No Excuses-Just Exercise!

When it comes to weight loss, nutrition is a key factor but exercise is important too. You can’t outrun a bad diet but exercise does help speed up the weight loss process. You do not have to run a marathon everyday, just a couple 15 minute bouts of exercise throughout the day would be just as beneficial! Any sort of movement is better than nothing at all. Everyone has a busy life but sometimes you have to make time for yourself. Ask yourself, is watching Netflix is more important than getting healthier? If you have time to binge Netflix you have time to exercise. Here are some examples of how to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

  • Make exercise a part of your routine. Start your morning off with a 15 minute walk or stretch session. Use this time to reflect on your day to come and clear your head. I like to walk in the morning and stretch at night. Especially if you sit all day at work, stretching is a great way to wine down your day and release tension that built up during the day.

  • Take the extra steps. Park at the back of the parking lot when running errands. Take the stairs at work and skip the elevators. Walk laps around the building on your lunch break. Quick little bouts of exercise throughout the day add up and can really help you reach your weight loss goals.

  • Use your Amazon Prime membership. Obviously in the middle of a pandemic it is not ideal to go to the gym. Luckily almost everyone has a Prime membership. There are hundreds of free workout videos that are included in the membership. Now you have no excuse for not being able to go to the gym. You can workout in the comfort of your home and no one will be judging you. 

  • Use your chores as exercise. Everyone tries to find an excuse to not workout. Sometimes there truly isn’t enough time during the day to get exercise in. Use your chores as a way to add some movement in your day. Go the extra mile and deep clean the house, mawn the lawn yourself, organize the garage, and stop putting it off til a rainy day. 

10 Tips to Survive Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a holiday that celebrates the 3 Fs: family, friends, and food! All are an interictal part to making lasting memories. With that being said, it’s important to not overeat just because you can. Here are some tips to get through the holiday without ruining your weight loss progress!

  1. Get Active: Start your day off with some sort of movement. This way you are already at a calorie deficit going into this more calorically dense day. Gather the whole family together and make it a group activity. Some examples would be playing football or going on a run/walk together. Now you have time to make more family memories and burn some calories!
  2. Don’t Skip Meals: Just because you are having this larger than normal dinner does not mean you should skip breakfast and lunch. You will end up being ravished and overeat at dinner. I suggest eating smaller healthy meals beforehand to avoid binging at the Thanksgiving feast.
  3. Skimp on the extra butter and sugar: Thanksgiving dishes are full of fat, sugar, and sodium. If you cut those ingredients back a little, no one will even notice. This will cut the calories back in each dish. Every little bit helps!
  4. Do not have an all or nothing attitude: Continue your routine all the days up to and after Thanksgiving. There is no rule that you must let lose the whole week. Do not routine all your hard work for one day. Set yourself up for success so when you do have your feast you can enjoy it more.
  5. Eat the rainbow: Try to choose a variety of colors for your sides. Those foods tend to have more nutrients in them and could possibly be less in calories.
  6. Drink Plenty of Water: The best thing you can do for yourself is to drink plenty of water. The foods we eat on Thanksgiving are higher in fat, sugar, and sodium than we normally eat. Water will help flush out your body and alleviate bloating. A good rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. Trust me, you will thank me later!
  7. Skip Seconds: Getting seconds always sounds like a good idea but it never works out as planned. Wait 20 minutes after you finish your first plate before you grab seconds. If you are still truly hungry then go get another plate.
  8. Ask yourself if it is worth it: Thanksgiving is all about indulging in your favorite dishes. But some are not worth it. Do you really need to eat those cheese and crackers as appetizers? Probably not. Prioritize which dishes are the most important and really enjoy those.
  9. Take Smaller portions: If you want to try everything, then by all means do! Take smaller portions of each side in that case. Eat slowly and genuinely enjoy each bite!
  10. Be Realistic: The holidays are about gathering and making memories. Focus more on weight maintenance instead of weight loss. Then at the first of the year, you will already be ahead of most people.

The Importance of Exercise During a Pandemic

This year has been filled with uncertainties to say the least. One thing that we need to control is our health, now more than ever. Mental, emotional and physical health all contribute to our well being. Exercise plays an important role in all three of these aspects. This is why even during this pandemic we should still be exercising.

Mental and emotional health go hand-in-hand with exercise. It reduces the body’s stress hormones by stimulating production of chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural pain killers and mood elevators. In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t kill their husbands, they just don’t.” Obviously this is an extreme situation but it gets the point across.If you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or helpless during the pandemic you are not alone and I would strongly encourage you to start exercising. 

The physical health benefits of exercise are endless. Some of these benefits include lower risk of early death, coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, adverse blood lipid profile, type 2 diabetes, multiple cancers, can help increase bone density, improve sleep and boost the immune system. All of these are important but having a strong immune system is paramount during this pandemic. That benefit alone should encourage you to start exercising today!

How to Start Exercising

Right now you might not feel comfortable hopping in the car to go to the gym. Maybe you are not able to afford a monthly gym membership because you got laid off. Luckily for you, working out from home is an option! It is time to stop making excuses and make your health just as important as watching Netflix and scrolling through Instagram! Here are some tips to help you still be active while being in quarantine.

First step is to make a “SMART” goal.  This stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. Utilizing this concept will help you attain your goals in a more manageable fashion and keep you on track. Having an accountability partner such as your partner, friend or family member can also help with staying on track. Exercising with someone else is also a great and safe activity (as long as you keep a safe distance) during quarantine. 

The recommendation for an adult is at least 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity. If you are new to exercising or it has been awhile since your last workout, starting with 3, 10 minute bouts of physical activity is recommended. Focus on your weaknesses first then move on to your strengths. 

Working out from home is definitely not ideal but is absolutely doable! I do not want to hear any excuses! Start off using your body weight and then add additional weight. If you did not get a chance to buy free weights before everyone else in the world did, household items are a great substitute! Try using canned goods, water bottles, milk jugs filled with water, a bag of dog food, or cat litter. Pretty much anything you can find will work! People who are working from home, balance your sitting time with standing and stretching to keep your muscles from getting tight. When you are watching television, exercise during the commercial breaks. On the weekends, play outside with your kids, walk the dog, garden, or mow the lawn. Put exercise on your daily schedule, have a reminder on your phone, or a sticky note by your bed. Anything that will help keep you accountable!

Starting a new habit is scary and hard so reward yourself when you’ve earned it. This does not mean go get ice cream and fries at the local diner! Treat yourself to a spa day, go get a massage, buy yourself a new outfit or maybe plan a weekend getaway! Be proud of your success and allow yourself to celebrate!