5 Healthy Ways to Embrace Fall

The air is cooler. And dryer. The grass doesn’t need to be cut twice a week, and there is pumpkin spice something or other everywhere.

I think that every season brings forth a sense of renewal. At each season’s change we are motivated to wipe the slate clean, forget the mistakes of the past and move forward to reach our goals.

Fall leaves

Fall is no different. In some ways fall is the absolute best time to reset those healthy goals. The weather is cooler, most of us get a little more sleep (it’s dark by 7 p.m.), and there’s a sense that our time has value.

In Illinois the only option is to embrace fall. Let’s do it in the healthiest way possible. Try some – or all – of these healthy fall ideas.

Turn in Early. Sleep is important to our health. A number of chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity are linked to sleep deprivation. Current research even suggests that people that toss and turn at night are at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s later in life.If you are sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night you may need to improve your sleep hygiene. You can find sleep hygiene tips here.

If you wake up throughout the night and feel short or breath and/or anxious you may have sleep apnea, a condition that is detrimental to your overall health. Talk to you physician about the symptoms and health risks related to sleep apnea. You doctor can provide a diagnosis and guidance to help treat this serious health condition.

Start Moving More – It is no longer 90 degrees outside. The heat are humidity are not an excuse to stay inside in the AC on your lunch hour or in the evenings after dinner. Take advantage of the cooler weather and make more time for physical activity. Find time each day to take a 10 to 15 minute walk before or after work, or on a break or lunch hour. Remember, you don’t have to spend an hour in the gym to feel and look better. Short bursts of exercise contribute to your overall health and can help you avoid putting on unwanted pounds this fall and winter.

Make Pumpkin Healthy Again – Between Starbucks and the donut shops, pumpkin has gotten a bad rap. Today’s pumpkin products are loaded with fat and sugar and should be avoided. Did you know that a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks can have more than 400 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar!

 

pumpkins-457716__340
Pumpkin, without the cream, sugar, and crust is a healthy food and is loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C but, for some reason we’ve turned pumpkin into a once a year calorie-laden treat.This fall you can experience the awesomeness of pumpkin without the calories. Check out the 19 Health Pumpkin Recipes from Allrecipes.com here.

Cook Most (if not all) of Your Meals at Home – Cooking meals at home is the best thing you can do for your waistline and your health. People that eat out several times a week consume 150 more calories a day than people that cook and eat meals they make in their own kitchen. Those calories can add up to a weight gain of several pounds a year. You do not have to be a gourmet cook to take pleasure in making meals at home.With a little organization that includes a shopping list and a commitment to spend a few minutes each day in the kitchen, you can make healthy, lower calorie meals that you and your family will enjoy.

(Cooking is a great way to teach children about the benefits of eating a healthy diet. Let them participate in the meal planning and preparation. Even children as young as 5 years of age can help prep a meal or mix up a fresh garden salad.)

Casserole

Stay Hydrated – Since it is cooler outside you may not realize that you’re thirsty and that your body still needs to be fully hydrated to function at 100% capacity. If you’re bored with plain water you can make your own smart water by adding fruit, vegetables and herbs. My daughter – who knows me all too well – gave me a water bottle with an infuser for my birthday. The water of the day is cucumber-lime. I re-fill the bottle throughout the day and let the cucumbers and lime slices seep into the mix. It’s a great way to hydrate with flavor but without added sugar or other additives.

Infused water
The end of summer is upon us and it is a time for rejuvenation. I wish you all a healthy, happy fall.

Be Social. Share!

Chia Seeds Provide Sports Nutrition Minus the Sugar and Calories

The popularity of sports drinks and performance gels has exploded over the last 10 years but most nutritionists would agree they aren’t that good for you. A simple drink that combines water, chia seeds and a twist of citrus is healthier and will help you keep that competitive edge.

Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

Chia seeds made a comeback about five years ago. Before that, most of us either hadn’t heard of them or didn’t understand the nutritional benefits that adding them to your diet can bring.

Chia seeds

Chia Seeds Have Superfood Properties

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and are very high in antioxidants. Unlike other seeds – flax for example – they can be added to water, soups, salads, and homemade bread right out of the package. Flax seeds, while good for you, do not have any real nutritional benefits whole and must be ground before they can be consumed.

Chia seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) has 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber. Chia seeds also contain essential nutrients including manganese, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, copper and potassium. As a bonus they contain essential fatty acids alpha-linoleic and linoleic acid, and vitamins A, B, E and D.

Adding chia seeds to your diet for the nutritional value they provide alone is reason enough. But some research shows they can increase your energy level and metabolism which can lead to improved athletic performance. Add them to the water you drink during your workout and you won’t need a sports drink like Gatorade that’s loaded with sugar and other additives or G2 that has questionable artificial sweeteners.

Replace Sugary Beverages with Chia Seeds to Maintain Your Edge and Lose Weight

Most of us look to sports drinks to help us get through athletic endurance trainings and events. If we are doing a 50 mile bike ride or a 13 mile run on a hot day, we need something beyond water to keep us moving. You can safely replace the sugary carb-loaded beverage with a tablespoon of chia seeds in water with a splash of lemon or lime which will save you calories and provide the needed energy.

A study cited in the National Institute for Health created two control groups that consisted of athletic males. They had both groups perform a one hour run on a treadmill at approximately 65% of their VO2max followed by a 10k time trial on a track. One group consumed 100% of their calories from Gatorade. The second group consumed 50% of their calories from Gatorade and 50% from chia seeds. The group that consumed the 50% Gatorade, 50% Chia seed drink performed just as well as the 100% Gatorade group, which shows the athletes could decrease their dietary intake of sugar by using the chia seed replacement drink.

Chia in water

Chia Water = A Healthier Option

While the study doesn’t go so far as to prove that chia seeds alone will lead to athletic performance, the good news is that often times we consume more calories in the form of beverages and other carb aids when we work out or compete in events. Unlike chia seeds, those calories comes from sugar that has no nutritional value and leads to inconsistent ebbs and flows in our energy level. Over time, consuming sugary sports drinks can sabotage our weight loss goals and leave us wondering why we’re working so hard but the stubborn belly fat doesn’t budge.

Plus, the high fiber content of the chia seeds (one ounce has 10 grams) will fill you up so you’re not starving when you’re done!

View Wisely: The Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday

Please friends, do not risk your eye sight for a glimpse of the Great American Solar Eclipse on Monday, August 21.

On this day it is predicted that millions of people will gaze at the sun to view the eclipse. Some may risk their eye sight to do so. Even during a solar eclipse the sun’s rays are so bright that they can burn your eyeballs. It may looks dark outside – certainly darker than it does on a typical day – but the damage that comes from looking directly at the sun is still there.

Eclipse

How To View the Eclipse Without the Risk

There is an excellent article at Space.com that discusses the risks of viewing the solar eclipse and also provides ideas for ways to participate safely.

The graphic below is from the Space.com article. It shows how you can make a pinhole projector if you don’t have reliable solar eclipse glasses. I remember making this projector as a child and it worked quite well.

Pinhole Projector

I ordered glasses from Amazon.com but am now hearing that many of the glasses are being recalled because they do not provide sufficient protection. Some retailers argue that their glasses are being recalled unfairly and that the recall will make everyone question the quality of the glasses they’ve purchased.

Optometrists believe the safest way to view the eclipse is on T.V. Below is a letter from an optometrists that has been shared a number of times on Facebook. I think it’s worth sharing here:

As an Optometrist , I want to express concern that I have about the solar eclipse on Monday, Aug 21. There are serious risks associated with viewing a solar eclipse directly, even with the use of solar filter glasses. Everyone should keep in mind if they or their children are considering this.

We have to keep in mind that some people will encounter the inability to control every aspect of this exercise. For instance, true solar eclipse glasses are made for adults, do not fit children well and should not be used without direct parental supervision. If the solar glasses do not filter out 100% of the harmful UV rays, if they are not used absolutely perfectly, or should there be a manufacturing defect in any of them, this will result in permanent and irreversible vision loss for any eye exposed.

Just like sunburn to the skin, the effects are not felt or noticed immediately. I have a great fear that I will have patients in my office on Tuesday, Aug 22 who woke up with hazy, blurry vision that I cannot fix. It is a huge risk to watch the eclipse even with the use of solar glasses. There is no absolutely safe way to do so other than on TV.

The biggest danger with children is ensuring proper use without direct parental supervision. As the eclipse passes over many places, including Columbus, the moon will not block 100% of the sun. Because so much of its light is blocked by the moon, if one looks at it without full protection, it does not cause pain as looking at the sun does on a regular day. Normally if you try to look at the sun, it physically hurts and you can’t see anything.

During an eclipse, however, it is easier to stare for a bit….and even less than 30 seconds of exposure to a partially eclipsed sun, you can burn a blind spot right to your most precious central vision. With solar glasses you can’t see ANYTHING except the crescent of light of the sun. Kids could have a tendency to want to peak around the filter to see what is actually going on up there. One failure, just one, where education and supervision fail, will have such a devastating consequence.

Please, please be safe. Watch it on television.

PS Feel free to share this post.

Michael Schecter

Have a healthy day.

Thanks for sharing!

Motivation from Mel Robbins, More Good Coffee News, the 8 Hour Diet: It’s Friday. I’m in Link Love

Link-Love2

Ah . . . . Friday. Here you are once again. The funny thing about Friday is the love/hate relationship that I have with it. Of course I’m looking forward to the weekend. But, the end of another work weeks means that five more days of my life have slipped away. Have I made the best of them?

Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes no.

One way to bring meaning to a week that has been less than overwhelmingly interesting in any way is to share tips via links about health and wellness news that I’ve found to be fascinating this week. I hope you enjoy and will share.

 – Not can you, but do you have the will to [change]?
–  The 8 Hour Diet is still a thing
–  Burn20 will inspire you to move more, and . . . .
–  There is now proof (almost) that coffee and a nap are the perfect combo.

It’s Friday. I’m in [Link] Love!

Mel Robbins on Why Motivation is Garbage –Mel Robbins, creator of the 5 Second Rule,  is a motivational speaker with one of the of the top 20 Tedx talks in the world. In this interview with Tom Bilyeu, she talks about how she changed her life with one simple strategy that came to her during a low point.  In this compelling interview she talks about how the habit of hesitation sabotages our success and what to do about it. The interview is worth a watch and just may motivate you to make some changes in your life. For an additional motivational burst, check out her short inspirational video This is Where Your Dreams Live below.

 

 

The Complete Guide to Intermittent Fasting – For several years I have practiced the 8 Hour Diet, intermittently at least, and can confirm that it has significant benefits. The 8 Hour Diet is believed to help you lose weight (without counting calories or starving yourself) and reduce the risk of chronic conditions including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s Disease.  The diet works because for 16 hours a day you are not consuming any calories. During this 16-hour period, the body is able to rest, repair and burn calories.

The book, The 8 Hour Diet by David Zinczenko and Peter Moore was a New York Times bestseller and brought the concept of intermittent fasting mainstream. For the most in depth look at the diet, the book can be purchased at Amazon.com. To learn more before buying the book, check out Stylecraze’s The 8 Hour Diet – Complete Guide.

 

Clock 2

 

Burn20 – Ingrid Macher’s Facebook page Burn 20 features short workout  videos – usually three exercises in each one – almost daily. Having these in your Facebook newsfeed is motivating and provides some great ideas for exercises that target a variety of muscle groups that can be done in a short amount of time.  Ingrid also has a free 5-day meal plan that you can download.  You can access the videos here – Burn 20 Videos, and the entire Facebook site here, Burn 20. Give her a ‘like’ on FB and start getting the videos today!

Burn 20

 

Coffee + Nap = Perfect Combination – I read some time ago that drinking a cup of coffee before taking a short nap would help you wake up more recharged than either option on its own. Researchers continue to study the benefits of the “coffee nap” and deem it to be the perfect combo. Why does it work you ask? “Both sleeping and caffeine block the brain’s receptors of adenosine, which is the chemical that causes drowsiness. While a nap on its own can leave a person feeling refreshed, the introduction of coffee beforehand can make for an even more effective energy boost.” Click here to learn more.

Cup of Coffee

I’ll have more next Friday.

In the meantime, Be Social! Share!

A Fifteen Minute Workout That Will Take Your Fitness to the Next Level

Getting and staying fit is a challenge for everyone. People that struggle with finding time to exercise may think that adhering to a lifestyle that includes a daily fitness routine is easier for others than it is for them. I don’t think that’s always the case but some people certainly have a way of making it look easy.

Are you struggling to find time in your day to work out? Or maybe you’re doing just enough two or three times a week to get by, but you envy people that look stronger and more fit than you do. If so, here are five basic exercises to start doing every day. These time tested moves burn fat, build muscle, and will give you a more defined look.

 1.  100 Squats A Day (can include split squats or lunges) – The squat works all of the muscles in the lower body. Doing squats everyday will increase lower body strength by helping you gain or maintain muscle mass. Doing 100 squats a day will give your bottom more shape and definition and increase your overall lower body strength. To give this exercise variety and challenge add weighted dumbbells or jumps.

Squats 2

Flickr Photo by Max Fitness

A good variation of the basic squat is a split squat. In this move, step one leg in front of the other. The back leg does the work as you drive the knee down towards the floor and back up. For this variation, try completing 50 reps on each leg.

Split squat

Flickr Photo by Max Fitnexx

 

2.  50 Push Ups A Day – The push up does for the upper body what the squat
does for the lower. It works all of the muscles in your upper half, increasing strength and creating definition in the chest, arms and back. There is no shame in doing push-ups from the knee position, just make sure you bend your elbows and get your chest down to the floor without your booty going up in the air. Have someone watch you or do a set in front of a mirror to make sure you’re using correct form.

Push up 2

Start the push up from a hand plank position.

Push up 1

Lower your body down to the floor, then push back up to starting position. Repeat.


3.  100 Crunches – yes, I said crunches – A Day
– I think the ‘no more crunches’ approach that we’ve moved to over the past five years is misguided. Ab crunches are easy to do, you can do them anywhere, and they are effective in toning the core. Start on your back with your hands behind your head and roll your shoulders up off of the floor. Lower back down so that head almost touches the floor and repeat.

Ab crunch 2

You can vary the crunches that you do each day to incorporate the obliques (side wall) of the abdominals more. In the same position, crunch up bringing the left shoulder towards the center. Lower back towards floor and repeat on the right.

Ab Crunch

Flickr photo by Oxyfit Gym


4. 25 Burpees A Day
Burpees are the ultimate functional fitness exercise. A burpee incorporates all of the major – and many of the minor – muscle groups in the body. Not only do they increase muscle endurance, they will get your heart rate up and boost your cardio fitness level which leads to better endurance for activities like running and biking.

The picture below shows the steps – from left to right – for completing a perfect burpee. If you are just getting started, try walking the legs out to position #2 (the second picture from the left in the series) and walking back in to complete position #5.

Burpee

Flickr photo by Jack Thompson


5. Plank for Three Minutes A Day
– The plank is now the most revered core exercise that strengthens your abs, back, and core. Research shows that planking supports proper posture and improves balance. There are so many ways to do a plank that you can try a different variation each day. Start out with a basic elbow plank . .  .Elbow Plank
then work up to a hand plank . . .

Hand Plank

Flickr photo by SAIT Polytechnic

and, finally to the side plank (which can be modified by going to an elbow position).

Side plank

For even more of a challenge, master the art of the reverse plank.

Reverse Plank

Start with 15 to 30 seconds in each plank position. Rest, then repeat until you’ve completed three minutes.

Give It A Chance.

You’ve read about the benefits of all of these exercises before. The question is have you not just tried them, but done them on a regular basis for a long enough time to matter?

For the next 30 days do these exercises every day (it will only take 15 minutes). You be the judge of whether or not you look better and feel stronger.

DO it Now

If you are not able to do the number of reps suggested, just focus on doing each move with the correct form. Keep track of how many you do and add a couple reps each day until you reach the goal. At the end of 30 days, move the goal up by adding weight or reps to the exercises.

Be Social. Share!

 

 

Beat the Heat With the Ultimate Electrolyte Replacement

It’s only June and already there is a record heat wave gripping the southwest states. Usually the intense heat doesn’t start until July but it’s getting an early start this year and not just in the south. It has been hot here in Illinois this year too with heat indexes up in the 100’s.

If you are working outdoors in the heat whether it be biking, running or gardening, you need to quench your thirst with something other than water.

Water

You Need More Than Water

Water is a great hydrator. It’s almost always available, has zero calories, and flushes toxins out of your body. There are many more reasons why it’s good to drink plenty of water every day and you need even more when it’s hot.

But, if you’re only drinking water, you are losing precious nutrients through fluid loss from sweating in the heat.  The major electrolytes found in the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride. When these minerals become too low you may notice unpleasant – and sometimes dangerous – symptoms. Muscle weakness, an irregular heartbeat, a change in blood pressure, confusion, numbness and even seizures can occur when you have an electrolyte deficiency.

Sport Drinks Aren’t The Best Solution

Popular sports drinks advertise that they offer electrolyte replacement and provide potassium and sodium but they come with some other not-so-helpful ingredients like sugar or artificial sweeteners. A serving of Gatorade Cool Blue Thirst Quencher has 150 calories, 250 mg of sodium, 65 mg of potassium, 39 grams of carbohydrates and 35 grams (8.75 teaspoons) of sugar. Other flavors and brands have similar ingredient labels.

Gatorade Blue

A better option for electrolyte loss is the Nunn Active tablets that provide more total replacement. Nunn tablets come in a variety of flavors, have only 4 grams of sugar and contain 38 mg of magnesium, 25 mg of sodium, 360 mg of potassium. Replacing magnesium is key to reducing muscle cramps and twitches, weakness, irritability and even vomiting and diarrhea. Plus magnesium moves the other electrolytes into and out of the cells so it’s a must have in any electrolyte replacement.

The Nunn tablets only have 10 calories per tablet.

Nunn Tablets

 

Nutritional information per tablet is below:

Nunn

You can purchase Nunn Active from Amazon or any sports store. They cost about $6 per tube of 10 tabs which comes out to less than 10 bottles of most of the popular sports drinks.

I began using the Nunn Active tablets when I began spring training for a half marathon. The temperature was above average and on the long runs I sweat so much I could wring my clothes when I was done. Water wasn’t taking care of my thirst or fatigue. The Nunn tablets made a big difference in my ability to fully recover quicker. I notice a marked difference in the way I felt after using the tablets.

The tablets dissolve in water and are slightly fizzy. I’ve read some reviews where people have said they think they are too fizzy but I didn’t find that to be the case at all. The taste is not overbearing either.

If you want to stay physically active in the summer heat and be able to stay on top of your game, an electrolyte replacement link Nunn Active will help.

Have you tried the tablets? If so, share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Be Social! Share!

Ultimate Music Mixes to Fuel Your Motivation

I am an early morning workout person. Some days – Mondays in particular – when the alarm goes off at 4 a.m. the motivation isn’t there. But, the right music can change my attitude quicker than anything else. An upbeat, energizing mix will fuel my motivation so that I am able to give 100% even on days when I could not imagine that to be possible.

Since music is critical to my success, I thought it only fair that I share the sources that I use for the classes that I teach as well as the workouts that I do on my own.

Below are my top 5 fave sights to get workout music mixes:

Workout Music Source – WOMS has a YouTube channel where they update music every Friday. Their creations are mostly hour long re-mixes of popular songs that are good for running, kickboxing, CrossFit and any other type of workout that you can use music for.

I have been downloading music on a regular basis from WOMS and I’ve found these mixes to be the best of the best. The Girl Boss mix is my favorite. It has 14 fun, upbeat diva songs. All of the mixes are 32 counts and beats per minute is listed on each mix. Subscribe so you’ll get updates when new mixes drop. **Very reasonably priced.

Girl Boss Cardio Mix

32MIX – This site is for instructors only so you will have to agree to only use the music in a fitness class environment before you access the site. The truth is, anyone can purchase the music but because they remix music in its original form, copyright laws restrict them from selling to DJs and other people who might use their music in an environment not covered by ASCAP or other copyright licensing organizations.

There are a ton of mixes to choose from at this site and they are divided into categories. Once you spend a little time at the site, you’ll get an idea of the genre of each and will be able to find music that best suits you. I find this site a little hard to navigate but they do have a listening link for each of the mixes so you can listen before you buy. You can select the tempo for each mix and they even have a custom mix option. You pick 16 songs that you love they will mix them for you.

32 Mix

 

Instructor Music – Much like 32Mix, Instructor Music creates mixes using original artists’ songs and they specify that they are for instructors only. If you want to purchase the music just make sure you only use it for your own workouts or in an environment that is covered under a performance license(such as a YMCA, fitness center, etc.)

I’ve used Instructor Music mixes for years for the fitness classes that I teach. They create new mixes on a weekly basis and use up-to-date top 40 hits. They also have numerous retro mixes if you want a disco or old school rock and roll mix. The best thing about this site if the ‘Close-Outs’ where you can get mixes at a great price. All mixes are 32 count and download right to your computer or cell phone.

 

Instructor Music

Fitness & Music – This artist no longer updates their YouTube channel but there are still some mixes that you can access that are excellent. They have fun mixes with music from the 80’s and 90’s and megamixes that are compilations of current songs as well as some you probably haven’t heard for awhile. Because I like F & M’s music so much, I always wonder what I could do to encourage them to continue creating mixes. The 80’s Aerobic Mix Super Hits is timeless.

Fitness & Music
Israel RR Fitness – These mixes can be found at the Israel RR Fitness channel on YouTube. They are fun and edgy and can be used for a variety of workouts. What’s fun about IRRF’s music is it’s out of the box and crosses several decades of music in one mix which you don’t find very often. The Step Aerobic Mix #6 goes from September – originally by Earth, Wind and Fire – to Sexy and I Know It – to the Steve Miller Band’s Abracadabra. There are no copyright infringement rules you have to worry about here. Check out Israel RR. You won’t be disappointed.

Israel RR Fitness

I would love to know if you visited any of the sites I mentioned and if so, what you thought!

What is your go-to music web site?

Be social!  Share!

 

The Reality of No-Pain No-Gain and The Comfort Zone Thing

I like to be comfortable and I hate pain. I’ll bet you do too. No one avoids going to the dentist or paying off the balance on my credit card better than me.

For a year or more I’ve been working within my comfort zone. Every workout has been pre-empted with a mental reassurance of  ‘You’re good, girl. Just do what you can do’.

Guess what?

That doesn’t work.

The reality is that if you want to exceed, or better yet, excel at anything you are going to experience some pain. You are going to be uncomfortable. The rewards that come from both of these not-so-awesome ‘feelings’ are worth it. Life beings at the end of your comfort zone.

 

Comfort Zone

Dealing With Uncomfortable Pain: Outsmart Your Brain

I had to begin to reevaluate my own reality a few months ago when, for the second year in a row, it was looking like I wouldn’t be ready to run the Illinois Marathon (IM) half marathon. The IM is a huge annual event in my hometown (practically). I work in C-U and the this event brings that community to life on a level you might not be able to understand until you experience it.

I love the Illinois Marathon. Last year I didn’t participate for reasons too boring to go into here. This year, for similar reasons I thought I wouldn’t participate again. And then, something happened. I was sitting at my desk at work and my inner voice that always says “You’re good, girl” spoke to me in a different way.

She said, “What is wrong with you? Two years in a row you’re not going to run the half in the Illinois Marathon? ” I realized that if I didn’t do it this year I would never do it again.

At that moment I registered for the event and spent the next six weeks training so that I would be ready to, once again, run 13 miles.

Out of My Comfort Zone

My long runs took place on Saturday or Sunday morning. It was spring in Illinois and that means it’s either too chilly or too warm. There’s no in between. On some days it rained.

The first week I ran seven miles, the next week eight. Finally I got up to a painful, uncomfortable nine miles. There were days I didn’t want to go. There were days when my brain kept talking me out of going one more mile.

Why?? I want to do this. Why is my own brain working against me?

I’m not sure but I think it has to do with the way we have convinced ourselves that the status quo is good enough. We start to believe that we shouldn’t ever have to experience pain or be uncomfortable. I don’t know who to blame for that and it doesn’t matter now. If you can overcome that voice in your brain that tells you ‘you’re good’ when you’re not or that ‘you’ve got this’ when you don’t, you can reach your goals.

Was It Worth It?

Oh yes! It was awesome. Here I am at the Memorial Stadium Finish Line with my daughter.

half marathon

And here’s me with my daughter and other like-minded people I know that are willing to push to reach their goals.

IM Collage

After the half marathon I was ready for more painful and uncomfortablness.

I ran the Lake Mingo 7 mile trail run last week. The trail run is a series of rugged hills that suck the life out of you followed by valleys where you feel like you are going to fall head over heels. I was not comfortable at all after mile 2. But, look at me. I got a medal! I got fourth in my age group.

Lake Mingo Train Run

Here’s What I Know

I could not have done this without these 3 things:

— Changing my mental attitude to put an end to the complacent acceptance that whatever I can do is good enough. It’s not, and that thinking leads to nothingness.

— Seeking out people who are willing to be uncomfortable with me. If you can find people that can handle a little pain and you are able to support each other in the process you’ve struck gold. The picture below is a group of us that conquered the Lake Mingo trail.

Lake Mingo

 

— Accepting that there is going to be some pain in the process. It might be rain hitting your face on a training run or having to get out of a warm bed a lot earlier than you want to. If you are going to get what you want out of life getting uncomfortable and experiencing some pain is  inevitable.

It’s not easy being exceptional but, I know that you can be.

I’m begging you to settle for nothing less.

Be Social! Share!!

 

Wisdom, Why HIIT Works and Weight Loss: It’s Friday. I’m in [Link] Love

Link-Love2

I ran across a few health and fitness links this week that I couldn’t resist sharing. Winter can be a tough time of year to stay on top of of your fitness goals, but the links below will help.

Happy Friday to everyone! It’s Friday and I’m in [link] love!

Positivity is Powerful

Even if you strive to maintain a positive outlook, some days it can be harder than others. The Power of Positivity web site and Facebook page provides daily positive affirmations that can help you on days when the struggle is real.  Below is an inspirational video created by the Power of Positivity that has been circulating social media sites.  Check out their site here:  The Power of Positivity.

HIIT Is Here to Stay

Every year the American College of Sports Medicine compiles a list of the trends they predict will become or remain popular in the upcoming year. This year, wearable tech, body weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) top the list.  HIIT workouts are popular because they can be done anywhere at any time and, in most cases, don’t require any equipment.

If you’d like to add some HIIT to your life, here’s a link to a 20 minute workout that you can do at home or on the road. Try this Calorie-Torching HIIT Workout from the Fhitting Room.

HIIT

Nail Your Resolution By Doing This

We’re half way through January. Are you nailing your goals so far?  This article has some great advice from the Triathlete and reaffirms what we talk about here at PTCDN.  Set practical goals.  Instead of saying you’ll never eat dessert again, resolve to have dessert in moderation.  For some advice that works,  click here:  Nail Your 2017 Nutrition Goals from the Triathlete.

Too Good To Be True?

Maybe not. Japanese scientists have concluded a double-blind trail on obese adults to determine what, if any, apple cider vinegar has on blood sugar and body fat.  The results were surprising and indicate drinking apple cider vinegar could be a viable tool to aid in weight loss.  Read about the study and results here: Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Blood Sugar, Body Fat, Studies Say.

There’s Strength in Numbers

Reaching fitness goals are not only easier, they’re more fun, with friends. Stride Kick lets you join – and even create – fitness challenges that you can invite your friends, family and co-workers to do with you.

Stride Kick

Challenge yourself by creating a fun fitness challenge with your own goal or invite friends and coworkers to join and motivate you. Don’t want to create your own challenge? Become a part of the Stridekick community and join a community challenge to earn badges for achieving your goals: Moving with Stridekick’s Fitness Tracker Challenge.

Be Social! Share!

Five in 30 Week Two: How Did You Do Plus a Quick Tip

5-in-30-header-ptcdn

You’ve completed the first week of the challenge and it’s time to take a look at your goal and evaluate how you did.

Did you accomplish the goal 100%? If not, what percentage would you give yourself?  75%, 50%, 25% or 0%?  The reason this is important is because you need to know if you’ve set a good goal.  If you accomplished the goal 100% you may be able to set that goal again next week and successfully accomplish it. You could even make the goal (slightly) more challenging.

If you are at less than 100% you need to look at what got in your way. Being honest with yourself about this allows you to recognize what you could do different if you choose this goal again. Here’s an example:

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Planner

What specifically will I achieve?
I will walk on my lunch hour for a half an hour Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week.

How will I measure It?
I will assign a completion number for each day that I walk: 25% per day. In other words one day is 25%, two 50%, etc.

Is it achievable by me now?
Yes. I have an hour for lunch and my job is next to a rec center that has an indoor walking track that we are allowed to use.

Is it relevant to my larger goal?
Yes. My goal is to lose five pounds in 30 days and physical activity will help me burn more calories which will assist in my weight loss.

By what dates will I achieve it?
By Friday, January 20.

How did you do? (Assign goal completion number)
75%

Let’s assume you missed one day. What happened on that day that kept you from taking the 30 minute walk?

What can you do to make sure that doesn’t happen again?

What are some other things you could do if you aren’t able to walk for 30 minutes?

It’s a good idea to come up with some ideas now such as walking after work, adding an extra 10 minutes to the walks on the other days, or doing a quick at-home workout before or after work in place of the walk.

Whatever goal you have set, this is the tried and true method that successful weight loss coaches use with their clients. Doing this only takes a few minutes each week and will keep you from setting unachievable goals that leave you discouraged and ready to quit. Remember, goals must be achievable because success breeds success.

The 7 Minute Workout

This workout has been around for a while but it is still considered to be one of the best short, simple, and effective workouts around. It is the 7 Minute Workout from the New York Times that now has an app to go with it for both iPhones and iSOs.

This workout can be done anywhere at any time. It’s a good calorie burner and can give you just the bump you need to get you to the goal of losing five pounds in 30 days. Plus, there’s now an advanced 7 Minute Workout so once this one gets too easy you’ll have a new challenge. Little fitness hacks like these can keep you moving towards your goal.

Be Social! Share!