As I type this I'm watching the new season of The Biggest Loser. I've never really watched it but I always hear people rave about it and how inspiring it is. So I wanted to share some things with you that I've discovered since I made the decision to get healthy.
DIET vs. EXERCISE: According to different studies, people who believe in slimming down by eating cleaner & by eating smaller portions are thinner that those who eat whatever they want & relying on the gym to shed the pounds. If you want to be trimmed & tone you need a good mixture of both.
HOT or NOT: These days yogis are cranking up the room temps to 105 degrees. Just because you sweat more doesn't mean you're burning more calories, finds an American Council on Exercise study. People who did basic yoga averaged 56% of their max heart rate; sweaters averaged 57%. Plus those in the hotter rooms perceived the same moves to be harder than when doing them in a 70-degree room. No need to force yourself through poses in an ovenlike setting. Regular yoga is just fine.
LUMP DAY: Which is a cute little play on "hump day" since it's turns out to be the laziest day of the week for us. Try pacing back and forth when talking on the phone. Pacing for 5 minutes per every work hour can add up to 2 miles everyday!
QUALITY over QUANTITY: Instead of being obsessed with notching a daily workout, make each workout count - and then be satisfied when you're done.
SMART YOGA: According to a new study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, College women who did 20 minutes of yoga were able to focus way better. All exercise is good for your brain, but the researchers think the meditation and focused breathing practiced during yoga also pay off during mental tasks like learning and retaining info.
Stay Fit With These Tips:
- I'm really into AM smoothies. Spinach, banana, blueberries and some protein powder.
- For workouts, hip hop and boxing classes can be a fun alternative when you get bored with your everyday routine.
- I like to remind myself that I've never regretted a workout.
- No matter how hard it gets, keep going. It's 70% mental.
Getting Fit On a Budget:
It is easy to get caught up in the latest health trends that come and go by the minute. Not only is it hard to stay up with these trends, it can be difficult to shell out the funds for them as well. Gym memberships, yoga studios, juice cleanses, eating organic—none of it is free (let alone cheap!). It’s fun to try out new diet and exercise fads as they come along, but eventually it will start to add up.
START TRAINING: Sign up for a 5k race, a half marathon, or, if you’re really serious, a marathon. It will give you a reason to get outside and run—which is free! Even better—choose a race that donates it’s proceeds to charity and you will be running for a great cause. If you can’t afford the entry fee, reach out to friends and family for donations to help sponsor you.
WATCH WORKOUT DVDS: This trick may not be new, but it sure it a great bang for your buck. The best thing about a set of workout DVDs is once you buy them, you have basically invested in a 24-hour gym in your very own home. You might need to pick up a few free weights and a yoga mat, but it’s well worth it. Try watching DVDs from Jillian Michaels or Tracy Anderson. And don’t forget about our favorite Tone It Up girls. You can check out their Youtube workout videos for free (but I recommend buying the Tone It Up Nutrition Plan to go along with it!).
USE YOUR PHONE: Never underestimate the power of a smart phone—they can do almost anything! While you may use yours primarily for texting and instagramming emailing, you can actually download some apps that will help you to stay healthy too. Moves is an app that tracks your steps each day and lets you know how active you are. Try to get to 10,000 if you can! Other great fitness apps are MyFitnessPal, which serves as a mobile food and exercise journal, and Yoga STRETCH, which allows you to take full yoga classes on the go. Each of these apps is less than $5, which is way more cost-efficient than an expensive pedometer, a personal nutritionist, or a pricey yoga membership.
MAKE A CHALLENGE: Starting up challenges within your office, group of friends, or family is a great way to keep you motivated to stay fit throughout the day. Go ahead and encourage your group to try a 30-day crunch challenge: on the first day, do 20 crunches at some point during your day, and increase the number of crunches by 5 every day until you are at 150 crunches on day 30. You will have toned abs before you know it. Or, kick start a walking contest within your company (using Moves!) and compete with departments to see who can walk the most over an entire month. Adding a little friendly competition into your fitness routine is a fun way to stay motivated and be active.
WRITE IT DOWN: Another trick that I’ve found helps me stay fit is putting my goals and achievements down on paper. When I have a big vacation or a special event coming up, I make a workout calendar and hang it up somewhere I see it every day. I mark a check for the days that I workout, which makes me want to get as many checks as possible. Some people also find it helpful to keep a food journal. Writing down everything you eat during the day can help to gain insight about the types of food you are eating and how much of it.
And don’t forget that taking advantage of the great outdoors is a great way to get moving without spending a dime. Go hiking, swimming, running or biking—or even taking a long walk with your dog will help you to log in some exercise.
Sources: Self magazine & laurenconrad.com