet… By Nicole Bryan

Make 2016 your healthiest year yet…
 
Here’s how to do it:

Adapt a current mindset. While you may have had a traumatizing dodge ball experience in junior high, ask yourself how that is relevant to your current state of fitness? Life is full of experiences, good and not so good. You can see the experience as a blockade or obstacle or as a stepping stone. Ask yourself, are you ready to let go of old unpleasant experiences regarding your health and fitness? If not, what do you need to move forward? Consider consulting a counselor if you’re unsure, joining a club or team for support, or enlisting the aid of a Fitness Professional. Being mentally and emotionally prepared for change is the first step of getting healthy. Physical fitness is merely one aspect of total health. Mental and emotional health and well-being are just as important.

Get a tune up. Just as your car needs a tune up every once in a while, so does your body and overall health. So if you haven’t had blood work done in a few years, do it now. If you have skipped the last few age recommended test, schedule them now. Suffering from aches and pains, irritations, concerns? Go see your doctor and check them off your list. The sooner you deal with whatever is nagging you, the sooner you’ll be on to your healthiest and most fit self.

De-clutter your health-related life. Clear out everything from your toothbrush to old sunscreens to old make-up. Donate your old fitness clothes that are tattered and torn. Spruce up your bedroom (replace old pillows) for a better night sleep. Clean out your fridge and stock with water and healthy foods. If you have old exercise or fitness equipment, for example exercise bands that have been sitting around, a treadmill that isn’t working properly, a stability ball that’s been rolling around the backyard, donate the item, recycle or toss it in the trash. Take this time to inject some fresh energy and clean air into your healthy living.

Stay relevant. Just as there have been advances in the fields of space discovery and engineering, there have been advances in the health and fitness fields as well. Pick one journal to subscribe to (many are free) online to stay up to date on new ideas and practices. Add in a few health websites to your current internet surfing favorites such as www.nih.gov and www.mayoclinic.com. Both are reliable sources of information.

Fitness is merely one aspect of overall health. Take a well-rounded, big picture approach to your healthy living for lasting results and benefits to make 2016 your healthiest year yet!
    

Appreciate your Fitness by Nicole Bryan

Do you appreciate your fitness? You should! You’ve worked hard for it. Appreciate how far you’ve come and how fitness and living healthy has enriched your life. A great way to appreciate your fitness is through giving back. And if you’ve enjoyed good health, it’s important to take a minute and acknowledge that as well. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Encourage a fellow exerciser. Encouraging another exerciser costs nothing and requires no time. Everyone loves positive feedback for their efforts. Offer a few positive words to someone you see working hard every morning at the gym, or someone in your class who’s come a long way or go to a spot on a local race course and cheer on the athletes running or riding by. Your positive words really do matter to others who may be struggling to keep his or her fitness focus. Kind words really do make a difference.

Volunteer for a community event. There are many races in many sports that happen year round. Find one that interests you and ask how you can help. Volunteers help at registration, at the hydration stops and at the finish area, there really is a task for every helping hand. Many race directors also need volunteers for several days prior to the event, so just drop a quick email or phone call and ask!

Register for a race. Consider competing in a race as a victory lap to celebrate all your training and hard workouts mastered. And keep in mind, registering for an organized race doesn’t always have to come with hard core expectations. Racing expectations are set by you. In fact, sometimes racing can simply provide a fun opportunity to get active with others who share our passion for living healthy.

Get active for a cause. Form a team and register to raise funds and participate in an organized event for a cause that’s close to your heart. The process is very simple: recruit your friends, family, co-workers, neighbor’s and sign up! The American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, the Arthritis Foundation, the MS Society, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Team in Training are all worthy causes to consider lending your fitness to, just to name a few.

Plan an adventure outing. Why not plan an outing and invite others to join you? Consider a hike in the front or back country, a day long kayak excursion or maybe a bike ride is more your pace. Try a new physical activity or a great way to challenge your fitness even more. An outdoor adventure is also a great way to celebrate a birthday or other significant milestone. It’s also a great way for your guests to see the town when visiting you. And who knows, you all may even find a new activity to love.

Often we’re so focused on race to our end goal or even on setting the next goal immediately, we forget to take in the view and celebrate our progress as we go. Stop! Look around you and acknowledge how far you’ve come in your fitness journey. Congratulations!

Make TODAY the day you choose fitness!

Don’t put your fitness on hold until spring, make TODAY the day you choose to be healthy and fit! Getting active outdoors all winter long is easy with a little creativity and commitment. Take the opportunity to find a new sport or activity to love. There truly is a type of exercise for every body, every day of the year even with varying weather conditions! Need motivation? Looking for workout ideas? Want feedback on an exercise challenge? 

You’ll find all of this and more at #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) on Twitter. JOIN US to super-charge your workout motivation!

 

Here’s how to join:
Log onto your Twitter account and follow @HealthyWayMag to view the chat questions. Questions for discussion will be posted as Question 1, “Q1″, Question 2, “Q2″ and so on. Join in the conversation by offering your opinion and experience via answers to Question 1 noted as “A1″,  your answer to Question 2 as “A2″ and so on.  Consider our weekly fitness chat as your virtual fitness-club meeting! You’ll chat with others who share your passion for healthy living!

 

Monday December 7, 2015 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat Sponsored by Knuckle Lights:

Great for all outdoor activities from running to hiking to walking your dog! The only light designed to be worn on your hands, at the perfect angle to see your path AND be visible to others. Knuckle Lights are 50% brighter than similarly-priced lights, boast 3 settings including a blinking light, are weatherproof, and have adjustable straps to fit every hand and glove. They are light-weight and easy to carry. Whether your concern is fall prevention, increasing visibility to fellow pedestrians or simply not missing a workout due to the shorter days of winter, Knuckle Lights is there for you. They make a great gift idea, and they offer free shipping to US and Canada! Follow them on Twitter @KnuckleLights.

 

So you’re ready to start an exercise program? By Jennifer Austin

So you want to start an exercise program? Making the decision to get fit doesn’t have to happen on January 1st, and it doesn’t have to happen on a Monday either, you can decide to get fit…today! So, where do you start? Here are your first five 5 steps to getting fit:

Medical clearance to exercise. If it’s been over a year since you’ve done blood work, do it. If it’s been awhile since you’ve been cleared from all your age-appropriate tests, do them. Blood pressure should be checked, as well as reviewing family history with your doctor.

Start moving daily/take breaks. Any kind of moving is good for your mind and healthy for your body. Start carving out scheduled breaks during your day. Walk out to the mail box, walk around the block, play with the kids.

Get a pedometer to find a starting point. How do you know where to begin if you don’t know your base? Wear your pedometer for one week consistently.

Find a professional. Be sure you’re making every minute count by building structure into your workout. Seek direction from a Fitness Professional to for proper instruction as to how the different systems of your body function. He or she can outline exact steps to safe and effective exercise.

Set goals. Grab a pen and paper. Write down a 3-week goal, 6-week goal, and 3-month goal to start. Beside your first goal, write down your action step to take immediately. Build momentum!

Is the Foam Roller for you? By Nicole Bryan

For an investment of just under $25.00 a Foam Roller offers provides many purposes and benefits to the everyday exerciser. Massaging muscles, offering a balance component to workouts, as well as providing an abdominal challenge and stretching are just a few of the uses. You’ll find varying lengths, however a 6 inches in diameter and 3 foot length foam roller is the most versatile for many. Proper body mechanics are important when using the foam roller. This means pay attention to your body position as you’re working on the roller. As always, consult your physician before adding in this or any new component to your exercise regime.

Rolling on the foam roller should not be painful. It’s important to keep the roller moving much like a massage. Roll up and down your muscle only. For example, place the foam roller perpendicular to your body just under your calf or lower leg muscle. Position the roller to be under only one leg at a time. Sit on the floor, stay seated on the floor or for more pressure on your calf muscle, lift your body up on to the roller. Roll up and down your calf muscle about six inches of total movement. Keep the duration of your rolling limited to less than a minute at first.

The foam roller can offer a balance challenge to your workouts. Because of the round shape, your body must work to stabilize the roller. For example, lie on the roller face up lengthwise with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Now move your feet and knees together and place your arms across your chest. Hold for 10 seconds before returning your hands to the floor to help balance.

Adding an abdominal challenge to your workout using the foam roller provides unaccustomed work for your muscles. For example, begin on the floor on your hands and knees. Place the roller under your knees. Pull your belly button up toward your spine, pull your shoulders down. Hold your torso and the roller in place. Now lift your right hand up off the floor and hold for five seconds. Return your right hand to the floor, and lift your left hand up off the floor and hold for five seconds.

Stretching on the foam roller allows gravity to assist your stretch without allowing any compensatory patterns. For example, lie on your back lengthwise on the roller. Keep both knees bent with your feet flat on the floor. Now reach both arms straight out along side your body and roller with your palms up.

Check out this super versatile and multi purposeful piece of exercise equipment next time you are at the gym. Consult a Fitness Professional to outline specifics for you and your workout program. Roll, improve balance, challenge your core and stretch for posture all on one foam roller!

Are you on the right track to fitness? By Nicole Bryan

The complex and multi-faceted experience of living a long-term healthy lifestyle is ongoing. In the journey to wellness there will be accomplishments, setbacks, days of confidence, as well as days of uncertainty. And that’s the way it should be! If we’re not experiencing all of those, maybe all within one week even, then the regime needs reevaluating. Just as other life experiences are all emotionally and physically encompassing, the path to wellness is no different. However, somewhere along the line many of us got the impression that getting healthy is easy. The truth is, making the choice to get fit is easy. The “getting fit” part of getting fit takes sacrifice, effort, and often the daily renewal of commitment to the goal.

Here’s how to know if we’re on the right track with our fitness regime.

Are you experiencing results and progress? Results will most likely not be ongoing in a dramatic capacity in a long term fitness program. The body adapts in stages, and that’s often how we’ll experience results. So if results have temporarily slowed, try some unaccustomed exercise to ramp up results again. If progress has taken a back seat, change your regime entirely.

Do you experience feelings of being unsure and doubt that you’ll be able to stick with it? Uncertainty is part of setting goals that force us to stretch our comfort level to reach them. The goals should be big and far out enough to inspire a feeling of “is this really possible.”

Does your regime require effort? If you’re day dreaming through your workout, or cruising through class on auto-pilot, time to mix it up. Your regime should require taking day in and out action steps.

Do you have to build a strategy and think about how you are going to approach your goal? If you walk into the gym and do the same thing, in the same order, with the same weights, reps and sets without a thought as to how you’re going to approach or complete your regime, time to change approach. Your regime should make it necessary to develop a plan of attack regarding how you are going to get to your goal.

Do you miss your routine when you’re away from it? If you miss how your exercise makes you feel better, miss the energy it brings and satisfaction you experience from completing each workout you’re definitely on the right track.

Is it fun, does it bring you joy? It won’t be all laughs all the time, but more often than not it should be an enjoyable, fun, happy experience. If you’re not smiling even once during the workout, change it!

Is Obstacle Course Racing for you? By Jennifer Austin

Should you consider an Obstacle Course Race?

Pick up just about any race calendar or fitness magazine and you’re sure to read about the latest craze of obstacle course racing. And for good reason, they are challenging, inspiring, and so much fun!

Here’s why you should consider adding an obstacle course race to your fitness schedule:

Total body workout. The multi-dimensional format for races consists of running from obstacle to obstacle. Shorter course races of three to five miles usually include 10+ obstacles which challenge upper body strength, lower body strength, muscle endurance, balance, flexibility and agility. Your approach heading into a race should be, be prepared for anything!

Prep requires cross-training. Instead of focusing on only one activity like training for a marathon, obstacle courses force training in many disciples and athletics. Crossing ladders, swinging across rings, climbing walls, pulling ropes, carrying sandbags all require unique training. Limited only by your imagination.

Super charged motivation. You’ll be racing with 500+ of your new best friends…or new rivals! Many mid-pack racers find they are encouraged by fellow competitors and push harder than they would (or thought they could) otherwise. For many races, the tone is supportive and motivating. Many racers are competing for the first time and accomplishing tasks they never dreamed possible.

Builds life confidence. Whether racing for the podium or for the finish line. During a race you will undoubtedly be faced with a task you never thought you could accomplish. You’ll have to control your mental focus, negotiate your approach, practice positive self-talk, push through physical discomfort, battle fatigue…and you WILL! Through mastering this discipline, you’ll build confidence in your ability to conquer fears, master anxiety and uncertainty. The feeling you’re left with, empowerment! This empowerment will transfer into all areas of your life because you’ll know you’re able to accomplish whatever you set your mind to accomplish.

The element of PLAY! Running, jumping, hopping, crawling, swinging, balancing, throwing are all included in the obstacles you’ll encounter. You’ll feel like a kid again on the playground at school! Not all exercise has to be structured to count toward fitness. Not all reps have to be counted and quantified. You’ll have one approach, GO!

Better your Fitness

Better your Fitness!

Join #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat on Twitter and stay current on top gear, best exercise practices and keys to motivation. Interact with others who are also on their fitness journey. Together we solve challenges and share successes.

Mark your Calendar NOW: Every Monday at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern) #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat on Twitter.
 

It’s easy to join in: Simply log into your Twitter account. Enter #HealthyWayMag to follow the chat feed. Questions for discussion are posed as “Q1″ Question 1, “Q2″ Question 2 and so on. Reply to offer your tips, ideas and experiences by notating your answer as “A1″ to designated your answer to question 1,”A2″ to offer your thoughts on the second question and so on.

 

 

Monday July 13, 2015 #HealthyWayMag Fitness Chat is Sponsored by RecoFit Compression Gear.

If you don’t know about RecoFit Compression Gear, you should! Competitive athletes and fitness-enthusiasts alike have designated RecoFit as their personal training partner. Their technical-fit and uniquely designed gear helps you get more oxygen to your muscles, reduce swelling and delay fatigue. What does that mean for your fitness? Better performance and faster recovery. RecoFit is the only compression gear that cuts their fabric in a cross-grain process for effective compression and no-slip positioning! Check out their product line and experience the RecoFit difference for yourself. Proudly made in the USA! Contact your compression gear experts via Twitter at @Recofit.

How to #Fit30 Minutes of Activity in Your Day by Deb Lowther

How to #Fit30 Minutes of Activity in Your Day

You can #Fit30 minutes of activity into your day.

Think of it as fitting in 30 minutes of ME TIME.

You know staying active is good for you, you know you will feel better after you do something active, and you know it is important to take care of yourself . . . but do you know WHY it is so good for you? How you can #Fit30 minutes in? How to start? Or What you can do to be active?

Why is 30 minutes of Activity Good for You?

Just 30 minutes a day can:
Reduce blood pressure
Lower Type 2 diabetes risk
Protect from heart disease
Reduces risk of stroke
Improve heart, lung and muscle fitness
Build muscle mass
Keep bones strong
Boost energy
Improve breathing
Reduce risk of arthritis
Better sleep
Improve mood
Lower anxiety
Boost memory
Lower dementia
Boost creativity
Feel younger
Boost immune system
Control weight

How to #Fit30 Minutes of Activity in Your Day
Scheduling 30 minutes of me time can be tricky, but if you are determined you can find little nuggets of time to fit in a walk or 15-30 minutes on a yoga mat. How about during kids karate class you go for a walk, eat lunch at your desk and spend your break time walking, taking that coffee meeting outside, climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, turn the afternoon playdate into a stroller walk or jog to the kids soccer game instead of taking the van? Walk before dinner, stroll after kids are in bed or make it a morning habit to stretch before starting your day.

Look for times you are sitting that you could be moving and always have your runners within reach. Even 10 minutes of activity a few times a day works; anything that adds up to 30 minutes of activity a day counts.

How to Start
Just do it.  Start with something easy and accessible like walking or stretching or simple exercises that you can do in the living room. Commit to #Fit30 minutes of activity in your day somewhere – a walk, a set of planks/squats/lunges and push ups or join a gym, a yoga class, a basketball or learn to run group.  You won’t always feel like it, but do it anyways. Your health will thank you. Research says it take 66 days to form a habit and even then you may not want to do it some days!  But do it anyways. Its just 30 minutes.

What You Can Do to be Active
Mix it up! Get in some Cardio, some Strength exercises and some Stretching.

Cardio
Try for three days per week of higher intensity activity that will increase your cardiovascular (aerobic) capacity such as fast walking, jogging, climbing stairs or bicycling. This type of activity can be done indoors at the gym or on treadmills, stair climbers, ellipticals, stationary bikes or outdoors on trails, sidewalks, parks or forest.

Strength Training
Strength training does not have to be extreme weight lifting. Anything that challenges a muscle group through lifting or resistance – triceps, biceps, chest, legs, back or core - is considered strength training. Yoga is excellent for strength as it builds on many of these muscle groups using your own body weight and holding positions for a length of time. Doing a series of push ups will build arm strength, squats or lunges will increase leg strength and plank or sit ups will improve core muscles.

Stretching
Stretching is important as it increases flexibility and helps avoid injury from cardio, strength training and regular daily activities.  When the body is warmed up, such as after a brisk walk, try to stretch muscles used and hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. Yoga is also great for flexibility and for learning new techniques for reaching hard to stretch areas.

Make being active part of your every day routine and #Fit30 minutes either all at once or throughout the day.

Encourage others to join you, and plan weekend family outings. Explore a hiking trail, a waterfall, a set of climbing stairs, a bike path, a new trail, nearby tennis courts, a yoga class, try a strength workout DVD or swim laps at the community pool.

Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 tween daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.  Find more inspiring tips on her website http://www.raisinghealthykids.co, Facebook page and her new column Family on the Run on Erica Ehm’s YummyMummyClub.  Follow Deb on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther and Pinterest.