We have less than two months left in the year! With just a short time until Thanksgiving, we can safely call it the Holiday Season. Typically this is when healthy habits fall by the wayside, there is a lot of extra indulging in not so great for us foods, we get busy so don't exercise, so subsequently, people may gain weight.
What if you didn't gain weight over the Holidays? It's possible! Don't use the extra celebrations and busyness as an excuse to not take care of yourself. Do you want to start 2020 with extra pounds to lose or bad habits to break? NO! So stay on track during these last weeks of 2019.
I'm not saying to not indulge in a Christmas cookie or to not have dessert at Thanksgiving. I'm suggesting you will probably feel better if you limit your treats and keep up with your workouts a few times a week. Stay on track on the days leading up to the big days when you will be celebrating (like Thanksgiving), fully enjoy it, then right back on track the next day.
Keep a balance and you will head into 2020 feeling great and ready for the New Year!
Let me know if you have questions or need an accountability partner to stay on track!
I wrote a blog post for LivRite Fitness recently on working out as you age. Of course, I totally think you should read it but here is the bottom line. Your fitness level determines the type of exercise appropriate for you, not your age. Working out affects your health and functioning as you age in a very positive way! It is so important to keep exercise in your life or start it at any age, even later on in life.
In fact, a 2014 review article on aging and exercise published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons concluded that:
Decades of research support the fact that much age-related deterioration is the result of the effects of sedentary lifestyles and the development of medical conditions rather than of aging itself.
Great news! This means that when it comes to the aging process, there is something we can do to help stay active and healthy for the rest of our lives. Just another reason that exercise should be part of everyone's lifestyle!
Starting May 1! Challenge yourself to follow this plan and increase your core strength in 30 days with planks, A plank is an isometric hold of the abdominals that strengthens your entire core and works your shoulders too.
HOW TO DO A FOREARM PLANK (pictured below):
Don't let your hips sag too low or go too high. Your head should remain in line with your spine (don't drop or raise your head - keep it neutral). There should be a straight line from your head to your heels.
The 30 days are outlined on the graphic below.
Each day has either a time to hold the plank or indicates a rest day. If you miss a day close to a rest day, just swap those days out.
By the end of the 30 days you will be holding a 1 minute plank. If you can already hold a plank for 1 minute, then double the time on each day. For example, rather than doing 10 seconds on day 1, you would hold the plank for 20 seconds. Continue doubling each day's time and you will be up to a 2 minute plank by the end of the month.
I will be posting bonus plank moves on Facebook and Instagram so follow me there! Post about your plank progress and use #jilldplankchallenge
How do you usually treat yourself? A special ice cream? Dinner from your favorite restaurant? Treats are very often food. Occasionally this is fine! However, it can be easy to overdo it and eat too much. Which leads to weight gain...which leads to us needing to lose weight...and feeling bad about those treats that ultimately were not so good for us. We need to find things to treat ourselves in a healthy way!
Gretchen Rubin talks about the strategy of treats in her book about habits, Better Than Before. Treats are different than rewards. Rewards are given to us because of something. There does not have to be a reason to receive a treat other than we simply want it. Treating yourself makes you feel appreciated and energized. It can also increase your self efficacy. It is important to treat yourself (but in a healthy way) so that you don't feel deprived. Gretchen Rubin says, "When we don't get any treats, we begin to feel burned-out, depleted, and resentful." It is difficult to start or maintain habits if you are in that state. You may start telling yourself that you "deserve this" chocolate chip cookie or "you've earned" that extra brownie after lunch. By identifying and indulging in healthy treats you enjoy, you will be less likely to derail your healthy habits.
So how do you treat yourself? A treat can be anything that gives you joy!
Start to think about the things that you find pleasure in doing. It will be different for everyone. For me, it is taking 20-30 minutes and reading a book or magazine. It could be browsing through a book store or painting your nails. Others might want a long bubble bath. While someone else could savor a really great cup of coffee or tea. Whatever it is for you, make sure you enjoy every second of it!
Treats are an important part of self care. A treat doesn't have to be food related. Finding ways to treat yourself in a healthy way will help keep your health and fitness on track.
Ready to start exercising? Great! Physical activity benefits your physical and mental health in so many ways, it should be an important part of your lifestyle. However, there is so much information out there, and our lives or so busy already, it can seem overwhelming to begin. It doesn’t have to be so complicated or take up that much time. Whether you are getting back to working out after some time off, or are beginning an exercise habit for the first time, here are some things to keep in mind as you get started.
1. Get Physical – a physical that is. You might need an actual physical from your doctor before you start exercising. Anyone with major health issues or health risks should get clearance from their doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine. No matter your medical condition, you can probably workout in some way. But it’s best to get those details and any restrictions from your doctor.
2. Set A Goal – What is your workout goal? Do you want to run a 5k? Lower your blood pressure? Hold a plank for a minute? Think of goals that are specific and measurable that you can work toward and achieve in a shorter period of time. For example, instead of saying a large overarching goal like “workout more” or “lose 100 pounds”, make a more specific goal of exercising twice a week to start.
3. Start Slow – Starting out too aggressively may result in injury. Doing too much too soon is not good for your body and will not provide instant results. Exercise should be a lifelong habit so it should be sustainable and something you can stick with. Slowly progress the time you exercise and the weight you use.
4. Plan a Balanced Routine – a good exercise routine will contain some cardiovascular activity, strength conditioning and stretching.
- When starting out with cardiovascular activity like walking, running or the elliptical, shoot for 20-30 minutes at a pace where you can carry on a conversation if you had to but couldn’t sing a song. If you can sing, you aren’t going fast enough. For heart health, the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days of the week. According to the CDC, moderate intensity means your heart rate should be between 50% - 70% of your maximum heart rate. An approximate way to calculate your maximum heart rate is to subtract your age from 220.
- Strength conditioning should be done at least twice a week. Start with working each major muscle group with a weight that you can lift for 10-12 repetitions with the last reps being very difficult. Don’t work the same muscle group on consecutive days and be sure to warm up with a 5 minute walk or other dynamic activity prior to strength training.
- Stretching should be done after each workout. Static stretches for each major muscle group should be held for 10-30 seconds.
Don’t be intimidated by all the information, all of the gym equipment or all the different ways to exercise! It can be as simple as adding walking 20-30 minutes to your day. Follow the tips above and get started! Need some help? Have questions? Contact me today!
Get ready for a healthy new year with personal training sessions! This is the perfect gift for a loved one, friend, coworker or yourself! Upon purchase you will receive a gift certificate ready to put under the tree.
Only $199 for 6 sessions. It's like getting over one session free!
The package includes an initial consultation and six training sessions. Each one hour session comes with a personally customized workout and time to discuss nutrition and progress toward your goal. I also provide a weekly workout plan so you know what to do even on days we don't meet.
This is a limited time deal, however, even if purchased now the sessions can be used anytime before December of next year, 2019.
I come to you - your home or workplace. Questions? Contact me today or leave a comment!
Believe it or not, I have days I don't want to work out and sometimes I have moments during a workout when I think I just can't go on. Usually, it is my mind that is stopping me, not my body. This is when a positive mindset and positive self talk can help to overpower those negative voices telling me to just go back home and sit on the couch eating cookies. One way to set up your positive mindset is to create a fitness mantra so you know what to remind yourself when you need a push.
A mantra is a sacred word, phrase, sound, or a group of words in Sanskrit that is normally used in meditation and spiritual activities. It doesn't need to make sense to anyone else but it should be personally meaningful. Your mantra can be used any time you want to be reminded of why you want to achieve something, or when you want to summon more positivity and motivation. You could have a different mantra for any area of your life if it's helpful.
I have several phrases I tell myself when I need a push to start or get through a workout. Here are a few that I love. Feel free to use these or maybe they will inspire you to create your own!
Just show Up. Just Move. Starting your workout is sometimes the hardest part. I like to remind myself that any activity is good and once I get started I usually feel like continuing.
Progress happens with each workout. I may not be a natural athlete or be the best at many things but with each time I do it, I get stronger. Perfection is never the goal, nor is it expected. Don't be worried if you aren't "perfect" or "not good" at a move or certain exercise. Keep working at it and you will keep getting better but perfect is never the goal.
Just Breathe. This is one I use all of the time. No matter what I am doing. Many times when working out, or when stressed, or when anxious, or when concentrating, you may be holding your breath. It is amazing how much better you feel if you just take a few deep breaths. It is very important when you are exercising to breathe through the movements. When you think you can't go on, concentrate on your breath. Bring your mind back to your breathing and away from those negative thoughts. You can do much more than you think you can.
Tell me, what is your fitness mantra?
Lower body exercises that focus on your butt are not only beneficial to how your backside looks but are important to keep those gluteal muscles strong to support your entire body. Inactive gluteal muscles can cause lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain and more.
The workout I created is on the LivRite Fitness blog and uses a mini resistance band. Don't worry if you don't have one, these moves are effective without the band too! Check out the instructions here.
Why water? Sugary Drinks (Juice, Sports Drinks, Soda, etc.) have calories or artificial sweeteners or artificial colors and/or sugar (depending on the drink) and are just not good for you. Our bodies need water to function well and there are many, many reasons to stay hydrated. Here are just a few:
Not ready to ditch the sweet stuff yet? Don't like the taste of water? Here are Some Baby Steps To Getting More Water:
If you aren't drinking any water right now - pledge to drink one bottle or glass of water a day and slowly build up to having more. Gulp it down like medicine, because it is!
Grabbing a tasty snack is especially tempting to me when I'm bored or feeling a little down. Sometimes this can lead to eating too much and when I am not even hungry! Snacks can have their place in a healthy diet, it's problematic when you have already eaten, are not listening to your body and eating when you aren't really hungry. I won't go into the many psychological factors that could be at play here (if you feel you have an issue that controls your eating habits, please find someone who you can speak with to help). However, many of us sometimes simply eat without thinking and not because our bodies need fuel.
Anyone else ever sat down in front of the tv with a bag of popcorn and next thing you know it is all gone and you don't remember eating it? Or said you were just going to have one cookie but the next thing you know half the package is gone? Next time you reach for that popcorn, or whatever snack it is, ask yourself if you are really hungry. How long has it been since you last ate? Is your stomach growling? If it has been hours since you ate and your stomach is asking for food, then eat and enjoy. Don't rush, savor and really taste each bite. If you have eaten in the last 3-4 hours and you find you really are bored or sad or eating out of habit (but I always have a snack in the evening!), take a look at the image above and try one of the 8 things to keep your mind or hands occupied to prevent you from snacking. Let me know if you have any tips that work for you!