health and fitness

A Fitness Plan for Your Fall Schedule

Fall is here, and we have been talking a lot about it! The change in weather, time, and priorities also means a change in schedules and a good time to get back to exercise. But I have to be honest; this year is really kicking me in the rear. It is a crazy new schedule with a middle school daughter, late night practices and a son in the 3rd grade, which is the year when homework gets kicked up – just warning you if you are not there yet!

Personally, I have to access my new routine and time demands to design a realistic workout regimen to have consistency. What may have worked at one time may not work in my current season of life.

Are you in a season of life that seems impossible to find time to exercise? Let’s pause and commit to taking care of the body God has given us with the best resources we have at this time in our lives. Think about a few things.

1 - Decide to make it a priority

We all make time for things that are a priority. There is that nail or hair appointment that may not be missed because of its importance, or a snack of your favorite chocolate and an hour of Scandal sounds much better than 20 minutes on the treadmill. Once our health and exercise become a priority, we can find ways to plan for it. 

Proverbs 21:5 says,

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to the advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”

By making it a priority and submitting that plan to the Lord, He will provide a way.

2 - Assess your Actual Time, Schedule, and Responsibilities

Realistically, we have to be honest and admit that we may find an extra 30 minutes during the day just by cutting back on social media, email or TV. If that is not the case, it could be that there are too many things on our plate. Fall, a season of transition and change, is a good time to pause and learn to delegate or eliminate a few things completely. For my health mentally and physically, I have to learn that I cannot successfully add more to my plate before taking something off. My prayer for my time is Ephesians 5:15-16:

“Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”

3 - Combine Activities

I love thinking outside of the box and getting a little creative. Our workout/exercise time does not have to be with a trip to the gym. Instead of sitting and waiting during football practice or dance class, I may have to use that time to grab 30 minutes of walking around a soccer field while I wait. When my husband and I need to catch up with each other or have quality times with the kids, we may head out around the block for a good walk and talk.

God wants us to take care of our body to the best of our ability, whatever our circumstances or limitations may be. By making exercise a priority and utilizing our time more effectively, exercise can become a part of life no matter the season.

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Gather Her || 10.20.16

 

gather-her

..whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Enjoy an evening with women just like you who want to explore their faith and love all things fashion:

10.20.16
6:30 - 8:30 pm
FREE for all women!
RSVP on facebook

If you believe in the mission, we do accept donations! Click Here to donate.

At Gather Her, you will:
~ Find refuge in a lovely environment.
~ Create authentic, pure relationships through girl talk time after each message.
~ Hear truth through monthly guest speakers.
~ Meet women who are real, fun and authentic who love to laugh during our mix & mingle time!
~ Learn how to take care of yourself as an Ambassador of Christ through our monthly fashion partner.

Light Bites & Wine provided + Photo Booth

October Guest Speaker: CW's own, Lynn Marie Cherry, Author

Lynn has just published her first book and will share her personal journey of walking through betrayal and how we, too, can get to other side of our hurts and hangups we may have experienced in our lives. It's real #GirlTalk

#IamCreatedWoman
#Purpose
#LegacyBuilder

Created Woman: Equip & empower women to be who they are created to be inside & out.

A Tug-a-War...Exercise vs. Mom

Summer is around the corner and as a mom, you may have this thought running through your head,  “I liked to tone up for the summer, but I do not have time for exercise and be a mom.” Trying to find time for yourself and have time with your children can sometimes feel like a tug-a-war. I remember the days before children; I worked out 1.5 hours 6 days a week.  That kind of schedule is not going to happen now with two small kids.  Not only do I not have the time, I choose not to take it.  What I have learned is that my workouts depend on my children’s stage of life.

For example

As a baby

Once cleared from my doctor to exercise after the birth of my daughter, I struggled to figure out what I should do. It was too hot to go outside in the afternoon and her naps could be unpredictable.  My focus was not to get in a long run or take the time to go to the gym.  My favorite workout was simple….a pair of weights, an exercise band and a resist-a-ball right in the middle of my living room floor. I would work as hard and intense as I could for 20 minutes, which was all I had on most days.

As a Toddler

A walking/running stroller is a must at the toddler age.

There was nothing I loved more than a long walk or run while talking to my little one and exploring the world.  My goal was to utilize my time for exercise as an opportunity to spend time with them and be a good example of health and fitness.

As a child

A long talk, family time and a lot of calorie burning has been accomplished while they ride their bikes next me as I walk or run.

It is not always at the intensity or duration that I may desire, but it gets the job done. They have also hit the stage to play in the backyard while mommy gets in a 20 minute strength training work out.

Finding time for kids and exercise will change with the season of your family.  Do not be discouraged. Throw out what you may have done in the past and create a new plan for exercise with your kids and don’t let the tug-a-war pull you down. Not only will you “tone up” but you will be a great example and before you know they will be working out right next to you.

A Quick Workout! A Way to Love Others

A quick workout.  Most busy women think they don't have time to squeeze it in.  One reason may be that they're busy taking care of family and friends and/or working over time at their jobs. You may try to give your very best with love and dedication by giving all of your time to your family, friends and job. But can you really give your best if you don’t take time for yourself and improve your own health. There is a misconception that if you give ALL of your time towards the needs of others, you're showing love. But that often leads to burn out, exhaustion, irritation, frustration, and poor health. To be a healthy example to children, coworkers ,or employees, your own health must come first.  You may feel selfish at times and struggle with a little guilt, but think about how much more you have to offer when you're at your best physically and mentally. In my own life, I've had to make this a realization.  When not giving myself time each day, my attitude and energy level for my family, children, clients, and friends, was not something they'd want to be around….even though I'd be “giving”.

Here's a challenge.  Write down your schedule on MOST days, from the time you wake up to the time you go to bed.  Is there any time that is scheduled for you to focus on improving your health and fitness?  If not, I'm guessing, burn out is right around the corner.

The good news is that taking time to improve your fitness does not have to take a ton of time.  More and more research is showing that short bouts of exercise when done properly can be just as effective as long endurance activities. Another popular work out is the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) program, which pairs quick bouts of high-energy exercise with low-effort rest intervals and can be done in 30-45 minutes. Exercise scientists have demonstrated that HIIT can...

  • boost the performance of competitive athletes
  • improve the health of recreational exercisers
  • provide the benefits of continuous-endurance training with fewer workouts

You'll have more energy to love those you care about once you begin taking care of yourself.  Once you connect with that reality, you can design a clear program that works for your lifestyle. And as a bonus… you're setting a good example to the ones you love.

 

No More New Year’s Resolutions

This may be time of the year when you are gearing up for a New Year’s resolutions to start your fitness program, lose weight or eat better.

 In my 20 yearsexperience in fitness as a certified personal training, weight loss instructor, licensed well coach and leader in the industry, I have learn that 50% of women drop out of most fitness programs within the first 6 months.  It is heartbreaking for me, as someone who is passionate about health and fitness, to see these women give up.  I have come to learn the reason why. 

 The truth is there is no one “diet” or exercise program that works for everyone. To be successful in weight management, women must find what works for them, personally.  Each year they are told something different. Give up carbs and their favorite foods; do P90X; walk 30 minutes a day or do the latest dance class craze. It can be confusing and overwhelming. The problem for most busy women is they are attempting new programs that are not conducive to their busy lifestyle or address the issues that lead to their inconsistency. When it does not work, it can quickly lead to feeling like a failure and giving up any hope that healthy eating and exercise are even possible.

 I know without a shadow of a doubt there is hope and they do not have to give up just because it is not working. For me, as a career mom with a desire to be healthy, I understand the challenges of multiple responsibilities with long to do lists for many women.

 If you are ready to be in control of your eating and have a consistent exercise program, even with your busy lifestyle, forget the New Year’s Resolutions.  You know they never work long term anyway.  Instead consider designing a personalized food and fitness plan that you know will work with your schedule and lifestyle.  Throw out what worked in the past (temporarily) or for some one else and discover how to be confident in your own program because you know you can do it consistently. 

 If you’re unsure how to do that and you’d like some help, a free consultation with me might be the best way to get started.  We will discuss strategies to overcome certain food triggers and inconsistencies in your exercise; the best exercise program and eating plan for your schedule; and what motivates you to exercise and eat healthy for a lifetime.  

 Please email me at Crystal@yourfitnessdesigner.com to get scheduled for this free session.

 

 

Your Body Image….It is not all about you.

There are many physical benefits to regular exercise including higher self-esteem and positive body image. When a woman makes the decision to exercise for herself and no one else, there is a confidence that is created within her and is reflected to those around her.  However, women who have a poor body image are sometimes unable to see how it may be affecting other areas of their life, especially their relationships. They may become busy with life and unable to evaluate what it is costing them. Being a size two or twenty two is not the point. It is about feeling good with who you are as a woman and taking control of your health and fitness.   It is easy to say, how you feel about your body does not affect anyone else, but it could be affecting your relationship without you realizing it.

For example:

  1. Your Relationship with Your Spouse

Your relationship with your spouse is greatly affected when being intimate with him   or     participating in his favorite outdoor activities become uncomfortable for you because you do not feel good about your body. The truth is your looks may just be your issue, not his.  He just longs to have his wife do the things she once did with him.

  1. Your Relationship with your Children

Staying physically active can give you the energy to participate in those activities that your children may be begging you to do WITH THEM. Regular exercise gives you the energy and strength you need for them and is a healthy example to pass down to your children.

  1. Your Relationship with Others

I have seen so many women shy away from participating in social activities with others or avoid putting themselves in situations to meet new people because of a poor body image.  It is very sad to think relationships and a deep connection with others are being missed because of a lack of security in oneself.

God wants you to know that you are wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14).  It is not about being a certain size.  It is about feeling confident in who you are so that you are able to be the woman God intended you to be. Make a decision today to take control of your health and fitness by making exercise a part of your life. Don’t allow your feelings of self-doubt and poor body image affect other areas of your life, especially your relationships. If you would like to discover how to be in control of the choices you make with your health and be confident with your body, click here to go to my website.

 

Fitcation

With summer around the corner, you may find yourself in a different routine. Vacations and weekend get-a-ways can easily get us off track from our normal health and fitness routine. However, no matter where you are, you can build in a work out and incorporate a few simple tricks to eat healthy. The key is thinking outside of the box from what you may normally do.  If you routinely take exercises classes, what will you do if there is not a gym around?  If you walk each day, what do you do if there is not a safe environment or treadmill available?  My favorite new workout is Tabata.  This is a great 11 minute workout for the busy, traveling woman that is proven to get results. It can be done anywhere with minimal equipment or none at all.

If you have a few trips planned this summer, start thinking about what you can do to get a little exercise and be in control of what you eat.

Can you do this?

  • Call ahead to see if there is a gym available at your hotel or in the area
  • Have a friend commit to walking with you
  • Pack pieces of equipment such as an exercise band
  • Take a quick trip to the grocery store and be responsible for your snacks

To receive Crystal’s Picks, email me to get a list of quick healthy foods for a busy lifestyle and travel

  • If you have to get fast food, skip the value meal and go ala cart

 

Don’t get in a rut by thinking if you can’t do your normal routine, you can’t do anything at all, be flexible and change it up.

To learn more about the Tabata or for your own 30 minute work out that requires nothing more than an exercise band, email me at Crystal@crystalclearchange.com.

Next Level Fitness Part 2

After adding core work to your daily routine, the next way you can take your fitness to the next level is to incorporate both types of cardio work: anaerobic and aerobic. Each one uses different metabolic pathways in our bodies, the first without oxygen and the second uses oxygen. I am going to explain why this is important and how to add each one to whatever kind of exercise you are currently doing.

Back in the 80’s the emphasis was on aerobic exercise only. Now, research is supporting a mixture of both aerobic and anaerobic. It actually leads to more favorable effects on our hormones, including cortisol, insulin, glucagons and human growth hormone (HGH). This affects our energy levels, immune system, inflammation, as well as the way our body processes and stores sugar, protein and fat. Balancing aerobic and anaerobic training will allow your body to have more efficient metabolism.

Another reason to balance these two forms of working out is to better manage the end products of the pathways. Everyone who has ever worked out really hard and had soreness experienced lactic acid. This is the end product of anaerobic training. On the other end of the spectrum is oxidative load from aerobic training. Our bodies are really amazing at cleaning up oxidative stressors in the body, and completely avoiding oxidative stress is impossible. The goal is to do what we can to not cause excessive oxidative load, and avoiding excessive aerobic exercise is a really good idea for overall health and wellness. I could write a lot more on the subject, but will refrain to give you the bottom line.

Let’s move on to “the How”. It’s easy to balance your current workout by changing your exertion level. Aerobic training is at ~ 65 – 75% exertion level and anaerobic is higher at ~ 85-90%. So if you walk for exercise, start with the lower exertion level for about 5 minutes, and then take it up a notch and walk briskly (until you can’t talk when you walk and/or are breathing heavily) for about 1 minute, then take it back down for 5 minutes and allow your body to catch up. Repeat 4-5 times, and you will have successfully incorporated both anaerobic and aerobic pathways to your work out. You can apply this principle to cycling, elliptical, and just about any type of workout that you do. Any type of class that says it uses “burst” training is probably using this balanced approach. The key is to not overdo either one. It’s always a good idea to run new exercise programs by your doctor.

Take your fitness to the next level by balancing your the internal pathways you use when you work out. It’s healthier, and more efficient. You can’t get any better than that!

Next Level Fitness

Take your fitness to the next level, no matter what your physical activity of choice may be. Today I begin a 3 part series with practical tips that are easy to incorporate into your life and current regimen. First things first- start with your core.

Now that yoga and Pilates have made it to the mainstream fitness scene to stay, core work is getting more attention, which is fantastic. It is critical for an overall health emphasis to incorporate core work for both injury prevention and stabilizing your spine.

It’s easy. First, you can engage your core in whatever activity you do, including walking, cycling, golf, dancing, and running. Simply draw your belly button towards your spinal cord. You can even do this while you sit at your computer! Feel your posture improve as your elongate your torso. Add to this a conscience relaxation of the shoulders- away from your ears- down and slightly back. Last, gently draw your shoulders back a little while you keep your belly button towards your spinal cord. Take a nice breath in from your diaphragm instead of your abdomen, (from your lungs instead of your tummy). Don’t skimp with shallow breathing- try 4 seconds in and 4 seconds out. This will optimize lung function.  Keep this posture and breathing pattern for 1-3 minutes once per hour if you work at your computer, and as long as possible with whatever exercise routine you do.

When doing abdominal exercises like crunches or sit-ups, it’s very important to be sure your core is engaged. Follow the above steps before starting any abdominal work to ensure that you are working towards a flat tummy. If your core is not engaged, you can actually work a “pooch” instead of a flat belly! So, instead of getting all fancy with leg lifts and such, concentrate on engaging your core and master that before progressing.

The best way to add core work to your current routine is to begin with the “Plank” and the “Bridge.” They are easy and very effective when done properly. If you have any pain with these exercises, definitely hold off and ask your doctor of chiropractic or medical doctor before continuing. Here are videos that have good demonstrations.

Plank: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHQmRINu4jU

Bridge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOPkM2pzznc

If you don’t have a work out routine, consider simply walking 10 minutes per day and doing the plank and bridge. In less than 15 minutes per day, you could really jump start your health and well-being!

Power from Within

I love food. I love to cook, eat and drink. The warmth of the kitchen is a great source of pleasure for me, whether cooking at home with my husband, having dinner with friends, or enjoying one of the many family meals the holidays provide. I also love all things health and fitness.  I love taking care of my body by giving it the nutrition, exercise, vitamins and herbs, and regular chiropractic care that allows it to heal itself.  It’s who I am.  It’s what I do. My January resolution was to prioritize an after-holiday nutritional cleanse to give my liver and gastrointestinal tract a dream vacation.  The results were amazing! Once I made it past day two’s fatigue, and day three’s headache, I felt fantastic. In 9 days, I lost five pounds and a combined total of thirteen and a half inches.  Best of all, I feel newly energized on every level, mentally, emotionally, and physically.

All of my goals for 2011 seem that much more attainable because my body is functioning at a higher capacity and because I completed this one particular goal. The increased energy has made me feel great in my cloths. I feel more beautiful, powerful, and confident. I am even seeing the clothes in my closet differently and putting together new outfits. Fashion truly starts from within.

Give your liver and gut a vacation and infuse your world with a new outlook, new energy, and refreshed confidence to do all the things you are created to do.

Visit http://www.drsheffield.com/2011/01 to read more about it!