When you start or change any exercise program, make sure to schedule in your rest and recovery days. I always tell my clients to listen to their bodies on a daily basis. Sometimes you may work so hard that you forget to figure this in. For any goal that you have, your recovery days are just as important. Depending on how long you have been exercising and your frequency will determine how much time you need to recover. During your programs it is a good thing to take every 3rd day off as a general rule. You can even schedule in active recovery weeks every 3 weeks. This would just be yoga, light runs, or just light workouts where you are still moving but not pushing yourself. Every 3 months it is ok to take a week off to give your body some quality rest time. If you have any of the symptoms below, it may be time to take a breather:
- prolonged muscle soreness
- lack of motivation
- lack of concentration
- tired all the time
- inability to challenge yourself in your workouts
- Unexplained weight gain
Make sure that you are also getting an adequate amount of sleep every night. There is no cut and dry amount of time for everyone in general, but if you find yourself exhausted mid afternoon everyday you may need more sleep.
Keep this balance in your routine and you will be able to enjoy your workouts so much more!
When you think of burning fat, you think of what? Cardio? Weight training? Cutting carbs? Did you know that up to 30 minutes of exercise will use glucose (carbohydrates) as the primary energy source? When our body is depleted of these stores it will convert fat for energy. This process however requires a lot of oxygen from the muscles so you cannot move at a fast rate using stored fat. There are two ways you can target your body fat during your workouts. Exercise at a slow rate for longer than 30 minutes (60-120 minutes) or you can engage in a HIIT (high intensity interval training) regimen which depletes these stores and will cause an after burn affect (continuous calorie burn up to 72 hours after you have completed your workout.
Also, remember to limit your carbohydrate intake to target this stored fat. If you keep eating carbohydrates, your body will just use this for energy and never reach the body fat stores. When you do eat carbs make sure they are nutrient dense (whole grains and fruits). I recommend my clients to limit their carbohydrate consumption to 2 servings per day when they are trying to lose bodyfat (healthy carbohydrates). The rest of your diet should be protein and vegetables. Ideally vegetables should be a majority of your diet. This is the mistake most people make.
Exercise daily to keep your metabolism high and your calorie burn will be increased tremendously.
Are you one that notoriously struggles with trying to establish a regular fitness routine?? Did you ever notice that the things at the bottom of your priority list are the things that get pieced in at the end (if they even fit)? Think about it, if exercise is not a priority on your list, everything else you do during your day will be scheduled first and if it fits…….you will add your workout in. STOP doing this! We all know that living an active lifestyle is so important in your long term health. Fitness should be who you are and how you live your everyday. Will there be days that something crazy happens and you will have to forgo your workout? ABSOLUTELY, but it will be few and far between if your “everyday” routine is living a fit lifestyle.
If you are struggling, try making fitness the first thing you schedule in your day. I look at my week and know exactly when my workout is each day. Typically it is the same time everyday so that I know nothing will get in the way. It is designated my “workout time”. Do you have a designated time or does it just fall when you have extra time?
Most of us have so much more to do during the holiday season and unfortunately neglect our workouts. This is a big mistake, due to all the extra calories and stress we have this time of year. Even if you can only squeeze 30 minutes of physical activity per day, make sure to make it a priority to stick with your routine. If you do, you’ll have a head start to those trying to undo the damage come January 1.
When you think of losing weight or changing your body, what comes to mind? Joining a gym and starting to exercise on a regular basis? That’s what most of us think about, especially January 1st when the new years resolutions start. What most don’t realize is that this doesn’t just happen those 3 hours you spend in the gym. It has to travel outside the gym, into your home and your work life. I have the opportunity to work with clients 3-4 days per week on average. Those hours with me are great and they will get a good workout, but it is the other 165 hours they are without me are so much more important. That’s a lot of time! What do you do with the time that you are outside of the gym? Are you eating healthy to support your workouts, are you sleeping 7-8 hours each night? Do you stay active throughout the day in order to keep your metabolism high? Are you drinking enough water? There are so many things that you should be doing to help you reach your fitness goals. It’s awesome that you come into the gym 3-4 days per week for your workouts but be aware and proactive about what you do the rest of the day. Achieve that #fitlife status and live the lifestyle. Let it become who you are and then you will start to see and feel your body make those changes.
I’ll admit it, I’m not the most organized person but this has been something I’ve been working on for the past year. It was my new years resolution to utilize my agenda more and write things down. My husband on the other hand is extremely organized and has helped me work on those challenges. What does this take? It takes discipline and repetition. I used to take for granted the fact I could remember everything and not write things down, BUT when you are only taking care of yourself and have a billion less responsibilities it is much easier. Now that I am a business owner and mom I have to write things down or my stress level is through the roof!
Throughout my career as a personal trainer I’ve noticed my clients who are more organized are those that are more successful with their fitness regimen. Exercise is usually the thing that gets put on the back burner when situations arise. We all have tons of things to do, but if we can organize our time properly we can fit exercise in and have plenty of time to finish our other tasks.
Life is all about balance and to achieve balance organization is a must especially for busy people. So if you are trying to get your fitness finally on track, take a look at your daily organizational skills and break out that agenda. This may be the key to your success in establishing a less stressful lifestyle.
We live in a day where nutrition is hard and workouts are even harder. Is all that necessary though? Life is all about balance (which I preach all the time). You can’t eat what you want and then punish yourself with exercise. How will that leave you in 20 years? Not in a healthy spot that’s for sure. I was training one of my clients yesterday who just turns 79 today. Sweetest woman! We work on activities of daily living just to make daily living tasks easier for her. Just things like bending over to pick things up, reaching in the cabinet to get a glass, and getting out of bed. We take those things for granted when we are young and don’t realize what it will be like when we lack the strength to do those activities that are required just to survive everyday. She was telling me about her past and how active she was. Typically we think if we are active all our lives, those things will never be hard. But she was very active when she was younger. Then she said to me “I think I may have done a little too much.” Activities that she really enjoyed, like golf were becoming hard on her joints and back. THIS is why balance is so important. It’s okay to do tough workouts a day or two a week, but I also take some days and do “light” workouts which I call “active recovery”. It’s so important to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits on a constant basis. After all we have only one body and when it’s worn out there’s only so much you can do to just to maintain a good quality of life. So find that life balance and maintain that within limits. Also, be sure to eat healthy so that you support your active lifestyle. It can be a double edged sword if you are eating crap and then thinking that you can just work it off in the gym. It doesn’t work like that and you will pay for that pattern later. If you need help organizing a program to maintain this balance I’m always here to help!
Did you ever wonder what is the secret to change? Let’s face it, change is hard to do. If you are trying to workout on a regular basis and you haven’t achieved that yet, change has not happened for you. We all work and move with our emotions. Our feelings make up our actions. This is where your “why” comes into the equation. Why do you want this change to happen? Why do you want to be healthy? There is always a why that moves you to join a gym, start exercising, and change your diet. In order to create change and stick with it, you have to be emotionally connected to the importance of the change. It has to be strong enough to drive you to get to the gym everyday. Think about it, what you grab to eat all the time is driven by your mind. It’s an emotional decision. It’s how you feel at that moment. One of the tricks of mastering your emotions is to slow down. Your mind is so powerful. When you have a goal, you have steps that you need to get there. Those steps are compromised by your emotions. For example, you’ve had a long day at work and your coworker makes you upset. Your emotion says, just go home and rest. You’ve had a tough day and the last thing you should do is spend more energy and go workout. If you want to actually achieve your goal, successful people will slow down at that moment and talk themselves back into getting to the gym. All it takes is stopping and talking to yourself. Dig deep and say, what is my goal? Why did I want to achieve that goal? How will achieving that goal make me feel? Just by doing this you will realize that if you make the right decision and stick with your goal you will be in a better state than if you skipped. Think long term. Don’t make decisions based on immediate gratification. This is not what successful people do.
Who are you going to listen to? Immediate gratitude or long term success?
If you are a human, there are days, weeks, or even months where the unexpected happens and interrupts your routine. What do you do when that happens? Do you wait for an even time to restart (a Monday or the begining of the next month)? This is a HUGE mistake when you are striving for a healthy lifestyle. It puts the thought in your mind that your “normal” routine is to eat whatever you want and don’t workout if you don’t feel like it. If you make it a priority you won’t wait for the next Monday. You will get right back on as soon as possible. Then your “normal” will become the healthy lifestyle you strive for.
~ Happy Friday
This past week was a very scary one for me and my family along with hundreds of thousands of Floridians. Hurricane Irma made it’s way over to our state and caused major disruption in our lives. Even though my husband prepared our house and the gym as much as he possibly can for a major hurricane, the fear of the unknown drove me to evacuate myself and the kids to GA until if was over. Amazingly, Irma took a turn around our lucky town and the eye wall of the storm (strongest part of the hurricane) avoided us entirely. Talk about the power of prayer!
When things like this happen, it puts so many parts of our lives in perspective. What we do when survival mode kicks in determines our priorities. There are 3 different types of people in life.
1. Those that take preparation when provided with the right tools who will do everything in their power to make the outcome the best as possible.
2. There are those who wait until the last minute and scramble to get things together, but most of the time fall short due to lost time.
3. And there are those that will do nothing, sit back and risk everything and chose to just deal with the aftermath when it comes.
Which one are you? Which one do you think will have the best outcome? We can’t guarantee each will, but your chances are a lot greater with #1. Are you doing something everyday to prepare your best future? This can be applied to your finances and physical health. Don’t wait until it is too late and you are scrambling to save yourself. Take action and know that every choice you make will lead to an outcome. It’s up to you what outcome you want to have.