On-line Fitness Coach: Exercise is Good for Cancer Patients

Please welcome Liz Davies, my very first guest blogger!  Exercise is great for relieving stress, improving self-confidence and keeping you strong when you are healthy, but it becomes very important if you are fighting disease.  Take it away Liz..

Fight Cancer with Exercise

Physical activity produces a variety of benefits for people suffering from cancer, just as it would for people who aren’t experiencing the disease. A daily exercise routine gives people a way to stay active, maintain a healthy weight and grow to be more muscular. In addition to these rewards, physical activity increases positivity and self-confidence while lowering exhaustion and the threat for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It is pertinent for people undergoing cancer treatments to make sure they remain active; starting just about any type of exercise advances healing. This is true no matter what type of cancer someone is dealing with, whether that is colon cancer or mesothelioma!
It is also recommended to consult a professional before embarking on a daily
exercise routine. There are also many licensed cancer exercise professionals
that can be of great assistance and can tailor individual exercise programs.

Patients who have no prior experience exercising can start
with stretching exercises. Any movement that fosters mobility is a great if the
patient is not ready for a more intense workout program. Yoga, tai chi, and
pilates are different forms of stretching exercises that are wonderful for
movement and can be easily altered for any level of physical ability.

For people who are accustomed to more activity, cardio
exercises, like swimming, running and even walking are a great way to receive
benefits from working out. These activities burn calories while increasing lung
capacity and decrease people’s odds of having a stroke, heart attack or
diabetes.

Resistance training, like weight lifting, should also not be ignored. These exercises
will help cancer patients gain muscle which is very important because
treatments like chemotherapy and radiation often cause muscle loss. Ideally it
is important to include both cardio and strength training into a daily exercise
routine.

Motivation can be hard to find when you have an obstacle
like cancer standing in the way. This may be an overwhelming feeling and if so
adding some simple activities to a daily routine can be a good way to start.
Putting away groceries, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or buying a
pedometer to monitor activity is a good step in the right direction. With ideas
like this it is very important that all cancer patients are experiencing some
type of activity to ensure that they are optimizing the result of their
treatment.

Liz Davies is a recent college graduate and aspiring writer especially interested
in health and wellness. She wants to make a difference in people’s lives because she sees how cancer has devastated so many people in this world. Liz also likes running,
playing lacrosse, reading and playing with her dog, April.

Healthy Tips for Holiday Stress Relief

Are you starting to stress as the holidays approach?  Worried that all the parties, gift giving and traveling will leave you frazzled and your belly bloated?  Here are ten tips from your favorite  fitness coach to relieve stress from Christmas to the New Year.

 

  1. Eat a healthy snack before you head out to holiday parties so you won’t overeat and stress about all the extra calories you have ingested.
  2. Keep to your exercise schedule as much as possible.  Regular exercise will work off built up stress.  It also releases those feel good chemicals (endorphins) that will help you feel calm.  When you are pressed for time due to shopping and social engagements, take a brisk walk or do a quick ten minute workout like Ten Minute Trainer When traveling, plan ahead.  Find out if your hotel has a fitness room.  Take along lightweight resistance bands and a workout plan on an index card that you can do anywhere.
  3. Get some alone time each day.  Even 15 minutes can make a huge difference in your outlook when your are experiencing the holidays at the speed of light!
  4. Pack some healthy snacks in your purse before heading out to shop.  It will cut down on becoming so hungry that you wolf down twice your normal amount of calories at the restaurant.  It can also keep food costs down.  Paying big bucks for meals while shopping can stress you out too!
  5. Help someone else.  Volunteer at a local agency this holiday.  Focusing on someone else who needs your help will take the spotlight off you, and your stress will lower.  Helping others will make you feel good too.
  6. Can’t get to the gym? Use a workout dvd or a workout on a cable channel such as Fit TV.
  7. Use smaller plates at parties.  You will eat less.  Feel free to try my trick and only take what you can carry on a napkin.  Believe me it is definitely less than you can pile on a plate!
  8. Get family and friends to help start some active holiday traditions with you.  Go ice skating or cross country skiing.  Take a long walk around the neighborhood to look at the holiday lights.  With a little creativity, you can come up with something everyone will want to do for years to come.
  9. Try some calming exercise like yoga or tai chi.  These will make you feel renewed in body mind and spirit.
  10. Make sure you get plenty of sleep.  Try to keep your normal sleeping and waking schedule as much as possible.  Little ones get cranky around the holidays when they miss naps and stay up too late and us adults are no different.

Remember:  If you are stressed and frazzled, you can’t enjoy the people you love the most during the holidays and they can’t enjoy your company as much either.  Share some of your favorite holiday stress relief tips in the comment section.  I would love to hear from you!

Additional links for holiday stress relief:

The Mayo Clinic

Web MD

Life 123

 

How To Write a Fitness Plan: Progression and Overoad

You will increase strength, improve self-confidence and relieve stress with a well written fitness plan.  Your fitness coach is back with part five in this video series on progression and overload, you have all the tools you need to write a very specific plans that can get you the results you want.  Watch the video, then write your plan.  If you like this info. please share it.

 

How to Write a Fitness Plan 4: The FIT Principle

Your fitness coach is back with part 4 of How to Write a Fitness Plan.  Watch this, then write out your plans for frequency, intensity and time and make them specific.  If you think this could help someone else write their fitness plan, click the “like” or “send” button.

 

A Day of Rest..From Your Workout

Even God took a rest after creating the universe and the human race.  Take advice from the divine fitness coach and rest at least one day from your workout. Last week I was working out hard..ChaLean Extreme weightlifting and extreme cardio workouts.  By Thursday it felt like all I was doing was wearing myself out.  I was stressed out.  It was time for a break   Does that mean you should park it on the sofa, eat chips and drink soda?  NO!  You don’t even have to totally rest from activity.  You do need a break from what you usually do. Take your dog for a walk, a nice leasurely walk.  Go take a bike ride in the sunshine.  You don’t have to ride like you are training for a triathlon.  How about a stroll by your favorite stream, lake or beach?  Play a silly game with your kids that gets you moving.  If the weather is bad, you can put on your favorite music and dance a little.  Like to garden?  Get out there and dig in the dirt.

This is called recreational fitness.  You should always have one or two days of recreational fitness at the top of of your “fitness pyramid”.  Strength training, cardio and flexibility training make the larger base.  Recreational fitness should be activities you include that keep you moving, but are more lighthearted and fun.  They shouldn’t feel like work.

Are you feeling a little stressed and worn out from your workouts?  Throw in a day of rest with some recreational fitness!  You will come back to your regular workouts refreshed and renewed.

How to Write a Fitness Plan Part 3: Specificity

In this third installment of, “How to Write a Fitness Plan” from your favorite online fitness coach, ME!  I’ll cover a component of fitness that describes a simple concept.  Watch the video, comment and contact me with any questions!  If this is helpful, it might help someone else.  Click “like” or “send” and get the message out there.  Let’s end the trend of obesity, increase strength, improve self-confidence and relieve stress with the right tools to get started.

Online Fitness Coaching: Helping My Sister Lose Weight

This is my sister Nancy.  When we were on vacation in July, her daughter Mackenzie and fiance, Dan, set their wedding date for October first.  At that time Nancy weighed 142 pounds and she wasn’t happy with that.  Some pounds had crept on over the years and she wanted to lose them so she could look nice for her daughter’s wedding.  She asked me to be her fitness coach.  She had about three months to get it done.  Some of the weight loss ideas she had tried had not worked and she was frustrated.  She didn’t feel she had the willpower to do what she needed to lose the weight.

I got really motivated and started to fire ideas at her.  I told her about all the cool tools on the internet she could use to count calories.  She felt she wouldn’t stick with that.  I talked to her about low fat recipes, but she didn’t think her family with two very hungry, growing sons would go for that.  I told her about all the great workout DVD’s I had from Beachbody, but she said she didn’t like to work out to DVD’s.  It had to be something quick and something she could do that wouldn’t take up time from her family and space from her living room.  I was out of  ideas.  Then she made a suggestion.

“What if I e-mailed you what I eat every day and you can tell me how I am doing?”  It seemed almost too simple, but I agreed to give it a try.  She agreed to start a weightlifting program and continue to run at least 3 days a week.

We started when we got home (July 7).  Every day Nancy either e-mailed or texted me everything she was eating that day.  I replied with encouragement (that’s great, looks good) or redirection (you’ve had a lot of carbs already today.  You will want to go light on carbs for supper) She also included what exercise she was doing that day.

I wasn’t sure it would work, but right away she began losing weight.  Just the fact that she had to tell me what she was eating was enough to change her habits.  She knew I would frown on nightly ice cream snacks at 9 p.m. so she curbed that habit.  She asked for advice on what to order at fast food restaruants when she had crazy days.  She even dreamed that she ate her way through a day and then was mortified when she knew she had to report it to me!

Every week their was some more pounds gone. That really increased her self-confidence.  On the morning of the wedding, she texted me.  “Wedding day weigh-in 128.8 lbs.  Thanks so much coach! Love ya!”  Her goal was to lose 10 lbs. and she had lost 13! Why did it work? Because it was something that fit into her lifestyle, because she felt comfortable with it and because she had someone to be accountable to.

If you think this approach would work for you, grab yourself an accountability buddy, a computer or cell phone and get started.  Or you can contact me.  I wouldn’t mind having another success story!

How to Write a Fitness Plan: Components of Fitness

Writing a Fitness Plan can help you gain strength and self confidence when you see your workout having the results you want.  In part one of this series, you learned how to set a goal.  In this post, learn what the components of fitness are and how you use them to write your plan.  Get your paper and pencil or trusty word processor and get started after you watch the video.  If you think this info. could help someone else try your hand at being a fitness coach and click “like” or “send” below.

 

Confused? Leave a comment and I will try to help you get a clearer picture!

How To Write A Fitness Plan: Setting Your Goal

Exercise can increase strength, improve your self-confidence and relieve stress, but you have to have a specific goal to get the most out of your workout. I’ve had many, many people say to me, “I want to lose weight.”, or “I want to get in shape.”, but they are not sure how to go about it.  Here is a video “how to” write a fitness plan. Let me be your personal fitness coach and break it down into easy to follow steps.  Part 1 is on how to set your goal.  You can also see part 2 here.

1.  Watch the video.  It’s only about 3 minutes long.

2. Get out your paper, pen, i-pad, whatever, and write your own goal.

3. Post your goal here.  I will help you tweak it if you need to.

 

Online Fitness Coaching: Fitness Partners by Accident

My hubby is my fitness partner by accident.  How does that happen? I was thinking about how over the last 25 years , Bob and I have become fitness partners quite by accicent and it has been good for both of us.

For many many years, hubby lived the sedentary lifestyle.  This was much to my amazement. He had been an athlete in high school, but after graduation did not give exercising or healthy eating a thought.  No amount of encouragement from me could get him off the couch or his hands out of the chip bag.

Then, at age 40, he decided to start exercising.  He began to ride a stationary bike I got for Christmas.  It’s a good thing he made this decision.  It probably saved his life.  When he rode, he started to have a pain between his shoulder blades.  His family has a history of heart attacks at a young age.  He decided to go get it checked out and ended up getting a stent in the “widowmaker” artery that was blocked in his heart.  The widow would have been me….so I’m glad it all turned out the way it did!

Now he had to exercise and eat right.  Motivated mostly by fear, he began a running program and went on a low-fat diet.  I wanted to be supportive, so I also went on the diet and started t0 run.  The low-fat diet had a lot of tasty recipes and it wasn’t long until we both started to lose weight.  Hubby worked his way up to 5 miles per day and decided to enter some 5ks.  I am not much of a runner, but I would go along when he ran outside.  I couldn’t keep up with him, but we ran together on a cinder track near our house.  When he did a 5k in Southporte, NC I signed up for the 1 mile fun run. After while, I had to drop out of the diet because I was starting to be uncomfortable sitting on the floor or hard chairs. (I was losing weight in places where I sort of needed it!) So I added some snacks each day and tried not to indulge in front of him too much.

After quite a few years of this routine, the overuse injuries started to get hubby down.  He couldn’t run as much.  The fear factor was starting to wear off and he wasn’t sticking to his low-fat diet as well either.  Enter a friend who lost about 30lbs doing P90X.  Hubby decided he wanted to try it.  He ordered his P90X from the internet.  Of course I wanted to be supportive, so I decided to do it with him.  The first three days just about killed me (and I was already exercising regularly 5 days per week).  Then the results started to happen for both of us.  He gained upper body strength and I discovered I did have abs after all! I eventually could do some pull-ups and I had never been able to do that before.  This really increased the self-confidence.   We were both in the best shape of our lives.

About a year ago, hubby got a new, very sweet job that offered the services of a personal trainer.  He is able to work out to a plan tailor made for him and he can work out during his lunch hour.  I continued to be supportive by doing P90X plus and ChaLean Extreme at home.  Unfortunately, the weight krept back on for hubby, even though he was working out.  He scheduled an appointment to see the company nutritionist and asked me to go along.

Basically, she said he needed to make a conscious decision to change the way he was eating, especially on the weekends.  So now we are both eating more lean meats and fresh fruits and veggies and eating less bread, pasta and other starchy carbs.  We are also limiting desserts or changing the types of desserts we eat to more healthy choices.  We spend a lot of time planning meals, buying the groceries carefully and paying attention to when we are full.

Having a fitness partner can really make a difference when you are trying to change the lifestyle you are living and make it healthier.  It’s been working for Bob and I for quite a while.  If you would like a fitness partner or fitness coach contact me!