Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Don’t Make New Year’s Resolutions, Make LIFESTYLE CHANGES!

The problem with New Year’s Resolutions is that they are informal plans and changes that occur to us during the few days leading up to January 1st. They are hastily-fashioned good intentions with little or no planning, forethought, or ambition behind them.

There is nothing wrong with a heartfelt notion to make a change in your life and professing it to those within earshot, but what happens when you realize that your resolution is not something feasible in which you could keep steadfast? Is there a back-up plan? How do we figure that out? We find the solution by removing the problem!

Don’t worry. We are not recommending “giving up” or abandoning your quest for self-improvement and personal growth; we are recommending throwing New Year’s Resolutions out the window!

We have compiled some of the simplest tips to start changing your life around. Simplicity aside, these small changes to your daily regimen can have a lasting domino effect on your life, in general. Adding a little bit of movement here and cutting back a little there can have tremendous effects on your physique, mindset, and way of life.

Being fit and healthy, like all things in life, takes time. It’s not one giant leap from inactive and out-of-shape to fit, trim, and sinewy, it’s a hundred tiny steps. 360 Fitness would like to offer ideas for the initial steps to begin your journey to take your life back!:

Add some movement to your life!: If you have an active job and get your fair share of walking, great, but it’s time to ADD some movement to your life. Whether it be taking a moderately paced walked before you get your day started or taking an invigorating cardio class at 360 Fitness, get your butt moving! The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity five days a week. We know you can find 30 minutes a day (in between watching television and other distractions) to walk the dog or take a trip to the gym to lift some weights and perform some cardio.

More protein, more fiber, less carbs: On average, the typical “diet” plan includes eating a ton of salad, fruit, granola, and other dieting staples. While these are all healthy choices, they are not the best choices to revolve a typical diet plan around. A great way to feel satiated while on a lower calorie diet, would be to place the emphasis on lean proteins (ex. tuna, fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, lean cuts of beef), high quality carbohydrates (brown rice, oats, potatoes, green veggies), and some healthy fats to round it out (ex. a handful of almonds, cashews, or a tablespoon of natural peanut butter or extra virgin olive oil). Having a more protein based diet will help ensure that you do not lose a fair amount of muscle when you are dieting (as is often the case with low calorie diets). The fiber from the veggies and the healthy fats will keep you satiated and help ensure your digestive system is running smoothly.

Cut the junk: Take the time to cook and package your meals AT HOME! When you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Don’t expect the “healthy” menu from Taco Bell or McDonald’s to help you with your dietary needs. The terms “lower calorie” and “low-fat” are often misleading. The menu items may be lower in calories than OTHER items on the same restaurant’s menu, and the term “low-fat” may signify that they added plenty of sugar to make up for the lack of flavor from the fattening agents. So, skip the drive-through on your lunch break, and take out the Tupperware of 4oz. of grilled chicken, ½ cup of brown rice, and ½ cup of squash that you packed last night.

Lift weights (Yes, women, too!): You will not “bulk up” or become overtly muscular unless you eat for that purpose. While on a caloric deficit, you will not “bulk up” or put on any unwanted muscle past the point your caloric level allows. While you will appear more muscular if you lift weights 2-3 times a weight with moderate to heavy weight, it will be more along the lines of the “toned” look. If you diet and perform cardio, you will shrink. You will have that squishy, skinny/fat look. Lifting weights will not only rev up your metabolism but also give you that sleek, athletic look that we all desire!

Relax!: Nothing can put a kink in your diet and workout regimen like stress! We all need to find some stress-relieving activities to keep us grounded and away from the doctor. Stress can have profound effects on health (both mental and physical, all negative). Try to find ways to relieve stress and relax! Stress-relief can come in the form of going for a walk around at the end of the day or waking up 10-15 minutes early so that you may snuggle with your spouse in bed before the day begins. Little stresses can compound and have a huge effect on your health and mental state. Try to find 10-15 minutes a day to just.... let it all go!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Avoid the sugar crash of Halloween candy and STILL have a spooky, fun-filled holiday!

Halloween weekend can wreak havoc on a healthy lifestyle...if you let it. Mounds of chocolate, candied apples, and candy corn paired with very little activity can lead to a disastrous weekend for the health conscious parent.

Follow these Halloween Tricks and Treats to make this weekend a healthy, spooky affair:

- Use sugar-free or low calorie hard candy in your candy bowl.
- Opt for chocolate with 80% or more dark cocoa (studies have shown in aids in lowering blood pressure and raising good cholesterol)
- Make it an active weekend for your kids and their friends. Plan a Halloween dance party for the neighborhood children, a biking adventure, or even a walk around the neighborhood.
- Offer healthy snack alternatives such as trail mix bags, almonds, cereal bars, or protein bars during.
- Limit the amount of candy your kids can eat throughout the day. Make 4-5 pre-packaged bags of 2-3 small pieces of candy. Give them one bag a day to be eaten around lunch time after their whole food meal (so as to avoid binging on candy right before going to sleep).
- After you ration the Halloween candy for 7-10 days, throw away the rest! Having extra candy in the house is an invitation to you and your kids to binge on chocolate. Out of sight, out of mind.

Make this Halloween weekend a healthy, safe, and fun occasion. You may be labeled the “health nut mom” of the neighborhood, but your kids, their neighbors, and their parents will thank you in the long run! It’s not about a weekend of binging on candy; it’s about having a healthy, happy family.

Friday, October 1, 2010

News from my favorite fitness place - 360 Fitness!

Check out the October E-Newsletter from 360 Fitness! Better yet, join the mailing list and have the latest news delivered right to your inbox!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Never Too Old To Start...or Stop Exercising!

If you need a little inspiration to get moving today...here it is! Ernestine Shepherd is 74years old and can run circles around most of us! She is amazing!

Just a few interesting facts about Ernestine:

Shepherd runs about 80 miles per week and bench presses 150 pounds.

Bicep curls are done with 15- and 20-pound dumbbells.

Once she began to see the effects of lifting weights, Shepherd dedicated herself to becoming the oldest fitness competitor. Then, she took up running, which led to her completing eight marathons.

She eats smart. She eats several small meals a day as part of a diet plan she formulated with her trainers. She takes in 1,700 calories a day, mostly comprised of boiled egg whites, chicken, vegetables and a liquid egg white drink. And she is adamant that she does not use performance-enhancing drugs or even supplements beyond vitamin D. Read the full article to find out more on how this grandmother went from Flab to Fab!

To see Ernestine in action...click here for a short video!

After seeing this...there is absolutely NO excuse for not working out! Let's get moving!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2 Birds 1 Stone: Multitasking While You Exercise

We talked last week about the plague of the busy schedule and it’s affects on our good intentions to exercise as often as needed. My favorite way to “make” time for my workouts is to make that 45 minutes of workout time, every day, extra productive. I love to read. I also enjoy watching my favorite TV programs and movies. But, instead of sitting on my duff for hours each week to do those things that I enjoy, I do them while I exercise.
With the invention of the IPod products, the possibilities of entertainment and productivity while you exercise are seemingly limitless! Here are a few of the latest audio books, podcasts, and movies I have watched and listened to during my workouts:

Spanish Lessons (Free podcast from CoffebreakSpanish.com) – 15-30 minute weeklylessons Daily News Update with NPR - an application I downloaded from ITunes (Free)
"The Five Love Languages of Children" by Dr. Gary Chapman (Audio book purchased on ITunes)
"Breaking Free" - a bible study by Beth Moore (Audio study series purchased on ITunes)
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" - movie (Rented and downloaded from ITunes, viewed directly on my Iphone)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. You can find audio books and podcasts on virtually any subject! Maybe you are a foodie, a techie, or a domestic goddess? Whatever your interests, you will find something perfect for you. I do, literally, 90% of my reading via audio books and podcasts. I simply don’t sit down to watch TV unless it’s a weekend evening and I am snuggled up with my husband and/or kiddos. I realize this may sound crazy to some. Yet, again, we are talking about a shift in accepted thinking patterns. You can’t create more hours in a day, but you can certainly combine activities to become a more efficient and effective person. That’s what each of us should be striving for each day...to become more efficient and effective. If you aren’t growing, then you are regressing! I encourage each of you to try this new approach to your workouts next week. If you don’t have an iPod product, it may take an upfront investment. But, it is completely worth every penny! Life is too short for procrastination! Do something good for yourself today! Hasta luego!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Finding Time to Exercise

You have exactly 24 hours in a day. I wish there were more. Alas, that is all we are given. So, as the old cliché goes, "Make the most of them", right? Absolutely! You may go to work or school; or be responsible for caring for sick family members, aging parents; or have little ones tugging at your pant legs, yet you ultimately decide how much time you will allot for any and all activities in your day. You get to choose exactly how you spend every minute of your day. And, that my friends, is an empowering thought.

It always amazes me how many people say they don't have time to exercise or exercise as often as they would like to. But, it seems like every one of those persons managed to take a shower that day or brush his/her teeth. Indulge me, if you will, and take a look at a couple of our common Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and what would happen if we used the common "No Time" excuse to postpone these ADLs, sometimes indefinitely, like many people do with regular exercise.

Seldom, if ever, have I heard an individual lament over the lack of time he or she has to shower or brush their teeth (unless you are the mother of a newborn...you get a hall pass for that one).

"Oh, I just don't have any extra time to shower...I know I need to...I know it
would be good for me...I'd feel better...But, I am just not going to become one
of those crazed clean freaks who showers EVERY day..That's just too much....I
don’t want to overdo it!"

Sounds utterly ridiculous doesn't it? What would happen if we just couldn’t find the motivation or time to pick up the toothbrush and dental floss? Well, I imagine there would be a lot of romantic relationships decaying from the lack of dental hygiene! I can hear it now,

“Honey, you just don’t seem to enjoy being near me anymore. Is there something
wrong? I brushed my teeth at least once in the past three weeks. Aren’t you
proud of me?”

We have to begin looking at exercise, and its counterpart, healthy nutrition, as ADLs and not recreational activities; fads; or short-term wellness sabbaticals. Hopefully, you now have a different perspective on fitting exercise into your schedule. Next week, I will discuss tips to minimize the challenges of adding exercise or extra workouts to your agenda. I will also share with you how the Prince Family and our extended family at 360 Fitness keep workouts entertaining and fun!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Personal Trainers aren't REAL people are they?

As hands-on health club owners and personal trainers, my husband Michael and I often hear things like:

  • “You guys must only have rabbit food at your house!” (No - we have real food that tastes good!)
  • “What do you feed your kids – protein shakes?” (Well, yes and no. We do make healthy nutrient rich smoothies for snacks. But, we also let them eat junk – just not ALL of the time.)
  • “If I worked in a gym like you, it would be EASY to exercise...” (HA! Try working out and having your boss, co-workers, and customers needing your assistance at all times – we LOVE helping people...but, logistically, it is NOT an easy task to hop on the treadmill on a whim!)
  • “Unlike you trainers...I have a REAL life, I don’t have hours on end to spend working out and cooking nutritious food....What do you expect from me?” (What do you expect from you? If you set the bar low, like on the ground...you will probably hit it. And, we don’t have any more hours in the day than you probably do. Last time I checked...we all had 24 hours in a day, right?)

These are just a few of the comments we hear ALL of the time. The fact is that working in the health industry, doesn’t make us immune to the stresses and struggles of balancing everyday life with the ongoing commitment to living healthfully. The key word here is commitment. There are days where you won’t get your scheduled workout. There are days where you get home from work and you have no food in the house because you haven’t been to the grocery store. But, if you make a commitment to living your best life possible, you can circumvent life’s hiccups and come out on the other side a happier and healthier person! Don’t throw in the towel! Let us help you!

In this blog, I will be sharing tips, tricks and anecdotes straight from our household to yours. Stay tuned and you will learn how to make fitness a part of your everyday life with a little bit of grace and a BIG sense of humor.

If you have questions or topic ideas, please email me at melinda@360fitnessonline.com. I would love to hear from you! Have an incredible week!