July 13, 2024

Ready to Get Healthy? By Sarah Pace

Ready to get healthy? With a new year comes new resolve to improve ourselves in so many ways, including our health. My advice this time of year is to be consistent with the basics:

Don’t worry so much about what exercises to do and in what order you should do them; just show up.  Set a goal to show up 2 times each week for the first month, then 3 times each week in February. Can’t make it to the gym? No problem: get outside for a walk or take the stairs all day-all intentional activity counts!

Pack your gym clothes, shoes and water bottle the night before to avoid rushing around the next morning. You’ll develop a routine and soon it will become part of your ‘out the door’ mental checklist: do I have my gym bag? Water bottle? Check!

Bring a piece of fruit with you everywhere you go. Having something on hand will prevent impulse eating decisions. Ask yourself ‘am I hungry enough to eat this apple?’ And if the answer is no, you’re probably not actually hungry.

Mark your progress in a calendar or another physical and visible space to hold yourself accountable. When you can see that you made it to the gym 4 weeks in a row, you’ll want to make sure you continue in the 5th and 6th weeks, and even beyond!

For more fitness tips follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahPace_Fit

Share Your Love of Fitness!

Get Fit Quick Tip:
Share your love of fitness!

Sharing your love of fitness with others is easy- simply invite a friend or family member to join you! You never know who will be inspired. Many who wish to begin an exercise program are unsure how to begin. A buddy workout is a great first step! At the very least, those close to you will see how much you love fitness and be happy to see how you spend your free time. Here’s how to make it a positive uplifting experience for all:

Keep it user-friendly. This is not the workout to shoot for your pull-up PR or your sprint interval personal best on the community track. Keep the intensity low, duration to 20-30 minutes and workout mode easy as far as coordinate/agility required.

Keep it interactive. Chat it up, take water breaks, focus on having fun.

Keep it to a small group. A large group or the most popular fitness class at the gym may be intimidating to a new exerciser. Choose off-peak times and classes, or times when the trail is not packed with runners.


Should you skip the warm-up?

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Always warm-up for your workout!

A warm-up is an essential component of your workout and should NOT be skipped, or even abbreviated. Prepare your body for exercise with 8-10 minutes of dynamic (moving your body continuously) exercise. You’ll prepare your muscles and your cardiovascular system for the increased work load of exercise. A proper warm-up is any movement of your major muscle groups aerobically. For example:

Walking. Walking outside or on the treadmill makes a great warm up for just about every activity. Start slow and build up speed.

Calisthenics. Jogging, jumping jacks, hopping are all great warm up activities that move many muscles and increase our core temperature.

No load exercises. Perform your weight exercises, without weight. No load exercises are great to develop muscle memory patterns as well.

Range of motion exercises. Move each joint through it’s natural range of motion. For example, wrist circles, ankle circles or knee bending and extending. Do 5-8 reps.

*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.



Get Your Fitness Back on Track by Angelena Riggs

Finding the Motivation to Start Again

The hardest part of starting up your fitness and healthy eating again after a setback is finding the motivation to get back on track. We have all struggled with this at some point or another. We are working out consistently and eating right, and then something happens that takes us out of that routine and we have a hard time getting started again.

Here are a few tips to get your fitness motivation back on track:

Determine your “why”- If you know exactly why you are working toward a goal it is much easier to get back into your healthy routine. It must be personal to you in order for it to increase motivation.

Create a motivation board- One thing I find motivating is to have my goals posted where I can see them daily. I also like motivational quotes or mantras that help to keep me on track. You can even use a virtual motivation board on Pinterest where you can pin different workouts, recipes, and motivation quotes to keep you inspired.

Find a fitness buddy- Working out and eating healthy can be fun and easy if you have someone to share it with. Find a like-minded friend or even co-worker who is also working on getting back in the swing of things and help to motivate one another. Even if you don’t do all of your workouts together you will have someone to share your successes and struggles.

Set small goals- Whether you are trying to run faster, lose weight, or gain muscle, set small goals. Breaking down your goals into smaller goals allows you to see progress, and the task won’t seem so overwhelming. For example, if you have 40 pounds you want to lose, start in 10 pound increments. Every time you reach a 10 pound goal reward yourself with something to keep you motivated, like new workout clothing or gear.

Angelena is a mom, healthy living blogger at On Fire Fitness Healthy Living (www.OnFireFitnesspt.com), an NASM Certified Personal trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Her goal is to inspire others to take the steps to living a healthy lifestyle. Visit Angelena on Facebook and Twitter.

5 Easy Steps to Becoming a Runner by Jason Saltmarsh

My Story
Four years ago I was overweight, had trouble sleeping, made poor diet choices, worked long hours, and was on the precipice of a mid-life crisis. I decided that I wanted to be here to see my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I wanted to be active and set a good example for my family. So, I decided to run.

Today, I’m fifty pounds lighter, I’m a competitive master’s runner and I feel healthier than ever. This November, I’ll be running in the New York City Marathon.

Step 1 – Have a Plan
My running actually looked a lot like walking to those who saw me struggle down the road during the first few months. However, the thing that helped me get on track was having a plan AND sticking to it. I could look at my calendar and plan accordingly for every workout. The beginning is the most challenging time, because you are forming new habits and breaking old ones.

Creating a calendar is essential to staying on track. Protect your workout time. Don’t compromise. This is important for you. I would recommend putting that calendar in a place where your family and others can see it and support you. It keeps you motivated and accountable.

Step 2 – Set a Goal
My first goal was a local 5K race. I decided when I began training that I would complete a 5K race within three months. Time should be of no concern.

Finishing should be the goal the first time you race or run a new distance. Find local races by searching online or talking to others in the running community that you may already know. Choosing a local race has a few advantages. First, you can easily make it to your race without a lot of logistical planning and expense. Second, it is easy to have your family or friends there to support you. And third, you will hear about the race in the local media outlets and be reminded of your goal as you train.

Step 3 – Eat Well
I chose a few easy steps to get my diet under control. I stopped eating as many bad things, and ate more good things. I stopped going out for lunch, and brought my own to work. I focused on less sugar and cut out surgary drinks altogether.

Challenge yourself: Try eating two servings of vegetables with dinner. Try eliminating sugary desserts for 4 weeks. Try eliminating alcohol for 4 weeks. Try not to eat anything that comes in a box with heating instructions for 4 weeks. These little measures will result in huge health and weight-loss benefits.

Step 4 – Sleep Well
I find that eight hours of sleep each night keeps me in good condition both mentally and physically. Your body needs time to repair and adjust to the stress of a new training regimen so that it can grow stronger.

Be sure to reap the benefits of your hard work by letting your body rest. You may want to give yourself a curfew for a few weeks and see how it goes. If you run in the early morning hours, you’ll probably miss some of your favorite nighttime TV shows. That’s what the DVR is for!

Step 5 – Stay Flexible
Life is unpredictable. Not everyone responds to training the same way. You’ll have good days and not so good days. That’s OK. Listen to your body and rest when something hurts. The individual workouts are not as important as the overall training effort.

There are communities of runners (both online and off) that support, encourage, motivate and challenge each other to reach their goals. Local running clubs can usually be found either online or by visiting running specialty shops. Online, you can turn to your social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and the blogging community for more information and resources.

Stay focused. You can do this.

By Jason Saltmarsh. www.SaltmarshRunning.com – Run for your life!
Twitter @SaltyRuns

Exercise Tips for New Moms by Tatum Rebelle

5 Essential Exercise Tips for New Moms

Get back to the basics:
Before resuming your exercise program post-delivery, always seek medical clearance from your doctor! It seems like there is always a new fitness trend promising quick and easy results. Do not fall for the marketing gimmicks! Stick to the fundamentals that have been proven to work.

For example, by exercising larger muscle groups you will burn more calories. Doing intervals is a great way to add intensity for even faster results. Walking each day is great exercise for both the mind and body.

Work smarter not harder:
Finding time to exercise as a new mom can be tough! Your daily workouts can be included in the activities that you’re already doing by learning exercises that include your baby.

Squats are tough on your thighs, and soothing for your baby. They can be done as you hold him or her against your chest and benefit you both. Exercises like pushups, plank, cat-cow, and bird-dog can be performed with your baby is lying underneath while giving them kisses and smiles. It’s a fun way to enjoy time together while also doing something good for you.

Invest in inexpensive equipment for your home like a stability ball and resistance band. That way there is no excuse not workout when you can’t get to the gym.

Walk before you run:
Build slowly back to your pre-pregnancy fitness routine. Do not simply jump right back in to what you were doing before.

It is necessary to repair the deeper ab muscles that have been stretched first. Do not start with crunches. You can begin to rehab your abs with deep breathing exercises, plank, bridge, and pelvic tilt.

If you were a runner then start with walking and jogging before returning to running. If you lifted heavy weights, start lighter and do high repetitions.

Simply going back to your old routine will do your body a disservice if you end up injured and can’t do anything at all.

Don’t compare:
Be patient and nice to yourself. Don’t compare your body or weight loss to celebrities. It is not fair to measure yourself next to someone who probably has a full-time trainer and chef, and whose profession possibly requires them to be a size 2.

Remember that it took 9 months to put the weight on, and to drop it overnight is not healthy or realistic. Steady, consistent exercise and weight loss is the best way to decrease fat and keep it off permanently.

Do them! I can’t stress this enough. Keeping your pelvic muscles strong is often overlooked, but so important.

Tatum Rebelle is a pregnancy and new mom fitness and nutrition expert. She founded of Total Mommy Fitness in 2005 after seeing an unnecessary tread of women opting out of exercise once the became pregnant and had young children. Find more  at www.totalmommyfitness.com and twitter @tatumrebelle.