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How to Finally Achieve Your New Years Fitness Resolutions

Written by Lisa Jillanza

New Years Resolutions So we survived the Holidays and New Years is just around the corner. A wonderful time of celebration, friends, champagne, and of course New Year's Resolutions. Resolutions are wonderful ways to better ourselves and finally attempt to become the productive, happy, healthy person that we know we can be.

The trouble with New Year's Resolutions is that after time our enthusiasm to make changes tend to wane once we realize we can't change everything overnight and the commitment to make these changes becomes less exciting and too much work. According to www.proactivechange.com 40%-45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. Among the top New Year's resolutions are those dealing with weight loss and exercise. In addition, according to this site a mere 46% maintain these resolutions after six months.

In order to make lasting changes, there are several things that you can do to stick to your fitness resolutions and actually see the results that you've been wishing for since New Year's Day 1989. By modifying your attitude, changing your lifestyle and coming up with an effective and realistic plan for success you can make 2010 the year that you actually did it.

Modifying your Attitude- According to exercise.about.com by having the wrong attitude about fitness you're setting yourself up for failure before you even started. Oftentimes people consider exercise merely a punishment for bad eating habits, an obligation, painful and time consuming, boring, or impossible to sustain over a long period of time.

By modifying your attitude about exercise in general you are more likely to stick with your program and see positive results. Try out a different perspective because after all, you're the only one that can truly change your attitude and therefore the outcome. Instead of boring or painful look at exercise as a break from a stressful day, a way to boost energy and mood, time for yourself, time for your mind to rest, a reward for your body or a way to improve your quality of life.

Here are some additional key points about exercise from exercise.about.com:

1. Sheer willpower doesn't work- Willpower is for short-term success. Long-term success requires planning, discipline and finding new and different ways to motivate yourself every day.

2. Motivation will not magically happen- What motivates you will change from day to day. You will have to recommit to your goals each day, tweak them to fit changes in your lifestyle and attitude and find new ways to motivate yourself over the course of your entire life.

3. You will not always want to exercise and eat healthy- This is something that you will have to work on every day.

Adjust your Lifestyle- By adjusting your lifestyle you will have the best chance of success in sticking to your New Year's fitness resolutions. Although you've probably heard this before, let it really sink in this time: losing weight and maintaining that weight is a lifetime prospect. You will never stop working to maintain your fitness and weight. So, before you start a diet or exercise program, old or new, ask yourself if you can sustain this diet for the long term or if your exercise program is something that you can commit to every day.

Simply put, being overweight is the fault of an unhealthy lifestyle, eating too much and not allowing enough time for exercise. This being said, one you recognize the gravity of permanently losing weight, you'll need to change your lifestyle to accommodate this goal. Here's a couple ways to do just that: eating healthy 1. Figure out your bad habits- Keep a food/activity journal for an entire week. Be completely honest with yourself and do it without shame- this is simply a way to figure out habits that may be hurting your weight loss goals.

2. Replace bad habits one at a time- Replace bad habits with good habits. You can't break bad habits without forming new ones. If you take away your daily morning donut and don't replace it with something else that's better for you you'll drift right back to your old unhealthy habit.

This may sound easy but it's not. Giving up something yummy for something healthy isn't easy. You need to change your environment to make it impossible to have or even want that donut. Try these ideas:

1. Figure out beforehand what you're going to eat instead of that donut. Stock up on breakfast foods that you like and that are healthier. Try different flavors of meal replacement bars or fruit shakes/smoothies.

2. Take stock in every bite that you put in your mouth, if it's not healthy is it really worth it? For sure you'll enjoy that first bite or flavor explosion but after that what do you really get out of it? More than likely all you get is fat, calories and guilt.

3. Eat before you get in the car in the morning so you won't be starving and tempted to go through the drive thru or to your favorite bakery to pick up a bite.

4. Change your driving route so you don't even have to pass by your favorite bakery.

5. Write down your weight loss goal and tape it to your steering wheel or your glove compartment so that you are constantly reminded of your goals.

Make a Plan for Success- So thus far you've figured out how to change bad eating habits by replacing them with good ones and to create for yourself a healthy environment that doesn't allow your bad habits to exist. Now you need to make a plan for what you really want.

1. Set Goals- Write down specific goals including how much weight you want to lose (make sure it is reasonable for your height and frame), a target date to reach your goals, why you want to lose this weight, and how you'll maintain your weight loss once achieved. Remember, it's a lifetime commitment you can't just quit once you reach your goal.

2. Set up your program- A complete program involves cardio, strength training and stretching.

3. Ensure your success- Here are just a few suggestions regarding ensuring your success and staying consistent. Enlist family members to help you out; hire a personal trainer; get a friend to exercise with you; set aside time every week to plan out your exercise routines and meals; keep a workout bag packed and ready; keep a fitness journal to track workouts and progress; reward yourself with massages, shopping, or vacations; change your workout program every 6 weeks to avoid plateaus; revisit your goals every six months to see where you're at and if further narrowing them down is in order.

Losing weight requires modifying your attitude, changing your lifestyle and making specific plans. You will need to change the way you think about exercise and eating, change the way you schedule your day and be prepared for what's ahead in order to stick to your New Year's Fitness Resolutions.

 

Make Time for Exercise to Experience a Truly Zen Holiday Season

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Zen ChristmasTis' the season for Holiday shopping, preparing for family gatherings, eggnog and basically anything else that can either cause stress or wreak havoc on your body. It can be the happiest but also the most nerve-racking time of the year. You may want to consider adding exercise to your daily routine to not only promote health but to tackle all of those little Holiday stressors.

According to stress.about.com exercise is an excellent stress reduction tool for several reasons:

1. Give Yourself a Natural Boost- Exercise releases endorphins and other “happy hormones” in your body, promoting a feeling of wellbeing. It can decrease stress hormones like cortisol and increase endorphins giving your body a natural boost. (The same chemistry behind a runner's high.

2. Social Support- Some forms of exercise allow you to be social, which can also be great for stress reduction. Whether you're in a class with others, working out with a buddy, playing softball with friends or taking a walk with a friend, working out with others can make you feel good and motivate you to push harder.

3. Looking Good- Exercise can raise feelings of self-esteem and bring other benefits that improve quality of life. It ultimately helps you to lose weight, tone your body and maintain a healthy glow and smile. Whether the effects are subtle or significant this impact can increase confidence and relieve stress.

4. An Outlet for Frustrations- Exercise helps to release built-up tension in the body. When life's annoyances build up, a high energy form of exercise like boxing, martial arts or weight training can provide a release of negative emotions.

5. Distraction- Physical activity can take your mind off of your problems and either redirect it on the activity that you're doing or put you into a Zen-like state. Exercise also usually involves a change of scenery. Whether it takes you to a gym, a park, a biking trail or your neighborhood sidewalk, a change of scenery can ultimately change your point of view.

6. Resilience to Stress- Research suggests that physical activity may be linked to lower physiological reactivity toward stress. Those who get more exercise may become less affected by the stresses that they face.

With all of these benefits, it's clear that if you can exercise you should. Below are a few exercises that help specifically with stress relief.

Yoga- Yoga is good for physical health and flexibility. It can also help get you into a meditative state.

Swimming- Swimming combines the soothing properties of water and the benefits of exercise. It's a great way to get in shape, cool off and feel great. It's also a wonderful form of exercise of older or injury-prone adults.

Walking- Walking is an exercise that just about anybody can do; it's also very easy and can conform to any schedule. You can take a walk during lunch, put your kids in the stroller and take a walk around the neighborhood, etc.

So amongst all of the Holiday hustle and bustle if you feel your anxiety level beginning to rise why not take 45 minutes out of your day to get your heart rate up and a little bit of exercise? Aside from stress relief, exercise has so many benefits and could ultimately help make your Holidays a little brighter.

 

Exercise Tips in Cold Weather | Healthy Revelations

Written by Lisa Jillanza

winter exercise Let's admit something to ourselves, shall we? Mustering up the motivation to exercise is tough anytime, let alone once the weather has turned cold for the winter. Winter can discourage even the most motivated exercisers. And if you're not particularly motivated in the first place then cold weather can spell disaster for your fitness regimen. Nevertheless, our bodies' need for proper exercise remains the same year-round. Just because it's 20 below doesn't mean that we can put our fitness and well-being on hold.

One way to cope with the colder temperatures is to move your outdoors fitness regimen indoors by going to a gym or working out at home. While this is a valid way of accommodating for the weather while still fitting in your workouts there is also a lot to be said for getting your blood moving while outdoors. Outdoor exercise is a sure-fire cure for cabin fever and the winter blues. It also increases energy that can be sapped by gloomy weather. Exercising outdoors can also bolster your immune system- studies shows that moderate exercisers get 20 to 30 percent fewer colds than non-exercisers. With the right clothing and a little planning, cold-weather exercise is guaranteed to be safe, effective and fun.

Here are a few tips from the mayo clinic website on how to get the most of your cold weather workout:

Check with your doctor. Experts say that almost everyone can exercise safely in the cold, including people with asthma and heart problems. But if you have health concerns, it's best to get your doctor's approval.

Layer it on. One of the biggest mistakes cold-weather exercisers make is dressing too warmly. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like its 30 degrees warmer than it really is. At the same time, once you start to tire and the sweat dries, you can get chilled. The solution? Dress in layers that you can remove as soon as you start to sweat and then put back on as needed. Start with a thin layer of synthetic material such as polypropylene, which draws sweat away from your body. Avoid cotton, which stays wet next to your skin. Next, try fleece for insulation. Top this with a waterproof, breathable outer layer. A heavy down jacket or vest will cause most people to overheat. If you're naturally lean, though, you'll need more insulation than someone who is heavier. If it's very cold (about 0 F or -17.8 C) or you have asthma, wear a face mask or a scarf over your mouth.

Protect your extremities. When it's cold, blood is pushed to your body's core, leaving your hands and feet vulnerable to frostbite. Try wearing a thin pair of gloves under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens lined with wool or fleece. You might want to buy exercise shoes a half-size larger than usual to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don't forget a hat or headband — 30 to 40 percent of your body heat is lost through your head.

Choose appropriate gear. If it's dark, wear reflective clothing. To stay steady on your feet, choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls. Wear a helmet for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Remember sunscreen. It's as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you're exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. Use a lip balm that contains sunscreen, and protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Head into the wind. You'll be less likely to get chilled on the way back if you end your workout with the wind at your back.

Drink plenty of fluids. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout — even if you're not thirsty. You can become just as dehydrated in the cold as in the heat from sweating, breathing and increased urine production.

Pay attention to wind chill. The wind can penetrate your clothes and remove the insulating layer of warm air that surrounds your body. Fast motion — such as skiing, running, cycling or skating — also creates wind chill because it increases air movement past your body. When the temperature is 10 F (-12.2 C) and the air is calm, skiing at 20 miles an hour creates a wind chill of minus 9 (-22.8 C). If the temperature dips well below zero (-17.8 C), choose an indoor activity instead.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is most common on your face, fingers and toes. Early warning signs include paleness, numbness and loss of feeling or a stinging sensation. If you suspect frostbite, get out of the cold immediately and slowly warm the affected area without rubbing. If numbness continues, seek emergency care. If you suspect hypothermia — characterized by intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue — get emergency help right away. To help prevent problems, warm your hands and feet every 20 to 30 minutes, and know when to head for home.

Stay motivated. When it's cold outdoors, there's no need to hit the couch. With a little knowledge and fortitude, you can meet the challenges — and reap the rewards — of winter exercise. For many people, the solitude and quiet alone are reason enough to brave the elements.

By following these simple guidelines you will be able to enjoy a time of solace, appreciate the beauty of winter and get in a good workout all at the same time.

Fitness for All: Lose Weight a Work

Written by Lisa Jillanza

You are there at least 8 hours a day (if not more) so why not try and do everything you can to change your diet and fitness routine while you are there? Here are some simple ways to lose weight at work.

  • Don’t miss breakfast.  We have heard it all before, but in order to lose weight make sure you are packing a powerful protein for that first meal of the day.
  • Pack your lunch.  When you pack your lunch, you are in complete control of portion sizes, if you go out to lunch you are more than likely to overeat and have unnecessary calories.
  • Walk on your lunch break – or at least half of it.  Instead of taking your entire lunch hour eating, take a half an hour to eat and a half an hour to get out and exercise.  Try a brisk walk to help you lose weight and burn stress, too.
  • Keep a food journal.  That way you are determining how many calories you are taking in during the day.  Many people fail to realize how many calories they are ingesting in a single day until they start writing it down and logging it.
  • If possible, leave your car at home.  People who walk or bike to work have a lower risk of being obese.  If you take a bus to work, get off a few stops before your stop and walk the rest of the way.  If you must take a car, park at a parking lot away from your building and get some extra cardio in before your work day even starts.
  • Wear a pedometer.  During the day, shoot for 10,000 steps or approximately 5 miles.  Use the stairs instead of the elevator a few days a week or walk to a coworker’s desk instead of sending them an email.
  • Walk around during the day.  While your boss may frown on you doing this many times during the day, if you get up a few extra times a day you will burn more calories than staying sedentary for your full eight-hour shift.
  • Get a headset and pace in your office when you are on the phone.  Many people who work in an office don’t realize how many hours they spend on the phone… utilize this time by burning some calories while on the phone.