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Exercise Tips for Busy Schedules

September 28, 2012 By: afeldman 6 Comments

 

Not enough time to exercise is the number one excuse that we make for ourselves to get out of taking care of our bodies. How can we fit an exercise session into a busy schedule? Here are some tips:

1.Organize your time

If you don’t have a planner, then buy one or download one on your phone. If your schedule is jam packed with activities, start recording them as a doctor or CEO would to schedule appointments. This will allow you to see exactly how you spend your time. If you spend an hour studying or cleaning the house, throw that on this schedule. Try to structure your schedule so all tasks become clustered into one area of the day. For example if you go to class in the morning, try to fit your studying and chores in right after class to give you a larger free time window after. Next, schedule exercise into free time windows, even if they are smaller 10 minute time windows throughout the day.

2. Take advantage of unexpected downtime

If you have a cancelled class or an appointment becomes rescheduled, take advantage of this time to fit an exercise session in. This may mean using the time to get ahead on work so you can exercise later or dropping what you are doing to exercise and then returning later.

3. Limit your lazy time

Set a limit on the amount of time that you are sitting around watching television, playing on facebook or playing words with friends. If you have time to do those things, then you have time to exercise. Put a little sign on the inside of your laptop under the screen that asks you if you exercised yet today. Put an hourly reminder on your phone that lights up and asks the same thing.

4. Have equipment and space easily accessible for down time

If you are operating on limited amounts of time then you need to move quick. This means having everything that you need to exercise ready to go. Have multiple gym bags; one in your car, one in the office and one in your room. This way, when you have a half hour for lunch or before you have to pick up the kids, you can change quickly to get your workout in.

5. Multi-task

Do you have to watch the kids for the day? Then exercise while they are watching tv for a half hour or while they are doing chores. Go outside and play basketball with them or go to the park. Take them for a walk around the neighborhood. Do you have a dog that needs walked? Take him for a jog or a longer walk. Do you have to walk to your next class? Take the long way, use the stairs and do an extra lap around campus. Do you have to do chores? Move fast to turn it into activity.

6. Wake-up earlier and exercise first

Exercise before you start anything else for the day. That way it is done and there is no excuse of missing it as the day gets closer to an end. Set your alarm clock that much earlier, put your clothing out and have a plan- meeting a friend for a walk or jog is a great way to prevent you from just hitting the snooze button.

7. Choose your priorities

What is important to you? List all of the activities or responsibilities that you have over the course of the week. Number them in order of importance. Where does exercise fit into this? Does it score high or low? Theoretically, exercise should take precedence over anything that it scored higher then. Exercise involves taking care of yourself and if that does not fit high on the priority list, then it will be harder to schedule in. If it does score high on the priority list, which it should, then you need to make time for it. That means getting rid of other things so you can fit exercise in. If you are a student, this may mean registering a lower credit load at school or turning down some extra hours at work; at the end of the day, what is more important than health?

How can you restructure your day to MAKE time for exercise?

 

Interval Training for Weight Loss

September 11, 2012 By: afeldman 2 Comments

Let’s talk about this concept known as interval training. This is not some new type of training, it has been around for years. What is interval training? in simple terms, it is doing something hard until it is too hard, then easing up until you are ready to do it hard again. From an exercise standpoint, it would mean taking an exercise move and moving very intense with the exercise, fast and strong, until you become too fatigued to continue at which point you would slow the move down enough to catch your breath and then repeat. When this is done over and over in one session, it becomes an entire workout.

The question is, how does this type of training help you reach weight loss goals and how is it relevant? Even though interval training, isn’t the only way to get in an effective workout, it is still one of the most effective ways to challenge your body. There are 5 reasons here on how it can truly help get you get you to your goals.

1. It gets you used to a faster pace for better fitness – The faster you can move over a 30 minute time frame, the more calories you can burn in that period. Interval training will get you more comfortable with moving at that faster pace. It will get you faster and faster until you are shredding through calories during a 30 minute time window. For example, if you do not currently have the fitness level to jog for more than 1 minute until you get extremely winded, then interval training will get you to a point at which you can jog for 10 minutes without getting extremely winded. The more that you can go at that faster pace, the more fit you become and the more calories you have the potential of burning during a workout. Advanced exercisers can think of that jog as more of a full run.
2. It forces you out of the comfort zone that most people fall into during steady state exercise – As we find our groove with something, it becomes comfortable, which can be good because that means we are becoming proficient at it. The problem is that if you stop taking yourself out of that comfort zone then progress will stop. By having set times that you pick up the intensity and speed during a workout, it forces you to get out of that comfort zone that you’ve become good at maintaining.
3. It gets your heart better at recovery, making you more fit – Recovery takes time during exercise and after exercise. Interval training teaches your heart to recover faster allowing you to feel better more quickly during rest periods and when exercise comes to an end for the day. By working out at a high intensity for a period and then slowing it down for a period numerous times, your heart gets used to having that small recovery period and it begins using that time much more efficiently. This is just one of the many ways that your heart becomes more fit.
4. It breaks up the monotony of normal exercise – This is my favorite. When there is an hour of cardio, we tend to think “Great, 59 minutes until I’m done” or “halfway done, 30 minutes left”. Thinking like that makes time go by very, very slowly. With intervals, you are always thinking ahead to the next interval. The thought process becomes this: “30 seconds until my next hard round” or “only 15 seconds until my next recovery paced minute”. By the time you get through a couple intervals, 20 minutes may have already passed! It’s a great way to make the time during cardio exercise go by more quickly.
5. Learn to control pace and intensity better – This is especially important for those who have goals of completing 5ks, 10ks or eventual long distance marathons. Interval training will allow you to figure out your pacing and speed for running, walking, biking, etc. You’ll learn what a hard pace is for your current level, a medium pace and a complete recovery pace. The only way to learn that is through experimentation during exercise. This is done with interval training. Doing intervals on a track or a cardio machine (treadmill, bike, elliptical, etc.) in the gym will allow you to see your speed during hard, easy and medium paced exercise so you can get precise with goal setting and reaching the proper level of intensity during exercise to see progress.

Now that I’ve talked about why interval training is important for fitness and weight loss, I want to talk about how it should be incorporated into your exercise routine. A recovery pace should be one that is just easy enough to allow you to catch your breath. A medium pace is one that you should be able to maintain for 5-15 minutes, you are working. A hard pace is one that’s just as it sounds, hard. You should be too winded to continue it after 60-90 seconds.
The first thing to do is decide what you’re speeds/resistance is going to be for each pace. The resistance on machines should atleast be at a level where you are not bouncing through the move uncontrollably.
Speed: On a treadmill, find out the exact numbers for each pace. 2.5-3.5 mph is a walking pace, 5.0-6.0 is a jogging pace and 6.1 + would be considered a running pace. On an elliptical, bike or similar equipment, look at strides per minute or rotations per minute to experiment around with speed. Just make sure that the level stays the same if your speed is what is changing. If you are exercising away from a machine, just pay closer attention to what you are doing. Learn how fast you’re body should be moving to reach each level.
Resistance/Level: Instead of changing speed, you would play around with the level settings. On a treadmill, this would mean the incline; on other pieces of equipment, it would mean changing the resistance. At a consistent speed, figure out what levels what be considered recovery, medium and hard.
Example Interval Training Program #1:
5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
1 minute recovery/1minute medium/1minute hard x5
3 minute recovery pace
1 minute recovery/1 minute medium/1 minute hardx5
5 minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #2

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
3 Minute Recovery Pace
1 Minute Hard/1 Minute Recovery x5
5 Minute Medium Pace
5 Minute Cool Down

Example Interval Training Program #3

5 Minute Easy Warm-Up
5 Minute Medium Pace
1 Minute Hard/2 Minutes Recovery/3 Minutes Medium x4
or 1 Song on your IPOD combining Hard/Recovery/1 Song Medium x4
5 Minute Easy Pace
5 Minute Cooldown

**If Running outside or around track, you may have to approximate time or bring a stop watch. On outside runs, you can also use place markers for the intervals such as stop signs, lamp posts or etc. With a track, time your lap to go off of distance for your intervals instead of time.

Renewing Your Fitness Goals

September 7, 2012 By: afeldman 1 Comment

Hey everyone, I am writing my first Shane Diet & Fitness entry of the fall addressed to all guests of the past. Whether you were with us this season, last season or any prior seasons, I’d like to re-emphasize your journey.

For those of you who have been home for some time, you know it can be hard to translate an exercise routine from a structured program like ours to your home life. Well, I would like to remind you that it is never to late to start fresh. If things did not work out quite as planned upon your return home, ask yourself why. What was it that really made it hard? What can you take away as a learning experience from previous attempts at weight loss?

If there is one thing that I know about this, it is that there is no such thing as failure if something can be learned from the experience. Let’s face it, we can always learn something from our mistakes of the past, we just have to look deep. For those of you who may have fallen off the fitness wagon, I challenge you to think about those mistakes of the past and take what you can out of them to make you ahappier and healthier person moving forward. Then, I would like you to use this information to dust yourself off, get back up and get back in the game.

When you joined us, you made a promise to yourself to meet a goal, to get from A to B. We want to help you keep that promise to yourself.

So here I am calling everyone out. Have you been staying true to that promise? It’s ok to be honest with yourself. If you’re one that has been successful at home or that has not been home long enough to know, use these thoughts to prepare you for possible hard times in the future. However, if the transition has not gone as planned, let’s address this. Even if you transitioned smoothly but fell off the wagon recently, how can you change direction and start moving forward again? To better help you at home, we would like to provide you with some tools. The Shane Team and I will be posting regular fitness blogs with topics relevant to fitness, healthy living and motivation. We will also be posting fitness challenges, exercises, inspirational thoughts and quotes. I plan on increasing my own physical fitness over this next year starting with my marathon at the end of this month and continuing afterward. I invite all of you to join me by increasing your own fitness. If you were with us before, it is not too late to dust off the old exercise program, and get started again. Tomorrow is a good day to also start that healthy eating plan , to start incorporating more movement in your day and to build positive thinking into your life.

For those who have not been with us before, visit us at www.shanedietresorts.com and check out our new website. With our new Texas location opening next month, we are available to change your life for the better, year round.

Healthy Lifestyle and Hearing Loss Prevention

September 4, 2012 By: office 2 Comments

We always think about how healthy lifestyle choices impact our bodies in terms of inches, pounds lost and strength gained but our special guest blogger John O’Conner points out how these choices can also benefit our hearing.

Chronic exposure to loud music on an iPod or at a concert or even the daily drone of the gardener’s lawn mower can lead to hearing loss in an individual.  Harmful, repetitive noises can begin a cycle of hearing loss that can occur slowly and, unfortunately, become irrecoverable. Often overlooked, hearing loss is one of the most commonly reported ailments that people have when they visit their doctor. However, healthy living is a powerful way to prevent hearing loss and hearing related disorders.

A healthy lifestyle requires a number of different commitments. The first is commitment to a healthy diet.  Proper nutrition leads to a heightened immune system, which makes the body strong to fight infection. An infection in the body can easily lead to hearing loss if it is not healed. Proper nutrition protects the body from infection and therefore can help to stave off hearing loss. Healthy lifestyle also requires a commitment to substance-free living.

Cigarette smoke, and more importantly, second hand exposure to cigarette smoke can lead to hearing loss.  It is vital that cigarettes and cigarette smoke is removed from daily lifestyle in order to promote and insure health, vitality, and functional hearing.

Exercise is also a commitment to a healthy lifestyle.  Proper exercise not only keeps the immune system at its strongest, it also moves the blood in the body and therefore cleans the blood and keeps it rich with nutrients. Hearing is dependent on healthy blood, nerves, and blood vessels.  High blood sugar, which can occur due to poor lifestyle choices such as overindulgence in alcohol, eating processed foods, and partaking in too little exercise can damage the nerves that are necessary for proper hearing.

A healthy lifestyle is critical for hearing health.  To encourage healthy hearing in an individual who is losing hearing, invest in a hearing aid.  Hearing aids make the wearers less anxious, less frustrated, and more involved in social relationships.  Some tips to protect one’s hearing include turning down the music to a lower frequency, investing in ear protectors which block noise either electronically or mechanically, and engaging in a healthy lifestyle to protect and perhaps improve hearing for years to come.

 

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