Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Staying Fit While Traveling

Traveling, for some people, becomes a huge downfall for all their hard work and efforts for trying to stay healthy. The restaurant food. The lack of exercise. The lack of structure, and sometimes the lack of energy. It's hard to focus on being healthy when you have all these roadblocks in your way.
I've put together some helpful tips that have actually kept me sane and somewhat healthy while traveling. Some of them I got from other recourse's, and some of them I got from my own experience.

Hope this helps you for the next time you're scared to gain all your weight back from your next vacation! It's absolutely helped for me! Even with how much good food I still indulge while away.

Jet Lag: Here are some great pointers for beating jet lag. First, don't drink alcohol or caffeinated beverages on the plane. Drink plenty of water, and eat whole grain carbohydrates which may help calm your nerves. Then, after getting to your destination, take a ten-to twenty-minute walk as soon as possible, and eat a light snack. If you think you'd like a little nap, you will want to keep it to less than an hour-so you'll still be able to get to sleep at night.

Never Stop Moving: On a long flight it's important to get up every half hour and move around for a full minute to keep your circulation moving. Or if you're in tight quarters and can't get up, "wiggle" while you sit. Lift your heels and move them from side to side. Bounce your legs up and down on the balls of your feet, then put your heels on the floor, lift your toes, and wag them from side to side. Another good idea is to wear compression socks which gently "hug" your legs, helping to keep blood flowing back to your heart.

Eat Energizing Snacks: Airports and rest areas are notorious for snacks like chips, candy bars and soda-which are not only unhealthy, but can also drain your energy. A good idea is to take along raw seeds, carrots, apples and celery sticks, slices of green and red pepper, or fresh fruit. These enzyme-rich foods will help you maintain your energy much more effectively. Granola bars can also be tasty and are easy to travel with.

Take the Stairs: Remember, it's the small and simple that lose those pounds, not the dramatic changes. Those stairs might become your only source of exercise. Hotel stairs are a fantastic way to keep that heart pumping, especially if your on the 3rd or 4th floor. Take advantage of anything that can get your heart rate up-even if it's just for 10 minutes. Skip the elevator.

Drink Your Water: Water is always something most people forget while away. Always remember to get water whenever you think to. Pack a water bottle so when you see it, you'll think to fill it up and keep it close. Also, my suggestion for you is to drink 2 glasses of water before your meal comes, every meal. This helps you feel more full before your meal actually gets to you. Therefore taking in fewer calories. When you're traveling you want to eat till you're satisfied, not till you're sick.

Use that Down Time Wisely: Take full advantage of that down time. I don't mean go to the nearest gym and workout for an hour. I mean, stop to catch your breath. Literally take deep breaths. Stretch. Go for a walk. I promise you, you will feel more pro-active and energized if you wake up just 15 minutes earlier and go for a walk. Who knows, you might explore some things you've never seen before wherever your staying. The more your blood is regulated, the more balanced and over all healthy you will feel. Taking time for yourself is just as important as anything else that you do to improve yourself. A balanced lifestyle fosters a balanced mind.

Forgive Yourself: You know that there will be times when desserts will be irresistible. It's OK to indulge once in awhile, but the most important thing you can remember is to forgive yourself. Don't beat yourself up. Realize you slipped, forgive yourself and move on. Don't dwell on it and think you have to start over. Just promise yourself that you will eat healthy the next meal and find time to throw in an extra 10 minutes to your walk, or workout. Simple as that.

(Sources: Health.com)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Simple Ways to Lose Weight Without the Dieting

I always remind people that it's not the huge dramatic changes that keep you fit and healthy, it's the small and simple choices that make the biggest impact. I've seen that in my life as well as others.

This little slideshow/news bits (whatever you want to call it) has some great tips to help you make those small changes in areas you wouldn't think make a difference.

Click HERE to read it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Simple and Easy Exercises to Help You Stay Fit While at the Office

Most of us have desk jobs. As in, jobs from 8-5 involving sitting for 7 straight hours. Sometimes just that thought alone makes you feel that cottage cheese gathering right under neath you. I know from my own experience at a desk job.

Fortunately there are plenty of ways to get that workout in without having to leave your cubicle space. They will help increase concentration, productivity and efficiency. These little workouts can also enhance circulation, relieve stress, boost energy, improve attitude and for some of us the most important, reduce neck, back and wrist pain.

Don't be embarrassed when someone looks over and your doing push ups against your desk. Just remember your burning the calories......and they are not:).

1. The Squat
How to do it: Stand with your shoulders, hips, and knees in a vertical line. Draw your stomach in as if your making your waistline smaller. Slowly squat down as if you were picking something up. Keep your knees in line with your toes. Both knees should be facing forward. Repeat 5-10 times.

2. Single Leg Calf Raises
How to do it: Stand facing a desk, touching the top for balance. Place your right food behind the heel of your left foot. Raise the heel of your left foot off the floor as high as possible, pressing on the ball of your foot. Repeat the exercise with your left foot behind the heel of your right foot.

3. Leg Lift
How to do it: Try to do this exercise while eating your lunch at your desk. Sit on a chair with your feet on the floor. Lift one foot forward, straightening your knee. Squeeze the front of the upper thigh as you lift your leg and hold it for a few seconds. Lower and repeat with the other leg. Complete 8 repetitions on each leg.

4. Stand Up and Out of Your Chair
How to do it: Lift your body up and down out of your chair several times.

5. Push-Up Off of a Desk
How to do it: Stand facing a desk with your feet together. Keep your back straight. Lean forward and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the desk. Slowly lower your body toward the desk and then push away. Repeat up to 10 times.
6. Tuck in your Knees to Strengthen your Abs
How to do it: Sit in a chair with your hands holding the armrests. Tighten your stomach muscles as you pull each knee in toward your chest. Alternate knees and then pull in both knees.

7. Neck and Shoulders
How to do it: Sitting or standing, allow your arms to hang at your sides. Tilt your head sideways to your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

8. Back
How to do it: Standing or sitting, place your hands on your hips. Slowly twist at your waist as if you were looking over your shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

9. Back and Shoulders
How to do it: Standing or sitting, reach one arm over your head, stretching toward the ceiling. With the opposite arm, reach toward the floor. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

10. Seated Posture
How to do it: Without using the backrest on your chair, sit with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders back with your palms facing forward. Take four deep breaths from your abdomen. Perform frequently throughout the day.

Source: Select Health, GetFit

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

10 Ways to Never Skip a Workout Again

Something that I've absolutely grown to love about my profession as a Fitness Instructor, is that you meet some of the best, most motivating people from all over. They all have something different that sets them apart in the industry that add so much.

One of my good friends, Robin, that is a fantastic teacher has running down to an art. And I don't mean just form. I mean motivation, endurance, and making the time for it. She has a fantastic blog that I love reading and motivates me every time I do.

She posted a great article that I want to share with all of you! Normally I would post her words on here with her permission, but I wanted you to check out her blog and read more by going to her actual blog.

So for all you die-hard runners out there, check out her awesome blog Here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I truly think that being a mother is one of the most beautiful choices a woman can make. But I do also know that it's one of the hardest. I don't have children, but we all know how hard mothers work daily to build their wonderful family. I'm a firm believer that feeling good about yourself is a huge part of being healthy! Exercise, diet, motivation, and energy all starts with how you feel about and view yourself.

I came across some tips awhile back and thought it would be a great reminder for all you hard working moms out there to take a step back and take care of number one! You deserve time to yourself. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to feel beautiful!

So here are 10 tips to help a mother take better care of herself and enjoy who she is!

.......and remember to have such a wonderful Mother's Day!

Top 10 Ways Working Moms Can Take Care of Themselves
by Jean Johnson

1. Get enough sleep.

This means making sure the kids go to bed early enough so you can. Have an evening routine that is calming for everyone.

2. Eat well.

Yes you know it. Most of you don’t do it. It is just as easy to grab a piece of fruit as a basket of fries. You and your kids will feel better if you eat three good meals a day. Do the shopping, planning and cooking together. This gives you bonding time and teaches the kids good skills to help out around the house.

3. Exercise.

I know you’re exhausted at night and don’t have time in the morning, but if you’re stopping for coffee or vegging out in front of the TV you have time. Do something - anything. It all helps. Better yet - take a class with the kids.

4. Look your best.

Get a great haircut. Wear the best clothes you can afford. When we look good we feel good and we smile more.

5. Smile.

You’ll automatically feel better. Even better - laugh.

6. Count your blessings.

Your mother was right, count your blessings. Make a gratitude list. We all have a multitude of things to be grateful for. Post your list and add to it. Have the kids make one too.

7. Ask for help.

We don’t have to do it all alone. Ask family, friends, co-workers, and organizations for help. From babysitting to yard cleanup to a ride to the store. People love to be needed. (Just don’t use them)

8. Help others.

Nothing feels as good as service. Get the kids involved. Serve others besides your kids. Helping each other makes all our lives easier.

9. Connect to your spirituality.

Whatever that is for you. Nature, music, church, gardening. Do something at least once a week that makes you feel whole.

10. Lower your expectations.

Yes - LOWER your expectations. Of yourself and of your kids. You’re not supermom and they aren’t superkids. Cut all of you some slack.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Slow Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I've been absolutely obsessed with the crockpot lately, and not just the crockpot, but a certain recipe. We've actually made it a weekly thing. On Fridays it's a given. Sweet Potatoes from the crockpot. I put it together in 5 minutes, head out the door to teach, come back and they are done to perfection and ready for eating.

Crockpot Sweet Potatoes
2 medium sized red potatoes (or use 2 sweet potatoes if you don't want red)
1 large sweet potato
3 tblsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tblsp. of Rosemary
Salt and Pepper to taste
This recipe feeds me and Brad perfectly. (serving size 2)

Cut all potatoes to however you want. Sliced or cubed. Throw in Crockpot and put in the olive oil, rosemary and s&p. Put on Low for 2 hours and enjoy one of the simplest side dishes you'll ever taste.

Whenever I am craving potatoes, I always make sure to get the medium sized, red. They are less starchy and have more fiber in the skin. If you want to skip the starch/red potatoes all together, Sweet Potatoes are always your best bet!

Sweet Potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and is loaded with Fiber. That's just the tip of the ice-berg. They have a low glycemic index so they don't spike your blood sugars, and they are excellent for your skin. Just to name a few of the benefits.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The best way to get rid of belly fat.

I can't tell you how many times a week I get the question, "what can I do at home for my abs?", or "what is the best exercise for my stomach?". I'm here to tell you the answers to those questions, and fill you in on how to shrink that gut! Dozens of crunches, on their own, are not likely to help you lose the gut. What does work is a full body exercise routine that builds muscle all over. Since muscle burns calories even while you're resting, having more muscle helps to melt fat all over, including the belly. The best plan is regular cardio/aerobic exercise, resistance training, and of course a healthy diet. One of the main things, without fail, have my class focus on during the aerobic exercise is flexing there stomach. Most people don't know that if you're stomach is flexed during a workout, not only does it help stabalize the back and torso, but the stomach ends up getting just the same amount of exercise as the rest of the body. If you are a firm believer in those crunches, I recommend doing them AFTER you get that heart rate up by either cardio, or resistance. For example, if you're a runner, tone your stomach after your run to get better results. Also, you can always help tone that stomach all through out your day. Did you know that flexing your stomach for 5 seconds equals one crunch? Well now you know:). So get in the habit of flexing that stomach all day long, and while your burning those calories those muscles will start to shine. Another way to get rid of bloating (mostly for us women) is fixing that posture so your torso is nice and straight, and take deep breathes. In through the nose, out through the mouth. While you breath out slowly, keep that stomach flexed. Repeat as many times as needed or until your bloating is gone. It helps with stress relief too!