Healthy Changes That Last; How to Make Them

healthy changes that last 1

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to make healthy changes that last, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

Many, of my clients come to me after they have tried… and failed, to eat healthy, lose weight or add exercise to their schedule. I make them an individual plan that works for them and check in with them on a schedule that holds them accountable.  Here’s some tips to help you make healthy changes that last.

Healthy changes that last need a plan

Make it specific. Make a long-term goal (eat healthier) and then get specific (reduce the starchy carbs in your meals and increase the fresh fruits and veggies).

Write it down

Healthy changes that last are ones that you write down and post where you see them every day.  Post your plan on the fridge.  You’ll see it every time you walk in the kitchen!

Start Small

Pick one healthy change you are relatively sure you will succeed at. A good example is to replace one sugary drink during your day with an 8 ounce glass of water. Sure it’s not much, but if it becomes a habit, you can soon replace another, and another until you are drinking the recommended 8, 8 ounce glasses of water and sugary drinks are a thing of the past. You’ll be surprised at how fast you won’t even crave them anymore.  If you cut them all out at once, you’ll feel deprived and have more of a chance of failing, feeling defeated and quitting altogether.

Healthy changes that last should be one at a time

When it comes to making healthy changes that last, we tend to do too much, too fast (see above). Change just one thing until it becomes second nature, then you can move onto one more thing. I’m working on an e-book that makes 10 healthy changes in 10 weeks.  Look for it here soon!

Get into a routine

Put the change you want to make on your calendar. Treat it like any other important appointment. Be there and be on time.  Soon it will be second nature.

healthy changes that last 3

Find someone to keep you accountable

This translates into a friend that can join you in whatever healthy change you are trying to make.  It’s a little harder to make excuses when someone else is waiting for you to join them.  Pick someone who will be supportive and will be fun.  Everything is easier with a buddy!

Do what works for you

I hate to run! It would be silly for me to make a fitness goal of running in a 5K and beginning a running program. I would soon quit.  But I love cycling, kettlebell workouts and dancing.  I could do any of those and still get the same amount of exercise. Running wouldn’t work for me.  Healthy changes that last have to be things that fit into your life.

healthy changes that last 2

Brainstorm ways to get around your roadblocks

One roadblock for me is coming home hungry at the end of a busy workday.  I will graze on anything I can get my hands on. That’s a big healthy eating roadblock. So I keep junk food out of my cupboards and pack a healthy snack with my lunch.  I eat it right before I head home. That can usually get me through until dinner is cooked. Think of a roadblock you might have to your goal and think ahead to be able to crush it!

Let people you love know what your are doing and ask for help when you need it

Talk to the people in your life about your goals and how you are trying to make healthy changes that last. The more people that know, the harder it will be for you to quit. Ask for help from those that support you in your efforts.  Most will be happy to lend a hand.

 

Rails to Trails Ride in Poe Paddy State Park

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!


My hubby and I have been spending a lot of time riding our hybrid bikes since we purchased them for each other for Christmas. We are exploring places we’ve never even heard of before. Did you know there is a Rails to Trails in Poe Paddy State Park? This is a place where I picnicked and camped as a child. Many years ago, there was a railroad that hauled lumber out of this wooded area. A whole lumbering community of about 400 grew up around this railroad.

This is a short Rails to Trails of a little over 3 miles. It’s a little hard to find, but it’s worth the drive and the search. It’s kind of a hidden gem if you like hiking or recreational biking.

Poe Paddy is a small state park in Centre County. It’s a primitive campsite for tents and small campers. Park in the Big Poe parking lot and walk or bike up through the camping area. You’ll need to ride on the camp road for about a half a mile. You’ll then take a hard right onto the actual trail.

The trail is gravel and packed earth. It’s not as smooth as some of the larger trails we have biked on, but it’ truly a path through the Pennsylvania mountains. Pens Creek, where some of the best fly fishing in the country happens in the Spring, meanders below the trail.


A special feature on this trail is the tunnel that was blasted right through the mountain. It has had extensive work done to it. The last time my husband had seen it, it was falling down and caved in. We met a man who was camping nearby who told us the renovation was a two million dollar operation. If you ride the trail, make sure you bring some kind of flashlight. The tunnel is not lighted and even though it’s short, it gets pretty dark in there! Also make sure you talk or sing while inside it. The acoustics are great!


The trail would be just the right length for a hike. Since it was a pretty short bike ride, we explored a little bit and found another short trail where we rode until we got to a washed out bridged over Penns Creek. We also rode through the campsites to take a look around.

To round out the day, we drove the four miles to Poe Valley State Park, This is a bigger state park complete with a bathhouse, lake, picnic and camping areas as well as a concession stand. We took a short walk to the breast of the dam and had lunch at the concession stand, then headed home. It was a great day to get out into the woods, explore a new Rails to Trails (for us) and get a little fresh air and exercise.


If you go..
Take some sort of flash light
Use some bug spray
Take pictures
Talk and sing in the tunnel

Flexibility Training for a Healthy Lifestyle

Note: These free tips are great and may be all you need. If you think you might like some more individualized help to live the healthy lifestyle, fill out this form and I will be in touch to help you get started!

Strength training, check! Cardio? You bet! Core exercises.. okay. Flexibility training, well…. Here’s why you should make sure you add flexibility training for a healthy lifestyle.

Health benefits of flexibility

  • Prevents injury. Your joints have more range of motion if you are more flexible. If you twist your ankle or fall of the curb, being more flexible can keep you from a long recovery.
  • Experience less back and hip pain, because your glutes, hamstrings, quads and IT bands will be more pliable.
  • Your shoulders and neck won’t hurt so much because your pecs and trapezius muscles will be stretched out.
  • Experience the benefits of stress relief through the deep breathing techniques of flexibility training.
  • Have better posture because flexibility training will keep your chest and hips opened up.

So don’t ignore flexibility training. Your body will thank you!

How to include flexibility training

  • Add it as a warm-up or cool down
  • Plug it in on the weekends as a way to relax
  • Use it when you run short on time for your regular workout
  • Substitute flexibility training on days you are experiencing sore muscles or illness

Here’s some great beginner yoga videos by Brett Larkin that can get you on the right track to a more flexible you.

 

10,000 Step Challenge

Spring is beginning to spring! I am so glad. I am not a big fan of Winter. Not sure why I continue to live in the Northeast. I know once I can live the life of a snowbird, I am sure going to try!

With the coming of Spring comes the urge stop hibernating and get outside to walk and work out. I found a great fitness challenge on myfitnesspal by Leslie Sansone  for beginners who want to walk 10,000 steps a day. It follows the principal of the Couch to 5K program to get you stepping a little more each day until you are doing 10,000 every day. There’s one for complete beginners, and one for people who have been walking, but aren’t quite up to 10,000 steps a day…yet.

Both challenges are displayed below. Grab your walking shoes and a walking partner. Hit the road or the park and get moving. Enjoy the great outdoors and the Spring weather!

Walking plan for beginners
Walking plan for beginners

Leslie_Training-Plans_intermediate

Let me know in the comments below how you like this challenge. Share this post with your friends and family if you think they would enjoy working up to 10,000 steps a day

-all infographics created by Tierra Wilson

Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

Flat Ab Challenge

Everyone wants flat, sexy abs right? The trick is knowing how to get them! Try this challenge put together with information and graphics from fix.com.

Ab Exercises
Source: Fix.com

  1. Pick two of the “flat ab exercises” from the graphic above (example: bicycle maneuver and dolphin plank on a ball)
  2. Do ten reps of each (moving slowly with good form)
  3. Repeat 3-5 rounds
  4. Pick two new “flat ab exercises” each day
  5. Do three times per week.  You can increase gradually to 5 times per week

Food Choices for Flat Belly
Source: Fix.com

In addition to a healthy diet. Work the foods from the “flat belly food pyramid” into your daily eating plans. These foods will help decrease bloat and decrease calories.  Stick with this challenge for 30 days and you will see your sexy abs emerging!  Grab a friend, try the challenge!  Share this post with your tribe!

5 Tips to Get Weight Loss Back on Track After A Bad Weekend

Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.
Fell off the weight loss wagon? 5 Tips to get back on.

I had a disasterous weekend!  I was working at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg. We worked 12 hour days. We ate a big breakfast. We had no lunch.  We nibbled our way to 9 p.m on snack food.  We got little exercise (except for a walk to get a famous Farm Show milkshake).  We ate dinner in a restaurant at 9:30 p.m.  We didn’t get to bed till midnight.  We did it all over again the next day.  I tried to make healthy food choices, but when I got home the scale was WAY up.

Has this happened to you? From time to time, we all fall off the weight loss (or weight maintenance) wagon. It’s okay! Don’t throw your hands up in defeat and quit forever.  Here are 5 tips to get you back on track.

  1. Forgive yourself- It does absolutely no good to beat yourself up over it.  That causes undo stress that, guess what?  Makes it harder to lose weight and keep it off. The stress hormone Cortisol makes it more difficult to lose weight and keep it off.
  2. Realize there may be other factors at play-Being on my feet all day, lack of sleep, lack of water (we forgot to take some in our cooler) and eating late all played a part in the big number on the scale Monday morning. (My fingers were so swollen, I couldn’t budge my rings).  By Monday afternoon I had already lost a pound.
  3. Get back to regular habits as soon as possible-I can’t stress this enough.  Many people think, “Oh well, I blew it, I failed, I’m done.” Then they use that as an excuse for more unhealthy behavior.  You will feel better quickly if you just get back to healthy eating, sleeping and moving.
  4. Get moving-As soon as possible, get moving. Do some yoga, take a walk at lunchtime, get your workout in.  My aching feet and sore back from all that standing in one place thanked me!
  5. It’s a lifestyle, not a diet-There will always be bad weekends, or vacations, or holidays that will be stumbling points.  Think of them as hurdles to jump over or go around rather than brick walls that stop your progress!

Do you have any “get back on track” tips?  Share them in the comments!

Here’s the periscope video I did about my disaster weekend:

Connect with me on Facebook/Twitter/Periscope/Instagram/Pinterest

 

Do a Spartan Race in 2015!

spartan2015

 

 

 

 

 

A new year is a chance to try something new, to challenge yourself, to step up your game. If you are into extreme racing, my friends at Spartan Racing are offering tons of things to make this your best extreme racing year ever.

  • They are introducing the Annual Race Pass.  For one fee you can enter any race, any time and race any heat at no extra charge. Plus you’ll get extra perks when you travel to a race like free bag check, discounts on hotels, rental cars and more.
  • The spectacular Spartan World Championship is slated for October in Lake Tahoe . This year, over $500,000 in cash and prizes will be awarded.
  • The Spartans will be taking A CRUISE March 6-9.  It leaves Miami and heads to the Bahamas for a tropical Spartan Sprint.  There will be $50,000 in prizes. You will get the chance to meet the founder and CEO of Spartan Racing, Joe Desana on the ship and listen to expert speakers as you make your way to the race site. Once there, make new friends at the Spartan Party on the Beach. Then get ready! Your kids can compete in the free kids course and you can test your grit on Spartan Racing’s exclusive island course.
  • 2015 introduces the Spartan podcast. Founder Joe Desana travels the globe to interview leaders in the worlds of publishing, academics, business, athletics and high adventure to uncover the secrets to success in life. Biggest news?  It’s free! All you have to do is sign up to get advice from some pretty heavy hitters.

To get even more information, or to sign up for races, the cruise, podcast or annual pass. go to spartanracemedia.com. Oh and HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I have another race code to give away so you can compete in a Spartan Race for FREE! Leave a comment on this post telling us what Spartan Race activity you are going to challenge yourself with during 2015. One lucky winner will be chosen on January 31.

Plus, here’s a discount code to get you 10% off when you register for your next Spartan Race.  The code is SPARTANBLOGGER.  Have an extreme 2015!

Why do YOU Exercise?

When most people start an exercise program, the reason they give is “to lose weight”.  It’s no wonder. Our culture is obsessed with thinness and equates being thin with being happy.

If you ask someone who has made exercise and fitness a part of their lifestyle, you will get a very different answer.  Did you know that money, looks and status contribute to only 10% of our happiness?  (Idea Fitness Journal, “The Skinny on Happiness”)

A long-term exerciser will have other reasons as to why they continue to work out. They feel healthier, more relaxed or less stressed.  They have more energy, more focus, are more productive at work. They can keep up with their kids or grandchildren.  They experience a reduction in chronic pain. They are training for a future fitness event. They have made a new set of friends they enjoy.  And the list can go on.

Here’s just one example of the  reasons I exercise almost every day.  On October 18th, my oldest daughter got married.  We have been planning and preparing for this day for almost a year.  The weekend involved a trip to Pittsburgh for my side of the family.  On Saturday morning, I woke up with an overabundance of energy.  I’m not one to show my excitement on the outside.  It all builds up on the inside.  By 7 a.m. I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin.

Marladownaisle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank goodness the hotel had a nice size gym.  A half hour on the elliptical and the stationary bike and I was much calmer.  Good thing..as later in the day we were stuck in a traffic jam getting back from hair and make-up and it was touch and go on the decision about an outdoor service.  Thanks to my workout, I was able to stay much calmer and really enjoy such an important day.

sueandbobdance1

 

So what are YOUR reasons for working out regularly?  If you  haven’t started yet, why do you want to get started? #notjustweightloss

How do I Keep Fitness Fun? Try “1000 Steps”

This past weekend, hubby Bob and I decided to try something we’ve never done before and climb the “1000 steps” on Jack’s Mountain.  This lies between the towns of Huntingdon and Lewistown, PA.  Our motivation was a cooler summer day and the fact that it was on my Summer Bucket List for Mifflin County School District’s Wellness Project.

Hubby Bob starting out.
Hubby Bob starting out.

1000 Steps was quite the workout!  This is not something you want to try if you are a complete couch potato. The steps were originally constructed in 1936 as a “shortcut” commute for sand miners who worked near the top of the mountain. The sand was mined to make silica bricks.  The miners would climb the steps to go to work in the morning and climb down at day’s end.  In between they worked a very physically demanding job.  After completing these steps I have a whole new appreciation for what good shape these workers must have been in. This is approximately an 800+ foot climb up Jack’s Mountain.  The steps are uneven and cut back and forth. This was a nice day.  Imagine commuting in the rain, sleet or snow. Yikessteps2It took about 45 minutes to get to the top.  It was a good cardio workout and the glutes and hip flexers worked hard on the way up. On the way down, it was the quads and hamstrings. It was worth it when we reached the top and saw the great views.   view3   view6   After our climb, we treated ourselves to lunch at Boxer’s Cafe.  This is a local eatery in the town of Huntingdon.  The cafe specializes in homemade food with local organic ingredients. We had sandwiches (a Reuben for Bob and a grilled veggie sandwich for me) and garden salads.  Mine had homemade ginger balsamic dressing.  Everything was delicious.  Boxsers

So to wrap up, we a had a really good workout that was a lot more fun on a Saturday than the usual circuit workout.  We learned some local history, took in some beautiful views and had a delicious locally grown lunch. That’s how to keep fitness fun. How do you inject a little fun into your fitness routine? Let me know below.

Staying Fit on Vacation-Kayaking

I sure am glad I got started on this blog thanks to #TravelFit2014 and Jennifer Whitehead at the Aria Las Vegas hotel. Otherwise I may not have been as motivated to get this trip arranged. Today we took kayaking trip at Assateague Island. If you are not familiar, this is one of the islands in Maryland and Virginia that are inhabited with wild horses.

We booked our ecotour with Coastal Kayak. Chris and Steffan were our guides. My family and another family on a day trip from Philly were in the group. We had a 45 minute van drive to the island. Steffan is the”lucky guide” and always spots horses when he leads a tour. Luck was with us as soon as we crossed the bridge to the island. There were several horses on the road including the only baby born on the island this year.


We unloaded the kayaks and got underway. The water and the weather were both beautiful. We spotted several native birds to the island and a few crabs in the water. Not long after that we saw a “band” of horses which consists of a male and several females. They were feeding on sea grasses. This is their main diet, along with lots of water since the grass is very salty. Our kayaks were only about ten feet away from the horses. They seem very used to people and watched us about as much as we watched them.


Our kayak trip was about 90 minutes of paddling. This was a good workout for the day. I think we made a convert to kayaking out of hubby Bob. He had never gone before and he was really into spotting all the wild horses.


Before we got back in the van, we had a visit from a lone male horse. He acted like he wanted a food handout. You aren’t allowed to feed the horses so they don’t get dependent on humans for food. The guides told us they get enough food from the campers (they steal it from the campsites just like bears or raccoons). When we didn’t give him treats he lumbered away to see what else he could find.

What a fun day! I would recommend a kayak tour for anyone looking for an active adventure on the water.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad