Saturday, August 20, 2011

Your Laundry Basket Will Never Be Empty

    This week I want to talk about something that I touched on briefly in last week's blog...
                     The importance of working out for both your body and mind.
      For the most part, women are the main caretakers of everyone in their family: kids, husband, parents...pets. They also might have a full/part time job outside of the house in addition to doing the majority of the housework. And of course, women want everything they do to be PERFECT. A clean house, home cooked empty laundry basket!

   So when Mothers think about trying to lose weight, eating right and exercising the first thing they think of is
                         Who has the time????

 As a wife, mom and personal trainer I totally understand that the thought of finding a free 30-60 minutes everyday, that you can devote just to yourself, seems ridiculous. It makes you feel guilty just thinking about it!  However, in order for you to be at your best physically and mentally, you need to spend part of your day nurturing yourself. When you don't, you can feel totally burned out and exhausted.
                     You are not being selfish when you take time to exercise

  Exercise and eating right is not something that you should wait to start when your kids are older.  Exercise can decrease the risk of heart disease, (the number one killer of women) high blood pressure, osteoporosis,  and a third of all cancers. It increases good cholesterol and energy levels. It helps you sleep better and increases your sex drive.  It also decreases stress and increases self esteem. All of these benefits will help you be around longer and stronger to care for the one's you love.
                                          Some ideas for fitting it in

1. Get up early before everyone else does.

2. Workout during the first half of your lunch hour and eat either during the second half or if you can, work out for the entire lunch break and eat at your desk while you work.

3. If you work a few miles from home, run/bike to work and change there. Run/bike back home.

4.  Invest in a treadmill or other cardio machine and workout when you are watching TV in the evenings with your family.
   Strength train in the living room when the kids are watching cartoons in the morning.

5. Change your weekly game night with your girlfriends into a workout night.

6. Postpone housework until later. Radical!
                                     Can we really do that?

   Let's face it, no matter how hard we try, there is always a dish to wash, dust to sweep and the laundry basket will never be empty. Even when we think that we have finally washed the last sock and folded the last towel, (I do love that feeling!) someone comes homes, gets undressed and fills up the basket again! UGH!  So why not lace up your sneakers after you drop the kids off to school and go for a run? Your laundry will be waiting for you when you get home. Plus, if you don't get to it, maybe someone will fold their own socks and put them away for you...or maybe not. Either way, you will feel renewed and ready to deal with it all!

How do you make time for working out? Share your tips with me. I would love to hear them!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School Means Back to Fitness

 The end of summer is always bittersweet. It's hard to say goodbye to extra family time and no homework. But summers are often the busiest time for Moms! All day chauffeuring and acting as the "cruise director"  can be exhausting. Looking back, you may find that you did not do as much exercising as you had planned.
                                                    No Worries!!
                        Here are 5 tips to help you get back to fitness:

  1.Decide what you want your fitness goals for the next 3 months to be and write them down.
 Would you like to lose 12-24lbs before the holidays? Or would you like to just lose the last 5lbs and build muscle. Maybe start running again? Whatever you wish you could accomplish, write it down as a concrete goal.

    2. Assess what your fitness level is:
If you were working out before the summer, and you didn't keep up with it, you probably lost some strength and cardio fitness. Start back at a lower level than you ended with, and slowly progress back to where you were. If you are just starting a fitness program after a long time of not working out, you might want to have someone evaluate the level you are at and give you a plan on how to progress so you can do it safely and effectively.

   3. Schedule daily time to workout:
    Look over your schedule and find time each week that you can workout. Put those times in your calendar. If you are looking over your schedule and are thinking there is just no way to fit in a workout, look again.  You might need to get up earlier than everyone else, you might need to workout on your lunch hour, maybe you can change your morning coffee time with friends into a buddy workout time. You might even need to take an hour when you usually clean the house and make yourself a priority. Say it ain't so!!

Remember working out is important, to your physical and mental well being, and you deserve to take care of yourself!

  30 minutes to an hour a day/ 3-5 days a week, is the recommended amount of time to workout for health and fitness. However, the amount of time and type of your workouts, really depends on your goals. 

Click here to read my blog about the newest ACSM exercise guidelines on how much is enough.

  ***  Many women find that right after dropping off their kids for school, is the best time to workout.  You usually have the most energy at that time of the day. It also ensures that other things won't "pop up" and leave you with no time to squeeze in a workout. Plus, working out in the morning helps you eat clean the rest of the day and makes you feel great.

 4. Become accountable to someone other than yourself.
 Sometimes we will keep a commitment to everyone but ourselves. That is why getting a workout buddy or personal trainer to exercise with, helps keep you on track to success.
 If you don't have anyone to workout with or you prefer to exercise alone, simply telling one supportive friend about your exercise plans, will make you more likely to keep your workout appointments.

 5. Record your workouts in a journal or calendar
 Every night take a few minutes to write down what workouts you did that day, some thoughts about how it went and what you ate.  Keeping track of your exercise and calorie count, can help you stay focused, plan progressions and stay motivated.

 Don't be upset with yourself if you didn't workout the way you had hoped to this summer. Fall is the perfect time to get back to fitness and make all of your dreams a reality.

Let me know what you would like to accomplish and how you are going to make it happen!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Much is Enough?

 One of the first questions I get with a new client is  " How much exercise is enough?"
    In June, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)  released updated recommendations on the quantity and quality of exercise for adults.

  "The scientific evidence we (ACSM) reviewed is indisputable,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FAHA, FACSM, chair of the writing committee. “When it comes to exercise, the benefits far outweigh the risks. A program of regular exercise – beyond activities of daily living – is essential for most adults

  Here are their recommendations:

  Cardiorespiratory Exercise
***•Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. (300 is better)
•Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
•One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
•Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
•People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.

Resistance Exercise
•Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.
•Very light or light intensity is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults starting exercise.
•Two to four sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength and power.
•For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, and 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.
•Adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.

•Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
•Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
•Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
•Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
•Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching

Neuromotor Exercise

•Neuromotor exercise (sometimes called “functional fitness training”) is recommended for two or three days per week.
•Exercises should involve motor skills (balance, agility, coordination and gait), proprioceptive exercise training and multifaceted activities (tai ji and yoga) to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults.
•20-30 minutes per day is appropriate for neuromotor exercise.

Here are some important new clarifications:
•Pedometers, step-counting devices used to measure physical activity, are not an accurate measure of exercise quality and should not be used as the sole measure of physical activity.

•Though exercise protects against heart disease, it is still possible for active adults to develop heart problems. All adults must be able to recognize the warning signs of heart disease, and all health care providers should ask patients about these symptoms.

•Sedentary behavior – sitting for long periods of time – is distinct from physical activity and has been shown to be a health risk in itself. Meeting the guidelines for physical activity does not make up for a sedentary lifestyle.
“It is no longer enough to consider whether an individual engages in adequate amounts of weekly exercise,” said Garber, who is an associate professor of movement sciences at the Teachers College of Columbia University. “We also need to determine how much time a person spends in sedentary pursuits, like watching television or working on a computer. Health-and-fitness professionals must be concerned with these activities as well.”***

 ****This is one of the most important findings. You must stay active in addition to doing your daily exercise.

 How much exercise you need to do, really depends on your individual fitness level and personal goals.
 The guidelines by the ACSM outlines the minimum adults should do to maintain their health.
  If you want to lose weight, or have another fitness goal in mind, you might need to work out more than 150-300 minutes a week.
 Always contact your physician before starting an exercise program.

How much do you work out? Do you think you need to work out more or less? Let me know!