I haven't written a blog post in a while, partly because I've been busy, but also partly because I haven't felt drawn to any specific health/fitness topic in a while. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the cancellation of the NY Marathon, and the overwhelming response of the runners & other compassionate citizens, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts.
Let me first offer my heartfelt sympathy for those affected by the storm. I have fortunately never experienced that type of devastation. The photos of the damage to both life & property as a result of the Hurricane are astounding, and the sheer denseness of the population in those areas creates a unique problem in terms of providing aid and relief from the situation. Learning about the recovery efforts, the compassion of our citizens in giving their time & money to the cause, and the resilience of those affected is inspiring.
And in the middle of all the chaos, stood the NY Marathon, scheduled for last weekend. This race is considered by runners around the world as a 'bucket list' race. People come from far away for a chance to run with some of the most renowned runners alive. The NY Marathon is not only a huge event for runners, it is also a highly attended event by spectators. I've read (and heard from friends) that running along this course is like being at a non-stop party. Wall to wall people for 26.2 miles, with spectators who cheer, support, encourage, wave & smile for 5-8+ hours of their Sunday. In fact, the city's continual support of the race is probably known to be the most supportive, most enthusiastic, and most prevalent in US Marathon history.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many wondered how the NY Road Runners Club would be able to put on a race of this magnitude. Many wondered whether they should even try, considering the state of affairs in NYC. Watching the relief effort from afar, it seemed ridiculous to think they would proceed. However, due to the enormous expense and pressures involved with promoting this iconic race, the NYRR club (along with city officials) decided they would try. After all, racers had spent the last year qualifying & paying non-refundable entry fees & travel expenses in preparation for this event. This decision to hold the race was greatly criticized. Should emergency personnel be pulled from recovery efforts to staff the race? Should the funds used to supply food & water on the course be shifted to emergency efforts instead? There were many questions that begged consideration. In the end, just two days prior to the marathon, much too late in this marathoner's opinion, race & city officials ultimately cancelled the event. Had they cancelled it immediately after Hurricane Sandy, I would have grieved for the runners affected, but applauded the difficult decision. Doing it when runners were already en route to NYC seemed terribly inconsiderate.
I am continually amazed and honored to be part of a community (yes, runners form a community!) that pulls together. Imagine the money raised from the events thousands participate in each year. In 2012, there were approximately 5000+ people who raced marathons; many of the entry fees supported wonderful causes. In the same fashion that we race against each other but still pat a struggling racer on the back & give words of encouragement during a race, these NY Marathoners pulled together to provide support where needed most. Disappointed? You bet. Financially affected? Definitely. Willing to arrive in a city of devastation, scrap their dreams of racing an iconic marathon (possibly finding themselves without hotel accommodations because so many NYers needed shelter), these marathoners pulled together. They loaded ferries to Staton Island, gathered in Central Park, and spent their day doing what runners do best: supporting others. Bravo, Marathoners. May you kick asphault next year at the race! And thank you.
This blog post is dedicated to my friend, an amazing marathoner, Kristin, who was one of many who flew to NYC to find out the race was cancelled. I hope you have the chance to race there next year!
Clients and friends comment on my dedication to fitness. My dirty little secret? Staying motivated and consistent is HARD for me, too! Like most of you, there are weeks where my personal fitness goals take a backseat to my work schedule. Let's consider the 'bumps in the road' and how to get over them.
Know What Your Typical Barriers (Bumps!) Are.
Chances are, if you've had an interruption to your workout plans, that same interruption is likely to pop up again in the future. History repeats itself, right? Family demands, work schedule, and life's daily grind are generally predictable.
Plan for the Barriers to Occur Again. What will you do to stay consistent with your goals?
After work exercise that gets derailed by family responsibilities in the evenings can be solved by planning morning workouts. Of course, getting to bed on time & having early morning workout gear ready to go is key to success! Have some time at lunch? How about a lunchtime walk to clear the mind, get the blood flowing, and start the 2nd half of the work day renewed? Pack those running shoes into work! Feeling stressed about training time away from family? Invite them along for the ride - you can run while the family bikes alongside. Everyone wins! How about a family kickball game in the yard? Hiking at the local trail? Sneak in a walk/run at the track during kids' soccer practice? There are lots of ways to fit in exercise & healthy living while checking the family box. Heck, you might just inspire the rest of the family into a lifetime of healthy habits!
Don't Beat Yourself Up.
'Strive for progress, not perfection.' Whomever said this was a genius! No one's perfect! When you have a hiccup in your training - just get back on the horse. Bad week - no workouts? Weight gain this week? Big deal! You can't change the past, but you CAN change the future! What are you going to do the next week to ensure your success? Look where you started & notice how far you've come toward achieving your healthy goals. Put your energy into these thoughts, rather than looking backward at what didn't happen.
AND...break your biggest goal(s) into smaller, attainable steps. This will help you measure progress! Focus on reaching the smaller steps first. When you do - CELEBRATE your success! Post it on Facebook - you've earned those bragging rights! Book a massage for a little pampering. Buy that new outfit (or workout gear!) you've wanted. Building reward for progress into your goal plan is a way to stay motivated. AND THEN LOOK FORWARD. What's the next step? How you will you continue to be successful on your healthy journey?
Finding a peer group for healthy goals can be a great motivator. There are incredible groups online that offer FREE fitness/nutrition tracking, advice, and motivation from like-minded friends (Facebook -you can find my group under Northshore Fitness LLC - have you LIKE the page yet???, Twitter, sparkpeople.com, myfitnesspal.com, etc). Joining a health club or fitness group (ie running/walking group, hiking club, swim club, etc) is another great way to stay motivated (they offer social support, motivation, and accountability). Form a Facebook group for weight loss and invite your friends who have similar goals to join. Enlist other parents to walk around the track during sports practice. Find a lunch buddy to walk at lunchtime. Start a new family routine - family walk before or after dinner. Get a group of friends together and hire a personal trainer for small group training session (less cost, more fun!). There are so many ways to enlist the support of others to improve the possiblity of your success.
You CAN achieve your healthiest life. Plan for it and then go get it! Healthy Life = Happy Life!
Yours in Health & Fitness,
My clients often hear me suggest "Let's mix up your workout routine!" Changing an existing fitness routine is a great way to stave off boredom and aid in motivation as you progress toward your healthy goals. It can also prevent fitness plateaus which can be barriers to your fitness success.
Sometimes clients are hesitant to change their routine. Some dislike the idea of being a 'newbie' at a class, others are worried they will be incapable of performing the exercises of the new workout. Some like the comfort of knowing what to expect and anticipating how they will be able to perform throughout the session. And what about those who have already achieved their fitness goals and want to maintain their current fitness level - should they stay with the status quo? Studies suggest not. Our brains/bodies are incredible machines that adapt to the training variables practiced. As we become more fit, our bodies work LESS to perform the same workouts. Changing our fitness routine challenges our bodies and allows us to achieve/maintain results.
As a marathoner, I have logged thousands of miles training for races. Instead of heading out for a run today, I walked my Trainer-Talk & attended my first indoor cycling class since my last triathlon - somewhere around 2006! I have to admit I was a little intimidated by all the cardio-loving riders as I entered the room for the first time. Guess what? It was one of the most fun, challenging, AWESOME workouts this gal has seen in a long while. Just goes to show, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Review your workout routine & the results you're seeing (or not!). Is it time for a change? Grab a friend and head out for a new class at your local gym (everything's more fun with a friend). Make a bucket list of activities you'd like to try (hiking a favorite trail, weekend backpacking with the family, signing up for your first 5k, rollerblading with friends?) - then get out there and make it happen! You might just find another healthy activity you love.
HOW'S IT GOING WITH YOUR HEALTHY LIFESTYLE GOALS?
Let's face it - the end of January can mark a particularly difficult time in maintaining motivation for our New Year's goals. Perhaps your goals were really BIG - going from zero to lightspeed overnight on January 1st. Or maybe you made vague goals that were hard to put into action. Or even, you started off strong, but aren't yet seeing the results you'd hoped would occur by month end. Regardless, NOW is the time to re-evaluate your goals, reorganize your approach, and recommit to what's important to you.
Take a look at your goals. Did you make specific & time bound goals (and are your goals realistic)? For example, 'I want to lose weight' is not the same as: "I want to lose 1-2 pounds per week over the next 6 months to achieve a goal weight of 150lbs." Review each healthy goal you've set. Be sure to follow the SMART rule. Your goals should be:
Specific (be concise - write 1 short sentence that is very specific of what you want to achieve)
Measurable (how will you know when you're making progress?)
Attainable (what specific actions do you need to take to achieve your goals? - write them down)
Realistic (are you willing/able to take the steps necessary to reach your goals?)
Time Bound (review the timeline in which you expect to achieve your goal- is it realistic? Break down your big goals into smaller ones - write down a timeframe to complete each step along the way. Be sure to REWARD yourself for each step you achieve toward your large goal!)
It's natural for motivation to fade over time. Remind yourself WHY you decided to make a healthy change. These reasons should be very personal - not just because you know you should or a healthcare provider told you to. WHY is this change important to you? What are the BENEFITS you have experienced (or will experience) from your change in behavior? Write your motivators down & keep them where you can see them daily (in your car, on your fridge, on the bathroom mirror)., on the fridger,
Don't be shy about making a healthy change! Shout your intentions from the rooftops, and enlist the support of everyone you know! Telling others what you're planning to do can help keep you accountable & allows your friends/family to support you every step of the way. Find a buddy - studies show exercising with a friend (and surrounding yourself with other healthy folks) dramatically increases your chance of success in weight loss & exercise adherence. Working with a certified personal trainer can also increase your chances of success. The trainer will give you customized workouts & nutrition information that will help you achieve your goals, keep you motivated, and hold you accountable to the goals you set (not to mention celebrate your success!).
REVIEW YOUR PROGRESS:
Are you making steady progress toward your goals? Have you hit a plateau? Evaluate where you are, where you thought you'd be, and determine what works & what doesn't. Time for a change? Don't hesitate to make adjustments where necessary to stay on track (keeping in mind that it takes about 8-12 weeks to see real changes in body composition and/or weight loss). Whether you stay the course or try something new - be sure to focus on consistency in your routine.
CELEBRATE THE SMALL STUFF:
Any progress toward your healthy lifestyle goals should be recognized! Rewarding yourself for goals achieved can be a great motivator! Celebrate each success on the way toward your biggest goals - you deserve it!
'When you feel like QUITTING, think about WHY you started.'
As a personal trainer/Mom of two growing boys, healthy nutrition is something I read about & practice on a daily basis. Many of my clients have kids and often ask me how I get mine to eat healthy snacks/meals. Try some of these tricks I've learned for healthy family nutrition (yes, even for those picky eaters!).
1. Walk the Talk.
If you want your kids to choose healthy food options, you need to model that behavior at home. What's your go-to snack item? Does it usually include fruits/vegetables/yogurt? Are you a carb craver or sugar-a-holic? How's your salt intake? At our house, the boys come home ravenous from school - and every day, it's the same question.....'What can I have for a snack?' I'm surprised they even ask, because the answer is always the same, 'Choose something healthy! Fruit, yogurt, or veggies.' They get occasional treats, too - chips in the lunchbox or candy from time to time - but the USUAL snacks/foods available to them are healthy. If the junk's not in the house, there's nothing to choose from but healthy alternatives! (That goes for you, too, Mom & Dad!)
Your kids will learn to like the foods that are readily available, easy to find/prepare, and that they see you enjoying on a regular basis. Monkey see, monkey do!
2. Slow down for a family meal experience.
Eating on the run is the #1 way to ensure you're likely not getting a healthy meal. I struggle with this during sports seasons - shuffling two guys to school/sporting events several nights a week can be a real challenge for family mealtime. Planning ahead and a little organization surrounding meals can make all the difference in family mealtime success. Make a grocery list before the week begins - be sure to include healthy dinner meals that can be made ahead. Try making big meals on the weekend, freeze, and warm to serve on busy weeknights. Have healthy snack options ready to grab and go for sporting events - you're much less likely to buy that corndog at the baseball stand if you & your kids have already had a healthy snack before the game! And if you MUST eat on the run, pick the healthiest option available. Lean sub sandwiches over fried fast foods are a great example of healthiest options.
3. Ban the 'Finish Your Plate' approach.
Kids are smart creatures! They instinctively know when their tummies are full. In fact, they're probably more in tune with appetite than adults are - over time we learn habits that allow us to walk away from the table feeling overstuffed. In general, kids will naturally stop eating when they are full. Allow your child to determine their portion size. At our house, our kids serve themselves. We have a rule of 'Take what you want, but want what you take' (thanks, Shelton View Elementary lunch ladies for teaching that powerful phrase!). They can always go back for 2nds, but this decreases the chance of overeating because they have a chance to finish their meal, and THEN decide if they need more food. When parents serve portions to children, we generally overestimate how much a child needs to eat (see note above, about leaving the table feeling overstuffed!). Worse yet, when we overserve our kids, they learn to eat more just because it's there.
4. Don't give up on 'rejected' foods.
Just because your child didn't like broccoli this week, doesn't mean he won't ever like it. Our kids have always been encouraged (ok, I'll admit we make them try at least a bite) of everything we're serving for dinner. We've never made special 'kid meals' for them - nor have we altered our family meals to suit kid preference. There are foods our boys are not fond of - but they at least try them each time they're offered - partly because they know we won't make them eat them if they do, and partly because as they've grown older, they've realized that sometimes it's how something's cooked that determines whether or not you like it, and sometimes your palate just changes and you learn to like something you thought you didn't! Parents often comment how lucky we are that our kids are not picky eaters. Here's a secret - I'm probably the most picky eater you'll meet! But I try new things regularly, and model that behavior in front of my kids so they see me walking my talk! Reintroducing foods on a rotating basis is a great way to get your kids used to a food in a non-threatening way. I've read before that it can take up to 15 times of reintroduction before a child learns to like a food - so keep at it! And remember that just like you, there will be a few foods that your child may never learn to like. As long as there are plenty of other healthy foods in their regular diet, no worries, they'll get the adequate nutrition they need.
5. My favorite kitchen mantra: 'I'm the Mom, not the maid.'
Our kids know that when Mom or Dad makes a meal - that's the meal. We're not making something other than that, and they'll have to choose at least portions of the meal to eat so they don't go hungry. On a few rare occasions, when we've cooked something really out of the ordinary, we have allowed our kids to make themselves something easy (and nutritious) to eat. And, we allow a choice of vegetables/fruits at every meal - with the caviat that they must choose at least 2 different kinds (often expressed as 'colors') at each meal. This gives them some control, and allows us peace of mind that they're getting the nutrients their growing bodies need.
7. Let your kids cook!
We instituted 'Kids Cook' nights at our house. It has been hugely successful not only in teaching our sons to cook for themselves, but in teaching them how to grocery shop on a budget & how to plan healthy meals. Kids are more likely to eat their own creations - after all, they chose the menu! We have a few simple rules with these nights - Mom gets to review the menu as it's being planned - ensuring that all food groups are represented, and they have to eat whatever they make. This family ritual soon became a favorite for both kids and parents at our house - give it a try at yours!
8. Control snacking.
At 8 & 11, our kids are certainly old enough to make their own snacks and to determine when they're hungry. Regardless, they have to ask before they snack. We always let them have something when they're hungry, of course. But just the process of asking before eating makes them think about their food choices & keeps us parents in the loop of what's being consumed (and how much). It's a rare occasion when we let our kids munch in front of the TV or video game (in fact, TV and video game time is pretty minimal around here) - and generally we ask our kids to sit down at the island counter or table to eat. This prevents mindless eating - where you eat more than you think. By doing this, we're teaching our sons that eating is something you do with thought - it's not something you do on the run, while vegging out doing something else, etc...
Teaching your kids proper eating habits at a young age will help them maintain a healthy weight, learn healthy eating patterns, and give them the ability to make informed, healthy meal choices as they grow into adulthood. And by following a few of these rules ourselves, we ensure we'll be healthy enough to live a long time to witness it.
'Cheers' to your healthy family meals!
My sincerest thanks to Faith Community Church & the many people who came out last night for our event to raise funds for local holiday giving programs. In just a short 1.5 hours, we danced, laughed, sweated, and raised over $200 for two local Holiday Giving Programs. These dollars stay right here in Edmonds, helping families in need this holiday season.
If you couldn't attend the event, there's still time to donate to the cause! Contact April Haberman at Faith Community Church Edmonds for more information.
And for those of you who joined us last night - THANK YOU! Your generosity, energy, and kindness touched my heart greatly!
Wishing you the healthiest of holidays!
For most, the last quarter of the calendar year (beginning with Halloween) marks a season filled with family, celebration, and (let's face it) FOOD. It's a cultural norm for Americans to celebrate holidays and special occasions sharing food with those we love. For many Americans, it also marks the beginning of a weight gain slide that can add up to an average of 5-7 pounds per year! Yikes!
What can you do to prevent weight gain over the holidays? BE AWARE. The first step to combatting weight gain is to be cognicent of what you're eating. Does that mean you can't eat Grandma's pumpkin pie? Of course not! It means that if you eat Grandma's pumpkin pie, you better not skip your workout that day! Balance your diet with exercise so that you're burning calories and staying on your recommended daily intake to maintain your weight.
Another tip for maintaining your weight over the holidays is to MINIMIZE TEMPTATIONS. In our house, once Halloween is done, the candy is in the garbage. Yup, incredibly wasteful - but better wasted than consumed (all that sugar is terrible for your teeth as well as your weight!). I purposely wait to make treats for potlucks and holiday celebrations until right before the event, and I never bring the leftovers home. Just keeping the junk and high fat foods less available means you'll consume less of them. It makes sense!
Remember that alcohol contains almost as many calories/gram as fat! If you're going to drink, choose your beverage wisely - drinks with sugary mixers will pack on the calories faster than drinks without. And of course, never drink and drive!
Remember that the holiday season is for enjoyment. Don't deprive yourself of the things you love to eat - instead be aware of what you're consuming, how much your consuming, and how often you're exercising. Using an online food/exercise journal can help keep you on track throughout the holidays. One of my favorite FREE online sites is www.myfitnesspal.com. You can track nutrition, exercise, and even take part in holiday challenges and find support in an anonymous online community. Their easy to read bar graph which shows your daily caloric consumption & caloric expenditure (exercise) goals/progress is a great motivator.
LASTLY, schedule workouts and stick to them! Not only does regular exercise keep your body healthy, it releases stree-reducing hormones that are proven to help you maintain more energy & sleep better! Have a back-up plan for when holiday schedules interrupt your usual exercise sessions. Vacationing? Take some resistance tubes in your suitcase for strength training (or do body weight exercises instead, and/or find a local gym that will let you join with a temporary membership or pay-by-the-class)! Pack your gym clothes in your car so you're sure to sneak in a lunch-break walk or so you're likely to stop at the gym on your way to/from work. Family gatherings are a great time for family walks, hikes, etc. Form a neighborhood touch-football team (multigenerational can be fun!) and hold an annual Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl! There are so many ways to enjoy an active holiday season with family/friends - you just have to be creative. If you find you're not able to stay on track alone - it's a great time to team up with a certified personal trainer who will not only hold you accountable, but will motivate you to achieve your healthiest self!
It's also a terrific time to try out new fitness classes - generally speaking the 'fitness rush' happens in January & classes are packed. If you try fitness classes before the end of the year, you'll be able to find your comfort zone in a smaller group & have an easier time getting to know the instructor. And while you're at it, don't forget to try my Edmonds City Parks Zumba classes (Tues/Thurs, 10-11am, 700 Main Street, Edmonds) and my Harbor Square Athletic Club Total Body Conditioning class (Thursdays, 8-9am, Edmonds). These classes are FUN & a great way to stay (or get) in shape!
And if you're considering keeping that Halloween candy around, be sure to check out this link which gives the nutritional breakdown for many popular mini-size candies!
Wishing you the healthiest & happiest holiday season!
Many clients I meet want to lose weight & live a healthier life. Most don't know how to create the changes needed to accomplish their goals. Here are some basic facts (based on scientific research) about weight loss techniques:
1. 'Success is always a work in progress.'
Let's face it, the weight didn't attach itself overnight, and it won't come off overnight, either. Lasting change requires a shift in thinking & a permanent change in habits. Learning healthy habits, which includes better nutrition and expending more calories (movement!) is the beginning step for lasting weight loss. Any gimmick/fad which promises rapid weight loss is not worth your money/time - it may work temporarily, but chances are great that you will gain back the weight lost (& then some!)within a short period. Scientific study repeatedly shows that slow, steady weight loss is the key to long term success.
2. 'Slow & Steady Wins the Race.'
Physicians & Exercise Physiologists agree that 1-2 lbs weight loss per week is recommended for healthy change. Here is the math that will help you determine how to accomplish this goal:
1lb of fat = 3500 calories
(You have to decrease your caloric intake (calories in) by 3500 calories per week to lose 1lb/wk)
3500 calories/week = decrease 500 calories/day, 7 days/week
Should you try to decrease your caloric intake (what you eat) by 3500 calories per week? Maybe, depending on how much/what you're eating (aka dieting). However, most people can not sustain a true 'diet' (lower than recommended caloric intake, based on activity level). For many, dieting feels like a 'restriction,' which is why it's generally not sustainable long-term.
A better way to decrease caloric intake? Combine DIET with INCREASED MOVEMENT.
Here's an example:
Sally eats 2200 calories per day = 15,400 calories/week
To lose 1lb per week, her caloric intake should be 15,400 - 3500 = 11,900 calories/week
11,900 calories/week = 1700 calories/day
*Note: 1600 calories/day recommended for sedentary women, 2200 cal/day for active women
Sally can eat just 1700 calories per day (reducing her intake by 500 calories/day)
Sally can eat 1950 calories/day AND burn 250 calories with exercise (caloric expenditure)/day
Result: Sally's daily caloric intake is 1700 calories/day
(creating a deficit of 500 calories/day x 7 days = 3500 calories/week = 1 pound!)
Adding exercise to the weight loss strategy works! It allows you to 'diet' less (although good nutrition, careful control of caloric intake, and eating healthy foods is still key!), and balance that with increased movement. A bonus, you'll gain cardiovascular fitness/strength in the process! This not only allows you to drop some weight but to become/stay healthy at the same time.
3. How do you know how many calories to eat & what types of foods are 'nutritious?'
There are many free websites to reference. My favorites are:
For food/exercise tracking:
There are even apps for your phone (see your mobile app store)!
4. Exercise...where do I start?
Start with activities you enjoy! If you hate the treadmill, then don't use one! If you love to walk the dog, GREAT! Try to exercise 60 minutes/day with moderate intensity (breathing hard, but not out of breath). Work up to it, as you're ready. Start slower, build intensity and time as your body is able. No time for exercise? Take a close look at your daily schedule. Chances are good you can work in 10 minutes at a time - the 60 minutes doesn't have to be consecutive! For example, give yourself a 10 minute walk break 3 times during your workday, and walk 30 minutes when you get home - it all adds up to 60 minutes of calorie burning! Be creative and be consistent with your exercise routine. Consistency is key to lifestyle change - the more you do it, the more you become it.
5. Find Support.
Surround yourself with people who support your weight loss goals. Ask a friend to exercise with you. Sign up for an online weight loss community - you'll receive support, challenges, and can post your daily progress for accountability. Find a certified Personal Trainer who will help you every step of the way - your trainer will serve as your nutritional watchdog, your accountability factor, your cheerleader, your advisor/coach. Having support will help you stay motivated, and keeps you on track for continued success.
ASK ME if you have questions about weight loss - leave a comment or question here, & I'll answer it for you! My passion is helping others live healthier lives.
Happy Summer! Congratulations to everyone who participated in the Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon last weekend! On Saturday I had the pleasure of joining 25,000 other runners at this incredibly fun race! It was the 3rd RNR in Seattle, & I have run all 3 years. Every year, the RNR team does a fantastic job organizing the race, putting out motivating marketing materials, setting up bands to play along the course, and making sure things run like clockwork on the day of the race. THANK YOU to the many volunteers, organizers, bands and spectators that made this day simply awesome!
An Inspirational Moment:
About mile 13, as I was heading up a beefy hill onto the Viaduct, I noticed a guy in front of me struggling a bit with the hill. As I slowed to give him a friendly pat on the back and some encouragement to keep going (as so many others have done for me in the past), I read the back of his shirt:
100 pounds, 1 marathon, A New Life
I did give him the pat on the back, and the words of encouragement, but wished I'd had time to tell him how inspirational his journey was. He's living proof that if you want something bad enough, and are willing to take the difficult steps necessary to make a life change, you CAN BE everything you wish. You can lose weight, make exercise a more regular part of your life, eat healthier, take more time for spiritual health & mental relaxation, spend more quality time with your family....whatever!
In fact, when I was hitting the wall around mile 24 (going UPHILL toward the finish), I remembered him. I figured if he could do it, so could I. One step at a time.
What steps will you take on the journey to 'Live Your Best Life'?
Summer marks the start of many fun family adventures; BBQ's, vacations, outdoor activities, and of course, the end of the school year for children!
For many working parents, especially busy Moms, the end of the year brings more freedom but also the dilemma of, "How am I going to exercise now that my kids are home all summer?" To help you get started, I have a few tips that have worked well for me & other clients:
- Start with a schedule. Plan your exercise sessions just like you'd plan a dentist or doctor appointment. Schedule them into your daily/weekly calendar - and then stick to them whenever possible!
- Take your kids along for the ride! Did you know that childhood obesity is the number one health issue for our children's generation? Why not incorporate a little playful movement into their day, and get your daily dose at the same time? Going for a run? Have your kids ride alongside on their bikes! Sign up for a Family 5k and train together toward that goal. Daily walks after dinner are a nice way to squeeze in family time and exercise all at once! Or just playing recess type games in the yard (think tag, kickball, frisbee, croquet, etc) can be a fun way to get the family moving together.
- Early Bird Gets the Worm! Chances are your kids are planning to sleep in a bit over their break. Set your alarm a little earlier so you're up before them & sneak in a quick workout!
- 10/10/10 Rule. When all else fails, fall back on this rule. 10 minute bouts of exercise, 3x in a day = 30 minutes that day! Walk the stairs at home during nap time, do calisthenics watching your favorite movie together, take a 10 minute walk while waiting for summer camp dismissal...there are lots of creative ways to work in 10 minutes of exercise throughout your day - it all adds up to a healthier you!
- Take advantage of your local parks. Exercising outside can be a great way to change up your routine & see new results! Take your kids to the park - while they play, you can run stairs, walk loops around the park, use the playground equipment as an obstacle course (race your kids, I dare you!), and even get an awesome ab workout laying in the sunshine on the grass.
- Vacation? Bring your resistance tubes in your suitcase (they weigh almost nothing!) and/or check out classes at your resort, hotel, or community gym. Many hotels even rent workout attire if you forget yours and often have great walking maps of the city where you're staying. Plan a family hike or bike ride tour on the trip. How about calisthenics and 'bootcamp' on the beach? No equipment necessary! There are many ways to be active regardless of location!
The bottom line is that a little creativity and planning goes a long way to ensure your workouts don't suffer over the summer break. Sticking with your exercise routine will not only keep you looking great, but you'll feel healthier all summer long!