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.
We all know that the key ingredients to weight loss and maintenance are exercise, healthy nutrition and proper rest. But what happens when you feel like you’re no longer getting results with your exercise routine? Does this mean that exercise doesn’t work anymore? Not a chance! It could just mean that you need to break out of your current workout rut — variety is the spice of life, after all!
Here are four signals that your routine might need a tune-up:
1. Your workout bores you.
You used to enjoy walking outside, so why do you dread your walk workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try listening to music when you walk, adding speed or hill intervals, or bringing a family member or friend along with you. I’m sure your family pooch would welcome a stroll around the neighborhood! If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in taking a dance class? Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to.
Most of us pursue fitness in order to look good. In this quest, we run an extra mile to lose five pounds or pick up a heavier weight to trim our arms. A balanced fitness program and sensible eating habits are powerful tools for weight loss. However, the same tools we use to look our best and lose weight are also powerful tools in maintaining the quality of our lives and our health.
What is physical fitness? Physical fitness includes five health-related components: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility and body composition. The FIRM workouts are designed with these components in mind. Once you’ve begun to see results on the scale, in your jeans and with your tape measure, what are the benefits you don’t see?
We are still early into 2011, so talking about recharging our batteries and taking a rest might sound crazy. However, it’s important to remember that sufficient rest and recovery periods are necessary to avoid burnout and injuries, as well as to get the best results possible from our exercise routines.
Check out this list of signs to see if you may need a little recharging:
What do you love about your body and why? Do you automatically think to yourself, “Uh, nothing?” I don’t know about you, but whenever I try to come up with a list of good things about myself it takes a lot of thought and time. Now, if you were to ask me what I would like to improve about my body, I could give you a list of ten things in no time flat.
Why is this? Why is it so easy for us to be self-deprecating (no matter if we are in the best or worst shape of our lives)? Yet when we are asked to name a positive or two, we really have to stop and think. And I mean really stop and think for a while, maybe even a day or two.
Are you the type of person who has to see numbers change in order to feel like you are making progress on your fitness path?
Do any of these ring a bell?
By The FIRM Master Instructor Tina Smalley
For years, men and women have been searching for that ideal abdominal training routine that will give them a perfect six-pack. It’s relatively easy for me to sculpt my upper and lower body, but when it comes to really toning up my middle, it takes a little more than just crunches three times a week. It takes dedication and hard work!
I’ve been asked many times about the perfect exercise routine to achieve “washboard abs.” A good mix of exercises targeting all the muscles of the core — the abdominals and spinal erectors — will create a beautiful, toned shape to the midsection.