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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

 

How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Recently I was invited by Jennifer Whitehair (she promotes vacationing in Las Vegas and it sounds like there is tons to do there besides gambling and going to see shows on the strip) to blog about staying fit on vacation. It’s a part of #TravelFit2014. She contacted me right before I was headed to South Bethany Beach Delaware.

We have been going to Sunset Beach, NC (and loved it) for years. This year all of our young adult kids have jobs that don’t mesh too well with traveling 12 hours away so we decided to bring the party North.

This is a perfect time for me to explore what kinds of fun things I can do to stay in shape while I enjoy the shores of South Bethany for two weeks.

June 15 was our first full day here. I decided to try some Yoga on the beach. I have my P90X Yoga X pretty well memorized so I just walked down the beach access and gave it a shot. It was great gazing at the ocean while doing my sun salutations. I felt very relaxed after about an hour doing Yoga in the wind and salt air. Sure beats my basement home gym!


Today my sister and I took a two mile bike ride up highway 1 to Bethany Beach. There is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. We were able to park the bikes and walk around, check out the shops and restaurants, and walk the boardwalk a bit. It was a beautiful day for it! On the way back DelDot had a bike safety station and installed free lights on our bikes. Thanks 🙂

When we got back to the beach house, I decided to use my 12 Minute Athlete app on my smartphone to get some resistance exercise. This app is great for traveling and it only costs about a dollar so the price is right. You just put in how long you want to work out (12 or 16 minutes) and what equipment you have and it creates a workout for you. If you don’t like it, you just shake it and it creates another one. Since it didn’t have resistance bands as an option for equipment, I had it create a bodyweight workout and substituted 2 band exercises for two bodyweight exercises. I just went under the beach house in the shade. Who needs to spend extra money to go to the gym?

9 Weight Loss Tips for Regular Folks

 

 

 

 

Are you like Jared?  Did you go on an all Subway diet and lose a ton of weight?  Are you like the biggest loser contestants who spend weeks at “the ranch” with nasty personal trainers, medical supervision and all day exercise?  Maybe you have special food delivered to your door every day that is perfectly balanced in calories for scientific weight loss.  No?  Didn’t think so..  not me either.

I’m not even like the Beachbody success stories who pick a workout program and 90 days later have gone from fat and flabby to ripped.  Throughout my adult life, I have been about the same size  (give or take 10 to 15 pounds).  At certain times in my life, I find myself needing to lose a few pounds. I’m guessing maybe there are more people like me out there. I am never going to win one of those contests or be on TV because I have always tried to eat healthy, exercise and live a balanced life.

Before 2003

If you are one of those people (or would like to be one), I’ll share what I do to maintain my weight and lose it when I need to.  My rule of thumb is “take care of little problems before they become big problems.”

1.  Weigh yourself frequently.  You don’t have to be obsessive about it.  Pick one day each week and weigh yourself.  Have a ten pound window, five pounds below and five pounds above your ideal weight.  If your weight is outside the window on              either end, it’s time for you to get to work..

2.  I use Lose It to keep track of calories and exercise.  I try to keep calories in and calories out balanced.  It’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.

3.  I eat three meals a day and two or three snacks a day.  I eat very little bread, pasta, or wheat based foods.  I mainly eat lean meats along with fresh or frozen fruits and veggies.  I’m not a fanatic about “no wheat” or “no grain” in my diet, but I try to keep it to a minimum.

4.  You will hardly ever find me in McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King or Starbucks.  You will seldom find me in the middle isles of the grocery store. Processed foods are not really foods to me.  They are full of all the things you should avoid.  You won’t find me buying lunch in the cafeteria of the school where I teach, but that’s another story…

5.  I almost always drink water.  I have a water bottle with me at work each day and I carry one to my workouts.  I will drink ice tea or hot tea. I can’t remember the last time I had a soda. If I want one (or a piece of cake, or a cookie etc., etc.) I will have it, but it’s a treat, not an everyday habit.

6.  I work out at least six days a week.  Two or three days of weight training and two or three days of cardio. On these days, I get my heart rate up and work up a good sweat. The other days are lighter workouts or “recreational” workouts.  These are things like yoga or stretching, a walk or a hike in the woods, a bike ride or ballroom dancing.  This is a habit and a regular part of every day.  If I am not feeling well, injured, or I am too busy to work out, I skip it, but it’s not ever an excuse to quit.  I just pick it up where I left off the next day.

7. I try to get a good night’s sleep every night.  I don’t always get the seven hours my body needs per night, but I try.  On weeknights I head to bed a 10:30 p.m. On the weekends I try to be there by 11:30 p.m.

After 2012

8.  I try to meditate at least once a week, read books of a religious or spiritual nature and try to stay centered mentally and spiritually.  I also try to balance work, workouts and fun time with family and friends. If one area gets out of  balance, it can throw the other areas out of balance as well.

9.  I am lucky that I don’t have to take any kinds of medications.  Because of this, I focus my energies on preventative medicine.  I eat good, nutritious food, I exercise regularly, I stay strong mentally, spiritually and socially, I see my chiropractor every four weeks and I get bloodwork, mammograms, colonoscopies and other preventative screenings.  Hopefully, I won’t have to start any long term medicines anytime soon!

There is no magic pill, there is no perfect diet or workout that brings you instant weight loss or instant health.  It’s small lifestyle changes added together and continued over time that will bring fitness that will last a lifetime.

Want to get started? Try at least one of the nine steps above, just one, over at least a four week period and see what happens.  Reply here and let me know how it goes!