Category: tips


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Living a healthy lifestyle consists of taking care of your mind, body and spirit. For total body wellness, you have to nurture all three. Here are 9 tips for healthy living.

#1 Variety is the spice of life-If we all looked exactly the same life would be boring. Get into the uniqueness of you.

#2 Appreciate your body-Establish a positive relationship with your body. Your body is the most valuable asset you will ever own. Begin viewing your body as an instrument and not an ornament. Learn to appreciate your body for what it can do, not for what it looks like. Make a list of those things you like about your body.

#3 Pamper your body-Take a long hot bath and sooth yourself. Spoil yourself by getting a massage.

#4 Exercise-Studies have shown that when people participate in even moderate exercise, such as walking, they feel more connected and better about their bodies.

#5 You can’t judge a book by its cover-There is a lot more to you than what you look like. Your appearance is not your identity. Make a list of your traits that you really like. Think about the people you admire and look up to. You admire these individuals because of who they are, not because of what they look like.

#6 Surround yourself with support-Seek out others in your life who value you for who you are and not for what you look like. Find people who exhibit a healthy relationship with their body. Avoid those who tease or are constantly focusing on their weight.

#7 Throw away the scale-Constant weighing usually turns into a negative experience that leads to dissatisfaction and obsession.  The number on the scale has nothing at all to do with who you really are.

 #8 Mealtime equals family time-Studies have shown that families that eat meals together have a lower occurrence of eating disorders. Making time to eat together as a complete family can be difficult with all the family’s divergent responsibilities and activities but mealtimes may be one of the most important events of the day. Mealtimes together allow family members to check-in with each other, model appropriate eating behaviors, and provides a forum to resolve conflict both within and outside the family.

#9 Be a good role model- Try not to express dissatisfaction with your body in front of your children. Seventy-seven percent of children first learn about dieting from a family member, usually a parent. Studies have shown that parents who displayed dissatisfaction with their body were more likely to have children with body image disturbances when they became adults. Discuss with your children the ridiculous nature of the media’s portrayal of body image and encourage them not to buy into it

Summer is here!

Are you ready for summer? Is your body ready for summer? Time to ditch the heavy clothes and enjoy the outdoors. If you’re not quite ready to shed those clothes, here are some tips for summer to get  you ready and in shape.

Hang your favorite summer outfit where you’ll see it every day. 
Dig out an old favorite that you’ve longed to fit into again, then put it in a prominent place so that your goal of wearing it stays top of mind.

Let your family in on what you’re up to. 

Tell your co-workers and tell everyone about your weight-loss mission. Telling people keeps you accountable. Accountability is a motivator.

Kick off your efforts with a token gift to yourself. 

Buy yourself a gift that will help you with your efforts, for example walking shoes, a pedometer, a nice workout outfit, even an iTunes gift card so you can download your favorite workout tracks. The idea is that now, you’re invested in yourself. ”

Take advantage of longer days. 
More daylight hours means more time for physical activity outside and off of the couch!

Skip the elevator.
Taking the stairs at work or any building can help you shed pounds and maintain your cardiovascular health.

Eat breakfast. 
Eating a healthy, fiber-filled breakfast can curb hunger for up to 18 hours a day, so you don’t crave simple carbs and sugar, and you’ll also eat less at lunch and dinner.

Cut 100 calories a day. 

Be diligent about finding ways to trim a mere 100 calories from what you eat every day, and this subtle change can add up to about 10 pounds lost in a year.
1. Swap regular soda  for water.
2. Trade your morning latte (a 16 ounce with whole milk can have 220 calories and 11 grams of fat) for coffee with reduced-fat milk (15 calories, 0.6 grams fat) or black (4 calories, 0 fat).
3. Have a cup of watermelon chunks (46 calories) in place of a bag of Sun Chips (140 calories, 6 grams fat).

Have a drink.
 Instead of soda,juice or alchohol, which can be packed with empty calories, reach for wate!! If you find plain water too bland, no-calorie flavored waters are a good choice. So is seltzer with a dash of juice. You can also fill a pitcher with filtered water and sliced frui

Snack before you eat your meals. 
Having a snack about 20 to 30 minutes before you sit down to eat will help, so you don’t feel like eating as much. But be careful what you snack on. Grab a small handful of walnuts or a piece of fruit. That’s not only because of their filling fiber, but also because nuts and fruit both contain antioxidants, which play a special, if somewhat indirect role, in weight loss too.

Fill your plate with summer fruits and vegetables.
Brightly-colored fruits and vegetables are chock full of the antioxidants we just mentioned. And, let’s not forget, they’re rich in fiber and low in calories (provided you don’t drench them in high-calorie dressings or toppings) so you can eat heartily without worrying that you’re “overeating.”

Eat dessert in the afternoon.
Dr. Oz says, following a big meal with a sugary-dessert, produces a surge of insulin which in turn socks away all the calories you ate at dinner as fat, so you do not want to do this at night before going to bed.

Know your ABC’s

A healthy diet is essential to your well being. There are certain things you have to keep in mindwhen eating and choosing foods. If you “cheat” or eat something unhealthy, don’t beat yourself up. Just get back on the right track.  Find your balance between food and physical activity, daily!

Here are the ABC’s of a basic healthy diet.

A=Adequacy

B= Balance

C= Calorie Control

M=Moderation

V= Variety

According to the USDA you should eat Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk, Meats& Beans (lean protein) daily.

30z of whole-grain every day

2 1/2 cups of Vegetables every day

2 cups of fruit every day

3 cups of milk every day

5 1/2 oz of Meat & Beans every day

Eat healthy, be healthy!

 

Exercise alone will not get you results if  you want to lose weight. If you’re happy with your weight but your focus is to live a healthy lifestyle, you have to eat right and exercise, in order to do that successfully. Here are some daily menus based on a 1200 or 1400 daily calorie intake.  These are all things that I would eat and like to eat. The source I took them from had many different menus but I wouldn’t share any that I would not eat myself 🙂 Remember, in order to successfully be healthy and/or lose weight, it is 80% diet and 20% exercise that will get you there!!

 

 

 

Become what you think!

“What we think, we become.”
~ Buddha“

As the New Year approaches, many of you may be setting health and fitness resolutions. The best way to set goals and achieve them is by writing them down. Here is an exercise to keep you on track.

1. Write down three SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realstic,Timely) goals for 2012.

2.   Under each goal, write specific steps on how you’re going to achieve those goals.

3.   Write  positive  affirmations for  the  goal.

Example …(note:this is one of my personal fitness goals for 2012)

1.Goal: I will register for and run a 5k and/or a 10k before September of 2012.

2.Steps:I will research and find upcoming races in my area between May and June. I will continue to make running part of my workout routine. I will decide on a race and register, no later than April 2012.

3.Affirmations: I believe I will be ready physically and emotionally to achieve this goal. I believe I can be consistent with my workouts. I believe I can follow a balanced diet.

You should keep your affirmations in a place where you will see them often. Keep focusing on your fitness goals. Find ways to take steps toward the end result you’re seeking and you will be successful!

(some info. taken from FitnessRX)

You can enjoy your family, friends and parties this holiday season without gaining that holiday weight! Don’t wait until January to make that New Year’s resolution to lose weight. Enjoy yourself and stay on track with your healthy lifestyle. Here are tip on how you can achieve success!!…

(tips taken from fitren.com)

1. Expect to stay on your program over the holidays

“Fail to plan and you plan to fail” . Most people expect to “blow” their diet and skip workouts over the holidays. They expect to eat more, to exercise less and to gain weight. As a result, they don’t even make the effort.Instead of taking control, they resign themselves to maintenance at best, or back-sliding at worst. This negative expectancy leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. By the first week of January, they’re in the worst shape they’ve been in for a year and they frantically make New Year’s resolutions to shed the excess fat they’ve gained. You can avoid this trap by planning to succeed during the holidays. Set up a positive expectation. Resolve now that you will not tolerate slipping backwards. Keep your standards up and don’t settle! Not only can you plan to “stay in shape” over the holidays, you can plan to improve! All you have to do is make the decision and expect success.

2. Plan all your workouts in advance

You know your schedule is going to get hectic over the holidays. You’ll be cooking, shopping, wrapping gifts, sending cards, going to parties, traveling, visiting family, and so on. To stay on your training and nutrition regimen is definitely going to take some sound time management skills. Plan your schedule in advance. Anticipate what’s coming up. Write it down. Put it on your calendar. By doing so, you won’t be caught unprepared.

3. Set some compelling training and fitness goals over the holiday period

Don’t wait until January 1st to set your goals just because you think it will be harder to achieve them over the holidays. On the contrary, studies on personal achievement have shown that you’ll usually reach 80% of the goals you put onto paper. The problem is that few people set any goals at all, and fewer still set them during the holidays. Goal setting should not be a once a year affair, it should be a continuous process. You should always have your goals in writing and your list should be regularly updated and rewritten. If you only set goals once a year, you’re not going to accomplish much in your life.

4. Give yourself permission to have “free meals” – and schedule them in

A planned “free meal” or “re-feeding day” helps you to stay on your program better in the long run. If you’re too strict all the time, you’re setting yourself up for cravings and binge eating. A few free meals per week will have very little effect on your physique.  Over the holidays, schedule your dinners and parties so they become your “free meals.” Then, for the rest of your meals, be steadfast! Just the fact that you know you have free meals coming up will relieve the pressure of staying on a strict diet for a long time. Also, when you do have your free meal – ENJOY IT! If you’re going to eat it and feel guilty, then don’t have it at all. If you’ve stayed with the program all week long, then when your free meal rolls around, you deserve it!

5. If you fall off the wagon, get right back on it

So you had about a dozen too many of those Christmas cookies did you? Don’t worry; because you have free meals built into your plan, you shouldn’t let guilt immobilize you. Even if you fall completely off the wagon, don’t beat yourself up. All you have to do is get right back on your program without missing another beat. Too many people mess up once and then think their entire diet is ruined. They feel as if everything they’ve done prior to that day was wasted and there’s no sense going on. Or even worse, they rationalize to themselves, “Well, I already cheated, so it doesn’t matter now, I might as well keep pigging out. ” That’s nonsense. If you threw in the towel every time you didn’t score 100% on your diet, most people would never get through more than a few days on any structured program. Just because you slip up once doesn’t mean you should quit! You’re only human. Don’t let one small slip keep you derailed. Firmly plant your wheels back on the tracks and start rolling again.

6. Maintain your consistent eating schedule

If there’s one thing that all people who successfully get lean and stay lean have in common, it’s consistency. Without it, you never get any momentum going. It’s like taking two steps forward, only to take three steps back. Many people allow the busy holidays to throw them off their regular eating schedule. They completely veer off their usual meal frequency, or they start eating foods they would normally never eat (because “it’s there”). Once you have a habit or pattern going, it’s fairly easy to keep it going. But once you lose momentum, it’s very difficult to get it going again because you must overcome inertia all over again. (An object at rest tends to stay at rest!)On the major holidays, when there’s a big dinner scheduled, many people think that skipping their morning and afternoon meals to “save room” for the big one later is a good idea. It’s not. This is actually a good way to invite a binge that could set your back for days.

7. Control your portion sizes

You can have your cake and eat it too – you just can’t eat the whole thing! One of the most important rules to remember this holiday season is the law of energy balance, which states: To lose body fat, you must consume fewer calories than you burn up each day.

There are two corollaries to the law of energy balance:

1. A caloric surplus gets stored as fat – even healthy food.

2. Small amounts of anything – even junk food – will NOT get stored as fat if you stay in a calorie deficit.

There’s no reason to deprive yourself of things you enjoy. Just make sure you don’t overindulge. As long as you enjoy your favorite foods in moderation, and you keep working out, it won’t end up around your waistline.

8. Don’t buy into the low standards and expectations of others

Keep your standards high, but don’t expect other people’s standards to be as high as yours. Remember that most people have already planned in advance to fail at fitness over the holidays. You’ve decided to stay strong (haven’t you?) Don’t let their negative influence drag you down.

9. Make the best choices possible in every situation

You know those tables you see at holiday parties that are covered with yards of chips, dips, pretzels, cookies, salami, candies, punch, liquor, and a seemingly endless assortment of other goodies? Well, did you also notice that there is usually a tray full of carrot sticks, cauliflower, celery and other healthy snacks too? No matter where you are, you always have choices. Sometimes you have to choose between bad and worse. Other times you can choose between good and better. But always make the best choice possible based on whatever your options are. If nothing else, you can choose to eat a small portion of something “bad” rather than a huge portion, thereby obeying the law of calorie balance.

10. If you drink, enjoy alcohol in moderation

If you enjoy having a few drinks on special occasions, then go ahead and have a drink or two. But if you’re serious about your fitness goals, then drink infrequently and in moderation. Alcohol puts fat oxidation on hold while providing a large amount of calories. When there’s alcohol in your bloodstream, you’re not in fat burning mode.

On a daily basis, do you choose healthy food options?  Watch your portion sizes? Exercise? Make yourself a priority? Surround yourself with positive influences and people?

If you’ve answered no to all or some of these, remember, “YOU GET OUT OF YOUR BODY WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT!”

Staying focused and being disciplined is not an easy thing. But the long term benefits will outweigh ANY short-term gratification.

Put yourself first and take care of the “temple” you’ve been given, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Tips to help get tight abs !

How does one achieve a tight and flat stomach?

There are so many infomercials that make false promises about a machine that will give you abs to die for and 10,000 other diet aids and gadgets that never tell you the truth.  A lying abdominal machine will not give you a flat stomach, a seated abdominal machine will not give you a flat stomach and 1,000 crunches per day will not give you a flat stomach.

It takes work to achieve a flat stomach.  Is this easy? No, it’s not easy. That’s why so few people have flat and tight abs. As in most cases in life, the things we want and desire usually take some degree of sacrifice.

Here are a few tips to help get tight abs and a flat mid-section…

NUTRITION: This is the most important component to achieving a flat stomach. Eat every two to three hours throughout the day.  This is best accomplished by consuming four to six meals per day.  A meal might be…chicken with one-half cup of rice and a large salad with some oil and vinegar or an egg white omelet (with vegetables) and oatmeal with some blueberries.

 CALORIES: If you consume too many calories, you will not be able to flatten your stomach. Simply reducing your calories by 200 will help.

WEIGHT TRAIN: Three to four workout sessions lasting no more than 35 minutes to an hour will do the trick. For every pound of muscle on your body, you’ll burn 30-50 additional calories per day. Part of your program should include abdominal exercises to strengthen and build the abs.

CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE: Perform three to five days per week of moderate cardio exercise for approximately 30-40 minutes.  If you’re a beginner, then remember to increase gradually.

CONSISTENCY: You’ll need to be on a good nutrition program six days a week with one day being somewhat of a cheat day. A cheat day is not an excuse to gorge yourself!  So, on Sunday for example, you could have some pizza, a sensible portion of ice cream, etc. But nothing extreme!

People are sometimes wary about lifting weights because they think they’ll get too bulky or muscular (particularly women). But lifting weights can help tremendously, if you want or need to lose body fat. Here are just some benefits weight lifting can bring by adding it to your workout routine.

Researchers from East Carolina University found that weight training increased fat use in abdominal fat during and for at least 40 minutes after exercise. Weight training increased subcutaneous (under the skin) abdominal fat oxidation and promoted whole-body fat burning during and after exercise. (taken from fitnessRX.com)

Weight training causes healthy changes in cellular metabolism, such as improved blood sugar control, and can be an important source of energy expenditure in people trying to lose or maintain weight.

Weight training also stimulates growth hormone (GH), which is a potent fat-fighter. GH is an anti-fat hormone that stimulates the release and breakdown of fat from the fat cells and helps maintain blood sugar.

Muscle weighs more per square inch than fat, so, even if your weight isn’t  dropping very quickly, your clothes will feel baggier and you’ll see a healthier, slimmer and better toned you in the mirror

Weight training is a great fat-fighter, particularly if you follow some basic principles:

• Include whole-body, multi-joint exercises in your program.
• Move quickly between sets and exercises.
• Do aerobic exercise three to five days per week.
• Do cardio first and then lift weights if the goal is to maximize caloric expenditure.
• Train intensely.

The best combination for fat-loss includes a calorie-restricted diet, aerobics and weight training.

Workin’ out day and night!

Whether you work out in the morning to start your day, or end your day with a good workout before turning in, it’s your choice. There are benefits to both. Here are some to help you figure out what works best in your daily routine. Either way, you can’t lose!

Benefits of A.M workouts (reference;lifescript.com)

Time flies when your workout’s not done.

You plan to work out, but your busy day throws a curveball, leaving you scrambling to finish your to-do list by bedtime.

That’s why you should exercise first thing in your day. In fact, about 90% of people who exercise consistently do it in the morning. It’s the only way to guarantee you won’t skip it.

Your metabolism won’t boost itself.

You roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and stumble out the door on your way to another busy day. Are you even awake yet? Your metabolism certainly isn’t.

Not only does morning exercise help you burn calories during the actual workout, but its effects linger after you’re finished.

It’s your choice to be a night owl or an early bird.

You have an internal clock that thrives on routine. Give yourself a strict bedtime, force yourself to wake up when your alarm goes off (no snoozing!), and exercise each day – even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

A.M. exercise helps you sleep better in the p.m.

Hitting the gym in the morning helps you hit the sack at night. A study published in the scientific journal Sleep showed that overweight or obese women who began a regular morning exercise routine slept better than those who exercised regularly in the evening.

A morning workout is better than coffee.

Oxygen, not caffeine, is what your brain wants in the morning. So instead of reaching for the coffeepot, reach for your sneakers and you’ll get all the brain-boosting benefits you need.

Benefits of P.M. workouts (reference; madformuscle.com and bluesuitmom.com)

You will also benefit a great deal from working out in the evening if your peak strength time is during these hours.

Researchers say that you can exercise up to 30 minutes before bedtime without disrupting sleep patterns. In fact, it may help you fall asleep faster.

Afternoon is the best time to exercise for optimal workout performance quality.

Muscles are warm and more flexible in the afternoon.

Exercise is a good stress reliever after a long day.

Strength is at its peak in the afternoon.

One of the major advantages of working out in the evening is that you are better able to focus on your exercises because most of the days worries are already behind you. You can relax and just have fun with working out. Working out in the evening also has the added benefit of giving you a deeper, more relaxed, and generally better quality of sleep at night.