Posts Tagged ‘Health’

We’ve heard it all before…we should exercise every day.  We’ve heard the studies that say regular exercise will reduce our risk for cancer, diabetes, obesity, depression, osteoporosis, etc.  No matter how much we want to exercise, we never follow through with the promises we make to ourselves to hit the gym or to make it to a yoga class.  Or maybe we do make it to a class or go for a jog but then we just can’t seem to stick with it – we can’t get into an exercise groove.  Our job, children, family and friends all need our attention, our money and/or our time.  We still think about exercise…mainly that we are not exercising…and this makes us feel guilty and stressed.  Our thoughts of all the exercise we should be doing, but aren’t, become overwhelming and we give up – sometimes before we start.  Is the thought of getting fit stressing you out and pushing you to inaction? 

But hold on a minute.  Rome, as they say, wasn’t built in a day.  And you don’t have to overwhelm yourself with all that you think you should be doing.  Instead, plan out what you can do in 15 minutes a day.  You can gain important health benefits in just 15 minutes of exercise each day.  Each time you complete a 15 minute session it will add up until you have hours of fitness under your belt.  Doing something is always better than doing nothing.  Your 15 minutes of something will add up to 1 hour and 45 minutes of fitness each week or 4.5 hours of fitness each month.  That’s pretty impressive if you are doing less than that now.

So what could you do during your 15 minutes of fitness?  Consider alternating each day between an aerobic session and a strength training session. 

Week 1 walk for 15 minutes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  

Week 2 complete a strength training session on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

Don’t think for a second that you need to have a gym membership or own an expensive piece of equipment for this 15 minute fitness program.  One of the best aerobic activities you can do for your self is to walk.  Walking 15 minutes 3-4 times each week will provide you with a number of health benefits.  Check out One Activity that Can Change Your Life for more information about the vast health benefits of walking. 

It is possible to create a strength training program at home with no equipment.  Using your own body weight as resistance you can do push-ups, sit-ups, squats, core exercises, dips, etc.  Use your 15 minutes of strength training to complete some light stretches, 10 push-ups, 25 sit-ups, 20 squats and 6 dips.  In one month, this will add up to 150 push-ups, 375 sit-ups, 300 squats and 90 dips each month.  See how these small incremental efforts add up to big time numbers?  Check out this previous post on weight training if you want to incorporate free-weights or you are looking for some other strength training exercises.

No matter what your situation, a fitness program is within your reach.  Don’t become paralyzed by unrealistic expectations.  Just commit to 15 minutes a day and alternate between an aerobic program and a strength training program to start your fitness program.  The most important thing you can do for your health today is to commit to a daily routine that you complete everyday no matter what.  A 15 minute commitment is do-able for everyone.  No excuses.  Make your 15 minute fitness program a habit and you will reap the health benefits guaranteed.

Do you ever become overwhelmed with your fitness goals?  Have you ever stopped exercising because you felt like what you were doing didn’t make a difference?  Let me know in the comments.  Thanks.

 Next Post:  Do You Have Lazy Habits?


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Drink Water at One Meal Per Day

Do you drink water with your meals?  It is a great habit to develop.  Not only is water a healthy and necessary requirement for your body but it has zero calories. 

Try this at home:  drink a glass of water with one of your daily meals instead of the beverage you would normally drink.  As long as you don’t sneak in a replacement drink later in the day, you will consume fewer calories each day.

For example, drinking a glass of water with dinner instead of an 8oz. glass of cranberry juice cocktail will save you 137 calories per day, 959 calories per week and a whopping 49,868 calories per year.  If it takes 3,500 calories to equal a pound then 49,868 calories equals 14.24 lbs. over a year’s time.  That’s 14 lbs. that you can control with one small change in your daily routine.

Scroll below to see the calorie content for some of your favorite beverages.

Beverage / Calories                                                   

Cola, 8 oz.  /  112 calories

Cranberry Juice Cocktail, 8 oz.  /  137 calories

Grape Drink, 8oz.  /  143 calories

Iced Tea-Sweetened, 12 oz.  /  120 calories

Kool-Aid,* 8 oz.  /  96 calories

Lemon-lime Soda, 8oz.  /  98 calories

Light Beer, 12 oz.  /  103 calories

Milk-2%, 8 oz.  /  122 calories

Orange Juice, 8 oz.  /  112 calories

Soy Milk, 8 oz.  /  125 calories

Wine-Red, 6 oz.  /  150 calories

Wine-White, 6 oz.  /  147 calories

*mix 1 cup sugar per 2 quarts water 

Source:  www.ahealthyme.com and www.caloriecount.about.com

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Can you figure out from the clues below the one activity that can change your life?

  1. All you need to start is a pair of athletic shoes.
  2. This activity will help you sleep better.
  3. You can choose to go solo, grab a partner or join a group while doing this activity.
  4. It requires no training or classes.
  5. It can lower your cholesterollower your blood pressure, lower/maintain your weight, and lower your risk for cancers.
  6. This activity can bring you closer to nature.
  7. This activity will improve your emotional well-being.
  8. You can include your family, your friends and/or your dog during this activity.
  9. It can improve the health of your heart.
  10. It can be done almost anywhere and at any time of day.
  11. It can help prevent the onset of osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes.
  12. It can improve your flexibility and balance.
  13. It should be done in at least 10 minute increments – 30 minutes/day.
  14. This activity can be done for a lifetime.

Did you guess walking?

It’s hard to believe that something we’ve all been doing since about the age of 2 can be the solution to many of the physical and mental health risks that we often face in a modern society.

Our bodies are built to walk and by simply increasing the amount of time that you walk each day, you can change your life by improving your physical and mental health.

Is Walking Right for Me?

Maybe it has been a while since you’ve been active or maybe you are thinking of joining a health club.  You may be wondering if you have the time to walk or if walking will really help you reach your goals.  You might be questioning if walking is really the right fitness routine for you?   If so, scroll down to answer the following questions.

  • Do I want a fitness routine that can be started for the cost of a pair of shoes?
  • Can I commit to a physical activity, do it in at least 10 minute increments and work towards 30 minutes a day?
  • Do I want to exercise with my family, my friends or my dog?
  • Do I want an exercise routine that can bring me closer to nature?
  • Do I want an exercise routine that lets me choose to go solo, grab a partner or exercise in a group?
  • Do I want a fitness activity that requires no training or classes and that can be done almost anywhere and at any time of day?
  • Do I want to improve my flexibility and balance?
  • Do I want a fitness routine that can lower my cholesterol, lower my blood pressure, lower my risk for cancers and lower or maintain my weight?
  • Do I want a fitness routine that can improve the health of my heart, prevent osteoporosis, and prevent Type 2 diabetes?
  • Do I want an exercise program that will help my emotional well-being, help me problem-solve and help me manage life’s daily stresses?
  • Do I want to start a daily fitness activity that I can do for a lifetime?
  • Do I want to sleep better?

Did you answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions above?  If so, I encourage you to locate your sneakers and some weather appropriate clothing and take a walk today!  If you’re a new walker, take a 10 minute walk at a pace that’s a little faster than normal*.  If you are already walking regularly, add 10 minutes to your normal walk time or try to walk faster during some or most of your walk.  When you’re done, give yourself a big pat on the back – you are changing your life for the better by walking.

*The American Heart Association recommends that doctors “screen all patients with a history  of cardiovascular disease or who are at high risk of a heart attack or stroke before they start a vigorous exercise program.  People who are obese, have diabetes or other serious medical problems, or who have been sedentary for a long time should talk to their doctor before starting any exercise program.”

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