Archive for Fit Tip
Keeping Up with an Exercise Plan During the Busy Holidays
By Barbara Brenseke
Does your Holiday To-Do List look something like this?
- •Hunt through closet for something to wear to the office holiday party that looks professional yet party perky, give up and deal with maddening holiday crowds to search for an outfit.
- Buy Holiday cards, address them and write cute little personal greetings on each one.
- Shop for gifts, including a few extras for unexpected visitors who arrive with presents.
- Look through the hall closet for the left-over-from-last-year wrapping paper and ribbons, give up and buy more.
- Mail gifts to relatives, strategizing the best time to go to the post office — even though I know inevitable conclusion: There IS no best time.
- Decorate the house for the holidays.
Truthfully, just looking at that list makes me tired – and your trainer tells you that I should keep up withyour exercise plan during the holidays! Hah hah, ho ho, merry Christmas.
Forgive me if I sound like the Grinch, but sometimes that’s how many of us feel during the too-crammed with-to-do-lists holiday season!
BUT – and this is a big but (in fact, it’s about the same size as my butt gets if I don’t exercise!)
– I also know that the holidays are a time when we most need to incorporate exercise and a healthy diet into your day.
Regular exercise and the right foods help to relieve stress and benefit us physically and emotionally.
It’s a win-win situation with regard to the holiday season.
So what have you got to lose? Nothing – but the holidays are a time when you have a higher risk of gaining weight.
Making a plan always helps – so here’s a plan to keep up with your exercise program this holiday season:
When you drive to the mall, Take a brisk walk around the outside before going inside.
Your gym workouts belong on your calendar. That way, they are scheduled in, giving them just as much importance as that holiday office party and the cookie exchange. Variety is the way to go when it comes to exercise. Mixing it up means you’re never bored and always entertained enough to meet your exercise goals.
Any Time Is A Good Time For Healthy Changes
By Barbara Brenseke
Each year, many people make resolutions for change, and each year, most of those resolutions go…unresolved.
This isn’t due to people’s lack of desire for a better life; it’s just a byproduct of the reality that change is difficult. Our habits become ingrained and automatic; changing them requires constant effort until a new habit is formed. This resource can help you to make necessary alterations in your expectations, attitudes, and methods of change so that you can experience real results that last. The following ideas can help:
Think in Terms of “Goals”, Rather Than “Resolutions”:
While most people make resolutions that they’re determined to keep, a better tactic would be to create
What’s the difference, you may ask? With traditional resolutions, people generally approach change with the attitude, “From now on, I will no longer [name a given behavior you’d like to change]”. The problem with this is, after one or two slip-ups, people feel like failures and tend to drop the whole effort, falling easily back into familiar patterns.
By setting goals, one instead aims to work toward a desired behavior. The key difference is that people working toward goals expect that they won’t be perfect at first, and are pleased with any progress they make.
Rather than letting perfectionism work against them, they allow motivation and pride to do their magic. The following ideas can help you with meeting your ‘New Years Goals’:
WRITE your goal on a piece of paper and tuck it away in a place where you’ll see it frequently, such as inside a dresser drawer or taped to the back of your closet door. Every time you see it, you’ll be reminded of your goal.
RESEARCH information from numerous sources, including people who have successfully done what you’re trying to do.
SEEK out others you trust, such as a mate, close friend, personal trainer, clergy member or mental health professional, who will listen, ask questions and offer moral support.
CHART your feelings and progress along the way in a journal.
RUN the numbers. Can you afford to do this? What are the financial challenges and payoffs?
ASSESS the impact. What emotional effect will striving to accomplish this task have on you? What would happen if you achieved your goal? What if you failed? What if it took longer than you thought?
WEIGH any possible consequences. If you do this, what’s the worst that could happen? What’s the worst that could happen if you don’t do it?
CREATE a timeline. Nothing says you have to accomplish your goal by year’s end, but set a deadline and work toward it. Reassess along the way at set intervals, such as every six weeks or every three months
Five Ways to Break the Exercise Plateau
By Barbara Brenseke
“What is important is not what happens to us, but how we respond to what happens to us. Jean-Paul Sartre” 1905-1980, Writer and Philosopher
Does this sound familiar? You’ve been exercising for two or three months and things are going great. You’re consistent, working up a sweat and using muscles you forgot you had. Your body fat is dropping and your energy is increasing. People are starting to comment on your changes, and you’re not even worried about those occasional decadent moments when you go off your diet. You’re so active, it just doesn’t matter.
Life is good. Then, boom! You miss a day of exercise because something “comes up.” You miss another day because something else “comes up.” You experience a string of these days and then finally return to your exercise program. However, your resolve only lasts a day or two, and soon you’re not looking forward to your workouts with the same enthusiasm. In fact, your workouts seem like a monumental struggle. Workouts become a thing of the past, you’re eating more junk food and clothes start to fit tighter — ughhh! I have news for you: everyone experiences a plateau.
For some it may be two months, some six months or longer. It doesn’t matter — everyone experiences it. Before you throw in the towel, know there is a solution to this dreaded dilemma. In fact, there are numerous solutions. The key is your plan of attack to counter it. Here are some sure-fire methods to help you break an exercise plateau.
1. Get a workout partner. Find someone who has similar goals and try to work out with this person at least twice per week. If you know you have to meet someone at a specific time, you’re bound to be accountable.
2. Hire a personal trainer. You’ll get the benefit of a structured workout program, as well as someone to monitor your progress and motivate you to achieve a fit body.
3. Plan a vacation to a warm climate. Like a destination where you can have fun and snorkel, swim, bike ride or go hiking.. Also, write down a few goals related to what you want your body fat, scale weight and measurements to be when you go on the trip. Planning for your vacation will be a constant source of motivation.
4. Join a club. There are many runners and walkers clubs, charity walk events, etc. Find one that appeals to you. The camaraderie and scheduled activities will be something you look forward to
5. Plan your meals for the week. Try to cook healthy foods in advance. This sets the stage for nutritional success and is a deterrent to the “I’ll just pick up a burger and fries” mentality. Allowing yourself some liberties on the weekends — but planning your meals for the week — will further guarantee success without suffering.
6. Work out in the morning. I know it may be inconvenient and you have to get up earlier, but if you can manage three morning workouts per week you’ll accomplish several things. You’ll stimulate your metabolism for the rest of the day, decrease your appetite and, most importantly, start your day with success!
Biggest Mistake In Your Fitness Plan – Not Keeping A Fitness Journal
By far the biggest mistake you can make in your fitness plan is not keeping a detailed fitness journal. Fitness journals are an effective way to monitor and manage your entire fitness program. The wealth of information you will gather by keeping a daily diet and exercise journal is extraordinary. You will be able to see specific areas which are beneficial as well as other areas which wreak havoc to your fitness plan. Your fitness journal will consist of three main components. You will keep a food journal, exercise journal and a personal journal. Keeping a food journal allows you to keep track of everything you eat.
That means EVERY food or liquid that enters your mouth. The key is being honest with yourself and really trying to be as detailed as possible recording your dietary intake. Food journals will display daily snapshots of your eating patterns, any cheating tendencies and all the empty calories which are hampering your progress. A food journal is an incredible tool to use to monitor and make adjustments to your dietary plan.
Your exercise journal allows you to keep track of your strength training and cardiovascular program. By keeping detailed records of your total number of sets, repetitions and weight used for each exercise, you can monitor specific changes in your strength levels. You can more accurately and effectively manage your strength training workouts to keep progressing week after week. Exercise journals are also important for keeping detailed records of your cardio workouts. Did you run 10 miles this week or did you ride the stationary bike for 30 minutes? How about the intensity level of your workouts? When you document your cardio exercises, you will be able to look back and see the correlation between your changes in your body weight and specific cardio exercises. This provides incredible feedback to gauge your plan and make adjustments. Your personal journals keep track of your thoughts, feelings and emotions. You will be able to record your energy levels, any motivational issues and your overall emotional state. Are you burned out on your current fitness plan and need a change?
Write down your feelings and think of different ways to improve your fitness plan. By making little changes in your cardio routine or diet plan, it will become more exciting and give you the extra push to keep going. Always remember, what gets measured gets managed.. If you write it down, you will have a much better chance to stick with your fitness plan, make adjustments and keep improving every week. Fitness journals are a significant part of your daily routine, providing the feedback you need to stay on track and reach your fitness goals.
Tuning Out Is Healthy
Can’t miss your favorite TV shows, even for a day? Hide the remote.
Less time clutching your clicker could mean less risk of type 2 diabetes. Here’s how too much TV trashes your blood sugar levels.
Blood Sugar Booster
Seems that watching television affects the glucose in your blood — and not in a good way. More tube time may mean higher blood glucose levels, particularly for women.
Over time, that could set the stage for type 2 diabetes, where chronically high blood sugar levels can damage your eyes, heart, kidneys, and other organs.
Want An effective way to control blood sugar?
Get yourself off the couch and into the gym.
Keep training hard!
Time Saving Fitness Tips
Beginner Fit Tips: Getting Started
By BARBARA BRENSEKE
One good short duration workout method is to perform one weight training exercise followed by three minutes of cardio.(the time can be adjusted depending on fitness level, but is a good place to start) Then, back to a weight training movement, then three minutes of a new cardio exercise.
Keep repeating without rest until you achieve your 20-30 minute goal.
Here are some other fit tips to get some extra exercise in if your are pressed for time.
•Walk briskly at lunch time three days per week for 30 minutes
– Don’t get caught up in the fact that it’s not enough.We’re looking for consistency
– which will ultimately help you to lose some fat and get fit.
•No time for a 30 minute walk in one session? Split your workout into two separate times during the day.
Walk in the morning for 15 minutes before work and then again at lunch or right after work.
Studies show that it’s just as effective one 30-minute session.
•Perform weights and cardio on separate days — One day focus only on cardio for 20-30 minutes, the next day weight train for 20-30 minutes.
It’s an excellent way to balance your routine and stay invigorated!
Good luck remember the best day to start is TODAY!
Train HARD and SMART.
10 Ways to Keep Your Memory Strong
Chances are, throughout your lifetime you have experienced your fare share of memory blunders. Forgetting things from time to
time may be common, but it also can be extremely frustrating.
It’s never fun to misplace your keys, draw a blank on a test, forget someone’s name or blow off a friend’s birthday. Being able to
retain and retrieve information helps to strengthen all realms of your life, both personally and professionally.
A good memory is one of the most powerful and valuable assets you own. There’s no reason you shouldn’t protect it. Recent
studies have found older adults who spent more time in leisure activities that required mental effort had less chance of developing
There are plenty of ways to fight forgetfulness and keep your brainpower strong. Just like you can’t expect to get a six-pack
stomach by sitting on the couch all day, don’t expect your memory to be at the top of its game without a proper workout. Your
brain needs to pump mental iron consistently to boost its memory muscle.
Check out these 10 ways to keep your brainwaves active and your memory strong.
1. Brain Food: Don’t let yourself run on empty. A balanced diet will help keep your mind functioning well all day long. Be sure to
include plenty of fruits and leafy green vegetables. They are loaded with essential antioxidants and nutrients to boost your
brainpower. Some of the best foods for thought include blueberries, blackberries, fish and fish oils, eggs, spinach, strawberries
2. Exercise: Get your body moving and your memory will soon follow. Exercise improves the heart’s blood flow. This, in turn, helps
the brain function better. Studies have also found that cardiovascular exercises done over a long period of time help reduce the
amount of brain tissue you lose as you age.
3. Brain Games: Unscramble your memory with Scrabble. Intellectually stimulating activities and games such as Scrabble, crossword puzzles and trivia games are great for sharpening your memory. Have fun and challenge your brain with these fun memory games.
4. Pick Up a Book: The key to keeping your memory sharp is to continue to challenge it. Try to always have a book in hand. After
you’re done reading a chapter or two, question and review the material you’ve read. Try to imagine what you’re reading. Discuss
what you’ve read, and talk about it with friends or join a book club
5. Take a Sip Down Memory Lane: Coffee is good for not only getting you out of bed in the morning, but also perking up your
memory. Researches found the stimulant effect of caffeine can help improve memory. Studies also show that key enzymes found
in green and black teas help improve memory functions.
6. Cultivate Interests: We tend to remember the things that we enjoy. Find ways to make a boring subject fun by associating it with something you already know. If you have to remember a list, try to make a fun sentence out of the first letters of each item or try categorizing things into a group. You can also use your imagination and create a fun story behind a subject to help make it easier
7. Catch Some Zzzz’s: Sleep plays a critical role in your physiological function and is vital for your intellectual development.
Memory failure is a common occurrence for many sleep-deprived individuals. A study conducted at the University of Luebeck found
that creativity and problem solving appear to be directly linked to adequate sleep.
8. Repeat After Me: When learning new things, the more you repeat it, the more likely you will be able to recall that information.
Practice is the key to lasting memory. Practice is the key to lasting memory. Practice is the key to lasting memory.
9. Give It a Beat: Music not only helps trigger memories of past events, but also stimulates learning. Music has also been shown to
help people retain information, and it opens people up to multiple modes of information retrieval.
10. Pick Your Own Brain and Share It With Others:
Don’t store your knowledge. Teaching others is another great way to hone memory skills. You should also become your own teacher. Don’t be afraid of taking on new challenges. You might not be in school anymore but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test yourself. After you learn something, it’s important to put the new information to use.
Visualize Your Success:
On days you find it hard to start your program, imagine how you look and/or feel on meeting your next goal.
Picture yourself having made that achievement and then get to work!
Alternatively visualize how you may look if you don’t keep up the good work.
4 WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS & STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM:
Stress seems to have become a constant factor in today’s fast-paced society. If left unchecked, it can wreak havoc upon our health. Learning how to effectively manage stress can mean the difference between being robust and full of life, or becoming susceptible to illness and disease. Stress can weaken the immune system and accelerate the aging process. The ability to relax and rejuvenate promotes wellness, vitality and longevity. A healthy immune system regulates our body’s healing process and protects it against infections and diseases. When stress compromises our immune function, it can result in colds, flu, fatigue, cardiovascular disorders and premature aging. Stress increases heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels, adrenaline, cortisol, free radicals and oxidative damage. This initiates the “fight or flight” response, places undue strain upon the heart, and can also increase the feelings of anxiety and depression. Protecting the immune system is a vital part of living longer, feeling younger and being healthy. Here are four of ten natural healthy ways to reduce stress, boost your immune system and slow down the hands of time.
1. Walking and Physical Activity. Regular exercise and physical activity strengthens your immune system, cardiovascular system, heart, muscles and bones. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, improves mental functioning, concentration/attention and cognitive performance, and lowers cholesterol, blood pressure, cortisol and other stress hormones.
2. Stretching/Dynamic Warm-up. The slow movements and controlled postures of the dynamic warm-up improves muscle strength, flexibility, range of motion, balance, breathing, blood circulation and promotes mental focus, clarity and calmness. Stretching also reduces mental and physical stress, tension and anxiety, promotes good sleep, lowers blood pressure and slows down your heart rate.
3. Hand Hygiene. The most effective measure in preventing the spread of microorganisms that cause infections is good hand hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water as soon as you come home, and always before you eat, greatly reduces your exposure to bacterial and viral infections. In case you cannot wash with soap and water when you are away from home, carry some alcohol-based hand wipes with you to control microbial exposure and transmission.
4. Laughter and Humor. There is truth to the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Laughing reduces stress hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol. It also benefits your immune system by increasing the number and activity of Natural Killer T-cells. These cells act as the first line of defense against viral attacks and damaged cells. Find the humor in things and engage in activities that make you laugh to increase your immune function and disease resistance.