Archive for March, 2011

Spring Into Fitness Week – Day 4

Today is all about Spring exercise tips. I find that there are two kinds of people when it comes to exercise. There are people that like to exercise and do it regularly and the other group are the people that know they should probably exercise but never get around to it. Well with the weather turning nice it is time to start thinking of exercise as a fun thing to do outdoors.

Spring Exercise Tips

Again I am going to give you a few tips that should help you out and at the same time hopefully inspire the non exercisers to see that it is easy to get started. I have also written a post on an 8 week Spring Fitness Program that you can check out.

1. Start slowly – No matter if you have been working out indoors for the Winter or not, it is important to start out slowly. I think that it is important to start walking, riding, or running (whatever you can do) for at least 15 minutes and you can work this up to 45 minutes a day or so. Any more than this and you will be working to long I believe. As soon as you can pick up the pace and the time but remember not to push too hard or it will take to long to heal and not be sore. You should be doing some kind of exercise 5 or 6 days a week.

2. Be Careful – As you are start doing whatever Spring exercise you are doing and this includes weightlifting you have to watch your form. I have sidelined myself many times by pushing too fast and not listening to my body only to be left a couple weeks in with swollen and really sore knees. Know your limits.

3. The Pain will be gone quick, I promise – No matter what you start for exercise you will have sore legs, arms, back, calves, all sorts of pain that you are not used to. As long as the pain is muscle stiffness you can work through it. Remember to drink lots of water for the muscle stiffness and know that the pain will go away fairly quickly. After two weeks or so your muscle stiffness will be gone and you will be fine

4. Change it up lots – Remember that your body is very adaptable. If you do the same kind of exercise or eat the same foods consistently your body will get used to it. So you have to change it up a lot. Move between all the things you can think of, sports, bowling, running, walking, riding, skateboarding, surfing, whatever you can do to keep everything changing around.

Good for today. I will have one more post to pull things together. I hope that you have liked these spring exercise tips and I will try to add to the list as I think of more.


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I was asked to join in on another TLC book tour, remember this one from last year? I agreed and when the book arrived I found myself skimming the first few pages. Pages about Mark’s efforts to lose fat and gain muscle, to get back in shape, watching his mom struggle with her weight and eventually his wife when she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. And then I get to the first chapter: Why Diets Fail.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard this line many times before. So I was prepared to read the same information that I’ve read before. But what he wrote stunned me because it was so accurtate and spot-on.

He talks about that one moment in our lives when we felt in control of our health. This could be a week, or several months. A time when we were breezing through diet or exercise- or both. Everything was working, we felt good…we look good. And then it’s gone. The effort goes away with life circumstances. We get thrown off course.

I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me countless times. I think back to my days on Atkins.. And then the time when I did Weight Watchers and I was losing 10lbs a month. Both times I dropped 30-40 lbs. And then stopped.

Mark says “we spent endless hours focusing on the past, trying to figure out what had changed. That moment becomes our hope, out future possibility–our ace in the hole. We believe that at any time we can pull out that ace and get back to where we were during that moment.”

We justify that life is too busy, that we will get there when projects are complete, after the holidays or when the timing is right. Each day telling ourselves that we know what we need to do but are just not doing it. We keep tight hold of the ace in the hole, ready to use it at any time.

And then the day comes when we pull the trigger and dive right back in. Trying to minic those ace in the hole days, and it’s much harder. We try again the next day, and then on the third day we are wondering what is so different this time. This is when panic sets in…and when as he puts it “diets attack”.

“People use diets in their moments of frustration and desperation.”

And there you have it friends. The cycle.

So what’s the solution? According the Mark, blood sugar stabilization through meal intervals, nutrient ratios and calories per meal. He believes that nutrition should be used to create an internal balance.

Mark will guide you through meal plans for your body type (your metabolism), creating a set-point with your weight, and helps you to discover the “why” in your goals. He calls his place Venice nutrition and shares many meal plans and recipes for each body type. He talks about the difference between high quality and low nutrients, such as protein.

The meals he suggests are easy and would take minute to prepare. Such as Salmon with rice and asparagus, italian tuna salad with a side of fruit, steak with sweet potatoes and steamed cauliflower, seared scallops with brown rice and spinach, and spicy turkey club wrap.

In the last chapters of the book he helps you  in creating an exercise plan, how to adopt this way of eating into your current lifestyle and he has a whole chapter dedicated to staying true to the process.

Here is what I like about the book and Venice Nutrition:

I like that he focuses on real, clean food that is easy to prepare. This is food that we should eat 90% of the time. He focuses on quality of food rather than calories in, calories out.

His plan is about eating for life, rather than “how I will eat when I’m losing weight”.

He talks extensively about blood sugar, nutrition and the way we metabolize food.

He gives real-world solutions for all lifestyles.

He focuses more on what you should eat rather than what you can’t or shouldn’t eat.

He covers the importance of both cardio and strength training. He provides a plan for both.

He is positive and hopeful.

What I don’t like about the book:

I’m not a big fan (at all) of food products: protein bars, shakes etc. Some of the recipes include protein powders.

The recipes are simple. This is a good thing for some people. But for me, I enjoy cooking. I like following recipes. To me, a turkey burger is about as sad as it gets. I don’t like to buy ground meat unless I know the source and most of the ground meat the I buy is local and doesn’t promote “leanness”. Rolled up deli meat with a side of cashews is not a meal. I don’t know if I believe turkey or chicken should be ground up and made into burgers or meatballs or whatever else. I’ve done this before, but it just seems wrong.

The book doesn’t seem to address eating out, or social occasion. I could have missed this section, but I enjoy eating out with my husband. I enjoy trying out new to us restaurants that are locally owned. I like long meals with friends. These things are non-negotiable. I’m not going to bring a shake with me, or have a cooler of prepared food to a gourmet/real food establishment. Not gonna happen. I also realize that these are special occasion meals.

Bottom Line:

I believe that the Venice Nutrition can be done 80% of the time. It’s about eating smaller meals about five times a day. This stabilizes blood sugar, boosts your metabolism and prevents cravings. It focuses on eating real food: lean meat, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Mark helps you to set goals for yourself and gives you the tools to see them through.

Visit his site, Venice Nutrition for more information.

Thank you to TLC Book tours for including me.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to me free of charge, for review.

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Spring Into Fitness Week – Day 3

Spring into Fitness Week

Spring into Fitness Week

I have been thinking about what people are telling me in emails and today I wanted to hit on a couple of things. I want to talk about Outdoor health and I also want to talk about losing fat on your stomach. See how this goes.

Outdoor Health

Whenever we go outside we are bombarded with everything that the non-constructed outdoors has to offer and as great as it is it is also dangerous. I have a wrecked knee right now to prove that care is needed. Here are a few things to think about

Shoes – Make sure that when you are exercising and travelling around outside that you are wearing good shoes with grip on the bottom. Winter and the slippery sidewalks are over but there is also a problem with rain now and just bad footing on the dirt and grass. Also if you have been running on a treadmill indoors it is much easier on your knees so you have to be careful with how you run outside.

Skin Care There is wind and there is UV (ultraviolet) outside from the sun. To be careful you NEED to wear sunscreen. Suncreen will trap the moisture in your skin to protect against the drying effect of the wind as well as protecting you against the sun. Remember that if you are going to be outdoors for the day even in Spring you can get a sunburn so wearing a hat and loose clothes that cover your skin is a good idea.

I like to suntan in the Spring and Summer but if you do that as well it is a good idea to control the amount of sun you are getting. You can’t be running around in the sun underprotected all day so that hat and lotion are critical

Losing Stomach Fat

OK, I want to be clear about this stomach fat issue. If there is fat on your stomach you need to lower your fat level through diet. You know lower your white carbs, drinking more water, eat more fruits and veggies, and try spacing out your meals more. Have 5 or 6 small meals instead of two giant meals a day. It is just a lot better for you.

I wrote an article a while back on How to get 6 pack abs a while ago that may help you out.

The other thing that you need to do is follow some great exercises for your core. Do crunches and leg raises 2 sets of 20 or 30 three times a week. Don’t neglect the rest of your core as well. I make sure that I exercise my lower back and  my lower sides. If you have weak muscles then you will have a lot more flabbiness.

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