To All Non-Smokers, I Apologize!

bigstock-Cigarette-Butt-In-The-Ashtray-1803314The other day I was at an outdoor fitness event when I noticed a young man smoking amongst all of those people who had just crossed the finish line of a race. I was so shocked to see and smell cigarette in this venue that I’m not sure I was very polite as I asked him to move very far away.

This got me thinking of decades gone by, back to when I used to smoke. …sadly, it’s true. Remember that the laws were very different then. You could legally smoke just about anywhere. Wandering the halls of a shopping mall, standing in line at amusement parks, sections in restaurants and essentially ANYWHERE outside was totally acceptable by law.

As a non-smoker (9 years reformed), I recognize how horrible it is to be in the vicinity of smoking or even near someone who has recently butted out.  Somehow in those days of old, I felt that I had the right to smoke wherever I wanted and was quite upset when the laws began to change. Thank goodness I wasn’t the boss of that! There is no doubt  a lot of people felt the same way and if they were to spend some time to think about it, they may find they too, were an inconsiderate smoker. I might even be talking about you while I’m talking about me.

Read more

9 Great Reasons to Exercise

8255751_s

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it’s certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program.  Here are 9 great reasons to exercise!

1. Exercise Boosts Brainpower

Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function. Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity.

2. Movement Melts Away Stress

As much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you’ll experience less stress in every part of your life. Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction. It also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.

3. Exercise Gives You Energy

When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise, you feel much more energized the rest of the day. And when you improve your strength and stamina, it’s easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.

Read more

Does Your Body Need a Detox?

I’ve asked Donna to share some insights on body detox programs so read on to learn some more. I’ve tried a few detox programs myself and will share some details in future blogs. Those include store bought programs, Isagenix, Master Cleans and the program that Donna discusses here. All with varying levels of success due to my dedication. This is a huge topic that we’ll address again. For now, here’s Donna…….

Does your body feel sluggish? Do you lack energy? Restless sleeps? Clouded thoughts?

If you answered yes, you may be in need of a Body Detox!

A body detox is very beneficial, since toxins can be the root cause of headache, fatigue, low energy and other health conditions.  Detoxification means getting rid or elimination of toxic elements from the body. It is pretty important to cleanse your body. Your body helps in eliminating toxins from the intestines, lymph, skin and lungs. If you do not detoxify your body regularly, the impurities may remain in the body and cause several kinds of diseases such as constipation, stomach ache and many more. Toxins are absorbed into the body by the foods we eat, the air we breathe, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, drugs (including prescribed medications) and unhealthy foods. I often use the analogy that our bodies are like a “Dryer”. If we don’t clean the lint out of the lint filter, the dryer motor will continue to run and over time, it starts to slow and breakdown despite the fact that the motor still works. Our bodyies work the same way!

Read more

Quit That Nasty Sugar!

9634244_sSugar is hiding everywhere and it’s killing us. There are foods marketed to us as healthy, low fat, 100 calorie, heart safe etc. that are loaded with sugar and many people aren’t aware. If you stay away, (completely away) from processed foods you’re probably doing alright.

Avoid high-fructose corn syrup at all costs. It’s a cheap sweetener that is used in many foods. Your body can’t digest it efficiently and over time, it can cause a host of health problems including obesity and type 2 diabetes. Where does it live? Many condiments, sauces, dressings, jams and commercially made desserts. Read the label and if you see it, buy something else.

Monitor your intake of juices. Even natural unsweetened juice is very high in natural sugar. They are empty calories that you probably don’t need. Eat the fruit instead.

Ban all soda including diet. They are a mixture of chemicals that your body doesn’t want or need. Some sodas have as much as 10 teaspoons of sugar per 12oz can.

Quit energy drinks. They are just as bad as soda.

Granola bars and cereal often have sugar as the one of the top ingredients. Again these are often packaged as being healthy so you have to read the label and know what you’re buying.

Read more

4 Ways a Food Log is Worth its ‘Weight’ in Gold

bigstock-Diet-Journal-1033220Do the benefits of keeping a food log outweigh the time and effort of doing so? Absolutely! In speaking to people who recently completed the Biggest Loser fitness challenge at Fitness Force, I believe this even more than I did before. Not only does the log leave you with valuable information that you can share with your personal trainer but it makes you conscious and accountable to yourself. Those who keep great food logs reach their fitness goals faster.

1. Makes you more conscious of when and what you consume on a daily basis.

It’s easy to account for the big stuff like dinner or a hamburger. Often it’s the unconscious foods that add up to a whole lot of empty calories:

  • The cream or sugar in your coffee.
  • The condiments that are on or in your food
  • Snacking or tasting while cooking

2. Allows you to gain an understanding of just how much food you need to consume or cut out to reach your weight loss goals.

  • Ultimately it’s all about calories consumed vs. calories burned. You can call them points or meals or whatever you wish but the calorie is final measurement. The only way to manage your intake is to keep track of it.  Sounds simple enough

Read more

Chocolate Chip Cookies….the Healthy Kind

It’s true, there really is a chocolate chip cookie made with nutritious ingredients. I’m not suggesting you over indulge but if you’ve been working hard and deserve a treat, this is a good way to go.  Below you will find a recipe for the healthy kind!

I make a whole batch and roll the dough into long rolls and freeze those. This allows me to easily cut off a few cookies at a time and bake them fresh.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Read more

5 Tips to Party Survival

bigstock-Collage-of-pub-food-including--15284801With summer just around the corner, you may be looking forward to some backyard BBQ’s and pool parties. The months of exercise and healthy eating are at risk if you haven’t got a plan to stay in control when you’re socializing and potentially letting your inhibitions run wild. Have fun in the sun, but keep yourself “bikini” ready by making your choices consciously.

1.  Add exercise (or more exercise) to burn off those extra party calories. You can burn up to 200 calories in 20 minutes of exercise, depending on the intensity. Remember that EXTRA calories require EXTRA exercise.

  • Take the stairs when you might have an option for an elevator or escalator.
  • Park your car farther from the door when you go grocery shopping.
  • Put on your running shoes and go for a brisk walk after dinner.

The key is to do more than you normally do.

 

2.  Be CONSCIOUS and ACCOUNTABLE.

Some “unconscious” pitfalls include:

  • Tasting too much while you’re cooking. Try chewing gum to keep your mouth busy.
  • Sit far away from those party snack trays and platters. If you have to cross the yard to grab some, it takes conscious thought….and physical effort.
  • Decide to be accountable. You do have a choice. Commit to keeping a food diary. Knowing that you have to write it down will make you think twice.
  • Make sure your indulgences are decadent (and portion controlled). If it isn’t totally amazing, skip it.

Read more

Understanding Food Cravings

7189691_sFood cravings can easily sabotage your healthy lifestyle efforts. Understanding what is behind the craving can often give you just enough strength to win the battle.

You may be lacking in a specific nutrient or vitamin creating a feeling of deprivation in your body. Unfortunately your mind doesn’t recognize the need for magnesium or iron specifically. Instead you may interpret the craving as an uncontrollable need for something bad. To combat this, you need to ensure that you have a diet rich in healthy stuff. Lots of vegetable, fruit and lean proteins will keep you topped up with nutrition and help reduce craving for bad calories.

Blood sugar highs and lows leave you feeling lethargic and hungry when in fact you are not. Be sure to eat healthy food at regular intervals to avoid the drastic drop in blood sugar. You should eat small meals or snacks every 3 or 4 hours to stay balanced. Needless to say, avoid anything with sugar as it will create a spike.

Are you thirsty? You should drink water all day long. Often you may misinterpret thirst as hunger. Try some water before giving in to your craving. On a regular day you should drink about 50% of your body weight in ounces of water. For example: If you weigh 160 pounds you should drink 80 oz per day.

Read more

Lacking Motivation in Your Exercise Routine?

One of the biggest reasons that people give when they “fall off the fitness wagon” is that they have lost their motivation. What does that really mean exactly? When you really think about it, there are a multitude of reasons and therefore a multitude of answers.  Here are the 3 bad excuses not to exercise.

1.  It’s boring!

Yikes, do I ever hate that one. If you are finding your workout is boring then you need to change your workout, not quit. In fact if it’s boring for your brain then it’s also boring for your body and you need to change it up to get results. Try a different workout concept. Find a buddy to workout with. Try a fitness class. Join a sports team. Compete in a challenge. Hire a trainer.

2.  Not getting results!

If you’re not getting results, then it’s time to change something. You may need to work out more intensely or more often. It may be time to see a professional to make sure you’re doing everything right. Your diet is equally as important as your exercise. It may need some attention too.

Read more

11 Tips to Proper Exercise

Get Active – Stay Healthy

Physical activity is vital at any age. As we get older it becomes even more important to maintain our health and body function. Around the age of 40 our bodies may begin to lose bone density. We all need to take appropriate steps to prevent it. Strength exercise and diet are equally important. In this post, we’ll list 11 tips to exercising properly.

Our heart and lungs need regular, vigorous use to stay healthy and strong. Cardiovascular exercise is the ticket to success. This may sound like a lot of work but cardio can be fun and the benefits are well worth the effort. Whether you are playing with grandchildren, walking the golf course or hiking in a tropical rainforest you will feel better and last longer if your heart and lungs are kept strong and healthy.

Strength/Resistance Exercise

 

  • Group classes such as Fit Forever or various Boot Camps
  • Resistance work with bands or free weights
  • Strength exercise using machines or just your body weight
  • Attend an orientation class/hire a personal trainer to create a program suited to your needs

Cardiovascular Exercise

Read more