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A Fitness Plan that Works

One of the greatest challenges for busy women is to have CONSISTISTENCY with their exercise program. I frequently have women tell me, “I can’t stick with anything.”  If you can relate, have you ever given much thought as to WHY? I have discovered the reason is that most busy women have not found an exercise program that works for their schedule and the demands of their life?  Therefore when the demands of life happen, their workouts become hit or miss (inconsistent) or they quit all together. Think about it. When starting an exercise program, do you assess your schedule to see how much time you have and what plan is best for your lifeSTYLE and personal fitness goals?

 Take for example my client, Lisa. She was attempting to do one hour of cardio exercise Monday–Friday at her local gym. To increase her metabolism and muscle tone, she planned to add one strength training workout a week, but often struggled to get it done. She was unmotivated, bored and under the impression that she her strength training program would take her over an hour each week. She felt stuck and wondered how to make it work. With her work load and travel approximately three days a week, she found it challenging to stick with that program.

 By assessing her schedule, we were able to create a new work out that fit her lifestyle and met her fitness goals.

  • Because her time was limited Monday-Friday, we developed a cardiovascular work out that can be done in less than an hour with intensity that is challenging for her and can be done when traveling at most hotel gyms. Instead of giving up all together because her time is limited, she was able to see that she can still burn the same amount of calories in a shorter amount of time if working properly.

 

  • She is no longer bored and has overcome her misconception that weight training is slow and takes a long time. She now has a 30 minute strength training workout that she can do at her the gym at her office or at her hotel gym.  Her program motivates her because she is moving quickly, which eliminates boredom and with a new intensity, she is seeing results in her muscle tone.

 Lisa struggled to be consistent with her program of one hour of cardio exercise Monday-Friday and one day of strength training a week.  Her new program is 3-4 days a week of 30-45 minutes of cardio and one day of 30 minutes strength training work out. It is not only quick for her busy life, but at an intensity that allows her to meet her fitness goals.

 She now has a fitness program that fits her schedule and motivates her because she it is one that will give her CONSISTENCY.

 Lisa’s solution may not be your solution.  But that is the whole point of a personal fitness design.  We are all unique women with different challenges, busy lifestyles and goals.  There is not one program that fits all women. To be consistent, you need to find what works for your personal schedule. If you are stuck, unsure of what to do and feel like consistency is a challenge, I would love to help you with a free telephone consultation. Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com and place consultation in the subject line to set up a time.

 

Simple Accomplishments

By now, our New Year goals for 2011, for many of us busy women, may seem a little too unrealistic.  I have been guilty of making my  “to do” list so long that I became overwhelmed and accomplished nothing.   I have recently discovered a simple way to organize all of my family photos and kid’s events.  I have been haunted over the past few years trying to keep them all together with a system that works.  Simplicity is my new favorite friend.  I have a few steps that work and make me feel good about myself and well organized. SIMPLICITY is also the key to eating healthier and can make a difference in managing your weight.  See if any of these can work for you.

1. Switch from Regular Soda to diet.

Think about it, a 12 oz can of coke is 140 calories.  Do you really want your calories going to drinks that have no nutritional value?  If you take out 2 cokes a day or an equivalent of 300 calories in drinks and walk 2 miles which burns approximately 200 calories, you have decreased your calories by 500 a day, which leads to weight loss of 1 lb a week. If you can’t stand the thought of a diet drink, get a fountain drink and have half real and half diet until you gradually acquire the taste of a diet soda.

2. Never skip breakfast.

Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism and gives energy for the activities that face us throughout the day.  You may think you are saving calories by skipping breakfast, but we tend to overeat in our other meals.  Choose a breakfast that is full of protein and fiber that will assist to control your appetite for the day.  One of my new favorites is Nature’s Grain Bagel at only 150 calories and a whopping 19 grams of fiber (75% of recommended daily fiber allowance). Pair this with 1 TBS of peanut butter and a banana and you have a great tasting nutritional breakfast for 320 calories, 5 grams of Protein and 21 grams of fiber.  That is a deal. Not only is it delicious; but because it is loaded with fiber and nutrients, you will notice how satisfied you are with less cravings for sugary foods.

3. Chew your food slowly and always sit down when you eat.

We can be in such a hurry while we eat, we do not even realize how much we are consuming.  Enjoy every bite of your food along with the company and conversation.  Make sure you are sitting down and looking at your food before you get started instead of running around doing multiple projects.  Pay attention to your food and get to know it before getting started

4. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes.

A sweet potato contains twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, almost half of the recommend daily amount of vitamin C, and, if you eat the skin, even more fiber than oatmeal. Make a habit of replacing a sweet potato for white potatoes and white rice. It gives you more bang for your buck and can fill a sweet tooth.

5. Ask for salad dressing on the side and choose lower cal dressing.

Never allow someone else to be in charge of your salad dressing.  Unforeseen calories can easily add up.

Make your healthy plan simple for you in 2011.  Simplicity can get things accomplished.

Relieve a Little Muscle Tension

“My back aches, I feel tight and stiff.”  Have you ever said this or felt this way? When I have clients tell me they feel tight, stiff or have joint pain, the first thing I ask is if they perform regular stretching exercises.  I usually hear “no, I know I should.”  After years of preaching stretch, stretch, stretch, I have to remind myself constantly to  take time and schedule a few minutes to stretch after each workout or I will pay for it later. We have a short amount of time to exercise and want to use it burn a few extra calories or think there is not enough time to fit in stretching with all we have to do. However, many times, when our back goes out or we suffer from low back pain, it is not due to one specific injury, but because we have not taken the time to work on our flexibility and the constant wear and tear on our muscles. Stiffness and back pain can be caused by a lack of flexibility. Regular stretching makes you feel better by reducing muscles soreness, low back pain and stress, and assist your body to move easily and prevent injury. Our flexibility does decrease with age, but by incorporating a regular stretching program, you can feel younger and more relaxed with less aches and pains.

Stretching exercises can be done at different times, but must be done when your muscles are warm.   After a work out of any kind, it is a without a doubt the most important time to relieve tension in your working muscles.  At the end of the day, especially if you have sat at a desk all day, a hot shower or warm bath is a great way to warm up and relax the muscles for a few stretching exercises before bed.

Here a few guidelines to follow with your stretching:

  • Before beginning, make sure muscles are warm
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale as you move toward the stretch
  • Take the stretch to your point of tension and not any further – Do not force it!
  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 times for each muscle stretched.

 Remember you can take quick breaks throughout the day when you feel a little tension or need a break.  My 2 year old has learned it is kind of fun to jump back and forth over mommy’s leg when she is stretching.  He has even been my cheerleader by saying, “stretch mommy stretch.”  It can be done anywhere.  No special place, no special equipment.

To learn more about having a personal fitness plan and how to be fit for life, call me for a free consultation as your Wellness Coach at 409-550-7606 or email me at crystal@crystalclearchange.com.