August 4, 2020

How to Encourage by Nicole Bryan

Encourage, don’t Discourage

It’s tough to watch someone we care about make poor lifestyle choices. And yet it seems the more we “suggest” how or “recommend” they should get in shape or take their health seriously, the more the power struggle ensues. Here are a few ideas how to encourage a loved one’s healthy living choices.

Lead by example. “Stop nagging me!” Words such as these, we often hear from our spouse upon gently reminding them to head out for their daily walk. Changing our approach to simply lead by example encourages better results. For example: it’s a beautiful day outside, let’s walk to breakfast. The grand kids will be here soon, lets walk to the corner to greet them. Parking is a bit tight, let’s walk from the dry cleaners to the grocery store.

Make it social. Exercise is way more fun if we’re doing it with our friends. Combine getting healthy with social outings and experience less resistance from your significant other. For example: coordinate a coffee-group after the morning gym visit. Schedule a walk and talk visit with long time neighbors who’ve been traveling. Enlist the help of an exercise professional and plan for a small group circuit class along with your favorite music; the small informal fitness format will be less intimidating.

Get inspired. Encouraging friendly competition or goal setting is an instant way to improve motivation for others and ourselves. Register to participate in an event that supports a cause near and dear to your heart. Many communities sponsor walk or athletic events with a local non-profit as the beneficiary. Your spouse will be inspired to head out for daily walks to prep for the event, knowing his/her participation is raising awareness. Encourage others to join you to form a team, or choosing to participate in honor of a loved one will also encourage activity.

Focus outward. Instead of making it about them and their needing to exercise, make it about helping someone else. Offering to walk an ill neighbor’s dog a few days every week or offering to push your friends’ wheelchair around the neighborhood will take the focus away from exercise and the negative connotations many associate with the term. You’ll now be simply focusing on helping your friend or neighbor, and getting healthy at the same time.

Eliminate the punishment. Many of us were raised where physical activity was used as a punishment. For example, not paying attention in gym class- take a lap! Not following directions- 20 pushups! Exercise should make us feel good, which means we should not be wishing for it to end or staring at the clock every minute! Changing the intensity and mode of what we’re doing will instantly change the meaning we associate with it. Nonchalantly suggest one new activity a month “accidentally” until finding enjoyment. Walk a little further, dust off the old bikes in the garage under the pretense of cleaning them up to sell, revisit dancing at the local non-profit gala for example. Look for opportunities to letting exercise into your day randomly and unplanned, without calling it “exercise!” Getting healthier doesn’t always mean wearing certain clothes, having certain gadgets or equipment, having set aside a certain time frame or even being in a certain location; moving our body is moving our body and all moving burns calories and will strengthen our heart and lungs.

Give up the power struggle and use your energy to get healthy. Simply moving is more important than winning an argument after all, right? Be creative, think of outside of the box exercise options and never ever admit that you were up to something!

Workout Burnout By Nicole Bryan

Too much of a good thing?

If some exercise is good, then lots of exercise is better right? Not always. If you’re constantly sore and have muscle pain, you may be over-training.

Television weight-loss programs and professional sports all influence our thinking that we need to push ourselves to exhaustion, to the point of almost passing out or vomiting. The bottom line is exercise should decrease stress in our bodies and minds, not add stress to our lives. Exercise should make us feel good, strong and empowered, not exhausted, sick and sore. True wellness is balanced, sustainable, suitable and appropriate long term adherence to healthy living. Avoid workout burnout by paying attention to the following:

Exercise Volume. There may also be a time when exercising volume builds. For example, training for an event where your running miles are up or total hours spent exercising during the week are rivaling that of your work schedule. Does this mean that all high volume exercise is bad? No, absolutely not! High volume should mean you’re training for an event or competition that is requiring exceptional hours of practice perfecting one mode of exercise. However, you must cycle your volume or else become injured or burn out physically and mentally.

Work in Periods. The key to prevent over training is to work in periods of time or weeks, months or such. Constantly manipulating your work and rest ratio prevents over training. For example, alternating weeks of high intensity workouts with restorative or meditative workouts, or if you’re training for a running event, three weeks building miles, followed by one week of half the miles allows your body to absorb the miles and training. Paying attention to how you’re feeling on a consistent basis is still paramount to safety, effectiveness and sustainability of your health and wellness program. So, how do you know when your work to rest ratio or intensity to rest ratio is out of sync?

If you’re constantly sore or feeling exhausted, it may be time to give your body (and just as importantly, your mind) a break. Have you been catching more colds than usual this year? Have you been suffering from lots of low grade and nagging injuries, pulls and tweaks here and there recently? If you’ve been feeling irritable or even a little depressed that’s not usually the case for your personality, time to reduce intensity, duration or frequency of your workout routine. According to the National Institute of Health, these are all physical and psychological signs of over-training.

Log Workouts! Tracking how you’re feeling is as easy as keeping a log of your workout progress of reps, sets, and weight amount, just simply add a symbol or notation if you’re feeling refreshed, exhausted, energized, drained, etc. If you’re seeing a trend of exhaustion, sickness, injury and fatigue, these are the warning signs that it’s time to re-evaluate your approach. Unfortunately, we’re often programmed to think all workouts have to be 100-percent all out, the highest intensity possible, the most volume your body can take until it’s shaking with borderline injury to be effective, but science (and common sense) tells us that’s not the case. Science also tells us that our body comes back stronger, more powerful and healthier with adequate rest. Be smart and listen to your body. You’ll be healthier and happier for it.

Let’s Chat!

Let’s Chat Fitness!

Find your Fitness Motivation with us on Twitter:

Meet us at #HealthyWayMag on Twitter TOMORROW, Monday January 5th at 5pm(Pacific)/8pm(Eastern)!

 

 

Here’s how it works:

1. Log into Twitter.

2. Use hashtag #HealthyWayMag to follow the chat feed.

3. Interact and chat with other fitness enthusiasts. We pose fitness-related questions for discussion, everyone joins in and offers their thoughts, tips, experience and advice.

4. GET MOTIVATED!

 

Tomorrow, January 5th Fitness Chat is Sponsored by ENERGYbits:

ENERGYbits® is a high protein, low calorie snack gives unlimited energy as it is 100% organic spirulina algae. Spirulina contains as much gram for gram of calcium as milk, as well as containing 5 times more iron than spinach. Easy to carry and convenient to consume before or even during your workout. It’s stomach-friendly and it’s packed with nutrients which means awesome energy for you. Follow them on Twitter via @ENERGYbits

Park Workouts that Work! By Gen Levrant

Park workouts that work!

A park visit can benefit the whole family. Not only is it a great opportunity for fresh air and sunlight (both essential factors of health) but the workout possibilities are endless – and FREE! (Consult your physician before beginning exercise. Perform exercises at your own risk.)

Hill sprints
This is a fantastic cardio workout and excellent example of high intensity interval training (HIIT) Most parks have a hill or steep slope. Start by running to the top as fast as you can. Walk back down slowly to reduce your heart rate. Repeat as many times as you can or set yourself a time to see how many you can complete.

Monkey bars
A great functional training tool, not just for the kids! They enable us to develop strength the way we were designed. Try hanging knee raises (bringing your knees towards chest) or toe raises (keeping your legs straight and lifting them out in front of you) to strengthen your core. Or just try swinging from one bar to the next, seeing how far you can get!

Lunge walks
You don’t necessarily need a park for this, but it’s a great leg toning exercise to do in a large open space. Lunge walk for as far as you can, going uphill to make it more challenging.

Ladder press/pull
If you struggle with press ups, the slide’s ladder rungs are a great progression tool! As they get easier, go one rung lower until you can fully press up from the floor. Lat pull ups can also be done standing on the ‘wrong’ side of the ladder and pulling yourself up towards it.

Gen Levrant
FASTER Personal Training Southampton
http://www.ptgen.co.uk

Are you on a Fitness Plateau?

Get Fit Quick Tip

Change it up! If your workout results have slowed, you may be on a fitness plateau. A fitness plateau simply means your body has adapted to your current workout. Mix up your routine by: change the number of sets, change the number of reps, or change out a specific exercise.

 

Check back often for our Get Fit Quick Tip. A fitness and healthy lifestyle tip that you’ll easily remember and be able to implement the very same day.

Walk your way to fitness! By Nicole Bryan

Walking for fitness is one of the simplest activities from which we can reap worthwhile metabolic benefits, as well as cardiovascular benefits.

Begin with a five to ten minute warm up of walking at a slow to moderate pace, followed by fast paced walking. Important points regarding walking for fitness form include:

 

Focus on walking heel to toe, instead of landing with a flat foot. Doing so reduces our chance of falling and allows us to use our calf muscles easier to power our body forward.

Stride out. Try to cover at least twelve inches with each stride. Also pay attention to keep right foot stride and left foot stride even.

Keep feet parallel. Keeping our feet parallel will insure lower body musculature is able to work at full power.

Knees should be pointing forward. Pay attention to not twist knees in, out or sideways.

Keep hips facing forward. To walk more efficiently don’t rotate the pelvis with each step. Instead focus on swinging legs in a forward direction.

Belly button should be held in tight. Pulling the belly button in tight should be done without holding the breath. Doing so, helps us maintain proper upright posture.

Keep hands open. Clenching our fists will only waste energy and cause us to raise our shoulders up adding tension to our neck.

Pull shoulders down and back. Pinching our shoulder blades together slightly will force our shoulders into a back and down position.

Power arms forward or back. Keeping our arms moving forward and band, not in a side to side motion is the most efficient method to maintain a fast walking pace.

Chin should be parallel to the floor. Keeping our chin parallel to the floor, instead of tilted up will ease neck tension and allow our arms to move forward and back easier.

Head should be lifted with eyes looking straight ahead. When we are looking down the entire time, the tendency is to hunch our shoulders forward and curl our back forward as well. Both of these posture positions can add strain to our lower back and neck.

Motivated Yet?

Are YOU motivated yet? Keep enthusiasm going all year long with support from your Twitter fitness community!

JOIN US every Monday at 5pmP/8pmE for our Motivational-Monday Live Fitness Chat on Twitter! You’ll pick up fitness tips, workout ideas and healthy living inspiration. Follow us on Twitter @HealthyWayMag and follow our chat via #HealthyWayMag.

 

THANK YOU to our New Year’s Chat Series Sponsors for helping us launch 2014 healthy and fit! Check them out to learn how they can make your fitness better, more effective and more fun:

Coeur Sports. Coeur Sports boasts women’s endurance apparel that brings fashion to your fitness. After all, who doesn’t want a little style with their speed? Follow them on Twitter @coeursports. Check them out to see their stylish clothing that withstands long-distance, high-mileage training and racing.

Knuckle Lights. Your fitness does not have to wait until spring. Be safe this winter and be visible while outdoors exercising! Whether you’re exercising on a track, on a path or on the road, lighting your way is important for fall prevention and to be visible to other athletes and vehicles. Knuckle Lights is the first and only light designed to be worn on your hands. Follow them on Twitter @KnuckleLights.

RunnerBox. RunnerBox offers you the opportunity to sample top fitness, running and triathlon products just like the Pro’s (without having to train like one.) Each month you’ll receive a mini shoe-box full of products chosen just for you; you’ll find nutrition, gear, gadgets, just to name a few. Follow them on Twitter for a preview of upcoming products and discounts. Find them on Twitter @runnerbox.

Running on the Wall. Instead of stuffing your hard earned race medals in a drawer to get them out of the way, show them off! Seeing your medals will provide visual reinforcement of your workout and training efforts. Running on the Wall offers wooden wall race bibs display and medals displays. Follow them on Twitter, @Gift4Runners.

All3Sports. All3Sports is your triathlon training and racing solution! You’ll find everything the sport of triathlon requires including apparel, bikes and wetsuits. You’ll also find everything needed for the independent sports of Running, Swimming and Cycling. With one click to their website you’ll enjoy top products complete with professional knowledge and excellent customer service. Follow them on Twitter via @all3sportscom.

Active Accessories. Accessorize your fitness! From hair bands to small pouches for your keys and cell phone, they offer all the workout gear you need. Their products also make great gifts for fitness enthusiasts of every level. Check them out on Twitter @Active_Products.

Shaping Her Esteem. Shaping Her Esteem (SHE) promotes the participation of girls in physical activity to increase their health and wellbeing. They share nutrition tips, motivational videos and facilitate boot camps for young girls. Shaping Her Esteem is looking for girls between 8-16 who would love to write about her experiences in sport/dance, and to share positive experiences in physical activity! Follow them on Twitter for more info @ShapeHerEsteem.

RecoFit. Discover the RecoFit Compression Gear difference for yourself! Their technical-fit and uniquely designed gear helps you get more oxygen to your muscles, reduce swelling and delay fatigue. RecoFit is the only compression gear that cuts their fabric in a cross-grain process; this means effective compression and no-slip positioning! Founded by an athlete, tested on athletes, but made for everyone! Contact your compression experts via @RecoFit on Twitter.

Stick to your Healthy Lifestyle by Helen Agresti, R.D.

How to stick with your Healthy Lifestyle

 

Focus your attention in 3 major areas:

 

1. Work your body!  Schedule 3-5 days of exercise each week.  If you typically hit a plateau or experience boredom a month or two into the New Year, the next few tips will serve you well.

Instead of a mid-week rest day, add in a stretching or yoga class to your routine.  Keep your fitness momentum going while also allowing sufficient rest and recovery for your muscles. Consider including restorative-type exercise into your routine.

Try something new.  Whether it’s a personal training session or a spin class, surprise your body and metabolism with a completely different type of workout.

Be accountable.  Pair up with a friend or family member.  Studies have shown that we are more apt to stick to our workout routines if we have a set time and place to meet someone.  Having a workout buddy to lift your spirits on those days you don’t feel like exercising is an essential motivator.

2. Prepare ahead for the mid-day slump.  Pack wisely for those times of the day when your healthy eating habits are challenged (typically between 3pm and 5pm.) Have a healthy snack packed for that time of the day when you feel like attacking the nearest vending machine or MacDonald’s drive-thru.  Cheese and crackers, sugar snap peas and hummus, and lightly salted pistachios are healthy mid-day snacks and travel well.

3. Reach for the fabulous 5.  Five servings of fruits and vegetables throughout the day will keep you looking younger and feeling more energized.  The beauty of theses colorful super foods is that they rotate their deliciousness throughout the 4 seasons.  Take advantage of their power packed nutrients by spreading 5 or more servings among breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  Make this nutrition goal for yourself and your family: try one new fruit or vegetable every week by incorporating it into a meal or snack.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti and on the web www.pronutritionconsulting.com

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary? By Sarah Johnson

If you’ve recently joined a gym or enlisted the guidance of a Fitness Professional, you may be asked to provide a Medical Clearance to Exercise.

Medical Clearance to Exercise: Necessary or Waste of Time?
 

Is medical clearance to exercise really important?
Yes. Safety is top priority. We want you to get in a great workout, and we want to be sure you’re doing it in a safe manner.

How to obtain medical clearance to exercise? Getting medical approval prior to starting an exercise program shouldn’t be difficult.  Your Fitness Professional should hand you a form for your physician to review and sign. Call your doctors office and simply request that your physician review and email/fax/mail in your facility’s clearance form. Once it’s received and discussed with your Fitness Professional, you can usually begin your workout immediately.

What if you don’t have a regular doctor to review the form? Ask your friends for the name of their doctor. Having a doctor who is familiar with your health history is of benefit to everyone. Make an appointment and proceed from there.

WHY is medical clearance important? Exercise should be enjoyable and effective. There are many medical issues that may affect the type, duration or intensity of exercise you should be performing: high blood pressure, heart rate limitations, bone or joint injuries and others. You may not even be aware of your medical conditions until consulting with your doctor. It is very important that your fitness instructor or gym facility knows that you may have some restrictions before beginning an exercise program because:
A) we don’t want you to get hurt or further injured.
B) you may not be able to reach your goals as quickly or effectively without some modifications due to your considerations.

Once medical clearance has been accepted, you’ll be on your journey to better health!

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

There’s ALWAYS Time for Exercise! By Tera Busker

Time Saving Workout Tricks

Have you ever planned on getting in a great workout, but you have to skip the gym because you just don’t have the time? We are all running late, in a hurry or have something else that we need to be doing but that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo your workout. You just have to make the most of the time you have.

Time your Rest Periods

In between sets or circuits, rest for ONLY the time it takes to catch your breath and feel ready for the next round and not a second more. Playing around on your phone, chatting with your workout buddy and flipping through a magazine will only distract you. Keep your rest breaks short and stay on task. You will be surprised how much time you save.

Interval Training

Unless you are training for a marathon or another endurance sport, there is no reason why you be doing long cardio sessions at a moderate intensity. Kick your cardio up a notch and decrease your workout sessions with interval training. By alternating high intensity bouts of exercise with moderate “recovery” periods, you can burn a ton of calories in a short amount of time. One great example is tabata training. Do a high intensity exercise like jump squats as fast as you can with proper form for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this for a total of 4 minutes.

Strength Training and Cardio in One

Why split your cardio and strength training up when you can get them both done at once? Doing exercises that use multiple muscle groups as once in a circuit style with little to no rest between exercises, will raise your heart rate and challenge your muscles. Exercises like pushups, squat presses, lunges with bicep curls will have you breaking a sweat, shaping your muscles and out of the gym in no time.

Tera Busker is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of Fitness To Go, an exclusive In Home & Private Studio Personal Training Service based out of Roberts, WI. www.fitnesstogo.net