All You Need Is Inspiration And A Good Ass Kicking

Shocked by the title of this post?  I was too initially when it came out of my mouth this morning, but it made me laugh which in turn lightened my day a bit from the get go so maybe it will do the same for yours?  Couldn’t hurt right?  After all we are mid-week and still have a few more days to march on before the weekend.  But before I digress even further let’s move on…

I’m going to come clean with it and state the obvious: You know the value in exercise and if you don’t know or recognize that it has value you are simply ignoring the obvious or in denial.  Now the problem lies where you know how beneficial it is but you just don’t do it for whatever reasons…. kids, lack of time, laziness, just stuck in a slump what have you. I could sit here and bark at you the old unladylike mantra: excuses are like assholes everyone has one and they stink!  However something tells me this is not going to motivate you enough to change anything…  Well then why do I bring this up?  It’s personal, it’s personal because the man I love is one of the most stubborn mules I know when it comes to exercise.  Talk about opposites attracting I am close to the point of obsession with educating myself about health and exercise and he is closer to the remote, bag of doritos, and 64oz regular pop!

HOWEVER, that’s suddenly changed! Whether he got hit in the head, scared himself into motivation or had a dream I’ve had an exercise breakthrough with him.  (Little known fact we are getting married in September, so perhaps that was part of his motivation after seven years of no motivation).  Those who know him know this is fantastic.  In the seven years I’ve dated him he’s never lifted a bone in his body to exercise and healthy foods or nutrition counts was a trend he avoided like the plague.

But he did it! He got off his couch, dropped the remote and signed up for a gym.  Now rest assured he still has plenty couch and remote time but he has begun to make a change which is all you need.  He actually went grocery shopping with me and picked out healthy foods which I didn’t even think he knew the name of! When he comes home from the gym you can see a glow about him and how much better he feels after kicking his ass on the treadmill or with weights its elating! My house is now filled with men’s health articles and in fact this morning I saw by his keys a little note he had written himself on exercises to do while at the gym today.  I wanted to jump for joy!

I am trying my hardest not to sound too overexcited around him as I’m afraid it might cause him to stop doing what he’s doing but I simply cannot help it!  I am eager to see come September his results and will keep you posted.

So why is my personal story an inspiration for you?  Because each and every one of you knows someone like the above, whether it’s a friend, close family member, or even yourself.  There is unfortunately nothing you can do to motivate or force anyone to make the change (I tried that route over a few years trust me!) unless the person is yourself and if you’re reading this blog that’s the first step in the right direction – becoming informed.  Afterall, all it takes is some inspiration and a good ass kicking to make a difference.


Creative Ways To Sneak In Daily Exercise

“I work full-time, have children or family members to take care of, a dog to walk and by the time I’ve finished those chores I’m beat.”  Does this sound familiar?  I bet the answer is yes and if it is you are far from alone. 

Did you know the minimum weekly requirements for exercise are 150 minutes of moderate intensity workouts and 2 or more days of multi-muscle strength training?  Approximately 7 in 10 adults are NOT achieving this goal and that is not ok.  Exercise goes far beyond the physical aspects.  It helps out your cardiovascular system and heart. Exercising helps increase your muscle mass to help your body work more efficiently and can help you as you age from muscle and bone loss.  Exercising can even help you have more energy and sleep better at night.  So after reading those facts it seems like a no brainer to incorporate something daily, right?

Here’s where I can help.  Below are some every day easy suggestions of ways you can meet and exceed the weekly minimum of activity:

* Try incorporating 10 push ups either immediately when you wake up or after brushing your teeth in the evening and 10 lunges.  Can’t do 10 yet?  Try 5 and work your way up to 10.  Feel like 10 is too little do 20. This will not only tone your arms and legs over time but will chip away at some of the strength training weekly minimums.

* Clean your house weekly.  Spend 45 minutes – 1 hour every week doing household chores like laundry and washing/sweeping floors or vaccuming…etc.  Housework is great physical activity and will chip away at the cardio/strength portions of the week.  Added bonus:  a clean house!  Imagine that.

* Take the stairs. Can’t get outside?  Do you have stairs in your house?  If you are able to get up and down them safely then walking or running up and down the stairs 10 times  three days a week is a great way to up the activity and build in some muscle.

* Skip the car/bus/train – Save yourself between $2-$7 a trip and walk.  If you are within a mile of your destination and allot for enough times that a great way to get in a brisk walk.  Do this 2-3 times a week 15-20 minutes a trip.   Alternate option here would be to park your car at the end of the aisle in a parking lot away from the stores when shopping or going to work… sure you may have to push a cart full of groceries but that is the point!

*Use your 15 minute break or lunch break wisely.  Do you just sit and eat at your desk?  Then there’s no reason  you can’t either get out for a 15-30 minute walk or if it’s too cold outside you can have a light pair (3-5lb) of hand weights available to you.  Before lunch do 8-15 reps and after lunch do another set.  You can do kickbacks for the underarm giggle, bicep curls, or should raises.  Incorporate your leg muscles too… incorporate in your sets squats to get in even more benefits.

Hopefully I’ve listed above some easy ways to fit exercise into your daily life without going to the gym or taking away from your busy lifestyles.  Just think if you fit in time to surf the net today or check your personal email you can add in at least one of the above!

How Essential Is Protein To Your Body?

Examples of high-protein foods are tofu, dairy...

How much protein are you incorporating in your diet?  Protein is an enormous asset for the body in helping build lean muscle and sustain your daily body performance.  It’s amazing the difference it can make by skimping on something your body needs to function safely.  Here’s a personal example:  Last year in March I decided to try my own cleanse and rid meat from my diet for one month.  Now I am a very active person walking 3 plus miles a day and working out 4-5 days a week so as you can see getting the correct nutrients is essential for proper functioning of my body.

  As the month progressed I began feeling very sluggish and noticed a lot on canker sores starting to develop in my mouth.  I went for a regular annual doctors check up and had my blood drawn.  My doctor was a bit alarmed as my white blood cell count was riding too low.  She sent me to a specialist to further investigate and make sure there wasn’t something else going on.  After the results came back that it was indeed low but there were no abnormalities my mom decided to intervene as she was convinced I was depleting my body of necessary protein.  She insisted I give up my meat free diet and make a steak for me instead.  After eating that and fazing meat back into my life all of a sudden I had more energy, the painful canker sores disappeared and my white blood count went back to more of a normal range.  So as you can learn from my lesson not giving your body something as essential as protein can really take a toll on it. 

I came across an article in the most recent Fitness magazine all on protein.  I found it quite interesting and reaffirming of what I already knew to be true.  Here were my key takeaways:

* Protein takes more energy for your body to breakdown than carbs or fat.  More energy = more calories burned (+)

 *Is excellent after a workout when your body is in need of nutrients to help build lean muscle and repair the body

* Helps keep you full longer

* You do not need to overdose on protein.  Women specifically only need about 65 grams a day.  According to the USDA the average women gets about 69 grams so we’re doing just fine.

So to conclude make sure you keep protein in your life in some form that works for you.  I’m curious to hear any thoughts you guys

 have on the subject? Would you say you are you more of a meat focused or plant based consumer?  What’s the top source of protein you like to indulge in (peanut butter, steak, salmon, tofu)?

2013 Top Nutrition Trends

2013 Top Nutrition Trends

I came across this article when searching the web for fad diets and other interesting evolutions to expect this year.  Of course I’m sure as the year progresses another “ancient” roots diet may resurface in those looking to be closer to our original stomping grounds when life first began (think Paleo diet) in an attempt to solve that ever tricky puzzle of the right balance between exercise and diet.  My opinion?  Well first I think there’s no one “ultimate” solution.  Just like clothes there are different solutions for everyone. I choose to pick a one two punch kind of mentality. I live a healthy lifestyle (90 percent healthy diet plus regular exercise) and track my activity/foods so I can’t lie to myself.  The verdict is it got me in shape 8 years ago when I had spiraled out of control, and kept me in shape despite having a child and continues to ever since.

How about you?  Which diet are you following and why?  Are you hard core organic, gluten free, vegetarian, or one of those folk who likes jumping onboard the latest diet trend?

Yoga and Detox – Start 2013 Off At Your Best

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs

Yoga Class at a Gym Category:Gyms_and_Health_Clubs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all hear about different herbals , drinks, and diets that cleanse and renew our bodies for optimum performance, but what if you dont have the money to invest in detoxification or what if your leary about the subject in general?  Why not try a detoxing workout offering the same renewing and digestive aiding properties that are in detox programs.

Yoga is known for its tremendous body benefits experienced by everyone from the exercise newbie to the weight lifting gym rat.  Yoga offers something to fine tune or shape up overall body performance in everyone.  It also serves as an excellent detoxifying workout with all of the spinal twists involved.  

I came across a fantastic article listing the yoga twists involved in the detox process. Give them a try when you have a moment and let us know how you feel.

Workouts and more

I wanted to take a moment to remind you of the tab in this blog called Sweat Sessions.  This page links to various workouts I’ve created for you to try.  The intention is to offer you quick workouts in a variety of forms and levels to help you reach your goals in a time crunched world.  I’ve added a new one today called “15 Minute Cardio Quickie – Beginner”.  Check it out when you have a moment: 

Now let’s get crunching!