The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tip #17: Set a Plan and Act on It!

Its so easy to make excuses for why you don't exercise. You're tired! You're too busy! You're bored with your usual workout! I do the same thing. We all do! I know I've talked about Sparkpeople on this blog before but I had to share something new I discovered about it. There is a fitness tracker on it that can give you a set amount of calories to torch in a week! It works like this:

You enter in the amount of days you want to work out and select about how long you plan to exercise (shoot for half an hour to forty minutes four days a week! I exercise Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday because I usually have the most time to work out). Then the tracker calculates the minimum number of calories you should be burning in a week. For me, its about 800. I know it sounds like a lot, but its easy to burn off if you break it down. Try to even go a little over if you can! Think about it like this: 40 minutes of kikboxing is about 400 calories, 40 minutes of Barre is 340. You are at 740 and you only completed two of your workouts! Its a lot easier to met your goal than you think! Plus its a lot easier to force yourself to get your butt off the couch when your workout for the day is put down in writing!

Now, you don't have to use Sparkpeople (even if it is free!) so you can just write down a page of your planned workouts for the week in your food journal! Also, set a reminder on your phone! No excuses that you forgot to or are too busy to workout when you schedule it in! Good luck and have fun with it!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm Up: Edge of Glory- Lady Gaga

Little Lion Man- Mumford and Sons

Lose Yourself- Eminem

Grenade- Bruno Mars

Cool Down: Skyscraper- Demi Lovato

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tip #16: Don't Beat Yourself Up

Since the invention of the scale, it has been a woman's worst enemy. Or at least that is what I've always felt, until recently. The truth is, we really are our own worst enemy. The scale tells you a number, sure, and sometimes, you just hate seeing it written down like that. It never says, "Geez, you're really packing on the pounds, aren't you?" or "Man, you're fat!" It only tells us what our weight is. It doesn't even tell us whether we gained or lost a pound. The panic of seeing the number is all in our heads. The voice that tells us these confidence-shattering phrases is only in our heads.

Don't give that voice the chance to say it. First off, DO NOT WEIGH YOURSELF EVERY DAY! That is such a horrible idea! Just don't do it! Every time you step on a scale when you are trying to lose weight, you want to see the scale move down, but losing a pound (or more) everyday is unhealthy. Aim for between one to two pounds a week. Therefore, weigh yourself every week only. Have a set date and time to do that, as your weight fluxuates through out the day.

Second, when you step on the scale, keep a mantra in your head or written down in front of you, reminding you that the scale doesn't change anything. So what if it went up? You're gorgeous anyway. You aren't trying to become Twiggy 2! You're trying to get healthy and it doesn't matter how long that takes.

Lastly, remember that getting healthy takes time. Don't set rediculous goals for yourself. It will make you do unhealthy things in the end, like skipping meals or cutting calories to the point you can't function properly. The goal isn't to be super-skinny or like a starved girl in a magazine. The goal is to get healthy.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Tip #15: How To Get Back on the Wagon

I recently posted that falling off the wagon is the worst thing you can do. That being said, it's difficult to get back on the wagon, but not impossible. The first thing I've found that helps is not to do it alone. If you splurged a lot the day before, your body is going to want it again. It's hard to say no when your stomach is growling for that second slice of chocolate lava cake. Warn a faithful friend at work or school that you're dying for a slice, but you have a calorie limit you want to uphold. If he or she is as trustworthy as you say they are, they'll be honest when they think you are over eating. Sometimes that outside voice quietly saying, "Hon, I know you love those, but maybe you've had enough," is a lot more helpful than your inner voice screeching, "ENOUGH ALREADY!"

The second trick is to track everything. On the days when you do splurge, try and keep track of what and when you eat. It will help you decifer how to prevent it. If being surrounded by donuts in the conference room makes you want to eat everything from the jelly to the boston creme, keep a protein bar on hand during meetings. Or keep a few water bottles handy as the water will keep you full and it will also keep your mouth busy so a donut won't be in it. If you are hungriest late at night, keep yourself busy by taking your dog for a moonlit walk or taking a nice, long bubble bath. There are a thousand different ways to keep from splurging. Find one that works for you and next time you are tempted to overeat, you'll know how to say no.

And for my final trick, don't try to compensate for your overeating. You can't eat 2500 calories one day and then 500 the next. Your body will be all over the place and completely confused as to what the heck you are trying to do to it. You will not lose weight this way. It just doesn't work like that. If you eat 2500 calories one day, you cannot overcompensate. Instead you just have to eat what your usual healthy calorie quota is, whatever that may be for you, as long as it is over 1200 calories. After a day or two, your body will readjust and remember that you are trying to get healthy.

And don't beat yourself up for overeating! You can get back on the wagon! It's just going to take a little hard work!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Workout #12: Take the Challenge!

I love a challenge, in school, in writing, but especially in my workouts. It's the feeling I get after it that I adore so much, the feeling that you just gave it all you've got and succeeded. You can fail when you've been given a challenge in work or school, but the only way to fail when you're challenging yourself working out is to give up before you finish. Workout challenges make you want to push yourself until you reach the cool down.

There are tons of challenges you can take in your workout!

Challenges with Easy Access: Try a workout challenge from ExerciseTV! There's usually a variety to choose from. This month, there is the 10 Pound Slimdown Extreme. In a category under this title there is a list of workouts to try from the Yoga workout to the high intensity kickboxing workout. I've only done the kickboxing workout and I have to tell you that, like all good challenges are, it works your body hard! I had a cramp in the first ten minutes of the forty minute long workout. Although it did hurt, the second I reached the cool down, I felt empowered and strong!

At Home Challenges: There are other challenges to take when you don't have Exercise TV, though they may require a bit of cash and equipment. Beach Body and P90X challenges your body in insane ways, always promising results. There's a variety of others, requiring no cash or equipment. They can be found on various workout blogs and websites, like Sparkpeople.

Group Challenges: This is my favorite kind! There are so many to choose from! Gather your friends to your local gym and look for a challenge there! Or do something good for your fellow man as well and get your friends together for a walk, like the Susan J. Comen walk. Its time for you and your friends, a super long workout, and something good for the world. You could also try a challenge to help build your endurance by trying to run a little each day. Start off running for one minute and walking for nineteen, then 2 and 18, and 3 and 17, and so on until you can run the whole twenty. I suppose you could do this alone but everything is easier and more fun in a group.

Can't find a challenge you like? Why not create your own? Gather your friends together and try to come up with something, like taking a new, high intensity class every other day for a month.

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm up: Give Me Hope- New Politics

Full Moon Crazy- Honor Society

Party Poison- My Chemical Romance

Stereo Hearts- Gym Class Heroes

Cool Down: Fade Into Me- David Cook

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tip #14: Always Have a Back Up Plan

The worst thing you can do is fall off the wagon, so avoid it at all costs. That's easier said than done. Imagine your at work. It's around three o-clock. You had an early lunch and you have a meeting in an hour. You're starving and you can hear your stomach rumbling already! What do you do?

A. Hit the conference room for a donut!
B. Grab a Poptart from the vending machine.
C. Eat one of your emergency snacks.

If you were being honest here, you probably said A or B. The conference room is always stacked with sweets and treats, but do you even know where they came from? Someone put them in there and you ate them, with no knowledge of what the nutritional value is. My best bet is that if you knew what was in there, you might just hesitate to eat them. And what about the vending machine? They are often stacked with snacks with ridiculous calorie, fat, and esspecially sodium count. Poptarts, cookies, and pastries are a no-no. If you lack an emergency snack and need to visit the vending machine, go for popcorn or mini prezels. Before you pop those pretzels in your mouth though, try to scrape off a little of the salt on the exterior.

The best answer you could have chosen was C, your emergency snack. These snacks are your choice, to bring from home, and you know exactly what it contains. It should have a low fat count, high in protein, and have between 100 and 200 calories. Stack your desk with FiberOne Bars, which are great because the fiber will keep you full. Fruits is good for the same reason, so try a mini banana or whatever fruit is an season. Any access to a fridge? Bring in Yoplait Light yogurt, which has between 100 and 120 calories and has about 12% of you daily protein. Bonus? A new study published in the September issue of Journal of Nutrition compared three groups of overweight women. Each group had a different amount of dairy products: low, medium, and high. The group with the most dairy products lost twice as much belly fat as the other groups. Craving something sweet and you know a yogurt won't satisfy it? Try WhoNu cookies, which are rather small but pack a lot of fiber to keep you full!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tip #13: Game of Chance

The easiest excuse not to work out is to say that exercise is boring, and why waste time doing something boring? Although exercising daily can help you lose weight, reduce your risk for disease, and increase your life span, some people (like me) let working out fall to the wayside because they're bored. I've been doing a barre workout everyday for the last few weeks and, while I still like how the workout makes me feel, I've become bored with doing the same workout over and over again.

So I decided on a cure for workout boredom. Its the title of this post, a game of chance. There are two ways I use this idea.

Idea 1: Pick out a of a hat! This takes a little time to make, but its well worth it! Take a piece of paper and write down some of your favorite workouts. Write down 5-10 hard workouts and 5-10 workouts that you find relaxing and are low-impact like yoga or bellydance. Then, cut the workouts out and throw the hard workouts in one hat or box and the easy ones in another. Each day, pick out from each hat or box and do twenty minutes of each.

Idea 2: Roll a die! Make a list of workouts, the same way you did in Idea 1, only this time you need 6 of each. Then, simply roll the die once for the hard workout and another time for the second easy workout.

This keeps variety going! I'll be hard to roll the same number each day or picking the same slip every day so you'll never get bored!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Workout Playlist of the Week!

Warm Up: Scene Change- The White Tie Affair

The Calendar- Panic! at the Disco

Pumped Up Kicks- Foster the People

Super Bass -Nicki Minaj

Cool Down: Don't Get Around Much Anymore- Michael Buble and Tony Bennett

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Workout #11: Sketchers Shape Ups

Recently, the hurricane Irene hit our town. It left many people with flooded houses and basically everyone with flooded streets. Naturally we couldn't drive anywhere and were forced to walk instead. I'm a bit of an optimistic myself and can't help but look on the bright side here: A workout without going out of my way squeeze it in. My sister, mother, and I took a walk down to the local Walgreens about six streets over. I strapped on my new pair of Sketchers Shape-Ups and walked the whole time, no breaks with the cool night air against us. The amazing part was that my legs actually hurt after the walk. Admittedly, my ankles hurt a bit too, but that was mostly because I stupidly forgot to put on socks.

My legs hurt thanks to the calorie burn I managed to get! It's not a major burn but it is still something! A 125 lbs woman can burn about 180 calories in an hour. And thats only at a leisurely pace. All in all, I did feel a change in my legs and I do feel like my posture is better, like the advertisements say, however this isn't some miracle product. Buying these Shape Ups and walking for twenty minutes at the leisurely pace once a week isn't going to do much. Instead, opt for a walk in the Shape Ups when you want to take a day off from working out. If you did a really tough workout one day, take a walk around the block to put in a relaxing fifteen minutes, without a guilty conscience of thinking that you completely skipped a workout. At least you burned off that 180 calorie afternoon snack!