Thursday, January 30, 2014

Should you exercise when you are sick?

Do you know someone who is sick right now? HA! Trick questions...practically everyone I know is sick or has a family member with a cold, stomach flu or random virus. Even this morning as I prepared to go outside into the wind for a run, I was stuffing Kleenex in my pockets. So is it okay to exercise when you're sick? Well, it kinda depends on what kind of "sick" you are. 

If you have the common cold, it’s okay to work out; in fact you might even feel better.Studies have shown that exercising with the common cold (runny or stuffy nose, sore throat) does not have any negative impact on the body. In fact some participants reported feeling better after exercising with a cold. So just keep these guidelines in mind and feel better soon!

  • If your illness is “above the neck” (think head cold, runny nose, sore throat), keep up with your exercise routine.
  • If you are vomiting, have diarrhea or a chest cold, take it easy until your symptoms lessen. Also, if you have a fever or severe body aches, it’s a good idea to take the day off from your fitness routine.
Of course, if you question your ability to work out when your sick, double check with your doctor.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stay warm sticky note workout

Anyone else a little chilly today? Well...exercise makes you warmer! Do this sticky note workout whenever you feel chilled and you'll burn calories, do good things for your heart, bones and muscles and warm up in no time!

A new-to-me veggie to try!

So I was talking about healthy foods with one of my clients the other day and she mentioned that her new favorite thing to roast was rutabagas...what? I'd never had a rutabaga before and now I'm a bit obessed. Thanks EM for the introduction to this root veggie that is loaded with vitamin C, zinc and fiber. 

This is a super easy way to prepare it (after roasting it tastes like something between a radish and sweet potato...sooo good).

What you need: 

  • Rutabagas (find in your local grocery store)
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking spray
What you do

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Cut tops off of rutabagas and chop them into cubes
  • Spreed out on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper on the veggies
  • Roast for 40 minutes, stiring the cubes up every 10 minutes or so
You can have a whole cup of roasted rutabaga for 53 calories, 0.2 grams fat, 12 grams of carbs, 3.2 grams fiber and 1.5 grams protein


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Joining a gym? Read this first!

Congratulations! You’ve decided to join a gym to get in shape. Before you hand over your hard earned money, did you know a staggering 67% of people who pay for gym  memberships never use them...what?! Don't be a sucker; join a gym that is right for you and your goals. Here are several areas to investigate and questions to ask to make the right choice for you!

  1. Join a gym in a location that you are going to drive to. Duh, right? But 4 out of 5 people that pay for a gym membership, don’t use it…crazy! For most people, the gym should be very near (10 minutes or less) from their home or office. If you join a facility that is hard to get to or will make it hard to get a workout in on a busy day, you will not go.
  2. Your ideal gym will have the amenities that you want and need.
·         Are you social and like to spend time with other people? Then join a gym that has group fitness classes.
·         Do you know that you need some extra support and direction to get fit? Make sure that there is personal trainer available.
·         Are your children going to accompany you to the gym? Find out if there is childcare at the facility.
·         Are you expecting to swim as part of your routine? Your gym needs an indoor pool.
·         Will you be changing into your workout gear or showering at the gym after your workouts? See if the gym in question has locker rooms with showers, towels and lockers.
·         Do you need a 24 hour facility because of your schedule? There are many gyms that are open 24 hours a day. Check out the facilities hours of operation.
·         Are you on the road frequently? Many gyms are part of a larger organization that has locations all over the country. For those that get around, make sure that your membership fee includes access to these other facilities.
  1. Join a clean gym. Exercise facilities and locker rooms can be a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria. Ask your prospective fitness facility how often they machines are cleaned, equipment is disinfected and the locker rooms and childcare areas are scrubbed down.
  2. Are the membership fees within your budget? If you can’t pay for the membership, then you obviously shouldn’t join.
  3. What is the cancellation policy? Life changes, so make sure that there is a reasonable cancellation policy in case you need to quit your membership. Some gyms require a 30 day written notice while others have lengthy contracts that are difficult and expensive to break. Know what and how long you’re signing up for before you sign on the dotted line.
  4. Find out what is included in your membership fee. Some gyms have the following benefits included in the membership and some charge extra. Find out how much your membership is actually going to cost you before joining.
·         Group Exercise Classes
·         Locker rental
·         Child Care
·         Swimming
·         Personal Training
·         Fitness Evaluations
·         Equipment Orientation

  1. Try it before you buy it. You might do this with several fitness facilities to get a feel for what you like in a gym. Most gyms give a few days of free passes to use their location and some even give a 2-week free trial. Take advantage of this so that you can try out classes, make sure you’re comfortable with the environment and other members and staff.
  2. Make sure that the instructors and personal trainers have a current national certification. Many gyms require that their trainers to have highly reputable national fitness certifications and some do not. You want the experts at your gym to be trained properly so that they can train you properly, so ask.

Happy gym hunting!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DOUBLE Your Chances of Losing Weight in 2014

So  Center For Disease Control (CDC), over 67% of adults are overweight or obese. No wonder over 80 million Americans go on diets every year and spend an excess of $30 billion dollars on diet programs and products. But the sad part of this is that most people who are trying to loose weight do not succeed. In fact, some have estimated that about 95% fail at sustained weight loss endeavors. That is a huge waste of money and time without improving health. So what can you do to increase your odds of success? Simple...write it down!

If you're a client of mine, past/present/future, you will know that I LOVE food journaling. Writing down your goal, what you eat every day and your exercise DOUBLE your chances of weight loss success. And how easy is that?! Super-duper easy (I log my food every day to keep on track). Take the following three steps to succeed in your diet and be a healthier you!

1.  Buy a journal or download an app-see #3…or notebook or grab a pad of paper. Yep…this seems simple, but if you don’t have the tools, you can’t start writing things down. It can be anything…a leather bound book, a sticky notepad, a smartphone app or website; anything that you want to designate as your Healthy Living Journal. Don’t use your journal/app/website for anything else, just your goals, food and exercise.

2.  Make a short term goal. Your goals should be attainable and healthy…not “Loose 30 pounds this week” or “Eat only vegetables” but more like “lose 2 pounds this week” or “eat 4 servings of vegetables a day for the next 7 days.” After your week is up, you can re-evaluate and then move on to your next goal.

3.  Log like your life depends on it. Record EVERYTHING…everything you put in your mouth, that is. Whether it’s your breakfast/lunch/dinner or the couple M&Ms that you grabbed from the candy bowl…it must be written down. Getting things down on paper or into a tablet, like what you eat, is a great way to keep on track because seeing what you are putting in your body every day can be a huge wake up call. If you’re a numbers person and want to see how many calories you are consuming check out one of these free calorie and activity trackers (most have smart phone apps as well for convenience and logging when you're on the go):

Below are a few more tips to ensure that you are on the winning side of your health and fitness goals:

• Tell the world. This is an important step in the road to victory. Tell your friends, co-workers, family, even the cashier at the grocery store that you are vowing to quit smoking, lose 10 pounds, or get to the gym 4 days a week. When your will wanes, the peer pressure that you’ve created for yourself will help you keep on track. AND if you decide to go digital with your food log, you can ask a friend to keep you in check by having them view your log every once in a while (myfitnesspal makes this especially easy).

• Be positive. Ever heard of the Little Engine that Could? With her mantra of “I think I can, I think I can I think I can..” she accomplished her goals. Even though the mountain was steep and took a lot of hard work, she kept positive with her eye on the prize. 

• Don’t be your own worst enemy. Many times, people fall off the health and fitness band wagon because they experience a set back. Maybe they missed a session with their trainer, had a cigarette at a party or ate half a pan of brownies. No matter what your goal is, you will experience a relapse from time to time. Write it down in your journal and then move on. No beating yourself up…just get back on track.

Good luck and good health!