New Year, New You: Taking off the years
Taking off the years
It is never too early or too late to start a healthy eating and exercise program. You will not actually take years off the clock, but you just may add a few to your lifespan.
David Haley, fitness services director for Sky Fitness and Wellbeing, shares these five tips to help bring about a successful change that will last a lifetime.
Commit, commit, commit. Don’t play the game of “I will get to it tomorrow” or “Let me lose weight before I start a serious workout program.”
Accountability Record your information on a regular basis to chart consistency and progress. If necessary, make the small investment to become accountable to someone (a personal trainer, workout partner or spouse).
Don’t jump in feet first. Plan the process as much as you can. This will help hold you accountable.
Don’t go cold turkey. The everything-in-moderation approach is more successful in the long run and helps you to avoid feelings of deprivation. You can have your favorite chips — just don’t eat the whole bag.
Assessment Know where you currently are in relation to fitness and posture assessments. This way, you have another method to track your progress for accountability.
Still need motivation to get fit?
Perhaps you should try a new workout. Kristi Bush, Tulsa YWCA health and wellness director, recommends CrossFit, a relatively new concept for Oklahomans. Simply put, it is a boot-camp-style workout that involves using mostly body weight exercises (think push-ups, lunges and squats) and core strengthening exercises. The exercises are taught by a CrossFit-certified instructor and done in a rotation (about as many sets as you can do in a certain amount of time) with the goal being to increase the amount of sets you do each time.
CrossFit is a motivating way to get in optimum shape because it’s easy to mark your progress along the way. And if you have not tried Pilates, guess what?
“It works,” Bush says.
And by the way, gentlemen: Pilates is not just for women. If you have been looking for something to help you with those love handles once and for all, Bush says Pilates is a must.
If you have a workout you enjoy but sometimes have a hard time committing, you might be motivated by exercising with like-minded people.
“I run with two girlfriends on Wednesdays and Fridays,” Bush says. “And I don’t miss. I don’t want them talking about me. Plus, it would be rude to keep them waiting. But, more than anything, I don’t stand them up because I would miss the talks, laughter and fun we have while running.”
If you don’t have any “like-minded” friends, join a running or walking club.
If you determine a personal trainer is best for your needs, Jeanne Douthit, a certified personal trainer, medical exercise specialist and private trainer with Exerbotics Premier Fitness Studios, offers these tips for selecting the right match.
1. Find a trainer who has been certified by a nationally accredited agency such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) or the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). There are many training certifications with mediocre standards. These certifications are the top of the industry and to earn them requires a strong scientific and practical knowledge. They also require continuing education to maintain.
2. Find a trainer who addresses every aspect of training: assessment, goal setting, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular training and even stress management. He or she will help provide you with skills to take ownership of your health.
3. Find a trainer who assesses your medical history, tests muscular imbalances and individualizes your training program. Imbalances, or even a “cookie cutter” program designed for a bodybuilder or elite athlete, can lead to injury. This equates to short- versus long-term success, and eventually you are a step back from where you started.
4. Find a trainer who gives you what you need. Is your trainer equipped to help you reach your goals? Does your trainer have a specialty, and is it the specialty you need? Some trainers specialize in post-rehab/medical exercise, Pilates, weight management, sports conditioning, golf fitness or posture. Find a trainer who suits your needs.
No matter what your current habits, Janette Baker, on-staff nutritionist for D’Novo Lean Gourmet, recommends the following tips to stay true to your diet this year.
Eat your fruits and vegetables. Healthy diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Not only are they naturally low in fat and calories; they also make you feel fuller longer while providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals — key factors to overall health and well being,” Baker says.
Stay well hydrated. Feeling fatigued? Staying well hydrated is important for many reasons, especially energy. Try to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. Be sure to add more water as your activity level increases. Getting in the habit of drinking more fluids may take time, so increase your levels gradually and soon you’ll easily consume what you need. You can add water-based fruits as well. Did you know that one medium-sized apple contains about a half cup of water?
Spice it up. Salt and pepper aren’t your only choices when it comes to spices. Ground spices are a great source of flavor as well as antioxidants. Did you know that half a teaspoon of cinnamon has as many antioxidants as half a cup of strawberries? Keep in mind that when using fresh herbs, add them at the end of cooking and use more than you would for dried since fresh herbs aren’t as strong.
Control your portions. You can still have that extra indulgence on occasion, as long as your portions are under control and you are physically active on most days of the week. By simply cutting out 100 extra calories a day, you could lose about 10 pounds in one year. And up to 20 pounds if you burn another 100 calories with daily exercise. If portion control is still a problem, consider a meal-delivery service that pre-measures your meals, such as D’Novo Lean Gourmet. You’ll get breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack delivered to your home or office daily — all under 1,500 total calories. Or drop in the restaurant, where everything on the menu (even desserts) has less than 500 calories.