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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Everywhere we go there is food. Our environment has a tremendous effect on when we eat and what we choose to eat. It is crucial to become aware of your own triggers to eating, other than true hunger, and exploring methods in which to manage them to achieve healthy patterns.
It is equally important to become aware of and control the portion size of meals and snacks. It is helpful to learn what serving sizes are and to select appropriate portion sizes. Eating mindfully incorporates measuring foods (using measuring cups, spoons and a food scale) which trains the eye to learn what healthy serving sizes look like. Most people greatly underestimate the volume of food that they consume. As a matter of fact, reports show that people often eat almost twice as many calories as they think they do.
It is a critical component of weight loss to eat smaller portions of food. Restaurants often serve 2-5 times the recommended portion size and Americans have grown accustomed to what this volume looks like. This “super-sized” portion has become the new norm. By decreasing the size of meals consumed, the stomach will shrink and adapt over time. This smaller amount of food will lead to satiety.
Remember it is one meal at a time. You can do it!
Most baked goods are often high in fat and sugar. Muffins, often assumed as a healthier choice, can even sometimes be a “cupcake” in disguise. You may think it’s impossible to create a lower calorie, healthier baked good that is just as tasty as the original.
Try these simple swaps the next time you’re baking.
|Whole milk (1 cup)||1 cup fat-free or nonfat milk plus one tablespoon of unsaturated oil like canola oil|
|Heavy cream (1 cup)||1 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup low-fat yogurt and 1/2 cup plain low-fat cottage cheese (pureed)
|Evaporated whole milk||Evaporated skim milk|
|Sweetened condensed whole milk||Evaporated skim milk|
|Cream cheese, full fat||Fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, Neufchatel
low-fat cottage cheese, pureed until smooth
|Sour Cream||Plain Greek yogurt|
|Butter (1 tbsp)||Vegetable oil|
|Oil||Natural Fruit Purees (no sugar added)
Examples: Applesauce, Pumpkin Puree, Mashed banana, etc.
|Shortening (1 cup)||Earth Balance or Smart Balance|
|1 Egg||2 Egg whites
“flax eggs” = 1 tbsp ground flax seed whisked with 3 tbsp warm water until the consistency of eggs
1/4 cup egg substitute
|Chocolate Chips (1 cup)||1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Carob chips – similar to chocolate chips, produced from a carob plant, with a slightly bitter and nutty undertone, works best with baking when the chips are incorporated in the baked product.
|Sugar||Reduce sugar by half and intensify sweetness by adding vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
Honey, Agave nectar
|Syrup||Pureed Fresh fruit|
|Fruit canned in heavy syrup||Fruit canned in its own juices, or fresh fruit|
|Flour, all purpose||Whole-wheat flour for half what the recipe calls for along with the all-purpose flour
*Note: Whole-wheat flour is less dense and works well in softer products like cakes and muffins
|Chopped nuts, 1 cup||1/2 cup toasted chopped nuts
* By toasting them brings out their flavor and only need half.
|Sweetened shredded coconut||1/2 cup toasted coconut + 1/2 tsp coconut extract|
|Traditional Pie Crust||Graham Cracker crust|
The most common excuse I hear about why someone isn’t eating healthy is: “I don’t have time to eat healthy” (of course, there is always the “healthy foods taste like cardboard” excuse, but that’s an entirely different subject). So why don’t people have time to eat healthy? School, work, and family are the most common healthy-eating deterrents. However, a busy schedule doesn’t have to mean fatty, high sodium, processed foods. It can be just as simple to eat healthy on a busy schedule as to eat unhealthy. It takes the same amount of effort to order a salad than it does a slice of pizza and it takes even less effort to grab an apple than it does to heat up a pop-tart.
So when you wake up tomorrow morning think to yourself: “My eating yesterday didn’t make me feel very healthy. Today I want to make a healthy change.” It is as simple as that. When you start your day with a healthy mindset, making healthy decisions will easily follow.
The first meal of the day is the most important. Breakfast will give you the energy you need to stay on track all day, not to mention that when you start your day with a good food choice you are more likely to make better choices throughout the day. We all know what a good choice is: oatmeal and other whole grains, fruit, eggs, veggies, and other natural choices. If you don’t have time in the morning, prep the night before. A good breakfast is an essential part of a healthy day. Before you leave the house, grab a few pieces of fruit, maybe some nuts or trail mix to have with you as snacks throughout the day.
So this is where the hard part starts; lunch out with friends, family or coworkers. Whether you order out, eat out or dine in there is always a healthy option, even if it doesn’t seem like there is. Half the battle in making a healthy decision is knowing what a healthy choice is, such as watch out for heavy dressing, added sodium and highly processed foods. Instead, stick with a protein source, a vegetable and a whole grain. The other half of making a healthy food choice is having a healthy mindset. “I want to be the best I can be and feed my body what it deserves.” With that mindset and the knowledge you already have, you are ready to make healthy choices every day.
At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our fitness, nutrition and behavior change coaching classes can assist you in making those healthy food choices, and exploring your old bad habits and creating new ones. Once you leave our program you will feel confident, look great, have more energy, and have a stronger and healthier mindset! When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.
As we move into the tail end of January, some of us are still going strong with our weight loss goals and some of us or not. There have been recent studies on willpower and its ability to help us stick to our fitness and weight loss goals. Willpower is a real form of mental energy, which is powered by glucose in the bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar that we take in from food and is converted to energy. Glucose is also used up as you exert self-control. The result is called “ego-depletion,” as a state of mental fatigue. The best way to keep your resolutions going and stave off this mental fatigue is to anticipate the limits of your willpower.
A new study published in December 2011 by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, tracked people’s reactions to temptations throughout the day. The study showed that individuals with the best self-control are the ones who use their willpower the least. Instead of fending off one urge after another, these people set up their lives to minimize temptations. They play offense instead of defense, using their willpower in advance so that they can avoid crisis, conserve energy and outsource as much self control as they can.
These strategies are particularly important if you’re trying to lose weight. The more you starve your body, the less glucose there will be in your bloodstream, and that means less willpower. Because of this vicious cycle, even people with the greatest self-control in other parts of their lives can have a terrible time remaining slim.
- Set a Clear Goal – Instead of resolving to “lose weight” or “eat healthier” set a specific goal- say, lose a pound a week. And limit yourself to one big resolution at a time but do make them. With a finite amount of willpower, it’s hard to keep up with multiple resolutions. Individuals are 10 times more like to change behaviors if New Year’s resolutions are made compared with non-resolvers that have the same goals and motivations to change.
- Pre-Commit – Plan meals in advance, keep junk food out of the kitchen, schedule workouts with friends or, you can be more extreme and bind yourself by emailing your goals to friends or by posting it on Facebook. There are even sites such as www.stickK.com that allow you to set goals, put up money on your goals and list a referee to check on your progress. The more you pre-commit, the better you will do.
- Keep Track – In the past, you were always recommended to weigh yourself once a week so you’re not hung up on daily fluctuations. Now research has shown that daily weigh-ins work better. Self monitoring is vital to any kind of resolution.
- Don’t Overreact to a Lapse- One major reason that dieters fail is because they deal with a phenomenon called “counter regulatory eating”- otherwise known as the“what the hell effect.” Instead of just stopping where they are, they continue to eat thinking the entire day is blown anyway. This thought process is far more dangerous than just realizing that you can stop what you are eating and immediately get back to eating healthy. So when the desert cart arrives, promise yourself that you will have a sample, but just not tonight.
- Reward Often- Don’t just use willpower to deny yourself of pleasure; it makes it a boring thankless form of defense. Instead, reward yourself for each milestone. Once the waistline starts to shrink, reward yourself with new clothes. Even the tiniest and silliest rewards can make a difference. If you want your willpower to last all year, every little bit helps.
At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we are here to assist you with all of your weight loss obstacles through fitness classes, Behavior Change coaching and nutrition education. Registration is already underway for our summer 2012 season! Hope to see you there!
Everybody knows what professionals are saying: eat whole grains, don’t eat refined carbohydrates, and stay away from white bread-that seems to be the generic, go-to saying now-a-days. But what does that mean when you walk into the bakery section of your grocery store? There are so many different options; it gets confusing out there in the world of grains and breads! So here are a few tips on how to make sure you are choosing the healthiest possible (and usually the most delicious) breads and grains.
First things first- when you walk into the bakery isle, what do you see? White bread, multigrain bread, 9 grain bread, 12 grain bread, whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, wheat bread, oats and honey bread, and cinnamon raisin bread – the list goes on and on. For some reason, there is an incredible variety of “healthy” breads out there, but are they really healthy?
We’ve all heard that white bread is refined and not the best choice for us, but why? Well, white bread is definitely more processed than whole grain breads. During manufacturing, they literally remove the “whole grain”. They take out all the deliciously nutritious stuff like fiber and B vitamins and leave nothing but sugar and empty calories. Now, I am not bashing white bread, I am simply stating a fact: it provides no nutritional value to its consumers. But what is the difference between white bread and whole grain bread? The difference is there is much less to process in whole grain breads because they use the entire grain, they don’t selfishly remove anything from it which keeps it full of the fiber and vitamins that our bodies crave, making it a much healthier choice.
Now the next problem is how do you know what you are buying is in fact whole grain bread? It’s simple-you can start by looking at the package and reading how it is advertised. The problem is that manufacturers very often advertise in a way that may make us believe something is healthy when it is truly not. In order to outsmart them, read the ingredient list. They must, by law, include all of their ingredients in this list. Looking for the word “whole” – not grain, not multigrain, not wheat – whole! The word whole will tell you everything you need to know. If it says “whole” you know, for sure that it is a whole grain product.
Next- you want to make sure it is 100% whole grain/wheat. This is usually labeled on the front of the product because when manufacturers are actually producing a product that is healthy, they want their consumers to know it. So if it says “100% whole wheat” you have made a great choice.
At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, our nutrition education classes are designed as an open forum to help you take the guess work out of making healthy choices at the supermarket. It used to be you walk into the store, you choose your produce, you choose your meats, and you choose whole wheat or white bread. Today is harder but it is more important than ever that we eat good, healthy food. So take an extra 10 seconds to read the food labels and be good to your bodies. When you are good to your body, it will be good to you in return.
According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, there seems to be some legitimacy for placebos and how our minds react to them. When you think about a “placebo effect”, you assume a sugar pill works because people believe they are consuming the real thing. We are now finding that placebos work on the mind as well. If you believe something to be true, the brain will react accordingly.
One of the things individuals struggle with while trying to lose weight is consumingand feeling full. Ghrelin, a gut peptide, which is involved in the feeling of being satisfied and being full after eating, is directly effected by not only how many calories are being consumed, but how many calories the individual thinks are being consumed. Ghrelin levels rise when the body needs food and falls as calories are being consumed, telling the brain that the body is no longer hungry.
One study surrounding food consumption and eating habits had two groups of people consuming a milkshake. One group was told the milkshake was 620 calories and was “indulgent”, the other group was told the milkshake was 120 calories and “sensible.” The Ghrelin levels fell faster in the first group and they became full and satisfied quicker than the group who thought they were only consuming 120 calories. These results may explain why while eating diet foods, you feel unsatisfied. Your mind is telling your body you are not getting enough calories.
In a different study around weight loss, hotel room attendants were told they were getting aat their jobs, and over the course of four weeks, they showed a significant drop in blood pressure, and decrease in weight and body fat. Other employees who did the same work, but weren’t told about the benefits of their job showed no change in weight. Neither group of these employees changed their diet or physical activity. Again, the mind-set telling the body how to react.
At Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts, we not only provide you with the latest fitness classes , nutrition education classes and serve fantastic food , we also address how much impact your mind-set has to do with your success in your weight loss journey through our Behavior Change Coaching groups. Come join us for this summer to help kick start your life with a new healthy lifestyle program.