By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelly Branning
I am a Libra. Although I don’t read my horoscope, I do identify with those scales that represent my sign. Balance, balance and more balance. It is a daily challenge to keep those scales from tipping over. One side seems overloaded with the things we do for others and the outside world, like family, career, social life and housework. The other side of the scale, including exercise and nutrition, usually threatens to let go at any time.
I think the absolute foundation of a balanced life is good self-care, coupled with good self-awareness. That said … how are you doing? How is your eating? Do you get everything you need from the foods you eat? Hopefully you are eating healthy, life-affirming foods every 3-4 hours. How about exercise? Are you finding a little time to work out and get stronger? If you don’t know how you are doing, let’s take some time to figure it out.
Okay, so Emily Welsh, a Master Instructor for The FIRM, was actually far from “healthless” in her 20s. But one look at her answers to health and fitness questions will tell you Emily — now in her 30s — is now in an even healthier, happier place.
Maybe it’s cabin fever, or perhaps it’s just all those Girl Scout cookies, but I’m ready for something new in my fitness routine. Aren’t you?
Like many people, I made a resolution to lose weight, and I’ve been keeping up my end of the bargain I made with myself to work out for at least 30 minutes, five days a week. Now I’m ready for something new: a new challenge, a different routine, a never-tried-that-before workout.
By The FIRM Master Instructor Leslie Perry Duffy
Nothing says “I love you” quite like a gigantic box of chocolates, right? Hardly! This special holiday symbolized by hearts and celebrated with high-calories treats can be anything but heart-healthy. However, there’s no hard and fast rule that requires us to celebrate with sugary candy and foods saturated with fat. Celebrating Valentine’s Day in a healthy way does not mean that you can’t enjoy your favorite treat in moderation. Or, forget the treats and celebrate in a unique way that’s special for you and your loved one(s).
by The FIRM Master Instructor Jennifer Ray
I think we can all agree on one thing: Life is busy. With that said, who has time to exercise?
I’m not here to scold, because we are all guilty of making excuses as to why we don’t have time to exercise. And I’m not saying these excuses aren’t often legitimate either — sometimes there really aren’t enough hours in the day! What I am here to do is offer easy solutions to a problem that faces us all.
by The FIRM Master Instructor Kelsie Daniels
I said in a past blog that I prefer to be a lean 145 pounds versus a plain ol’ 145 pounds. A lean 145 just looks better … tighter, smaller, stronger, FIRMer, and, well … leaner! I would take that one step further and say that most of us would also feel better if we were leaner instead of just smaller!
When your goal is “weight loss,” you want to lower the actual amount that you weigh; in other words, you want to see the number on the scale go down. A goal of “fat loss” involves the desire to lower your body fat — the actual amount of visible and invisible fat you carry on and inside your body. People who want to lose weight probably need to lose body fat as well, so I say why not just go for a “two for one” and make fat loss your goal and get some weight loss as an added benefit?
A while back, a few members of The FIRM Believers Web Club started chatting about how they make “green monsters” in their blenders using spinach, kale, avocado and other green gems. These monsters were essentially the healthiest drinks that I’ve heard of!
The idea was somewhat novel to me. Because I really enjoy eating whole vegetables, I’ve never really considered juicing. And because I am not a fan of juicers that extract the fiber out of the fruits and vegetables, I never really considered making my own juices. But these FIRM Believers changed my mind, and my blender is now getting a workout!
We’ve said it hundreds of times in our decades of sharing fitness with the world, but we all need a reminder now and then. In order for fitness and weight loss to be successful long-term, exercise and changes in your diet must be integrated into your lifestyle. And the only constant in life is change. Your diet and exercise routine has to be flexible. Your mindset about them both has to be flexible. Enter a key word: moderation.
I did a Google search on what causes stress in people’s lives and I found things like unemployment, divorce, financial problems, health issues, fatigue and so on. In reflecting on how I deal with stress, let’s just say that far, far less than unemployment has caused me to eat a dozen donuts in one sitting!
Yes, I’m talking about stress eating. Most of us have had the unfortunate pleasure of experiencing it at one point or another, and it is not for the faint of heart. I can down a whole can of party peanuts if Auden has a particularly bad day at school! Thankfully I have come to terms with the real me and I am now able to recognize the signs of impending stress and do a fairly good job of not eating us out of house and home when things get rough. Please allow me to share some of my tips, and I welcome any you have to share that have worked for you.
Are high-calorie drinks that boast all sorts of health benefits duping you? I have seen clients of mine get completely sidetracked by calorie drinks that they purchased at Starbucks, Jamba Juice — even at the gym!
Many of these beverages promise you everything from increased energy to younger looking skin, but don’t even think about taking a sip before looking at the nutrition label. Because what manufacturers aren’t boasting about is the sugar and calorie content of these “wonder” beverages — enough to throw off any well-intentioned dieter.