Its pretty common to be excited when you start a new exercise program. Theres hope that you’ll finally reach your goals, you’re immersed in a new regime, and because you are starting fresh, your mind is a little more engaged and curious to see whats coming next.
But after a few months, how do you keep that going?
Here is a list of 10 ways to stay excited about exercising, and below are some of my favorites that I use too:
1.) Make exercise a part of your schedule. This personally is crucial for me. If I block out the hour, and have a workout regularly dedicated to this time slot, that’s it- I have my plans set in stone and theres no backing out!
2.) Mix it up. I try one new exercise routine or format every other week. Even just slightly mixing up something I normally do keeps me engaged and challenged.
3.) If you ever happen to miss a workout (life gets in the way, so this does happen sometimes!) re-motivate and make a game plan right away. Figure out how you can reschedule that workout and stick to it!
One thing I happen to love about cereal bars is how convenient they are. I tell clients when they are in a Nutrition Counseling session that it is ok to have these items with you so you do not grab an unhealthy snack. It can also help you fight off the temptations that may arise when you find yourself hungry during the day.
However, a recent study shows that some of the most popular bars actually contain as much sugar as a serving of cookies! We all know that if you are looking for a healthy snack, a cookies is not your go-to item.
So what to do? READ THE LABELS. Right now. If you have your favorite box of granola bars near you, grab the label and look at these key points:
1.) Does it have at least 3g of Fiber?
Think about it; fiber helps keep you fuller longer, so the more fiber in the bar, the longer it will hold you over if its in between meal (or a quick breakfast option).
2.) Does it have at least 5 grams of Protein?
This amount of protein will add balance to the calories and fiber, and again keep you satiated.
3.) Does it contain less than 35% of its calories from sugar?
This is our main argument. Unfortunately, what you may find will shock you!
There are plenty of bars out there, but all-in-all, it is always better homemade. Check ou our favorite bar recipes!
One thing that I know frustrates many people is the dreaded weight loss plateau. Weve all been there; you’re staying on your plan, eating right, and adding more exercise, but that little bit just wont come off. The last five pounds are by far the trickiest, right?
Well, here is your cheat-sheet on how to battle a plateau:
1.) Awareness is key. Many times when we’ve reach our goals and hit a plateau, we tend to ease back on our routine. Maintain your awareness by keeping track of your exercise and daily food log. You might find that skipping your afternoon latte or hitting up brunch after a Saturday workout may seem small, but it really contributes to smaller ratio of calories in vs. calories out that you thought!
2.) Change it up. Plateaus happen when the muscles in your body get used to the exercises that you are doing. So, if you keep the same routine for 6 months, and you find that you lost weight in the beginning but haven’t in the past 3 weeks, switch up your routine. Putting in a higher intensity bursts for just 5 minutes in your routine or adding on mileage or increasing the pace can make a huge difference in how your body reacts.
3.) Don’t stress! Putting too much emphasis on the fact that the scale is not budging and really focus on your overall goal: to be healthy, live life better, and keep other weight-related ailments at bay. Every time you are frustrated think about all you have accomplished. Keeping yourself positive could help shed those final pounds!
It seems that there are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to how varied workouts should be between men and women.
Many women have a fear of bulking up or that they will not look feminine if the add strength training into their workout routine. Many women also feel that they are not strong to begin with, and don’t feel that strengthening their body should be the focus, but rather losing weight to decrease the numbers on the scale.
The truth of the matter is, strength training is beneficial, especially for women for many different reasons. Not only will you strengthen muscles to help you in everyday activities, but you can increase balance and coordination as well.
The biggest benefit of strength training that I believe is one of the most unfortunate misconceptions is that having a greater muscle-mass actually INCREASES your metabolic efficiency. So this basically means that if you are looking to lose weight, then doing a cardio-only program to shed calories is not going to give you the desired results as quickly as if you added in strength training.
One of my personal favorite workouts, both because I think you can add a cardiovascular element and because Ive really seen the results is the TRX Suspension Trainer. There is an endless amount of moves you can do with these straps that really work every muscle in the body.
Besides, who doesn’t want toned arms, a lifted booty and strong legs? I rest my case ladies- on to strength training!
-Written by Sandi Partyka, Senior Fitness Assistant, CHC
Its unfortunate, but all of us know at least one person that has been diagnosed with some form of cancer. The treatment, therapy and recovery when going through a form of cancer can be such a draining time both mentally and physically. Since we’ve been lucky to have guest Blogger, David Haas from the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance join us for a post today, Ill let him explain the new findings discussing the benefits of moderate physical activity for cancer patients:
Changing Attitudes Regarding Exercise For Patients Undergoing Cancer Treatment
Doctors have often recommended that patients undergoing treatment for cancer minimize their physical activity and get plenty of bed rest, but recent evidence from UPenn has shown that moderate amounts of physical activity can offer significant benefits for cancer patients. In the past, it was thought that allowing the body to spend large amounts of time resting and recuperating would aid in the recovery process; however, it has now been shown that cancer patients can improve their chances of survival, their quality of life and their energy levels by engaging in moderate physical activity if they are capable.
Exercise for cancer patients should be moderate in intensity, and mirrors the guidelines normally set for healthy adults. Simply walking for thirty minutes a day for five days out of the week is enough to gain practically all of the benefits afforded by exercise. In addition, resistance training may also be useful for cancer patients. Cancer patients often experience weight fluctuations while undergoing treatment; cancers that are hormone based such as breast cancer often cause significant weight gain in the form of additional fat deposits while cancers that affect the integrity of the digestive system can cause weight loss due to the patient not having an appetite or not being able to absorb nutrients as efficiently as they are used to. In the former case, exercise can help prevent the fat gain by increasing the number burned by the patients body; in the latter case, exercise will help preserve lean muscle mass by actively engaging the patients muscle tissue during exercise. Regardless of the type of cancer, exercise can help to stabilize the patients weight and prevent unwanted fat gain or muscle loss.
Cancer patients, like anyone else, should take care to listen to their body while performing exercise. A medical professional can help guide patients on what type of exercise is suitable for them; for example, patients being treated for breast cancer who have had biopsies or lumpectomies performed may sustain injury from doing any exercises that work the upper body, as muscle tissue is often damaged by those surgeries. Experiencing aches and fatigue from performing exercise is usually not an issue, but any sort of sharp or stabbing pains indicate a more serious problem and patients should not perform exercise that is uncomfortable.
The data collected in clinical studies points to patients undergoing cancer treatment receiving a positive benefit from physical activity. It is likely that this will result in a shift in the treatment paradigm in oncology, with oncologists stressing the need for their patients to perform reasonable exercise at a frequency similar to healthy adults rather than suggesting that their patients remain sedentary and inactive.