Developing a Fitness Routine

Developing a Fitness Routine

If you don’t exercise regularly, now is the time to get started! It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, your physical condition, what time of year it is, or how busy you are. You can always come up with an excuse why now is not the right time. If it’s important to you, you’ll find the time in your schedule. You can do it! Your body and mind will thank you!


To remain committed for the long term, make exercise a habit. To do that you’ll need to put practices in place to help you establish and stick to an exercise regimen. 


Before you get started be aware of your current state of physical health. If necessary, consult your physician before you begin to exercise. Knowing what you are capable of and your limits will help you set a goal and have realistic expectations. 


What are you hoping to accomplish by exercising? Do you want to feel better, have more energy, lose weight, decrease medications, avoid or reverse a disease? Spend time reflecting on why it is important to you. When you face challenges or setbacks and think about quitting refer back to your WHY.


To reach a fitness goal, it is important to develop a routine. Determine the best time of day for you to exercise. Will it be better to get up and do it first thing in the morning? Or would you rather use exercise as a way to unwind towards the end of the day?


Until you have established a fitness habit consider scheduling when you’ll exercise and write it on a calendar or in your daily planner. You may have better luck actually doing it if it’s planned into your day and not done randomly. Performing exercise at the same time each day can be beneficial as well. Develop a plan and stick to it. 


Consider enlisting a friend, family member, or coworker as an exercise partner. You can be accountable to one another and keep each other motivated. Or meet with a trainer at the gym. Find someone to hold you accountable to your goals. You’ll be less likely to come up with excuses if someone is depending on you and knows what you are attempting to accomplish.


Track your activity. Keep a journal and write down when you exercise, what you did and for how long. A fitness tracker or downloadable app is another way to do it. A tracker provides a good visual of what you’ve done or haven’t done. 


Struggles and challenges are to be expected. When they happen recognize them for what they are, except them, recommit and move forward. Be patient and gentle with yourself throughout the process. 


I’ve been exercising at the same time every morning for so long I can’t remember when I started. Until COVID hit I was so regimented it was almost scary. 


In a typical week I work out 5 times at 5:30 am except on Saturday. Run on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Swim on Tuesday and Thursday. Sleep in on Friday and Sunday. Because the pool is closed the activities have changed but the routine has stayed the same. 


When on vacation or traveling exercise is still part of my routine. It can be a great way to explore new places as well. Again, the type of exercise and time of day may change but it still gets done. I share this to let you know it’s possible. If I can do it so can you!


Getting a good night’s sleep and eating healthy foods can help provide you with the energy you need to exercise. I’ve put together a guide with tips on how to promote a good night’s sleep. Click here to get the guide.


Think more consciously about the decisions you make every day. How do they impact your health? What simple choices can you make to help you lead a more healthy and vibrant life?


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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Diet & Exercise for Weight Loss

Diet & Exercise for Weight Loss

Exercise alone is not enough to guarantee weight loss. To lose weight it’s typically necessary to combine exercise (physical activity) with good nutrition. 


Are you disciplined about going to the gym, or were you before COVID hit? Do you have an exercise routine in place or are you regularly physically active? If you’ve been active consistently for more than a month, have you experienced a change in body shape and lost weight? 


If you answered yes, wonderful! Keep it up! If you haven’t seen any noticeable changes, I recommend you continue your exercise regimen AND take a close look at what you eat.


Exercise

Recommendations and tips:

  1. Cardio workouts increase your heart rate and help burn calories. Burning calories helps you lose weight. Maintaining the proper weight puts less stress on your body.
    Click 
    here to calculate your body mass index, BMI, to see if you are overweight, normal or underweight
  2. Strive for 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. 
  3. On those days, or weeks, when you can’t seem to find the time to exercise, get creative!You can burn calories climbing stairs, grocery shopping, house cleaning, mowing the lawn, gardening, engaging in active play with children, walking the dog, and etc. 
  4. If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.
  5. Incorporate strength training into your routine to build and maintain healthy bones. As you age, bone mass, especially among women, is reduced. Lifting weights can help.
  6. Building muscle helps you maintain a healthy metabolism. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you build muscle and reduce fat, you’ll burn more calories.

Don’t have an exercise regimen? Start one today. You could begin by increasing physical activity and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able.


Nutrition

You may need to change your relationship with food. Food is meant to fuel the body not to provide pleasure. When you think differently about what, how, and why you eat it can make a big difference. Just like an exercise regimen, changing food habits can take time. Make a commitment to eat healthier, more nutritious food and stick to it.


Food for thought:

  1. If you aren’t putting healthy, nutritious foods in your body you can exercise all you want but will, most likely, not see a change in body shape or experience weight loss. 
  2. Skip fad diets. They don’t work. Your body needs fat, carbohydrates, and protein. The source you receive them from is important.
  3. Incorporate more whole foods into your diet. That means food in its original form. Vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes and nuts. 
  4. Cut down on or eliminate sugar, including artificial sweeteners. They typically end in “ose.” Fructose, sucralose, and etc. Sugar is addictive and the more you eat it the more you crave it.
  5. Reduce sodium. Read labels and purchase foods with no sodium added or choose ones with the lowest sodium. Just because it says low sodium on the label doesn’t mean it’s so.
  6. Replace the food in your pantry and refrigerator with healthy alternatives. Be sure to read labels carefully.
  7. Create a meal plan and shop accordingly. Invest in new cookbooks and/or seek online resources for healthy, nutritious recipes.

Changing the foods you eat does not mean sacrificing flavor and taste. Since switching to a plant-based diet I have created many dishes that are as good, if not better, than the ones I used to make. There are foods I ate every day that I loved. Now, I don’t miss them a bit!


Are there days or times when I struggle? When I’m tempted to eat something not on my “menu”? Absolutely! Occasionally I indulge myself but not often. At times like these I think about my WHY. It can be very beneficial in helping you stay committed.


Know your personality. Can you immediately change the way you eat or do you need to ease into it? Pick the system that will work best for you. Set yourself up for success.


Remember whole health is achieved through balance. It encompasses physical, emotional, environmental, spiritual, and social well-being.


If you haven’t picked up my guide on how to promote a good night’s sleep, click here. You want to be sure you’re getting the proper amount of sleep so you have the energy to exercise and prepare delicious, healthy meals.

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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Are You Physically Active?

Are You Physically Active?

Do you exercise? 


I’ve led an active lifestyle my entire life. More “formal” exercise started in my 20s, I’m 54. Even during a battle with breast cancer I maintained an exercise regimen. It helped me make it through!


Implementing, and sticking to, a fitness regimen can be quite challenging. If you don’t currently have one in place, now is the time to start. Exercise, or physical activity, provides many benefits to your body both physically and mentally. 


Don’t get hung up on the terminology! Being physically active is what’s important. You don’t have to participate in traditional forms of exercise. The important thing is to move your body. It’s not meant to be sedentary. 


If morning is the best time for you to exercise but you hit the snooze button every time the alarm goes off, use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. When the alarm sounds, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and get up. That’s the amount of time it takes your brain to change your mind about doing something. Purchase a dawn simulator so it’s light in your room even if the sun hasn’t come up yet. Your body will think it is time to get up because it is light. 


It’s recommended that adults get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. If you aren’t physically able to perform the recommended amount of exercise (movement) then start from where you are and over time build up to it. 


Setting a measurable goal can be helpful when first get started and to keep you engaged. Be realistic about the goal so you can achieve it. When you achieve the first one set a larger or harder goal. Reaching a goal can help you stay motivated and you’ll be less likely to give up. 


You could begin with alternative activities and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able. Little changes made consistently over time will have the greatest impact.


Reasons to Exercise 

The benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle are: 

  • Heart health
  • Bone health
  • Movement and flexibility
  • Independence
  • Safety 
  • Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Balance emotions like depression and stress

Types of Exercise

  • Aerobic activities to increase your heart rate and burn calories. This is crucial for weight loss. It’s also important to have good nutrition. Exercise alone is not the key to losing weight.
  • Weight training for strength. It is good at any age but maybe even more so as you age for bone health.
  • Stretching for flexibility. You can maintain mobility as you age if you keep your muscles loose and long. Practice Essentrics, a form of stretching designed by Miranda Esmond-White. Watch her show on PBS, Classical Stretch, or visit her website to find a class in your area.

Alternative Exercise

In addition to traditional forms there are other ways you can get exercise. 

  • House cleaning
  • Yard work
  • Park farther away from the store when you go shopping
  • Use the stairs any time that you can
  • Play with children or pets outdoors and in
  • Use the push mower instead of the riding lawnmower

Maintaining an active lifestyle is key. If you don’t have time to get a workout in, try to be active in other ways during the day. Get your heart rate up so you can still burn calories. If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.


Exercise and Cancer

The American Cancer Society shared the following information.

There is a continued need to understand how modifiable behaviors like physical activity may help prevent and control cancer in the population.

  • Exercise is important for cancer prevention for all adults. It lowers the risk of seven common types of cancer: colon, breast, endometrial, kidney, bladder, esophagus, and stomach. 
  • Exercise can help improve survival for cancer survivors after a diagnosis of breast, colon, and prostate cancer. 
  • Exercise during and after cancer treatment improves fatigue, anxiety, depression, physical function, and quality of life and does not exacerbate lymphedema. 

Awareness is the first step to creating change. Identify what your current level of physical activity is and what actions you need to take to get to where you want it to be.


The human body was made to move. Get yours up and going! Remember to start slow and be consistent. Build a routine. Small steps completed consistently over time will create the most change.


Hey, by the way, I have a guide on how to promote a good night’s sleep. Do you think physical activity is one of the factors? Click here to get the guide.



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Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.

Be Fit For Life


Just like changing your diet, implementing, and sticking to, a fitness regimen can be quite challenging. If you don’t currently have one in place, now is the time to start. Exercise provides many benefits to your body both physically and mentally. 


If morning is the best time for you to exercise but you hit the snooze button every time the alarm goes off, use Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule. When the alarm sounds, count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and get up. That’s the amount of time it takes your brain to change your mind about doing something. Purchase a dawn simulator so it’s light in your room even if the sun hasn’t come up yet. Your body will think it is time to get up because it is light. 

It is recommended that adults get 30 minutes of high intensity aerobic activity 5 times a week or 90 minutes of moderate aerobic activity. If you aren’t physically able to perform the recommended amount of exercise, then start from where you are and build up to it. 

Set realistic goals so you can achieve them. Once you’ve achieved the first one set larger or harder goals. Reaching a goal will help keep you motivated and you’ll be less likely to give up. You could begin with some alternative activities and move into more traditional forms of exercise as you are able. Little changes made consistently over time will have the greatest impact.

Reasons to Exercise 

You probably already know why you should exercise but I’ll share some reasons with you anyway. The benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle are: 

  • Heart health
  • Bone health
  • Movement and flexibility
  • Independence
  • Safety 
  • Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Balance emotions like depression and stress

Types of Exercise

  • Aerobic activities to increase your heart rate and burn calories. This is crucial for weight loss. At the same time make sure you are not starving yourself. It’s important to have good nutrition and get the proper amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats to support your body.
  • Weight training for strength
  • Stretching for flexibility. You can maintain mobility as you age if you keep you muscles loose and long. Practice Essentrics, a form of stretching designed by Miranda Esmond-White. Watch her show on PBS, Classical Stretch, or visit her website to find a class in your area.

Alternative Exercise

In addition to traditional forms there are other ways you can get exercise. 

  • House cleaning
  • Yard work
  • Park farther away from the store when you go shopping
  • Use the stairs any time that you can
  • Play with children or pets outdoors and in
  • Use the push mower instead of the riding lawnmower

Maintaining an active lifestyle is key. If you don’t have time to get a workout in, try to be active in other ways during the day. Get your heart rate up so you can still burn calories. If you have a smart watch, keep track of the steps you take and the calories you burn during the day.

Setup for Success

Awareness is the first step to making changes. Identify what it will take for you to be successful.

  • Join a gym
  • Go to a fitness class
  • Hire a personal trainer or lifestyle coach
  • Find an accountability partner
  • Schedule exercise into your calendar

The human body was made to move, not to be sedentary. Get yours up and going. Remember to start slow and be consistent. Build a routine. It takes repetition to create a habit, or to break one. Small steps completed consistently over time will create the most change.

Love what you read here? Subscribe for updates.


Follow me on Social:


Note: There may be affiliate links in this post. • I am not a doctor. All information is for educational use only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional.
 
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